Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)
Mobhunter: News of the Winter's Moon
We've had a slow couple of weeks on the EQ front. No doubt concern
arises from the perceived drop in numbers and while we certainly cannot
say what the future holds, it would be premature to follow in the same
well-walked tread of picket sign wearing doomsday sayers.
A few factors all crashed together this year, more than any year
previous that I can remember. Instead of a holiday season with one or
two new games coming out, nearly six must-have hit games came out at
once. In a discussion about EQ2 and its effect on some high end guilds,
I heard guild leaders say that as much as they like the cross-game chat
between EQ1 and EQ2, what they really need is cross-game chat to Half
Life 2. Now that may not be the case for everyone, but that is my
point. There isn't an easy conclusion to make about any of this.
I am an officer in a small guild built around helping the adventurers
of Norrath. During our regular weekly events Healers United travels
around Norrath to popular hunting spots to offer our healing, buffing,
resurrection, advise and gameplay help to those who need it. Usually we
had four to six people on during off hours and somewhere between
fifteen and twenty during the core hours of 7pm to 1am EST. Since
Thanksgiving, our numbers dropped closer to four to eight during prime
time and one or two regular people on the off-hours.
Am I worried about this? Yes. What is my reaction to this worry?
Recruit newer members. The game shifted for a lot of people in this
time. Some guilds wait to see what happens after the holidays and
that's a smart move. If a lot of folks really are playing Half Life 2,
Halo 2, or Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, those games won't last forever
and back to the doors of Anguish they will return. Some are no doubt
playing EQ2 and Worlds of Warcraft but those games won't be for
everyone either. Both are different enough from Everquest to turn away
some long-time players of EQ.
I watch the larger guilds crash together and merge into new giant forms
like huge floating balls of mercury. I see others simply fall under the
weight of their own lofty goals, lack of interest, and stubbornness to
open their doors to new members or alliances. The smarter leaders
consider alliances with other individuals and organizations until they
get a better feel for what sorts of numbers they require. Once they see
a solid trend, for example always having about 32 people online instead
of around 54, they should begin to recruit new members.
None of us know what the true statistics are. We only see what we see
and we best react to what we know for fact. It won't surprise me if we
see a return to EQ in January and it certainly won't surprise me to see
a larger surge of returning players when SOE announces and releases the
next expansion. At that point the new single-player games will be over,
the shine of newer MMOGs will wear off, and people will fall where they
have the most fun.
Over the last two weeks I balanced my time between both EQ and EQ2 and
I noticed an interesting thing. I like EQ2 a lot and I have fun hunting
with little Pavlen the foppy roguish swashbuckler as he spies for
Qeynos and slays vile stinking gnolls but when I return as the
Venerable Loral Ciriclight, 68th cleric of Tunare, I have no less fun
than I did before. I still enjoy a heart-racing hunt in the Muramite
Proving Grounds. I still enjoy talking and meeting with my friends. I
still marvel at the look of Omens with its shiny skinned Dragorns and
hideous glowing eyed Discordlings. I still have a lot of fun playing
SOE needs to focus on a few things to keep Everquest strong. We need to
see the world continue to change and shift. We need to see new features
for both new and existing players. We need to continue to see new
content meant to challenge and excite us and we need features to help
us get together with friends and defeat these challenges. I don't see
them slowing down at accomplishing this at all.
So what sorts of improvements are we likely to see soon? On December
15th a new patch will include a lot of new features that will help EQ
continue to grow and evolve. Stormhammer, the server for the cultural
elite, will receive two revamped zones, Mistmoore and Paw. The
Everquest website includes descriptive lore about both Mistmoore and
Splitpaw. What Splitpaw really needs is a nearby Wayfarer camp or
Knowledge stone. Expect these zones to move to the proletariat servers
in one to two months.
Both /autofire and /melody will move to the live servers. These two
long awaited features, mainly for rangers and bards, help players play
those two classes with a bit more ease matching the other classes.
