Everquest Next

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Everquest Next

Post by Ronson on Sat May 28, 2011 5:26 am


http://www.everquestnext.com/

EverQuest Next (working title) is the planned next game in the EverQuest franchise of massively multiplayer online role-playing games, a successor to EverQuest and EverQuest II. The first indication that a new game was in development appeared in a chapter written by EQ creative director Rich Waters in the EverQuest 10th Anniversary Book (2009).[1] Sony Online Entertainment, the developer and publisher, released further details in August 2010, at which point development was still in its earliest stages and feedback was being solicited from existing EQ and EQ2 players.

The game will also not be a sequel or prequel to any of the games in the EverQuest franchise; it is planned to present to players a "parallel world" of Norrath, one in which some of the locations and characters may be familiar, but specific relationships and events can diverge from the official storylines of the other games. The developers have stated an intention to return to a style of gameplay more like the original EverQuest, while retaining the advances in MMORPG design that have developed in the years since that game first launched.

I'm in and have been following it very intently for quite some time
Screenshots from Everquest Next or 3 (still no "official" title yet)



CLICKY



Freeport?





Faydwer?





Oasis?





Fan Faire 2010: John Smedley and the SOE crew talk EverQuest Next



CLICKY





Update: We received a note from SOE clarifying that the screenshot here is not mere concept art -- it's actual in-game art. Only makes you more curious, doesn't it!







EverQuest Next the surprise news out of this year's Fan Faire, has certainly gathered a lot of attention from the general MMOGsphere since word broke about the game last night. Across Twitter, Facebook, and myriad blogs, many people are wondering just precisely what the plans are, and what this new incarnation of the world of Norrath might be like.



Well, the developers behind the game sat down with attendees at Fan Faire not only to show off screenshots and concept art from EverQuest Next, but also to solicit questions and ideas from the -devoted -- and they've captured it all on video for those of us who couldn't make it! While they stress that this is all in the very early stages, there are some great insights on the thinking behind this reboot of their beloved franchise. There's also some information on what players can expect with regard to support for subscribers of EverQuest and EverQuest II once EverQuest Next comes out. If you're hungry for more details straight from the people behind this surprising new title, then check out the videos behind the break!



VIDEO #1

VIDEO #2

VIDEO #3


Last edited by Ronson on Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:52 am; edited 2 times in total

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E3 2011

Post by Ronson on Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:51 pm

EverQuest Next/Planetside Next

Sony Online Entertainment will probably be spending most of its time NOT talking about the recent attacks by hackers on their user database, recent staff layoffs or cancellation of long in development action spy MMO The Agency. What they would rather be talking about instead is DC Universe Online and the two big MMOs in development EverQuest Next and Planetside Next.

Not much is known yet about EverQuest Next. The game was announced last year at SOE’s annual Fan Faire in Las Vegas along with two gorgeous screenshots and footage of the panel where developers talked in generalities. Many MMO gamers enjoyed the original EverQuest back in the day, but don’t have the time for the hardcore grinding that defined the game. This reimagining of the world of Norrath with state of the art graphics engine and the latest in game design may just be the ticket for SOE to keep this franchise alive. Hopefully they will have more to show us at E3, even if it’s additional shiny screenshots.

Planetside Next is SOE’s sequel to another long-running title of theirs, the MMOFPS Planetside. Though not yet in open beta, Planetside Next was first supposed to come out in early 2011, but SOE layoffs have now pushed the launch to “later in the year.” There has been very little information available about the title despite its imminent arrival except for some screenshots and a lot of hype. A playable demo at E3 would go a long way in generating the kind of buzz SOE is going to need to get this shooter MMO off the ground this year.

This is just a taste of the MMO goodness that is being rolled out at E3 this year. CCP’s EVE Online, action MMO TERA, Nexon’s Dragon’s Nest and Vindictus, Wargaming’s World of Tanks, the Neverwinter Nights MMO and more are on tap to display their wares this year. And its not just traditional PC MMOs on the floor anymore. Spacetime Studios is following up their successful mobile MMO Pocket Legends with an early look at their space-based MMO Blackstar. Add to that Facebook MMOs, multiplayer online battle arenas, console MMOs and more and this promises to be an E3 unlike any other for the MMO fan.

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Re: Everquest Next

Post by Alic on Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:49 am

I really do hope that they do make it more like the original EQ although I would not mind it being more sandboxy than the game out there now a days.

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EverQuest Next to use New Forge Light Engine

Post by Ronson on Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:04 am

Fresh off the heel of SOE’s Annual Fan Faire comes some news about the next iteration of Everquest. John Smedley, CEO of Sony Online Entertainment showed off the new engine that the Planetside 2 team has been working on and announced that it would be used as the platform of choice for all future MMO’s currently in development. The largest change brought forth by the engine that normal EQ players are now accustomed to, say goodbye to discrete zones and loading screens. The world of Norrath will finally be a persistant one. Here are some quotes from Smedley and creative director Dave Georgeson.

“What does all this mean?”. Smedley asked. “Think about this, EverQuest players, think about a physics engine that is built into every single aspect of your gameplay. We’ve partnered with Nvidia and their amazing PhysX platform. It means that we can bring you the most amazing characters and environments ever seen before in an MMO, or a single player game.”

For the creative director of the entire EverQuest line, Dave Georgeson, the real benefit of Forge Light will be in roleplaying your EQ toon. “For the people that love to roleplay, to stand around and talk to each other, the facial expressiveness [that Forge Light will provide] is huge,” he said. “It gives them almost everything that they want.”

When asked by The Escapists’ Greg Tito if the emote system for EQ Next will be revised to give tighter control over your toon’s face and expressions. “Oh yeah, there’s so much that I wish I could tell you right now [about that],” Georgeson said. He hinted at using some of the technology that was shown at E3 this year that could take images from a webcam and transfer them to a digital character. “Even if someone doesn’t want to sit there with a webcam watching your face, which people won’t want to do all the time, they can still set up these elaborate macros,” Georgeson said.

First off, Georgeson said that the only thing he could say about EverQuest Next is that "there's no MMO like it, not even close." Their intent from a business perspective is to not have the titles cannibalize each other at all. He said they feel that all three titles will continue to stand on their own even after the release of EQ Next. He went on to say that they have something they think is completely original, that works well in the high-fantasy setting, and has a feature set that no one else has. It will use the same engine for PlanetSide 2, meaning that the game will run on both low-end systems as well as top-of-the-line computers. There is no release date yet, however.

It definitely sounds like a pretty flexible platform and that they intend to do a lot of cool little things to make it a more immersive experience. Attached is a screenshot of the example used to show the detail in a characters face.




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Fires of Heaven Guild message board

Post by Ronson on Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:51 pm

Here's quite a lengthy discussion I found while googling, an interesting read none the less:

Next Everquest installment: Everquest "Next".

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Here is an example of the "new" Forgelight engine

Post by Ronson on Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:13 pm


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More pictures that I have seen

Post by Ronson on Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:27 pm





















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Everquest Next Prototype Samples

Post by Ronson on Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:33 pm


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My heart sank a little when I saw his resume

Post by Ronson on Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:50 pm

Here's the link

Robert C Krekel
4003 Morrell St. Apt B
San Diego, CA 92091
Rob@RobertCKrekel.com
973-271-7500

Resume updated for 2011! All new footage availible in the work section! I'm currently working as a Senior Sound Designer at Sony Online Entertainment. I am the lead Everquest Next and on the currently released and on going free MMO Free Realms. I am always looking for new opportunities to work with new people and on new projects. My goal is to contribute on the best games in the industry and on a team that respects each other and works well together even on the most stressful circumstances.

Highly skilled senior sound designer over 5 and a half years experience in all roles of audio production. History of creative audio design and technical excellence in games, movies and ads. Hardened work ethic to get the job done right, on time, the first time. True passion for playing and working in games.

