Zoltaroth Steps Up as Lead Programmer of EverQuest II, Rothgar Heads to EQNext

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

From SmokeJumper on the EQ2 Forums:

Hey folks,

Lots of you know Rothgar (Greg Spence) who has been the Lead Programmer for the last few years on EQII. Well, he’s moving over to “EverQuest Next” now to help us move that game along, and Zoltaroth (Nandor Szots) is taking the reins.

Zoltaroth has been a Sr. Programmer on EQII for years now also and the transition has been completely seamless, mostly because Nandy and Greg have been a team for a long time now and they both know everything there is to know about the code base.

We’re looking forward to Zoltaroth’s new reign of terror…err…I mean constructive hand guiding the ship that is EQII’s code team. *ahem*.

So congrats, Zoltaroth, and we’ll see Rothgar again once EQN comes out from behind its veil of secrecy.

Trackback from your site.

Comments (37)

  • Necromancer

    |

    EverQuest Next will be the first MMO to heavily feature a marketplace where you have to buy your items such as gear, weapons, potions, etc – and you have to buy access to all your zones.

    You watch.

    Reply

  • Kwill

    |

    For sure it will be a cash based game, no doubt about that.

    Interesting that Windstalker gets a new lead programmer as SJ takes Rothgar with him.

    I will be glad when the dust settles with all these changes.

    Reply

  • skippydippy

    |

    Cant say i’m suprised to be honest i would assume SJ cherry pick anyone he wants for EQnext,but Necro is right its going to be a cash shop led MMO i’d be amazed if its not to be honest

    Reply

  • badcat

    |

    Yep it will be rmt heavy, and I will stay away from it like the plague. One has to wonder who they are going to shoot at playing it. I guess it will be leveraged at the free to play folks who are supposedly buiyng all the sc items in eq2.

    Reply

  • Wanda_Clamshucker

    |

    As I’ve painfully watched EQ2 devolve into Smedley’s and Dave’s SC wet dream, I have fully given up on this match made in hell ever producing an EQ product that resembles [i]anything[/i] that the long-time EverQuest community will enjoy. They’ve fully set their sights on dipping their ladles into the Cash Shop pot, joining the venerated ranks of Runes of Magic, Aeria games, and any number of soulless micro-transaction cash grabs.

    EQNext? This will be the steaming, greasy Love Child that results from all these labor pains and experimentation of pricing and player tolerance regarding this FTP and micro-transaction transition from a standard sub model. SJ has been testing the waters with the EQ2 community since he arrived, seeing what works and what enrages the players. All this data is helping form the substance of EQNext. I have no doubt whatsoever that the player with the fattest wallet will be the most successful in that game.

    Reply

  • milliebii

    |

    roflmao, love the imagery, hate the concept.

    But you are right on the RMT!

    Reply

  • bhagpuss

    |

    Geez, the negativity! I’d say I was part of the “long-time Everquest community” seeing that I’ve been subbed to Everquest since 1999 and EQ2 since 2004. Continually subbed and playing throughout all that time apart from a single gap of six months, too. For my subscription money EQ2 is better now than it’s ever been and no, I don’t buy anything of any significance in the SC store because there’s absolutely no need to buy anything in order to have fun. There’s more in-game for free than anyone’s ever likely to need.

    As for the “pay to win” issue, it goes all the way back to EBay sales a decade ago. Kunark was still new the first time around when “you bought that toon on EBay” was a cliche. We coped then and we’ll cope in EQNext.

    Norrath will prevail !

    Reply

  • Barx

    |

    That’s a shame. Rothgar was one of the few good and honest devs left in EQ2. Zoltaroth is a decent guy but in my experience he hasn’t been nearly as open to the community as Rothgar was.

    It’s even worse knowing that what he’ll be working on is almost certainly going to be some pay-to-play facebook-style money farm instead of a true game.

    Reply

  • badcat

    |

    @bhagpuss ok well we know its going to have a huge store, and its going to be free to play. If it is anything like wot (word of tanks) or bsg (battlestar galactic) to where you buy your tanks, you ammo, and yes even your plat, to buy more stuff in the store and purchase subs. Then yes I got a bad feeling its going to be play to win.

    Now add that to them taking rothgar of eq2, we already have a dwindling staff, now minus that buy one.

    How is that going to help eq2 being down a the one dev who even bothered talking to the forum trolls??

