Interview with Producer Bruce Ferguson
Game Update #42
Every once in a while we get a really big game update that gets all the cheers and jeers from the community and GU #42 is just such an update! After the delay of the Epic Weapon quests, we all awaited with bated breath to finally get these intensely desired items into game. Whether you are completely in love with your brand new shiny weapon, or if you happen to be one of those that might have to work just a bit harder to get one (*cough*defiler*cough*), it's sometimes nice to hear from the developers that things are going as they hoped they would.
Ten Ton Hammer was given the opportunity to ask a few questions regarding Game Update # 42 and EverQuest II Senior Producer Bruce Ferguson was kind enough to answer them!
Savanja: After frantically patching my game and logging in, I noticed a distinct lack of Erollisi Day frill around Qeynos. Did this part of the update get pushed back or did Lucan order all the holiday promoters to be fed to Nagafen?
Bruce Ferguson: Ah, a good guess, but not quite on the mark. I think that you’ll find the desired “frill” for Erollisi Day to be showing up shortly. We certainly wouldn’t want to have that stuff be around for a full month, would we? People would think we’re going soft!
Savanja: I know a certain necromancer who is horrified that Erollisi Day would show up in Norrath at all, I'm sure he'll be happy to hear it's only a brief event.
Erollisi Marr (the sister of the already well known Mithaniel Marr) was a favorite in EverQuest Live, are there any thoughts of perhaps bringing her back to Norrath for the players of EQII to enjoy as a deity choice?
Bruce Ferguson: We’ve discussed a lot of possibilities, but it would be inappropriate to tip our hand here until we have something we want to announce.
Savanja: Display mannequins are a welcome edition for nearly all crafters. Could you explain why you went with creepy mannequins that could potentially come alive and kill us over harmless weapon display racks?
Bruce Ferguson: Have you ever actually met one of us developers? On the whole, we’re a fairly creepy bunch. (insert creepy laugh here) Besides, we happen to think the display mannequins are pretty nifty! I have to say I like the idea about them coming alive. Hmmmm.
Savanja: I've all of the sudden become very afraid, and all so soon after I've banished all the "scare" crows from my house!
PvP token drops have caused some grief in the past and have been one feature that has been grossly exploited. Was this exploitation part of why tokens have been made only available through questing?
Bruce Ferguson: Writs largely came about based on player feedback and to give some emphasis to group PvP In the past tokens were largely distributed through the lottery system, but since the drop rate was high, players then felt it was easier to solo than group. Writs still allow the solo player to gain tokens easily but the group can now get the same amount by finishing the quest together. As for exploitation, it was always a small few that did this and wasn’t a major factor in our decision to move to the writ system.
Savanja: We are excited to see PvP armor sets hitting the PvP servers! Could you tell us about these sets and what they have to offer the typical PvP player?
Bruce Ferguson: The new sets are upgrades to the previous PvP armor sets. The average player will see improvements similar to what a PvE raider would get from the Veeshan’s Peak item sets. Based on popular request from the PvP players, we included some new interesting effects on these armor sets, like the inclusion of tracking avoidance. We certainly share your excitement!
Savanja: Epic Weapons have been something that the EverQuest II players have been dying to see for a long time! Now that they are finally here, are they all that the developers intended them to be and has the extra production time made a difference in quality?
Bruce Ferguson: There’s always an excitement around the team when we release new content, as we get a chance to see how close our thoughts match with the gaming population. No matter how much discussion, play testing with CS and QA, focus groups, and community discussions we have, sometimes content is perceived in completely alternate ways that what we expect. There’s no doubt in my mind that the extra “cooking” time gave us the opportunity to not only come up with some nifty ideas, but incorporate a lot of feedback from our QA department as well that shows in the quality of the experience.
Savanja: The patch notes state that the epic weapon quests are only available to level 80 adventurers and crafters, is this stipulation because of the difficulty of the quest lines? How challenging can we expect the quests to be?
Bruce Ferguson: Certainly there is an aspect of the difficulty in the quest being involved. But really, we’re talking “epic” here, not just cool. And doesn’t it seem appropriate to reserve the truly epic for those who are “oldest” in the game?
I tried to ask some info on the epic quests themselves but they wouldn't take the bait. Sorry guys, I tried!
Thanks so much to the EverQuest II developer team for their hard work on this update and to Bruce Ferguson for taking the time to respond. Good luck to everyone on their epic journey to their class weapons!!
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