Career Highlights
Started working professionally before graduation from college.
SCADemy Award Best Sound Design - Bottleneck.
Runner up MTVu Best Film On Campus - Bottleneck
Student Academy Awards Nomination - Bottleneck
BAFTA nomination best sound - Def Jam: ICON
Brought SOE it’s highest rated audio reviews with work on Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures
Bringing SOE’s audio to the next level as Lead on Everquest Next

Professional Skills
Skilled with Various DAWs (such as Protools)
Talented Audio Implementation Proprietary and Commercial tools (wWise, fMod)
Accomplished Field and Studio Sound Effects Recordist
Experienced Dialog Direction, Casting, Recording and Editing
In-Game and Cinematic Sound Design
Mixing and Mastering in 5.1 Surround Sound
Technical Audio Knowledge of Various Game Platforms (PC, XBOX360, PS3)
Studio Building and Setup
Team Leadership and Supervision
Clear Effective Communication With All Departments
Quick Enthusiastic Learner of New Tools and Technology
Professional Work History
Senior \ Lead Sound Designer - Sony Online Entertainment San Diego, CA June 08 - Present
Record and Create Foley and Sound Effects assets.
Record and edit Dialog assets.
Integrated Dialog, Music and Effects with proprietary tools.
Worked to raise the overall audio quality bar.
Helped to refine the audio tools and pipeline.
Set up field and studio recording sessions to continually expand our audio library.
Managed internal and external audio contractors.

Current titles:
Everquest Next (PC) - Lead Sound Designer (Notice it says PC, although nothing officially announced yet)
Free Realms (PS3) - Lead Sound Designer

Shipped titles:
DC Universe Online (PC,PS3) - Senior Sound Designer
Clone Wars Adventures (PC) - Senior Sound Designer
Free Realms (PC) - Lead Sound Designer
EverQuest II: Sentinel's Fate (PC) - Lead Sound Designer
EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey (PC) - Sound Designer

Sound Designer/Re-recording Mixer - Neverland (15min) Short Film San Diego, CA October 10 - January 11
Organized spotting session with the director and editor
Edited 15min of dialog which required heavy noise reduction
Designed, Mixed and Mastered 5.1 Surround and Stereo sound track
Audio Artist - Electronic Arts Chicago, IL August 06 - January 08
Created Sound Effects assets.
Helped direct voice talent.
Recorded in the field and studio to continually expand our library.
Integrated audio using proprietary object oriented programming environment.(AEMS)
Helped to improve audio pipeline.

Shipped Titles:
Def Jam: ICON (PS3, XBOX360) - Audio Artist

Canceled Titles:
Marvel Fighting Game (PS3, XBOX360, Wii) - Audio Artist
Def Jam: ICON 2 (PS3, XBOX360) - Audio Artist

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Re: Everquest Next

Post by Ronson on Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:11 pm

An interesting read! Here is the link for the full article.


Happy 12th anniversary, EverQuest! To mark the occasion, we were invited to participate in a roundtable interview with SOE President John Smedley and members of the game's team.
EverQuest II and EverQuest Next

How do you feel EverQuest and EverQuest II are currently coexisting?

Smedley: The politically correct answer to that is they're doing great. The actual answer is we probably made a mistake calling it EverQuest II. That was clearly a mistake. We didn't realize the lifespan. We're sitting here talking about the 12th anniversary of an online game. That's amazing in and of itself. Our original plan was that it was going to be like ever other kind of retail game; after a few years, it would go away and the next one would come out. That hasn't happened. If we could have one thing to do over again on that front, it would be to rename EverQuest II. The game's actually very different. They're set in different times and they appeal to different audiences. It's been an interesting ride trying to convince retailers that it's a good idea to have both EverQuest I and II on the shelf at the same time. I wish we could have a do-over there.

How much more content do you have for EverQuest II before you'll feel the need to bring out EverQuest Next?

Smedley: I would say we're not bringing EverQuest Next out until it's done. We assume both EverQuest I and II are going to have lives independent of EverQuest Next. There's no shortage of fresh and great ideas. I'm not terribly worried about our ability to keep players entertained. It's what we do for a living. As far as EverQuest Next, it will come out when it' ready and not before. I think it's going to surprise a lot of people because of the direction that we're choosing. We're hoping to bring both our past players and a whole bunch of people who have never seen the world of Norrath into it.

Do you see the MMO genre ever going back to the goal of making an online world as opposed to a game?

Smedley: I would say, without giving away to much, EverQuest Next is much truer to that vision. We feel really strongly about that. Players are going to be pretty surprised. They're not going to see us do EverQuest 2.5 or make a World of Warcraft clone or anything like that. We have an entirely new direction and we believe very strongly that the concept of it being a world is the way to go.

What will EverQuest Next have that no other game has?

Smedley: That would be telling! I will say that we're not trying to recreate the wheel. We're trying to do something revolutionary, not evolutionary. That's how we approached it form the day we started development on it. The game looks visually unbelievable. It has its own style. We're not trying to be super realistic with it. We have our own very unique style that I think people are really going to like. The features are going to be shrouded in secrecy for quite awhile.

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Re: Everquest Next

Post by Ronson on Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:47 pm

Is Everquest Next looking for a Dev Team?

https://www.facebook.com/EverQuestLive/posts/10150324730596363

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EverQuest Next taking inspiration from Star Trek movie reboot

Post by Ronson on Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:13 am

Q&A: Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley talks about seminal MMORPG's future in wake of Hall of Fame induction and freemium games on consoles, confirms Vita support.

0

Last week was a big one for Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game was inducted into the Game Developers Choice Online Hall of Fame, becoming just the second game to receive that honor behind Ultima Online.

Following the awards ceremony, SOE president John Smedley sat down with GameSpot to answer a few questions about the future of EverQuest and the rest of the developer's slate of titles, including the upcoming PlanetSide 2 and already-released DC Universe Online. The executive also pledged his support for Sony's upcoming PlayStation Vita portable and addressed the changing online industry landscape, including the future of the subscription-based business model and the advent of freemium options on consoles.

SOE president John Smedley.

GameSpot: EverQuest just became the second inductee into the GDC Online Awards Hall of Fame. Is that it then? Can we shut down the servers and stick a fork in the game? What's left for it to do?

John Smedley: Absolutely not. EverQuest has been going on for 13 years now, and it's going to go on for a long time. We've got big plans. Getting inducted into the Hall of Fame is pretty amazing, but we see this as a recognition of some major achievements by some great game developers and how great our fans have been with the support they've shown us throughout the years.

GS: When did you realize in EverQuest's development that this could last for 13 years?

JS: Probably around the two year mark or so. We realized what we had then. Early on, we didn't realize it because there had been no precedent. Ultima Online had only been out a little while before us, so we really didn't see the future that well.

SOE expects EverQuest to endure for many years to come.

GS: So the phase EverQuest is in right now. I don't know if you want to call it "The Golden Years" or what…

JS: I look at EverQuest the way I look at Dungeons & Dragons. We're on version 4 of D&D and people are still playing in droves. Look at Magic: The Gathering...15 years I think of an awesome game. So we are big believers that this franchise is going to be there for a very long time, and we're investing in it a lot.

GS: Ultimately, what do you think EverQuest's legacy will be?

JS: I think it's going to go down as one of the big MMOs, as one of the pillars of online gaming in general. Our task now is to take the game and evolve it and make it into something new for today's fans. And I would liken that to the brilliant job J.J. Abrams did with Star Trek...the reimagining of it. That's what we're doing, and we've got some cool new things in store for players with the next one. We're hard at work on it, and we don't have anything to say about it yet, but I will say we're very stoked about it and putting our best people on it.

GS: Are there any plans with PlanetSide 2 to bring the game to the PlayStation 3 or other Sony console platforms?

JS: Stay tuned.

GS: Earlier today, a Sony rep was selling developers on making games for the Vita, saying it would support all manner of subscription and microtransaction business models, not unlike the ones SOE uses. You've gone on record as having at least expressed interest in the Vita. Any more concrete details on plans to support the hardware? Any plans to tie in functionality to any current SOE titles, for instance?

