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EverQuest 2: The Next Generation - A Q&A with David Georgeson

Updated Wed, Jul 20, 2011 by B. de la Durantaye

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?

David:  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.

An Ogre Mercenary in EverQuest 2 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 cool!

David: It'd be awesome. We’ll see if we can pull it off.

TTH: Do they have confidence levels like in EQ1?

David: I 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?

David: This 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 work with.

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

Another look at an Ogre Mercenary


TTH: So, we heard a rumor that the eagerly anticipated Beastlord is finally making its way into EQ2.

David: 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?

David: I 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.


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