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Everquest Online Adventures

SOE wants to know what you want at Fan Faire

EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide, Events (Real-World), The Agency, The Matrix Online, Vanguard, Everquest Online Adventures, Free Realms, Legends of Norrath, DC Universe Online

Looks like things over at Sony Online Entertainment are really gearing up for this year's Fan Faire in Las Vegas. Sure, you know something big has to be coming because it's the 10th anniversary of EverQuest this year, but to sweeten the deal SOE is looking for player input. Did you hate that you didn't have enough time for Q&A on your favorite SOE title last year? Would you have preferred to hear John Smedley sing something other than Guns & Roses at karaoke? Did you really enjoy the silly competitions that Brenlo held during dinner? Perhaps you'd like to suggest a whole new panel that they haven't considered doing yet? Whatever your reasons, be sure to pop by the Fan Faire forums and let them know!

What happens at Fan Faire, stays at Fan Faire

EverQuest, EverQuest II, Pirates of the Burning Sea, PlanetSide, Events (Real-World), The Agency, The Matrix Online, News Items, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard, Everquest Online Adventures, Free Realms, DC Universe Online

Vegas, city of lights, nightlife, and SOE's Fan Faire! Sony has announced that they will once again be heading for Vegas to party down in high-rolling style. This year they'll be holding the event from June 25th to 28th at Bally's Hotel. The location they've picked is right in the middle of various Vegas attractions - although we're sure if you're there for the SOE party, you won't need to worry about that too much.

Having attended last year's Fan Faire, we can definitely say that it's a great weekend of fun and interesting panels, nice people - and this year's lineup appears to be just as interesting. So far the scheduled events include:

  • Special announcements and sneak peeks of upcoming SOE titles at the Third Annual Community Address from SOE President John Smedley
  • Autograph signings with members of the original EQ development team and other key contributors
  • Lots of in-game tournaments; and live, game-themed competitions and quests
  • Developer forums and roundtables
  • Cool giveaways and other fun items!
  • Player of the Year
To top it all off, prices for Vegas vacations are quite good, currently. So if you've been thinking about getting away, really dig SOE's games - or upcoming titles, and enjoy partying down with a great bunch of friendly, welcoming people, then definitely make some plans to attend this year's Fan Faire.

Fan Faire 08: Liveblogging John Smedley's keynote

Galleries, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Previews, The Agency, News Items, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard, Everquest Online Adventures, Free Realms, Events (Massively's Coverage), Legends of Norrath, DC Universe Online

The buzz coming into this evening's Fan Faire keynote is palpable. All the players know something is going on, but nobody is quite sure what's in store for this evening's festivities. As a service to our devoted readers, both old and new, Massively is on-scene and we'll be liveblogging John Smedley's keynote this evening.

Curious about what SOE has in store for the future of their various MMOGs? Join us behind the break for the up-to-the-minute news from the front lines!

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The SOE Fan Faire bag o' schwag

Galleries, EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide, Events (Real-World), The Agency, The Matrix Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard, Everquest Online Adventures, Free Realms, Legends of Norrath, DC Universe Online

What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas -- unless of course you happen to be at Sony Online Entertainment's 2008 Fan Faire! We here at Massively are party-crashing this fun event bringing all the dark, dirty details to you straight from the heart of casino central!

For those who are unable to make it to this year's event (and those of you who are just curious about this kind of thing) we're bringing you the contents of the official SOE schwag bag for this year. So gather your courage, and dip in to the gallery for a first look at all the wonders contained in the 2008 Bag o' Schwag.

How would you design EverQuest 3?

Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Game Mechanics, News Items, Everquest Online Adventures

At the ION '08 conference keynote, John Smedley hinted at another entry in SOE's long-running EverQuest franchise. Since EverQuest's 1999 release, the venerable fantasy game has been seen in such places as game consoles (EQ Online Adventures for the PS2), PDAs (The Pocket EverQuest trilogy for the Pocket PC), Real Time Strategy (Lords of EverQuest for the PC), online collectible card games (Legends of Norrath) and even versions for cell phones (EverQuest: Hero's Call). What could possibly be next for EverQuest?

EverQuest on the PC has already split itself between the original game and its sequel, EverQuest II. Releasing a sequel to a still-viable game was a gutsy move, but it fragmented the player base substantially, to the point where neither game, by itself, can challenge newer games such as Lord of the Rings Online. It's this blogger's opinion that SOE won't make that mistake again -- any EverQuest 3 would not be for the PC. It's not a huge leap of faith to assume that the next version of EQ would run on the PlayStation 3. SOE recently shifted from Sony Pictures to Sony Computer Entertainment America, makers of the PS3 and publishers of its first-party software. Beyond that, when Smedley mentioned to the Seattle Times that the PS3 would be a strong platform for MMOs, he certainly very likely had this game (and others we don't know about) in mind.

SOE has made some mistakes with EverQuest through the years, but has also had some huge successes and innovations. If you were an EQ3 designer, and all you had in front of you was a PS3 and a blank whiteboard, what features would you include to knock the socks off the players? Customizable quests and raids? A Steampunk theme? Faster, twitch-based gameplay? The ability to make your own cities? How would you make EQ a worthy competitor to today's great crop of MMOs?

