Question for the EQ2 veterans

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

I'm trying to walk the fence and figure out what the process was in the
meeting room when Smedley (et.al.) came to the decision that something like
StationExchange was a damn fine idea.

Having only been back in EQ2 for a couple of months, I have absolutely no
reference point as far as player numbers go.

Did the numbers never reach the expected levels? If so, I don't really see
how implementing this feature is going to help that. In other words, I
don't see how someone would read about StationExchange and think, "Gee,
maybe I'll give EQ2 a shot after all?"

Have the numbers been in steady decline since launch? If so, I suppose I
could see how something like StationExchange could possibly help you hold on
the the time-challenged gamer who really prefers EQ2 over WoW, but it seems
to me that the numbers you might lose based on their principles would at
best counterbalance that and make it a wash.

Were they not expecting Blizzard to be as strong of a player as they've
become? I can see that. The evidence is there if you listen to Smedley
talking about starting up PvP in EQ2. But again, I don't see how
implementing StationExchange is going to help their cause against Blizzard.
I don't think Blizzard is particularly worried about SOE right now.
Blizzard is going to have to be it's own worst enemy at this point.

Are they really listening to the desires of the playerbase, and the folks
that are raising a stink constitute a vocal minority? That seems doubtful,
at least from what I'm seeing here. The folks in the ng who have cancelled
their accounts aren't folks I'd normally associate with the "righteous
indignation" crowd. They are, for the most part, level headed folks. As an
aside, I also saw a post on the offical forums from the GL and several
officers of a guild I was once a member of (before finding some old EQL
friends and re-joining them), and having talked to the GL for a while before
accepting their tag I found him to be a genuinely nice fellow about my age
(let's just say 40+). Flying off the handle isn't his style.

Are they wanting a piece of IGE's pie? If so, why not broker coinage? Items
grey out pretty quickly, to the point that I doubt there's much of a market
for it. Coinage is much more versatile. Also, but specifically not going
after coinage, they're leaving the IGE's of the world in the game. Some may
say they're actually strengthing the market for coinage.

Are they using EQ2 as a testing ground for other, as of yet undeveloped
games? This would be kinda scary, given that the game's not six months old
yet.

Something else that I haven't thought of?

Not trying to stir stuff up. Really, I'm not. Just interested in opinions.

Crash
7 answers Last reply
More about question veterans
  1. Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

    "Crash86" <crash86@shotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:dGQbe.22794$Jg7.11219@fe03.lga...

    > I'm trying to walk the fence and figure out what the process was in the
    > meeting room when Smedley (et.al.) came to the decision that something
    > like StationExchange was a damn fine idea.

    Yeah, would love to have been a fly on that wall.

    > Having only been back in EQ2 for a couple of months, I have absolutely no
    > reference point as far as player numbers go.

    I'm not aware of any reliable data (there is a guy who publishes "numbers"
    but the accuracy of his estimates is an open question). My usual indicator
    of the numbers is a simple assessment of the server population. When things
    are going well, new servers are being added and existing servers are
    overpopulated. You can try and create a character and see the status of the
    various available servers. If all of them are High population, you see this.
    When things are going south, servers are Low population, and in extreme
    situations (e.g., EQ1), consolidation is occurring to reduce the number of
    available servers.

    SOE seems to have guessed pretty accurately their server requirements. Most
    of the servers filled up pretty fast at launch and a few new ones were
    created at that time to accomodate the big spike, but nothing dramatic.
    Since then I've noticed that server populations are routinely High and very
    overpopulated, but I've only seen one (or maybe two) new servers come
    online. What I draw from all of this is that the population is growing
    slowly, SOE is upping capacity cautiously, but that growth is either modest
    or being offset by somewhat smaller losses. But still going north. This is
    backed by some very anecdotal accounts from friends of mine in the industry
    who tell me "it's still selling well".

    > Were they not expecting Blizzard to be as strong of a player as they've
    > become? I can see that. The evidence is there if you listen to Smedley
    > talking about starting up PvP in EQ2. But again, I don't see how
    > implementing StationExchange is going to help their cause against
    > Blizzard. I don't think Blizzard is particularly worried about SOE right
    > now. Blizzard is going to have to be it's own worst enemy at this point.

    Agreed, Blizzard could give two hoots about SOE, they are their own
    phenomenon and their biggest problem is dealing with the problem every
    business wants to have: too many customers. Servers are overpopulated, new
    servers are coming online, and server downtimes, crashes and queues to get
    in and play in the first place are legendary. The problems seem to have
    subsided a little lately (or maybe I just don't hear about it as much since
    I cancelled my two accounts last month). Blizzard probably doesn't spend
    many cycles worrying about SOE, they have plenty of their own issues to
    worry about if they ever take the time to stop counting all the money their
    making in the meantime.

