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EverQuest

The Daily Grind: Should old MMOs retire gracefully while they still can?

EverQuest, Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

eq
You can't deny that certain MMOs from the dawn of the genre are getting a bit long in the tooth. Heck, some of them lost their teeth a while ago and replaced them with wooden dentures of power. Take EverQuest, for example. Even with a free-to-play transition, numerous updates, and a dev team that's pushed that game engine as far as it can go, it's still an old title with a high-water mark that peaked before most current players started on their first MMO.

So here's a contentious question for the day: Should games like EverQuest retire? Should they go out with some dignity right now rather than face future humiliation by becoming increasingly obsolete? Wouldn't studios be better off focusing resources on new additions to their franchises? What do you think?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

SOE Live player panels include support for military gamers

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (Real-World), Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Landmark, H1Z1

soe live
SOE Live posted its list of player panels today for its convention, with topics ranging from supporting military gamers to fansite management. The full list is as follows:

Friday, August 15
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm -– EQ2U & Dragon's Armory
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm –- Live Together, Die Alone: Surviving H1Z1 as a Group
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Inter-Outfit Operations in PS2
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm –- Become Your Character: Tricks and Tips for Cosplay
  • 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm –- Military Gamers: Taking Care of Each Other
Saturday, August 16
  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am -– Social Media/Steaming & Fansites
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm -– Effective Guild and League Management
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Improving Your EverQuest
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- DCUO – Advanced Raid Tactics
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- The New Conglomerate
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm -– Hardcore Decorating in EQII
  • 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm –- EQII Game Macros, ACT Triggers, and You!

The Daily Grind: Have you ever volunteered for an MMO?

Fantasy, EverQuest, Business Models, Culture, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, Opinion, Ultima Online, The Daily Grind, Roleplaying, Miscellaneous, Player-Generated Content

EQ
A few weeks ago in my Working As Intended column, I brought up the role gamemasters and officially appointed player helpers had in fostering communities, directing roleplaying, and aiding newbies and event organizers in early MMOs. We're not talking about just floating a HELPER tag over your head (though most modern MMOs lack even that); old-school games literally ran programs that traded game time (or just a hearty thanks!) to players who would log into special accounts or robed characters and lend a hand, officiate a wedding, or help a clueless nooblet find the bank.

While I was focusing primarily on Ultima Online in that article, just a few days later, SOE tweeted a post about the EverQuest franchise's alive-and-kicking volunteer Guide program. Participating player Guides are now expected to run dynamic events and quests rather than interact in chat, but the concept is the same, even in 2014, however strange it must seem to newcomers to the genre.

Today I'm wondering how many of our readers have ever volunteered in a semi-official or official capacity within their MMO of choice. How did it treat you, and do you want to see programs like these become more widespread?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

One Shots: Child's play

Screenshots, EverQuest, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, One Shots, The Secret World, RIFT, Miscellaneous

TSW
Today, my friends, you are going to be disturbed by this column -- disturbed and delighted, puzzled and tantalized. But I'm afraid that we're going to have to begin with a sight that is quite unsettling, so if there are any small children in the room, get them to hold your hand because there's no way you are brave enough to witness this.

"I recently returned to The Secret World and have been having a blast, but I think this is the scariest scene I have come across whilst playing," reader Balsbigbrother. "OK, so it's a little gory with the meat cleaver in the head but those dolls and the shadows they make on the walls, eeek! The game atmosphere kind of builds up to a point where your own imagination takes over. So while I was in that room, I kept thinking if all those dolls suddenly turned around to face me, I would seriously lose it and maybe need psychiatric counseling for several months afterwards."

You're not alone, man. The Nursery was one of the most terrifying places I've ever visited in a video game. Let's see who dares to see the whole tableau after the break!

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Perfect Ten: MMOs from the '90s

Fantasy, Asheron's Call, EverQuest, Lineage, Meridian 59, Opinion, Ultima Online, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

saved by the bell
The course of MMO history and the developer pioneers who forged a path to online gaming have long fascinated me (so much so that I write an occasional column about it). While we often think of MMOs as modern entertainment barely out of its infancy, the truth is that you can trace the industry back decades to see a fringe group of devs and players striving to make these games a reality.

