Updated Fri, Jan 02, 2009 by Savanja
The last year was a good year for EverQuest II. We had another great expansion launch, a lot of upgrades and content additions given free of charge, and an explosive Fan Faire that brought in more fans than even SOE expected. The game is doing better than ever and many of the long time players are breathing a sigh of relief that EQ2 is still proving to have a solid player base and a strong, vibrant community. It may not be the flashiest game on the block, but you can be sure that SOE is working to continue making a game that sticks.
Coyote did me the honor of reflecting upon the last year in his wonderful article, so I will tackle the hopes and wishes for the new year in this one.
In late 2007, we said our farewells to long time EverQuest II Senior Producer Scott Hartsman. Scott was loved by much of the community, particularly by those who have met him during many of the Fan Faire events. He's always been a fun and dedicated member of the developer team and we are all definitely sad to see him move on to other projects.
As unfortunate as Scott leaving is, one cannot help but be a little excited and hopeful about what may come with a fresh mind leading the established EQ2 team. Bruce Ferguson is not new to EQ2 but many didn't know him as part of the team during beta. He shared all of his non-professional and professional experience in his Producer's Letter from earlier this month, so if you haven't gotten to know him yet, now is definitely the time!
What does this mean for the game and for the players? Time will only tell but I have high hopes for Bruce and I think that his passion for gaming will show through into his work which can do nothing but benefit us all!
Epic weapons have been the talk of the town since we first heard they were making their way in game. These are very reminiscent of the original EverQuest and many have been looking forward to seeing the new take on an old favorite. Much to the dismay of the community though we found back in November that the Epic Weapons quests were put off and did not make it in with Rise of Kunark. Yes, we were all sad, but looking on the bright side, this gives us all something to do in the new year!
Rumor has it these will be showing up in January's Game Update and with the extra development time we hope to see a smooth quest line with complete weapons for each class. We hope.
With the longer development time between expansions, the playerbase has been rewarded with more cost free content. We've been blessed with a new race and new zones in the last year and we expect for this trend to continue. As for what exactly they have in store, I haven't heard just yet. My guess would be that we could expect to see more high end group and raid content similar to Estate of Unrest and the Emerald Halls.
The top of my wish list would be a full scale revamp of the middle level zones. This would be a massive undertaking, but one that I think would be worth it in the end. Most of the playerbase have played through it all over and over (and over) again with our alts, so shaking it up a bit and making it more fresh and new again would ease some of that mid-level doldrums that we all experience now. Basically, I'd just hope for the same sort of face lift we saw in The Commonlands and Nektulos Forest.
I encourage players to keep their ear to the ground over the next couple of months because I have the feeling that we will start hearing about future plans and ideas that will be in the works. 2007 was a fabulous year for EverQuest II, the sort of year that we all should be proud of, and I very much anticipate 2008 to be just as promising.
What sort of things are you hoping to see in the new year? I encourage everyone to share your own wish lists with us and your follow players on our forums. There is no idea too big or too small and nothing too frivolous. Here's my own wish list:
-More casual clothing options to take advantage of those appearance slots.
-Challenging new group instances for various tiers.
-Additions to character feature customization (i.e. tattoos, jewelry, visible accessories, etc).
-Neutral cities that allow for residence similar to Maj'dul.
I could likely go on forever!
Don't like mine? I'm sure you all have some great ideas!! Please share them here!
I wish everyone happy and healthy new year, and as always happy gaming!