    Reply

  • Onorem

    |

    While I do think Zoltaroth is a very capable replacement, Rothgar moving on hits hard on how I feel they’re going to tackle the existing issues. This is not a good day for eq2.

    Reply

  • Kaufman

    |

    Business models change, and gaming progresses. As someone who isn’t sitting at home all day grinding out plat, but at work trying to make a living, I do not mind being able to augment my experience across the board with micro-transactions. They are running a business, and as someone who plays hardcore, but also has a full time job, I am happy to pay incrementally for anything I want. The problem with the subscription model is that you place an arbitrary ceiling on your best customers. Why limit your most hardcore customer to $15 a month when he/she is willing to pay $1,500 a month? If a game is worth playing, builds equity with the user, and “hooks” him or her, they will pay. If not, the game will wither and die.

    They aren’t going to make everything micro-transaction – you will still have end-game items and quests and everything else to grind and aspire towards completing or receiving, but at the same time, you will be able to buy other items to help you along, personalize your toon, and advance – which to me is fine. Not trying to sound dickish, but if you have 10 hours a day to play and grind, good for you – go get that item. If I have 2 hours a day to play and want to pay $20 for that item, good for me. Your time is money just like mine is. Outside of raid content, nearly EVERYTHING is attainable via time, not skill, and I seriously doubt EQNext will put raid items up for sale for anyone. There has to be some balance.

    Reply

  • Onorem

    |

    Changing times I guess. You might not want to sound dickish, but you sure do come off that way. If I wanted to pay my way through a game, I could. I prefer to play a game and see how well I can do it compared to those around me. If you want to pay for progress, congrats to your checkbook.

    Reply

  • Landiin

    |

    Losing Greg can’t be a good thing for EQ2. I know I’ll miss consulting him on UI issues and getting him to add little tweaks here and there for us. Glad he is being moved to a live project though, that is good for him just bad for us. I am also guessing they are not adding a new programmer to the team, so that means less man power. We all know what that means…

    Reply

  • Eschia

    |

    Really wish SOE would stop playing musical chairs with the devs. And we wonder why things get broken so much. New guy doesn’t know what the old guys did, tries to make changes/additions, causes problems with older content. Replacing smokejumper I can get behind though.

    Reply

  • XK

    |

    I feel like this has been a transition that started occurring a while back. Rothgar has mainly worked on some of the ancillary mechanics as of late (house rating system + some of the dungeon finder stuff). I always assumed that was a prelude to moving him to a new team.

    Best of luck to him on EQ Next. I think they’ll be hard-pressed to get new subscribers.

    Reply

  • Kwill

    |

    After Rift and other new releases, I think the gild is off the lily of MMO’s — what the deep pockets want and what the starry eyed game designers want are two different things. It’s just not economical to design a game that works solely on player time for advancement. Too many developer hours for the ROI, I suppose.

    The reality is, there will never be a game released now that will be like the old school games where it was a time sink to advance.

    Reply

  • PaulWS

    |

    EQNext will be the first EQ game I don’t play. Cant stand the micro trans model. Oh well. The game coming from Schiller’s company seems like it will be more towards what I want. (Real death penalties,travel and actual difficulty.

    Reply

  • Feldon

    |

    Really wish SOE would stop playing musical chairs with the devs. And we wonder why things get broken so much. New guy doesn’t know what the old guys did, tries to make changes/additions, causes problems with older content. Replacing smokejumper I can get behind though.

    The first major change to the dev team in 6 years is musical chairs? Greg and Nandor have been the main guys for a long time now.

    Although I will miss the Greg’s communication with players, Nandor is a more than capable programmer. He wrote:

    • EQ2′s insanely great Anti-spam filter which went on to be published as an industry-wide white paper on how all MMOs should filter spam
    • Rewriting EQ2′s Housing System to support multiple houses. This was like rocket surgery.

    I could go on.

    Reply

  • Dedith

    |

    I have to agree with Feldon. We’ve been working with Nandor for a bit with the data feed APIs and he’s been quite helpful and informative.

    Reply

  • Wanda_Clamshucker

    |

    ..and I agree with Dedith, who agrees with Feldon.

    What I would ultimately like is for someone to replace SJ. Unfortunately, he was hired by someone else (Smed?) and is just the wicked hobgoblin on strings, dancing the merry tune of the evil puppet master.

    Yes, my bitterness of what has happened to EQ2 as a whole is bleeding through.

    I just hope (crosses fingers, prays to EVERY diety, sacrifices a guinea fowl) that EQNext won’t be My Little (Free to Play, Your way!) Pony Online. Who am I kidding.

