Takeback: Only 3 Game Updates This Year, GU63 Slips to April

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Game Updates & Maintenance, SOE Live (Fan Faire)

During Fan Faire 2011′s “Freeport and Beyond” panel led by EQ2 Exec Producer Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson, a slate of exciting plans was laid out.

The announcements outlined Game Update 61 (War of Zek), GU62 (Freeport Reborn), GU63 and GU64 which would each contain new Destiny of Velious content, and Game Update 65 slated for August 2012 which would bring about the revamp of the City of Qeynos.

Here’s a transcript of SmokeJumper‘s Fan Faire 2011 presentation (watch video here) from 13:58 to 14:36:

What we’re concentrating on is making sure that we have not just new content to chew through really quick, although we’re constantly doing that, I think you guys all realize now that we’re on a quarterly basis for content.

We’re not selling areas, quests, and things like that in the expansion packs anymore. We’re giving that to you for the regular subscription price as you play the game. The GUs (Game Updates) will constantly be adding more stuff like that. We’re telling Velious saga stuff… After Velious, we had 60, 61, Freeport is 62, then it’s Velious again on 63 and 64, and then Qeynos next summer for [Game Update] 65.

So you can imagine our shock when reading SmokeJumper‘s statement today in response to a thread asking Is there anyone making actual content for EQ2 anymore?

Lol. Sorry, folks. I went on a two-week vacation starting at the beginning of January. It’s nice to know I was missed.

GU 63 (the next installment of DoV) is in April, not February. You’ll start hearing about it soon. The Qeynos revamp (GU 64) is after that in mid-Summer.

With this revised schedule, the gap between Game Update 62 (Freeport Reborn) and Game Update 63 (more Velious) will be 4 months, the original Game Update 64 goes away, and the gap between our next GU and the Qeynos Reborn will again be 4 months, leaving November as the natural time for Game Update 65 and Expansion #9 (which Domino vaguely tweeted about a few months back). In other words, we will only see 3 major content pushes for 2012, with only 2 (possibly 1) of them dedicated to new Destiny of Velious content.

Here’s a visual aid:

2012
Original Schedule

2012
Revised Schedule
December Game Update 62 /
Age of Discovery
Game Update 62 /
Age of Discovery
January
February Game Update 63
more Velious content
March
April Game Update 63
more Velious content
May Game Update 64
more Velious content
June
July
August Game Update 65
Qeynos Reborn
Game Update 64
Qeynos Reborn
September
October Fan Faire 2012 Fan Faire 2012
November Game Update 66/
Expansion #9
Game Update 65/
Expansion #9
December

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Comments (44)

  • Saev

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    Its pretty clear they are putting in the least money possible for this game. When you do that deadlines are pushed back and content quality goes down. But hey its about the $$$…!

    Reply

  • Lakoda

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    I am generally a fan of waiting to release high quality stuff but the chance of it actually being higher quality is low. /sad

    Reply

  • Bukowski

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    god forbid they make plans that compensate for previous problems that seem to be re-occuring

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    As I surmised before, no one takes two extra weeks of vcation in January (remember, SOE was already closed down for that holiday week around Christmastime) when they have a project due in a month. It was pretty obvious in hindsight nothing was going to happen in early the first quarter of 2012 (if it even launches in the first quarter).

    They are busy cranking out Station Cash items at a fairly steady pace, and doing things to make life easier, which includes these little projects like “sell all junk”, but you have to wonder about the nightmare that’s itemization and double casting in raids, to mention just two issues that are not being addressed.

    I think the game is pretty much solidified into what it is now…so enjoy. There’s still dungeons to be designed and homes to furnish, right?

    Reply

  • Kwikdeath

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    Oh and don’t forget the appearance mounts and armor we can “enjoy”…SoE is quick to email the playerbase letting us know they have new stuff when it is for sale…for the low price of only 1995SC. They are not as quick to email us regarding the new content to play (AoD below marketplace items in the email…really…tells you something about the overwhelming “success” of AoD…), likely as there is no new actual content aside from player made (beastlords and mercs are new, but are being used on content that already existed pre-AoD), so it is hard for them to tout anything to their players other than logging on for a quick impulse buy of some newly colored/skinned flaming mount or sparkling wings.

