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Interviews: Dev Chat Log

By Laura Genender on May 15, 2008

Dev Chat Log

MMORPG_Taera: Greetings and welcome to's Live Chat on! I'm your host,'s community manager Laura Taera Genender. Joining us today is the EverQuest team!


MMORPG_Taera: Our guests will do their best to answer as many questions as possible, but due to limited time and a high volume of inquiries, they may not be able to answer every single one. Users are limited to one question at a time , and you will be notified if your question is rejected or discarded.

MMORPG_Taera: To submit a question please /msg MMORPGBot yourquestionhere

MMORPG_Taera: Now it's time for introductions! Feel free to start sending your questions to MMORPGBot while our guests introduce themselves!

[EQ]Merloc: Hello, I'm Keith Turkowski, I work on items, game systems, and content.

[EQ]Ngreth: Hello! I am Adam Ngreth Bell. Game designer specializing in Tradeskills.

[EQ]Rytan: Hi, I’m Ryan Barker the recently promoted Lead Designer.

[EQ]Nodyin: Hi everyone. I am David Ford, I work on the AA system and do various raids and quests.

[EQ]Elidroth: Afternoon all.. my name is Doug Cronkhite.. and I create stuff that kills you.

[EQ]Maddoc: Hey everyone, I'm Jason Mash, I work on game systems and content.

[EQ]Prathun: Afternoon everyone. I'm Jonathan Caraker, the designer responsible for the spells system.

[EQ]Zatozia: Hey all! I’m Lydia “Zatozia the Torturess” Pope, Community Relations Manager for EverQuest. I sit in a dungeon all day working on website features and causing my eyes to bleed by reading the forums all day long.

MMORPG_Taera: chanaluss366 asks, The Shadowknight community as a large majority has agreed that the plant bane spells given in TSS and SoF are not the path that the class wishes to take. specializing damage against specifically plants is laughable in both lore and practice, and reliance on a druid to use these spells more reliably is even more absurd in regards to lore. Will the plant bane spells be discontinued in the next expansion, or should

[EQ]Prathun: I'm well aware of the community's distaste for specialized bane spells. In the future I'm going to attempt to roll bane effects in with other spells that would be used in standard play, so that the bane feels more like a bonus than a restriction.

MMORPG_Taera: pexx asks, Would yall consider opening another Progression since the Progression server is basically caught up with the regular server.

[EQ]Rytan: Yes, since the progression server has been well received we'll most likely be adding another progression server sometime in the future.

MMORPG_Taera: inphared asks, Prathun: What is your reasoning behind linking several spell cast timers, more namely the Beastlord Cold nukes?

[EQ]Prathun: Spells with long reuse timers and short cast times are balanced around the player only being able to use the spell intermittently.

[EQ]Prathun: We want upgrades to these kinds of spells to replace their predecessors, not supplement them.

MMORPG_Taera: To submit a question, please /msg MMORPGBot yourquestionhere

MMORPG_Taera: Bamrak asks, What do you see as your next big change in the game? anything that would attract the older players back?

[EQ]Rytan: There are several major changes that we’re talking about internally that are all aimed at making it easier for people to get into the game and having fun with their friends as quickly as possible. The number of levels, AAs, and flags that have built up over the multiple expansions get harder and harder to overcome as the game advances. All of the changes are aimed at reducing those hurdles.

MMORPG_Taera: nesereth asks, any chance of you making older raid" augs which are now commonly grouped slot 8-Jul instead of just 8? (mainly refering to the CoA augs, but I'm sure theres others)"

[EQ]Merloc: There are no plans to change them for now. CoA augments are the primary reason for not changing old raid augments to type 7/8. The mods on most of the CoA augments were not designed for groupers.

MMORPG_Taera: bramblez asks, Are there any future plans for any more expansions in the EQ1 or EQ2 games?

[EQ]Elidroth: Absolutely. We'll keep making new content as long as there is a demand for it.. Norrath is still a growing world.

MMORPG_Taera: ryanepoq asks, Is Everquest worth re-rolling a character for? I played this game faithfully for 5 years only to give it up for World of Warcraft. Now I want to come back, but it's been a LONG time.

