EQ has more players than EQ2, has better earnings and a higher profit margin, and yet it is still EQ2 that perceptually gets more studio attention, its not overt just that the favouritism inadvertently leaks out here & there for the astute observer. EQ has been "maintained" just above what would normally be termed "maintenance mode" because it still gets "new content" albeit much of it is what I would term digitally recycled, the money EQ generates is part of the the bread and butter of Daybreak, EQ is a "work-horse" of sorts for it, but the studio has an evident bias despite their attempts to mask it. That might be slowly changing with a bunch of stuff JChan covered in her prior posts about converting old flat-file databases, tech debt being addressed, newer hardware being used but from my perspective little has changed at the player-facing part of the game apart from a slow decline in creativity, in volume of content and in novel experiences. Expansions have shrunk in scope since the last decent-sized expansion "Rain of Fear" and even that did a whole bunch of copy-pasting of old zone geometry, presumably this direction of using old assets with a new layer of quests over the top is more profitable even if it means the developer's creativity is being cut off at the knees so badly that some are making the jump & leaving. Packaging that up as a "nostalgia era" is a bit of a ploy to sell this recycled content back to players as if it was new, a used car salesman trick is how it feels, oh we polished the 1980 Buick pretty hard so it looks shiny but it's still a 1980 Buick, it performs like a pig running through treacle in the winter but it has "nostalgia"... It makes me think back to multiple interviews that came out in the years after EQ2 launched that conveyed the feeling that EQ was meant to be superseded by EQ2, that the EQ players were expected to leave the original game to go to the new & shiny one they poured so much of EQ's talent & money into - they were surprised by how that did not really pan out the way that they expected AT ALL. While the players largely took a look at the new shiny & most said "no thanks I like the original better" many of the team perhaps had already chosen where their passions were going to reside, EQ2 was the more exciting game to be a part of developing as it was so much more modern and had much better tools to work with. The argument from developers against reinvigorating old games is often that it is so much better to make a new game than to fix the problems with an old one. well it is not actually better, it's just easier or less work in many ways. That's the accepted mainstream designer philosophy, don't fix it, start over from scratch with the lessons learned & that philosophy exists because that's how the game industry usually does things, games as a service are not the same animal but the thinking has still to catch up to the reality, the old modus operandi, the old learned patterns don't actually fit. The philosophy of game design for a game as a service must be different to the mainstream paradigm of software development and if EQ is to be a title that is actively & passionately developed for then it needs a different approach to the philosophy used when cranking out a Call of Duty sequel each 12 months. EQ should be getting revamped, it should be getting a good chunk of the money it makes pumped back into it being kept vital & exciting not just for the players but almost more importantly for the developers too - if this game doesn't hold the passion of its developers and they are more interested in working on a different game because that has better tools & is more fun to work with then it's pretty self-evident that there needs to be better tools made to allow the developers to better develop for EQ and to allow them to be more excited for EQ development than another title or it will lose good talented people. I think that this game has lost plenty of developers who want to go do things they find interesting and fun, why work at a place where you just rehash stuff that's been seen over & over and try to pretend your doing something cool, this is a creative industry which attracts creative people, when they get bored enough they walk. EQ runs as much risk of losing the team as it does the players if the company doesn't inject something fresh into the game not just for the players but for the team creating the small amount of content we still get. If the game keeps on using the same old zones for the supposedly new expansions what would be fun about developing for that? I think I would be looking to work on a more exciting project too, regardless of needing to pay bills. I think "some" reinvestment IS finally happening, it's almost certainly still far less than the title or it's loyal fan base have earned. I'm not naïve, I don't expect massive changes to EQ, any large investment to bring the game up to a state where the developers do more than just crank out small expansions of largely borrowed old assets, I hope the mindset shifts and EQ is seen for its real potential and gets a big dynamic shift of focus, another new EQ title instead of a big revamp of the original & best game in the franchise would be a huge missed opportunity, yes it would be expensive & hard to do, doesn't mean it shouldn't be done, I think it can be and it can be affordable given the money the players pump into the game already, EQ deserves better. What do you think?