Notes from Today’s EverQuest II Twitch Livestream for Feb 18, 2015

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

eq2_twitch_2015-02-18

Members of the EverQuest II team took to Twitch today to reassure players about the direction and future of the game given last week’s stunning takeover and layoffs. While it was great to hear some of the team’s overall plans for the near future, it would have been great to start out with an acknowledgement of what happened, some high level broad strokes about how the team has pulled together to continue to give us content. I’d have also mentioned the expansion (Even if a date is unknown) as there is a doubt as to whether there will be one. For a monthly “here’s what we’re working on” this was perfectly fine, but with expectations as high as they were, we really needed a Home Run and this was more of a base hit.

The livestream included EQ/EQ2 Executive Producer Holly “Windstalker” Longdale, Lead Designer Kyle “Kander” Vallee, EQ2 Designer Chris “Chrol” Garlick, EQ2 Senior Designer Nathan “Kaitheel” McCall, and EQ2 Animator Tom Tobey.

First up, Holly talked about how the EnterpriseDB migration is still under way. This is a lot of back end work to upgrade EQ2’s game servers which will have huge benefits once it’s complete, including Cross-Server Dungeons. The servers have been getting updates this week (thus the 4 hour maintenance windows) with an OS upgrade which is part of this process.

Kaitheel is still working on Live Events such as Brewday, Tinkerfest, etc.

Holly: Last year we had weekly updates. We’re not doing that anymore . (Thank God! — even Georgeson admitted in a recent MMORPG.com interview that weekly updates were hard on the dev teams). We’re going to look at what’s good for the game. We’ll be doing fewer bigger updates, plus we’ll still do weekly hotfixes as it makes sense.

Chris Garlick: New Advanced Solo, Heroic, Event Heroic content coming. He was getting razzed for how often he had been killing players in the AoM heroic zones at launch before they were tuned.

Kaitheel: Brewday on Test. Chronoportals comes after that. Also Bristlebane Day.

Kyle: Next week — Rare Heroic bosses (loot pinatas) — tons of new Weapons, Weapons will be on patterns so you can pick your poison. New rare drops. OMG we have a lot of stuff coming. Tier 4 green armor conversion to red gems. Red 2/2 gem conversion to Purple.

Kyle: Adding missions to Brokenskull Bay contested. Weekly contested missions. Tuning heroic zone difficulty.

Holly: We’ll probably get to the Deity System later. We’re examining the timeline.

Holly: StationCash is being renamed and rebranded but won’t change otherwise.

Holly: We’ve been talking about server populations and we’ll be sharing some ideas with you. Cross-server dungeon finder is the first step. Having a mechanism for players to group with each other. We may offer some other options. This database work is coming in phases throughout the year. We’re converting our entire database system. We’ll be asking you to help us on Beta to test and make sure everything still works. Some changes to how the Account system works. Getting our house in order so that we can do these kinds of features like cross-server. Handling very large character files better (some characters have so much data they cause zones to crash when they zone, which has been debugged in the last few weeks).

Kyle: We plan on seeding green adornments in upcoming content releases. We know there’s a problem and we’ll be adjusting things accordingly.

Kyle: We have a plan to adjust scouts. We were discussing it today. We have to fix some of the autoattack problems because players are depending too much on autoattack. CA damage increase along with a few other nifty things to bring them up in line with where we think they’re supposed to be. Don’t fret!

Holly: We will probably put a few more Polls in-game to get more player feedback. We did get the surveys back from the last expansion and we got good feedback. We’ll have the devs focus these questions going forward so the structure of the survey is better.

Kyle: Why are Malice Gems in weekly missions NO TRADE? Because quest rewards are NO TRADE.

Kyle wants a duck mount. Holly keeps saying No. Now she’s saying Maybe. Tom Tobey just flashed his duck and walked out. LOL

Editor’s Note: For anyone wondering about the overall tone during the video, Dave G. had been adamantly against duck mounts (amongst other things). With the recent layoffs, the team have a new level of freedom.

