Everquest AMA Answered!

suineg

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The long awaited first batch of answers. The following people you are going to see throughout the answers.

Holly Longdale, Exec Producer
Alan VanCouvering, Lead Content Designer
Ed Hardin III, Lead Systems Designer
Jennifer Chan, Technical Director
Kevin Lydy, Lead Artist
Jonathan Caraker, Design Lead

Without further ado!!

1. Have they ever considered enabling and creating some heroes forge armor textures for the classic models, even if it was race specific and player made like the weapons.

Ed: Short answer is that it would take even more work than the original Hero’s Forge and benefit far fewer players. Initiatives with those characteristics rarely make it to the top of the priority list.


Kevin: As the one who actually does that stuff, I can tell you such an endeavor is very much like an iceberg--a little tiny bit is visible above the waterline and everything else below it. Such an initiative would represent a Herculean, multi-person, multi-year effort. For example, a family of Hero’s Forge armor consists of something like 1,000+ individual components. Do the math.


2. If they can’t give us old Freeport back have they ever thought about a second revamp more in the theme of the original, they did a good job in so many zones like commons but Freeport changes too much.

Alan: Obviously it could be done. That was really what the new Freeport was meant to be. However we hadn't really ironed out what it meant to "revamp" a zone at that time. If I remember correctly it was one of the first, and some wires must have gotten crossed. Unfortunately, that's not a simple task, especially since we have added content to the new zone that would have to be moved to an even newer version of the zone. We'd also have to add some stuff that wasn't there before to accommodate that content. So, no, it's probably not going to happen.


3. Necro dot revamp, ever happening? Other revamps seemed so successful.

Jonathan: When time and resources allow, we will tackle consolidating necromancer DoTs.

Ed: What Jonathan said. It’s important and also much too risky to rush.



4. Does Remdag still work there?

Alan: Who?


5. Will you ever put in a fix to stop people from using certain VM softwares, that arent blocked by the current code, on truebox?

Jenn: We regularly review our VM detection code and have been stopping people as they’re finding new ways to get around our code.

Alan: If you recognize people using such software, report them.


6. Do your gms actually ban people? I've seen the same 48 boxer in sirens grotto 24/7 for 2 months. (this relates to question 2 also)

Holly: Yes, we ban people. Fairly frequently. Make sure you report people.

Alan: We ban them and call their mothers to make sure they know what kind of children they raised!


7. PVP server?

Jenn: Zek

Alan: We have one. Play on it and we might be convinced that people actually want to play EQ PVP.


8. Will they consider reopening EQmac the Alkabor server?

Ed: We have considered it, but the significant technical costs make it unlikely to happen.



9. Thank you for answering these questions, I know some of them will be tough. I see daybreak doing lots of things for quick cash, bags, mounts, lifetime memberships. Will Everquest still be around in another 5 years?

Jenn: <Jumps into time machine, disappears for a second and re-appears> in the reality I saw, yes.

Alan: Yes, I think EverQuest will be here in five years. I expect to be celebrating our 30th, if they figure out immortality or something before then.

Jonathan: While no one can predict the future with 100% certainty, I’d say there’s a very good chance that EverQuest will still be around for many years to come. People have pointed out the reasons why EverQuest is near shutting down for decades now, and they’ve all been proven wrong.

Ed: I’ve been around long enough to remember reading about how Velious was full of re-used content and would be the last EverQuest expansion, or how EQ2 would mean the end of EQ1, or how SKlug leaving the team would mean servers wouldn’t run in two months. Eventually there will be an end to EverQuest, yes. There is an end to all things. But we’re working very diligently to ensure that it has a long future.

Holly: We are thrilled that our players see enough value in what we do to keep this game going….and going….and going…. We’ll be around for a long while yet!


10. Dear Holly, Thanks for joining us for a bit! When comparing subs for current live servers vs. TLPs, do the numbers indicate that your overall playerbase prefer older, classic content to newer content? If the answer is yes, how do you think the Everquest team, moving forward, can keep the "old game" fresh, exciting, and relevant?

Alan: As a content designer, I would like to weigh in here. Actually, I tried to weigh in everywhere. I have a lot of weight to share. The problem with old content is that its old. I've heard people suggest that we should add to that content, or make an expansion for that old content, or something like that. But what does that really mean? Sure, I could add some quests to High Hold and other parts of Antonica and sell it to you as an "expansion", but that wouldn't fly, would it? I love that old content, but I don't think we want to mess with it. As you have seen from the new Kunark stuff in Empires of Kunark and Ring of Scale, I think it's far more interesting to show what happens in those places after time passes or major events occur. It’s a way of revisiting those places without replacing them or mucking them up with new junk. I think it's the best way to offer new content that touches on the old world.

Jonathan: Some of our players like the ever-expanding modern game and some players like the classic original game experience, and some enjoy both. It’s important to our business model to cater to both as much as is reasonably possible.

With regards to keeping the old game fresh and interesting, note that we make changes, some subtle and some substantial, to every new wave of Progression Servers.


Holly: We are actually fairly well split in terms of what our players respond to, ask for, and stick with. This team does an extraordinary amount of work on live issues every week in addition to building new content. And as EQ grows, it’s a bear to stay on top of, but they do. And we are always listening and watching. OooooOOoooo...


11. Hi Holly, Were you rooting for Amtrak or Faceless?

Jenn: Katie Couric

Alan: Who?

Ed: No.

Holly: Tony Danza


12. Are EQNext questions kosher for this? If so, there's one I've been curious about ever since the game was canceled. One of the big features that was pitched for EQN was adaptive AI that would react to what was going on in the world around it. While voxels felt like they could be a neat gimmick, the AI stuff felt to me like something that could legitimately transform the genre, if it could deliver. So I've wondered since the cancelation: was there ever substantial progress made on that AI system in EQN's development? Was there something actually functioning, or did it never really make it past the idea stage?

Assuming that system was at all viable, I'd love to see someone take another swing at it someday.

Alan: I agree. There were essentially three "pillars" for Next. Deformable terrain (I think that was cool, but a mistake for an MMO), a world where the NPCs react to what players do, not just for combat for all sorts of things, and … something else that I forgot. I think the best idea there was the AI stuff. I think we made some progress, but it never really got a chance to make it into the game. Personally I think we were on the right track and would like to see something like that come into use in the MMO space. Details are not mine to share, but I have ideas on how I might want to see that sort of thing work in a way that might just be possible. 😊

Ed: Alan and I discuss this sort of AI nearly every week. I want it so much. Of course, the fact that no one’s ever brought something like this to market is an indicator that it is a simple-sounding idea with many complications.

Jonathan: The real trick lies in crafting a complex adaptive AI system that results in not only interesting NPC behavior, but fun gameplay.

Holly: What my awesome nerd pack said. Dynamic and adaptive AI is the future of MMOs that players want to “live” in, in my view. That will always be an ingredient we’d want in our recipe when we make one.


13. Hello Holly! Is there any work being done on the game client UI's to make them more "DPI Aware" with broader adjustable font setting options? Larger high resolution screens and ... older eyes ... would like to see this!

Alan: As an owner of older eyes I know what you mean. I have to use reading glasses to answer these questions! I just wanted to complain about being old. I can't answer technical questions about our UI.

Holly: Not currently, but we always have a backlog of things we need to consider or discuss. That seems like a good one.


14. Hello holly, I’m playing my fifth tlp now and still have no interest in live or approaching later expansions. with the complete isolation of two different player bases with Eq, have you guys considered the fact that you effectively have two different games? Have you considered building net new “tlp “ era expansions for people in your base like me?

Alan: Do you mean content for lower levels? Because if you mean adding content to TLP servers that wasn't there when we launched, then I have to say no. You are correct, we really are serving two communities here. And as such we need to know what works for each and where our efforts are best spent. Since the idea of progression servers is to relive what once was, it doesn't seem like a good idea to add stuff to that. And our live players wouldn't get a lot of use out of low level content.

Ed: There are many changes we’ve made and will continue to make to early era content, but adding more content that wasn’t ever present before isn’t currently under consideration. We’d end up further segmenting our population between current-content players, original-content players, and players who like the original with new things added in that is somehow different but not different enough to be new.

Jonathan: There’s enough level 30 content in EverQuest already. It’d be more realistic for us to find ways to encourage playing in different ways and in different places on future Progression Servers.

Holly: Hello. :D (These folks answered super well, so that’s that.)


15. Are there any plans for engine updates or enhancements on either game, ie fullscreen borderless windowed game play?

Jenn: Yes
 
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suineg

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16. Have you ever considered allowing the vast EQEmu community join forces with Daybreak to create a better product?

There are a ton of us who understand the game client and server code just as well, and better in some areas, than some of the current developers on the EverQuest team. This is not a slight against them - we'd love to be able to help them, but because Daybreak is so shrouded in mystery and set in their ways (No one can really afford San Diego, Cliques)

When I heard that Al'Kabor would never be considered to be recreated for PC due to development time needed to be invested, I immediately thought of the EQ emulator folks because they are some of the most passionate fans that would be capable of bringing such an old client up to speed. If you take a look at The Al'Kabor Project, they have done tremendous work on restoring the game to 2002 with a high level of accuracy. Unfortunately, their client lacks modern features such as DirectX9, framerate limiting and other optimizations over the years. These of course are being worked around, but having access to the client code would make a night and day difference for quality. To be honest, we don't need the server or database - EQEmu has faithfully recreated the server code and the content without all of the exploits present in Live EQ.

It would also set the standard for an era-appropriate client being used on Project 1999, whom you guys already have an agreement with, and could potentially monetize - I am certain that Project 1999 would benefit from a higher standard of customer support (Having actual Daybreak GMs would be a good start) and your investors would love some extra money for flipping a switch on.

I would honestly be willing to bet if anyone could spin up a TLE/TLP/Expansion-locked server with the ruleset they like and the content they like using EQEmulator as a framework, that it would be extremely profitable and fun for the players if monetized behind Daybreak's All-Access.

Ed: What you are describing as “flipping a switch” is… not that simple. Also, charging money (and thus accepting liability) for content that is not produced or directed by employees of the company is a recipe for sadness. Ultimately, integrating volunteer work in a commercial product just doesn’t work in most situations.

Alan: This is the same as the next question, basically. I suspect written by the same person. So look for my stupid answers there.

Jonathan: I don’t know what you mean by cliques. Also, we wear pink on Wednesdays.


17. So my questions really are these:

Alan: Geez! One per customer please! Some of these are not my place to answer, as the are not things I know a lot about, but I could answer most.

1) Would it be possible to formalize a partnership with EQEmulator? Why or why not?

Ed: I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve been around enough of them to know that you can only partner with entities that own their own work and can provide reasonable expectation of fulfilling a contract.

