Age’s End: The Final Chapter — Why an X2 Raid?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance, Itemization, Raiding

kerafyrm

When nobody is happy, that means you’ve reached a successful compromise, right?

Some players are upset at the announcement that the Age’s End prophecy, which has dominated EverQuest II’s storyline for almost a decade, will not be directly experienced by solo players. Others are incredulous that it will not be a difficult 24-person raid. EQ2 Lead Designer Kyle “Kander” Vallee took to the forums to give the thinking behind why Age’s End: The Final Chapter is a x2 (12 person) raid and to encourage players to playtest the content:

So a few things.

We opted to make this an x2 because we want to give a lot broader amount of people access to it. It is the Ages End prophecy and the end of the most important story line in EverQuest II to date. Limiting this to x4 raiders seemed unfair. Sure, we could have made it a 6 man, but that seemed less epic for the content.

So we made a relatively easy x2 and a challenge x2. The challenge x2 is not really stupendously harder, or at least that isn’t the intention, but it will lend some better rewards to those who have done the work and geared up to this level of damage.

The bottom line was we wanted to give as many people access to it at that level without making it seem silly. We do not feel that an x2 format is silly. We feel our x2 content is lacking and we wish we could do substantially more.

This event is on Beta now and I encourage everyone to go check it out.

Kander

How can solo and group players experience the closure of the Age’s End story? I would imagine there will be live streams and perhaps pick-up raids giving it a go. Also, with the level cap raise to 100 this November, it seems likely that the x2 zone will be doable by a single well-geared group, or 12 players in average gear. You may not get the story right away, but there are always other ways.

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Comments (22)

  • Kinya

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    I thought/ hoped we would see some kind of Public Quest where lots of players could participate. x2 is disappointing as a finish for a 10 years old (or more if you count EQ1) story :/

    Reply

  • Sands

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    A PQ would have been perfect for this. 40+ people attacking a dragon seems more appropriate given the scope of the story.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      I would love to see Public Quests come back in the expac. Holding out faint hope…

      Reply

      • milliebii

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        I think that Public Quests were pretty much a disaster for the Dev’s I do not think we will see them back with the current engine (and who expects that to be replaced?) too much tuning too many performance issues, too much crying over the way loot was determined.

        Reply

        • Feldon

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          Public Quests got almost no code support (because the lead designer at the time, Rich Waters, was sharply against PQs and basically sabotaged attempts to get developer time to support them). So PQs had to be done as a series of tons of hidden quests working together and doing all kinds of crazy tricks to make it work. It’s astounding that they worked as well as they did considering it was all basically done by one guy (Windslasher).

          Now that EQ2 has an awesome Lead Designer (Kander), just imagine what Public Quests could do!

          Reply

          • milliebii

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            I hope you are right.

            Reply

    • Lexxie

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      Remember the huge public battle at the end of the Dragon Spires event? That was fantastic to be part of but was an amazing lagfest on AB. So many people crashed to desktop the poor devs had to stand in the zone for hours afterwards manually updating everyones quests =/

      Reply

  • Omence

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    A solo able HQ with an intense cinematic scene then an x4 raid similar to zarakon where you zone in and have one encounter to decide the fate of Norrath would have been the way to go. I know the team does not have a ton of time with the expac coming soon but a single mob x4 raid zone and a solo able HQ would have taken as much time as an easy mode and challenge mode x2 zone. Then everyone is happy.

    Reply

  • badcat

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    Well we are rapping this up like this, you can tell they cut back on the team. I am just hoping this is not their way of wrapping this up and sunsetting the game to make us move to eqnext.

    Reply

    • Dedith

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      You really think EQ2 will be sunset anytime soon? I’d fear more for EQ1, but frankly I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

      Reply

      • badcat

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        I think we got till the end of 2015 as we going to level 100 in November, by then eqnext will be up and running and soe will probably be looking harder at the numbers. After all the folks over at vanguard said the same thing about how they were making money and even were boasting about getting fixes, and then look what happened. I am worried, I look at the numbers on Guk and the fact they keep saying were not going for server merges. I am not sure if folks are moving or if they are just leaving. All I know is population on Guk is in decline. Not sure about the other servers.

        Reply

        • bhagpuss

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          I’d bet there are more people playing EQ1 than EQ2 these days. As for a comparison with Vanguard, there are more vendors in the Bazaar on Luclin/Stromm right now than the total number playing Vanguard on an average day before the sunset was announced. I had a macro set up to do a /count in 10 level bands and it rarely topped 300 back then on the single server still running.

          Reply

    • Feldon

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      The cut the EQ2 team from 40 to 25 last summer, but they cut Customer service by 30%. That had nothing to do with any sunsetting. They were just cutting staff down to the bone as a consequence of three failed attempts to get EQNext up and running (the current incarnation is its fourth) as well as the often-demoed, never-launched The Agency. Think of the river of money that was going out the door in R&D that never turned into a product!

      One could speculate that SOE was in a very tough position last summer and needed to make harsh cuts just to squeak by through to the Landmark Pre-sale. Fortunately, that was very successful and Landmark is doing very well, so hopefully there won’t be a need for layoffs this year.

      Reply

      • milliebii

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        But as the money rolls in and the red ink fades what will be expanded? Existing product or new product?

        You have to expect that team size will stay the same for EQ2. As time passes the team will be shrunk to match revenue from the game (if numbers continue to decline).

        Personally I do not think we will see any change for the next two years, after that who knows.

        Reply

  • Omence

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    People in EQ1 said the same thing when EQ2 launched. EQ2 is its own game with its own player base and for SoE to assume all of its members to flock to EQnext (a completely different game) because they both say Everquest in them is silly. A game has to be in a pretty sorry state to be shut down and even though there are low numbers on some servers there is still a large enough player base to keep the game going.
    As for server mergers- too much time and effort (and issues) involved in doing this and quite a lot of players spend the 25ish bucks to server merge anyway which is income for sony. Personally I recommend transferring to a more populated server which is AB.

    Reply

    • Hoot

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      The difference is that SoE had the money back then. The EQ fanbase has arguably reached its peak back in 2004. Stretching whats left of the fanbase into three different games is not a sound idea.

      And speaking of EQ1, well SoE hired new developers for EQ1 when they shifted and switched development studios around by the time of EQ2′s launch. SoE’s doing the opposite now. They’re downgrading development teams. And anyone who’s been playing EQ2 for the past 4 years knows that as clear as day.

      Reply

  • Caldroan

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    When EQ2 was about to launch, John Smedley told us that as long as EQ had a large player base they would keep going on it. I assume the same thing will happen. They will still keep going on it, just not add anything beyond the 100 level that they told us that was the limit for EQ2

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      There is nothing preventing them from raising the level cap beyond 100 at this point. And yes that’s a developer quote. And no I don’t have the link. Tough. ;)

      Reply

  • Cheg

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    Probably just as well it’s a x2. At the rate raid guilds are folding these days, a x2 will be about all anyone can fill anymore.

    Reply

  • mrgreenthumb

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    There is no doubt that PQ’s should be brought back , i know at least a dozen people that loved smashing narandi . If you ask your friends that played DOV , they will most likely tell you how much they liked . Even with the bugs , its still a good idea and we should all let the devs know that we want more PQ’s and even a few world events .

    More on topic thou , with all the complaint about the 2x zone being a 2x instead of a 4x …. why not make a version for solo, heroic, 2x and 4x with rewards that fit the difficulty ?

    Reply

  • Notclownshu

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    lool game died before the plot could

    Reply

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