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SOE Announces New Expansions for Everquest, Everquest 2

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the take-the-word-everquest-literally dept.

Role Playing (Games) 48

Kotaku reports that Sony Online Entertainment has announced new expansions for both Everquest and Everquest 2. The announcement came at SOE's Fan Faire today. Kotaku made available some screenshots and the press release, which gives details about what to expect in the new content. Zonk has some more in-depth coverage on EQ: Seeds of Destruction and EQ II: The Shadow Odyssey over at Massively.

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48 comments

Seriously? (-1, Flamebait)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#24624343)

Everquest? I mean, I suppose it's nice that they're still supporting it, but does anyone really still play that?

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

neostorm (462848) | more than 5 years ago | (#24624523)

It's surprising, but there are pretty committed audiences to all the old online games. Not only everquest, but Turbine has an ongoing Asherons Call 1 community (they just released their 100th free content update a week or two ago), and of course there's the UO crowd still going strong.

It surprised me too when I first heard about it, but after a while it seemed logical. It's their own social network, and asking if someone still played is a lot like saying "Usenet? Do people actually still POST on there?"

Re:Seriously? (2, Insightful)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 5 years ago | (#24624559)

I have a feeling Second Life -- ((ducks) Yes, I know it's not a game! -- will one day reach a point where it can no longer improve. Patches and server upgrades won't make it significantly better. ("Better" being subjective, of course.) So there will have to be a 2nd Second Life: I don't know, maybe Third Life. Whatever. Point is, those who've already lived in the original Second Life will want to maintain an existence there even if they begin anew in Third Life or whatever.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24633671)

We haven't even begun :)
http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Structural_Design_Overview

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24624965)

Hey, it says I'm gonna be eaten by a Grue, what do I do? D:

Re:Seriously? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#24628995)

It's not just the social aspects. Many of the old games have gameplay aspects that they are still the best at.

In EQ1, I played a soloing Wizard. The variety of spells and tools I had to use to make that work well (jboots, staff of temperate flux, my AOE nukes, roots, stuns, snares, AOE rain spells, direct nukes, invisibility, levitation) all worked together in a way to make it interesting and challenging. I've not found any other game that matched that. EQ1 had a great balance between all those spells and tools, requiring careful matching to the situation at hand. Later games usually have less variety of tools for whatever their equivalent of the EQ Wizard class is, and so solo Wizard combat just isn't as interesting. The later games are just as fun, or more fun, but in this particular aspect, EQ1 was more fun, and I still occasionally miss that.

Another example: DAoC realm vs. realm combat. Nothing else has come close. It was, I think, the first MMORPG to have a heavy PvP component that didn't turn into a pointless playground for griefers. DAoC also did an outstanding job of making the classes in the different realms differ, yet remain balanced, and the way you used your spec points to specialize your character was excellent. I don't think any of the newer MMORPGs has handled this as well, and, like EQ1, I still miss this on occasion.

Re:Seriously? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24624529)

Apparently? OK, so not a lot, but according to MMOGChart.com [mmogchart.com] , they've both got a little under 200,000 subscribers, which isn't too shabby.

Granted that doesn't exactly match Blizzard's 10 million, but hell, what does?

EQ2 is still the third largest MMORPG (if you ignore Asian MMORPGs and Dofus) behind WoW and EVE.

So, yes, it still has a presence amongst western MMORPG players. Well, if you completely and totally ignore WoW.

Re:Seriously? (1)

ricree (969643) | more than 5 years ago | (#24624553)

I suppose they're assuming that anyone still playing at this point is the sort of person who would go ahead and buy whatever expansions they decide to push out on the cheap.

Re:Seriously? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24624697)

I believe EQ1 still has >100k active accounts, I'm not sure about EQ2; certainly I and some of my old guild-mates keep resubscribing to EQ1 now and again after other games fail to live up to expectations. Obviously that's nothing compared to WoW, but if you sell 100k copies of an expansion by download at $50 apiece every year, that'll pay for a few developers and make a profit.