2) EQEmulator is much more stable than the live servers. Would Daybreak be open to using the free, open-source software for any future projects?

Ed: I suspect the legal issues involved here are less clear than you imply. I also suspect that hobbyist-run servers would be much less stable if their userbase were similar to ours.

3) Is there any interest in bringing back a modernized 'Classic EverQuest' similar to what World of Warcraft is doing - ie; keeping mechanics the same for the era instead of guestimating them?

Alan: Um… where have you been for the last eight or so years? We have chosen to keep some things as they are on progression servers because removing them would suck, either for us or for players. Or for both. We like the compromise we have made. We may make further adjustments, but we think we're in a good place with them now.

Jonathan: EverQuest can’t be exactly like it was in 1999 for multiple reasons. 1. That code and data is gone. 2. The people that worked on that code and data are gone. 3. Even if we had a perfectly accurate recreation of the original game, it wouldn’t run on modern computers. 4. Even if the game would run on modern computers, this would reintroduce thousands of bugs that we’ve fixed over the past two decades.


4) Why is Daybreak afraid of having remote contractors? Feldon from EQ2Wire had asked for years to work with Daybreak, but he would have to move to San Diego, and would have been a very valuable asset in expanding the EQ2 Census project.

Alan: We rely very heavily on discussions with each other to figure out the best course of action. Personally I would prefer to have everyone I work with in the same office. Our lead programmer was injured and had to work through email and video and, frankly, it sucked. For him and for us. Of course it also sucked for him because of all the pain from the injury, so there's that. As for any one person's reasons for not being hired, I have no clue.

Ed: The more remote work is being done, the more work has to focus on making sure communication and cooperation are happening and the less work can focus on making things. As much as I hate to admit it, nearly every day we resolve a problem through face-to-face discussion that we wouldn’t have initiated in electronic form. Also, living in San Diego is great.

Jonathan: There have been a few people who’ve worked remotely, temporarily or semi-permanently, but there were extenuating circumstances involved. To be completely realistic about this, a tremendous amount of trust is required with a remote worker to be certain they can be loyal and productive team members with minimal oversight.

Holly: We are pretty open to considering anything as long as it makes our work and game better. We are a team that functions by talking and brainstorming in hallways and at the coffee machine and basically...anywhere. Remote staff in some areas leaves a big gap in workflow between artists, designers, and engineers. We actually don’t do a lot that doesn’t require regular and frequent discussion across multiple disciplines and departments. This team works very fast and those discussions are a big reason why.


5) Are there any plans to revert the revamped zones (IE; Freeport) for any future TLPs? They are pretty high up there on the complaint list by most.

Alan: I don't think many of us on the team like the new Freeport all that much (not that I speak for them). However, it's not just throwing a switch to restore it. Other than the art issues, content exists in the new Freeport that didn't exist in the old one. All of that content would have to be moved to the new old Freeport. It's a very large task for what is, frankly, not a huge return. So the short answer, something I don't do well, is no.

Jonathan: This is something we’d like to tackle in the future. Though we may need to take a stab at it by starting with something easier, like Lavastorm. Freeport would actually be one of the harder zones to revert, since it has important content scattered within that we’d need to find some way to preserve across all servers.

Hindsight being 20/20, I don’t think we would have replaced existing zones with newer versions. In even the best cases, they look different but they don’t necessarily look objectively better and that’s a problem when they don’t feel particularly nostalgic anymore due to differences in the layout, population, and aesthetics.



6) Why are developer resources being spent on EQ1/EQ2 expansions when a very small portion of your active subscribers will even see that content?

Alan: I think you misunderstand how many of our customers purchase and play our expansions. A very large portion of our customers do so.

Ed: To some extent we’ve always had to consider this question. I personally remember arguing that Vex Thal was unnecessary because of how few guilds would ever get flagged for it. We take the long view that increases in player power over time mean that eventually most players are able to experience what we create, even if it isn’t “in era” when they do it.

Jonathan: Today’s end zone that only a fraction of raiding players will see is tomorrow’s mid-range content.


18. Have you guys ever received emails from someone promoting browser-based EQ?

Alan: Not me. But then I have very aggressive filtering.

Jonathan: Not that I recall.


19. Are you considering a partnership with Taco Bell for the next TLP?

Jonathan: Yo quiero Taco Bellikos.

Alan: If you can hook us up, I think I can convince Holly. A chihuahua familiar? I'm in!

Holly: /gordita sounds good to me.


20. I was wondering what the reason for taking the mounts out of the game for Selos was. Not the generic they were out of era answer please. They were in for every server prior in Luclin and having them taken out kinda sucked :(

Jonathan: The stats provided by those mounts are well out of era for Shadows of Luclin. It was never intended that they be available that early on Progression Servers, but their presence was especially problematic on a brand new server that started in Luclin where those who purchased those mounts would start the game with 250 HP, 200 mana, and 120 AC more than other people who didn’t or couldn’t purchase the mount.

Alan: Well, if you don't like the answer I really don't want to make something up, so you'll just have to accept it.


21. Why did Daybreak decide to not continue with the concept of the Event Server Quarm after its initial run? From the initial announcement of Quarm it seemed like Daybreak had planned multiple different events with different eras but we only saw the Omens of War edition. Most of the people I have spoken to in regards to their experience on the server were positive even though it was brief (by design of course). What seemed like a great idea for a side distraction for both Live server players that run out of content mid-expansion and TLP players in slower paced eras to come together for short events ended up being a 1 time deal that resulted in a DOA character dumping ground server (Brekt).

I have to assume that it ultimately came down to being financially unreasonable to devote developer resources to the short term events but I figure it's the same as the initial cost of TLP development where once it's made it's good to go for future editions. I believe Quarm would have made Daybreak a lot more money had the decision not been made to give EVERYONE that made a character on that server a free claimable Group Adventure III potion which essentially negated the best source of revenue a short-term server like that would have, namely Marketplace EXP potions.

Jonathan: The Quarm server required more developer resources than we expected and generated less interest than we had hoped.

Ed: We agree that the potential of the Quarm idea wasn’t realized. The experiment proved that we didn’t really have the tools available to make substantively different experiences in the time we would need, but we still like the concept.

Second Question:

If a guy claimed a bunch of items on Phinigel during the "Claimgate" exploit back in 2016 (largely illusions, LON rewards, and potions) and the items were then deleted from his bags do you think it's reasonable to permanently ban his account after 16 years of faithful membership and 0 run-ins with the law? Follow-up question, how do you feel about Presidential Pardons?

REF SUPPORT TICKET #681649

Alan: Honestly, not a whole lot of people actually played on it. I still think it can be a great idea, but for now we're not dedicating the time to work on it. Other things have proven more interesting to players. And, yes, you should stay banned.

Holly: Pardon me? :p


22. Holly Windstalker, Sean Connery was a great James Bond because he delivered not only many of the stereotypical classic characteristic of a strong and capable role model, but he also strived connecting some of the cheesier plot points along the way of the 007 franchise without conceding his character's strongpoints.

Who do you think is the James Bond of Everquest?

Alan: I am the 007 of EverQuest! If Bond was a fat old man that can't be bothered to get up and exercise…

Jonathan: I am the 007 of EverQuest! If Bond preferred a custom 1911 over a Walther PPK.

Holly: Cheesy role model embodying plot points? Fippy Darkpaw. NEVER GIVE UP!


23. There was at some point talk of redoing the player character animations for the Luclin models. Is this still on the cards? The animations are somewhat clumsy looking and may turn off some new players.

Alan: Talk? By us? I hope not. Reanimating all those models just isn't realistically going to happen.

Ed: I think I remember some of the then-current team reworking a few of the animations, but no further work is going to happen with them, for many boring technical reasons related to the changing state of 3D modeling and animation.

Jonathan: Every time I ask Tom Tobey if he can update the idle stance for female barbarians, he looks at me like I’m crazy.

Kevin: With no guarantee of everyone “loving” those either.


24. When push comes to shove, how much do you think the IP of everquest is worth and, given that dismal number, how do the gamesters in charge plan to exploit and build that value?

Or it where we are at the end game plan? Nostalgia servers ad infintum.

Alan: I suspect that EverQuest is a far more valuable IP than you say.

Holly: Being a cynic, you wouldn’t be amazed. As an optimistic number cruncher (me), EQ is global and far-reaching in millions of memories.. We have 20 years of eyeballs on this game/word called “EverQuest.” The number of players who have played this game is also more than respectable given we started in an era when most people didn’t have Internet. This franchise has a life and we intend to grow it.


25. Classic or Luclin models?

Jenn: Alpha models

Do you agree people who use Luclin models are objectively worse at Everquest than those who use Classic models?

Do you pronounce it "Luck-lin" or "Loose-lin"?

Jenn: Luck-lin

Jonathan: Luck-lin. I thought it was Loose-lin before I heard the developers that worked on that expansion say the name out loud.

Kevin: We all have a special place in our hearts for the original. Original anything.

Holly: Confirmed: Luck-lin


26. Is there plans to revitalize the brand with new products?

Do you watch the Everquest Show?

Jenn: Yes

Jonathan: Yes

Holly: Yep

What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?

Jenn: Better than a Rusty Dagger

Jonathan: For no one, no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts. This you can trust. *points to steel blade*

Alan: I do watch the EverQuest show. Love it. And you should use a pen, not steel.


27. In The Burning Lands, spell and AA development was extremely... lacklustre. Developer posts during beta indicated their time was being devoted to other projects. Are there plans to add or reallocate resources towards meaningful class development (not just copy/paste Ability X at 20% more damage/HP/etc)?

As a followup, The Burning Lands relied heavily on itemization for power increases. Are there plans to increase the degree to which certain archetypes (Priests, Casters) scale with better gear? Additionally, are there plans to make itemization meaningful to gameplay in some way (i.e. having item x changes/affects decisions I make, rather than being a passive power upgrade)?

Ed: Sounds great. Needs time I don’t have. It’s a frustrating response to have to give.


28. Necro dot revamp please

Alan: /sigh. I have given my answer to this way down below. It's my trick to make those of you asking the same question over and over again read the whole thing to find my answer. So there!


29. I miss the old spell effects, would be nice to be able to trigger new or old effects in the models options

Alan: We reduced the volume of particles for performance reasons. Maintaining two versions of those effects would not only be a giant pain in the ass, but would add to the problem.

Holly: Totally get it. There are always reasons for those kinds of changes, like performance and sustainability. Not likely to happen.


30. Any chance forum permissions could be regranted to view the archived old forums once again? A lot of good information is available in those forums. It's sad to see it locked away from the public.

Alan: Why ask more than once? Someone should have pruned these before sending them to us… <cough>! 😊


31. Do you have a plan to deal with the reemergence of MacroQuest and other "cheating" software on TLP servers? Are you even aware that this software has become more and more common on TLP's over the past two years?