JS: SOE will be supporting Vita. We are a proud member of the PlayStation family of companies, and you can expect us to support Vita. I can't say which titles yet, but you can expect us to support it in a big way.

GS: Can you give us an update on DC Universe Online? How much more new official DC Comics content is in the works for the game? How will the new DC 52 relaunch be addressed in DC Universe Online?

PlanetSide 2 for PS3? "Stay tuned."

JS: So we just launched game update 5. We've announced it's going free to play, so a lot of focus is going toward that launch later in October. Things are going smoothly and well. I think we're going to the business model we kind of wish we'd launched with. For so many people, particularly on the PS3, the idea of a subscription makes them nervous because they don't have to do that with other games. What we've invented is free to play your own way. If they want to pay for a subscription, great; we're going to give them a lot of great benefits. If they want to pay for three months or one month, we're going to be allowing that. Not everything is going to be in there at launch, but it will be in there. We're focused on making it great.

GS: What are your thoughts on current and future pricing in the MMO market? Is there still room to continuously launch new games with a retail SKU and a monthly subscription fee? Is free to play (with microtransactions) the future or is free to play itself a model that is perhaps already reaching saturation itself?

JS: Free to play is a big part of the future, but on December 20, we're about to see a huge juggernaut launched at retail [with Star Wars: The Old Republic]. It's going to be a great game and BioWare knows how to make awesome games. And I think the retail model is still there. We're evolving our company into something different. We're in a unique position because we're inside the Sony family and have a lot of good insight into things. We're in a great place for bringing new business models to the console, so we think that's a really strong part of our future. PC is going to be right there neck and neck with it, though.


LINK HERE

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EverquestNext.net

Post by Ronson on Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:32 pm

Another site to follow.


Everquestnext.net

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The latest on SOE and Everquest Next

Post by Ronson on Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:58 pm

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.

READ MORE HERE Take from it what you will, I don't know how credible it is.

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Re: Everquest Next

Post by Ronson on Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:55 pm

As stated by SmokeJumper on 06/18/2012 in the Official EQ2 forums.

Answering the original questions.

EQ Next is still being built within a black box. The *earliest* we are currently considering that we *might* reveal info is late this year. We're being very particular about what needs to be in the game before revealing it to folks, so until that stuff is ready, we won't be showing anything. (Screens you saw from a couple years ago are completely obsolete now and are not pertinent to the current game at all.)

There is no reason for EQ or EQII to ever fade away. EQN is not being designed to replace those games. The only way it could "kill" EQ or EQII is by being such a phenomenally better game that everyone flocks to it. Many miles to go before we sleep.

Here's the link.

  • I know this information was posted last month but I just like to keep it all together for myself.

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Re: Everquest Next

Post by Ronson on Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:00 pm



There are a number of EverQuest players out there who are interested in reading ANY news about the upcoming EQNext, no matter how vague. Today, we salute YOU Mr. “I’ll take any news I can get” with this month’s SOE Employee Highlight!

This time around, Aimee “Ashlanne” Rekoske interviewed Josh “Autenil” Kriegshauser and posted it on what turned out to be the 7 year anniversary of Josh being hired by SOE.

If you’re not familiar with his work, Josh has had a hand in
programming every EQ2 expansion. Wanting to try his hand on a new title,
he took a momentary break from the EQ2 team to help launch the
successful Star War: Clone Wars Adventures. Although
the interview plays coy with this detail, we have it on good authority
that Josh has come back to the EverQuest fold — this time as Technical Director for EQNext.



What is your favorite SOE game title? What is your favorite thing about that game? EverQuest
II hands down. I’ve spent so much time in that world (and code) that
it feels like home. Everything from the lush green acres of Antonica to
the packet processing of EntityServer.cpp brings a smile to my face.

I’ve really loved some of the content that we’ve added over the
years. I think the Brew Day festivities and cow-tipping antics with Prew Drowers
leave a lasting impression on me because good ol’ Prew was named for an
actual developer with a penchant for homebrew. It’s fun to put little
funny things like that in the game.

Continue Reading…
Incidentally, if you would like to watch a more substantial technical discussion, check out the “Geek Panel” from last year’s SOE Fan Faire which featured Kriegshauser and other EQ2 developers talking about the the technical hurdles of keeping a game like EQ2 going.


Original post can be read here.

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This Could Change Everything - Dave Georgeson Talks SOEmote and EverQuest Next

Post by Ronson on Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:03 pm


Screenshot of EQ 'Next' as seen at SOE Fan Faire 2010






And Onto EverQuest 'Next'



Our minds began to wander as we started thinking about different ways
SOEmote could be used. We thought about entire new breeds of machinima
and the potential of "virtual celebrities" (those who excelled at acting
via proxy), and then onto how motion capture could be used to even cast
spells if applied.


"Wait until you see spellweaving in the next EverQuest," Georgeson teased. "I've said too much but you've never played a game like it. I can promise you that.


"We have two EverQuest games we can already use as
testbeds for what we plan on with the next one. While we're doing that
we're putting a huge focus on storytelling over the next year. We want
characters to become memorable parts of the story arcs. We want to bring
back the world to virtual worlds. This is a re-imagined Norrath. Think of the EverQuest games as three separate universes--a multiverse."


As of yet relatively little is known about the next EverQuest,
but now that we knew SOE is planning on integrating SOEmote and
focusing their energies on making the new game a breathing world as
opposed to the standard online games we see in many of today's MMOs we
asked Georgeson when they were planning on revealing more.


"We need to finish up with the Destiny of Velious stuff in EverQuest II
first," he responded. "We have a very specific plan for the reveal and
until the vision can be realized we won't reveal much more about it. We
have four pillars to overcome. We've just gotten over one and a half
now. But expect more next year. " Georgeson then smiled mischievously
and laughed, pulling back a bit. "I just can't wait to show you guys."


The first taste of SOEmote will be introduced to EverQuest II by July. EverQuest III,
or EQ 'Next' will have to wait. In the meantime, grab a camera and get
ready to put your game face on... or 'in' as the case may be.


Read the full article here.

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SOE on F2P philosophy and EverQuest Next silence

Post by Ronson on Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:09 pm














It's no surprise at this point that Sony Online Entertainment has snuggled up to the free-to-play model
and made it its love monkey. Even so, it's interesting to hear from the
studio's president just how much SOE is committed to this business
model for the future.

Gamasutra caught up with John Smedley,
who emphasized that the studio is confident that this model is right
for the studio -- and the industry: "You're much more focused on the
player themselves and listening to what they tell you. When you're at
retail, there are two transactions. You are selling your game to the
retailer and also selling to the public. Now it's just us putting our
games out there and saying 'bring it on.'"

When asked about it, Smedley indicated that EverQuest Next would hew to F2P as well. He also said players shouldn't worry that they haven't heard much
about this new title because the secrecy is intentional. "We want to
get it right," Smedley said. "That's the pillar of our company and we
are going to get it right. We're also making the next generation of
MMOs, not an evolution -- and everyone says that, but in this case,
we're zigging every other company's zag. Everybody's making WoW 1.5. We're doing something else."

Full article here...

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Senior Tools Engineer, EverQuest Next

Post by Ronson on Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:25 pm

LINK HERE...

Senior Tools Engineer, EverQuest Next



Sony Online Entertainment | San Diego CA 92101 USA | Full Time | Posted: 07/09/2012








Studio Profile

Description

Details

Job Contact



Studio Profiletop







Sony Online Entertainment LLC
(SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online
games which have entertained millions of players around the globe. SOE
creates and delivers compelling entertainment for the personal computer,
online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster
franchise EverQuest®, its successful online trading card game Legends of
Norrath®, as well as the recent kids’ phenomenon Free Realms™, SOE
continues to raise the bar for online gaming and players worldwide.
Headquartered in San Diego, with an additional studio in Austin, SOE has
a slate of engaging, high-quality games currently in development across
new genres for all platforms and audiences.

Sony Online Entertainment is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to diversity in the workplace.




