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Return to Norrath! An Interview with EverQuest 2’s Dave Georgeson - Page 2

Updated Wed, Sep 29, 2010 by jeffprime



Ten 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 subscription levels?

Dave Georgeson: 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.

Ten 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 for that sort of website?

Dave Georgeson: It’s 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.

everquest 2 screenshot


Ten 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.

Dave Georgeson: 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.

Ten 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?

Dave Georgeson: 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.

everquest 2 screenshot


Ten 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?

Dave Georgeson: We’ve 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.

Ten 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 to them?

Dave Georgeson: 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.

Ten Ton Hammer: So this is in addition to all of the Velious stuff?

Dave Georgeson: 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.

everquest 2 screenshot


Ten 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?

Dave Georgeson: I’m 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.

Ten Ton Hammer: What about the Sleeper?

Dave Georgeson: Not in part one.

Ten Ton Hammer: Oh! So is there going to be a part two to Velious?

Dave Georgeson: What I can tell you is that this is part one.

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