Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson has followed up today’s big news with a blog post over on the Station Blog on what we can expect at Fan Faire, the future of the EverQuest II Extended (F2P) server, and some hints about what’s coming in updates surrounding the Destiny of Velious expansion. You can read his post on the Station Blog here.
So, now that we have both the EQII Live subscription and the EQIIX free adventure services, what are we doing next?
The answer is mostly that we’re putting all our sweat into making the game more fun and easier to use.
But what does that mean?
First of all, we talk to a bunch of you at Fan Faire. Not only do we spend time showing you what we’re planning, but we’ll be listening and collecting feedback at the same time. In fact, the first thing we’re doing at the show is a session about the EverQuest II Extended service where we’ll be in direct dialog with you about that new offering.
Of course, our efforts on the new expansion pack continue full-force this year. (Another thing we’re officially unveiling for the first time at Fan Faire.) That’s only 10 days or so from now and we can’t wait to show off some of the new areas and features…and that one special surprise we’ve kept under wraps exclusively for this debut.
The expansion pack is scheduled for release this Winter (which is thematically appropriate, I suppose). We’re keeping the complete list of features hidden for the moment, but it’s a widely-varied expansion with all the areas, items, raids, dungeons, etc. that you’ve come to expect from expansion packs. You should be pleased.
In addition, our existing game is enormous. EverQuest II has more content (quests, areas to explore, feature sets) than most MMOs can dream of having. (Eight years of constant development makes it tough for new MMOs to compete.) However, due to having so much content, players tend to tread certain well-worn paths toward their quest for level 90, leaving lots of those other areas under populated. We intend to shake that up a bit and provide lots of incentives, not only to explore more widely, but perhaps even to mentor down and explore areas after reaching 90 with benefits that increase the power of your level 90 characters.
Our UI honing will also continue as we move forward. After all, the more players in the game, the better, and the easier it is for new players to just play the game, instead of struggling with interface and hidden features, the more fun it will be for them and the bigger our world will grow.
Additionally, we intend changes to occur in the Battlegrounds and PvP aspects of the game. There are some obvious imbalances we need to address, and we’d like to make it more rewarding and fun for everyone that participates.
Of course, we’ll also be creating more Appearance (non-stat) items to release in the Marketplace so players can create a look that’s not shared by everyone else in the game.
And last, (but certainly not least), we intend to release a design overview for what the classes should be, how they should work together…and then execute on that plan.
To be perfectly honest, the current expansion is taking up a huge amount of our available dev time right now, so everything except that expansion pack will be on “slow burn” until we get it further along, but this is our plan and what we intend to execute upon.
All-in-all, the past year has been great for EverQuest II. The player base is growing constantly and the EverQuest II Extended service is an example of our confidence that the EQII franchise will not only hold steady, but that it still stands head and shoulders above its competitors and can do great things.
It’s going to be a heck of a year…for both services. And we can’t wait.
– Dave (Smokejumper) Georgeson.
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