Here is my labor of love for our hearing-impaired community. Sourced from Spotify. Dreamweaver: Hey everyone! It's me, Dreamweaver, your friendly neighborhood community manager and this is Kander's Candor, Episode 2. I'm here, once again this week, with Kyle "Kander" Vallee, our creative director and I'm going to do that most awkward version of that as many times as possible until he punches me out. I think that's my current plan. Kander: At least you don't say my name, like how Holly used to say it. where it always sounded like Eric Cartman. Dreamweaver: *laughs* How do you? Kander: *high pitched* Kaaaaaaaaah! Dreamweaver: *high pitched* Kaaaaah? Ugh, yeah. Nah, I uh, I, I don't wanna do that. Kander: That was a mixture of Canadian and... Dreamweaver: *laughs* Canadian and something? Kander: and Holly... Dreamweaver: and Holly. Kander: Kahyle. Dreamweaver: Kahlye. Alright, well. So, we went over a bunch of things last week. We kinda intro'd this. Kander: Yep. Dreamweaver: I kinda wanna do a deeper dive on one of the things we talked about last week. It's not gonna be super deep. One, because these are supposed to be short, and two, because we don't wanna give everything away. But we have the GU. It's coming up in April. Kander: We do. Dreamweaver: Chrol has done a bunch of work on it. He's worked super hard. He's come up with some fun ideas with you guys. Kander: Yes. Dreamweaver: Can we talk about how you came up with the idea for this GU? Kander: We can. Yeah. That's actually a really good idea. Dreamweaver: Let's talk about that. Kander: Yeah, so, the sound director, Mark McBride, was making music for us for the expansion like he's done every year for the past 3, 4 years now. I can't remember how long he's been doing it. He did a lot of the music for Thalum- he did all the music for Thalumbra, and I think everything since then. So anyway he was working on music for the overland zones and he went home one weekend and I guess he watched some Spaghetti westerns, you know, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly... Dreamweaver: Aaaaawahaaahaa! Kander: And decided to record a Spaghetti western version of one of our overland zone themes. Dreamweaver: That's possibly my favorite version of someone doing a Spaghetti western like...*makes Old West noises* Kander: *laughs* Yeah I can really, I can really get into it. I'm actually a massive fan. So he recorded like, Spaghetti western guitar and you know, a total theme, and he brought it in. He was just messing around. He was just trying to do something fun and funny and the team heard it and went "We, we have to do something with that" and usually around this time of the year, we're trying to decide what we're going to do for the game update, and you know, this year there wasn't ideas a-plenty, so we just thought, "Let's do something with that" and we had an idea of what zone we were getting, you know, to use for that, and we just, we went, "Yeah! This'll work." Dreamweaver: *laughs* And it, and it kind of blossomed into a thing. Kander: Yeah, we unleashed Chrol, we unleashed the Kraken, and let him go nuts with it. And what, what they're going to be getting is very different. Dreamweaver: It's fun! It's gonna be... Kander: Yeah. Dreamweaver: It's gonna be weird. Kander: It's extremely different for EQ2. It's not like anything we've ever done. But fair warning, it is Spaghetti western themed. Dreamweaver: *laughs* I, I, I think, I hope, you know, from what I've seen, players are really, really gonna like it. They're gonna be excited by what they're seeing. Kander: Yeah. We talked about all sorts of stuff, like, not just Spaghetti westerns, but like, you know Blazing Saddles, and like, just movies that we loved, Three Amigos. We tried to come up with all these ideas for bosses that were, you know, themed from different western, "western" in airquotes, type themes, and we used Mark's music to inspire us, and now we're, you know, we're gonna have rolling tumbleweeds and all kinds of stuff, so... Dreamweaver: That's killer. Kander: Hopefully spurs jangling and...But the humorous thing is that it's based on the Diaku ogres who are, you know, they're descendants of Rallos Zek, they're Rallos Zek's armies... So it's basically like, cowboy ogres *both laugh* Dreamweaver: Uh, so... Kander: Not swiveling. Dreamweaver: *laughs* Yeah, take that note. Don't swivel. We're gonna keep this... Kander: Starting now. Dreamweaver: We're gonna keep this part in...mostly because I want everyone to know that Kyle got a note from our sound guy to not swivel as much in his chair. Kander: Yeah... Dreamweaver: See...we're like you too. We get antsy. We swivel in our chairs. Kander: Absolutely. Dreamweaver: I'm trying really hard not to touch my face with my hands at the moment. Kander: Exactly. Yeah. Exactly. Dreamweaver: Like I'm really trying hard, like I keep on wanting to do it. Kander: That's why I have my hands, yeah, have my hands in my armpits. Dreamweaver: Yeah, ya know, I get it. It's a good way to lock em