Holly: We are always looking into it and evaluating how it affects the community.


32. Classic or Luclin models? Duplicate

Do you agree people who use Luclin models are objectively worse at Everquest than those who use Classic models?

Alan: Luclin models are far better. The only thing truly better are the pre-alpha models.


33. Any chance forum permissions could be regranted to view the archived old forums once again? A lot of good information is available in those forums. It's sad to see it locked away from the public.

Alan: How old? I know for a fact that everything before the great forum shutdown was burned in the parking lot with great vengeance. I dunno about any other stuff.

Jonathan: Now I’m curious. Were there any pictures of the old forums being burned in the parking lot?


34. It's been said twice, but why haven't Necro dots been re-worked? They are so far behind every other dps class…

Alan: Actually, it's been asked three or four times since the bottom. Keep reading for an answer. Next time, don't bother asking a question that has already been asked several times. It's just mean and annoying! 😊


35. Hey Holly, Question 1 - Will there ever be a PvP TLP ?

Question 2 - Will there ever be a FV ruleset TLP server added?

Question 3 - is Daybreak going to continue their Mobile Everquest for tablet/Ipad and if so can you access regular servers with this new game type on ur iPad or what not?

Alan: Eyes… growing… tired… I started at the end and this must be question 4,343! And to top it all off, you had to ask three in one! Yes, I'm trying to make you feel bad. 1. Probably not. Very few people play on our PVP server as it is. 2. FV rules are a curse. You don't want that on your server. 3. We have a mobile EverQuest?


36. Did you watch the Ice-T and Michael Rappaport Amtrak VS Faceless disses?

Alan: I saw the Ice-T video. Thought it was pretty hilarious. Not what was said, but that Ice-T will say any old sh..stuff for a few bucks. Who would have thought?

Holly: Saw Ice-T. Pretty great! I wish Helen Mirren did those.
 
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suineg

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37. What would it take, money or staff or otherwise, to GUARANTEE a big tlp launch that has no technical problems?

Alan: The technical problems we have aren't really solvable. When too many people want to log in there isn't a lot we can do. Server handles X people, X+Y try to log in, trouble ensues. Last time around we launched two to mitigate this, but still too many people wanted to play. A good problem to have, for sure. However, if we open too many servers we have other issues. We end up with too little population after a while. Our game benefits from a certain volume of players. Too few is bad, too many is bad. So we have to take our best shot at what will be the right number of servers. We do our best.

Ed: Magic.

Holly: We spend a ton of time on contingencies and then when we launch, some totally unexpected issue happens that we couldn’t possibly predict, and I mean that sincerely. There are three million lines of code that started in 1996. But, sh*t happens. That would be my 20-year-old-game Ted Talk….”If it can go wrong, it will, and you couldn’t have predicted it regardless of how you plan. Be prepared to be busy fixin’.”


38. Can you please launch a classic-locked teams PvP server?

Alan: I suspect you asked this question a few times. If it wasn't you, see below for my answer.


39. Dear Holly, Does a man with a 3 digit Magelo profile # impress you? A/S/L?

Jonathan: Are you impressed by a 6-digit DCI number?

Ed: Are you impressed by a 5-digit ICQ number?

Alan: Are you impressed by a 4-digit DCI number?

Holly: Swipe left. Oh wait, Strafe left.


40. Good morning. Is there any plans of having a multi-account management system for multiboxers to centralize payments and account management.

Also can multiboxers get a discount, it does gets a bit expensive to run a full crew, and unfortunately the nature of the game requires it most of the time.

Alan: Nope!


41. Are there any plans to increase the operating budget of EQ, or is management's plan to continue to slowly reduce its size from its current "4.5 artists, 5.3 designers, and 5.7 programmers" despite "the fact that the EverQuest team has been continually begging management for 2 additional content designers for multiple years to no avail". (Quotes from Dzarn).

Holly: That’s literally my business, not yours.


42. PvP server.

2 box server.

This true box shit is dumb as hell, the amount of people that do more than 3 or 4 boxes is very small, and most of those will either cheat or set up half a dozen comps anyway. Most ppl just wanna be able to port / buff / do simple boxing.

Alan: Sorry? Play on the current PVP server and show us that you actually want to play on one, then we can talk further.


43. Dear Holly Windstalker, Fuck you. That bear hit me first and I was just running for my life. Why, holly, I was only level 4... why?

Alan: I'm sure she will have an answer for you, but I'm in my office and too busy to wait to see what it is. So I'll let you know that whatever that bear wanted to do, it has the right to do. You are nothing compared to a sacred bear! Loser!

Jonathan: I’m sure that bear didn’t just attack you unprovoked.

Ed: I’m still proud that I leveled multiple characters in Qeynos Hills and never provoked her ire.

Holly: Twenty years of Mama-Bear’ing and still going strong.


42. When can we expect EQ browser? When can we expect EQ battle royale?

Alan: I don't know about browser games. And never for an EQ battle royale, if I have anything to say about it (and I might not…)

Holly: Nope and NO.


43. And why do they do bonus exp on holidays when normal humans with families have to do shit OTHER than play EQ? Would be nice to see some % of the bonus weekends be when regular ppl can no life.

Alan: Well, because that's when the holidays are? /shrug

Holly: Prioritize. That said, nothing is off the table.

Jonathan: Keep an eye out for things coming up in 2019. Some bonus events, this year and in general, run for more than just a few days. Some are active for weeks.


44. Why is the server Fippy Darkpaw still running when those resources could be allocated to something else? It is 9:20am CST and I am logged into Fippy. I am the only one online on the entire server. Shoot, it could be repurposed as a team PVP Kunark or Velious locked server and have a larger population. Or anything really.

Alan: Resources is a tricky word. The resources to run a server that is up and working are power and whatever maintenance is needed. Any effort we put into the game goes to all the servers, so keeping a server up isn't really an issue of resources for us. However, if too few people are on a server then it won't be any fun for anyone. Now the idea of making an new PVP server, especially after complaining that there aren't enough people on Fippy, is kind of funny. Maybe play on the existing PVP server so there will be some people for the folks there to play with. They are pretty lonely too.

Jonathan: I suspect you’re overestimating the cost of hosting an existing server, underestimating the cost of supporting a new ruleset, and overestimating the appeal of a PVP server.


45. Why has the EverQuest IP been left to fade away into oblivion?

Now that Blizzard is showing cracks in the armor, and the MMO space is super-dry, how about you announce right here that EQ3 is in production?

Why isn't the EQ franchise being capitalized on, like Blizzard has done with their IPs. So much potential, memorable characters, themes, lands, etc. I loved the EQ world up until the aliens showed up(GOD/OOW). Sad to see a world I spent a good portion of my young adult life in go to waste.

Landmark seems like a huge setback (time & financially). I spent a good chunk of time "building" in that world, but once I realized it was overtaking EQ3 production completely, I abandoned it. My drive at the time was the hope of watching EQ3 be built. Is there any regret/animosity toward going the Landmark/Voxel direction?

Do you agree games today need "emergent gameplay". Handcrafted content is eaten up too quickly. Other than adding PvP (or voxels), what do you believe an MMO can do to add emergent gameplay, yet keep the MMO feel. I feel like this is the big billion $ question that devs must wrestle with before building the next MMO.

Or are traditional MMOs too outdated, too expensive to build, not esport-friendly, and thus unlikely to reclaim their former glory?

I don't expect much to these questions but they are the things I question most whenever I think about EQ. In 5 years I spent over 365 days of /played in EQ and it's still my fondest gaming memory. Literally 20% of that 5-year time span in your game world. I also feel like MMOs are dead and would need something very revolutionary to compete with the competitive-esport-stream-friendly games that exist today.

Alan: That's a lot to answer. However, I don't like to shy away from a challenge, or a chance to write a few dozen words about game design. I talk briefly about this below, so will skip some of what I might say (it takes a long time to make an MMO, and even if you do it's pretty hard to match up to 20 years of content). With or without "cracks" at Blizzard, the MMO space is pretty big, so I don't know how much that really matters. And I'm certainly not announcing anything about any new games here. Sorry. And we could argue that Blizzard hasn't done anything with their IPs that we haven't done (make more content, basically). Heck, we even have an EQ2, where's WoW 2? 😊

Yes, Landmark/Next cost us, but if you don't try you never know what can be done. I don't think we really regret trying, just that it didn't work out. At the time the voxel thing was one of the "pillars" of the game. And honestly it looked good. It just added to the technical issues, but that's what pillars of new games are all about. I have an aversion to the term "emergent gameplay". I've heard it a lot, on the Internet and here at the office. A lot of people use it as an excuse to be lazy or let other people be shitty to each other. However, the idea behind it isn't bad. Yes, handcrafted content is expensive in time and money. But so is writing a book, but people still do it and make money at it. We just have to choose which things are handcrafted and what doesn't need to be. I do agree that figuring that out is the next step in MMO development. Some games are starting down the right path, I think.

I suspect that any MMO that tries to be "esport friendly" would be making a huge mistake. However, being Twitch friendly is a good idea. I freely admit that EQ isn't the best game to watch on stream. It's a lot like all those folks running their D&D games on Twitch. I generally hate them. They tend to be boring unless the folks involved are very entertaining. MMOs can do things to improve their watchability that won't hurt gameplay. But sacrificing a good game to entertain an external audience would be an error in my opinion.


Ed: One of the hardest lessons we learned from Landmark/Next was to not start publicity until we are certain the promise of the game can be realized. As for the larger problems, yes, the biggest issue in games right now is that race for content vs. cost of producing it. Only the biggest companies can afford to throw people and money at the problem, and when smaller companies try that approach there’s a huge human cost in addition to the financial risks. It’s a big question and the ways forward are through a maze of twisty passages, all alike.

Holly: Another EQ game? 😊


46. Dear Holly, So i'm playing on Mangler, single boxing, pretending it's 1999. I'm playing a Ranger and i've been camping Quillmane. After considerable effort and time, i get Quillmane to spawn. I manage to track it and engage it first. I get it down to 50% and then a 6 boxer rolls in, charms it and tries to steal it away. I manage one dispell of the charm, but not a second as the boxer is running a bard in his group. He then proceeds to run it away out of range, drops the charm and kills it.

How is this not an illigitimate action? Why has this game turned into an absolute cesspool, easily worse than the WoW EMU scene?

Ed: The mechanism you’re describing has been possible as long as Quillmane has been around. Early EverQuest got by this by having a lot more involvement from Customer Service, and relying on server communities to enforce social norms. What you’re running up against is that we can’t use Customer Service people to be Customer Hall Monitors any more, people have gotten a lot better at being jerks in the interim, and reputation just isn’t important to people who are willing to be jerks so they can get internet cloaks faster. It’s not great, and there’s a reason why almost every game that came after us implemented some form of encounter locking to prevent it. We don’t want to do something that drastic, but we agree that we probably don’t need to provide so many tools for internet jerks to be internet jerks. Besides, Twitter and Facebook have done that way better than we ever could.

