The Age of Discovery NDA Has Been Lifted

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

As of 6:20pm PST last night (3:20am my time), an announcement (also here) indicating that the Age of Discovery NDA has lifted.

As we found out last year, this doesn’t actually mean the whole NDA has been lifted. Due to a Survivorship clause, in fact just two passages of the two page document have been rescinded. We are allowed to talk about what we experienced in Beta. The gag order is lifted. We get our voice back. But anything else such as quotes from the Beta forums, screenshots, videos, etc. are still verboten.

Now there’s a noble goal behind this and that’s to prevent really ugly screenshots which don’t represent the final product getting plastered all over the Internet. The information, screenshots, and videos people are posting should reflect how the Age of Discovery expansion will look when it’s released, not how it looked a month ago. Developers also need to be able to have free and unfettered communication with players. If they knew that their every off-hand comment on the Beta forums might get broadcast to the world, they might be more cautious about posting.

We will have some articles today, although the restriction on screenshots and videos naturally hampers what we can do.

A Shift in Focus

Through Rise of Kunark, EQ2 Fan Sites were allowed to use screenshots they’d taken during Beta, so long as they got approval for these images from SOE PR. The approval was required due to some naff (McNaff?) screenshots that were posted.

For The Shadow Odyssey and Sentinel’s Fate, Kiara took Fan Sites on Beta Tours, as well as providing us with product keys, prowler mounts and other items to give away, lore puzzles, and other information to put on our sites. And during the Beta Tours, we were able to request screenshots and she’d get them for us. We always had an open line of communication about what was going on with EQ2 and were able to get questions answered, interviews, etc. Suffice it to say, we were spoiled while Kiara was a Community Manager.

For Destiny of Velious, after some impassioned pleas and nudging, Fan Sites were at least able to use our own screenshots (but not videos).

For Age of Discovery, Fan Sites have gotten Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.

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Comments (32)

  • NightEye

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    “For Age of Discovery, Fan Sites have gotten Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.”

    Screenshots of what anyway ? There’s no new content…

    Reply

  • Isest

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    I am not so much as interested in screenshots. I would like to know more along the lines of game mechanics. Mercenaries, how they worked pricing structure, and dungeon finder along with pricing structure on tokens. That kind of thing, and most of all did you have fun with beta. I had fun with the last 2 beta’s I was in but this time they looked me over. However we know by past experiances that things like that can change like right before the beta went live. Remember the armor changes last minute before velious luanched.

    Reply

  • Lakoda

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    I’m with NightEye. There was Zero, zip, zilch, nada, no new content. All allowing fan sites to publish early previews of it was going to do was show everyone just how much of a complete ripoff this xpac is. That would have hurt presales a lot. I fully expect the price to drop very early (like by January, because sales stop dead after the first week).

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    For Age of Discovery, Fan Sites have gotten Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.

    Screenshots of what anyway ? There’s no new content…

    How about screenshots of Beastlord AAs and the Beastlord casting window and pet abilities? I can’t post screenshots of any of that.

    Reply

  • karl

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    does the dungeon creator include traps?

    Reply

  • Steve

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    I believe the Age of Discovery will be just that …..full of discovering errors, bugs, blatantly failures of management within SOE. I bought the expansion ..there is nothing else out there that interest me.

    Just like they need advertising; they should have taken advantage of the people who would have been pumping up this launch in my estimation this will be the least bought expansion in eq2 history. Dollars will speak to the management but this change at the same time from “pay to play” to “free to play” will put a filter on the negativity surrounding this expansion.

    We are working hard to create a guild on our server that draws in new and old school players.

    Feldon, your site above most other sites we are waiting to hear news ….as soon as you can.

    Pyropower
    officer of Necrosis
    Freeport Server
    necrosisguild.wordpress.com

    Reply

  • karl

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    @Steve
    I agree with your reasoning

    but all the issues aside
    this is the first new class in the history of EQ2 – and a Beastlord at that

    would not surprise me if AOD outsold DOV

    DOV was largely not needed unless already 90

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    We did have a screenshot of the mercenary pricing from MMORPG.com posted here — it was a plat and change to buy, and then 30 gold per hour to use.

    However, I am more interested in how they function mechanically, since they are specifically designed to be flawed. Very curious to hear people’s experiences with them, the various options, and how they worked in different situations.

    I assume the BL is an overpowered class, but also curious for the details.