The Daily Grind: Why aren't there more console MMOs?

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Age of Conan, Final Fantasy XI, Phantasy Star Universe, Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, Everquest Online Adventures, The Daily Grind, Consoles

The list of them can be counted on the fingers of one hand: Phantasy Star Online, for the Dreamcast; Everquest Online Adventures and Final Fantasy XI for the Playstation 2; and Phantasy Star Universe for both the PS2 and the Xbox 360. And that's it. The only MMO currently thought to be planned for release on both PC and console (though not at launch) is Age of Conan for the 360. Why is there such a dearth of console MMOs?

Many will say that it's because MMOs are so complex and rich that they cannot be managed with a console controller, and that's partly true -- imagine playing World of Warcraft with a DualShock -- but that's more of a design issue. A game meant for consoles, rather than one ported over from the PC, should have such limitations in mind. There's also the closed environment of the console, which is harder to plan patches for, and the still-in-its-infancy online service for the three major brands. On the bright side, there would be no need to worry about system specs; every player would be getting the same experience. And there could be added value in game achievements, which is a system that doesn't currently exist for PC MMOs.

Are there more reasons against console MMOs than there are for them? Should developers bother with the consoles at all?

Sony Online Entertainment is looking for interns

EverQuest, EverQuest II, Pirates of the Burning Sea, PlanetSide, MMO Industry, The Agency, The Matrix Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard, Everquest Online Adventures

If you live and breathe gaming and are looking for some experience in the games industry, then you'll probably want to note that Sony Online Entertainment is currently looking to fill a number of intern positions. SOE is responsible for a whole swag of MMOs, including EverQuest, EverQuest II, Pirates of the Burning Sea, and Star Wars Galaxies, and some experience with them would likely be a valuable asset for further work in the industry, if not with SOE themselves.

They say that an internship with them would stretch 9 weeks, is a part time and paid position, and each intern will have a mentor to help them develop during the program. Taking a look at the drop-down menu on the SOE Career Opportunities page shows that quite a range of internships are available, from working with the community, to programming and developing, to art and even QA. Pretty much all of SOE's internships are based in San Diego, but it looks like there may be a couple for Seattle and Denver as well.

SOE plans community meet-up in Vegas during CES

EverQuest, EverQuest II, Pirates of the Burning Sea, PlanetSide, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, The Matrix Online, News Items, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard, Everquest Online Adventures

Sony Online Entertainment's Community Relations team have put out an open invite for anyone that would like to meet up with them at Las Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show. The team have planned to be at Quark's Bar and Restaurant, in the Hilton, on the 8th of January. If you're going to be there for CES, or for whatever else it is people do at Vegas, then consider stopping by and meeting up with the folks from SOE.

The details are as follows:

What: Community Get Together

Where: Quark's Bar and Restaurant in the Hilton Hotel, 3000 Paradise Rd. Las Vegas, Nevada 89109

When: 7:00 p.m. PST, January 8th

EQOA team struggling to put a new game on an old system

Events (In-Game), Expansions, Patches, Quests, Everquest Online Adventures, Consoles, Casual

Warcry has an interesting interview up with Clint Worley, a man given a strange task: take an MMO released on a last generation console (that requires a hard-to-find network component to play), and keep it as new as possible. Worley is the Senior Producer for EverQuest Online Adventures, a casual console MMO experiment Sony released for the PS2 that's somehow still kicking around. The game's audience is super limited (as are the old console's abilities at this point), and so Worley is facing some pretty tough challenges.

He says that Sony doesn't think it has the players there to justify an actual expansion, but that they also want new content to be pushed out, so the EQOA team (also rapidly shrinking, apparently, as devs move on to newer games) is being asked to make new content, but not too much. Also, the PS2's limited memory doesn't help either-- new content has be released as server-side changes, which, Worley says, makes new art or zones a no-no.

Still, they have gotten some cool things done, including some holiday quests and events. To my mind, this would be an amazing environment to experiment in-- because of the small player base, the devs could work very closely with the players to make sure and get the game just right. And the limited memory means that you'd have to experiment with new types of gameplay, not just throwing a new coat of paint on the old grinding areas. Who knows how long EQOA will be around, but until they shut the last server down, I'd imagine that team has some cool opportunities on hand.

EverQuest Online Adventures has gone fishin'

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Everquest Online Adventures

'Tis the season of special holiday events. As you're probably already aware, Sony Online Entertainment has come out with a number of seasonal activities to entertain and delight players in nearly all of their MMOs. Lest it be lost in the shuffle, we thought we'd clue you in on a peculiarly timed event going on in EverQuest Online Adventures, the obscure EQ offshoot available only on the Playstation 2.

The EQOA crew has revealed that their Fishing Season event officially started yesterday, and will run through November 15th. Players cast their rods far and wide in search of special "tagged fish" which can be turned into NPCs for special "certificates of participation." At the end of each week, a GM will bestow a prize on the player who has collected the most certificates for a given week. What is the prize you ask? They don't actually say. For the sake of those PS2 hold-outs still playing EQOA on the ol' Playstation 2, how about a PS3?

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