At this point the Twitch stream crashed.

Holly: Public Quests was one of the things we committed to. Our code resources are dedicated right now to the server changes and back end work. Public Quests is something we really want to do, and we may be able to do it some other form, but right now it’s back on the “bucket of awesome” long term list.

Holly: After cross-server dungeon finder and the database changes are up and running, we’ll have a lot of options besides server merges. We know players are sensitive to server merges.

Kyle: We’ve talked about Progression servers a lot, and it’s something that some of us would like to do. However the architecture of EQ and EQ2 are quite different.

Kyle: Just to recap, we have plans to adjust Scouts as far as autoattacks. Quality of Life changes for Tanks. More offensive stats on Tank gear. Getting rid of Reckless and rolling it into your Offensive stance. We have all kinds of things we’re talking about. Summoner pet changes on Test so Conjy and Necro pets actually do what they’re supposed to.

Holly: We are 150% in this thing; this is a tireless team. Expect a lot more awesome, these guys are an incredible team.

Conclusion

Thanks to Holly for giving a shoutout to EQ2 fan sites such as EQ2Wire and Norrathian Chronicles.
EQ2 ZAM editor-in-chief Cyliena produced her own liveblog of today’s stream.

UPDATE

A recording of the livestream can now be viewed on Youtube:

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Comments (56)

  • Froak

    |

    Kyle: Why are Malice Gems in weekly missions NO TRADE? Because quest rewards are NO TRADE.

    this makes 0 sense – that very same weekly quest i can pick an armor crate and i get an heirloom piece of armor that i can trade to alts.

    Reply

    • Tarb

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      So you want the gems to be account bound?

      Reply

      • Krystalea

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        Not account bound, unless by that you mean heirloom, then yes, that is what is wanted.

        Reply

    • Kander

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      I apologize for the vague answer. They are no-trade because this is an extra chance to get an armor upgrade gem. We really don’t want you to be able to take your 12 level 100 alts and run the weekly 12 times in one day and just be able to gear out one character in that time. They are no trade to protect the progression that is currently in place. Also, just so we are clear, quest rewards are almost always no-trade.

      Again, apologies for the vague answer.

      Reply

      • Caela

        |

        Thanks for the explanation Kander. When you said that on the stream, I thought – oh, duh, he’s right, quest rewards are almost always no-trade. Though the armor that comes in the crate you can also get on that same quest is heirloom…

        But I get it. And thanks for taking the time to come tell us the longer explanation.

        Reply

      • Froak

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        thank you for the reply, this makes sense to me. and while i would have liked to run all my alts to speed it up, it makes sense progression-wise.

        Reply

      • Froak

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        also, thank you for all the work you have put into the game, and thank you for all the extra work you will be putting in now.

        Reply

      • Archangel

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        “take your 12 level 100 alts and run the weekly 12 times in one day and just be able to gear out one character in that time.” Kandar

        In other words, according to Kandar, doing this process would take 12 weeks to “gear out” 12 level 100 alts. Simple logic.

        BUT with the no-trade gems the process is, ‘take 12 level 100 alts and run the weekly 12 times in one day, and “gear out” 12 level 100 characters in 12 weeks.’

        There is a difference? Answer – Yes, but it’s obviously not time required.

        Heirloom gems means the player, Paying Customer, can gear characters any way they want. Incidentally that’s the old late-SOE mantra, customer plays the game the way They want to play it. I.E. “Have it your way.”

        No-trade gems means the player is forced to gear characters the way Daybreak (“Rising Sun”) Games wants. AND the same amount of time is involved. I.E. “My way or the highway.”

        What a waste of programming effort for this illogical change.

        On the other hand, love (no sarcasm) the other changes.

        /*

        “And so, here we are, victims of mathematics!”
        Ambassador Londo Mollari

        Reply

        • Feldon

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          It does not take programming effort to flag an item NO TRADE lol.

          Reply

      • Oldschool

        |

        To quote the EQ2 forums..