Jonathan: I have many fond memories of my time in early pre-instanced EverQuest, 1999-2002. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how the game’s mechanics did little to dissuade caustic behavior. There are several ways to interfere with someone else’s fun. And we know. I have been trained and had my camp stolen. I have been petitioned due to a dispute over camp ownership when my group was clearly there first. I have had a random pickup groupmate steal the loot that we were trying for hours to acquire and walk away with it. I have had people try to scam me in trades. I’ve run around the world for hours trying to find a camp that wasn’t already taken. I have had epic quest spawn rights disagreements that devolved into shouting matches. Like it or not, this was original EverQuest. We have been making changes to alleviate some of the competition over scarce limited resources and to make it more difficult for jerks to be jerks. But there’s only so much we can do, and we cannot completely protect people from each other without not letting them interact with each other at all.


47. Hi Holly, thanks for doing this!

1. What is your favorite EQ expansion?

2. What is your favorite EQ questline?

3. What is your favorite EQ class?

4. What is your favorite EQ zone?

5. What is your favorite EQ music track?

Alan: You can thank her, you don't have to answer all these! 1. Probably The Serpent Spine. Probably the single most complete piece of content I've ever seen for an MMO. 2. I like the one where you end up being told to shout to everyone in the Qeynos hills about how stupid you are. Loved it. One of the most interesting bits of content I've ever seen. 3. Bard, duh. 4. Dreadspire. Got to work on it with Prathun. It was one of the best cooperative design experiences I've had. It's also were you can buy Dwarf Milk. 5. Plane of Innovation

Jonathan: Hopefully it’s okay to have more than one answer for some of these. 1. Scars of Velious and Lost Dungeons of Norrath. 2. The 10th Ring questline. 3. Rogue, cleric, or enchanter. 4. Tower of Frozen Shadow and Dreadspire Keep. 5. Kelethin theme, Natimbi, Plane of Earth.

Holly: So, disclaimer….I had a hand in most of the stuff on this list….1: The Serpent’s Spine 2: Shaman Epic 2.0 3: Beastlord 4. StoneHive b/c it’s true fantasy beauty 5. The EQ theme -- gives me chills every time I hear it when I do a presentation and it fills a room. I’d tear up, but I’m too tough for that.


48. Have you considered adding a pet character sheet so that you can see your pet's equipped items and relevant stats?

Jonathan: Yes. If it’s a feature you can reasonably imagine being in EverQuest, we have considered it.

Alan: Yes, we have indeed considered it. 😊

Holly: If you can think of a feature, over 20 years these crazy devs have thought of it...and then some. And they have documents...


49. Will u build a wall around Freeport to keep dark people out?

Ed: Political reference! These always end well.

Holly: Not even with a 5-foot polearm would I touch that.


50. Another question. Is there a way of summarizing in a screen all the Items focus that we have equipped so we don't have to go item by item looking to see if we have cleave 3?

For example, the other day I got a Last blood, and in order to see what i was missing i had to click every inventory slot and make a spread sheet of it

Helm: Faerune.

Legs: Magic DD 40%

Range: Dodge mod

Shield: Bash Mod

Back : Detrimental Range 30%



This can go a long way for improving QoL.

Ed: There’s a definite need for a clearer way to view all the worn effects you have on you. Figuring out the best way to present that information is the real challenge. It’s a good thing to think about, though.


51. Necro dot revamp?!?!?!?!

Alan: see below


52. Since there have been some rumors going around it, Is there another EQ game in development (other than the Nantworks stuff) by DBG?

Alan: Wouldn't you like to know!

Holly: …..


53. 1. How much of EQ: Next was real and how much of it was smoke and mirrors? Why was the lion so derpy?

Alan: The Lion? Because someone liked him? He wasn't the worst thing I've ever seen, trust me. The first Luclin version of the gnome was a nightmare. Sometimes the vision gets blurred and someone doesn't get it. It happens.

Holly: EQ Next was real, but a long way from completion when we had to walk away from it. Very tough, but the right decision at the time. There’s mountains of great work that went into that game that won’t go to waste. We aren’t done with this franchise. Not by a long bowshot.


2. Since you were working back at SoE in 2003 on LDoN and GoD did anyone on the team realize the major tuning issues at the time?

Jonathan: We were very well aware. The team worked overtime for many months to rebalance Gates of Discord and rework the then in-progress Omens of War. Much of the original work on Omens was discarded and we started over on the zone design and on the expansion’s content.

Holly: We were doing expansions every 6 months and we shouldn’t have. The results spoke for themselves. When we are asked, we get serious sads. Those expansions hurt us as much as they frustrated players. No one likes to share anything they don’t feel is the best it can be and the team all felt it.


Since this was also the period in which WoW was released was if any reaction were there at SoE to the mass exodus of players?

Jonathan: Dozens of players from different servers came to our studio to discuss the state of the game in what was known as the EverQuest Guild Summit. It’s not hyperbole to say that this summit had a dramatic effect on the future of the franchise. Not only did we make a variety of changes to the current game and our development plan based on the feedback we received, but one of the summit attendees joined the company as an employee, and another summit attendee later married one of the game’s designers.

Holly: It was really more a massive joining of gamers worldwide into WoW and MMOs. It was amazing for us to watch that game grow into a behemoth with the full knowledge that our game was the inspiration for it. Did a chunk of EQ players go to WoW? Definitely. Lots of us did too. And many of them did and still come back.


3. Over the years many members of this board and the community in general have expressed the desire to see EQ simply re-released with better graphics and gameplay, any interest from the studio in EQ: Remastered? This popped up on your forums a few years ago but still get's people excited just from the idea.

Jonathan: I don’t think anyone will disagree with the concept, but the reality comes down to time and resources.

Ed: The trouble with remastering EQ is that making “better graphics and gameplay” means a different thing to literally every person you ask. If we were to make a new EQ with the same graphics but better gameplay we’d only be cannibalizing our own player base, and making a new one with better graphics but the same gameplay is just as much work as making a modern MMO, but without the advantage of learning from 20 years of game development.


That doesn’t mean I don’t want one. I want the Qeynos from my imagination SO BAD, you guys.


Holly: We’d reserve that effort and cost for a new game.


4. With such an iconic IP will we ever see EQ3?

Holly: :D


54. not many things scare me... but that lion..

Alan: The Next lion? I think the issue with that guy was the exact opposite, he wasn't in any way scary. He was Tony the Tiger. Not our best moment, I must admit.


55. What do you think of Pantheon?

Jonathan: I’m looking forward to trying it.

Holly: I’m a big fan of Brad’s. We got to meet up at the Comic-Con Museum event last month. I fully support him and his efforts. I can’t wait to play Pantheon. It has a lot of the spirit and depth I think RPGs should have, just like EQ does.
 
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56. Do you wanna join <Big Dogs>?
My GL BigDog will send the invite. (Any TLP server)

Ed: I’m going to need authority over non-officers, also I get dibs on anything cool that drops.

57. Any thoughts on a remastered version of EQ1?
Any chance we will see a more casual TLP with fast xp (no Selos is slow imo) for us casual old timers?

Alan: See below about "remastered" EQ. As for new TLP types, who knows? Sure, it's possible.

58. As someone who doesn't play the games I'm curious with EQ1 being a rather old game, is there a focus on gaining new players to the game or is it just being developed with the already-established community in mind?

Jonathan: Most of the folks who are interested in EverQuest, myself included, have close ties to the community or carry a lot of nostalgia for the world. Though new players with no previous experience are rarer, it’s great if they want to try EQ out. Unless you’re specifically looking to play with friends on an established Live server, I’d recommend starting out on an early era Progression Server like Mangler or Selo, as the world is smaller and the mechanics are less complicated.

59. Necro dot update going to happen?

Alan: We still want to do it. But you know as well as I do that necros are by far the most complicated DoT class and will take a huge chunk of time to revamp. As soon as that time can be scooped out of our spell guy's schedule, we'll do it. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be this year.

Ed: It’s the most complicated class to consolidate, so it needs the most time. Doing it poorly is worse than not doing it at all.



60. 1. Will there ever be a realistic TLP server that follows client AND server changes per timeline - explanation below:

Money had weight in Original, Kunark, Velious, Loose-lin, but lost it's weight in PoP as far as I remember or when Titanium Client arrived.

The UI would be the same way as would be models. I.e. no Loose-lin models before Loose-lin is actually launched.

Same with spells, quests, NPC's and well, everything.

If that ever happens, you can count me in for it, until then, TLP's are sad story of simulated original to live timeline.

Jenn: Do you have a computer from 1999 with a 28.8K modem and an ISP that supports it? That isn’t infected with viruses?

Jonathan: This is about as close to impossible as you can possibly get.

Alan: Money weighing enough to prevent you from moving? Giving people the ability to trap someone into not being able to move with a bad trade or leaving a huge pile of copper on the ground? That added no value to gameplay, led to bugs and exploits, and kind of just sucked.


61. How mad was Ozuri at the RZ community during middle to end Velious?

Alan: You don’t actually expect us to know what you're talking about, or to answer this if we did, do you?


63. How long until you sell off your everquest franchise?

Jonathan: Are you buying?

Alan: How much money do you have?

Ed: It’ll cost you. I only accept the shiniest of baubles.

Holly: Pfft.

64. Why was EQ2 never re-architectured to embrace multicore/multithreaded programming?

Ed: The same reason you don’t re-architect a building to embrace pre-tensioned slabs. Changing something that basic to a project’s design can break literally everything about it, and doing so is difficult, risky, and error-prone. It’s something that gets more difficult the more time goes on.

65. There was all kinds of neat stuff in EverQuest that left so much mystery to the game. Like broken Druid Circles. Strange pictures and paintings. Have you ever found code, or things implemented that had a plan that was never fully realized/developed? Things in particular that you really liked?

Jonathan: We found several unfinished Kunark quests in 2016 when players pointed us to some drops that had no known use. We completed and released these quests in February of 2017 and they’re now part of the game’s Kunark era content. I don’t want to give the impression that we “just turned the quests on” though, because much of the data for these quests was rough, badly broken, or missing, and had to be heavily reworked or written from scratch. Thankfully the rewards were already created and only needed a little tweaking. I think these quests were a welcome addition to the early game. They fit the world and the era well.