Job Descriptiontop






Are you a highly creative and Tools
Engineer/Programmer experienced in architecting and implementing tools?


Do you have a passion for tool development and creating tools pipelines?

Do you hold a rich knowledge and understanding of C/C++ with at least 5 years experience?

REQUIREMENTS:
- Bachelors degree preferably in a tech field or equivalent experience
- 5+ years’ hands on coding in C/C++
- Extensive experience creating tools or gameplay
- A passion for tool development and creating tools pipelines
- At least one full cycle game credit

PLUSES include:
- Experience in MMO development or a passion for playing them
- Experience developing public facing tools

The
success of this genre bending MMO will be dependent on the skills,
foresight and creativity of the Senior Tools Engineer. This unusual,
forward facing, gameplay based tools role, will be the center piece of
this project and the Senior Tools Engineer will be creating tools that
will push current design and technological barriers.

This is a
hard working, smart and dedicated team, facing tight deadlines and high
expectations. This highly collaborative group depends on effective
communication as well as the successful presentation of solutions while
being open to feedback from others.

To apply please visit http://www.soe.com/careers


We
are Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE). We are a recognized worldwide
leader in massively multiplayer online games and known for our
blockbuster franchise EverQuest®. EverQuest Next will be the game
changer for SOE and it will be Tools Programming that sets it apart.

SOE is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in the workplace.



This job listing originated on Gamasutra.com, the game industry's leader.



Job Detailstop



Location Job Level Categories Work Site Platforms
San Diego, CA, 92101, United States
Senior
Programmer / Engineer
On site
Online Multiplayer


Location Maptop






Contact Informationtop



Contact Name How to apply Primary Phone Primary Fax Job Code
Christine McCoard
Applications are no longer accepted for this job posting.
858-577-3206
858-577-3306
Senio



Senior AI Engineer, EverQuest Next


Sony Online Entertainment | San Diego CA 92101 USA | Full Time | Posted: 07/09/2012








Studio Profile

Description

Details

Job Contact



Studio Profiletop







Sony Online Entertainment LLC
(SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online
games which have entertained millions of players around the globe. SOE
creates and delivers compelling entertainment for the personal computer,
online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster
franchise EverQuest®, its successful online trading card game Legends of
Norrath®, as well as the recent kids’ phenomenon Free Realms™, SOE
continues to raise the bar for online gaming and players worldwide.
Headquartered in San Diego, with an additional studio in Austin, SOE has
a slate of engaging, high-quality games currently in development across
new genres for all platforms and audiences.

Sony Online Entertainment is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to diversity in the workplace.




Job Descriptiontop






REQUIREMENTS:

- Bachelors degree preferably in a tech field or equal experience
- 5+ years’ hands on coding in C/C++
- Focused AI programming for at least 1 title
- A passion for AI development and evolution
- At least one full cycle game under your belt

PLUSES include:

- Visual Studio and Perforce
- MMO experience or a passion for MMO’s
- AI Engineering or Programming experience on a large scale game


The
success of this genre bending MMO will be dependent on the skills,
foresight and creativity of the Senior Engineers and the AI will be a
key component to the success of this game.

This is a hard
working, smart and dedicated team, facing tight deadlines and high
expectations. This highly collaborative group depends on effective
communication as well as the successful presentation of solutions while
being open to feedback from others.

To apply please visit http://www.soe.com/careers


We
are Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE). We are a recognized worldwide
leader in massively multiplayer online games and known for our
blockbuster franchise EverQuest®. EverQuest Next will be the game
changer for SOE and it will be the AI and Tools Programming that sets it
apart.

SOE is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in the workplace.





This job listing originated on Gamasutra.com, the game industry's leader.



Job Detailstop



Location Job Level Categories Work Site Platforms
San Diego, CA, 92101, United States
Senior
Programmer / Engineer
On site
Online Multiplayer


Location Maptop






Contact Informationtop



Contact Name How to apply Primary Phone Primary Fax Job Code
Christine McCoard
Applications are no longer accepted for this job posting.
858-577-3206
858-577-3306
Senio




Senior Graphics Engineer, EverQuest Next


Sony Online Entertainment | San Diego CA 92101 USA | Full Time | Posted: 07/09/2012








Studio Profile

Description

Details

Job Contact



Studio Profiletop







Sony Online Entertainment LLC
(SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online
games which have entertained millions of players around the globe. SOE
creates and delivers compelling entertainment for the personal computer,
online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster
franchise EverQuest®, its successful online trading card game Legends of
Norrath®, as well as the recent kids’ phenomenon Free Realms™, SOE
continues to raise the bar for online gaming and players worldwide.
Headquartered in San Diego, with an additional studio in Austin, SOE has
a slate of engaging, high-quality games currently in development across
new genres for all platforms and audiences.

Sony Online Entertainment is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to diversity in the workplace.




Job Descriptiontop






REQUIREMENTS:
- Bachelors degree preferably in a tech field or equivalent experience
- 5+ years’ hands on coding in C/C++
- 5+ years' hands on development with DirectX 9/10/11
- Focused Graphics programming for at least 1 title

PLUSES include:
- At least one full cycle commercial game credit
- MMO development experience or a passion for MMO’s
- UI Engineering or Programming experience on a large scale game
- OpenGL experience

This
is a hard working, smart and dedicated team, facing tight deadlines and
high expectations. This highly collaborative group depends on effective
communication as well as the successful presentation of solutions while
being open to feedback from others.

To apply please visit http://www.soe.com/careers


We
are Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE). We are a recognized worldwide
leader in massively multiplayer online games and known for our
blockbuster franchise EverQuest®. EverQuest Next will be the game
changer for SOE and it will be Tools Programming that sets it apart.

SOE is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in the workplace.




This job listing originated on Gamasutra.com, the game industry's leader.



Job Detailstop



Location Job Level Categories Work Site Platforms
San Diego, CA, 92101, United States
Senior
Programmer / Engineer
On site
Online Multiplayer


Location Maptop






Contact Informationtop



Contact Name How to apply Primary Phone Primary Fax Job Code
Christine McCoard
Applications are no longer accepted for this job posting.
858-577-3206
858-577-3306
Senio

Ronson

Posts: 654
Join date: 2010-07-24

http://www.eqoa.net

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Everquest Next, SOE, and A Few Speculations. The Rise of MMORPG Culture.

Post by Ronson on Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:35 pm

Everquest Next, SOE, and A Few Speculations. The Rise of MMORPG Culture.




Posted by: SirVirtuo
Posted date: August 14, 2012




Before we go over what may come of Everquest Next in the
somewhat near future, we have to look back on what has been done, what
is being done, and what will be done in the MMO world. There is very
little information about Everquest Next, so the most we can do
is only speculate. For those of you new-born Massive Multiplayer Online
Role-Playing Game gamers that have a fuzzy knowledge of the gaming
culture in the past, I have a brief history on the growing culture as
well as current ground breaking changes to the virtual world
experiences. I may not have a lot of information of Everquest Next,
in fact I will say I have barely anything, but what I do have for sure
is my thoughts. You may agree, you may disagree, or you may have a
splendid idea on what may become of such a massive title, and we would
all likely appreciate your input below in the comments. I will attempt
to give a bit of a navigation for those of you who wish to skip the
little things, and get to the questions at hand. I made this article to
base opinions on, and only wish for more input and speculation between
gamers after the article. There are so many topics to be associated
with this, but too much can be too much. I hope this suffices.

The below Titles will separate the Article:


  • A Brief History.
  • The Common Era.
  • What is to come?





  • A Brief History.

I begin by asking the question, “What was the first MMORPG?” There
were some definite titles throughout the past, dating all the way back
to the early 1970′s, but what we are after is a commercial based MMORPG
(one that you paid for, like most modern games). In 1985, an online
game called Island of Kesmai was released, and housed a player
base of around 100 players on the CompuServe service. This game would
cost players a whopping $12.00 per hour just to play! The first MMO
that had a graphical user interface was Neverwinter Nights (1991-1997). Neverwinter Nights went
live on AOL and cost players $6.00 per hour to play. Online servers
weren’t as commonplace back before the time of windows 95-98 as many
people didn’t have home computers.