    I think SOE did regard Blizzard as a big potential threat. I suspect this is
    why they launched first and there may be other decisions (e.g., PvP) that
    were influenced by WoW's anticipated impact. I've seen some change in
    positioning as EQ2 stopped being referenced as the game for the more casual
    MMOGer (lol) and SOE's marketing has even picked up on WoW server problems
    as a point of differentiation. As between the two companies, Blizzard is
    doing a better job of defining itself on its own terms, while SOE seems more
    reactive.

    > Are they wanting a piece of IGE's pie?

    I think this is ultimately was the big issue. Here's how I think part of the
    internal conversation might have gone:

    "Look, guys, the market has spoken. IGE is making money hand over fist
    because players WANT access to high end gear and currency and are willing to
    pay for it. This is uncontroverted, it's happening, despite *years* of our
    trying to stomp it out. This isn't a moral issue, it's simple economics. If
    we don't provide the service someone else will provide it -- Hell, they ARE
    providing it -- and we're just leaving money on the table while these guys
    monetize the value of content that we have created and that we own".

    "I agree that it's not a moral issue, but the economics aren't that simple.
    If you piss off our legacy audience that grew up and socialized around the
    culture that WE established with bannings of accounts and other radical
    remedies while we stomped out the evil with powerful arguments that it would
    ruin the game experience for everyone, we're going to lose a large
    contingent of players who, quite frankly, have defined us and differentiated
    us from the kiddy-crowd that plays on battle.net. That's a class A economic
    issue and I don't think you have the data to back up your assertion that the
    gain from this scheme will overcome the loss from abandoning that core
    group. Do you really want to go head to head with Blizzard without the
    support of our legacy customer base"?

    And so on. Ultimately, the decisions are made by corporate executives, not
    gamers (although there is hopefullly considerable overlap) and in this case
    the corporate execs won based on their belief that the gains to be had would
    offset the anticipated losses that would flow as the purists (many of whom
    will speak loudly here and elsewhere) depart. It's a calculated risk and
    someday will probably make a great business school case study.

    Meanwhile, I hope the game that I'm enjoying playing stays enjoyable. ;-)

    --
    Redbeard, the Relic Keeper
    <Veritas>
    Dwarven Mystic of 50 Winters & Alchemist
    Loyal Citizen of the Antonia Bayle
    Current resident of Qeynos Harbor
    http://veritas.everquest2guilds.com
    http://eq2players.station.sony.com/en/pplayer.vm?characterId=105183104

    Descendant of the Elder Winterfury Thunderwolf
    <Resolution, Retired>
    Barbarian Prophet of The Tribunal
    Retired Citizen of Firiona Vie
  2. Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

    "Crash86" <crash86@shotmail.com> wrote in
    news:dGQbe.22794$Jg7.11219@fe03.lga:

    > I'm trying to walk the fence and figure out what the process was in
    > the meeting room when Smedley (et.al.) came to the decision that
    > something like StationExchange was a damn fine idea.
    >
    > Having only been back in EQ2 for a couple of months, I have absolutely
    > no reference point as far as player numbers go.
    >
    > Did the numbers never reach the expected levels? If so, I don't
    > really see how implementing this feature is going to help that. In
    > other words, I don't see how someone would read about StationExchange
    > and think, "Gee, maybe I'll give EQ2 a shot after all?"

    I have a sneaking suspicion that this did play a part. I've noticed at
    least the server I played on to drop significantly in population since
    launch.

    > Have the numbers been in steady decline since launch? If so, I
    > suppose I could see how something like StationExchange could possibly
    > help you hold on the the time-challenged gamer who really prefers EQ2
    > over WoW, but it seems to me that the numbers you might lose based on
    > their principles would at best counterbalance that and make it a wash.

    I can imagine a scenario where declining numbers led them to give the
    green light to this sort of drastic field test.

    > Were they not expecting Blizzard to be as strong of a player as
    > they've become? I can see that. The evidence is there if you listen
    > to Smedley talking about starting up PvP in EQ2. But again, I don't
    > see how implementing StationExchange is going to help their cause
    > against Blizzard. I don't think Blizzard is particularly worried about
    > SOE right now. Blizzard is going to have to be it's own worst enemy at
    > this point.

    I can't imagine they would ever have underestimated Blizzard's success
    in this market.