They have reduced the expansion rate from two per year to one per year, which is actually a damn good move since EQ1 suffers from having far too much content that's unusable (instanced and requires a group) and/or unused (risk vs reward nowhere near good enough for groups to go there).

I'd guess another 4-5 years before they stop updating it and the last server will probably shut down a 10-20 years after that.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24625965)

I'm at the SOE Fan Faire 2008 right now.
For what it's worth, at the keynote speech it was claimed that this summer's "Living Legacy [sony.com] " promotion increased the number of paying subscribers for EverQuest and EverQuest 2 by 20%. That's not bad at all, particularly for EverQuest which is close to 10 years old.

EQ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24624381)

What be this EverQuest thou speakest of?

Re:EQ? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24626723)

It's a mmog where you sit in groups of 6 for roughly 1 year (real life time) killing things, over and over, and over again. Then, upon attaining max level, you join groups of 30-70 people to kill really big things. Over and over again.

You never, ever quest. I think that's how it got its name.

Re:EQ? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#24629579)

It's a mmog where you sit in groups of 6 for roughly 1 year (real life time) killing things, over and over, and over again. Then, upon attaining max level, you join groups of 30-70 people to kill really big things. Over and over again.

You can play any game like that. Its up to the player to choose not to. Everquest was designed before it had really been fully established that people were more interested in watching their xp bar than seeing the world, and doing interesting things.

I don't think anyone really expected the 'lets form a group and sit at the dungeon entrance for 8 hours because actually exploring the dungeon is hard' mentality. Or the, "lets go camp on that ramp, I did that for 8 hours yesterday and it worked well. No I don't want to go to that dungeon, I've never been their, and besides I heard this ramp is the best xp/hr at this level.

Granted the game shouldn't have rewarded players xp for simply killing things... but really, nobody actually thought you would have to prod characters around with a sharp stick to get them to move around.

Re:EQ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24631285)

Part of the problem with EQ was that, if you played the game 'as intended' the XP bar moved sooo slooooowly. And the XP penalty was extremely harsh. In short, the only effective way to play was as efficently as possible.

Re:EQ? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24636165)

It was pretty hard to "pull" some of the early dungeons at the intended level with the available gear. And by hard I mean, a net loss to xp and gear for all but the elite. It was always best to hit the dungeons well above the intended level, with a full group. That's how the camping started - preparations for hitting a dungeon.

EQ was released with some big balance issues, but no one had ever tried an online group-based game before. I think the original designers (including McQuaid, who I don't think of as a saintly figure) had very different expectations of gamer dedication. The behavior that resulted was a direct result of game designers not knowing what to expect and wanting a more hardcore audience, but SOE wanting a wide audience paying monthy fees. WoW murdered EQ only because they learned from the mistakes and put thought into it, unlikely every other MMO between EQ and WoW.

In some ways it always irked me that SOE & Verant just gave up on EQ and left it as a stupid level treadmill followed by a stupid gear treadmill. It was definitely one of the more immersive environments and had much better classes. Re-imagined, it could be a really good game.

Re:EQ? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#24642379)

It was pretty hard to "pull" some of the early dungeons at the intended level with the available gear. And by hard I mean, a net loss to xp and gear for all but the elite.

Pushing it right to the edge, and taking those deaths was how you learned the game, was how you got GOOD at it. How you became 'elite'.

It was always best to hit the dungeons well above the intended level, with a full group.

Best for rolling though it without any risk, without finesse, and above all, without learning anything. Few people who played like that ever got to be good players. Sure, they got higher level, and better gear. But as players, they sucked.

Everywhere I went I was surrounded by players who sucked. If they'd bloody well actually played the game instead of power-levelling in fast, safe XP camps... with maybe an odd foray into a dungeon in a full group that was 'well above the intended level', they'd maybe have become decent players.