[EQ]Rytan: Definitely. I can’t say too much about it yet, but we have planned a significant initiative to get older players back to try the game again. There’s a lot of good things that have changed over the years and I think a lot of past players will be interested in the plans we have for this summer. Keep your eyes open for more info in the near future.

MMORPG_Taera: misiu_mobile asks, What are the current thoughts on the healing model in EQ any chance of looking into a way that does not involve 10 clerics chain casting complete heal to defeat a raid mob?

[EQ]Rytan: The healing situation in EQ is one of the things at the very top of my list to get addressed. The over reliance on a single class as healers is not good for the health of the game. We’ve done a better job recently making the healers interchangeable in group content, but we need to extend that even further into the high end game.

MMORPG_Taera: To ask a question, please /msg MMORPGBot yourquestionhere :)

MMORPG_Taera: kers asks, Any chance of getting a more updated necro twitch? Maybe even a pet insta-shrink when using WTD or AoD?

[EQ]Prathun: If my math is right, the Mental Vivisection Rk. III recourse adds an additional 86 mana per tick to every player in the group.

[EQ]Prathun: And it doesn't require the utmost attention from the necromancer, allowing them to apply DoTs or play /gems while the mana recourse pumps away. I am intending to upgrade this line in the future.

[EQ]Nodyin: If I'm understanding that correctly and the *size* of the pets summoned by those 2 AA are a problem I have no objection to shrinking them. I would just want to confirm after this chat that I'm understanding the question correctly.

MMORPG_Taera: nightbringer asks, Any news on updated character models? the new Human models, Elves? any chance we could ever see Skeletons done as full character models with their own armor sets?

[EQ]Rytan: We’re continuing to do work on new player models including the new humans. I’m not sure which races are next on the list just yet but we’d like to get through all of the eventually. PC models are very time intensive however and are a long term goal for us.

[EQ]Rytan: As far as the skeletons, I'd like all the models to be as customizable as possible, but it comes down to resource management and I don't imagine that the skeleton being redone again would be on the list ahead of the other PC races.

MMORPG_Taera: siddin-work asks, Why are so many of the alternate abilities/spells/disciplines just upgrades of previous ones. Can we get spells that upgrade themselves based upon your level and get some new spell/ability/discipline ideas put in?

[EQ]Nodyin: In general for Spells, AA, etc, there are a lot of items considered to be core to each class. So when we set out to do a new set of Abilities (etc) we have to make sure to first take care of the basics. The core list grows with each expansion as new abilities become prized by various classes.

[EQ]Nodyin: Once that's done we try to create as many new and fun abilities as possible. There are constraints of course including but not limited to: Time, code support for new functionality and of course Balance concerns. Some things we *can* do but *won't* do because it would be bad for the health of the game itself.

[EQ]Nodyin: So it's always going to be a mix of standard upgrades and new stuff.

[EQ]Prathun: Keep in mind that new abilities tend to be situational, which players frown upon, or require coder time and support which we may or may not have.

MMORPG_Taera: To submit a question, please /msg MMORPGBot yourquestionhere :)

MMORPG_Taera: kadore_combine asks, will the combine be open for tranfers to the server when it finally unlocks

[EQ]Rytan: Once the progression server has unlocked all of the expansions up to the current one it will be converted to a normal server and follow the normal rule set. Sometime after that we’ll likely open up transfers to the server as well.

MMORPG_Taera: gorehammer asks, Greetings =) Many people have been stricken with the woes of Familiar's causing targetting issues as well as the frustrations of pet classes losing the buff icon when their pet dies. I'm sure everyone would love to have a wizzy-style familiar for their spells and clickies, so that they could simply click go away" but still keep the buff icon. Can we hope for this change? Pretty please with cherries on top! >=)"

[EQ]Merloc: Improving the familiar functionality for all of the classes is something we'd like to see done in the future, and is on the code request list.

MMORPG_Taera: jyve asks, Will more melee combat Disciplines be added as well as new Songs/AA's for Bards in the next expansion?

[EQ]Prathun: I've got several new songs planned for the upcoming expansion. I don't have plans for any new disciplines.