    The DYOD seems like a bust, but by all means, tell us if they were fun. At all. I don’t think Feldon is much of a decorator, so I think he will be reporting for those of us who like action play, rather than designing homes and interiors (not that there’s anything wrong with that, it is one unique and entertaining feature of this game).

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    That sounded like I was saying Feldon couldn’t decorate — what I meant was, house design doesn’t seem to be his emphasis, gameplay does. I am sure his personal house and guild hall is very well designed!!

    Reply

  • Necromancer

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    That’s because the EQ2 development team doesn’t care about the fan base.

    Reply

  • Steve

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    @Karl agreed about the beastlords bringing a huge item people have wanted but in reality this whole expansion should be free OR to pay for the development time should be piecemeal from the station …you buy what you want.

    Yes, zoning in freeport sucks but did it really need a revamp …and a revamp without flying or leaping mind you …WTF! But hey guys we are giving it to you free with GU62 that isn’t even added into the cost of development its FREEEEE.

    Seriously:

    • Mercenaries – like a guild amenity ..cost and will cost over time.
    • 20 aas – for real? to spend on what abilities?
    • DIY Dungeons – that people can rank, and decorate and then not use their own toons in?
    • Glass armor and props as rewards?
    • Tradeskill appentices that I have heard so little about and I am prepared to be underwhelmed.
    • Reforging – another unnecessary “bonus” I mean I already have BAGS of gear I will never ever wear again I cannot possibly have gear I need to reforge.

    Pyropower
    officer of Necrosis
    Freeport Server
    necrosisguild.wordpress.com

    Reply

  • Onorem

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    People will buy it simply because of the Beastlord name. They could’ve just renamed another class without changing anything else and it still would’ve sold on nostalgia alone. I don’t at all understand why someone would buy a contentless pack if they expect it to be full of errors, bugs, and blatant failures of management within SOE. If you buy it, they won’t care about the errors, bugs, and blatant failures of management.

    DoV was horrible, and that was painfully clear in beta, but you “had” to have it if you wanted to keep playing endgame. Nobody has to have this, and it’s sad that people are going to be willing pay what they’re asking for it.

    Reply

  • mesa

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    @ Onorem

    I played EQ but never played beastlord there, so no nostalgia for me. I have all archetypes but scout class since I’ve been playing, and I’m ready to try something new. I’m somewhat interested in mercenaries as well.

    To be clear I would never purchase this expansion for $40, however I have traded in game plat for enough SC to buy it, so I will be getting it.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    I am working on the Beastlord Warder Guide which will hopefully post in about an hour. Then a general reaction to the whole Expansion and GU62.

    Reply

  • Nyota

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    I miss Kiara 🙁

    We got all info we wanted during SF beta, and thanks to this many of my friends and readers bought that x-pac…

    Reply

  • Daffodil

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    I’m still waiting to hear something interesting about this feature pack. Extra AA points mean nothing when I can’t even spend the ones I have because there’s nothing on which to spend them.

    Although I haven’t a clue what the apprentices are about, there hasn’t been much point to crafting for some time, so that doesn’t interest me. Crafted gear is no better than quest rewards, food has become redundant, spells are researched, etc.

    Decorating my own dungeon then getting my knitting while I wait for my friends to use it, somehow doesn’t appeal to me.

    From what I’ve heard of mercenaries (admittedly not much) I think I’d rather just make some bronze characters and multibox them.

    Reforging I don’t understand at all. It sounds reminiscent of the War when old jumpers were unpicked and the yarn used for new ones.

    Beastlords would have had me excited and pre-ordering the expansion for all accounts if they’d arrived two or three years ago. I’ve been playing one in Rift for a while and enjoy it, so that’s the only part of Age of Destiny that sounds vaguely interesting. I agree with Onorem though, they could just have put something in the AA tree of one of the scouts to make beastlord an option of an existing class.

    And Kwill, are you saying you want to decorate Feldon? Would that be with a medal or a Frostfell bow?

    Reply

  • Tomatoh

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    hey Feldon you should start a new article on HOW SOE cut it support hours from M~F to M~T and never told anyone!

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    hey Feldon you should start a new article on HOW SOE cut it support hours from M~F to M~T and never told anyone!

    It’s for one day.

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    They are having a “town meeting” with the staff. Hope that’s a good thing.

