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Interviews: EQ Dev Chat Transcript

By Richard Cox on July 17, 2008

EQ Dev Chat Transcript

MMORPG_Kunou: Howdy and welcome to's Live Chat on! I'm your host,'s Community Manager Richard "Kunou" Cox. Joining us today are members of the Everquest dev team!

MMORPG_Kunou: 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 two questions at a time,and you will be notified if your question is rejected or discarded.

MMORPG_Kunou: To submit your question, please /msg MMORPGBot yourquestionhere. If your question was deleted, it's probably because someone else asked the same thing first.

MMORPG_Kunou: This room will be moderated during the chat; if you want to talk during the chat, feel free to visit #everquest.

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

[EQ]Ngreth: Hello! I am Adam "Ngreth" Bell, Game designer specializing in tradeskills and general content.

[EQ]Absor: Hello all. I'm Alan VanCouvering, known as Absor on the boards. I'm the assistant lead for content on EverQuest. I have been known to SMASH things and I have wielded both the Ban Hammer and the Nerf Stick.

[EQ]Merloc: Hello, I'm Keith Turkowski; I work with items, faction, and other game systems as well as content.

[EQ]Aristo: I'm Ed Hardin, content designer and patch wrangler.

[EQ]Prathun: Good afternoon, everyone! I'm Jonathan Caraker. My duties include content, spell design and distribution, and washing Absor's car.

[EQ]Absor: Speaking of that...

[EQ]Prathun goes AFK to wipe fingerprints off the door handle.

[EQ]Zatozia: Greetings Everyone! I'm Lydia "Zatozia" Pope, Community Relations Manager. The torturing will commence shortly.

[EQ]Absor: You may keep your job, sir! :)

tharkis asks, "I've got a few questions that were passed on to me. First is there any chance of extending the timerless buffs to POK and the Bazaar, instead of just the guild lobby."

[EQ]Ngreth: We currently have no plans to extend this effect outside of the zones it is in.

gannondroph asks, "Is there any plan to introduce a mentoring system similar to what is in EQ2 to EQ1? Not only to help lower level friends, but to reduce one's level and group in older zones or reduce one's level to lvl 52 to raid nagafen? Even if the experience is reduced from the higher end zones it would allow players to take advantage of so many more zones and relive them at the same time."

[EQ]Absor: We already have something similar to a mentoring system. You can get a shroud and play with your friends at their level in the guise of a monster. You can adventure with lower level friends, and help them do quest or missions.

lilbraen asks, "Re: Alleviationg of DPoB ails. A dev recently responded to one of the many threads that have popped up calling for a change to the format of the Demi-Plane of Blood instance to better facilitate the progression of mid-tier guilds and raid organizations. Has there been any further development or theorization on what kind of change may be in line or is it still "we want to make a change"?"

[EQ]Merloc: We are currently discussing different methods of addressing this issue. We have had further development, but it's not something we can discuss yet.

kinerinu asks, "Is there anything being done to look into the lack of abilities that the druid communities have these days? There is nothing "unique" to us anymore."

[EQ]Prathun: The druid's blend of offensive spells, healing power, buffs, and utility do make them a unique class.

[EQ]Prathun: If you look at any single ability, I'm sure you can find an approximate or equivalent tool in another class' toolbox, but it's the sum total of these available tools that help differentiate druids from everyone else.

chanaluss asks, "Could we please see the current loot restrictions in plane of fear removed? Currently it causes more harm than good for those who have quest items in the zone, leading to either paying absurd amounts to multiquest from the farmers who loot the item, or watching helplessly as they are incapable of looting anything that is left to rot because of either not knowing about the restrictions, or just having horrible luck/timing."

[EQ]Aristo: Chanaluss: Rytan is currently looking at the looting restrictions in the old planes. Nothing definite is set, though.

warsheol asks, "Will people who got Beta passes from last years Fan Faire 07 be able to use them for this upcoming beta?"