Alan: I get asked things like this a lot. Heck, an artist was just in here a few minutes ago asking me what material I thought a building was made of. It was clearly not made of native stone and was so odd that it stood out. I had to admit that I had no clue. So we just made up a story and went with it (its bone!). It turns out to be both a blessing and a curse to have so much that is a complete mystery, even to us. We can find docs about a lot of things, but some stuff people never managed to document, or the docs were lost, or the artist or designer thought the answer was so obvious that it didn't need to be written down. Sometimes I really wish I knew what the reason behind something was. But most of the time I like that I can invent an explanation for myself. This was also true when playing the game. Why are there huge carvings on the walls of the canyon to High Pass? I don't know to this day, but as a player I figured giants made them before they were made all stupid. But I don't actually know. Lucky for me, I can make that canon if I really want. All I have to do is write up a document. 😊

Holly: As someone who loves to document stuff, I spent a lot of time in the early 2000s and in the past 2 years documenting an EQ story bible with all the OG facts and hidden secrets. I used to talk to Tony Garcia and ask him questions about EQ when he had moved on to EQ2. There wasn’t detail for some stuff and there was excessive detail on others. It depended on the designer or the artist at the time. Is there stuff hidden in the code? Yes. An engineer found an image of Ike Turner hidden in a directory for….reasons? No idea. With over 3 million lines of code there’s bound to be some “huh?” in there.


66. Everquest and especially these TLP servers have become a haven for people with fairly noticeable mental issues and/or antisocial behavior, while other games seem intent on taking steps to either drive out the least socially adjusted or to desocialize interactions such that players can participate in mass multiplayer style environments without socializing. EQ has taken an opposite approach by both pushing regular tlp launches where human beings will interact in crowded worlds and adding changes to these tlps such as true box code and raid content access via aocs, which further increase social interaction.

Is the above a deliberate effort to create a social atmosphere for the least social of gamers, or just a fortunate but unintended consequence of the TLP style's evolution?

Are any plans in the works to further improve or expand on the awesome socializing benefits this game provides, such as open world gm events, a return to more "play nice" enforced community standards, or just further boxing restrictions?

Alan: Not sure I like categorizing our customers as having "fairly noticeable mental issues,” I think that's just me. EQ is solidly based on the idea of players having to work together to do stuff. As a wise person said at a recent GDC panel, you can do stuff by yourself, but the rewards are greater if you work with others. We think this is a core reason why people still play, because you meet people and make friends to overcome challenges. AoCs and true box were things made in response to customer requests. We understand that they also have effects on the way people socialize, but honestly if people hadn't asked for them we might never have added them. As the person who did a lot of the AoC work, I can tell you that until I saw the results and how much people liked them, I was worried that it was too much time spent on one project. The whole design team worked on that exclusively for a month for the first iteration, and that's a lot of time. I'm just happy it worked out.

Holly: Social and working together is the focus of what we do and the foundation of EQ when it was made, i.e. to take on fantasy adventures with your pals. We want players to enjoy spending time in a world with other people and forge friendships. And I don’t know who you have met, but all the dozens of guildies and players I’ve met over the years are well-adjusted people with interesting lives. Sure, their real life personas don’t always reflect their online ones, but that’s similar to any social atmosphere, including any modern social media platform, work environment, school, etc. Just about everyone has a “persona” for different occasions. For example, on bagel day, I will thumb wrestle anyone for one of the two salty bagels that get delivered. Outside of that, I’m perfectly demure. <cough>

67. I'd be way more interested in hearing if there's any undiscovered EQ secrets!

Alan: Me too!

Jonathan: I asked Renux Herkanor about dirty secrets, and she told me that her father killed Johann in cold blood to seize control of the Circle of Unseen Hands and that he was a rotten self-serving power-hungry scoundrel besides.

Holly: I’m still confused by random celebrity images hidden in the game. I’m sure they have meaning. I’m still searching for Tony Danza. And I will forever.


68. Are there any plans for EverQuest to support the Census API?

Are there any plans for a return of the EQ Players website?

Any word on the time and location of the summer fan event... "Fan Faire"?

Are we going to see a continuation of the current expansion's theme in the next expansion? Water and earth Jann plot?

Alan: I can only answer that last one. I have a lot of ideas about the Duende and Ondine, but I think I can say that they will not be the focus content for a while yet. I like having cool ideas and areas to explore later or for other designers to expand on in their own way. That is part of what has made EQ last, the fact that there has always been more that isn't known than is.

Jenn: The supporting Census project has some documentation, but we don't have it slated for any time soon. Much of the internal support that we had for this has disappeared over the years and it's still quite a big project to get anything useful out to people. As for the EQ Players website there are no plans for a return for it as we're just not setup to be able to support the ongoing development and maintenance that it required (there was quite a bit of hand holding to keep that thing running).

69. Is the code of the game still layers upon layers of inscrutable spaghetti code written by people who long departed the company, resulting in veteran players knowing the game's mechanisms better than the devs? It was the case in 2004, so I can't imagine how it is in 2019!

Jonathan: There are facets of the game that veteran players understand better than anyone. Likewise, there are facets of the game that developers understand better than anyone.

Jenn: There are a few places that are the original code that we've left alone. However, the majority of the code base has been poked at, refactored, re-worked, (and re-worked again), and added to or removed since the original 1999 base. There are certainly parts that veteran players know better, but there are certainly parts that no one outside the team knows better.


70. What is your fondest EverQuest related memory? Be it in game, behind the scenes, or maybe a fan faire?

Jonathan: Getting my rogue epic was one of my fondest memories, which was only enhanced by getting the chance to work on the rogue epic 1.5 and 2.0 quests later.

Ed: Beating Rallos Zek the first time with my guild. It took us improving on every axis, as players getting better gear and skills, as a team with strategy and organization, and as a guild forming friendships, recruiting more people, and making sure we could get good population at a time when we could attempt the fight. It took months to do and nothing else we faced ever compared.

Holly: Ragefire launch day was a highlight for me. I was blown away by the community and excitement. I had just returned to the team then and it was an amazing realization and recognition of how powerful EverQuest and its players are.

A huge part of what made early EverQuest amazing was the fact that there were NO instances. You played the game and people knew who was a badass player based off of what they were wearing. While instancing does make it a lot easier for the majority of players, it also removes any sort of competition that was a must in the early stages of the game. I guess that armor tinting played into this as well. None of this was a question, just a statement.


Alan: I remember watching Steve Burke building the ring war for Velious. It was one of the first things I ever saw being built in the game and it was stunning to me. It was exactly the sort of thing I wanted to do myself, but I didn't have the patience he did. 😊 I was also a big fan of visible gear that represented accomplishing something. I would have to add to the question below armor dyes. I personally don't like how they changed that aspect of the game. However, I have to disagree with you on instances. Making your customers fight each other to play a PvE game is bad form. Competition for resources is great in a game where you are trying to defeat an opponent, but not great in a cooperative setting. Especially when those "resources" are the gameplay itself.


71. In your opinion, what was the biggest "whoops" that was added to the game? Something, that on paper, was a great addition, but in practice was a huge disaster.

Jonathan: Under the current design team’s watch, the series of decisions that led to beam kiting. Holy cow, that was a decade ago.

Alan: I don't know about whoops, but there are some things that we would have probably been better off had we never added them. For example, I love monster missions, they allow us to explore things from the perspective of characters that are not the players. However, the work needed to create one of those missions and the clunkiness of abilities and actually starting the adventure on the player side made it kind of untenable. I regret any system that we put in but don't end up using to its full potential for whatever reason.


72. Favorite EQ race? If you dont answer gnome, you're wrong.

Jonathan: Barbarian, half elf, and froglok.

Jenn: You don’t gnome my life!

Alan: Gnome. Why do you think they are so involved in all the interesting things that happen in Norrath?

Holly: <burp> Gnomes are tasty. Teir’Dal all the way!



73. Why was the following added to EQ?

-no drop

-bind on equip

-bind on pickup

-later the lvling gear...

(These should've been cursed items only!) not twink/farm deterrents. Thats what Lore was for.

Jonathan: For the same reason those restrictions exist in nearly every other MMO: it short-circuits the primary game loop if you can receive the best rewards without having tackled the challenges that resulted in those rewards. Also, we can’t take credit for Bind on Pickup on Bind on Equip as those terms were popularized by (and I believe originated in) World of Warcraft.

Alan: Well, I guess we have to disagree. No drop is for items that we want someone to actually earn, not get from someone else that earned it. Same is true for most of the rest of those.

Ed: EverQuest equipment enters the economy at a functionally infinite rate, (mostly) doesn’t require resources to create, is never destroyed through use, and is replaced regularly. Allowing equipment to remain in the economy after it’s replaced isn’t a bad idea, but it requires the rest of the game to be built around it.


74. Why wasnt items like Necro skullcap, warrior pike ever given more quests for lvls?

Why wasnt there more sentient equipment like the shield, pants, etc added later or allowing more lvls?

These were items that talked to others as you lvled them. Shield had a clockwork look from what I remember.

Why couldnt enchanters be allowed to summon pets like floating armor from Emerald Jungle vs just shadowmen or better yet show the armor given to them. Same with other pets.

Why didnt languages ever have anything done with it really? This was something added then forgotten... Was whole groups that lvling this at times just for nothing.

Tinkering...update?

Alan: Some items were never intended to be eternally upgraded. In fact, almost none of them are. The way a game like ours works is to make you progress in a forward direction. As for talking items… they are a lot of effort, way more than they ended up being worth. I don’t know why enchanters do or don't get anything at all. And I don't know what you want updated about tinkering.

Jonathan: We do add new steps to iconic progressive quests periodically. It’s more likely that we’d add a quest to upgrade the Coldain shawl, for example, and less likely that we’d do something like a warrior pike. The effort required for custom content like this is high and the audience that would benefit from a race and/or class-specific item is narrow.

I enjoyed writing text for the intelligent items, like the pants, but it was a good amount of effort for something that was a novelty at best and an annoyance at worst. (Side note: I still have the leather pants that Aldrian’s Fancy Pants were based on. Loosely based on, as the real life pants don’t usually talk.) As far as why we haven’t added more levels to these and as a general answer to the various questions about this, upgrading every progressive item that has ever existed forever is an infinite amount of work and we do not have an infinite amount of time.

I don’t see any floating armor NPCs in Emerald Jungle. The invisible man model doesn’t have geometry and therefore cannot show armor textures. You can change the visual of your pet with a “petamorph” item. Several of these are available in the Marketplace.

We just released a new zone for the 20th Anniversary where knowing the orc language allows you to understand what the orc NPCs in the zone are saying.

New tinkering recipes were added in both the two most recent expansions.



75. What is the list limit of NPC that sell items?

There is a limit that is visible to PCs but there is a longer list what they hold. I would often buy out stacks of other low priced items to get the next items in view. Made a killing in BDs/pages/spells back in the day buying out vendors items to get to the core items that where hidden. Curious what this limit was if any, shame this clears the npc on server reboot.