NeverWinter Nights was released in 1991 as the 1st graphic MMORPG and cost a whopping $6.00 per hour to play.


The Start of an Online Virtual Empire.


The current stream of MMORPG game titles are derived from three massive pioneers of the late 1990′s; Ultima Online, Everquest, and Asheron’s Call.
Considering my point at the moment will be leading through the course
of Sony Online Entertainment’s titles and innovations, I will be
focusing mainly on just one of the three — Everquest. Verant
Interactive set forth with Sony to create the game that would make the
genre quite popular in the U.S. with it’s 1999 launch. Everquest
was handled more as a venture into a new style of gaming, and less as a
massive ground breaking title when it was first released. It was a
3-dimensional open world with thousands of players per server, and a
“make your own adventure” concept that today is becoming much rarer as
time passes. I myself started playing Everquest at the age of 11, and with that I found my first REAL video game addiction (Ocarina of Time
for the N64 had me busy and all, but it didn’t hold a candle for me).
I became enthralled by this open world. There were innumerable
adventures that awaited my experiencing, and countless regions for me to
explore.




Everquest was released in 1999.


The Next Step: An Evolution





Everquest 2 was released in 2004, not long before the popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft.


I know this is ultimately about Everquest Next, but to
understand what may come of the future title, we must first look into
the growth of it’s predecessors. SOE continued to grow during the
success of Everquest, and eventually released an Everquest II. The
title in which the lore takes place 500 years after the adventures
within the first game took on more life-like character models and a much
more advanced combat and loot system. Many innovations were born
within the creation of this game, and newer titles still use some of
these, although somewhat altered, and others just aren’t considered. An
interactive crafting system (determines item quality), player and guild
housing (this was done flawlessly in my opinion), and narrated quests
were just a few of the additions to the Everquest experience.
The lore did take a beating as all of the races of Norrath were forced
to live in two human cities: Qeynos and Freeport, and the world became
much smaller at the original release. That is not to say that
expansions didn’t open it up more, but players took that hit pretty bad.
One of the biggest problems faced with SOE’s 2nd in the series is that
the game was built a little too advanced for many systems of the time,
and some buggy frame-rate and lag was experienced by many players. With
this in the way, SOE still made a champion among MMORPGs of the time.




World of Warcraft was based on the popular RTS series Warcraft I, II, and III.





A Competitor Arises: A Blizzard sets in




Not long after SOE released it’s 2nd Everquest title, the creators of the popular RTS game Warcraft III released its own MMORPG, World of Warcraft. WoW, as many decide to call it, was released not even a month after Everquest II. As the lore of Warcraft was
well known to many because of the previous games over the years, it
kicked off with a pretty great start. It ended up siphoning many of
SOE’s loyal players, and created a new generation of online gamers.
What was once known as Ever-crack, had been damaged by the MMO junkie’s
War-crack. I won’t say that WoW wasn’t a good game, because it was a
GREAT game, and for many people it still is.











  • The Common Era.

The New Norm




Many MMORPG titles have been released over the past years. Each one
has their own story and style, but many of it’s characteristics (User
interface, combat targeting, adventure, raiding, etc) have been
influenced by their predecessors. World of Warcraft is
credited with most of the MMO features commonly used today, but what we
have to remember is that WoW wasn’t the first MMORPG. I’m talking to
those of you who troll new MMORPGs. Targeting systems, player’s target
of target, and macros for healing and damage rotations have been quite
the talk in the gaming community for some time now. Such features have
been widely accepted, and any sort of deviation from them sometimes
results in being defined as “lacking” certain content.



Cracking the Foundations: Developers Breaking Away from Bound Traditions




It’s somewhat clear where the future of MMOs are heading now. With the release of Tera Online, the upcoming release of Guild Wars 2, and speculation of Everquest Next, many things seem to be changing (Quickly at that). Tera Online
broke what is possibly the number one rule of massive multiplayer
online role-playing games — click target, select ability, and watch your
character swing their weapon or cast a spell. Instead of following the
traditional targeting and hotkey system of MMOs prior to them, it was
decided that there would be a real-time action system with an “attack
the target in front of you, or attack nothing” way of doing things.
Gone is the way of percentage chance of dodging, blocking, and hit or
miss. You either move out of the way, block an impending attack, or hit
the target with your abilities yourself. This is a great change of
pace for many, but not for all. Guild Wars 2 took another approach of
doing the same thing. There is targeting in the game, but it isn’t a
requirement to do damage to your opponent(s). If you are a range, then
you can target an enemy and cast spells on them, but at the same time
any opponent in the path can likely be hit with some abilities. Splash
damage would probably be the most appropriate term. Melee attack a
target they face, but also any opponent caught in their path. Healing
has become a second hand feature in GW2 as well, seeing that there are
no dedicated healers or any friendly targeting for combative purposes
(at least not that I have noticed).



Free-To-Play Revolution: Business Models, or Gamer Love?




It seems there is a new trend going on. Over the past few years,
small developers have been making MMOs right under many of our noses.
The difference for them is that many of the titles are free. Many of
these free to play games involve an innovative, although sometimes sly,
way of making money without requiring the game to be purchased. It
blows minds! Why would a company make a game, give it away for free,
and only require SOME content or vanity gifts to be purchased? There is
money to be made. When you play a game demo, you try to make a
decision whether to ignore the game, rent it, or purchase it at retail
price. What better way of giving a community a way to sample your hard
work than letting them play a demo that exceeds the limits of what an
actual demo is. Some bigger companies have started applying this
concept to their games — SOE being one culprit. Some developers like
Perfect World Entertainment seem to have always accepted the F2P (Free
to Play) model for their games, but others have been catching on to the
idea. Some reasoning behind SOE making many, if not all, of their games
F2P is the drop in player base. If you lose players, then you want to
find a way to get them back, or to get new players to play the game.
F2P has offered the loyal players, as well as new ones, to do a
subscription much like the common style started by those few descendants
from long ago, or a more supplemental plan. You can buy what features
you want to unlock and leave the rest untouched. This gives way to
players either playing for free with limited content/characters, playing
with a subscription and leaving it at that, or paying amounts of money
as they want, which often leads to paying more than the minimum for some
content. That balances out a lot of the income probabilities that may
occur with a rise, or fall, of player base.



  • What Is To Come?

Undetermined Countdown: A Savory Unknown Release




It seems appropriate that because we have caught up to the current
times, we should commence speaking of what may come in the future. As
you know, Everquest has an already well-based lore and a
community that would feed from it. This doesn’t satisfy SOE according
to what has been heard from devs. They want to take the original game
and change the world! Think of it as an alternative universe. That
would allow for new content as well as old, and to expand on the already
massive world of Norrath. ”But what would happen to those characters
we love and remember?” some may ask, “Will they change from good to bad,
or wicked to righteous?” Time can only tell.




Concept art from Everquest Next, detailing a classic race of humanoid.




One thing to consider about the release of Everquest Next
(possibly next year), is of what business model they will use. Yes, it
will affect the game directly. As SOE has been turning more and more
towards the F2P model, players of multiple MMORPGs ask the question,
“Will the lack of subscription based income affect what content is
released, and how much? What level of support will they have for
players and their servers? How can we know if the game we purchase will
be the same game (only improved) after the first few months of play?”
These all are questions, and not everyone has real answers. The F2P
model gives wriggle room for SOE to get their game out into the open for
the masses to try out, but then again it could go more toward the GW2
route. Upon release the game will be required a standard one time fee
to purchase the game, and anything bought after that would be purely
aesthetic items and features in game. If they keep the player housing
and guild housing, there would be a ton of room for SOE to make money
off of special (purchase only) items for decorating an individual’s
space. Maybe they will do more than go toward the old style of Everquest lore
wise, and instead also go with the traditional subscription based
business model to offer a very stable income for the devs to continue
upkeep on the game and releasing well-refined content. It’s hard to
tell with SOE at the moment, seeing as they have released very little
information about their work in progress. We can expect some real
updates late in the year (I’m gunning for November/December honestly).