[EQ]Nodyin: There will be new AA as well for all classes.

MMORPG_Taera: hach asks, What do you have planned for Unholy Aura?

[EQ]Prathun: I'm going to put up a new discipline on Beta within the next day or two to replace Unholy Aura.

[EQ]Prathun: But don't expect anything resembling an IWIN button. ;) The Unholy Aura effect was rolled into Harm Touch so it's always on. SK's lost a button to push with this change, but not any power.

MMORPG_Taera: Grothfael_Nameless asks, With the unlocking of older content, is there any possibility of getting some race restrictions lifted from older items (Kunark warrior-specific gear comes to mind)

[EQ]Merloc: I don't have any plans to change the Kunark warrior gear to be Iksar usable, but I am open to considering it if someone wants to explain their reasoning for requesting the change.

MMORPG_Taera: clawfinger asks, Can we get a timeframe for a permanent fix for Karana Worshippers still being KoS in MM's, specifically The Fall of Illsalin"?"

[EQ]Merloc: I believe I've fixed the issue and it will go out with the next patch, if it didn't already go in with the last one.

MMORPG_Taera: Thank you for all the awesome questions! We will be continuing the dev chat for another 20 minutes, but we are no longer accepting new questions.

MMORPG_Taera: waring asks, What are the plans for the community leader program

[EQ]Zatozia: The Community Leader program is coming along nicely. So far we had about 20 people in the program.

[EQ]Zatozia: We have a few others on the list to send out invites to (those invites will be going out this week) and we’re still trying to get finalization done a couple more.

[EQ]Zatozia: Also, this week we are getting a full idea of what each of the current leaders present so we can determine what other areas of expertise is still needed to balance out the group.

[EQ]Zatozia: The community leaders have been giving feedback to the devs about many subjects so far and the dev team expects to use them a lot more.

MMORPG_Taera: seriously asks, Hey guys! Will the monk crystalpalm discipline ever be looked at. Currently it is a downgrade for a much higher endurance cost compared to a much older discipline(speedfocus).

[EQ]Prathun: The monk's Crystalpalm Discipline was intended to go out in Serpent's Spine when Assassin and Berserking Discipline were upgraded for rogues and berserkers. These discs are mirror images of each other.

[EQ]Prathun: During beta for Serpent's Spine, the community expressed concern that it was not an upgrade over Speedfocus. We weren't comfortable with anything being more powerful than Speedfocus, so Clawstrikers was cut.

MMORPG_Taera: inphared asks, Merloc: Are there any plans to increase the power of the Handwraps of the Crystalline Fortress? Currently they only have superiority over the Studded Engineer's Workgrips by a damage of one and slightly better stats.

[EQ]Merloc: I am re-evaluating the top HTH weapons for raiders in SoF in the context of the content from which they are acquired.

[EQ]Prathun: Last beta, the community requested that Clawstriker's be readded as-is. Purportedly, it was still an upgrade in certain situations and monks were the only class that didn't get their Innerflame-ish disc upgraded, so it was made available in SoF.

MMORPG_Taera: Oops - my fault ;) Prathun wasn't done there

MMORPG_Taera: menehune asks, is there a way to institute using 2 guild bankers, for a guild as big as ours? instead of the 2 being the same?

[EQ]Rytan: Unfortunately the technical limitations in having either an expanded guild bank or a second guild bank are prohibitive right now. We don't have any plans to expand the current guild bank in any way.

MMORPG_Taera: fzzzt asks, Regarding your comment about reducing the level/AA hurdles, does that mean you're thinking about simply reducing required XP, or something more like allowing AA throughout levelling? I remember when I used to play EQ, gaining a level was a real achievement, whereas in newer games it's almost irrelevant. I vividly remember getting my Mana Burn AA and level 60 at raptors in Tim Deep. :)

[EQ]Rytan: We most likely won't just flat out reduce the requirements for various levels and such, but rather give players more viable options to complete them in a reasonable time frame.

[EQ]Rytan: getting to higher levels will still definitely feel like an achievement, but it shouldn't feel like an insurmountable obstacle for someone who hasn't played in a few years.

[EQ]Rytan: right now I think we're much to far on the insurmountable obstacle side of things and we need to reign it in.

