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Interviews: Bi-Weekly Q&A #5

By Carolyn Koh on March 22, 2006

Bi-Weekly Q&A #5

EverQuest: Bi-Weekly Q&A #5

Every other week we continue to get more answers out of the folks behind EverQuest. This week, Carolyn covers a range of topics. Also, stay tuned for the start of our GDC torrent later tonight. there any plans to merge the various mission systems or at least streamline them so that there is a common pop-up window?
Travis McGeathy:

Each of those windows is for an entirely different system that has its own benefits over the others. There's the adventure system, the dynamic zone system, and the mission system. We'd like to unify everything so it's several variants on a single system and a single UI window, but it’s a fairly major undertaking and we don't have a timeline for when that would occur yet. are some popular and some AAs considered critical to a class. Will there be improved versions of these AAs? Just say for example, further Spell Crit percentage increase, even if a large number of AA levels is required to buy them?
Travis McGeathy:

It varies a lot by ability. Some abilities have more room for growth than others. Spell crit rate, for instance, is problematic to grow much further. The basic principal behind a spell crit that allows it to be able to do such dramatic damage but remain balanced is that it's unpredictable. If the chance to crit increases too much, that is lost. For abilities like that, we've been expanding them in other direction, such as increasing the maximum damage you can do on a spell crit. about the possibility of Racial AAs? Improved forage for Iksars etc.? Or even cross class abilities – just to keep things interesting?
Travis McGeathy:

Racial AAs are something that comes up quite a bit. It's not something we are planning to do at the moment, but I'm sure we'll revisit the idea in the future.

Cross class abilities are less likely. I'd rather give classes more unique abilities than dilute currently unique abilities by opening them up to other classes. the classes balanced to the point where you like them, barring small tweaks?
Travis McGeathy:

In a game as complex as EverQuest, there are myriad different balance points even within a single class and when the game is always changing and growing like EverQuest is, every little thing we do causes the balance of the classes to shift and change. Class balance isn't really something where we can eventually set down the pencil and declare all classes to be balance…its an ongoing process of continually evaluating the state of the classes and making changes where necessary to ensure that everyone is having an enjoyable play experience. about class-centric tweaks? Group Panther or Group Spirit of Eagle? Improved Intimidate and Disarm? What class(es) are still on your “tweaking” boards?
Travis McGeathy:

We're constantly evaluating classes and making tweaks to their abilities. Some are bigger changes than others, depending what is warranted at the time. There's rarely a time that any class isn't on our "tweaking board" and when that does occur, it's only a temporary state.

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Carolyn Koh / Carolyn has been writing for since 2004 and about the MMO genre since 1999. These days she plays mobile RTS games more, but MMOs will always remain near and dear to her heart.