What we do know, is that SOE is looking to do something a little
different from what other big MMO’s (including their own) have done in
the past. They are looking to add a physics engine to a
MASSIVE-MULTIPLAYER game. How they will pull that off? We can only
wonder. They’re also trying to make the game as graphically flexible as
they can. That means that older computers and newer ones can play
alongside each other without much of a breaking in gameplay. Advanced
machines? Celebrate! It sounds like it will be a beautiful game.
Older machines? Rejoice, for you can still play it. Below is a video
of part of the Q’s and A’s that SOE’s dev team for EQ Next did to get
their word out.

Everquest Next Graphics Engine

Feel free to comment below and add your thoughts on SOE’s future and development of Everquest Next, I’m sure we would all like anything to read about at this time of little information.

READ MORE HERE...

Ronson

Posts: 654
Join date: 2010-07-24

http://www.eqoa.net

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This Could Change Everything

Post by Ronson on Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:34 pm

This Could Change Everything - Dave Georgeson Talks SOEmote and EverQuest Next







Updated Thu, Jun 21, 2012 by B. de la Durantaye

If you haven't heard about Sony Online Entertainment's new SOEmote,
you're missing out. This new bit of tech may not be aimed to change the
way people play games but it certainly promises to add a fun new
dimension to online worlds.



EverQuest franchise Executive Producer demonstrating SOEmote (with a silly face)



What is SOEmote? Partnered with Image Metrics for facial recognition
and Vivox for voice fonts, SOEmote is integrated software that scans
your face using your PC camera and translates your facial actions to
your character in-game. Turning your head, raising your eyebrows, even
moving your eyes and speaking in front of your camera animates your game
character with the same movements. Best of all: the technology is going
to be introduced to EverQuest II within a month and SOE has even bigger plans for SOEmote with later games, including the upcoming 3rd EverQuest game (as of yet unnamed, but codenamed EverQuest 'Next' by the gaming community).


We spoke with EverQuest Executive Producer Dave Georgeson about the science behind the device and how SOE plans to not necessarily change how we play games, but certainly how we experience
them. Having come from a roleplaying background himself, it is no
surprise Georgeson expressed excitement for video-game roleplayers.


Roleplaying Heaven


"We're starting with just a small portion of what we'll eventually be
able to do," Georgeson told us. "Right now the camera can read up to 30
degrees and be able to read movements up to 10 feet away. We will be
able to open that to 60 degrees. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
We want to expand this to be able to track hand and body movement. It
will be like you have your own private motion capture studio where you
can save your own emotes. Roleplaying heaven!" Georgeson also indicated
that it's not outside the realm of possibility to use this software to
"implant" your own face and features onto your in-game character,
bringing a whole new dimension to character creation.


"Body language breaks down walls you didn't know were there,"
Georgeson continued. "Once you have the ability to convey your body
language and facial expressions into a game you open up a whole new
level of interaction... Every roleplaying game needs to have this
feature... and they will!" he predicted.


The Tech


Adding an extra few degrees of depth to roleplaying and social
interaction isn't the only potential application of SOEmote. Georgeson
went on to explain that this technology could even be used to monitor a
player's pupil dilation. This kind of involuntary feedback could
eventually change the very way games are built.


SOEmote uses minimal bandwidth and can be configured with a single
click. The software has the ability to scan up to 5000 points on the
human face and selectively transmit far fewer for purposes of speed.
During the demo even though the entire face was being scanned only the
eyebrows, eyes and mouth movements were transferred to the game.


Although SOEmote doesn't require expensive hardware Georgeson did
point out that some cameras work better than others. At time of launch
SOE will have a list of recommended cameras. And although the camera
will scan the face, no likeness of a person is transmitted
anywhere--it's simply a stream of data containing facial points, or
dots, so the privacy risk is minimal.




Screenshot of EQ 'Next' as seen at SOE Fan Faire 2010






And Onto EverQuest 'Next'



Our minds began to wander as we started thinking about different ways
SOEmote could be used. We thought about entire new breeds of machinima
and the potential of "virtual celebrities" (those who excelled at acting
via proxy), and then onto how motion capture could be used to even cast
spells if applied.


"Wait until you see spellweaving in the next EverQuest," Georgeson teased. "I've said too much but you've never played a game like it. I can promise you that.


"We have two EverQuest games we can already use as
testbeds for what we plan on with the next one. While we're doing that
we're putting a huge focus on storytelling over the next year. We want
characters to become memorable parts of the story arcs. We want to bring
back the world to virtual worlds. This is a re-imagined Norrath. Think of the EverQuest games as three separate universes--a multiverse."


As of yet relatively little is known about the next EverQuest,
but now that we knew SOE is planning on integrating SOEmote and
focusing their energies on making the new game a breathing world as
opposed to the standard online games we see in many of today's MMOs we
asked Georgeson when they were planning on revealing more.


"We need to finish up with the Destiny of Velious stuff in EverQuest II
first," he responded. "We have a very specific plan for the reveal and
until the vision can be realized we won't reveal much more about it. We
have four pillars to overcome. We've just gotten over one and a half
now. But expect more next year. " Georgeson then smiled mischievously
and laughed, pulling back a bit. "I just can't wait to show you guys."


The first taste of SOEmote will be introduced to EverQuest II by July. EverQuest III,
or EQ 'Next' will have to wait. In the meantime, grab a camera and get
ready to put your game face on... or 'in' as the case may be.

READ MORE HERE

Ronson

Posts: 654
Join date: 2010-07-24

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The Mittani Interviews SOE CEO John Smedley

Post by Ronson on Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:44 pm

September 7, 2012



The_Mittani
John
Smedley, CEO of Sony Online Entertainment (developers of Everquest, SWG
and Planetside, for those of you living under a rock) revealed himself
earlier this year as a Fanfest-attending Eve player, in addition to
being heavily involved in the design of an upcoming game which just
about everyone is frothing about. I ask him a few questions about his
Eve experience, PS2, and the shape of the gaming industry itself.


You’re not just the CEO of SOE, you’re an Eve player
currently residing somewhere in the HBC bloc. What can you tell us about
your Eve experiences (without giving away so much detail that the
upstanding citizens of New Eden hunt you down)? When did you begin
playing, what do enjoy most about New Eden, and what do you consider to
be the most problematic aspect of Eve gameplay at the moment?


My Eve experiences have been some of the most amazing of my gaming
life. I am a true PVP'er at heart and I'm not a big fan of rules. Eve
provides the perfect environment for a person like me. I created my
character with Piracy in mind and after paying a few ransoms in my
newbie life I realized that's harder than it looks. I began playing a
few years ago. I tried 6 times to get into Eve and on the 7th it took.
And I credit Eve University with that. As soon as I got in there things
just clicked. The most problematic aspect of Eve Gameplay at the moment -
honestly I'd have a hard time pinning it down. 6 months ago I would
have said the newbie experience but they are working hard to improve it.

Obligatory fluff question: What’s your favorite ship to fly in Eve, and why?

My favorite ship - so far it's the Drake. Because I can get into
almost any fleet with it and because it's cheap enough that if I lose it
I don't care. I will say the Rifter is a close second because it's fun
as hell to get into small engagements.
Has your experience as an Eve player impacted your design philosophy as it relates to Planetside 2, and if so, how?

My experiences as an Eve Player have had a huge impact on Planetside
2. The concept of Cert Points and the notion of gaining them offline
came straight from there, although our system gives you points that are
flexible and we also give you more experience when you're online than
off. Also our resource system started out very similar to Starcraft but
it's evolved a lot into something more akin to what Eve has. Right now
it's not going to get as much use as it will in the future when we allow
player owned bases that require rare resources that players fight over.
Right now we don't have a market but that will come over time. I like
to give credit where credit is due and it's fair to say that Eve greatly
influenced my thinking as an online gamer and as someone running an
online gaming company.

