EQ2Wire and the EverQuest 2 Extended Panel

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Daybreak Live (SOE Live/Fan Faire)

EQ2Wire was borne out of the desire and thrilling concept of having a LIVE blog of Fan Faire. For the last 2 years, the EQ2-related panels have been about 50-50 with 50% presentations/content, and 50% Questions & Answers. This year, the panels were significantly lighter on content, with closer to 75% of each panel focused on Questions & Answers.

This put me, as the sole blogger trying to tackle 6 panels, at a genuine disadvantage. As I found out during Fan Faire, Questions & Answers are much more difficult to capture and blog live without inaccuracies and misinterpretations slipping in.

No panel has been put under more scrutiny than the EQ2 Extended panel. Hundreds of players at home were refreshing the EQ2Wire live blog for this panel, hanging on every word to see if the game they love — EverQuest II — would be changed forever. Readers have been scrambling for details on this emotional topic.

So when I took a question or answer that’s 3-4 sentences long and summarize it in 8-10 words, it is very possible for there to be misconceptions and even errors. So through a confluence of events, a lot of attention was paid to a panel that was particularly difficult to keep up, with emotions running high both at Fan Faire, and for readers at home.

Transcript or Impression?

Two examples so far:

Question: as a raider I’m worried about shrinking rosters.
Georgeson (Smokejumper): We will have to wait and see. Who knows the free to play server may end up as the “place to be” for raiding.

According to listeners, Georgeson said just the opposite, that raiders may prefer to play on the EQ2 Subscription servers as the “place to be” for raiding.

Also, Rijacki has pointed out that I misquoted her question. Here is what she has posted on the EQ2 Forums:

Q: In the presentation at the start of the panel it was mentioned there will be 2 buttons with a listing of some sort on the features/limitations of each game variant. One button will lead to an immediate charge for $40+ with the other leading to no immediate charge. That’s not really a choice. Why not a free trial of EQ2 or even a free transfer from EQ2x to EQ2 before level 20 or within 14 days?

EQ2Wire has already corrected our interpretation of one comment from Dave Georgeson from:

Question: I don’t want f2p players to transfer over to live.
Georgeson: it’s how we feel as well.

to the following:

Question: I don’t want f2p players to transfer over to live.
Georgeson: (update) this is the feeling we have gotten from the players.

It’s more complex than that still because some players resist to F2P altogether (giving this game we’ve been paying for for 5 years away), while others resist to the powerful marketplace which seems to be required by F2P. The decision to keep EQ2 and EQ2X separate was primarily player-driven.

Going Forward

EQ2Wire posts on-the-fly Questions & Answers from EQ2 Panels at Fan Faire, and the accuracy is always going to be limited by time and technology available. I used an iPad on AT&T’s creaky connection, and questions were coming hot and fast. Also, the PA/speakers were extremely quiet in the room, so that folks in the back couldn’t hear any of the conversations.

People have asked “How do you do it?” The answer has been to summarize each comment to is component parts as quickly as possible. I type 75pm, but for such an emotional topic as EQ2X, it appears that this may just not be suitable. Exact quotes of what is being said are important to gather context when you are hanging on every word, trying to grasp the reasoning behind a controversial or unpopular initiative.

I have not had a chance to watch the extremely dark videos posted by SOE to go back and clean up my logs, but going forward, here are some things EQ2Wire is going to do:

  • I will not attribute questions to a specific person. This is not a slight, but to avoid situations where a player is ‘called out’ for being critical based on my interpretation of their question. It is probably better to just have “Q:” before each question. Then players can take it upon themselves to spell out exactly what they asked and how it was answered. I don’t want players to be put on the spot based on how I distill my notes.
  • I will add a disclaimer above each Q&A panel indicating that, within the limitations of time and technology, this is my best impression of the Questions and Answers during these panels. Mistakes and inaccuracies are certainly possible.

Live Audio?

If I attend Fan Faire next year (it’s getting tough to justify the travel, time, and money to work for approximately 16 hours for a volunteer unpaid website), I am seriously looking at the technology required to do a live audio stream. I actually have all the hardware and dedicated server to do this. The biggest roadblock is Bally’s prehistoric network connection. There is NO wi-fi anywhere in the hotel as far as I can gather. And I am thinking that broadcasting a stream on AT&T’s creaking 3G network would be torturous to listen to at home.

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Comments (6)

  • Starseeker

    |

    If you decide to go to fan faire next year, and go the audio route, could you not record the pannels/Q&A while you are there using a voice recorder of some sort (yeah I’m real technical :D) …still blog as you do, but then you would have audio to post after the fact or at least edit what you posted originally.

    And…unfortunately the extremely dark videos that SOE posted also sound like your listening to a drive through speaker in the dark, you can’t hardly understand them and they are very quiet.

    Reply

  • Malade

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    Since i probably won’t be able to go again, i will take anything you can do. I really appreciate you doing this for us!

    Reply

  • Glenolas

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    Hang in there, Feldon. You are providing a great service. Keep up the effort.

    Someone will eventually tease out the exact question and Smokejumper’s exact answer from the scratchy, murky video, and we’ll have a finished version. You’ve generated the interest.

    However, I’ve read nearly everything available from all sources about SOE’s Q&A answers, and in particular Smokejumper’s, and must say, with apologies to Tennessee Williams….

    There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity…You can smell it.

    There simply can’t be that many questions that they don’t have answers to, or at least strong in place plans, that they need to constantly deny knowing them.

    Reply

  • Spakka

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    Don’t let a few whiners overshadow your huge and committed effort to report the events at fan-faire to all EQ2 followers. I was one of over 10,000 views and along with the vast majority was very grateful for your updates.

    Thank you Feldon !

    Reply

  • Jeff

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    Did you say you got video of the mechanics panel Feldon? I’ve been dying to see it and I cannot find anything but the tradeskill panel on youtube.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    I am FINALLY posting EQ2 Mechanics panel videos!!! All 6 will be posted tonight!

    Reply

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