        6 TS timed quests ((6*6)*7) 252
        5 PS timed quests ((5*6)*7) 210
        TS overland weekly 30
        PS overland weekly 30
        Advanced Solo Weekly 30
        Reg missions for weekly (2*6) 12
        Daily ((6*2)*7) (DD and reg mission) 84
        Total 648

        If that person had 10 toons, that is 6480 ferrin per week! That is a lot of gems. All SOLO.

        Yup.. Makes TOTAL sense…

        Reply

      • Buynewservers2015

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        With all due respect Kander, you guys are giving us these new red gem options months after release. We thank you for that! But many of us have spent a LOT of dkp putting red gems in our gear. Now what happens to OUR weekly rewards? If they remain no-trade, we have no choice but to either vendor them or bid on more red gear. If your intention is to keep it that way at least allow them to vendor for 150p or more. Please just make them tradeable to appease everyone. You are the poet, this is your poem. Rules about quest rewards are your restriction, nobody elses.

        Reply

      • Rebelde

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        But what about red Gemstones? I doubt people raid with 12 toons, but why don’t give them to your alt when you main doesn’t need them? You can get raid gear but not red gems from epic weekly? If not, you just get another bank slot filled with something useful.

        Reply

  • Tarb

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    I’d call it a double instead of a base hit, that being said, I feel a lot better about the situation than last week, I assume they wouldn’t be doing any upgrades or even live streams for that matter if the game wasn’t going to continue.

    Reply

  • Dedith

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    Progression Servers.. /yay!

    Reply

  • Betony

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    It was a nice and relaxed stream. The responses were good and positive.

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    So that’s the whole team now right? 🙂

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      No.

      Reply

      • Kruzzen

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        It was a joke. 😛 But on the serous side I am curious to see the changes although nervous about the scout thing. It could make or break my poor swashy.

        Reply

        • Majharet

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          Swash has been broken for so long it’s not even funny. You rely on the autoattack for your BIGGEST amount of dps..your CA’s are crap, they need to bring us Swashy’s back in line with the rest of the scouts, and stop making our ca’s useless. One bow shot does far more damage than 5-10 of your ca’s, you do realize this yes? This is what they need to fix.

          Reply

  • Eric T Lewis

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    Sad thing is most of these things were in the works and had been already talked about and known. It would have been nice to talk about stuff we not heard about already. An no thats no the entire team I think there is 4 more not in the picture.. We known about the database stuff, we known about cross server dm stuff, diety talk has been going on for the past 9 months. So they are finishing up on what they were working on. The missing cat in the bag is what do they plan to work on next.

    Reply

    • unclex

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      i honestly think atm they are trying to see what is left undone by the devs that left.. and this was more of a calming of the storm and they are gonna get stuff out as they are certin it is done and not rushed.. my main concern is by the time the xserver idea is in pplace there will not be enough left across all the server to make it work owork correctly and merges or a mega sever will be more likely at that time

      Reply

      • Eric T Lewis

        |

        Trust me I want it done right as well. Rush jobs usually get us hot fixes. I feel bad for the team that is left. They have a mission impossible job right now, with so many unanswered questions, and a customer base that questions anything that comes their way. I for one would with they would quit messing with the x-server grouping, and get more worried with server population. That way they could spend time on other projects. I guess I was just hoping for more of a roadmap for further down the road. These short term goals are nice, and it will be great when implemented.

        Reply

  • Silzin

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    Question about the “Removing Reckless and murging it into the Offensive Stance.” with this will Brawlers get our Mid-Stance Back?

    Reply

  • Caela

    |

    I think the fact that they are going forward with database upgrades and the cross server dungeon finder is a good sign. Companies don’t invest in that kind of upgrades for a game they are going to sunset in a year. It tells me this game still has a lot of life left.

    I appreciated the stream. Though I still don’t know if we are getting a duck mount.

