Category Archives: Developer Interviews

Vhalen – Everling


Vhalen: He released the key to destiny
Vhalen: Everling’s story has always been touching upon various elements of each expansion. There are more revelations to come, revelations about Everling and the secrets he keeps. Also, it may not be bound to Nektropos Castle or an expansion. He has lots to tell you. Lord Rikantus Everling is on the hunt.
Vhalen: The family trade may be returning to Norrath.

Alondnar: :This is specifically for Vhalen, what ever happened with the Rune of Sunder lore in Nek 3, it seemed to just dead end.
Vhalen: The Rune of Sunder was just a key to understanding one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. What it unlocks can be found in the world. I can promise you that you will know more.’”

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EQ2 Maps



The Isles of Refuge were established by the Far Seas Trading Company. For the most part they are a collection of islands resting in the large central body of water in the Shattered Lands, the Tranquil Sea. It is from these islands that the Far Seas Trading Company can best base their trade routes out of. There are numerous islands in the Tranquil Sea, not just the Isles of Refuge. These islands are diverse in resources, keeping the Far Seas Trading Company very busy and their mysterious leaders very rich.

One of the most important resources that the Far Seas Trading Company found were the many refugees that had been marooned on any number of isles throughout the Tranquil Sea. All the islands in the Tranquil Sea were once part of the large continent of Antonica. During the Age of Cataclysms the undercontinent below Antonica, Subtunaria, erupted in violent quakes. Much of Subtunaria collapsed and this brought down large sections of Antonica, helping to create the vast Tranquil Sea and its many islands. Marooned out on these shards of a once great continent were a great many villagers, clans, tribes and adventurers.

Not all islanders are seeking refuge within the great and mighty cities of man, but for those that do there are the trade boats of the Far Seas Trading Company. Those cargo ships visit many islands to collect resources to be sold in various markets. Far Seas Trading Posts pop up on many small isles. Not all of those trading posts are public knowledge. Many are secret ports that the Far Seas will share with no nation. I am sure we will discover more islands of the Tranquil Sea in the future, with or without the permission of the Far Seas Trading Company.

There are many oceans and seas on Norrath that have yet to be rediscovered by adventurers or even the FSTC. It will be quite some time until we visit theses oceans to find if any changes have occurred on the surface or below the waves. But we do have a decent chart of the seas resting within the Shattered Lands.

The Shattered Lands has numerous seas dividing its islands. Most of these seas were formed in the recent rending of Old Antonica, what the Shattered Lands used to be. Most of the waterways are dangerous for both the extreme conditions as well as the dangerous denizens that inhabit the water of the air of a given sea. Here are the known seas within the Shattered Lands as charted by the Far Seas Trading Company.

The Coldwind Coast
Relative Island: New Antonica in Karan
This is a cold temperate sea. It has strong winds and choppy waves. It is a great territory for sailing, but only within a ship worthy of ocean travel. Birds of many sizes glide with the currents. Beneath the waters lurk dangers such as sharks and aqua goblins.

The Tranquil Sea
Relative Island: All
This sea is nearly always sunny and with clear skies. It is the largest sea in the Shattered Lands and nearly all islands have direct access to it. The waves here are gentle and allow ships to skim across them with little resistance. This would be a wonderful place to sail if it were not for the lack of wind current. The winds blow far too gently in this sea. Many great ships must employ rows of oars and even magic to provide locomotion for their great hulking vessels that must pass through this sea to reach the Trade City of Freeport located in the Commonlands.

The Neriuss Flow
Relative Island: Nektulos in D’Lere
This is a sea of dark waters. Ash floats above the waves creating a dense black fog. The ash floats in from the northern territory of Lavastorm. It shields many of the lurking beasts within the water as well as occasional Kheklok raiders, a relative race of the frogloks that exists within the ocean depths.

The Sea of Mist
Relative Island: The Enchanted Lands
This is a sea of gently rolling waves and wind currents. It is most known for forming an odd mist during the early hours of dawn. That mist flows with the current to enter the shores of the Enchanted Lands.