In my low 50s I took on high end Luclin zones like The Deep, The Grey, Akheva Ruins, Acrylia Caverns, etc. Myself and 2 other mid 50s characters together had aquired all 10 pieces for our Vex Thal keys except the Ssra Temple Raid piece as a 3 man, mid fifties group. Places my 'fellow' guildmates wouldn't venture without a full group or two, preferably with 60+ level characters.

And we developed a lot of skill learning how to push it right to the edge. We did things in our mid-50s as a 3-man team that some of the guilds we were in wiped on, even when they brought multiple groups of higher level players. It was almost comical to see a full group and a half of 60+ characters wipe on stuff we'd done with 3 people 10 levels lower.

We knew how to pull. We knew pathing. We knew when they would run and where. We knew where to put them to ensure they ran where we already cleared. We knew what to clear to give particularly nasty runners (fast/snare resistant/etc) a bit of a runway. We knew respawn rates. We knew which mobs were most dangerous, what their special abilities were, what their aggro range was, what their level ranges were, etc, etc.

The group and a half of 60s didn't know, (and didn't care). Everything they'd fight was 'blue or green' and they could out-DPS and defeat anything but a massive overpull.. so they didn't care about runners, they didn't care about pathing, they didn't prioritize targets, and they'd do fine until something got away and pulled half the dungeon on them.

As a 3-man team, every single mob was a potential wipe, every single add was a genuine threat, so we were careful, and observant, and we learned from our successes, and doubly from our mistakes.

So yeah, I became relatively 'elite' and maybe I am being 'elitist' but seriously, I don't think we were THAT special. We were good sure, but what really set people like me and my group mates apart was that we weren't in a rush to level, and we weren't afraid of dying, and because of that we knew the game, the zones, and the mobs MUCH more intimately than most.

That's how the camping started - preparations for hitting a dungeon.

Camping started when people started watching and caring about their XP bar advancement more than anything else. I actually started collecting 'alternate advancement' XP in my 50s. By the time I reached 55th I had probably 50AA points. This was massively inefficient -- everyone "knows" that you 'Powerlevel to 70' and then turn AA on, maybe stopping for a couple key AA points along the way depending on class, because at 70 you can get a couple AA per hour, while at 55th, getting an AA in a day was a 'good day'. So yeah, I was levelling deliberately slow, because there was tons of content I wanted to see and beat *BEFORE* I levelled past it.

So I was practically NEVER in an XP camp. I was almost never in a big-overpowered group rolling through a lower level dungeon. I did a lot of stuff that most people had never done and I did it while it was still, according to some 'impossibly hard at that level'. I also had a lot more fun than most people who I saw describing the game as 'evercamp' and mindless treadmill.

EQ wasn't a treadmill. But if you wanted to play it like one, it didn't stop you. And yes you could level 'faster' if you played it like a treadmill... but what is the point of being higher level on a treadmill? A treadmill doesn't end. Becoming higher level more efficiently is utterly pointless if all you are going to do at higher level is run on a treadmill.

My philosophy was that the endgame wasn't going anywhere, and once I'd reached max level and was reduced to killing the same few mobs over and over in hopes of a gear upgrade the game was done. But there were dozens of zones to defeat, and hundreds of quests to complete on the way... so given a choice...

I can either defeat those zones, and complete those quests, and eventually reach 'endgame' (and endgame is boring). Or I could bore myself to tears racing on a treadmill to reach 'endgame'.

I still can't beleive how many people chose, and continue to choose the latter, to play the game in the most boring way possible to reach the most boring part of the game as quickly as possible.

Re:EQ? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#24642003)

Part of the problem with EQ was that, if you played the game 'as intended' the XP bar moved sooo slooooowly. And the XP penalty was extremely harsh. In short, the only effective way to play was as efficently as possible.

Why would it matter how fast the XP bar moved? If you hadn't seen everything in the world that was appropriate for your level, what would the rush be to be higher level. Its not like the higher level parts of the game weren't going to be there when you got there.