    Reply

  • GriffonLady

    |

    I just wish I hadn’t been in class during the cast. Was there a Q&A?
    Definitely feeling better knowing they still have things being worked on and the bucket of awesome is still a thing. =P
    But yah, announcing the next expansion’s title would be nice and reassuring. ^_^ I’m not saying rush it out, just secure a title so we can start imagining what it’s going to be like. =P

    Reply

  • Striinger

    |

    @ Archangel
    Stop trolling. I assume that’s your motive because no one can be that thick. No trade prevents people who live on the game from having unfair progression advantage from people who only partly live on the game.
    You still get an advantage in that you have 12 alts geared via the weekly gems in a few weeks rather than 3 or 4 like the other folks, but everyone (I.e. All players paying just as much per account as you are) can get their main maxxed in the same time.
    Heck, they should get rid of all heirloom quest rewards of people are getting to butt hurt about the exception they’ve allowed (though isn’t the crate no trade? ).

    Reply

    • Majharet

      |

      @ Striinger, You do realize that many of us play characters not everyone wants along in groups these days yes?…

      Having heirloom items means I can take my healer in, and roll on gear for my Swash. As most want an actual dps class, when they are seeking dps for grps, Swash no longer ranks up there with high dps due to SOE needing to fix scouts, which means swash is left to the way side and not wanted on raid/grps unless they can’t get more dps.

      Having a class most don’t want along, means that class doesn’t get geared if the crap we need, isn’t heirloom. If I am paying to play, I should be able to play, and gear the toons of my choice.

      I can’t force folks to take a class they don’t want/need along.

      Until staff fixes Swash and brings them back in line with dps as they should, most won’t touch the class, leaves my toon rather screwed yes?

      Reply

  • Striinger

    |

    “there will not be enough left across all the server to make it work owork correctly and merges or a mega sever will be more likely at that time”

    I think a key point was missed about what the database merge really means. With one database it effectively becomes one mega server with different worlds (what we now call servers). Cross server instanced dungeons aren’t likely much different to overland zones (that create overflow instances when population is high).

    Imagine right clicking your raid leader to swap to their instance for zone pull in…when their instance is on another server. 🙂 cool stuff huh?

    Reply

    • Dedith

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      stop, you make too much sense for early mornings..

      Reply

    • Eric T Lewis

      |

      It depends on how the database is organized. Back in the day I coded cobol with db4. So your server was probably set in an table, say for instance you had an table named GUK, another array named AB so forth and so on. All these tables look the same, except the header key, this done to keep the database from becoming too large. At the last place that I had we did over 23 million records in a table and had 25 of those tables. Our dba was constantly having work with the space management. Now consider this, we have thousands of dead wood accounts on each of these tables.Even when you merge up the active ones you have to merge up the inactive ones as well. Or have a main table that has a parent/child relationship with the server table, I guess that is how the x-server would work. I don’t know how things work for those guys but I got an email the other day that I had best log into DCUO if I wanted to keep my player name, they were doing a purge, probably to cut down the size of the database. I think PS2 did the same thing. I don’t ever remember EQ2 ever killing off dead wood characters, and I know we have tons. I wonder when the last time the database had a reorg and new freespace created.

      Reply

      • Dedith

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        DCUO and PS2 already run EDB, they know how to make best use of the db already.

        Reply

      • Lateana

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        We had a purge, but that was many years ago and only affected toons level five and under.

        Reply

  • Nauralea

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    I was debating sending a Dear Princess Celestia-er Kander message because he did nicely say people could email him after the stream(Very generous of him) but I realize the poor fella is prolly flooded with emails/forum messages/people-hiding-in-bushs-outside-his-home(ShiaSurprise) also…I realize I have nothing to talk about mechanics wise that hasn’t likely already been said. So I’ll just do my rant here. (Sorry Feldon!)

    So I snuck in for the twitch and was kinda bummed out. I guess I was hoping for a good ol’ rallying cry or some hope of something interesting to come. I dunno what I expected maybe Holly picking up the sword and calling us to fight for the game we love. Cause deep down something tells me the fight for this game isn’t in their hands it’s in ours. Without players a game is nothing, and with so many getting scared, disappointed and disappearing it only adds to the atmosphere of doom lingering about.