    Reply

  • Kitalya

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    If there’s anything I’ve learned from 15 years in IT, it’s that designers will come up with great ideas, executives will love and demand them, project managers will come up with unrealistic plans, and deadlines will slip. At the end of the day, as long as they continue to churn out new/better stuff on a regular basis, I’ll continue to play the game. Yes, I too am a little disappointed that there’s wasn’t much “new” with AoD, however it’s given me an opportunity to “merc up” and go run some of the older stuff, and see the sights I’d never seen, or had long since forgotten about. And, from what I’ve seen and heard from many others, the Beastlords are fun to play. =)

    Let’s give them the opportunity to fix the few remaining bugs from the last two updates, and focus on the next one. I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for Velious, not to mention, the Qeynos revamp! =)

    Reply

  • badcat

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    Anybody read the eqnext article at mmorpg.com yet colum yet boy howdy. OH well. All I got to say is so much for content.

    Reply

  • Hollenbrooke

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    Wondering if there has been any talk of increasing the level cap to 100 in the next expansion?

    Reply

  • Lempo of Everfrost

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    You misquoted him there Feldon he actually led out with “lol”, I feel it is important as it adds to the snarkyness, the matter of fact tone that is the first statement made about the announced schedule for the entire year being changed as if it wouldn’t shock anyone. This was obviously known before AoD launched, yet the information was held back for obvious reasons, it is truly a deceptive practice, and a pretty despicable way for a legit company to behave.

    I’m betting they are going to attempt to make the Qeynos revamp another “Expansion pack” just like AoD was. I truly think they have lost their collective minds.

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    The SOE Ministry of Information is busy destroying any evidence they ever said anything about February. =)

    Meanwhile, the team relies on snark and/or humor for misdirection.

    Reply

  • skippydippy

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    @Kwill can we expect anything less from SOE?

    As for the updates i’ll have a wager of a £1 for this bet..we go down to 2 content updates per year this team clearly cant or wont deleiver what they’re promising and have been prmising for months and we the paying customers are expected to take it on the chin.

    Not good enough really.

    Reply

  • badcat

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    Well this is all really sad and I will say why.

    What is sad is the fact that this game could be some much more. SJ and Smedley both saying increase in sales 200% players 300%. So why on earth are they not re-investing that money back into the game.

    What it looks like to me is they are keeping EQ2 set to a minimum support staff, and diverting the money to something else. Possibly to EQ3 (Eqnext).

    I just cant for the life of me figure out why SJ and company are doing their best to make the player base unhappy. All the snarky posts from sj the devs and the cm the past few days speaks volumes of how they feal about the player base as a hole.

    I am not mad about it, frankly I am depressed. I was hoping in February we would get DOV part 2 and it would be something nice and possibly give me a reason to get the aod xpac. However after the announcement I am not sure what I will do now. I been off playing another game the past month while waiting, only to have my hopes crushed.

    Reply

  • Taka

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    @Badcat, personnally, I think you hit it on the head. Historically it’s what they’ve done. EQ started long ago to get minimum attention and Planetside has a just touch of attention here and there. But, in my opinion, they stopped large percentage reinvesting for their new IPs EQ2/EQ Champions, Star Wars Galaxies, and researching how to do a game like FreeRealms.

    Then they bought Vanguard just to kill it, so it wouldn’t compete. No real expansion for a game with a poor launch but a nice idea and cleaned up well.

    You get FreeRealms release, DCUO, Star Wars Adventures, and other neato SOE family games. But at the peril of the older games, unfortunately. As Star Wars Galaxy fans well know, the fate of our version of Norrath is completely out of hands. It’s sad, but true.