While the number of MMOs in existence exploded in the early- and mid-2000s (and hasn't stopped growing since), the 1990s are often an overlooked decade that featured more than the one or two games that are usually mentioned in brief history overviews. There were actually far more titles than most assume, even if you dismiss text-based MUDs and the like. Today we're going to run down 10 MMOs that were born during the era of the dot-com revolution, dial-up modems, and the peak of the Simpsons (third through seventh seasons).

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EverQuest video gives you the skinny on franchise news

Betas, Fantasy, Video, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Landmark

Landmark
SOE released a new video today updating its playerbase with what's going on with each of its EverQuest titles.

EverQuest just released its level 95+ Tower of Rot and the living legacy raids and has more content on deck for those who own the Call of the Forsaken expansion. EverQuest 2 is giving a helping hand to players so that they can level up for the new expansion later this year. As for Landmark, the team is pretty excited about its water tech, caves, Player Studio, and Landmarks of Landmark contest. Unfortunately, EverQuest Next did not make the cut and was voted off the island.

You can watch the video after the jump.

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One Shots: Chubby chocobos on parade

Screenshots, EverQuest, Fallen Earth, Culture, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

FF14
Whenever your game gets a goofy mount or pet, it's an inevitability that populated areas will be swarmed by them. So it came to pass in Final Fantasy XIV, as the fat chocobo mounts became the hot new thing that all the hip young kids wanted to ride.

Reader Connor brings us this parade of chubby chocobos from his recent adventures: "This was when the new mount got released a few weeks ago. Everyone stood around AFKing in the high level hub, but eventually we formed a miltia and sallied forth."

Chubby chocobo, you look beautiful and amazing just the way you are. Also, delicious. Like a giant Peep. OK, we need to hit the jump to see the rest of this week's screenshot submissions before I start trying to eat my monitor.

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SOE announces game-specific player events for SOE Live

Fantasy, Super-hero, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Landmark

Are you headed to SOE Live this summer? We are, even if the game list is a tad shorter than in previous years. And that's why we're excited to see SOE's latest official post about the convention, set to run in Las Vegas, Nevada, this coming August 14th to 17th. The studio has announced special events for several of the games it plans to feature at the event:
  • Plane raids await EverQuest fans.
  • Deck-building games and PvP tournaments lie in store for DC Universe Online players.
  • EverQuest II players will participate in speed instances and a murder mystery quest.
  • Landmark devotees will be treated to a mega-build event and a harvesting-themed dice event.
  • Finally, the studio has planned a squad showdown event for PlanetSide 2 players.
Early bird registration for SOE Live ends on Monday.

SOE compensates players for All Access issues

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, Giveaways, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet, Landmark

EQ2
Acknowledging that the recent switchover to the new All Access program has been "frustrating," SOE announced today that it will be compensating its playerbase for these issues.

The studio will be handing out 50 replay badges to DCUO players, adding an additional week to seven-day Landmark closed beta keys, and triggering double XP weekends for Dragon's Prophet, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and PlanetSide 2.

"The implementation of this new membership plan across SOE's game portfolio has been one of the most complicated updates to our billing system to date," SOE apologized in a post. "As fellow gamers, we know that this has been frustrating and we sincerely regret any inconvenience this has caused."

SOE updates Landmark, pushes back international Player Studio rollout

Betas, Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Contests, Economy, Patches, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Landmark

Landmark
It was the best of times for SOE and it was the worst of times. It was the season of glorious patches and of disappointing delays. It was also May 1st, in case you haven't checked your calendar.

SOE delivered an update to Landmark's beta today, including claim feedback, chat improvements, new props, and the ability to teleport to other claims from the gallery view. The studio also launched its first competition, this one to create visually stunning landmarks for the game's environment. The competition will conclude on May 7th.

Unfortunately, international players of SOE's library looking to partake in Player Studio goodness will have to wait a while longer: "Initially, we hoped to expand Player Studio to Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom on or before May 1st, but given the intricacy of the program and our recent launch of the new All Access Membership plan, we have decided to roll out international support for Player Studio at the end of May."