    Reply

  • Eschia

    |

    It just seems as though SOE keeps moving people around. Sure you could say they are being promoted I guess. Take Domino for example. I liked having her working on tradeskill stuff. It was actually getting me interested in doing that content. Usually I fall asleep at the stove. Now we lost our best programmer.

    Reply

  • Eschia

    |

    Also how many lead producers has the game had since launch?

    Reply

  • Grimmond

    |

    Sorry to say this, but get used to the dev migration. The new BIG project is Next and EQ2 is in transition. The game is getting stale and may have only a few more years left in it (though I am sure that is what we said when Eq2 was in development and we thought EQ was going to close it’s collective doors). As Next gears up developers will migrate to the new project and new guys will come here to add minor amounts of content as they gain expierence for their next project (beyond Next). That is the nature of gaming companies, the best talent has to work on the bigger projects. Quite frankly the Next project team has probably already been siphoning team members and we just did not notice. But have hope … EQ Classic has been around for nearly 10 years.

    Reply

  • badcat

    |

    I do have an honest question who do we have on the dev team now?

    I was thinking they moved silius back over to vanguard on more of a permanent basis. So who are we left with?

    Reply

  • Steve

    |

    EQNext, coming to Facebook, Fall 2013.

    Reply

  • badcat

    |

    @steve if thats the case eqnext going to facebook they missed the curve 2 years back, by then the rest of the world will be doing games on the android or something.

    Reply

  • Steve

    |

    Badcat – as usual it is hard to present the attitude of a comment on the Internet…

    Reply

  • badcat

    |

    @steve well i’m sorry it was hard to tell if you were being serious or if that was a joke. After all they seam to have tied themselves into face book, and after all free to play and face book would make common since kind of, however my thoughts were they missed that boat.

    Reply

  • Eschia

    |

    I probably wont play EQNext unless the graphics are on par with or surpass EQ2. I don’t think my eyes can stand playing 8 years of what I’ve seen so far in the early alpha screenshots. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover because it might change, and I know graphics don’t make a game great, but I do like a little realism in the appearance of things. I also don’t like RMT. I only deal with it in EQ2 because the devs listen to us in regards to what should and should not be there, but I’ve hardly ever made use of anything from there.

    Reply

  • Electri

    |

    Definition of INSANITY is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome.

    Reply

  • Kwill

    |

    It might be great for EQ2 if the focus goes to EQNext — then the team that’s left can settle down and work on the game without all the fluctuations in personnel and more importantly, all the experiments they seem to be doing now.

    EQ seems to have fared okay, despite being a well-worn title.

    Reply

  • Stewe

    |

    @Electri Another Einstein qoute: “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”

    Reply

  • freudrick

    |

    The Insanity quote did not come from Einstein but from the book Narcotics Anonymous. It was written somewhere around 1981.

    Reply

  • Fred

    |

    Is this true????

    the latest on SOE and Everquest Next

    More changes coming from SOE.
    Everquest Next had two pre-production builds proposed.

    one build was extensive with a large budget of 100 million dollars. It was Everquest on steroids, thats its nickname around the water cooler.

    the other build proposal is extremely casual. Its known around the cooler as everquest invades farmville. its budget is very small, 20 million dollars.

    the farmville version was approved.

    in addition, more cuts are coming within SOE. Several hundred subcontract workers have 6 month contracts expire december 31st. They will not be renewed

    basically the team that was working on the Everquest on Steroids build lost the contest and is being let go

    Reply

  • Feldon

    |

    J Smedley denied that EQNext is a Facebook game on Twitter. Just sayin’.

    Reply

  • Tomkins

    |

    I for one am excited to hear that there will be another EQ. My only wish is they keep the content and progression difficult as they did with EQ1.

    I miss the old progression via Flags keys etc etc. PoP was a blast for me and I hope they bring that back with EQN.

    I know alot of dedicated players myself included from EQ and EQ2. Nows a chance for them to shine again. Dont fail us SoE!!!

    Reply

Leave a comment

- Name (required)
- Website (optional)
Please post your comments without flaming or insulting other players or personally attacking SOE employees. Comments from bogus e-mail addresses may be deleted. If you wish to have an Avatar picture, feel free to create an account on Gravatar.com. Once you sign up for a Gravatar account, then any Wordpress-powered blog you comment on will automagically show your avatar.

Powered by Warp Theme Framework