The Sea of Crossed Swords
Relative Island: Zek
This is a sea located near the orc island of Zek. The waves here are tall and they create slow navigation, something undesired to any mariners who sail this sea. There are numerous orc patrols sailing these waters and even deep sea orc war galleys passing through to perform raids in adjacent waterways. This sea is considered the territory of the Deathfist Empire.

The Seafury
Relative Island: The Thundering Steppes in Karan
The Seafury is a sea notorious for violent storms and extreme ocean conditions. It is almost always stormy in this region and the waves here dwarf any other sea. Visibility is nearly cut to a minimum and only the largest and strongest creatures can survive in the harsh environment. Aviak air raiders also stalk the winds in search of ships to plunder and sink.

The Sea of Sand
Relative Island: Ro
This sea is like a wall of sandstorms that races around the island of Ro. Any ships that dare sail into this maelstrom is soon to be sandblasted and its crew most certainly with it. There is no known passage through this anomaly. What sort of creatures could exist in this sea is unknown. Rumors abound that the massive sandstorm that comprises this region is actually a sentient being. Such babble is usually scoffed at.

The Gunthak Flow
Relative Island: Ykesha
The Gunthak Flow is a sea of many small uncharted isles. These isles have a great number of lost pirate booty and ruins of old troll fortresses. It exists in a tropical environment. The seas are warm and humid as is the gentle breeze. The breeze occasionally gives way to fierce hurricanes, but that is not a common occurrence.

The Blackwater
Relative Island: The Feerrott
This is a sea of countless naval battles. Ages ago this sea was controlled by the second coming of the Rallosian Empire, a brutal ogre militaristic empire that ruled with an iron fist. There are often many shipwrecks to be found in this sea as well as an occasional floating hulk of what was once a formidable ogre War Galley. Numerous stories of ghostly ships abound and cause many mariners to shun this body of water.

The Fanged Sea
Relative Island: Everfrost
This is a sea filled with icebergs and chilling cold winds. A chilly haze fills the sea, cutting visibility down to dangerous levels. Naval vessels will often need to avoid smaller bergs or take damage upon collision. Many ships have had their hulls cut open as easily as a knife cuts through butter jum. Ice storms are frequent in this region.

Freewater Channel
Relative Island: The Commonlands in D’Lere
This is a sea of rolling waves and an equally gentle breeze, but a breeze of cutting chill. The water is thick with brine and islands of seaweed float along the surface. There is a gentle uneasy calm about this sea. It is well known for the frequent aqua goblin assaults upon nearly any ship that dare cross it. Some sailors report that their ships were boarded by pirates in aqua goblin costumes or even members of the Seafury Buccaneers. The Seafury Buccaneer piracy reports are quickly dismissed since they are part of the Freeportian armed forces and would never return to their days of high seas raids. The sky of this sea is filled with a canopy of gloomy gray clouds that shower down gentle drizzle. The water’s extreme saline content makes it difficult for even normal salt water denizens to exist for long periods of time.

The Cauldron
Relative Island: Lavastorm
The Cauldron sits in a locale with an extremely large number of geothermal vents beneath the waves. The sea boils and large bubbles may form that can actually cause damage to a ship’s hull should they collide. Whirlpools are a common sight in this sea. Some portions of the Cauldron can only be navigated by ships reinforced by great magic or technology to survive the boiling sea and searing winds.

The Straits of Twelve
Relative Island: Highbourne
Nestled by the tempest of the Seafury in the north and the Blackwater to the south, this sea can be found. This sea is filled with jagged spires of rock with no accessible land. The spires are the tips of the shattered peaks of the once great Rathe Mountains. The majestic mountain range dropped into the ocean when a massive collapse of the Underfoot occurred beneath it. What land exists is rocky and barren of vegetation. Most spires are too steep to offer level ground to set foot upon. One great danger of this sea is its shallow and jagged basin. Much of the once mountain range sits below the tides and many a ship have had their hulls gutted by unseen daggers of rock stretched towards the surface, but never breaking through. The grandest sight in this sea is the twelve peaks of the Rathe Mountains that jut high above the waves. Their odd and almost lifelike appearance recounts the tales of these twelve mountains actually being titanic beings of earth and rock defeated ages ago by a legendary ogre champion.