    > Are they really listening to the desires of the playerbase, and the
    > folks that are raising a stink constitute a vocal minority? That
    > seems doubtful, at least from what I'm seeing here. The folks in the
    > ng who have cancelled their accounts aren't folks I'd normally
    > associate with the "righteous indignation" crowd. They are, for the
    > most part, level headed folks. As an aside, I also saw a post on the
    > offical forums from the GL and several officers of a guild I was once
    > a member of (before finding some old EQL friends and re-joining them),
    > and having talked to the GL for a while before accepting their tag I
    > found him to be a genuinely nice fellow about my age (let's just say
    > 40+). Flying off the handle isn't his style.

    This is serious business. Many players see this as heresy, a betrayal of
    the public trust in the name of the almighty dollar. They claim that
    demand was high for this sort of service. I never knew that to be the
    case, but of course that could be due to the fact that this sort of
    practice has always been view as reprehensible by most players, so I
    just didn't see much of it. Odd though that they would facilitate a
    practice typically disapproved of by the player base.

    > Are they wanting a piece of IGE's pie? If so, why not broker coinage?
    > Items grey out pretty quickly, to the point that I doubt there's much
    > of a market for it. Coinage is much more versatile. Also, but
    > specifically not going after coinage, they're leaving the IGE's of the
    > world in the game. Some may say they're actually strengthing the
    > market for coinage.

    My worry is that coinage won't do people a lot of good if sellers can
    actually get real money for their items.

    If they don't step up their persecution of the IGE's, then I agree. This
    will just legitimize them, thereby increasing their presence.

    > Are they using EQ2 as a testing ground for other, as of yet
    > undeveloped games? This would be kinda scary, given that the game's
    > not six months old yet.

    If it works here, you can bet on it being in every game they have before
    long.

    > Something else that I haven't thought of?
    >
    > Not trying to stir stuff up. Really, I'm not. Just interested in
    > opinions.

    Oh, it's already stirred up. Swizzlestick Online Entertainment has seen
    to that. We're just riding the waves and trying to stay afloat.

    --
    Rumble
    "Write something worth reading, or do something worth writing."
    -- Benjamin Franklin
  3. Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

    In article <Xns96459C452B1CDRumbledorhotmailcom@204.127.204.17>,
    Rumbledor@hotspamsuxmail.com says...
    > "Crash86" <crash86@shotmail.com> wrote in
    > news:dGQbe.22794$Jg7.11219@fe03.lga:
    >
    > > I'm trying to walk the fence and figure out what the process was in
    > > the meeting room when Smedley (et.al.) came to the decision that
    > > something like StationExchange was a damn fine idea.
    > >
    > > Having only been back in EQ2 for a couple of months, I have absolutely
    > > no reference point as far as player numbers go.
    > >
    > > Did the numbers never reach the expected levels? If so, I don't
    > > really see how implementing this feature is going to help that. In
    > > other words, I don't see how someone would read about StationExchange
    > > and think, "Gee, maybe I'll give EQ2 a shot after all?"
    >
    > I have a sneaking suspicion that this did play a part. I've noticed at
    > least the server I played on to drop significantly in population since
    > launch.
    >
    > > Have the numbers been in steady decline since launch? If so, I
    > > suppose I could see how something like StationExchange could possibly
    > > help you hold on the the time-challenged gamer who really prefers EQ2
    > > over WoW, but it seems to me that the numbers you might lose based on
    > > their principles would at best counterbalance that and make it a wash.
    >
    > I can imagine a scenario where declining numbers led them to give the
    > green light to this sort of drastic field test.
    >
    > > Were they not expecting Blizzard to be as strong of a player as
    > > they've become? I can see that. The evidence is there if you listen
    > > to Smedley talking about starting up PvP in EQ2. But again, I don't
    > > see how implementing StationExchange is going to help their cause
    > > against Blizzard. I don't think Blizzard is particularly worried about
    > > SOE right now. Blizzard is going to have to be it's own worst enemy at
    > > this point.
    >
    > I can't imagine they would ever have underestimated Blizzard's success
    > in this market.

    I can. There were a lot of naysayers that claimed that blizzard would
    succumb to hacks and exploits and would never have a playable game. I
    recall MUCH trolling on the subject.

    I don't know why they thought diablo2 which was barely more than a lan
    game with a server side character repository and player matching service
    would be representative of what they could and would do with a full
    client server architecture.

    Personally I had a great deal of faith in Blizzard. They have a
    reputation for putting out -fun- games. WoW by all accounts is no
    exception, and so far hacks and exploits are no more rampant there than
    any other mmog from what ive heard.

    > My worry is that coinage won't do people a lot of good if sellers can
    > actually get real money for their items.