Positive changes to the way a player plays the game matter a lot more
than any statistical change you might receive.
We should expect the task changes I heard about at the fan faire to
move to the live servers in January. Expect thousands more tasks with
new task-types including things like fishing and foraging. The more I
look at the task system, the more I see the potential for an EQ2-like
quest journal. If SOE added some class-specific tasks, group tasks, and
some item rewards to the task interface they already have, they would
have a really strong new system for both new and older players alike.
Perhaps the biggest change we will see comes with the new backflag
solution. Ever since Planes of Power, backflagging has slowed down a
lot of big guilds. Guilds would fight their way past Rallos Zek,
through some of the elemental planes, and, for a variety of reasons,
lose enough players that they needed to reflag new members in order to
continue. This process, when you include Planes of Power and Gates of
Discord flagging, might take up more time than actually hunting new
content. SOE hopes to fix this with a new backflag solution.
Nearly every flagged zone allows 15% of a raid to be unflagged upon
entering it. A small handful (perhaps two to six per zone-wide raid) of
back-flag quest items drop per zone-wide raid. These items lead
unflagged attendees of these raids through a single-group quest to
receive a flag for that zone only. Now that raider is fully flagged for
that zone. The 85/15 rule will be applied to Time and to Gates of
Discord flagged zones.
This solution will help guilds and high-end raiding alliances with
their backflag woes. As long as they have enough flagged people to get
into and raid higher-tiered zones, they can help flag new members
without sending most of their flagged members back to raid older
content over and over.
This solution will not help single-group hunters who desire these
flags, but my favorite statement at the fan faire sums up the solution
to this very well: The best way to fix the flagging problem is not to
have progressive flagged content ever again. In other words, expansions
from Omens and on will hopefully only have a single flagged zone at the
end of the expansion similar to Veeshan's Peaks, Sleeper's Tomb, Vex
Thal, and Anguish.
Two new storyline entries whispered across the winds recently. These
stories begin to build better connections from the old world to the
wars in the strange lands of Kuua and Taelosia. I often complain that
we have little understanding or in-game motivation to travel to these
distant lands when threats such as the Rujarkian orcs, Mistmoore
vampires, the horrors of Miragul the Lich, and the poisoned rivers of
Guk pose much greater risks to our lands. These stories, along with a
few in-game changes (perhaps Muramites in Greater Faydark, Toxx Woods,
the Commonlands or Qeynos Hills) would do a lot towards tightening up
the loose storyline that ties Norrath to Taelosia and Kuua.
Strange shapes loom on the horizon. While the doomsday heralds that
plague New Tanaan's streets continue their cries to the gods of chaos
about the end of days, I see a time for a new golden age. I see a time
of great wars and great victories. I see lost friends returning home
and new friends joining the ranks of the adventurers of Norrath. Most
importantly, I still have fun every time I log in and I plan to do so
for a long time to come.
6 December 2004
Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)
On 14 Dec 2004 09:56:34 -0800, "Mike Shea" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>A few factors all crashed together this year, more than any year
>previous that I can remember. Instead of a holiday season with one or
>two new games coming out, nearly six must-have hit games came out at
>once. In a discussion about EQ2 and its effect on some high end guilds,
>I heard guild leaders say that as much as they like the cross-game chat
>between EQ1 and EQ2, what they really need is cross-game chat to Half
>Life 2. Now that may not be the case for everyone, but that is my
>point. There isn't an easy conclusion to make about any of this.
Give it time.
For me, HL2, EQ2 and Vampire-Bloodlines all appeared at the same time,
and my initial playing time is split between the three. However, the
initial thrill of HL2 and Bloodlines has faded a bit, so my EQ2 time
has started to creep back up. The thing about HL2 is that, although
fun, it's very linear, and has very little replay value (it relies
heavily on scripting, so every game is the same).
Bunnies aren't just cute like everybody supposes !
They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses !
And what's with all the carrots ?
What do they need such good eyesight for anyway ?
Bunnies ! Bunnies ! It must be BUNNIES !