The Dead Calm
Relative Island: Unknown if any exists
The Dead Calm is a waterway no seafarer ventures no matter how brave they may be. But there are those who are foolish and it is from tales of these foolish mariners that we get what little information of this sea. All wind and all tides completely cease when you encounter the boundary of this sea. The foolhardy that trudge onward by oars slowly begin to loose energy and become extremely lethargic. As they row onward, their faces and bodies appear to loose fullness as it appears that the life is being sucked out of them. By the time they realize their mistake to enter this sea, it is impossible to retreat to safe waters. The foolish seafarers become part of the derelict graveyard of ships and floating islands of bones that drift in the sea. No mariner has ever been able to survive in this sea to explore the horizon and discover any isle that may hide at the heart of the Dead Calm. A hint of an island at the center of the sea is sometimes reported.

Norrathians have returned from the treacherous seas in the northern territories of the Shattered Lands. With them came wondrous tales of sights never seen One of these tales is said to be a glint of light in a deep frozen atoll. The chill of that fills the bowl formed by the steep cliffs of the atoll makes visibility nearly impossible, yet, a ship dared to brave the mist. What they found was deadly to say the least. Only one sailor made it back, the same cannot be said for his sanity. He ended up in the padded cells of the Freeport Infirmary and Asylum. He told a tale of a glint of light shining in the mist. His captain forced the ship into the thick white fog and onward to this glint. They found a frozen tower, an elven tower. This tower seemed to offer no access, but apparently it did withstand a powerful blast of cold wind. This blast froze the tower, made evident by the long thick icicles that stretch off to one side. The sailor said they found a breach within the icy armor of the tower. They all entered, but only one made it out. His mind gone, all he could mutter was the word, “Fayspire”. How such a madman managed to sail that ship out of there is a mystery just like the frozen atoll that cannot be found on any map.

Erud’s Crossing:

This island actually exists as part of a grouping of isles known as the Isles of Ebb. I will try and send you some lore on the whole island chain some time, but here is a bit about the island in question. This is a small blurb from early design, enjoy:

o Talysra’s Paw

This is the largest island of the chain. A small volcano mount sits on the island. This island has a bumpy wide sand bar running along the north half of it. The sand bar’s four high points are always above water and give the island the appearance of a massive cat’s paw. The Kerran’s who have come to inhabit this island are a secluded sect of the Kerran society. They have named the island after their newly found cat god, Talysra. They have also built a small village called Talys on the island. The densest woods of Aqua Palms appear here as do the regional flower and coconut trees. A small fissure in the side of the small volcanic mount has a tiny trickling floe of lava that seeps down to the northeast corner of the island where it runs into the water and creates vapor.

Oh wow, and here is a bit about the actual village on the island. Some of this lore may never be seen, but I hope you enjoy the original write up:

o Talys

This is the only village in the sea and is a frequent stop of sailing vessels. The village is inhabited by a secluded sub tribe of Kerran’s calling themselves the Laahr. These Kerrans have come to study their roots and unlike the Kerrans of Kerra Ridge, they worship a new found deity known to few Kerrans. The village is small but has adequate facilities for any traveler. There is an inn located across a bamboo bridge and on one of the islands sand bar isles. A gnome from the Academy of Arcane Science, Professor R.J. Skittlewit, has come to Talys to challenge his wits of engineering by providing the natives with contraptions made out of the natural materials and employing natural resources. Machines exist such as a mill made of bamboo and reeds powered by the steam vent of the volcanic fissure. There is a vault also created by the gnome for adventurers to store supplies, allow for banking and store export goods. The Laahr have built a dock and supply outriggers for rent.

