Here's a canonical summary of the SOE Community Address.
At under 50 minutes, this has to have been the shortest Community Address in the history of SOE Fan Faire events. We were advised to expect a 'light' event, but nothing could prepare us for nearly 20 minutes of banal, juvenile humor and heavy promotion for all things Jace Hall Productions. If you saw EverCracked, you get the idea.
As is his schtick, he worked quickly to turn the audience against him. He wheeled out his World of Warcraft music video and let it play for a good 2-3 minutes before nixing it. Jace Hall is an Exec Producer on the current suspense TV series "V", but we mostly saw clips from Series 3 and previews of Series 4 of the absurd slapstick Jace Hall show, as well as outtakes of his EQ doc EverCracked.
It wasn't long until we were all secretly wishing that Alan "Brenlo" Crosby would walk out on stage and get this weekend launched right.
Brasse did her best to add some levity to the proceedings, but probably the most charismatic speaker of the evening was SOE President John Smedley. Yes, you read that right.
Jace Hall's intros/icebreaker was the Top 10 Things Not to do at Fan Faire, which was worth a few chuckles. After various clips of his shows, we saw the 2007 Fan Faire Wedding clip again.
Then, he called in the midget. I'm not kidding. It looks like a character "Gnoob" is being brought up to put some humor into how EQ2 is perceived. We'll see if it works...
The last section before the Cap'n took the stage was the presentation of the four winners of the Backstage Blogger contest, including clips of their tryout videos. I believe they each receive a nice camera and other items and their videos will be posted to SOE over the duration of the weekend.
SOE President John Smedley touted only a few games in this year's address.
EverQuest: House of Thule releases on October 14th. It adds a plethora of new dungeons and content, as well as the addition of player housing.
EQ2 expansion is The Return of the Void...ok just kidding. It's...
EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious releases February 8th and, amongst other things, will introduce flying mounts in most zones. It is unclear which zones are being configured to allow this. Say what you will about Brenlo, but this was an initiative he pushed for. Glad to see it's coming.
EQ2 Extended -- Beta launches August 17th. New optional free adventure service. Live subscription remains unchanged. Yadda yadda.
FreeRealms coming to Mac and PS3 in ~2 months. Currently 13 million players (unknown how many are paying)
Clone Wars Adventures -- shown at E3, targeted at FreeRealms crowd. Based closely on the Cartoon Network series and will have heavy cross-promotion.
Magic the Gathering strategy game will be something quite different. It's not a TCG.
DC Universe Online -- Releases November 2nd. PC and PS3, Action-based physics. Newsworthy bit: Pre-ordering will be huge and allow you to play as Batman, as well as get a basketful of free items. Shown the astonishingly good trailer from last week featuring Lex Luthor.
One more thing...
and then we're Rick rolled... Oh boy...
slide: The future of Everquest...
Smedley: We're not done with EverQuest.
Concept Art shots.
The "Evolution of EverQuest" panel surprise announcement for Friday and Saturday at 10am.
He strongly suggested we attend either of the 2 identical panels to give as much feedback and input as possible on the development of EverQuest Next.
That's the end of the Community Address. That was SHORT. It almost took longer to queue.