[EQ]Absor: Those invites were for the last beta, they won't carry over. I'm not sure right now what the plans are for a repeat of that for this year's Fan Faire.

londotp asks, "Are bards going to receive any melee song upgrades, e.g. to the warsong line, and/or general use buffsongs like Psalm of Veeshan in SoD, or is the idea to resign them to caster groups to reduce the disparity between caster and melee dps on parses from shaman melee buffing"

[EQ]Prathun: The amount of stackable and multiplicative buffs available to magnify melee damage is causing parity problems between melees and casters in the raid environment.

[EQ]Prathun: We are looking to address this in the future.

[EQ]Prathun: The exact details of these changes are undecided, but we do have some new spell effects that along with the recent modification to focus effects should allow us to solve the problem in an elegant manner.

[EQ]Prathun: Don't be surprised if there are fewer +cool_melee options and more viable +cool_caster options in the pipeline.

tulisin-MFC- asks, "The sheer amount of factioning in SoF has caused a lot of disappointment in the playerbase. Are you guys generally happy with the system you used, will we see it again in the next expansion?"

[EQ]Merloc: We will be doing faction systems in the future along the lines of what we did in SoF. There will be some changes to address some of the complaints. The goal of the faction systems is to encourage players to spread out and try different types of content... Future faction systems will be tweaked so they can be raised in concert with other activities and aren't as much of a grind.

[EQ]Ngreth: We have noticed a multitude of progression server questions, most of them about when we are going to open another one. Unfortunately, Maddoc has been pulled away from his desk and he is the one that would have the full answer. I know that there have been some discussions, but we have no information past that.

ssworidss asks, "What will be the assumed aa base and gear level November's expansion will be tuned around, and will the aaxp bonus be extended as compensation?"

[EQ]Absor: Unfortunately at this point we aren't ready to discuss much about the upcoming expansion. We are looking for guilds to help us out in beta, though. If you're interested please look for a post Zatozia made on our forums and get your guild into the beta. Until an official announcement is made, that's all we can really say about future expansions. Sorry.

Dro-Ellessidil asks, "With the popularity of the Living Legacy Lower Guk update, and the anticipation for the BlackBurrow update around the corner, are there any plans to revamp any other classic zones?"

[EQ]Zatozia: By the way, the post is on the Veteran's section of the forums.

[EQ]Merloc: We don't have any plans currently, but the success of those events is definately something we've taken notice of and will be considering as we go forward with different event and content additions.

Dexe_Biggerstaff asks, "How many original (IE: From classic EverQuest) quests have yet to be solved or discovered? Qeynos seems like it still holds many secrets, and most notably, is there a use for the locked firepots and glowing black stone?"

[EQ]Merloc: There are definately some quests in original EverQuest that haven't been discovered, I can't comment on any specifically though... I will look into the Glowing Black Stone and see if it's incorrectly flagged as a quest item and correct the flag if it's incorrect.

[EQ]Merloc: Just a follow up, "A Glowing Black Stone" seems to be flagged correctly.

louie asks, "is there any hope to change fadelure to a usefull ability again? Or let blinding flare be able to mezz yourself as a rogue?"

[EQ]Prathun: If a useful Fadelure is a Fadelure that vanishes your entire raid, then I'm afraid the answer is no.

[EQ]Prathun: That functionality was the unintended result of the spell hitting players and the NPC AI ignoring PCs that were mesmerized by an NPC.

[EQ]Prathun: Assuming the Blinding Flare being able to mez yourself request is in order to get the same functionality, the answer is also no.

[EQ]Prathun: But since it'd be a PC casting mesmerize on a PC, it shouldn't work that way even if it did land.

tharkis asks, "Will the magi in various zones ever be made able to port players back to the guild lobby?"

[EQ]Merloc: We have no plans to do that at this time, it isn't something we've ruled out though.