in. Uhhhhh...so...when, we don't wanna give too much away about what we have planned, but we did give a bit, and I think it's really exciting, and it's gonna be a lot of fun. Kander: Yeah. It'll absolutely be different, and we are getting some good support from art, so there will be some cool stuff, and the zone is really cool. Dreamweaver: Awesome. Kander: Yeah, I mean, we can't give too much away, but just know that... Dreamweaver: It's gonna be sweet Kander: When we take Chrol off the chain... Dreamweaver: *laughs* It'll be a rootin-tootin good time! Kander: Exactly! He's a creative dynamo. Dreamweaver: It'll be, It'll be great. Kander: Yep. Dreamweaver: So another thing that I think we can talk about now that is, is gonna be kinda upcoming in the next few months, is that we're gonna be making some changes to the Overseer system, we're going to be...you mentioned the last episode we're going to be doing some changes with class balance that's gonna make an appearance in the GU... Kander: Right. Dreamweaver: Is there anything else that's coming in the GU that we can expect, or that players can expect since you know, I have to expect everything at all times? Kander: Yeah, I mean, there's gonna be a lot of, you know, a lot of class stuff, but the Overseer system, we're adding a new season to, so, and to give you some background on that, the seasons are based on the progression of EQ2, so the first opening season was Shattered Lands... Dreamweaver: Right. Kander: So the next one will be Deserts of Flames themed, and so the quests and you know the agents that you have for your Overseer system will be Deserts of Flames themed, which was kinda Arabian Nights meets... Dreamweaver: EQ2? Kander: EQ2 right. I was looking for something other than that but... Dreamweaver: Arabian Nights meets high fantasy? Kander: Yeah sure, that works. Dreamweaver: Alright, well. That counts. I'm counting that. Kander: And that's the plan that each season will be based off of a past expansion. Dreamweaver: OK Kander: For now. So you can look forward to, you know, to Kingdom of Sky, Echoes of Faydwer, so on. Dreamweaver: Awesome. Kander: Like, we have, we're using LON art, so that was part of the idea of the Overseers. We had all of this Legends of Norrath art, which was the card game that used to be in, in Everquest 2. We thought the art was just amazing and we really wanted to find a way to do something with it. It wasn't exactly the art that drove us to the Overseer system. The Overseer system was more of a, implementing quests in Everquest 2 is very time-consuming. We've gotten better tools over the years, but it still takes a lot of time. When you go through a signature line of a new expansion, and you do it in two days, just know that it took that designer, specifically Kaitheel most of the time, that it took him months to implement that content. So the Overseer system is kind of a way that we can put these cool little stories, and cool little seeds to your imagination. That was kinda the idea, whereas, you know, we can, we can type two or three sentences about what you're doing and then, the rest is in your imagination, right. You're like, "Oh yeah, this could be really cool. I totally remember fighting, you know, Lady Vox, and she was undead, and this is really cool." And the feedback has been a lot of that. They really like the system. They like the agents. They like, you know, being able to see the art. And that was what we were shooting for, and then the idea is, we started out with a relatively simple system because we didn't want to overwhelm people. We wanted something that was just kind of fun. We also wanted a system that you weren't going to play full-time. Dreamweaver: Right, yeah. It's supposed to be something that you do quickly...pick up and put down. Kander: Yeah. The idea is that you can log in, send out some quests, and then go play. Dreamweaver: Right. Kander: And then...So, that's kinda what we shot for and where we went. So in April, we'll be, we'll be adding levels to the Overseers, so you'll be able to level up your overseer and get rewards and achievements and stuff by, so your quests will give you overseer experience. Dreamweaver: Experience. Awesome. Kander: Right, and then as you level up your overseer, you'll unlock certain things. There's still one or two things up in the air, but, we wanted to wait to gauge, like you know, progression. You've been playing and now you've reached a certain level, and now you've unlocked new expansion. Just kinda like what you do, you know, in Everquest 2. Dreamweaver: Right. Kander: So, and then we're always looking at feedback. We're always trying to add, you know, the quality of life type stuff that people ask for. Dreamweaver: Right. Kander: And then the idea is just to kinda keep adding cool little stuff to that. We really like it. We have no intention of abandoning it. It's, it's a great system. We're going to be using it for the Summer Ethereals this year for the first time, which could be really exciting, and luckily, Nathan - Kaitheel - has kinda worked out a lot of the problems with implementing Overseer stuff for Live events. Dreamweaver: Nice! Kander: He's managed to do two live events and add content for that, which is really also a huge thing, right, like... Dreamweaver: Cause he gets to add extra little story bits. It speeds up things for him... Kander: Well and the thing is implementing in the Overseer system is days as opposed to weeks. Dreamweaver: Right. Kander: So, he's been able to add more to the Live events more quickly. Dreamweaver: Right. Kander: Which means we can add more... Dreamweaver: More content for players during live events and things like that. Kander: Yes, yes. And make things more interesting and have more stuff to do in the Overseer system. But yeah, so that's kinda the plan. Dreamweaver: Nice. Alright, well. This is not game-related, but it is Kander's Candor, so I do have some questions for you. Kander: OK Dreamweaver: The first question is, it's pouring outside right now, and it has been for the last few days. Kander: Yeah, it's raining. Dreamweaver: It is. It is really raining here. So what is, like, your favorite rainy day activity? Like what is something you really love to do? Kander: Gaming. Dreamweaver: See that's perfect. What are, what are you doing right now? What are you playing? Kander: Ummmm. Well. Let's see, I play Hearthstone. I've been playing Hearthstone for a while. Dreamweaver: OK Kander: I like Hearthstone cause you can get in and play for 30 minutes, feel like you did something and get out. I played Witcher 3 finally, so that's really embarrassing. Dreamweaver: Nice! It only came out in what 2015? So you're caught up! Kander: Yeah, yeah, so that's how far behind I am. But I mean I typically play, I played God of War when it first came out, the last one. I didn't wait 5 years to play that one because I was super excited about it. Dreamweaver: To be clear, it was worth it. Kander: Yes. Dreamweaver: That game was spectacular. Kander: Yes, yes, yes. It was, and like, I was kinda sad that I didn't play Witcher 3 sooner. Dreamweaver: That makes sense. Kander: Cause I found it quite fun. Dreamweaver: It was a great game. Kander: I really enjoyed it. Dreamweaver: Yeah. Kander: I also play a couple of other MMOs that I'm not going to name. Dreamweaver: *laughs* Kander: Couple of them I've been playing for a couple years, so, and I play EQ2 every year diligently. You know what I mean, you know, I don't play it constantly. I used to be a raider, and then I kinda became a casual player and then, as we have less and less time, but I do play through everything before it goes out. Like we play on beta, and we play. We do have also, we have devs who play Everquest 2, like they play it daily. Dreamweaver: Religiously. Kander: Daily, yes. We have a couple that play it religiously. Keep in mind, that I am in the game every day in some form or fashion. Dreamweaver: Makes sense. Kander: I mean, we have, we have people that play and still enjoy it, and I'm not saying I don't enjoy it. Dreamweaver: Yet *both laugh* We might, we might cut that part. Or at least cut the still out. Kander: Yeah. Well, it's interesting, after, you know, being involved with something for so long, it hasn't died to me. It hasn't become this chore. It's still a joy to create content. I still have a fantastic time making, you know, content and worlds, and like, especially the last expansion, you know, the going to Luclin and for us, who played through Luclin originally in Everquest, we had a great time coming up with what we were going to show and how we were going to show it and how the world has changed with the overall story of Everquest 2 because you know the moon got blown up at times. Dreamweaver: Right, yeah. Kander: And then, reassembling it, was, was like, there was all part of this plan, right... Dreamweaver: When we *unintelligible* (Something about poke-balls, I think?) Kander: Yes. When we did that, it was always the plan to go there and finally we thought that the time was right. Dreamweaver: Awesome. Kander: We still have a ton of ideas. We still have a ton of places we want to go. We have a lot of stuff we want to do that wasn't in Everquest. We have a lot of ideas for that, so, and we still have ideas that are nostalgic for that, but, I think, after Luclin, we'll probably do something totally ours. Dreamweaver: Nice. Kander: That's kind of what we're thinking about. Dreamweaver: I'm excited. Kander: Nothing's set in stone. Dreamweaver: Right. Of course. Kander: We've talked about, like, doing like a Ravenloft style expansion. Dreamweaver: Sure. Kander: That's horror, and spooky, werewolves, and stuff like that. We've talked about all kinds of stuff, you know, so we have lots of ideas. Dreamweaver: Yeah. Kander: But we definitely, like moving forward, want to do try to do something that is fun and different and, you know has that spirit of adventure... Dreamweaver: And is still uniquely EQ2 and... Kander: Right. Right, I mean, everything we do, even though, like