Archive

EverQuest II + Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted

  • black·guard  (blag' - ärd) n. 1. A thoroughly unprincipled person; a scoundrel. (!)
    The EverQuest 2 Community Manager Ryan "Blackguard" Shwayder considers the legitimacy of Alternate Advancement (AAs), bards that actually play instruments (imagine that!), and some crafting questions in "Ask SOE #39" at EQ2 Vault.

    "Andrew "Tamat" Beegle: Will you guys be introducing AA's (Alternate Abilities) for the high-end players that grind to 60 and get bored out of their minds? Or at least something similar to that, enabling players to advance their characters past the max adventure level?
    Ryan "Blackguard" Shwayder: We’re absolutely looking into the kinds of things we can do for parallel or post-end game advancement. Adding new character powers is a tricky balancing act. We want to ensure that whatever we put out there is fun, rewarding, and powerful. At the same time, the trick is for us to do so in a way where we do not cause a stratified layer of “you must have all of your extra advancement, or you can no longer play the game,” as that then steers the entire direction of the game toward the hardest of the hardcore, which isn’t desirable for the other 97% of the people who play."

    Take a look at the latest EverQuest 2 interview at EQ2 Vault.
    Other links you might enjoy:

    Features, Interviews
    Thu, Oct 27, 2005
    Ethec
  • Raw meat and potatoes.

    GamersInfo sits down with Rick Simmons, Chief Technology Officer for Horizons: Empire of Istaria. We learn that Rick prefers to eat "animal flesh whole" from teenage work experience in an abattoir (/shudder) and that Horizons might just find a competitive niche as a smaller MMO.

    I think the current environment favors the smaller product. When raising money, your chances of success are higher to pitch a niche product with 10k to 20k subscribers that has a low-cost product development design and a marketing approach that builds upon a tight community. Compare that to making a pitch where you're trying to raise money to compete for the same customer as some of the bigger names. Besides requiring a great design and a big development budget, an ultra superb $$$$ marketing effort is also required. I do think that each unique product to the market attracts new players, but there is still some shifting of players between products - everyone wants to try what's new. All of the big players in the MMP space are not going to stand idle while some new-comer tries to corner in on their space.

    Read more from Horizons CTO Rick Simmons interview.

    Other links you might enjoy:

    Features, Interviews
    Tue, Oct 25, 2005
    Ethec
  • It was the weekend of EverQuest 2 "Desert of Flames" Reviews!

    Boomshack liked everything about the September expansion for the MMO genre's distant silver medallist except the quirky encounter-lock game mechanic. Creating a huge, gaping exploit is one way to keep the low- to mid-level game interesting I suppose.

    Well I don't want to get bogged down in criticism as I really like Desert of Flames but the new mob lock system really doesn't work. It means that a guy can attack a mob, but the mob isn't locked to him, so all outsiders can then attack it. It means a level 35 can complete quests and will get credit for it just for hitting the mob the one time. For raid mobs it will be locked permanently, but not for solo heroic mobs. In my view this is a pretty bad decision by the developer.

    Boomshack tries out EverQuest 2: Desert of Flames.

    Other links you might enjoy:

  • The TTH Desert of Flames section - More fun than a barrel of desert spectres!
  • Past EverQuest 2 News
Reviews
Mon, Oct 24, 2005
Ethec
  • Thank you sir, may I have another?

    Gamespy likes "Desert of Flames" but wants more low-end content. Nah, it's good business sense to develop content solely for the top 25% of your playerbase, right?

    This is certainly good news for the game's most hardcore players, many of whom feel that they've been stagnating at the endgame. The newly-added Isle of Ro will provide more than enough fodder to last them several months. This focus on high-level content, though, came at a cost, as frankly, there isn't a whole lot here for low-to-mid level characters. Oh well. At least they get adventure packs.

    Gamespy takes a shot at EverQuest 2: Desert of Flames.

    Other links you might enjoy:

  • The TTH Desert of Flames section - The most you'll find written anywhere about a desert.
  • Past EverQuest 2 News
  • Reviews
    Mon, Oct 24, 2005
    Ethec
  • And another!

    Gamespot digs EverQuest 2's new desert turf, but is disheartened by incomplete PvP implementation and content exclusively designed for high-level players. Of course, to complain about the latter means you'll have to put yourself at loggerheads with every MMO expansion ever made.