In short, the only effective way to play was as efficently as possible.

Effective at what? All you did was spend your time bored in safe XP camps. What did that effectively get you: you could be higher level to go be bored in safe XP camps somewhere else. Seriously how was that 'effective'?

Everquest, Everquest 2 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24624385)

Can suck my dick.

uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24624395)

i'm so glad i broke my addiction years ago. Cant say that this is terribly amazing news either.

SOE & MMO's (0)

Pengo (28814) | more than 5 years ago | (#24624493)

Has Sony they really had a big hit since original EQ?

Will they ever climb back to being a real competitor in the MMO market?

Re:SOE & MMO's (1)

derfy (172944) | more than 5 years ago | (#24624537)

I really doubt it. I joined EQ after SoL launched and played for a few years. I even was a senior guide for a time. Then, I got bored.

Interestingly, I only had to quit EQ once. I've quit WoW twice now....

Re:SOE & MMO's (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#24624595)

If you take Blizzard out of the equation, SOE is probably the biggest name in the arena still. EQ is still chugging along, EQ2 revamped to surprisingly good effect, and they've bought up several smaller/less successful MMOs like Vanguard and Matrix Online.

Re:SOE & MMO's (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24624655)

And to think my power guild took off from EQ almost 5 years ago now.
"... and the meek shall inherit the Earth/Xegony; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." Psalms 37:11"
"... and the meek shall be pwned by the sleeper" Bakk 14:07

If you take Blizzard out of the equation, SOE is probably the biggest name in the arena still. EQ is still chugging along

Re:SOE & MMO's (1)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 5 years ago | (#24625659)

NCSoft is doing far better than Sony. Hell, Square-Enix's FFXI still has around 500k subscribers. Sony isn't doing well at all.

Re:SOE & MMO's (1)

Ryunosuke (576755) | more than 5 years ago | (#24626847)

as a raider in eq2 (in the last 3 expansions), Sony's not doing well because every other expansion changes 1/2 the game's rules (combat, spell resists, personal resists, mechanics, etc), and then releasing stuff months after being "promised" (our mythicals were 3 months late, several dungeons were months late, and most of the time in new areas, at least 1/3 of the mobs were broken and needed fixed/re-balanced). The current expansion (ROK) destroyed my friend's list (I lost almost 30 people to rage quitting and general "fuck it, sony hates us" type of quitting), destroyed most of my old servers raiding guilds due to broken raid encounters and HORRIBLE itemization that made the word progression completely pointless. Judging from the sheer amount of people quiting in this expansion, I personally see this upcoming expansion to either make or break Eq2.

Re:SOE & MMO's (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 5 years ago | (#24627477)

What I didn't like about EQ2 (and I did play it for quite some time) was how you could screw yourself over by leveling too quickly. I'm a completionist by nature, and I want to go back and do quests, even if they're greyed out! Also, it was neigh-impossible to play without a group, and so you end up missing a lot of content just because you couldn't find a group while in the correct level range.

I play LoTRO now. It's quite similar (EQ2, WoW and LoTRO are all very similar) but it is impossible to shoot your character in the foot with this one. If I want to complete group quests solo, I can just go back and do them once they're greyed-out.

Also, I agree - they kept changing the gameplay drastically, like they realized large portions of the game were inherently flawed. Some of those changes seemed to make it worse (I don't remember specifics, I just remember the frustration). Pretty game though, and a blast to play for the first few months.

Re:SOE & MMO's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24626831)

If you take Blizzard out of the equation

So they're the World's Tallest Midget?

Re:SOE & MMO's (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 5 years ago | (#24625555)

The thing is, the popularity of Everquest had little to nothing to do with SOE. In fact, SOE has been named as the source of the downfall of Everquest and the reason Everquest II was so poorly received at launch. The popularity of the original Everquest had everything to do with the heart and soul pumped into the game by Verant Interactive.

