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
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
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
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!
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
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.
Gallery: SOE Fan Faire Schwag Bag
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?
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?
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.
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
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.
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?