    I’m leading a guild right now in uneasy times and I was hoping to look up the chain and see someone who could inspire me so I can try to carry a flame to the rest. I realize now this is unfair to Holly to expect. Her job is to run her team and manage their time/projects, not inspire some rinkydink guild leader(Let’s face is the game has a crap ton).

    I mean it was nice they wanted to go over the things they did and they are mostly not bad things to go over. I am disappointed in the change to the Gems because it is how I gear up my alts is running a main through the weekly and handing down the tokens/gems/jewelry/armor.

    And I’d love to run my alts more but most of all, I’d just like groups to happen/succeed so those are choices we all have to make. But I guess we’re more worried about the % of players who will abuse it to run the weekly 12 times in a day and just gem something up immediately. Not that they can’t just run it 12 times in a day and buy gems with the currency. Let’s be honest if you want to plan your game around preventing the people who live and breathe running that many characters in a day you are just hamstringing the regular folks. I’m annoyed by it and I realized I’m completely biased because I’m not running 12 toons a week through the weeklys 🙂 Also that this is something we recently got and is going away in like a week but I’m still unreasonably possessive of 🙂 (Thank Jibbers super ranty is over)

    I can only hope that the multi server dungeon thing will actually encompass current tier zones/raids or I’m not sure it will help with problems :\ They’ve always somehow managed to not do this in introducing Dungeon Finder before… Being on a low pop server it’s discouraging to know we have to wait a bit longer and that this doesn’t help with strengthening guilds who are losing people on those servers. I wish this had been gone over in more detail during the stream to assure people what this still means.

    I think they were more caught up in trying to set up the little skit they were doing with TTobey and the duck thing, which left many headscratchin and I realize it was a joke but it was confusing as heck 🙂 mostly cause I didn’t really catch what Holly said before he showed his duck pic and then crumple/stomped off. I still say ~Winged Rabbits~ or the Ratonga Hamster ball is the ~superior mount~ of choice *COUGH*

    Overall the livestream fell flat of reassuring me, I understand likely they didn’t mean it this way but that’s my take away from this. That also doesn’t necessarily make me right for anyone else but it is for me. I realize part of this is because I had higher expectation than likely were fair to the team. But…

    Just give me a reason…
    Just a little bit’s enough
    Just a second
    We’re not broken
    Just bent
    And we could learn to quest again ;n;

    Reply

    • Oldschool

      |

      Sersiously.. send it to him

      Reply

  • Malade

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    So people on dead servers have another year of nothing?

    Reply

    • Mermut

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      Only if you consider revamps, new zones, new quests and setting up the required infrastructure for things like cross-server dungeons ‘another year of nothing’.

      Reply

    • Zzzz'z

      |

      Looks that way. Once again all we hear is cross server dungeons. Cross server dungeons does NOT fill our raid forces. Cross server dungeons does not build a failing economy on a dead server. Cross server dungeons does not solve the problem of low pop servers. I’m not a pessimist but being stuck on a low pop server has put a serious dent into my morale and desire to keep playing/paying. Sure, I can cough up the real life cash to move my toons but in all honesty I don’t have that kind of cash to move all my toons and I refuse to have my toons scattered across different servers. Plus, it is thier fault the pops are low not mine so why should I be penalized and forced to pay cash on top of my monthly subscription to be on a flourishing server?????

      Reply

  • Foodcity

    |

    Give monks back Black Widow Stance when you remove Reckless? Please? I had to give the game a bit of an angry glare when I saw that the monk MERCENARIES had an upgraded version of Black Widow Stance but monks get RECKLESS.

    Reply

  • Kong

    |

    Sadly, Hollys “uhm” and “uhh” together with the rolling eyes, doubtful expressions and the, to me, rather “lets avoid trying to steer people towards something more positive, by saying things we´ve said before” rant. Sorry Daybreak, you didnt convince me… and i know many many others who are just as unconvinced and lost in what to think or do.

