During Fan Faire of 2011 Ten Ton Hammer just had to get together with
Executive Producer David Georgeson to talk about the upcoming EverQuest 2
: Age of
Discovery expansion. As it turns out, David had a lot to say about it.
He gave us the inside scoop with all the juicy info not just for Age of
Discovery but also some of the content players can look forward to in
Game Updates very soon.
TTH: Let's start by
talking about mercenaries in Age of Discovery. Will they function like
the mercenaries of EQ1?
I liked the EQ1 mercenaries a lot. So, the basic core functionality is
very similar. If you go to different cities, you get different mercs
with different roles... melee DPS, ranged DPS, healer and tank. Then
they follow you around. You can only have one at a time and they take a
player slot out of your group. If you want all players in your group,
then you’ll need to disband your mercenaries, but you can resummon your
mercenary after five or ten minutes.
That's where EQ1 went, and we’re moving beyond that.
What we’re going to do is to tinker with the AI brains of the
mercenaries depending upon which city you get them from. So if you get
a healer in Neriak versus a healer in Qeynos, they will act
differently. They will use different skills, different spells; they
actually have different AI so they might retreat at different points so
that we can give them a racial personality to each of the different
merc types that you can get.
In addition to that, if you have any spare cosmetic gear, you can throw
it on the merc and they will equip it. If you get rid of them
permanently, they’ll give it all back.
You can name the mercs, of course. If they hang out with you for a
while, you can train them to say things. It will be amusing to see what
people train their mercenaries to say. You can even use them in raids
if you want to. I think the real beauty of it is if you and a couple of
friends want to go into a heroic dungeon and you can’t find enough
people to go, you can all get mercs and you’ll have a full group.
You can collect all the different mercs, but you can only use them one
at a time. We hope to have it so that the ones you aren’t using will
wait at your house smoking and drinking.
TTH: That would be so
be awesome. We’ll see if we can pull it off.
TTH: Do they have
confidence levels like in EQ1?
want that, yeah. I think that that’s a really good mechanic. It makes
them completely different than pets. You commonly just throw a pet into
the middle of the biggest mob of stuff that you can get and hope that
it gets all the aggro. You can’t do that with a merc. In EQ1, they’ll
just turn tail and run. I like that mechanic a lot because it makes you
pay attention to what’s happening to your merc.
TTH: How do the
Apprentice Tradeskillers work?
is the probably the softest design we presented at the show; the most
in transition. We’re making it up right now. Two days before
the show, we decided to kill the idea we had because of all the
complexities that we were running into. Then we asked ourselves what
else we wanted to do. We then had this idea already halfway done.
One of the designers that we have who's in charge of tradeskills right
now, just in his own spare time, was putting together the Tradeskill
Apprentice idea which puts an apprentice NPC in your house who you can
He can do offline crafting, and he can also make special items that you
can’t normally craft or get anywhere else. As you work with him, he’ll
eventually level up and he gets to the point where you can work with
him to create grandmaster level types of items that are top-in-slot
kind of things. But it will likely be heirloom so only you can use it
or pass it to your other characters.
The advantage of having that Tradeskill Apprentice is to be able to
craft some really good items. They’re like high quality raid items, but
you’re able to get them from a different approach through the
tradeskill method. But you have to level your apprentice up and grow
him over time to be able to do that.
And like everything else we’re doing, you can dress your apprentice and
rename him and all that other stuff. It’s really neat and I think the
tradeskillers will like it because it gives them access to items that
they can totally brag about.
The readers jumped us a little bit right away. “Is this going to be
more powerful than the raiding stuff?” And our answer was that if it
requires items that you can only collect the mats in a high-end raid,
then yes, it will be more powerful than the raid gear because it takes
more effort to get.
I think we’ll see a lot of renewed interest in tradeskilling once we
throw this in there.
Another look at an Ogre Mercenary
TTH: So, we heard a rumor
that the eagerly anticipated Beastlord is finally making its way into
Da-da-da! Yep, it is. It’s really righteously cool.
TTH: That’s awesome. It’s
been a request for how many years now?
know! In the panel yesterday the fans were saying, “We’ve been asking
for this for years and you made it to the level where we couldn’t even
say the word on the forum because it was outlawed" (and it was!) "Why
did you finally turn around?” My answer was, "You’ve asked for it for
years. It seems that we should give it to you. That’s why we’re giving
it to you."
It should be really cool. Of course, it’s based on the EQ1 concept of
the Beastlord, but we’re going to push gameplay in different directions
with this class. We don’t want to add just a 25th class and have him
just like all the other classes. That didn’t seem worthwhile at all. So
because the Beastlords have the warders, we’re going to take that
gameplay and run with it.
I don’t know how many warders we’re going to have or what types of
warders we’ll eventually have, but there will be quite a few. You’ll be
able to collect them, and once you begin working with them, you’re
basically forming a bond with this animal in the true spirit kind of
sense, and the bond matures over time.
Your warder has an AA tree and you build those AAs over time. Your
warder also has a skill hotbar separate from yours. The Beastlord in
EQ2 has fewer skills normally than a regular class would. It’s actually
quite a few less, but your warders have their own AA trees and hotbars
and there is interactivity between those. So when you use a warder
ability, it’s going to open up an opportunity for you to do something
with your character, and vice-versa. If your warder gets stunned, you
can do something about it.
You build "synergy" during combat. (We're still trying to think of a
better word). It can fill up several times. The more you let it fill
up, the more active and powerful abilities become available. So, if you
have patience, you can get all the way up to a level 5 synergy ability
and you’ll be able to fire those off to have really impressive effects.
We think it will be very fun. It’s very active; it’s not one-button
macroable, which is always a plus in my opinion. If people want to play
one button macro, then there’s 24 other classes they can use. But the
Beastlord is designed to be very active.