It may be a bit more than you see in the Age of Turmoil, but here it is:

o Isle of the Dead

Long ago, in secrecy, the ——— placed the crypts of the most evil mortals of the time on this island. The island appears as a rocky island surrounded by jagged rocks. The topdown view of the island is that of a skull. Massive stone totems were placed on the shoreline to ward away the curious and keep in any evil spirits. There is an ancient mortuary and tomb for five ——- and ——-. A small temple was eventually built on the island. This temple hides the ———–. The entrance is sealed by magic placed upon a massive stone disc that must be rolled aside before one can gain entry. There is one long wide passage that tells the story of the island through images. There is a center chamber with ———-. There is —— in the middle that is used to ———. There are many —— in —–. Each passage tells the history of the vile acts committed by the mortal whose tomb lies at the end of the passage. Many ——– guard the inside of the tomb. The topside of the island is guarded by evil itself, evil specters and apparitions to repel any who wish to gain entry into the tombs.

There are numerous islands located in the Shattered Lands. Not all of these islands will be presented in game, but we know they are there. One of these islands happens to contain a chunk of forestland once known as the Unkempt Wood. The Far Seas Trading Company believes that a portion of that woodland is what forms the island that they call The Forbidden Forest. The cliffs of this towering isle are nearly impossible to scale. If one were to begin the long climb along the cliffs they would no doubt encounter one of the many birds of prey that dwell there, many of which are quite large and vicious.

Veiled by the constant downpour of the sea known as the Phantom Sea, rests a little isle feared by those who are unfortunate enough to know of its existence. This isle is known by seafarers and avoided for the countless fears that rest on the isle. A dense woodland that swallows this forest isle shields what lies within and only one end offers access to those who dare step foot upon the land. Seafaring tales hint at what may rest inside the thicket. Some tales say that during the day it would seem to be a lifeless land. The land is uneven and trails are like mazes between clearings. Some say a fort of rangers long dead exists far to the end of the isle. It would take nearly a day to trek to and from the fort if one was lucky to correctly navigate the trails. Trees are now long dead and those that have leaves offer little color to the environment. No birds are heard chirping. No deer are seen galloping. It is dead. In the evening this becomes even truer. At night the ground is breached by hands of bone of two undead armies rising again to do battle under the moonlight. It is during this time that no one wishes to be caught upon this little isle of horror.

This last one is a bit of babble about a little known isle called The Serpent’s Fang. Jutting up from the center of the vast Tranquil Sea is what remains of the mammoth Serpent’s Spine mountain range, or at least its greatest remnants. This portion of the sea is quite dangerous for sea travel. Hulls of the greatest ships have been known to rip apart as they barely scrape the tops of the jagged sea mounts lurking just below the surface and in between the jagged isles of this area. Most of what one sees as they near this location are tall spires of eroding rock. The spires of rock are too steep and sheer to scale in any way and have little flat ground to support even a single shack. Many spires contain nests of the behemoth birds of prey called Rukhs. The Serpent’s Fang is the largest remnant of the Serpent’s Spine Mountains. What lies in the cloud covered spires crown is unknown. But some say there are those that walk amongst us that do know… quite well.


Circle of Unseen Hands


One faction I truly enjoyed bringing into the world is the Circle of the Unseen Hand. In the original EverQuest, the Hand was a thieves’ guild located in the lawful city of Qeynos. As you might guess, over a period of 400 years, the law discovered them and booted them out of the city, but that was not the end of the Hand. They evolved into a global thieves’ guild that maintains secret guild taverns in every major city on Norrath. These taverns are safe houses for not only the members of the Hand, but for their allies or those willing to earn the right to carry one of the valuable tavern coins. In the Swords of Destiny we get a greater glimpse of Crow’s Resting Place, the Hand tavern located beneath the lawful city of Qeynos. You just can’t keep a good thief away.

