Death of a Game - Everquest franchise

SorrowsEnd

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Anyone who played on EQ1 PVP servers should be disregarded as they basically represent a type of mental illness that has no real association with reality or what should happen in games for human beings.
"When I played on Red99".....

*instantly stops listening*
 

Locnar

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says the people hoping for yet another wow clone. /ok
 

Erronius

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Also this thread is full of a bunch of old men. Behold, the final form of Everquest:

It's like you're already playing the sequel to this game

"A Multi-player incremental clicker game"


 

Arbitrary

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Right but you want it because you're wrong and don't actually understand anything.

Also like there should be some sort of general rule about MMO discussions, anyone who played on EQ1 PVP servers should be disregarded as they basically represent a type of mental illness that has no real association with reality or what should happen in games for human beings.
I have fond memories of treating North and South Qeynos like a Quake server. You'd wander by the docks, see a level one caster scribing their newbie spells, and the first chop for 21 would render them unconscious. Good luck getting by without Minor Shielding and welcome to Rallos Zek.

I eventually made enough cash to pay for transportation to Freeport. As Paladins are not KOS to froglocks I managed to get Shin gauntlets and greaves, bank them, pay for travel back to Qeynos, and successfully rebind. You'd occasionally see other people with shin armor, guard bracers, a basalt carapace, etc out by Qeynos but they were vanity projects. I got my Shin stuff at level 5 with only blood money and perseverance. The Magician I regarded as my main would eventually dead end but I was very proud of each piece of no drop gear I collected. I can still remember some of the steps I had to go through to get my Mystic Cloak. It was tough. There, that's my "and I walked up hill both ways to school and I liked it" story.

I'd love to see a progression server that had item loot PvP. It would be such a wondrous, glorious train wreck of cheaters, bots and RMT. I don't think anything it would encourage healthy behavior, I don't think that it would ultimately be a good idea or even fun, and they would be fools to try it but I'd love to see Daybreak give it a go at least once.
 

Muligan

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Interesting article if all true. I post this hear because I'm not sure why EQ hasn't taken a similar approach. Runescape completely overhauled their graphics and released a mobile version. Seems like a much more profitable approach for EQ to have done the same.

Could you imagine EQ with improved graphics instead of the time spent on several of the expansions they have released? EQ classic (or maybe EQ+Kunark) mobile? Their progression servers have been nice. Agnarr was some of the most fun and i'm sure i'll be on there again at some point but I have to give it to Runescape, though I have never really played it, they have seem to capitalize on their game the right way.

More People Are Playing RuneScape Games Now Than Ever Before - MMORPG.com
 

Dandai

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I’m not a game design professor like you, so can you help me understand how they could “improve graphics” in an engine that was five years old when the game was new (20 years ago)? How did Runescape?
 

Wynn

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Kind of a false dichotomy Muligan, the current staff on EQ are people who basically were hired and trained/learned how to keep the game running in its current state. They don't have any employees around who would be able to tackle an entire graphical overhaul of the game. So the new expansions they've released in the last few years have leveraged assets (both human capital and literally existing graphical assets in many cases) that already exist to make them some $. To do a graphical revamp like Runescape did they'd have to hire a whole staff of people just to do that--which they could do if they really wanted, but I haven't seen any indications they have any plans to devote significant new resources to EQ beyond what's been keeping the lights on there for a few years now.
 

Muligan

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I’m not a game design professor like you, so can you help me understand how they could “improve graphics” in an engine that was five years old when the game was new (20 years ago)? How did Runescape?
This isn't such a game design topic as a business topic. My comment is to primarily speak of decisions close or more to a decade ago. They chose to chase the dreams of Ponytail in addition to performing CPR on a dying game instead of investing on how to preserve the player base and stroke their IP. It's not rocket science and isn't something that Runescape discovered on their own. How many games will Blizzard have remastered by 2020 and beyond you think? There was a time EQ could have made their moves i'm sure instead of investing in EQNext, Landmark, SoEmote, several expansions, H1Z1, etc. That's not to say you do not try, H1Z1 had it's place as an example, but how much of it was simply wasted. I don't know all the details but this was poor management and prioritization.

Kind of a false dichotomy Muligan, the current staff on EQ are people who basically were hired and trained/learned how to keep the game running in its current state. They don't have any employees around who would be able to tackle an entire graphical overhaul of the game. So the new expansions they've released in the last few years have leveraged assets (both human capital and literally existing graphical assets in many cases) that already exist to make them some $. To do a graphical revamp like Runescape did they'd have to hire a whole staff of people just to do that--which they could do if they really wanted, but I haven't seen any indications they have any plans to devote significant new resources to EQ beyond what's been keeping the lights on there for a few years now.
Understood but again, this was a choice. Hindsight is 20/20 but it's hard not to be a long term fan and hate to see that SoE/DBG didn't position themselves to preserve EQ and/or move it forward. I also understand i'm speaking from the outside looking in but as you said, they could and i'm sure they most definitely could have at one time but they chose not to.

Maybe they thought they were being forward thinking, maybe it was exciting at the time, but honestly, we've seen this train go off the rails for years and they were told it was crashing for just as long or more.