    So, they continue the practice of leaving their games with some Devs and support but really are pushing for the next big thing (EQNext, Planetside2, Forgelight). Is that such a bad thing? In my core, no. When I turn on EQ2 and see year old bugs and bug reports and feedback that takes up to a year or more (sometimes) to resolve, I’m disappointed.

    Reply

  • Talnor Dragonis

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    Well you have to look at this from the free to play and SC bump.

    So the player base has increased, well none of them is into DoV yet so why worry about high end content that your loyal customers want. Why not invest more into the SC store and cater to the new money revenue source with fluff and let them work away at the lower level content.

    So this is a win/win for SoE. New revenue source, have to spend less time on development and the real players will not leave because they love the game too much. And if they do leave thats ok because the development resources we have shifted will push out a new game soon enough and we can get them back with that.

    I know SoE is a for profit company but I hate being treated like a relic instead of a loyal customer.

    Reply

  • Electri

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    Lack of content, unsatisfied customers, shrinking member base, now add missed deadlines, loyal fans mislead (becaused lied to just sounds more unpleasant), and unfixed game mechanics going on for years.

    How is someone not held accountable?

    This does not necessarily mean replaced, but if that is what it takes…

    Reply

  • thait

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    SC is barely a factor at all. They put out one item a week, sometimes two every now and then. Which means they range anywhere from 52 to possibly 65 or 70 items a year on the marketplace. In one expansion you get more items put into the game than have been put on the marketplace since it started. And nearly all of those are simply redone models which probably take minimal time to do, probably not even an hour. Even some of the houseing wouldn’t take long since it’s reused textures, or in some cases simply reuseing entire buildings. If you want to complain that there should be versions of the mounts or armor in game you have ground to stand on. You even have ground to stand on when complaining that the SC stuff looks better than ingame items, though i’ve seen plenty of ugly items for SC and some really nice looking items in DoV and before. Or to want more bug fixes than SC work, though really redoing a horse probably only takes one dev. But to complain that theres more SC stuff, or they’re focusing more on SC than content? That’s so wrong it’s pathetic.

    Since the game started we’ve gotten one content update a year. Something that has only changed in the last year, and the extra updates during the year were tiny compared to the expansion itself. We get one update this year, even though it’s been delayed to april which really doesnt bother me in the least as i’ve got plenty to do, we’re still getting that one large content update as usual and probably two smaller ones. It’s the exact same as usual besides being knocked back a couple months, and considering i’ve seen tons of gaming companies knock back release dates by months when they’re less than a month away from release it’s not like this is something shocking or even worth getting worked up about.

    Reply

  • Necromancer

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    Another optional expansion pack that will include zero content and a bunch of features that should be included in game updates?

    Oh Sony…why do you insist of being one of the worst developers ever?

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    This was posted as an SJ quote:

    Smokejumper: No one believes me when I say this (because it sounds like such a line), but we’re running this game more like a casino than a retail store. Our job (as a casino) is to entertain the heck out of our players….and give them opportunities to leave money behind if they are being entertained.

    That left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t go to casinos, the house always wins. I thought it was a game, not a retail store or even a casino where I play to spend my money. I like having adventures in a fantasy world with my character, progressing through a goal-based system that gives me rewards (both in items, and in a sense of accomplishment), with real people that provide an environment of social interaction. What game is he touting?

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding this? Taken out of context?

    Reply

  • Landiin

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    I just wish something would come out worth playing. Don’t F’n say Star Wars crap as I am not into that type of genre. I would love to spend my money else where. Logging in just to raid is even getting old with people leaving the game and having to recruit, regear all the time just sucks. Then add on top all the fail conditions that wipe the raid b/c one person jumps or missing a cure. pfft It is all getting old.

    Reply

  • Vegeeta

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    I too find myself both irate and depressed by this game now.

    WTF are they doing? Its all good and well adding new SC items without releasing new content for 8 odd months but to show up now saying “LOL” not till April after telling us at least 6 months back that we would have more stuff to do in Feb is a real f*** you moment to us all.