Many of us old EQ fans were overly enthusiastic when the news of Vanguard hit and that Brad McQuaid (formerly of Verant) was attempting to make a game that was what Everquest II should have been. Unfortunately, all problems aside, Sony seems to have gotten in on that one too. How much influence they had over the product we saw is unknown; however, it's commonly know that the game was released far before it was ready to keep "investors" happy.

Hopefully Sony will never climb back up to the top. Hopefully the creators of Everquest will, but Sony is only part of that franchises history.

Awesome! (1)

GammaKitsune (826576) | more than 5 years ago | (#24624503)

I haven't been this excited since the last time I watched paint dry!

Re:Awesome! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24624569)

what a dildo. it is people like this that make on-line forums suck.

if you don't like the topic, stay the fuck away, ok? what the hell is the matter with you, you turd?

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24624977)

Glad you got that out of you. Now wash out your potty mouth with soap and try growing up a little.

MMOGCharts (1)

Konster (252488) | more than 5 years ago | (#24624905)

I can't speak for the accuracy of MMOGCharts, but there's a huge doubt that EQ1 and EQ2 have 200k subs each. 125k for each game is a pretty good (albeit unsupported) number based upon the observations of myself and friends that still play EQ1. I played EQ2 for two years before I got sick of the SOEness of doing things and the rudderless sailing of the crew that worked on it...and apparently so did a lot of other people. My server went from 3 hardcore raiding guilds to zero, and some tops end guilds were so desperate for bodies that they were paying for server transfers. The exodus from EQ2 was so rapid it was shocking.

So, I'd wager 250k between the two.

Re:MMOGCharts (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 5 years ago | (#24625633)

I'm pretty sure that they're counting the "Station Pass" in the active EQ1/EQ2 subscriptions, along with SW:G and the Matrix Online.

Remember, they're only counting subscriptions, not active players, so numbers may be misleading as far as what you see in game.

Who Knew? (1)

MarkAyen (726688) | more than 5 years ago | (#24625685)

Huh. I had no idea that EQ and EQII were even still running. The tech's got to be looking a little dated by now... maybe it's time for EQIII (or better yet a new IP) and an upgrade path?

Re:Who Knew? (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 5 years ago | (#24625915)

EQ (probably looks dated... but EQ2 was a lot more graphic-intensive then WoW or EQ1. In fact, it was so graphic intensive, that most video cards of the day had difficulty running EQ2 on anything higher then medium settings.

I loved the look of the world. I just didn't like:

- The smallness of the zones at launch
- The limited number of zones at launch
- The world felt small, like a bunch of shoeboxes strung together
- Developers without a central vision
- Poor QA process

WoW wide-open world is much more appealing.

Original EverQuest + Kunark + Velious (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 5 years ago | (#24626715)

For many years, SOE has been ignoring what many old EverQuest fans really want: Original EverQuest + Kunark + Velious, and nothing more.

Re:Original EverQuest + Kunark + Velious (1)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 5 years ago | (#24627379)

I don't know about that. Many of us who still play want revamped content and dynamic content, not more expansions... however some of the expansions do have unique challenges. It would be nice to unify some of them, like LDON, LOY, and anything has a new and useless currency.

Sklinker of TM

No Mac version, no deal (0, Troll)

msk (6205) | more than 5 years ago | (#24626953)

The EQII trial links directly to a Windows executable. Why should I bother? If they won't support some *nix flavor, I'm less than interested.

Re:No Mac version, no deal (1)

Nukenin (646365) | more than 5 years ago | (#24627155)

You choose to support one OS; the developers of EQII choose to support another. I don't think anyone is shedding any tears over this.

Interesting (1)

rcuhljr (1132713) | more than 5 years ago | (#24651447)

I find it interesting that the entire premise behind the EQ expansion is almost an exact duplicate of the Caverns of Time area in WoW.
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