Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Dave G

Moderator: Littlabit

User avatar
Tarvas
Whee!
Posts: 2002
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Dead in a ditch

Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Dave G

Postby Tarvas » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:46 pm

Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Dave Georgeson

Piestro, post: 3041450, member: 17 wrote:Hail, Fellow Norrathians!

We’d like to talk to you about how we’re delivering new adventures and new features into your worlds in both EQ and EQII.

We’ve listened to you on the forums, across social media, and face-to-face at our many events. There have been some common topics that come up about the things you like and don’t like with what we’ve been doing, and we’re using that information to customize our new direction.

Our approach so far:

· Up until now, we’ve been focusing on major content releases all year round in both games.

o Essentially we have planned four big updates a year, with one of those updates being super-sized as the expansion.

o Plus, bunches of little updates scattered throughout the year.

Your reaction to that approach:

· Mostly “meh”. The quarterly updates were high quality and cool, but not big enough to really feel expansion-ish. Plus, casual players often fell behind and felt disconnected from their friends.

· Generally negative on the consequence that had on expansion sizes. Because we were releasing large chunks of content quarterly, the expansion got compressed into a shorter time schedule, which meant that its features had to fit within a shorter cycle also. We were often able to create many, many hours of gameplay in those expansions, but that didn’t really substitute for the feeling of sheer zone quantity. (And zones take a loooong time to make, so they were a natural victim of the shorter expansion schedule.)

o NOTE: This was a “good intentions” change. Lots of content spread around the year seemed like a really good idea. It even seemed that it was at first as players got excited with the big pushes. The negatives didn’t start to show until we’d been doing it for a year or so.

So how are we fixing that? Basically, we’ve decided to release regular improvements every week, then every month we’ll push something cool to you. Beyond that, we’re focusing the rest of our efforts into making great expansions!

Here’s a bit more detail:

· What sorts of things will come out weekly?

o These will be things like straight-up feature refinements, holiday events, short adventures, or pretty much anything that doesn’t merit being in the expansion or being a big monthly highlight. But something of this sort comes every week.

· What sorts of things will you deliver monthly?

o Each month, we’re going to do something interesting and fun, like aging a cool existing dungeon up to end-game levels and itemization, or adding a series of quests for players to find and explore. Maybe even a new zone sweeper or random world event, or that sort of thing. Something new and fun to experience with friends and guildies.

· How will this impact the quality of the expansion?

o We’re putting a huge emphasis on how important the expansion pack is to you. The feedback on that has been almost universal. “Make Our Expansion Matter.” So that’s what we intend to do.

· Is SOE locked into this schedule? Do we mean EVERY week and EVERY month?

o Answer: Yes, we mean it. We’re going to work hard to make it happen regularly and dependably.

We like this new strategy as a whole. The EQ and EQII team Producers (Thom and Holly) have created detailed schedules of how the rhythm of this stuff will play out across the coming months. And my reaction, as a player of these games, is that it all sounds pretty fantastic.

Again, this doesn’t reduce the amount of content we’re delivering to you. The EQ and EQII dev teams are robust in size and are constantly overhauling tools so that higher quality content can be created in even less time, so we can deliver even more. They work tirelessly throughout the year making our Norraths better because we (the dev teams and SOE) all love these worlds.

But what do you think? Does this sound like fun to you too?

· Weekly and monthly improvements and adventures

· Major focus on the annual expansion content and story

Let us know! Thanks!

Dave Georgeson

Director of Development

EverQuest Franchise
Alan
I'm a Tank!
Image
Punked, Carvas, Harvas, Cayleb

User avatar
Tandt
Whee!
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Usually staring at corpse, waiting on a res

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Tandt » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:02 am

So they are taking Blizzards approach (world of warcraft) on EQ now..
Image
Tandt Dmight
105 Warrior
:rr:
Its not big hair, Its my Helmet!

Boss mobs dont kill people, Clerics kill people!!