    True enough.

    The scum who've been abusing this system would have to ask themselves:
    Why would I want 120kpp or 250kpp for item X. I want $100.00US.

    There will be a market for coinage, for vendor sinks at least. But
    anything that can be bought for 500kpp, will be available for USD
    straight up. If SOE is the facilitator, why would you bother with pp for
    the transaction at all.

    If SOE facilitates items for cash directly. Most guilds and players who
    can farm the really good stuff have little need for coin, if it was
    sanctioned and simple why would they even bother to dump items in the
    bazaar when they can flip them for cash instead.

    > If they don't step up their persecution of the IGE's, then I agree. This
    > will just legitimize them, thereby increasing their presence.

    IGE as the item broker will go away, but IGE as the item
    supplier/generator will skyrocket.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

    "Crash86" <crash86@shotmail.com> writes:
    > Are they wanting a piece of IGE's pie? If so, why not broker coinage? Items
    > grey out pretty quickly, to the point that I doubt there's much of a market
    > for it. Coinage is much more versatile. Also, but specifically not going
    > after coinage, they're leaving the IGE's of the world in the game. Some may
    > say they're actually strengthing the market for coinage.

    I thought Station Exchange includes coinage? I.e., players can put
    up plat, items, and/or characters.

    -- Don.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    -- See the a.g.e/EQ1 FAQ at http://www.iCynic.com/~don/EQ/age.faq.htm
    --
    -- Sukrasisx, Monk 53 on E. Marr Note: If you reply by mail,
    -- Terrwini, Druid 51 on E. Marr I'll get to it sooner if you
    -- Wizbeau, Wizard 36 on E. Marr remove the "hyphen n s"
    -- Teviron, Knight 13 on E. Marr
  5. Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

    "Don Woods" wrote:
    > "Crash86" <crash86@shotmail.com> writes:
    >> Are they wanting a piece of IGE's pie? If so, why not broker coinage?
    >> Items
    >> grey out pretty quickly, to the point that I doubt there's much of a
    >> market
    >> for it. Coinage is much more versatile. Also, but specifically not
    >> going
    >> after coinage, they're leaving the IGE's of the world in the game. Some
    >> may
    >> say they're actually strengthing the market for coinage.
    >
    > I thought Station Exchange includes coinage? I.e., players can put
    > up plat, items, and/or characters.

    I re-read it, and you're absolutely right. For some reason, I thought it
    made no mention of coinage when I read it for the first time.

    I stand corrected.

    Crash
  6. Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

    > > I'm trying to walk the fence and figure out what the process was in

    > > the meeting room when Smedley (et.al.) came to the decision that
    > > something like StationExchange was a damn fine idea.
    > > Having only been back in EQ2 for a couple of months, I have
    absolutely
    > > no reference point as far as player numbers go.
    > > Did the numbers never reach the expected levels? If so, I don't
    > > really see how implementing this feature is going to help that. In

    > > other words, I don't see how someone would read about
    StationExchange
    > > and think, "Gee, maybe I'll give EQ2 a shot after all?"
    > I have a sneaking suspicion that this did play a part. I've noticed
    at
    > least the server I played on to drop significantly in population
    since
    > launch.

    The numbers on the two EU servers have plummeted. I remember when
    Runnyeye was heavy at off peak times and there were 4 Blackbarrows, all
    heavy camped. Now it's light at peak times and there are only about
    20 people in Blackbarrow at once.

    All the movelogs on Runnyeye have contributed to the number loss but I
    imagine WOW took a huge chunk. It was released a few months after EQ2
    in the EU. I have no numbers but it's not hard to believe many people
    would of played EQ2 then switched to WOW once it was released here.

    Still, my guide for how the server is doing is "am I still having fun
    and are other people still having fun". On that count the Runnyeye
    still doing ok.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

    "Crash86" <crash86@shotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:dGQbe.22794$Jg7.11219@fe03.lga...
    > I'm trying to walk the fence and figure out what the process was in the
    > meeting room when Smedley (et.al.) came to the decision that something
    like
    > StationExchange was a damn fine idea.
    <snip>
    > talking about starting up PvP in EQ2. But again, I don't see how
    > implementing StationExchange is going to help their cause against
    Blizzard.
    <snip>

    It's simple. they will combine the two. Say you are fighting a duel. A guide
    pops up and says to you "I'll give you a +1 sword for $10 ...i mean, you ARE
    losing this, you know", and desperate to avoid humiliation, you pay, and
    start to win. Then he turns to your opponent and says "I'll give you a +2
    sword for $20 ..."

    Hehehe!
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