We sat down with EverQuest
Producer, Thom Terrazas and Executive Producer, David Georgeson, to
discuss the future of EverQuest
and its newest expansion due to launch in November, Veil of Alaris.
With the new Veil of Alaris expansion, we understand that
there’s going to be a new guild housing. Where will the guild
housing be placed?
We’re trying to make the neighborhoods a viable place for
guilds so they can have a little bit more creativity within the zones
or if they want to buy their own zone. We’re going to have
one or two spots in the neighborhood where they can place the new guild
hall. The new lots as well as the current one currently take place in
the neighborhood zones.
Obviously, the social aspect of PoK is huge, and we don’t
want to take that away so we’re looking at putting the
entrance to the new guild halls in the same location where everybody
hangs out. We want people to come together.
We did a little experiment with allowing guilds to buy their own
neighborhoods and it was fairly popular at first, but, like everything,
it had a spike of interest then trailed off. So I think that
it’s not as big a draw to players as we thought it would be.
It could just be more additions we that need to look at inside the
neighborhood and the tools that we create. In the neighborhood zones,
right now, you can place objects in your yard. You’ll also be
able to get guild halls that are in one or two specific places, kind of
on a cliff side, so it kind of stands out. But we also want to look at
doing events and allowing them to decorate the zone and give them tools
where they might be able to place trees, different kinds of foliage
that we have, and different points of interest that they like to use
throughout the zone. You know, just to have parties within their own
So it's basically the same kind of housing concept in HoT?
As far as the functionality and the tools go. Guild halls are probably
what we wanted to do first, but we couldn’t do that without
creating all the tools for the houses. We knew that we had to do the
one before the other, so we were marching towards that starting last
year with these tools and functionality for the guild halls; we had to
do the houses first. We didn’t have the time to focus on the
guild halls and get them created at that point.
The level cap is being increased to 95. When that was announced at the
Opening Ceremonies at Fan Faire it sounded like that there were quite a
few people who were unhappy with it. That surprised me.
Yeah, it didn’t get as big a “RAH” that I
thought it would.
I actually understand this--why they would get depressed.
It seems like they would be excited because there’s all this
new stuff to explore and new skills to get and more power and all that
stuff. But people have climbed the level 90 mountain and they get to
the top of Everest and they’re all: “Yeah! We made
it to the top of the mountain!” And then the mountain grows!
And that’s the reaction we got, which is perfectly natural.
They’ll get used to the idea, but right now it’s,
“Dammit! I just got here! I don’t have any more
Two years ago when we launched Underfoot, we didn’t have a
level increase and we announced that at Fan Faire. I got cornered right
after the announcement, basically just as I was coming off the panel,
and a player asked, “You guys aren’t raising the
level cap?” I started to cringe and get into my defensive
stance, so I said that’s correct and he went, “Hell
yeah!” They really wanted to focus on getting to the top of
the mountain and now expanding on that…their AAs and all
their spells and abilities. I think you’re right. Once you
start to elongate the entire experience…the playing
population feels the social network of staying together slipping away
when we raise it.
It’s also very interesting when you don’t raise the
level cap. The cool thing is that all the content you make at the level
cap never grays out. So with the Velious stuff [in EQ2
honestly the loot does make you more powerful so eventually you do
squish the stuff towards the beginning, but it’s all still
white, yellow, and orange. It’s still all valid combat
terrain. It’s pretty cool. But eventually you do want to
increase the level range.
Tell us about the new hot bar.
You can resize it. It’s kind of like the bags now. You can
make it thin all the way across if you want, up and down, any size you
want. We’re also allowing you to have more hotbars and
we’re increasing the number of buttons you have within the
hotbars. We’re going to give you right-click menus on the
hotbars so you can manage it really easily right from there.
How was the reaction of the Fan Faire panel when you gave the details?
There was clapping. The biggest thing is being able to click on items
in your hotbar from your inventory. Items that were in your bags that
you always had to grab, swap out with an item in your hand slot to cast
a spell or get the clickable action or effect…now no more
hotswapping. Just drag it into your hotbar and you’re done.
That’s pretty sweet.
I was getting frustrated doing that all the time and I said that we
have to change that. We were trying to come up with features for the
expansion and wondering what to do, what do the players want?
It’s a good step for us to gradually change the UI as well.
We might not have the new beautiful UI for the hotbars, but
we’re getting there. It’s another first step.
We’re going to get the functionality down before we start
changing the look and feel.
You can also resize all the buttons, so if you don’t want
this size, you can shrink down even more.