CCP’s Dust 514 is doing something that’s ‘never been done
before’ by linking a MMOFPS to a MMORPG; Trion’s Defiance is doing
something that’s ‘never been done before’ by linking a MMOFPS to a TV
show. Similar language was used to describe the release of Eve’s Incarna
expansion, but CCP CEO Hilmar later referred to Incarna as a ‘Jesus
Feature’. What do you think about this trend - is it a consequence of
companies trying to distinguish their products in an ever-more-crowded
field as the industry matures?


In making games we try new things that we hope will become the next
big "it" thing. call it the Jesus feature.. call it whatever.. but I
think it's just trying to make something cool. You get an idea in your
head and you think everyone around you will love it. I'll admit I bought
in and still fully buy in to CCP's vision for the Eve Universe
co-existing with Dust. That Vision movie they made is fricking awesome
and I hope they keep going there. I realize players were upset with the
Incarna expansion because the perception was that it didn't deliver
enough red meat. I love CCP and think they listened to their playerbase
(hell they made a damn monument in game) and understand that you have to
go a little slower.. but I LOVE where they are aimed.
Ever since Dust 514 was announced to be a PS3 exclusive,
some in the Eve playerbase have been worried about a Sony takeover of
CCP - especially now that CCP is making IPO noises in the run-up to the Dust 514 release. Care to comment on or debunk these rumors?


Folks - there is NO truth whatsoever to the rumor that Sony is buying
CCP. I went to Fan[fest] as a player. Ask my corp mates. I did the pub
crawl. I hung out. I ate that shitty nasty shark whateverthehell it is
thing. It's as simple as that. In the online gaming industry there are
really very few companies. I know most of their CEOs and really like
most of them a lot and play their games. Hilmar was kind enough to give
us an office tour and extend some wonderful Icelandic hospitality. There
it is. Nothing more.

You’ve mentioned a desire for more sandbox MMOs in your
Reddit AMA, and sandboxes are obviously a major draw for Eve players. Do
you have plans for adding sandbox elements to PS2, and if so, would you
like to discuss them? If there really is an untapped market for sandbox
MMOs, why haven’t we seen more of them, besides Eve and SWG?


Sandbox elements - SOE is redefining itself as a creator of
emergent gameplay experiences. That's our future. You can call it
sandbox but it's so much more than that. A good example is Player owned
bases in Planetside 2. That's coming. We're going to make huge
continents that are empty and have vast resources on them and players
can fight it out and put down their own bases there and other players
can come and obliterate them. Sound familiar Eve Players? Actually we
had something like this in Star Wars Galaxies too. THAT is content. At
some point as an industry we need to realize that we have already lost
the race to outpace players in making content. I personally thought
SWTOR was a great game. I loved Diablo III. The problem is you get to
the endgame and as game makers it's not just expensive. it's impossible
to stay ahead of the curve.

Think about this statement - If WoW had come out yesterday.. at
what point would people be "done" with the content. We need to focus on
game systems that are perpetual and give players a lot more control over
what they can do rather than JUST putting yet another dragon in front
of them with scripted content.
We need to be doing both in order to be
successful. And that's our plan.

Thanks for your time!

(Editor's Note: Hello there, internet. You can follow us on twitter at @TheMittani if you like.)

READ MORE HERE

Ronson

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PlanetSide 2, EQ Next, And SOE’s Player-Driven Future

Post by Ronson on Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:15 pm


I’m beginning to think gaming industry people don’t actually know
what the word “dead” means. Back in my day, it was a pretty final thing
– oftentimes even considered fatal. Now, though, if something doesn’t
have all eyes on it, it’s apparently dead and gone forever. Just ask
adventure games and, oh right, that whole “entirety of PC gaming” thing.
And now, with the era of WoW’s incomparable dominion drawing to a
close, MMOs seem to be getting the same treatment. But that’s a
knee-jerk reaction. Nothing’s six feet under just yet. The writing is,
however, on the wall, and its message is quite clear: change or lose
your audience to boredom’s creeping clutches. But how? Well, if you ask
SOE president John Smedley, it’s time to stop railroading players and
start letting them live their virtual lives as they see fit. I know
because I did, er, ask him. I also asked him about replicating the
success of EVE Online, PlanetSide 2‘s eventual planet-based metagame, EverQuest Next‘s new incredibly player-driven reboot, and tons more.




RPS: One of the major trends that’s emerged in triple-A
gaming over the years is this move towards presenting games as these
flawless, perfectly wrapped packages. Publishers just advertising their
game and not really engaging the audience beyond that. Meanwhile, with
PlanetSide 2, you seem very willing to acknowledge that your game has
flaws and that you’re going to work on them. Is it – at least, in part –
about presenting a more human image, basically? Saying, “We’re people
too. We play the game. We’re not just this gigantic soulless entity.”


John Smedley: It’s something that we’ve wanted to do for a while.
We’re evolving the rest of our games to do exactly the same thing. More
openness. More forums like Reddit. Not just sitting on our forums,
because people don’t like it when we have to moderate our forums. It
bothers some people. So, OK great, I’m happy to go on to Reddit. I’m
happy to get cussed out on Reddit. If people want to bitch at me on
Twitter, go for it. I’m fine with that.

But the key thing is the one-to-one interaction with people. On
Twitter I get a lot of feedback, good and bad. What I’m finding is that
even the bad stuff, if I just respond and say, “Yeah, I agree, that
sucks,” it makes people go, “Oh, so you see what I’m talking about.
Okay, I get it.” It makes a difference to them. It makes them understand
that we’re trying to make a fun game. We’re not trying to dictate from
on high how something is going to be. We’ve got our ideas, but
ultimately they’re the ones that decide if the game is any good. They
pay the bills. We want to interact with them.



I look at a game like EverQuest, 13 years later it’s… Who knew it
would last that long? Getting that involvement from the community,
having them say, “We like this, we don’t like this,” and having us be
able to say, “Yeah, we agree” or “Here’s why I don’t agree with that.
Think about this,” that’s crucial.

With PlanetSide 2 we’re even taking that to the monetization element.
Matt Higby put up, “Here’s our ideas for what we’re going to charge,
what we wanted to have as a subscription for this as an option.” It was
amazing, the feedback we got. It was loud and vocal. We made material
changes to the plan based on what people said. Five years ago we would
have just put that package out there and we would have gotten complaints
about it. This time we were able to react before we announced it. It’s a
different world. I like it much better this way.

RPS: I feel like one of the reasons that, for a while, that
wasn’t the conventional thing to do is because developers were afraid of
giving potential customers the wrong impression. “Oh, if we introduce
our game to players in this state, they’ll assume that it’s not good.
That it’s broken.” For you, is it just a matter of assuming that your
players are intelligent? That they’ll get what you’re ultimately trying
to do?


John Smedley: “Smarter than we are” would be the way that I would put
it. What I’m astounded by is, people will come up with solutions to
problems and we won’t. Before, where we would have handed that down from
on high, now it’s easier to simply say, “Oh, that’s a really good idea.
We’re gonna use that. Love it.” They find solutions to things that are
far smarter than some of the things we can do. We’re embracing that.

I feel like we’re the engine and the users now have the steering
wheel in their hands. To me, that’s a much better place to be than the
other way around. It’s our ideas originally, but at some point you put
it out there and say, “OK, here are our ideas for the game. This is
where we want to go. What do you think?” Next week, at SOE Live, we’re
talking about the future of PlanetSide 2. Even though the game isn’t
launched yet, we’re going to be talking about what we’re doing with it.
We want our players to say “We like that” or “We hate that,” and if they
hate it we’ll change it and do something else.