Malegolas_EMarr asks, "Before the recent changes to the Skin of the Reptile line, the druid community was quoted numbers for expected efficiency (among other things). Now that the spell is live, our real-world tests are showing that it is not reaching those expected numbers. Are you happy with the current state of the spell? If so, why is it not in line with the numbers quoted before going live?"

[EQ]Prathun: I'd need more details to determine what, where, and why the numbers being seen in game aren't the same as I quoted. Keep in mind that the numbers I posted were from a comparison of the *cough cough* future version of the spell.

[EQ]Prathun: And keep in mind that the proc rate is reducted against lower level NPCs.

[EQ]Prathun: And also that the heal over time buff will overwrite if it procs multiple times in rapid succession, which can happen often against multiple NPCs.

[EQ]Prathun: And also that there's a bug currently that's causing beneficial duration spells to fade early on the client.

[EQ]Prathun: Which can reduce the number of ticks from 2 to 1 semi-regularly depending on how out of synch your client is with the server.

[EQ]Prathun: I will probably need to improve the stackability of the buff, however. The original intent was for it not to stack with the Languor line but I've reversed my decision on that.

somewhatunhappymonk asks, "HELLO FRIENDS has anything been discussed about Raid Tier 3/4 wrists yet?"

[EQ]Merloc: Regarding the rate of wrist and upgrades that are dropping for tier 3/4 raid wrists; I'm aware of it, and I consider it a problem. I am currently working on a series of changes to address the problem, we've already reduced the lockout timers for some of the tier 3 raids that were incorrectly set to 6 days, and I'll be tweaking the drop tables.

Gannondroph asks, "As more and more mmorpg games emerge, how do you plan to keep Everquest as a viable competitor? Any special plans?"

[EQ]Absor: We've always got our eyes open for ways to improve the game. One recent example would be the quests added to Secrets of Faydwer that are designed to give players with limited play time to make faction and item progress at a steady pace. That being said, there's a fine balance between keeping your game "up to date" and changing it so much that the players you have now don't like the game anymore. Hopefully with your help we can

Sanq[Combine] asks, "Can the living legacy augs be changed to rec 75 so that the people on the combine can actually wear them? We only got to participate in one of the raids :("

[EQ]Merloc: I'll bring it up tomorrow, but I don't see a problem with doing that.

cinexa asks, "Any plans to ever make implied targeting a reality in EQ1 like it is in 2 ? And when is eq3 coming out??!"

[EQ]Ngreth: We have discussed implied targeting and it is an idea we like, but it ends up the code for it is rather complex. Because of that, we have no current plans for adding it, but it is still amongst the things we are considering for the future.

warren142 asks, "Hello, there is a release of EQCLASSIC being worked on with 10 thousand subscribers already, isnt that enough indication for you guys to work on a legit EQ classis server?"

MMORPG_Kunou: Bot messed that last question up, here's what it should have been:

MMORPG_Kunou: Warren142.4 asks, "Coming from the perspective of a new returning player i made a high level berserker and the class does not vary to warrior nearly enough in my opinion e.g most the AA is the same, few different non disc abilties, any plans to make zerker more unique?"

[EQ]Prathun: Despite any similarities in AAs, warriors and bererkser have different itemization restrictions, different abilities, and fill completely different roles.

[EQ]Prathun: bererkser = berserker

[EQ]Merloc: Merloc asks, "Hello, can you please comment on the recent rumors of a new bererker sub-class being added to EverQuest? Will this be a test run of the sub class sytem used in EQ2?"

[EQ]Aristo: Don't make me come over there.

[EQ]Prathun: Actually, it's the bererkser, a class that specializes in typos.

[EQ]Absor: Warren142: Obviously I can't comment on someone else's project, nor can I speak about the veracity of their pre-launch subscription numbers. I've been involved in server thread discussions on this topic and I'm not sure that everyone has a clear definition of what such a "classic" server might look like, nor am I convinced that it would be a popular server. However, the topic comes up in the office every so often and we discuss

Guest90986 asks, "any plans to allow people to reach a higher level upon character creation. The only healthy zones are 65+."