Goofydoofy
Ride a cowboy, save a horse
Posts: 4649
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Bullhead City, AZ, USA
Contact:

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Goofydoofy » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:54 am

Better than doing nothing.
Level 105 Druid, Level 105 Enchanter, Level 105 Paladin
Drinal - Maelin Starpyre Server

Derdarr
Whee!
Posts: 1503
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Derdarr » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:59 am

What is blizzards approach? I only played for a few months regularly and on and off at times when they offered free weeks etc. From what I can tell looking at there expansions they've only done five major expansions in ten years. Do they do new pushes of content monthly or weekly? I'm taking what the letter said to mean for us in Eq that they're will be small content changes like making a zone or dungeon filled with current level content and possibly including chase items or quests strings weekly and monthly as they can. And that the next "expansion" will be a complete rollout with as many new zones, raids and quests along with aa and spell updates. I can only imagine this next expansion will be a level increase. If not it would appear to be even more of a challenge to make a large expansion. Taking that into consideration I would expect it to take longer than normal and push it into at the least November for beta and or possibly even into 2015. With the next two content push's for Cotf still to come out over the next few months, possibly even being incorporated into the "monthly" content installments.

User avatar
Tarvas
Whee!
Posts: 2002
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Dead in a ditch

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Tarvas » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:48 pm

I doubt they are talking about making new zones specifically for the weekly/monthly pushes. Whenever I hear one of them talking about it it always seems to be a major time sink. Having seen the one thread where they have to put all the individual movement boxes over it I can believe it.
Alan
I'm a Tank!
Image
Punked, Carvas, Harvas, Cayleb

Derdarr
Whee!
Posts: 1503
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Derdarr » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:57 pm

Not new zones, well unless they use the cotf releases , which for me seems perfectly acceptable. With them completely changing the direction for "expansions" back to a large single release i'll give them a break if they use Cotf releases as some of the new monthly content. What I imagine the monthly stuff to be is more likely older zones repopulated into higher end zones, still work for sure but if the npc movement/pathing can stay the same and only update the levels and loot it should be doable. Who knows what they can accomplish, they do have 4 games worth of people now scattered around the remaining games. This could work to their favor if they can produce content that keeps sub's up and such hopefully we won't see another layoff in the near future.

User avatar
Tandt
Whee!
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Usually staring at corpse, waiting on a res

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Tandt » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:47 pm

Blizzards approach is a Major release you purchase, then every so often they will release new content usually monthly, that adds to the expansion. but they are constantly changing things every few weeks with events, aka Christmas, Halloween ect.. adding new specialized zones and events for those releases. Then they take them away, so it constantly keeps things changing .

Ill use Wrath of the Lich King expansion for example (its my favorite). They released a new content, and a new class. After (guess here) a year of it being out, They started adding content for you to gain the ability to get to new raid areas, dungeon's, and eventually kill the Litch king.
Image
Tandt Dmight
105 Warrior
:rr:
Its not big hair, Its my Helmet!

Boss mobs dont kill people, Clerics kill people!!

User avatar
Glauri
Whee!
Posts: 2089
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 7:15 am
Location: TEXAS!

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Glauri » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:26 pm

On the other hand, Blizzard totally trashed (imo) some of the older zones (Barrens, for example) when they 'upgraded' them. Sorta made me sad.

User avatar
Sorick
Whee!
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Sorick » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:29 pm

Glauri wrote:On the other hand, Blizzard totally trashed (imo) some of the older zones (Barrens, for example) when they 'upgraded' them. Sorta made me sad.


Barrens was boring anyway. No loss!

User avatar
Glauri
Whee!
Posts: 2089
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 7:15 am
Location: TEXAS!

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Glauri » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:34 pm

Aw come on Sorick...was cool for levelling up and PvPing! And I remember when this came out?

User avatar
Tarvas
Whee!
Posts: 2002
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Dead in a ditch

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Tarvas » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:16 am

Tried WoW once. Too kiddy for me.
Alan
I'm a Tank!
Image
Punked, Carvas, Harvas, Cayleb

User avatar
Rendus
Nekoconeko
Posts: 1665
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 6:24 am
Contact:

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Rendus » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:09 am

What's being described is almost the exact opposite of what happens with World of Warcraft. The most recent WOW patch was in October, and was for bugfixes and a couple mini-pets. I'd probably compare what SOE is describing to what Guild Wars 2 does - actual storyline content and progression released every 2 weeks.

To clarify the Blizzard approach:

World of Warcraft has 4 expansions:
Burning Crusade - Jan., 2007
Wrath of the Lich King - November, 2008
Cataclysm - Dec., 2010
Mists of Pandaria - Sept., 2012

Effectively, a 2 year release cycle per expansion.