Alan: There is no limit to what a merchant can hold, other than practical matters for storage and whatnot. We don't really have a way to store the data for what is on the merchant when things reboot. I suppose it's possible, but at the same time we don't want merchants to be storage space and we want their stuff to get reset at times, so I think we're happy with how it works now.
 
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suineg

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77. When is the kraken going to be added to OOT!

Jonathan: I think he’s in Iceclad. IT BE THE POLAR KRAKEN!

Alan: We actually have a model called Kraken internally. It's used for Hydrotha and the Polar Kraken. So I guess the answer is… about 2002.


79. Any plans for some EQ 20th merch, like t-shirts?

Alan: See, Holly! I've been saying just this for 10 years now!

Holly: Working on it. While it’s a bit late, I’m still working on it.


80. Have you ever considered making a moba or battle royale based on Everquest and all its iterations?

Alan: I have! I'm pretty sure I have a pitch doc for just that sort of thing around here somewhere. It turns out, however, that we make MMOs… 😊

Holly: I did for about 10 minutes. We all have ideas ALL THE TIME. No one has any spare minutes outside of serving existing players currently, but we are looking ahead at new opportunities and what the right ones are for EQ.


81. Why were beastlord warders changed so they no longer said "ding" when they were level buffed.

Alan: They did?

Jonathan: Was this back when every beastlord would summon a base pet and then apply buff(s) to it to improve the pet’s stats? This change predates every developer currently on the team so we can only speculate. I don’t remember them saying ‘ding’ when they were leveled up, but that was a long time ago and this method of improving your beastlord pet was in the game for a relatively brief period of time.

Holly: I played a Beastlord since they launched in Luclin. I don’t recall my kitty ever saying “ding.” I would have been disappointed that my tiger wasn’t all…grrrr-ding.


83. Hi Holly, Thank you for all your work on the EQ franchise. I truly appreciate it, and so do many others. I’m sure you’re limited in responses. I do however, have a few questions/concerns I would love to voice.

1. Do you have data that indicates the largest obstacles for returning players? The UI is my #1 concern and this holds true for everyone I’ve known personally to play the game.


I could literally list dozens of UI issues – but I’m sure you’re all too aware. Are big UI changes even realistic at this point?

2. I understand the code base is old and the current focus is on bringing back former players. Do you think EQlive might ever see an engine revamp, additional animations, or massive consolidations/cleanup?

I’m no dev, and I may not even have the best ideas - but I have heard/seen some older games perform large overhauls to modernize, such as Runescape and Anarchy Online. This gives me hope. I think it will eventually be necessary, unless the plan is to sunset.

3. Plans for the franchise going forward, or at least the general feeling you have of its ‘health’?

While the UI is my primary concern, it would be nice to know what high-level feelings are towards EQ’s future as a whole. Cautiously optimistic? Extremely optimistic? Neither?

Alan: 1. We are definitely aware of the issues with our UI. However, all of its problems are not strictly UI problems. A lot of it is just how much stuff there is that the UI has to deal with. AAs, spell, items, and all that other junk. It's a big problem to tackle. We want to have the ability to show all the stats on items, for example, but there are a lot of stats to show. This eats up real estate. It all does. I don't think we have an answer for exactly how to deal with it. Just figuring it out would be a project, not to mention implementing it. 2. Nope. Reasons I think it won't are below. 3. I'm optimistic. And people that know me know that is not my usual condition.

Holly: Everything Alan said, really. 1. UI for sure, and no, a revamp isn’t realistic for us. 2. This game doesn’t have a giant team and it would take an army to update this engine and ensure everything worked – which it wouldn’t. We are lucky that we get to keep adding to this game after 20 years and remain a tidy business. 3. My last statement rolls into this. We are always pitching and evaluating what our business can sustain. Making new games is expensive and it’s what we ALL want to do, so we have to be smart. We aren’t done with EQ. Other stuff will come. When, I can’t tell you, but we are always looking forward.


84. Having seen maybe a total of 3 legit questions in 5 pages I have to ask,

Why the fuck would you agree to this?

Jenn: ಠ‿ಠ <- devious smile

Jonathan: That’s perhaps the best question of them all.

Alan: Apparently, Holly would.

Holly: I have great respect for folks who help us keep our community tied together and passionate. The owners of these very pages keep our community entertained, so it seemed like spending a bit of time with you was a…thing to do. 😊


85. 1. Being the 20th Anniversary, what is the future of the EQ Franchise? Be specific please. Is there another game in developed or at least in the talks of being developed or are we to expect that EQ will just receive expansions and new servers each year?

2. Probably my most important question.. has there ever been discussions of reimagining EQ much like Runescape and others have rebuild their game? If not, why not? Recreating EQ in a new engine while preserving quests, encounters, etc. I think would be very well received. A new engine would also give the team the ability to expand on areas that were never used but may have been intended while also being able to integrate parts of the game more effectively such as the Bazaar, housing, etc. bringing a greater focus to places like Freeport and Qeynos instead of creating areas that are instanced or away from areas that are very dear to players.

3. Why has the ability bloat in EQ2 never been addressed? It's obviously the achilles heel of the game and now more than a decade it has still never been addressed. It may be too late but the TLP's launched this year would have received a much better response if this would have been addressed prior to the 20th anniversary announcements.

Holly: 1. There is a future and I don’t have specifics for you. The specifics will come when we have meaningful news. No bait. 2. We would make a new game instead of trying to re-engineer this one. There’s a lot of stuff we’d need to fix which would be better for everyone built on newer tech/engine and UI tools. We have prototyped and done a number of things and now we’ll figure out what direction to go. Again, it’s not free. As I said earlier, we are trying to be smart and realistic and figuring out the right investment of people, time, and money. 3. The team always considers these questions against the value of delivering an NGE (new game experience). What you think is awful, but has been in the game for 15 years, will really upset people who return to play. We aren’t focused on new players, we’re focused on bringing former players back. That said, the team will always try to fix issues that are win-wins.


86. Can you give us any details at all on EQ Mobile? Is it going to be some form of card-game like Hearthstone? Is it going to tie into actual game servers so that we can progress or play our current characters from our phones somehow? Is it some form of strategy game, maybe we're managing a guild of npc's and assigning tasks/planning raid strategies/assigning loot to power up our guild? So many possibilities and pretty much wherever you land (other than a card game) you'll be taking some of my money I'm sure.

Alan: I don't know if anyone here knows anything about it, but it's outside our control. I do agree that there are several interesting paths they could take. One of your ideas I particularly like.

Ed: While we (as a company) will have input into what anyone else does with EverQuest on mobile devices, we (as individuals) aren’t going to be designing it, so we can’t really answer this. I agree there are many cool approaches they can take, and I really hope they do something amazing.

Holly: They are in their early days and will tell you when they are ready and confident. We are definitely involved though.


87. Secondary question,

Has anybody even come close to having the greatest single-person burst DPS in the entire world next to Sam Deathwalker?

Alan: Pfft.

Jonathan: Sam “the man” Deathwalker’s world record for highest single-person burst DPS can never be surpassed.


88. Ms. Longdale, you run a fantastic company here. My wife and I play your game every day. I like the announcements you tweet, and the missus thinks your forum posts are quite humorous!

I have a question for you however this is not just a praise post. My son is about your age, he will turn 19 in February. Do you have a boy-friend, if not he is very handsome and a charming young man. You are a very comely young lass, and I would love for you to meet him. if not I understand, but I would be happy to have a drink with you if you should stop down in Florida some time this year. I won"t tell my wife if you don"t! Ho ho.

Alan: I thought Holly was only 17…

Jonathan: Maybe we can bring back the “Date with a dev” idea?

Holly: I feel like you have me confused with another producer…My nephew is in his late 20s… That’s a very sweet offer? I guess? :D I think your son would be super disappointed.


89. What is the chance that the last bit of programming work necessary to launch the EverQuest Census API -- so that anyone can make their own Magelo-type fansite -- will happen?

Ed: If by “the last bit” you mean “nearly all,” well… I’m still not in a position to answer. But it’s not as small a task as you seem to think.

Holly: It’s not on the radar. We evaluate gameplay additions/features/quality-of-life first when we plan our year. That particular thing didn’t make it this year.

Jenn: It's not a "last bit" as you mentioned that’s remaining. Between the time that EQ2 implemented Census and the time that PS2 implemented Census the underlying architecture drastically changed. Plus, even if we had all of the technical hurdles already resolved we'd we still need to regroup and determine what and how much should be public and what level of control do we give people to make that information public.

90. 1. If you had unlimited funding and could add any feature set or sets to EQ, what would you like to see?

2. When you joined the EQ team, did anything surprise you, seeing it from a development perspective?

3. What's your favorite aspect(s) of EQ?

4. Do you play any other video games besides EQ? If so, what are you favorite genres/games?

5. Do you have any favorite EQ items?

6. What's your most memorable EQ moment(s)?

7. What's your favorite feature that's been added to EQ, since you joined the team?

8. I'm super into the world of EQ, but don't have a ton of time to dedicate to long-session MMOs these days. Do you think we'll ever see a multiplayer EQ game that's not raid-centered?

Alan: 1. Unlimited? New graphics engine and art assets. However, nobody could afford to do that in any reasonable amount of time. 2. For me, all of it did. I had no idea what game development was. I was a government employee that liked to write and play games. Mostly, for me, back then it was the effort and hours required. Because all of it was new back in 2000 and nobody really knew what we were doing, we spent a lot of time and effort getting it done. 3. I love that Norrath is a world that seems like it would be there doing its thing even if nobody was watching. 4. For video games, I'm in to survival games and card games. Otherwise it's all pen and paper gaming for me. 5. Dwarf milk. 6. Trying to get a newbie's corpse out of the bottom of Blackburrow. He had all sorts of trouble understanding things like, "STAY OUT OF THE ZONE" and how to give me access to drag his corpse. In the end there were more Absor corpses in Blackburrow than were really needed. 7. Hero's Forge. 8. Maybe?

Ed:

Definitely new engine and character models. It might stretch that “unlimited” budget though.
I was shocked that there wasn’t version control on the design database. You can just change any number any time!
I love the teamwork, and thus relationships, that our game creates. I made friends with people I never would have met otherwise through this game.
I’ve got the most Steam hours in strategy games, but there’s a few hundred hours in the Saints Row series, too.
My extra large sewing kit, which feels like a really weird flex.
Beating Rallos Zek the first time. Better story above.
Probably Hero’s Forge.
It’d be neat to see. I’ve wanted different experiences in Norrath for a long time.