    Reply

  • TX

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    Agree Landiin. I think for me, the only viable fantasy game right now is Rift. And the way they are managing that game, releasing content, and the rate it’s growing, I have a feeling that in the near future I’ll be finally saying goodbye to EQ2 and hello to Rift.

    Reply

  • Necromancer

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    Smokejumper should have been fired a long time ago.

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    He has done the job that he was hired to do — and he’s no worse than some of the recent producers. I am not a fan, but he’s done nothing management could say was wrong. He made EQ2 into Free Realms, as someone on the official boards pointed out.

    Reply

  • thait

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    Depends Kwill. It could mean simply that they try to entertain and hope to get subs and money spent if people like it, that’s not exactly a bad thing since you want to be entertained or else why play a game. I have no problem with that.

    It could also mean they plan to expand things like the SC, which i dont really see as they already push out one a week and doing more would oversaturate the player base with things.

    I’m assuming it came from an interview if it was posted as a qoute of something he said so unless you saw the whole thing you cant really tell if it’s out of context or not.

    Wouldn’t hold your breath on new mmo’s Landin. I know blizzard is making a new mmo but it’s sci-fi, and i wouldn’t trust them to make anything worth anything anyway. I never tried Final Fantasy 14 so i dont know how good it is. I know Rift is boring as heck and Aion is just as bad. I dont know of any new fantasy mmo’s besides EQ3 which will probably be out in a year or so. Though really it’s all up to your tastes in mmo’s, if you’ve tried Rift and Aion and dont like them you might be stuck for awhile with nothing new coming out for a while. Though i havent looked into the new mmo news for a bit.

    Reply

  • Necromancer

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    There really is no other MMO out there that is worth a damn.

    World of Warcraft has gone extremely downhill since Burning Crusade.

    Rift flat out sucks

    The original EverQuest is still great, but the population is mostly people running three or four accounts.

    Star Wars: The Old Republic is a single player MMO with virtually no real group or raid content.

    Dark Age of Camelot is pretty much RvR only – the entire concept of PvE was dropped a long time ago.

    Vanguard could have been one of the best MMO’s out there, but Sony decided to destroy it and give it zero support.

    Age of Conan has gotten better since its release but it has a really small population.

    Lord of the Rings Online sucks.

    DC Universe Online sucks.

    EVE Online is alright, but has a really small population.

    Final Fantasy XI sucks.

    Final Fantasy XIV is probably the worst MMO ever created.

    Did I miss any that actually matter?

    Reply

  • Zapphod

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    Just an aside here, The management of Sigil should have been arrested for the con job they pulled, Vanguard was a complete mess and it is a credit to SOE that they purchased it and kept it going at all.

    Reply

  • Trueflight

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    In their defense on one point Necromancer, Vanguard was already dying BEFORE SoE bought it. They picked it up so that they could strip ideas and features from it to impliment in other games. I don’t think there was ever a plan to try and make it work, but it wasn’t SoE who destroyed that one, it was already on its death bed.

    Pretty much agree with eveything else you said though.

    Reply

  • badcat

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    Has SJ turned into Brenlo?? 2 post this week and that is it. I guess he does not like reading all the negative feedback he is getting in the forums. The total lack of communication makes you wonder what is really going on oven in soe land.

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    Brenlo was in over his head. I don’t think that’s the case here, I think SJ is perfectly competent, but doesn’t see the need to talk to the customer base. If the emphasis is on shorter term customers that come in, play, spend cash, and leave (not raiders that spend years in the game as in the past) then there’s really no need for in depth communication.

    It’s like when a small town gets a WalMart. More stuff, open 24 hours, but lacking local merchants that want to chat when you come in.

    Reply

  • Trueflight

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    I would take Brenlo back anyday over SJ. Not even a comparison between the two and the amount of things tha tgot accomplished during their watches.

