Ton Hammer: What about bank slots? I think that for bronze members,
it’s two slots, and for silver, it’s three slots.
Are you thinking of adding additional bank slots for purchase for these
Yeah, we might do
that. We restricted a few things intentionally because the original
game allowed so much stuff to be stored, that it was creating these
huge gluts on the highly populated servers. It was actually slowing
down performance for all players because so much stuff had to be sifted
through on a regular basis. That’s one of the reasons why we
have a charge for a guild charter right now. That’s one of
the reasons why we have restrictions on bank slots and a couple of
other things. We’re not intending to take that stuff off
right now, but it’s something that we’ll consider
in the future.
Ton Hammer: Getting back to the official launch, one of the questions
on everybody’s mind is EverQuest 2 Players for EverQuest
2 Extended. Are there any plans
that sort of website?
less a matter of having plans and more of a matter of having resources.
Our marketing department is not a gigantic department. Because we
always have so many games going on and projects going on at SOE,
let’s just say that they’re extraordinarily busy
folks. So, expanding out the EQ2
players site would require them to invest considerable effort into that
and I don’t think it’s in their budget right now.
Ton Hammer: Just to clarify, we’re talking about the
leaderboards and other things on the EQ2 Players site. The free server
isn’t represented there.
Right. We just
don’t have it yet. If it was up to me, I would build that
stuff in-game because it would be easier to access and more people
would see. If more people see it, it’s cooler. However, we
don’t have that scheduled right now.
Ton Hammer: Another piece of feedback that I’ve been seeing
in the community is chat restrictions. We understand why there are chat
restrictions there. When you have a free-to-play game where it
doesn’t cost a person anything to make accounts,
there’s nothing to stop the bots from spamming the heck out
of everything. The question is, are you happy with the current system?
Are there considerations to make the chat restrictions level based or
something different from what is in place now?
There is no
intention to change the chat restriction right now. To be honest, a ten
dollar purchase to go up to silver membership is a permanent thing, and
if chat is worthwhile to you and it makes a big difference in your
experience, we would like you to go ahead and make that step.
I’m personally very strongly against allowing trolls to come
in and spam because it’s free accounts. We can’t
ban them fast enough to keep them from doing stuff. I’ve run
a free-to-play MMOG before, and I know what can happen. It’s
extremely negative if you don’t have restrictions.
That’s why we have it in place the way it is right now.
Ton Hammer: One of the bugs that has come up and I think it’s
been addressed, but I bring it up because it goes into my next point
here. There was a bug if the players had an account on Live and if that account
expired, their gold account on Extended got canceled as well and
they had to go through customer service to get that fixed. This brings
up the point that non-gold members have no way to petition for customer
assistance. Do you have any thoughts about getting guides in there,
such as the guide programs in EverQuest and EverQuest
2, where you had volunteers
to act as a relay to find the real problems?
been talking about it. It’s not concrete at all. One of the
devs, Domino, came into the office the other day, and she pitched it at
me, saying we should really do this. The real answer is that we
don’t have the plans yet, but we are seriously considering
it. Also, technically, it’s silver members and above that
have customer service. It’s only bronze that do not.
Ton Hammer: Let’s turn to future content. Are there any plans
to update some of the older zones, such as Freeport sewers, where
nothing is going on and the population is about zero, to add some spice
Yes, we do. After
Velious, we’re hoping to, and I don’t want us to
commit to hard here, but let’s just say that we’ve
been talking about Freeport and Qeynos a lot. It’s funny that
you mention the Freeport sewers because just yesterday, I was talking
to one of the designers about the fact that it is such a chore to do
the level 20 armor quests because you have to slog all through this
gray stuff and navigate through mazes of sewers to get down to the
point where you’re actually at the place where you do the
quest. We were talking about making the manhole covers access points so
you can just leap to different levels. There are a lot of different
things that we’re discussing, but Qeynos and Freeport are
very big, much loved iconic things in our game. We would like to make
them special places to be, and we’re going to be spending
serious effort on those.
Ton Hammer: So this is in addition to all of the Velious stuff?
That would be
after Velious. Velious has got us more than busy enough right now!
We’re putting a lot of effort into it so that even the
overlands should be fantastic when we’re done.
We’re going to bring back some stuff that was well loved in
previous times and make them a lot more adventurous. Interesting places
to go with both solo and group content, so it’s not one of
those rip-through, grind kind of areas. We’re putting special
attention and care into the dungeons to make sure that
there’s a review process during the creation of the dungeon
and not waiting until the end. The quality level should be really high.
We’re very committed to making this expansion phenomenal.
Ton Hammer: It’s interesting that you bring that up with
Velious. With Velious, two things come to mind. I think of huge dragon
raids, and I think of Tower of Frozen Shadows. Both of those aspects of
Velious I absolutely loved. Speaking specifically of Tower of Frozen
Shadows, the zone was unique in that it was progressional. You played
on the first level and you got the key to the second level. You played
on the second level, fighting different mobs and different monsters,
and got the key to the third level. I loved the progression in there. I
was having a discussion last night with a guild mate about progression
within games, and specifically EQ2. In the early days,
everything followed a progression. You had to do an access quest to
leave the Thundering Steppes to visit the Enchanted Lands. You had to
do an access quest for everything. Over time, all that was removed. As
producer, what is your take on progression? Do you envision any of the
progression-style stuff coming back in with Velious?
letting the designers make a lot of decisions on the Velious stuff. I
personally don’t have any issues with progression locks. I
think that they can be extremely useful. I’m not going to say
how much or how little they’re used in the current Velious
stuff until after we have more time to get feedback and tweak it. Heck,
I’m one of those guys who liked corpse runs because it made
you really worry about if you were really going to die or not, but the
world is a little bit different than it used to be. So we’re
re-evaluating all the mechanisms that we use in the game or have used.
We’re trying to determine what’s still good and fun
to use today, and we’re bringing some of it back.
Ton Hammer: What about the Sleeper?
Not in part one.
Ton Hammer: Oh! So is there going to be a part two to Velious?
What I can tell
you is that this is part one.