RPS: That seems to be the trend with more systemic MMOs like
that. Similar to EVE, where a lot of what ends up going into the game is
shaped by the players. Is there where SOE’s hoping MMOs are headed? To
the point of shedding off archaic, grindy quests in favor of dynamic
worlds? I mean, I see a bit of EVE in PlanetSide’s structure, but what
about in, say, EverQuest Next?


John Smedley: We are, as a company, embracing that. I don’t talk a
lot about EverQuest Next because we’re not ready to yet, but I will say
that you’re going to see that times 20 in the next EverQuest. We’re
embracing that. That’s the whole game. It’s going to be a very, very
different game than the original EverQuest or any other MMO ever made.
In fact, we rebooted it. This is the third reboot of it. Users saw the
first iteration… We trashed it. We said, “This is just too similar to
other games.” Then we did another iteration, and we said, “This is
better,” but we trashed that too. This time it stuck, because everybody
in the company said, “Oh, yes, we want that.”

RPS: It certainly seems like a “now or never” type of
situation. I mean, games like The Secret World, The Old Republic, and
even Tera were all pretty good, but people left in droves as soon as
they fell back into a predictable WoW-style rhythm. Do you think players
are simply burnt-out on that kind of thing?


John Smedley: I do. In fact, every one of the games you mentioned I
would consider a high-quality game, and yet… Players just eat through
the content and say, “OK, I’m done. Thank you! Next?” Then they go play
League of Legends or they go play DOTA or they go play some kind of a
game that has emergent gameplay. Because what do you do when you’ve
leveled to the max in Mists of Pandaria? What do you do?

Now, it’s funny. My kids and me, we went back to Pandaria
immediately. I was telling [WoW lead] J Allen Brack just a few minutes
ago, “Hey, they loved it.” And then they’ll be finished with it and
they’ll be waiting for the next WoW expansion. It doesn’t mean they’re
not going to log in a lot to play WoW, but it does mean that during that
time in between, they’re doing other stuff too. That’s the change.
That’s why free-to-play matters.



RPS: But designing MMOs like that – hitting that sweet spot
between giving players something to do that you created and letting them
make their own fun. Speaking in as eloquent of terms as possible, that
sounds hard.


John Smedley: It is hard.

RPS: EVE had lightning strike many years before everyone else
caught on to it. But very few other games have replicated that type of
world, where the players are all about it. They live in it. Players care
hugely about each other outside of it. It has its own thriving economy.
Things like that.


John Smedley: I think that’s right. That’s actually the space we’re
moving our entire company into. The whole company. PlanetSide 2, we did
that because we love the game. We also did it because we want a game
where the content that we’re making is things like, “Hey, here’s a new
style of gameplay. Here’s a new gun. Here’s player bases.”

It’s not just “Kill ten rats, repeat.” The days where you can just
make kill-ten-rats stuff and not have the emergent side of things, those
days are gone. Here’s The Secret World. SWTOR. Tera. Look at how much
money they spent on The Old Republic. It’s a brilliant game… with the
wrong business model. That’s the key difference here now. Free-to-play
games tend to do this, and then they just keep going. We think that’s
why it’s the future.

RPS: One of the major problems all those games have had is
keeping people interested over time. The philosophy a lot of them have
adopted is frequent new content. New missions every month and things
like that. But it still runs out eventually.


John Smedley: It runs out immediately. You put out a new patch with
The Old Republic content, and the same week that it’s out, the players
have played it all. What do you do after that? That’s why you spend time
on battlegrounds. That’s why the job WoW has done, I think, has been
brilliant. They focused on stuff like battlegrounds. The pet battle
system. Those are smart decisions that they make, because they know that
players are going to eat through the content in hours, literally hours.



RPS: SOE’s Player Studio seems like an extension of that to
me. Let players make their own new content. How far do you hope to
expand that, though? Right now it’s just objects in games like EverQuest
and eventually PlanetSide. Would you ever like to see players creating
their own missions and gametypes, though?


John Smedley: Stay tuned. The answer is yes, wholeheartedly. We have
plans for that that go out a long way, and a game that is going to
dominate because of that kind of stuff.

It’s not just players making quests. Don’t think of it just as
Dungeons & Dragons. What we’re actually building is the ability for
players to put in systems. System-level stuff. We give them some rules,
some basic simple rules, and they can make things out of whole cloth.
They could build their own battlegrounds style of gameplay. That’s what
we want. What we have is an amazing infrastructure and ability to let
players do new and emerging things.

We want them to… Not make their own fun. We’re going to make our
games amazingly fun. We want them to be able to make things we didn’t
think of fun. That’s really what it is. I mentioned Hulkageddon, I love
that in EVE. That’s just players putting bounties on something. It’s
nothing. That’s all it is. But that’s as fun as anything in EVE. More
fun if you ask me. It’s amazingly fun.

RPS: So, that in mind, where’s PlanetSide 2 headed after you
finish laying the groundwork? I mean, based on the fact that you
recently dropped a whole continent with its own set of rules on players, the game seems more or less built for large-scale expansion.


John Smedley: We have jungle fighting coming in. It won’t be the next
continent. It’ll probably be the one after that. It’s planned because
we’re still building it and we’re not sure if it’s going to be fun.
These ideas are in our heads. We’re going to try it and see what the
users think. We have Amerish coming online next. We’ll be talking about
that probably next week at SOE Live. We may even give a sneak peek out.



Each of the continents, we want them to play differently. We really
want it to be meaningfully different. We want it to be where people can
decide for themselves, “I like this style of base capture,” or “I want
more open environments because I want tank battles, I suck at infantry.”
Stuff like that. We want it to be a meaningfully different place, not
just a cold place. The original PlanetSide was more like that. We want
this to be different.

Our plan is very simple. It’s continent, continent, continent,
planet. We’ll add continents to a planet until we’re done with that
planet. Then we’ll make another planet. We don’t want there to be the
Scottish highlands on every single planet. We want them to be really
different, meaningfully different. Some of those places will have
continents that are empty, that players can build bases on. All of them
have resources.

We’ll make really super-rare resources, where if you’re on this
planet and you’re fighting. This is a great example of emergent
gameplay. “Here’s what we’re giving you. It’s a map. It’s empty. It’s
got resources on it. GO!” They’ll build bases on it, and they’ll have to
defend those bases, 24 hours a day. If people blow them up while
they’re offline, tough shit. That’s what we want. We’ll see how it
works.

Read more here

Ronson

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New EQ Next News Likely At SOE Live 2012

Post by Ronson on Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:19 pm





News today from Smed that it’s highly probable we’ll hear something new about Everquest Next at SOE Live 2012.

There is nothing about EQ Next in the scheduled talks (which you can view here),
so it’s unknown on what day and what time we’ll hear about EQN. Fingers
crossed it’s some exciting news! SOE Live runs from October 18 – 21 at
Bally’s Casino in Las Vegas.



Source – https://twitter.com/j_smedley/status/257069592587927552

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EverQuest Next Reworked, Playable Next Year

Post by Ronson on Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:04 pm


Fans expecting new information on 'EverQuest Next' during this year's SOELive came away tonight with a bittersweet announcement from SOE president John Smedley.

During tonight's SOELive keynote address, Smedley explained that everything we've seen on EverQuest Next thus far has been scrapped and the game is in the process of being reworked. Given the turn of events, SOE will not be showing off EverQuest Next during this year's SOELive. However, Mr. Smedley did promise attendees that not only would EverQuest Next make an appearance at SOELive next year, it will also be playable.

Why'd SOE scrap the work done up to this point? Smedley noted that the team ultimately wasn't happy with the game. EQ Next felt too 'evolutionary', more like an EverQuest 3 than what SOE was going for. According to Smed, SOE 'changed the world' with the launch of the original EverQuest, and they want the launch of EverQuest Next to be an equally monumental moment in the MMO genre.

To that end, Smedley promised that EverQuest Next would be the "world's largest sandbox", with content delivered to players in an entirely new way. The team is being lead by EverQuest staples such as Terry Michaels and Dave Georgeson and fans were assured that they are intending on remaking Norrath into something unlike anything players have seen before.

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