MMORPG_Taera: aldara asks, Do all the Legends of Norath Ornamentation cards have particle effects tied to the or just certain ones? I have one that doesnt have particle effects and most of the others that I have seen do have them

[EQ]Merloc: There are several types of items for LON, most of them have some sort of associated art resource. Mounts have models that players can ride, Illusions have models that players can change into, Nimbuses have particle effects that surround players as long as the nimbus is active, Ornamentations have weapon models to change weapons for players, Familiars have models for the pets players can summon.

MMORPG_Taera: ryanepoq asks, In response to the new Progression server: One of the biggest problems with the old one, was guilds rushing to complete and unlock the content, giving slower players no time to enjoy the older expansions. Could it be possible for a Progression server to have an allotted time set for each expansion, to get people to actually raid zones more than just once to unlock the next expansion?

[EQ]Maddoc: The way the progression server was implemented originally allows for a lot of flexibility in requirements for unlocking an expansion -- We can increase or decrease the amount of time that must elapse before unlocking an expansion, for instance.

[EQ]Maddoc: The number of event completions is something that we can alter as well, requiring that you defeat Nagafen and Vox three times each before unlocking hte next step.

[EQ]Maddoc: Obviously, those details aren't decided on just yet, but the possibilities are there.

[EQ]Merloc: To more directly address the question asked by aldara, each ornamentation has a unique graphic associated with it, created by art... not all of them have a particle effect as part of the graphic.

MMORPG_Taera: lahash-NL asks, Should we expect to see a similar progression model 4tiers) in the next expansion, and if so, will some of these overlap with SoF tiers?

[EQ]Merloc: There will be a similar framework for the tiers in the next expansion, it will be designed to fit the scope of the expansion. There will be some overlap with SoF tiers, and tiers above SoF for both group and raiders.

MMORPG_Taera: maelinFTWin asks, thier is rumors that the current expansion in devolpement, will be 90% raiding material and 10% Group material, i do not see how any Family guild would survive this, or how much longer the casual player would stay a subscriver if this is true?

[EQ]Merloc: I believe the plan is to make it 90% raiding material, 90% group material, and 100% fun!

[EQ]Elidroth: Not sure where that would come from.. but we're focused on making sure the expansion is usable and enjoyable by all facets of our players, from the casual guy, to the group player, to the hardcore raider. Since we've announced nothing yet on this expansion, I wouldn't worry too much about the rumor mill.

[EQ]Ngreth: What you tend to see is that the raider community is much more vocal than the group community. So you hear about raids more despite there being more group content.

[EQ]Elidroth: Often times the rumor mill is trying to stir things up just to find out Secret Infoz(tm)

[EQ]Rytan: Short answer, the rumors are unfounded. You'll see a split between raid and group content similar to previous expansions.

MMORPG_Taera: misiu_mobile asks, are there any quest system upgrades planned for the near future? [EQ]Sklug: Greetings...Assistant Lead Programmer here for those that don't know me from my forum posts. [EQ]Sklug: We have recently expanded the maximum number of quests slots to 30 on the Test Server. This will be going live soon if it doesn't cause any problems.

[EQ]Merloc: From the design side, I'm planning to implement some new mechanics that will reduce some of the inconveniences of the quest system, like running out of bank space for collection quests.

MMORPG_Taera: jocke asks, Will there be cake in later expansions? If so, what kind?

[EQ]Elidroth: There's no sense crying over every mistake.. you just keep on trying til you run out of cake.

[EQ]Ngreth: But what is in the cake......

[EQ]Elidroth: The Cake is a lie.

[EQ]Merloc: For anyone completing the challenges of the next expansion, there will be a wide selection of delicious and tasty cake to choose from.

[EQ]Prathun: At the end of this livechat, you will be baked. And then there will be cake.

[EQ]Elidroth: It's so delicious and moist.

MMORPG_Taera: Thank you for joining and for the EverQuest dev chat! Round of applause for our developer guests - thank you very much for your time and your awesome answers. Logs will be posted shortly on, and if your question didn't get answered, stay tuned - it might show up in a user Q&A very soon!