Each point release (5.1, 5.2, etc) for World of Warcraft typically includes a new raid or dungeon, introducing content that will eventually complete the expansion. For example, with Wrath of the Lich king, while the expansion was released in November of 2008, the titular raid zone wasn't opened until December of 2009 - this buys them time to finish the content for the expansion, and to drag out their release cycle. A new raid will obsolete all raid content before it - you'll have absolutely no reason to run any raid content other than the current release due to the jumps in gear quality with each tier.

Dungeons, when they bother to implement them, are usually the same way - they'll contain far better gear than previous dungeons. However, the last dungeon to be released outside of a full expansion release was patch 4.3.0 way back in November of 2011.

There tends to be 3 or 4 point releases per expansion. For Mists, you got new raids with the expansion launch, then Throne of Thunder at patch 5.2 in March of 2013, and Siege of Orgrimmar with 5.4 in September of 2013. 6-8 months for a new raid zone. 5.1 and 5.3 introduced some daily grinds and some PVP content.

Holiday events haven't really changed in the last decade. It's certainly not new or dynamic content, anyway.

If anything, the mid-expansion releases EQ did the last couple expansions was more Blizzard-like than this plan. Even with a yearly expansion release cycle, EQ's rate of development eclipses WoW's.

User avatar
Tandt
Whee!
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Usually staring at corpse, waiting on a res

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Tandt » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:58 am

So how are we fixing that? Basically, we’ve decided to release regular improvements every week, then every month we’ll push something cool to you. Beyond that, we’re focusing the rest of our efforts into making great expansions!

Here’s a bit more detail:

· What sorts of things will come out weekly?

o These will be things like straight-up feature refinements, holiday events, short adventures, or pretty much anything that doesn’t merit being in the expansion or being a big monthly highlight. But something of this sort comes every week.

· What sorts of things will you deliver monthly?

o Each month, we’re going to do something interesting and fun, like aging a cool existing dungeon up to end-game levels and itemization, or adding a series of quests for players to find and explore. Maybe even a new zone sweeper or random world event, or that sort of thing. Something new and fun to experience with friends and guildies.


Im sorry, but this ready very similar to how blizzard does things. (Yes blizzard is a hell of a lot slower on Major expansion releases). but the basics are the same.

But in the end, who really cares, EQ is a better game over all than WoW. I just play it cause its something different.
Image
Tandt Dmight
105 Warrior
:rr:
Its not big hair, Its my Helmet!

Boss mobs dont kill people, Clerics kill people!!

User avatar
Tarvas
Whee!
Posts: 2002
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Dead in a ditch

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Tarvas » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:39 am

Only dumbasses play wow. I knew Tandt was one! Yes!!!!! :D

...Poor Bitty! :(
Alan
I'm a Tank!
Image
Punked, Carvas, Harvas, Cayleb

User avatar
Glauri
Whee!
Posts: 2089
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 7:15 am
Location: TEXAS!

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Glauri » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:13 am

Poor Bitty? Hell, she's likely the person who talked him into playing WoW in the first place!!

User avatar
Tarvas
Whee!
Posts: 2002
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Dead in a ditch

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Tarvas » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:30 am

I refuse to believe that of my Bitty! She would never stoop so low as to play that kiddie game.
Alan
I'm a Tank!
Image
Punked, Carvas, Harvas, Cayleb

User avatar
Littlabit
Meanie
Posts: 3091
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:01 pm
Location: TN
Contact:

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Littlabit » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:40 pm

I have played WOW, Rift, DAOC, Guild Wars (with goofy :) ) Linage2, EQ2, SWG, runes of magic, Vanguard, and a few freebies that I cant remember because I'm not on my computer at home but at work. EQ1 though is and always will be my main priority since it is my favorite. Sorry Tarvas if I have disillusioned you!!
Littlabit D'might 105 Cleric
GL of Celestial Navigators (Mushroom follower)
"Life is too short for drama & petty things, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly"

User avatar
Glauri
Whee!
Posts: 2089
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 7:15 am
Location: TEXAS!

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Glauri » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:57 pm

What? No EVE Online? No DS? No SWToR? No GW2?

Yeah, I've played all of those as well, and still play a couple of them on occasion. I just KNEW 'Bit was dipping those toes elsewhere!

Goofydoofy
Ride a cowboy, save a horse
Posts: 4649
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Bullhead City, AZ, USA
Contact:

Re: Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Da

Postby Goofydoofy » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:06 am

Try Secret World. Fun.
Level 105 Druid, Level 105 Enchanter, Level 105 Paladin
Drinal - Maelin Starpyre Server