    Reply

  • Oxymorphone

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    Instead of talking about years now for how auto-attack is not supposed to be that way. Damn fix it then already.
    Someone mentioned it already, these things where all promised over last year, yet I fail to see much being delivered. Talk is all nice but doesn’t buy us anything.
    Thnx for the summary Feldon, glad I didn’t have to sit through that 🙂

    Reply

  • Dmanja

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    Sadly my confidence is not bolstered by this ‘pep-talk’. I fear that no talk about an expansion means there will be no expansion., or that what we already get as content for free during the year will be mainly converted into a payment required expansion.

    Reply

  • milliebii

    |

    Funny how what is essentially a cost cutting measure (moving from Oracle to EnterpriseDB) has been successfully spun as a ‘good sign’. Yes you folks are getting some bonuses on the way (hopefully) but the conversion is consistent with the layoffs, although it is a sign that EQ/EQ2 are not going to be shut down this year and almost certainly not next year. As is Windstalker’s promotion.

    Reply

    • Mermut

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      The man hours required to swap databases (even if they weren’t restructuring the data) would take YEARS to recoup. There is no way this change-over is a ‘cost cutting measure’.

      Reply

      • Feldon

        |

        It’s a twofer. Yes we get cross server and potentially lots of other things. But DBG also saves $$$ on Oracle license fees.

        Reply

      • Noctew

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        At north of $5000 per dual core for Oracle licenses even with bulk discounts it may still be cost efficient to change database system.

        Reply

        • milliebii

          |

          It is definitely cost efficient, that is why it is being done. Businesses do not change databases unless there is a less than 3 year pay back. How do I know? It used to be part of my job to sell and deliver database change to businesses.

          Reply

  • Mentin

    |

    So to sum up:
    They are telling us which of the already announced features will really get, since they are able to give us way less now.

    Reply

  • Sub

    |

    Players have to understand, this was a dev team Q & A not a DBG Q & A.

    It is likely that te Dev Team have as much knowledge of the DBG roadmap and intentions as we do.

    It is unfair to lambast the Dev Team for not telling stuff they don’t know and every day that DBG says nothing is a day lost and wasted as far as the players are concerned. We only depend on the game for fun, they depend on it to eat. That is worth remembering.

    Reply

  • Eric T Lewis

    |

    So the real question is do we even have any GM’s left. I have a ticket that has been open for 3 days now. There has been no response, no nothing.

    Reply

  • Narsikus

    |

    Good stream, but I totally agree with Feldon’s first paragraph. I was expecting an explanation or at least an acknowledgment of what has transpired lately. And like the poster above me said, yeah, this is the dev team. But they are the public face of DBG that we are getting to see right now. I hate when corporate does changes like this and then it’s acted like nothing ever happened – it’s just business as usual around here.

    I wanted a complete and total reassurance that everything is going to be awesome going forward. I didn’t get that. This was a stream that could’ve been exactly the same had there been no DBG acquisition or layoffs.

    Reply

    • Mentin

      |

      With a 45% staff cut(probably more for EQ2?) you will NOT find everything awesome going forward by previous standards. You will get half the amount of new content you used to. There might not be another expansion – we are still waiting for info on that.

      Reply

  • alan

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    Can’t help but we’ve heard a lot of what was being talked about,cross server dungoens? merge servers first and get populations a bit healthier rather than keep banging that dead fish.

    Reply

  • mortam

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    I feel that EQN has already been cut back on its vision. At launch some systems will be missing/replaced.

    Reply

  • Kong

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    Since the layoff, all the guides lost their “chief” and no words on if the guide program will continue, change or who will take over. And wasnt it 5 years ago it was talk about cross server dungeons? *ponders*

    Reply

  • Richie Rich

    |

    Is Holly married? 🙂

    Reply

  • Sersei

    |

    Adding new content and making these changes is fine and great. But honestly I would rather hear them say they are working on fixing the lag problems in the raid zones.

    Reply

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