Jonathan:

Updates to lighting, fog, shadows, weather, and skies. Especially lighting.
I thought that a developer for a game like EverQuest created zones in a level editor, and coded, and did design work. It was a surprise to find out that those were three different disciplines.
The whimsical art style, the music, the many connections I’ve made over the years.
Oh yes. Just in the past few weeks I’ve been playing Enter the Gungeon, The Swapper, Borderlands GOTY Enhanced, Deep Rock Galactic, RiME, DOOM, Deus Ex: Revision, Darkest Dungeon, Magic: the Gathering, and Gloomhaven. Lots and lots of Gloomhaven.
Pikebladed Ripper of the Arch-Thief (P.R.A.T.)
Clearing Plane of Sky, over an entire weekend.
The in-game calendar.
Perhaps. I get what you mean about not being able to commit to long play sessions, though you don’t have to raid in EverQuest if you don’t want to!



Holly:

I’d make a new VR immersive adventure world like Oasis (Ready Player One) that is Norrath with technology that obviously doesn’t exist yet. EverQuest is mentioned in chapter 3 of that book so I think it would make a nice circle of digital life. (I’m still ticked off we’re not in the movie.)
Yes. I was amazed at how positive and scrappy everyone was and how every single person on the team was dedicated to figuring out how to do what we thought was good for the game. Great, great people then. Still are now. As far as implementing, I was delighted at how tables and columns of data produced our amazing world.
I love that everything is so much more awesome with other players. It makes the outcome of all the data and spreadsheets we put together totally unpredictable, like Feign Pulling, Kiting, and a bunch of other strategies the players invented.
We play games all the time. I lean toward RPGs and delightful, smaller art-based games that have some elegance and innovation in storytelling, gameplay mechanics, or art style.
Carmine Robe and OG JBoots. Not because of their stats, but because of how long and what occurred in order to get them.
Raiding Fear and Hate in the early days as a wizard. Being the teleporter for Hate was always fear-filled with having someone invis me after we teleported. TENSION. Fear was always a huge accomplishment if we didn’t wipe. Took months for me to get my Carmine Robe and I loved every 70-person raid, mostly because of banter and being surrounded by epically talented gamers.
My favorite feature? Too many to list to be honest. They all contribute to making the game better and making me feel like a better player, unless it’s Advanced Loot (I hate it).
Maybe? No idea. We struggle with what makes EverQuest what it is. Raiding is one of those things, but it’s obviously a LOT of other elements. I wouldn’t rule anything out though.



92. Any thoughts on Legends style TLP servers? Premium fee on top of regular sub, DBG gets additional funding, we get real GMs and regular events?

Alan: Legends was a disaster in all possible ways. I highly doubt that enough people would actually want to pay as much as we would need to ask for to run a server like that.

Holly: What Alan said. Entitlement breeds demands that no dev team could realistically meet. Doesn’t mean we won’t offer premium-type stuff, but that server was super painful as a business model and play experience for a bunch of reasons.



93. Are there quests in the game that have still yet to be discovered?

Jonathan: Any quest of consequence that can reasonably be completed has already been completed. Any quest in the database that hasn't been completed is far more likely placeholder data, apprentice test data, or incomplete than a fully realized quest.


94. Can we get an officially supported 4K UI or at least a UI that's playable in 4K? It is 2019 after all - most of us play vidya games in UHD.

Jenn: It's certainly something we've considered. However, our entire UI engine is completely custom and dynamic scaling was not something the original creators felt was important enough to put in. It would certainly be a large project to overhaul our engine to support proper scaling in addition to the time it would take to re-work a number of windows to behave better with scaling. Unfortunately, this all adds up to: it’s too big of a project to try to tackle all at once. Where there are easy wins (high value with a low work requirement) we'd definitely consider.


95. For someone who dropped this game like a hot potato after the failure that was Gates of Discord moved on to WoW and never even considered moving back can you sell me on the game today?


How difficult is it for a new player to get caught up on current content?

Alan: I hear that people really like Gates now. Obviously, I would like you to play EQ, but you would have to decide for yourself. We are indeed a 20-year-old game with some of the legacy problems that come with it. But we are also a 20-year-old game with probably the most content of any game out there. This can be intimidating, I admit. The trick about EQ is that you don't have to race to the end. You can explore, learn about the world, and just have some fun. You don't have to catch up to anyone.

If you DO want to be up with everyone else on your server, however, you can join one of our new progression servers. They are still fresh with that new server smell.


Jonathan: A few years back we tried to reduce the amount of time that Progression Servers spent in Gates of Discord, because of feedback like yours that the expansion was a low point for EverQuest. However, the community was very clear that they liked it now in its rebalanced state, which is challenging but doable, and they wanted a fair shot at it.

I don’t want to twist your arm and convince you to play EverQuest if you’re not excited about it. If you want to give us a try, great! Maybe check out a fresh Progression Server like Mangler. If it’s not your jam, that’s cool too. There are thousands of awesome games out there. Play what makes you happy.



96. Does the ongoing interest and continued "success" of these games today make Daybreak less likely to develop a true successor Everquest game in the near future?

Ed: It’s the opposite. If EverQuest weren’t still successful there wouldn’t be any interest or ability to do anything new with the IP.

Jonathan: Why is “success” in quotes?

Holly: What Ed said. This company knows that one of our next big moments is the next EQ game.


97. Why does my Clockwork Rhino mount eat all my food?

Alan: There might be a gnome living inside it.

Ed: I can’t say there isn’t a gnome.


98. No malice in this question: Why should anyone but long term EQ/EQ2 players care about EverQuest as a franchise and does Daybreak even view it as important?

EQN was rebooted multiple times and canned, which was effectively the last time EQ had its name in modern gaming news. EQ2 launched in 2004 and was the last EverQuest release. We heard through your new owners a mobile EQ is in the works but that isn’t exactly exciting to anyone in the MMO scene because let’s face it, Mobile gaming is a joke.

And since its inception, Daybreak news has been rocky or downright ugly.

So in 2019 if I’m an old school EQ guy who loves the world (nostalgia is a hell of a drug) but I also don’t want to play 20 year old games, is there a reason to care about the franchise? Are y’all going to surprise launch an early access EQ3 or am I stuck with ignoring a mobile game?

Holly: We have spent a lot of time looking into the future and how we build this franchise up even better than we have in the past. We did some research over a year ago with all ages of gamers. It’s amazing how many young people know the name “EverQuest” because of family and other gamers. We are still relevant and considered an original. Someday soon we hope to take advantage of that global recognition and release something new. Can’t say when. Have no details.


100. 1) Is the make a character option at level 85 getting bumped up in level anytime soon? For Eq1

2) if you could live out an encounter in virtual reality as if you were really there playing it in real life... what encounter would it be?

3) Is there a time period or expansion that you foresee to be the final time that content is pushed to Everquest 1?

4) Do you know Adetia? Do you play EQ or EQ2 and have you ever actively played it for fun?

Alan: 1. Answered below (I read these in reverse order just to be weird). 2. Naggy. 3. Nope. 4.I feel like asking seven questions instead of one, and then trying to disguise those seven as only being four is cheating. I may have to ban you.

Jonathan: 1. We’ve talked about a higher level heroic character. Depending on scope, it might be possible to do in the medium term. 2. Tentacle terrors in the Unrest basement for that virtual reality knockback. Wee! 3. No. 4. I had over 200 days played back in 2002 when I started working on EverQuest. And some of that time played was even fun! I still play casually on Progression, though it’s hard not to look at the game with a critical eye and take notes of stuff to check into later.

Holly: 1. We have talked about it and have to fit it in. It’s very time consuming to make heroic characters. It’s not going to be this year. 2. I’d wander around Stonehive. I love bixies and that zone. 3. Nope. 4. Yes. Started playing on progression in March.
 
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suineg

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101. What is your view of eq2 as a sequel to the "classic eq", with its new mechanics, gameplay, etc.?

If you could stop eq2 at its "peak expansion" what would that be?

Does this company even have access to era-appropriate code for that expansion?

Ed: Reverting to “era appropriate” code (and data, since those structures change over time, too) brings with it “era appropriate” bugs, like heartbleed. This is the major reason why restoring a version from archives isn’t a good idea.

Holly: I loved EQ2 as a dev/player at launch. It was and still is its own game and flavor. It attracted a steady audience that was different than EQ’s audience. They are just as passionate around different things. Both very different which I found surprising early on, but now we focus on delivering the right content for those different audiences. I don’t know about peak expansions, but I was partial to Echoes of Faydwer.


102. Since we have Agent of Change on TLP servers, would it be possible to implement instanced versions of Sleepers Tomb 1.0 and Sleepers Tomb 2.0 ?

Alan: Hmm… I assume you are talking about getting access to the version where he is alive after he has been killed, or the other way around. This is one of those things that we just have to decide. The current decision is that Sleeper's Tomb changes once he is killed. We don't plan on giving access to the version where he is alive when he is dead in the base zone or dead when he is alive in the base zone.


103. Will daybreak ever do anything worthwhile with this IP? Specifically getting a green light to do some real development work and create an Everquest remake with the same mechanics as the original plus 2 expansions updated graphically and from an audio perspective with consoles included and cross platform play?

Thanks and sorry I probably ripped the shit out of you or one of your friends for a bone headed design decision at some point in your career.

Alan: I'm probably the person that help make those bone-headed design decisions. I'm glad I will be remembered!

Ed: I’ve talked about remakes above. There’s a lot of changes that would be made in even the most faithful remake.

Jonathan: If there’s anything that you learn quickly during a stint in software design, it’s that ideas are cheap and plentiful and implementation time from a competent development team is expensive. Who is going to work on this remake? If it’s current staff, what happens to the projects they are pulled from? Where will the resources come from to fund the project?

Holly: We will definitely do something with the IP. A strict remake? Probably not. Will it embody the EQ spirit, most likely yes.


104. How much credit does Brad deserve for EQ and how much of it was him being a hack riding on the coattails of real talent?

Alan: Tons of credit. I worked for Brad and he was a driving force for the team.

Ed: With the caveat that I only worked with him relatively recently, Brad’s a lot of things, but a hack is not one of them.

Holly: Brad is like an unstoppable force. He is even showing that now with Pantheon. Add solid co-devs, like Bill Trost and Tony Garcia, and you get magic. The fact that they made EQ with a peak team of about 30 is nuts. Nothing but talent, passion, and a belief in the project on that entire team, including John Smedley.


105. Minor issue but could we get an option to hide our own character's name in 3rd person?

Jonathan: “/showname off” Though, if you’re looking for a way to see other’s names but not your own, I don’t know that this is currently possible.

Alan: Interesting. I never thought about that. Obviously not a top priority, but we can talk about it, maybe get it on the list (that ever-growing list of things we'd like to do).


107. Holly, are you going to become one of the fallen?

Holly: No idea if this question is in an RP sense based on EQ storyline or another reference, so I’ll say no, for now. Maybe when I’m totally infirm on my feet in 20 years, I may fall, at which point I will invest in Life Alert.


108. Where are the Burned Woods?

Jonathan: They’re next to Scorched Woods this week.

Alan: You just ran past it. Turn around, it's right there.