Landmark updates testing blueprint

Betas, Fantasy, EverQuest, Previews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Landmark

Landmark
EverQuest Franchise Lead Dave Georgeson critted Landmark testers with a wall of text late last night, updating the community on the plans for the game's features rollout over the next four months. To sum up the huge list:
  • Early May: The addition of oceans, cave networks, Player Studio, and some quick fixes to help new players catch up such as a progression path diagram and the placement of basic crafting tables at the Hub.
  • Late May: The team will add customer service tools, "crafting 2.0," treasure chests (and loot!), voice chat, underwater effects, map improvements, a minimap, and lots more music from Jeremy Soule.
  • June: June will see a personal interface for Player Studio put in, the advent of glass and water as a building material, a revamp to the claim system, improved character creation, resource swapping, a death system, shields, recipe books, achievements, "chat 2.0," the fog of war on the map, and a "surprise feature."
  • July: By the middle of summer, Landmark will introduce ensemble outfit pieces, the combat system, pathing, craftable abilities, physics, monsters, SOEmote, and bodies of water other than oceans.
  • August: The last month on the blueprint will contain (for now) building tool refinements, mounts, and dynamic water.

SOE's revamped All-Access membership plan is finally live

Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Subscription, Landmark, H1Z1

SOE
After a brief delay this month, SOE's Mark Tuttle announced today that the refreshed All Access membership plan is now live across all of the studio's core games (and some of its future titles), including EverQuest, EverQuest II, DC Universe Online, Landmark, PlanetSide 2, and eventually, EverQuest Next and H1Z1.
For $14.99 per month (or less if you purchase multiple months at a time), players can now have top tier access to all participating SOE games. This means if you want to take a break from sneaking around Auraxis in your Stalker Cloak and test your mettle against the dragon, Nagafen, or The Joker in DCUO, you can do so with all member benefits. And since your Station Cash wallet is good in all SOE games, you can drop some coin on a snazzy new outfit in EQII to announce, "Yes, I have arrived!" To continue the awesome, as a member players get 10% off the Marketplace price of that item! Go ahead, splurge for the spikey hat and the bunny mount!
Tuttle reminds players that station cash must be manually redeemed via the claim button within a game's marketplace and that a discounted package deal (12 months for $99.99) is also available.

Addendum: Tipster Joshua points out that PlanetSide 1 will also be partly supported by the new plan. SOE explained, "We will offer PlanetSide 1 as free to play game for everyone when the new program rolls out, on or about April 29th, 2014 (or sooner!). Please note that PS1 has no Marketplace and will not see further game development. We know that a large number of people have played it in the past, and we hope you'll enjoy it again, on us."

SOE's All Access transition now slated for April 29

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2

All Access logo
SOE has again postponed its transition from Gold individual game subscriptions to a single All Access pass. Community guru Colette "Dexella" Murphy posted the following announcement on SOE's forums.
In an effort to ensure that the transition to the new All Access membership plan is as seamless as possible, we are going to be taking a little more time to test. So, we will be pushing the launch date of All Access to Tuesday, April 29th. Because of the portfolio-wide nature of this plan, this may prevent us from doing any individual game updates in EverQuest, EverQuest II, Planetside 2, and DC Universe Online. These updates will resume normally after the All Access launch. We appreciate your patience and you'll agree that our new membership offering is worth the wait.

Smed confirms one Player Studio user earned $100,000

EverQuest, EverQuest II, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Player-Generated Content, Landmark, H1Z1

SOE Player Studio
Talking to the hosts of Game Talk Live last night, Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley confirmed that a player has reached the $100,000 milestone for income earned on SOE's Player Studio.

Player Studio allows users to create unique in-game items to sell on the SOE marketplace. When items sell in the marketplace, the user earns 40% of the sale price. Right now the toolset is only available in EverQuest, EverQuest II, and PlanetSide 2, but may release in future SOE games, including EverQuest Next and Landmark.

SOE All Access changes go into place on April 23rd

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide, Business Models, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Dragon's Prophet

All Access
After a couple of delays in rolling out the revamped All Access plan, SOE has targeted "on or about" April 23rd as the go date for the changes.

According to the revised FAQ, the new membership plan will include "top-tier" access to SOE's entire library, a monthly stipend of 500 Station Cash, a 10% discount on marketplace purchases, and other promotions. The cost will be $14.99 a month with discounts for multi-month packages. SOE said that all current memberships will be automatically transitioned into the new All Access plan and that details concerning Dragon's Prophet benefits are forthcoming.

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