    Reply

  • Tomatoh

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    Thanx Feldon.. must have missed that memo somewhere 🙂

    Reply

  • Whilhelmina

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    Well, all my previews are using screenshot of the UI pieces for a more easy understanding of the guide. And as I am NOT going to remove screenies to put them back 2 days later, I will wait a bit before posting my preview in the open.
    Screenshots of UI are no gamebreaker but do help a lot in the understanding of what is around.

    Reply

  • mesa

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    @Kwill Fansites are having a meeting with SOE?

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    No, the announcement about the downtime was for an internal “town hall meeting” with the SOE staff, including customer service, I guess. Nothing to do with fan sites, just SOE shutting it’s doors for the day.

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    @daffodil, I am sure Feldon would look fetching with a Frostfell bow.

    Reply

  • Karith

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    I really miss the times of the amazing PR work Kiara did, or was allowed to do.

    Reply

  • milliebii

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    Nothing public yet about the ‘town hall meeting’/Office Xmas party. Or is that just my cynicism showing?

    Reply

  • Isest

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    Lol I just got invited to the beta no less than 10 minutes ago.

    Reply

  • Trueflight

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    @Daffodil I originally was thinking something like that as well for makign the Beastlords an AA update for other scouts, but having tried one in beta, I can say that they are a completly new class. Beastlords have about as much in common with other scouts as a carpenter does with a provisioner… they both can make things…

    The class is a very interesting combo of Brawler and Summoner. Very melee oriented as far as the Beastlord themselves are concerned while the Warders are much more durable than caster pets. There is a wide variety of Warders, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, each with their own tactical advantages and disadvantages.
    The warders “level up” as well, allowing you to spend AA (their own AA, it does not take away from your own personal AA for your class) that allow you to further customize and tweak the Warders you use to your playstyle.

    I tried a variety of Warders and AA setups for them. You can boost their damage output and criticals to make them more of a dps pet, or concentrate on their defences and hp to make them more of a tank. Not to mention taht you get to make these choices for each of the 16 different Warder types seperatly, so you can mix and match.

    My only real complaint was that there isn’t a tutorial for the class. It is so different from other classes, new windoes, bars, and meters appear at certain levels with no explaination and you are left to figure it out on your own.

    Reply

  • Disgruntled

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    NDA…what is there to discuss?

    I am still very irritated that instead of spending dev time on fixing DoV or building new zones, they redid Freeport. That is a microcosm of why EQ2 is failing. That and charging $40 for the expac.

    I wish there something better out there…

    Reply

  • Steve

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    Disgruntled – there will never really be anything better or amazing in the MMO industry for at least another 10-20 years. It is going to take that long for the stink that WoW has put on every game out now and in the future to go away.

    WoW did nothing less than destroy innovation and creativity in the MMO world.

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    @Steve — could you be referring to the fact that WoW pets have AA trees that you can customize to make them a dps or other type of pet? Sheesh, SOE, derivative much?

    I think their motto is, “why reinvent the wheel, when that wheel makes a lot of money? Now which new wheel can we put in our game?”

    Reply

  • Grimmond

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    @Disgruntled
    “I wish there something better out there…”

    THAt is why EQ2 will continue, at least for the forseeable future … and why EQNext has a strong chance of being a money maker as well. EQ1 players will stay with EQ1 though some may migrate, and I see large numbers of EQ2 players migrating … afterall we left EQ1 for the next best thing and will probably do it again.

    There is no content here because they have comitted to releasing the new content for free, so if you do not want beastlords or DYOD or the other minor items … stop bitching and do not bother to buy it. Continue playing as you have been and in a month there will be more content released.

    FTP and micro trasactions are the way of the future, sorry … It’s the only way for EQ2 to survive and EQNext to become a viable product. You are probably right, this expansion may have low sales numbers and might become parted out on SC but then again it may sell very well to the new players that will come along in the most recent wave of new FTP players … so maybe it won’t … but then again who knows.

    The first day we all opened the game and zoned in you may have noticed a message in large text “You’re in OUR world now” … they are going to do what they want. All we can do is make requests, and attenpt to guide them in the future path they take with the game. They do listen on occasion … hence the beastlord after 8 yeras of whining, the cancellation of the changes to melee and the paladin squash, the removal of gear decay and gear scores. I know there are hundreds of unpopular decisions and mistakes, omissions, and failures on their part … but we all continue to play. There must be a reason we all come back day after day …

    Reply

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