109. Horde or Alliance?

Jonathan: POWER TO THE FORSAKEN!

Alan: What are those? 😊

Holly: Meh to both. No living world is that simple.


110. What is Daybreak Games doing to make the Everquest community more Trans-Inclusive?

Anyway:

I was in a guild back during TBM and we could only field about like 40ish people for 54 man raids. Not enough to beat the events but more than just like a 24 person raid. I know a lot of guilds were in a similar situation and either merged or folded. (most folded) Unfortunately many of us just left the game and never logged in again. I'm sure there's attrition happening.

Holly,

Is there any plans to make smaller raids to appeal to smaller guilds?

You can keep the major raids but just make some T1/T2 raids in addition to your 54 mans. Smaller that only drop like 1-2 spells and 1-2 pieces of armor. This encourages some people to get together with some new apps in a less full blown raid environment. Kind of like an intro to raiding because most high end players go to Triton etc. Can't field a full 54 man raid at full strength? Try the easier 36 man raid that can drop something. Getting a small amount of something is better than getting a large amount of nothing. Especially if I'm logging in for 4 hours + and just waiting around. Only 3 clerics online and 2 shammys w/ 1 druid? That'd probably be good for a 42 man raid but definitely not a 54.

I know this is probably deaf ears but I'm be curious.

Alan: There are a lot of things to consider here. First, we can't just lower the maximum number of characters globally. It would do more harm than good. I know this because we tried it before, and it didn't go well. Secondly, it takes just as much effort to make a raid for 36 as it does for 54. I've read the post that suggest that we just make it easier and give worse loot. It doesn't work like that. It is never as simple as "just make it easier". I've made a LOT of raids so far, and it just isn't that simple. You'll have to trust me on that.

So, as with all things, we have to consider all of our players when we make decisions about how to use our time. If we were to make smaller raids, option would be to take the number of raids we create and divide them between the smaller and larger types in some way. This would have repercussions for larger guilds while helping smaller ones. It's really a no-win situation. So we opt to make the larger raids and hope that with gear and levels the smaller guilds can defeat those events later.

That being said, we are looking into a plan for helping smaller guilds to do that content earlier. Until we iron out exactly how we want to approach it, I don't want to talk specifics. Just know that this isn't something we are ignoring, it's just that the answer isn't as easy as some folks seem to think.



111. Can we have the classic through pop EQ IP? We will just remake it ourselves. Thanks

Alan: Nope. Or, yes, if you can come up with enough money to buy the company. I guess then you could have whatever you wanted!

Ed: Put together a business plan and contact our bizdev people. I’m sure they’ll be interested! Make sure you have a good wiki first.

Jonathan: You didn’t say the magic word. Hint: it’s money, in the many multiples of millions.

Holly: Having gone through deconstructing EQ for the past two years, you may want to answer the question WHY? Oh, and if you want to do it well, do you have buckets of time and cash?


112. EQ2 has given level 100 and level 110 characters out like candy lately.

I would like to be able to buy a level 100 heroic in EQ. Can this be made possible?

Also, in EQ, I just want a zone, a place where I can go and kite by myself. I like grouping and I have a regular group. But then I end up only playing when the others are in game.

The zone doesn't need loot or anything. I just want to kite and relax and gain some AAs. I used to be able to do this since I started in Kunark. Please, can I have it again? (Is Gnome Memorial Mountain supposed to be that zone? I know the mobs don't hit hard and some can be snared.)

Alan: We have been talking about making higher level heroic characters. We don’t want to have characters showing up at max level who have no idea how to play those characters, but we are considering updating them. As usual, there is a lot of effort involved and, frankly, we'd like to update the way they work internally before making more. And, well, we have a lot of players with several different ways they want to play. EverQuest is all about playing with others, and I think we have to concentrate on making content for those players. There's nothing wrong with soloing, but it's hard to dedicate an entire zone (several months worth of work) for people playing alone. Basically, a zone like that would have to be lightly populated and could would accommodate far fewer players. Consider that if you and ten other folks want to "solo" in the same zone, you won't really have space to do so. But the same play space could be used by 5 or 6 times as many people with more population.


113. When will you support true box natively?

Jenn: Wut?

Alan: Huh? I don't think any of us know what you are actually asking.

Jonathan: I think this is asking when all servers will have true box enabled?

Holly: Erm. We do? Uh…


114. Dear Holly, How you doin?

Jenn: How YOU doin’?

Holly: <wink> Grinning and BEARing it. (Holly Windstalker, for life.)

115. A big concern I hear from a lot of people on tlps is veteran rewards, usually mentioned with the same "too much to be able to catch up" sentiment that prevents people from jumping into live.

Would it be possible to put veteran rewards on the store? This would allow returning players on a new account and/or main switchers hoping to start up a new character to have a chance (for a price!) to actually access these and not feel irrevocably behind.

Alan: Veteran rewards were added specifically to give back to those that have been with us for a while. We have no plans to sell those rewards as it would lessen the value of the veteran rewards for those that have stuck with us.

Jonathan: If I had access to a time machine, I would go back and advise against veteran rewards that give power because of this (and other reasons). What was meant to feel like a bonus is now perceived as something necessary to play.

116. Will we get classic orc garbs for modern orc models? I'd like to see those thugs in yellow scale.

Alan: Usually when we request a new model we have to consider how much we want to spend as far as effort and money. If we don't need a texture we often will leave it for another time. For the orcs, I would really like to have them, but probably won't ask for those textures to be added to the new model until we need it for something.

Holly: Convince Alan to use those orcs in a new storyline and they’ll get updated…

117. Holly

Do you remember laughing as us Planetsiders along with Devs TRAY and Higby mocked and made fun of Ponytail and all of the EQNext nerds on stage at SOElive 2013?

Alan: Yes. Yes I do.

Holly: Yep. I also remember the 2014 SOE Live with Tramell saying, “WTF is a FIPPY DARKPAW” during the talent contest. I feel like, in the end, we won. EQ/EQ2 are greater powers. (Yes, there’s a lot of friendly competition here at the studio.)
 
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suineg

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These are the questions that were skipped and all of them for very obvious reasons.

62. Do you think the meager profits EQ brings in is worth the continued and repeated harm your game inflicts on a vulnerable section of our society?
It takes one look at this forum, your official forum or in game to note that a very large portion of your game is filled with people who are mentally ill or emotionally unstable. Everquest is a haven for unsocialized outcasts and when you box them together they all begin to take on the traits and mannerism of the "biggest crazy in the room" consider it like a prison when someone goes in for a minor crime and becomes hardened while in prison.
Games like World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Fortnite all have functions in play to stop this antisocial behaviour from happening and to limit its effects upon others. Everquest not only shuns this but seems to embrace this toxic mentality with little to no in game support.
In 2015 a man armed with a Mace viciously beat a woman near to death, He was a known Everquest addict and withdrew from his social life to continue to play more Everquest, in 2011 a couple so addicted to Everquest neglected their children almost to death via starvation. Suicides like Sean Woolley are even more common as well as using Everquests in game currency Krono or ingame items in exhange for hard drugs is also the norm.
From suicides to drug abuse to child abuse Everquest has a known "body count" of broken families and lives.
The release of your most recent TLP servers shows me that Daybreak has no interest in the mental health of it's players by allowing and encouraging these "races" 48-72 hour gaming marathons with little to no sleep and Toxic open world encounters that often time resolves in real life threats of violence and Doxxing.
Will any of this change in the future or will daybreak continue to be complacent.

76. Why hasnt the game been graphically updated like another posted?

82. Why haven't you guys just made EQ3 a EQ1 start over with a new graphics engine and "HD" quality textures with instancing.

91. What fuck wit came up with the idea of leashing the mobs?
Seriously, that's iconic EverQuest, and you idiots wanted WoW dollars and some moron came up with the idea of aggro leashing
And un-nerf some other shit. Like beam kiting.
Nobody plays EQ for the pre packaged thrill. We play for the stupid ass over the top crap. Like 100AA pulls.

99. If you had a specific time frame, say..14 days, what would you do to fix Plane of Time? Hypothetically, if it was not fixed within that time period, players and guilds would potentially delete their characters and move to a competing game. Myself and players like me worked hard and needing to break groups into 18 players was a regression to the system. This in turn could turn one of the premiere MMO gaming forums into a community of not-so-secret furry and tranny lovers.

106. dear holly what is your favorite pornstar
 
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Lenas

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I like that these answers have some sass.

I don't like that nothing we hope for will come from them.

I do believe that EQ is worth more than anyone gives it credit for.
 
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Randin

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Thanks for setting this up, Suineg, and if any of the Daybreak folks decide to swing through here, thanks for answering.

I'm allowing myself a tiny bit of optimism over the fact that they're nudge-and-winking us over EQ3. Also over the fact that they seem to be as enamored with the idea of the EQN AI stuff as I was. It's almost as though it might be a good idea to try something like that again in a game where they aren't trying to make it work with a voxel world (hint-fucking-hint ;)).
 
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Cukernaut

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I quit eq in the time it took them to respond. Lmfao rip. I would 10/10 come back if they put new content through tlps.

It’s the age of remasters/remakes let’s roll it boys! They could slay with this.

Tbh Everquest was the most magic gaming experience I had as a kid and it was a blast playing on the tlps. Maybe they’ll make something happen again one day or I’ll play with you crazy fucks in 30 years in a retirement home lmao
 

Erronius

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6) Why are developer resources being spent on EQ1/EQ2 expansions when a very small portion of your active subscribers will even see that content?

Alan: I think you misunderstand how many of our customers purchase and play our expansions. A very large portion of our customers do so.

Ed: To some extent we’ve always had to consider this question. I personally remember arguing that Vex Thal was unnecessary because of how few guilds would ever get flagged for it. We take the long view that increases in player power over time mean that eventually most players are able to experience what we create, even if it isn’t “in era” when they do it.

Jonathan: Today’s end zone that only a fraction of raiding players will see is tomorrow’s mid-range content.
That's the stupidest thing I've read out of this so far.

If you find yourself arguing that content isn't worth the effort because of the ginormous PITA cockblock you gated it behind, then MAYBE there should have been a discussion about not gating VT behind a ginormous PITA cockblock in the first fucking place.
 
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Rathar

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Super awesome y'all were able to make this happen. Personally I wouldn't touch EQ again even if paid a tiny fortune but the 600+ 24 days I had in it says uhh...

I super loved the answer to the person who said (paraphrase) I totally cheated and it was my first time1! (stole a buncha illusions etc I guess) and please won't you let me have my character back? It's been 16 years!
Having them say " And, yes, you should stay banned. " was so cathartic.
Fuck -all- of you who cheated and cheat in multi player online games. Every Single One of You. You Ruin and Ruined so MUCH STUFF. Fuck You. Needed to say it twice I guess.