I honestly didn't mean this to be a major professional discussion but more or less a response of disappointment. There are so many games that have been remastered online and console alike and have been extremely successful and i'm sure profitable. I just feel that EQ deserved that..
 
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Dandai

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My post came off snarkier than I intended. I was genuinely curious if it would be possible to scale an ancient graphics engine to resemble something more modern. I’d always heard that the only way to remaster EQ would be to essentially recreate the game from scratch in a different engine.

It’s apples to oranges comparing Blizzard to SOE/Daybreak in terms of resources/ability to build old titles in new engines.
 

Neranja

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I was genuinely curious if it would be possible to scale an ancient graphics engine to resemble something more modern. I’d always heard that the only way to remaster EQ would be to essentially recreate the game from scratch in a different engine.
The inner workings of the original engine most likely are heavily tied to the netcode, movement and other game mechanics. My guess is that they recycled a lot of stuff from the Tanarus engine, which is why the movement/netcode fucked up whenever a player stepped sideways.

Also, I still can't find the source for it, but wasn't it that the engine developer quit weeks before/after the initial launch, and his replacement walked away shortly afterwards in disgust?

From what we can puzzle together about the inner workings of SOE at the time, it seems pretty obvious that one of the biggest issues was that they never really invested in a proper development toolkit like for example Blizzard has with WoWEdit. They did try to improve the engine though: EverQuest Engine Update - IGN
 

Folanlron

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Ya they tried a couple times too update, but had major issues from even trying Luclin Release delaying the whole game for what ? almost 2 days, because of DIrectX upgrades...

I don't even want too see that spaghetti if the only people they have hired are ones too basically keep the game "alive" upgrading is a moot point, It would be a rebuild which they can't do, so keep it alive till Dx9 support is actually dead(which will probably never happen..)
 

Kuro

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It wouldn't matter if they redid the engine, the artists they have suck. They make uglier shit with better tools than the old staff made with garbage.
 

alavaz

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They could just recreate classic EQ in Unity. Would be much easier to find talent and probably more maintainable in the long run. If they made enough money they could spend the next ten years recreating existing expansions.
 

Folanlron

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Would it be worth it though ? Will boxers be able too actually run the 4-however many instances of a Unity EQ and still do what they can do under the current engine(I think maybe a decked out current PC, but how many EQ players have those ?).
 

Melvin

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Anyone capable of recreating EQ in a new engine should also be able to build multiboxing into the new engine. Hypothetically speaking, multiboxing in a single instance of a new bespoke client could be easier to run than multiple instances of the current client.

But again, that's a hypothetical dev team with a hypothetical new engine. Maybe not doable in Unity. Probably the skills and desire to build this are mutually exclusive.
 

Arbitrary

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Anyone capable of recreating EQ in a new engine should also be able to build multiboxing into the new engine.
I know the genre isn't really going much of anywhere but I think that a MMO that was mostly traditional but left you responsible for 1-5 characters could be a real step forward. Nothing too crazy on the classes, some automation with the ability to switch quickly and seamlessly from character to character, full customization with each character, and a modular design that enabled you to do basically everything you could do boxing. Play your characters in whatever locations and whatever configurations you wished with whatever composition you wished.

I'm sure there's hurdles a plenty but it's a direction I'd love to see someone take MMOs.
 

Melvin

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I absolutely agree that it's a direction worth pursuing by a hypothetical dev team that has the talent to make a "multiboxing" game fun. I just feel the need to clarify what I said just a tiny bit: anyone who could do that would be crazy to chain themselves to all of EQ's baggage instead of creating their own game.
 

Neranja

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Well, we had the mercenaries in EQ with their simplified command and AI, which was an interesting idea - but ultimately a bandaid when you couldn't find a healer/tank/slower for your group.

SW:ToR tried this with their companions and failed at it, because the playerbase (among other things) didn't like having to manage gear and be forced to multibox.

In the context of EQ with its slow combat system it could work if you redesign and streamline the whole UI, and design it more like a "Baldur's Gate: The MMO". The problem here is that you force players to multibox and be good at it.
 

yerm

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Mercs worked initially for what they were supposed to do: help new characters level faster and help bad solo classes get by. They were NOT meant to be a substitute for an actual group; the whole purpose of EQ (at least still at that point in time) was to have at least a bit of a communal experience and not play a single player game with other people in your space. They were the same line of thinking that saw stuff like TBS' aug quest - let people do something while solo, but grouping is still better. I do not think multiboxing was an intended direction for them at the time.

This is naturally why the remaining success of EQ tends to be in live guilds where there is raiding and on TLP where there is true box. Having multibox armies seems cool and certainly sells those subs, but, it runs into two outcomes most of the time: either the plat farming (often fully automated) who are a degenerate presence in your game, or the Tuco style play for new content and then put it back on the shelf for a while type - good, but not a very sustainable model for a game in sunset mode. Without community in your MMO, you may as well just go load up a non-MMO with online capabilities.

So, tldr, a good MMO needs to have social and community factors be superior to solo play, but have SOMETHING solo that can be productive. You want people to play with other humans but you do not want them doing absolutely nothing in the meantime.