    Desert of Flames has the most to offer EverQuest II players of advanced level, but the new PvP trappings and the combat revamp mean that there's something new to see for just about anyone. The player-versus-player combat still doesn't feel like a fully realized diversion just yet, but the act of exploring Ro and getting your character to level 60 should nicely fill the time you don't use waiting around for an arena game, provided you're of a high enough level to actually do those things. Existing players who are nearing the level of expansion country should check out Desert of Flames, and if you've let your account sit fallow for a bit, the changes to the combat system are worth sampling.

    Read all about EverQuest 2: Desert of Flames (again) at Gamespot.

    Other links you might enjoy:

  • The TTH Desert of Flames section - A section, because a review alone just wouldn't do!
  • Past EverQuest 2 News
  • Reviews
    Mon, Oct 24, 2005
    Ethec
  • Welcome to the Desert of Flames. You can now kill other players. Please enjoy your stay.
    GameSpy has posted a review of EverQuest 2: Desert of Flames giving the game a thumbs up. Huzzah to Sony Online Entertainment for a job well done.

    " SOE has been pretty aggressive about updating EverQuest II (not to mention meticulously listing every such update to its playerbase). As such, it shouldn't come as a surprise to see a full-fledged expansion to the game so relatively soon after its release less than one year ago. Desert of Flames is the first retail expansion to SOE's flagship MMO, and in many ways, it matches the scope of some of the original EQ's most memorable ex-packs. On top of a plethora of game-system overhauls, the game adds a significant amount of new content -- enough so that it warranted an increase to the character level cap, from 50 to 60. "

    You can read the entire EverQuest 2: Desert of Flames Review at GameSpy.
    Related Links:

    Reviews
    Fri, Oct 21, 2005
    Boomjack
  • Rob Zombie never covered Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart"...

    But we have an exclusive pic from Tulga Games, makers of Horizons: Empire of Istaria from the upcoming Horizons Fall Festival that covers both a zombie and an eclipse!

    Take a look at our newest exclusive screenshot of the Horizons Fall Festival!

    Images, Media
    Fri, Oct 14, 2005
    Ethec
  • Strangely, David Bowman doesn't play an archer.
    GamersInfo.net has posted another great Horizons interview, featuring David Bowman. The interview focuses on Bowman's background. Legolas, who does play an archer in Horizons (Called Leegoolass) had this to say about that:

    "Often mistaken as the "owner" of Horizons or Tulga Games, David Bowman, like most of the developers of the MMO wears many hats. When asked to describe his job in 5 sentences he does just that: "I coordinate the team. I create new opportunities for the company. I am head cheerleader for Horizons. I manage investor relations. I set the goals for the growth of Horizons." After 10 years with such giants (though not at the time) as Bungie and Turbine before Tulga, time, age, wisdom and personal integrity has made him into a person well-respected by those know him and even more so by those who work with him. " 

    You can read the entire Horizons Interview at GamersInfo.net
    Related Links:

    Features, Interviews
    Fri, Oct 14, 2005
    Boomjack
  • You don't need an alchemist to turn plat into USD.
    Terra Nova brings us a load of stats from Station Exchange, developer SOE's program designed to facilitate the sale of virtual items for real world cash.

    " The service opened on 2 of 22 possible servers mid-to-late July. As of Thursday last week, these two servers (taken together) had: 4200 accounts registered for Station Exchange (from 30,000 accounts in total) $420,000 in total turnover ($180,000 in characters, $210,000 in coin, the  rest in items) 7736 successful transactions [exact amount] Average amount transacted per account is $98.16 [exact amount] Average amount transacted per transaction is $54. "

    For more stats from the State of Play III workshop on Virtual Property, visit Terra Nova's Everquest 2 Station Exchange catch-up article.
    Other links you might enjoy:

     

    News
    Wed, Oct 12, 2005
    Ethec
  • For those of your about to EQ2, we salute you.
    GamersInfo has published a review of Everquest 2 that's well-suited to players new to MMO gaming.

    " That’s the basic nature of the game. You do quests, you group with other people, you wander the countryside and figure out the mysteries of the world. You go see interesting, and exotic new people and creatures and, a lot of times, kill them. As you go up in level, raiding becomes more and more important - large groups of people, usually in guilds, getting together to kill the larger, tougher mobs that drop the really good loot. "

    New to EQ2? Read up! The GamersInfo.net review of EverQuest 2.
    Other links you might enjoy:

    Reviews
    Mon, Oct 10, 2005
    Ethec
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