For this week's column, Seraphina was able to speak with Dave "Avatar" Georgeson, the brand new EverQuest II producer. Dave is stepping in for Alan "Brenlo" Crosby, as he has moved onwards, away from my might. (Little does he know that I pursue him still with powerful Tier'dal magic, but that's a story for another time.) Some of you may know of Dave Georgenson's works, as he has been producer of SOE's PlanetSide as well as Gaia Online's ZOMG!
So come along, listen to Sera as I force her to ask questions of Dave, and listen to Dave as he answers to the avatar of my will! No producer is safe from the Tier'dal might!
Massively: So, how familiar are you with EverQuest II?
Dave Georgeson: Well, I played EverQuest 1 a lot. And, of course, I was in the company when EverQuest II was being developed, so I followed it pretty closely then. I played it a little bit after it was launched, but I got busy with other projects and you know how MMOs are a real time crunch.
So, honestly, I haven't played EverQuest II a lot except in recent history, when I started to work for SOE again. Now I'm a pretty happy player, of course, and I spent my entire weekend on it. Gotta catch up!
"Sure, it's a business, but it's only a business if it's fun for everyone."
Will you moving into the role of producer affect any of the game's immediate and long-term timetables? Especially regarding the future updates of New Halas and Storyteller?
With the stuff that's coming up soon, I'll have no impact on those schedules. (Except to make sure they get done, of course.)
Down the line, if we decide that something that we were talking about doing or if it would be better to put our resources into another pot because it would be better for the game, all bets are off. We'll be re-examining the long-term plans for the game, but the short-term plans will stay exactly the same.
What will you be bringing to the long-term plans? How will you shape EverQuest II and how do you think EverQuest II will evolve over time?
To be honest, I don't have a concrete vision yet. Part of that is going to come from talking to the team and figuring out what we can and cannot do. We have a good sized team, but it's still a limited size, so it's not like we're a pre-launch team with resources coming out of our ears. We have to make everything the biggest bang for our buck, and that means we have to decide on what we're interested in doing.
Are we interested in more endgame content for the existing users to make them happy on that end? Are we interested in growing the business, getting more people in? If we are, does that mean we have to do something to the beginning of the game more fun and easier to learn?
I'm not committing to anything here, but it's about finding what we want to commit to and getting it done. Then it will be all about what will support those chosen features.
My biggest impact will be helping to hone what exactly our goals are and then working with the team to make sure that whatever we're doing is creating the biggest entertainment we can. Sure, it's a business, but it's only a business if it's fun for everyone. If nobody wants to play, you're not going to make a dime.
I know that's a non-answer, but at this point if I came to you and gave you a clear idea of what we're going to do just after I've joined the team, I'd be insane.