say we go to Luclin, and you went to Luclin in Everquest, but our Luclin is totally different. Dreamweaver: Right. Kander: We have the little bits and pieces that are obviously have to be there, you know, for it to have to be Luclin, but overall, we created, what I consider, our very own Luclin expansion. Dreamweaver: Right, and I... Kander: And there's more to come! Dreamweaver: Yeah! And there's more! We have more stuff planned! It's super exciting and I've gotten some light hints about some of those things, and I, I can tell you I'm stoked. Kander: Yeah Dreamweaver: Like I'm really excited for it. I think the one last thing we can kinda talk about is kind of, it's not just a you thing, it's kind of combined you and me thing. We're going to be resurrecting the Community Resource Council... Kander: Right. Dreamweaver: And we're gonna be, I guess this is me explaining a little bit more, but you can tell me what your hopes are for it after I kind of explain to them what we're doing. We're going to be separating it into two different groups. We're gonna have a Kaladim specific group. We're going to have a live server group. They're going to be a little bit bigger and a little bit more public-facing than they were last time. But they're still going to function really similar to how they did in the past, except they won't be for all of our titles. They will be uniquely and expressly for EQ2, and there will be more information on the forums and Discord in the next...weeks-ish, for those. But I'm super excited about that, mostly for how that's going to function, how players will interact with the Community Resource Council Players and it kind of goes towards a lot of our community driven-ish things like that and I think it's gonna be super exciting. You wanna talk a little bit about what your hopes are for it? Kander: I mean, for me, I've been involved in a couple of them and we've always not had the resources to give them the justification that they deserve, so having a committed community manager who wants to do this is exciting, and it's all about just getting feedback. It's having players of all different play styles, you know, and having a forum where we can, I mean, ultimately, they're gonna be, we, we're gonna have people under NDA and we can tell them stuff that isn't happening yet and, and get their feedback right. Dreamweaver: Right. Kander: So the idea is, one of the biggest feedback things we see a lot, especially over the years from Everquest 2, is "why didn't you ask the player base about this change?" Dreamweaver: Right. Kander: And so that would be a forum that I would really enjoy to have a place where we could say, "We were thinking about doing this" and they can all go "Aaaaahhhh!" or they can all go "Yaaaaaay!" Dreamweaver: Right Kander: Or we can get the mixed reviews and decide, you know, to punt on something. Dreamweaver: Yeah. Kander: But that's ultimately what I would love to see from it, and as far as the, the TLE version of it, is trying to get more, more feedback and ideas for how we can make the TLEs more exciting. Dreamweaver: Right. Kander: And more, obviously tailored to what they want to see. Dreamweaver: Right. And I think it's important to note for those of you who are listening to this, it's not that we don't listen to the feedback on Discord or the forums now, this is more of kind of a focused thing. It's a focus group. There's a lot of things that we, we read the feedback, the feedback comes from me, directly to the devs. We definitely listen to what you guys talk about. We read a bunch of it. I try to respond to as much of it as possible and I know a few of the devs do as well. But there, there are instances in which things like the Community Resource Council would be super helpful to us. And it's also important to note, like I said earlier, it won't function quite the same way it did in the past, so you guys will see a lot of backwards visibility on this, on decisions that the Council made, on things that were brought to the dev team by the Council, on specific issues and things like that, and like I said, there will be a lot more information regarding it on the forums and on Discord in the next few weeks. But it is something that we're super excited for. Kander: I like it as an effort to be more transparent with our player base and they think that we don't desire that at times, but we do, and then there's times where it's just like having stones flung at your head. Stuff goes by so fast, you know. You don't.. Dreamweaver: Yeah. Sometimes it's hard to catch things. Kander: Yeah, you don't catch it. So, yeah. Dreamweaver: Alright. Well, I think that's it for this week. Like I said, these are just supposed to be bite-sized, little fun episodes. Kyle, thank you very much for being, once again, our star, for Kander's Candor. Kander: Yeah. I feel like a star. Dreamweaver: Yeah. You are a star. Kander:Thank you. Dreamweaver: You're welcome. This is Dreamweaver, your friendly community manager, signing off. We'll see you in game.