    Reply

  • badcat

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    Yes while brelno avoided the forums things were at least were not being destroyed, I would rather have him back then this sj guy who is trying his best to make the vets leave in droves, yes he is bringing in new blood but how about the old blood who were invested with this product.

    What I was actually suggesting was sj was turning into brelno ignoring the forums at your own peril.

    Reply

  • Steve

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    I agree that no other MMO is really worth a darn.

    That’s why I’ve stopped playing them altogether.

    The MMO industry might not be dying but the companies definitely are no longer dancing with the ones that brought them to the dance.

    Reply

  • Kosh

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    You can say what you like about Brenlo but at least he introduced gameplay options I enjoyed which kept me maintaining a sub.

    SJ, on the other hand, has introduced nothing I find compelling and as a result I have cancelled my accounts, one of which has had an ongoing sub since 12/04.

    Reply

  • badcat

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    @charn there is an entire thread on the forums about it, folks are not happy to say the least. I got to love some of the half truths i read, but then its mmorpg.com and you got to take anything you read on that site at face value, honestly they are nothing more than a mouthpiece for companies, they lost their objectivity years ago.

    http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?topic_id=514084

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    I am suspicious of anyone who says they are building a game that no one can even imagine. That sounds unrealistic to me.

    Reply

  • Necromancer

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    Smokejumper has done nothing positive for EQ2 since taking over what…18 months ago?

    Is it really a coincidence the game is being destroyed little by little since Smokejumper took over?

    Reply

  • Katzilla

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    I really dont know what to add here: yes I love EQ2 but then again do I enjoy it as much as I used to ….no!:(( I don’t raid as I am not that high level: aa or gear. I don’t PVP for the same reason. DOV was pretty much the nail in the coffin in terms of the some of the solo players/classes in EQ2 ( and I know folks who left because of this) in terms of needing gear and aa that are beyond Mr or Mrs average wanting make ANY progress at all.
    PQ’s were a mess with folks already in raid gear thinking they were doing folks a favor by running groups ((with a few very noble exceptions who were genuinely trying to help folks out))
    Yes the BL class made it easy to level a lot quicker but then there are folks calling for them to nerfed as they are too powerful. Each new expac seems to have wonderful dungeons and loot for end game folks but nothing for everyone else playing catch up.
    I think it comes down to one fundamental question: how much and how long are you prepared to pay for something that you are not really enjoying….?
    I don’t know the answer myself right now…:(

    Reply

  • milliebii

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    ROFLMAO 10 days away touring with my kids and I come back to this. Guess I will raid for a while play SWTOR for fun and hope “Secret World” provides a new choice.

    I am no longer hoping EQ2 will get better, just hoping it gets worse slow enough for me to find a new alternative before its unplayable.

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    One can always hope for the new games from 38 Dtudios…”a Massive Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) currently under development with the working title “Project Copernicus”. A release date for Copernicus has not yet been announced.”

    This is relevant, since about half the good EQ2 designers went to 38 studios to work.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    A lot of EQ2 designers went to Trion Worlds too. :(

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    True…including Scott Hartsman. I think that just goes to show that even a senior producer with a good track record, coming in with tons of energy and enthusiam, can be somehow be channeled into making a game that isn’t what it was supposed to be. I did expect more from Trion. I am sure there is a story behind what happened there.

    Rift would never play on my computer, crashing every five minutes, until I just gave up and cancelled my sub. I don’t think I got past level 10. Obviously that was not its only problem.

    Well, see you all in Norrath. =)

    Reply

  • Arcturys

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    @Kitalya: While I agree with the concept of what you said, and appreciate your ability to see the bright side of things (something I could use more of personally), the one issue I do have is that we still spent full-expansion-pack $40 pricing in order to “merc up” and go run some of the older stuff, and see the sights I’d never seen, or had long since forgotten about.” In other words, we essentially spent $40 to go do stuff that was already released (and that we also already paid for). Boy are we suckers or what?

    Reply

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