So now that a couple of months have passed, it's time to round up the next wave of questions in one central location, focusing this time on the six questions with dev responses. Maybe there is a query or two that you missed as the weeks rolled by, or maybe you just want to see what direction the community is leaning. Got some strong opinions about death penalties or fast travel in EverQuest Next? What about in-game holidays? This is definitely the time to share them!
For some folks, the idea of belonging to multiple guilds is heresy; loyalty should belong to one and only one. But for others, guilds are just a social structure, so the more social circles you can belong to, the better. What are your thoughts?
- I have no preference.
- I want to join more than one guild at a time. They're social groups, and I want as many as I'd like.
- I prefer to keep it simple: one character can belong to one guild, no more.
- I'd like different types of guilds -- e.g., families, alliances, guilds -- and you belong to one of each type.
- I don't want to see any type of guild system at all.
The devs: Lead Building and UI designer Jake Sones stated, "Choosing one guild makes that choice seem so important; I wear my guild tag with pride!" Lead Game Designer Darrin McPherson explained his thoughts: "I like single guild relationships, but there should be other ways for players to unite as a group."
If you were looking for a hot-button topic, fast travel seems to be it. Players feel strongly about the issue, just not all in the same way. I can understand that; I have my own concerns about fast travel stripping away the exploration part of games, but there is that convenience factor. Which would you prefer: moseying along through the world to enjoy the scenery as you go, instant access to friends and groups, or something in between?
- I want to be able to get to my groupmates within 5 minutes, wherever they are in the world.
- I want a huge world, even it means 30 minutes getting to my group each night.
- Fast travel with limitations, such as only via player abilities or requiring you to visit "the long way" first.
- I would like a fast travel network between major cities/hubs only, not outside.
- I don't have a preference.
The devs: Franchise Director Dave Georgeson sums up the thoughts of the majority: "I like to explore first. Make me explore and then give me fast travel to avoid repeats... but preserve risk." Creative Director Jeff Butler thinks along those same lines but emphasizes the ability to group more by saying, "Taking too long to reach your friends feels like denial of service, but it should be fun to explore -- with limitations on porting about madly!"
How you die in game can be just as important as how you live. And there are certainly a number of ways death can be handled in your favorite MMO. SOE laid out the choices for you here:
- Permadeath all the way! One death only; if you die, you start a new character.
- I want a hefty penalty such as a corpse run that might require an entire group to help.
- I want a fairly high personal-only penalty such as lost XP, de-leveling, or equipment damage. - 32%
- I prefer a minor penalty such as XP debt or a ghost corpse run that is essentially just a loss of time. - 26%
- There should be no penalty, just let me revive at a nearby location and go.
The devs: Butler doesn't seem to mind being in the minority, stating, "Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once." McPherson, however, took a more moderate view, explaining, "Death should create tension but not frustrate progress or cause fear of exploration and experimentation."
In the midst of so many holidays, it's hard not to be thinking about holidays even when you are in a game. But do real-world holidays actually belong in our virtual worlds? Inquiring devs want to know!
- I'd like to see some of the ones that already exist within the franchise from EQ and EQII.
- I'd like to see in-game holidays that fit the new world and lore, not real world events.
- I don't like it when fantasy games celebrate real-world holidays even disguised with game lore.
- I love it when we can celebrate real world holidays with something matching in game.
The devs: Senior Art Director Rosie Rappaport exclaimed, "I love the holiday stuff almost as much as I love the holidays! It's festive and fun." Producer Terry Michaels chimed in with, "In-game holidays are great. I think you can mix real and new holidays to make sense."
Through the previous question we learned that people want lore (at least in regard to holidays), but how do they want to get that lore? This question focused on lore delivery. Which of the following methods speaks to you?
- Outside the game, such as on web sites; I prefer to spend my in-game time in action, not reading.
- Cutscenes bring the story to life, even if it does mean sitting and watching the show.
- I like in-game lore that I can reference later, such as stories in in-game books or a quest journal that I can read when I have some down time.
- I like the lore to be conveyed to me in real-time in the game through quest dialog and other narration in small pieces while I adventure.
- A mix of the above!
The devs: Vanguard Creative Director Steve Danuser added his thoughts to the mix: "Lore should come alive around me as I play, a rich setting for my own character's stories." Technical Director Steve Klug shared his ideas as well, saying, "I like cutscenes, as long as you can skip them, and quest text. Lore should be optional with rewards for digging deeper."
Night and day is like, well, night and day in the real world. Different elements come out, and there are definitely different feels to the two times. But sometimes in virtual words things don't change much except for a little lighting. is that how you prefer it, or would you like there to be more of a distinction? In other words, how would you feel about stumbling around in the dark in your gaming session? Yea? Nay?
- The world should be significantly more dangerous at night, for the night is dark and full of terrors.
- I'd like to see the AI factor time of day into its behavior.
- The environment should change, but I don't want it to affect my objectives.
- The time of day shouldn't impact my gameplay.
The devs: Lead Combat Designer Michael Mann keeps with the theme, saying, "'Light our fire and protect us from the dark, blah, blah...' Unlike Tyrion, we should be afraid of the dark. Make time of day matter, but let me complete my goals at any time." Georgeson chimed in with, "I like ecosystems. Nocturnal and diurnal creatures/situations make variety, and variety is great stuff."