[EQ]Merloc: Getting players up to speed is something that comes up frequently in our systems meeting, we have already made a lot of changes to the game to facilitate player progress, and we intend to make more in the future.

[EQ]Absor: Warren142: Obviously I can't comment on someone else's project, nor can I speak about the veracity of their pre-launch subscription numbers. I've been involved in server thread discussions on this topic and I'm not sure that everyone has a clear definition of what such a "classic" server might look like, nor am I convinced that it would be a popular server.

[EQ]Absor: Warren142: However, the topic comes up in the office every so often and we discuss it when it does. I can't say what the future holds, but for now we have no specific plans for such a server. We are well aware of the discussions about it and the length of those discussions, so it's certainly something we will continue to discuss.

[EQ]Absor: Sorry, my response was too wordy the first time. :)

Guest7907 asks, "when will the blackburrow upgrade take place and given the limited number of actual named mobs and special drops how will that be taken into account?"

[EQ]Aristo: Blackburrow goes live on July 26th. We've had added quite a few surprises to it.

[EQ]Aristo: While Guk was more of a straight upgrade, Blackburrow had a lot more new content added.

Tindos asks, "Are there any plans to give paladins an ae spell to cast for hate? They are the only tank class without it at this time."

[EQ]Prathun: The Vilify AE-aggro line for Shadow Knights is meant to be class-defining. It's something that differentiates them from Paladins and it's not an ability we want to give to both knight classes.

Ghodere asks, "Are there plans to give more help to lower level players? It can be one of the most frustrating times, and many players leave before getting to a higher level."

[EQ]Absor: Obviously keeping folks interested after they first start playing is very important to us. This is another thing that we often talk about. I don't know of any specific plans to improve that part of the game. I'd like to hear and suggestions anyone has about it. In fact, I'll start a thread about it on the forums in a moment and see if we can get anything we can us. Thanks for the question!

Jetfire asks, "Have there been any thoughts on providing tools to help multiple guilds work together? (ie Guild Alliances)?"

[EQ]Merloc: That's something I've seen suggested recently by players, it would take code support to introduce it into the game, but I'll bring it up at our next system meeting.

Brohg_Innoruuk asks, "buff timers on self only "clickies" seem to have little purpose and high annoyance factor. any chance of making them unlimited duration?"

[EQ]Merloc: I've had different feedback on increasing the duration time on several spells, I'll look into it some more and see what I can do.

Kjan_Tunare asks, "with the 2.5 pages only dropping from tier 2 events in demi, is there any plan to have the pages drop elsewhere in norrath and/or other raids zones for guilds that have moved onto newer content i.e Frostcrypt and AG?"

[EQ]Merloc: This issue has come up in the past and we currently have no plans to move rewards from demiplane content into other content areas.

Mkdir asks, "Is there any plan to make clicky items less of a headache to use? Something along the lines of a utility belt or one of the other many suggestions on the message boards would alleviate a lot of monotony which simply isn't fun."

Meekrat asks, "Currently with the introduction of LON loot cards that grant you a familiar, it would be great if there was a way to hide familiars and/or not allow them to interefer with targeting when typing someone's name, if you were attempting to target Meekrat and you typed /tar meek, you would get my familiar. Is there anything that can be done about this?"

[EQ]Ngreth: Mkdir and Meekrat: Both of these are ideas that we have considered. We have not made any final decisions at this point, but we are still considering them.

londotp asks, "Is SoD going to include a long quest like the tbs urn or sof wereorc circum, and if so will it be changed to something that tanks can use?"

[EQ]Merloc: I plan to continue adding component quests like the several in TBS and SoF, each one will tend to be unique.

MMORPG_Kunou: This concludes the Everquest Dev Chat! Thank you Absor, Aristo, Maddoc, Merloc, Ngreth, Prathun, and Zatozia for your wonderful time and expertise! Thank you Coldfront for hosting us! And thank you everyone for joining us! Logs will be posted on asap.