Ratonga Symbols


I had heard from a friend of mine, an adventuring partner from Windstalker Pond, that he had discovered something in the land of elves and dwarves. He mentioned that this little find of his was a hint of the Ratonga agenda. He was going to show this bit of information to me, a partial manuscript. Unfortunately, before he could return to the bell tower, he met the blade of an assassin. The Qeynos Guard found that the killer engraved a symbol onto his victim’s skin, a set of concentric circles with slashes over them. There was no manuscript to be found on the victim or in his house.

http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?topic_id=186530

Ratonga and Roekillik


I cannot comment on EQOA spirit deities, but I can comment on Caertex and the ratonga. Caertex has much lore surrounding him that may or may not be true. Did he have any involvement in creating wererats? Is he even a true deity of any kind? Is he among the horde that has begun to infest the surface world of Norrath? All these and other questions can only be answered by Caertex, if he even exists.

The ratonga do recognize Brell Serilis as their creator. They know quite well who commissioned the creation of the ratonga and roekillik clay statues that now rest within the Clay Menagerie, the planar depository for all of Brell’s creations.

From what outsiders can decipher, most ratonga and all roekillik worship a deity named Caertex. He is a mad being of supreme mental powers. Along with these powers comes the inability to block the thoughts of other entities within a massive range. This rat-like deity is said to exist deep in the Plane of Underfoot, within a portion called the Endless Tunnels. This is said to be a place not even planars venture. Those who enter the Endless Tunnels are lost forever. Here can be found the only peaceful sanctum for Caertex, who hides from the thoughts of nearly an entire plane

http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?start=0&topic_id=187539

Phase 1 Beta Chat Logs (1998-Compilation)


August Chat Log
By

Well, it’s that time of the month. No, not THAT time of the month! It’s time for the latest chat log review! I can’t believe you people!!

Anyway, let’s just dive into the thick of it….

———-

*** Aradune (bmcquaid@sisa15-35.sonyinteractive.com) has joined #everquest
hello all
we’ll begin in just a minute
* Aradune reminds people not to message him directly, in that I don’t have time to answer individually.
ok you ready?
No more nick changes as of now
First off there will be some questions i gather’d off of EQvault
then we will go with Relays…
Ok you can start messaging questions to Relays … we will start a back flow of questions
ok, we’re ready to begin
so we can jump right into the next part of the chat.
I’ve got some of the EQ team with me today
Where? 😉
I’ve got our lead designer, Bill Trost here, and also some of our world builders, Ryan and Hutch
say hi, guys
Greetings all
Hello Everyone. Thanks for showing up.
heya all =)
alright, lets begin questions. i’ll answer them, and give a few of them to the other guys here

Q: The switch is a good thing to protect the newbies but only for newbies… why you don’t set automatically the switch on PK when the character as the 5th or 10 level ?
A: because quite a few people want to be able to play -pvp all the way to level 50 — they don’t want to deal with pvp, and they have a right not to. remember, the only thing the switch doesn’t allow you to do is to kill people who don’t want to play that way.

Stupid question… Who syas that only newbies don’t like being murdered for the hell of it? Regardless of how strong of a character someone builds, it still sucks to have a group of idiots gang up and kill you because they are bored. If it wasn’t for the PK Aholes out there, there would be no need for the switch. There are definately times where a good thumping is in order, and unfortunately the switch will allow idiots to act without impunity… I hope that every PKer out there has a mob of -pvp taunting him every step of the way.

Q: Since everyone is comparing the Shaman to a Cleric, can you give us an idea about the offensive magic capabilities that a Shaman has. Will it be more of the Wizard school or the Magician school? Or just totally different?
A: The shaman is more of a tribal healer with his ablities being slightly more offense oriented than the cleric…

Q: there were some rumors that there will be a name filter so you can’t have names like that aren’t fantasy like names is this true?
A: We will be limiting names such that names must be unique and should be compatible with a fantasy setting.

-(Hmm… I wonder how they plan on enforcing this? It’s hard for me to believe they can program an AI to detect every permeation of the words “CrAzY dOoD!” there is. Could it be they would have an actual human sitting there day after day doing nothing but approving or rejecting each new character name that crops up? That’s not really feasible, either. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.)

I’m not sure what I think about this one… In UO, if someone gave themselves a jerkoff name, then you knew that they were an idiot. It was a good first indicator of who the murders / thieves, and aholes were.

Q: Looking on the world map on the EQ webpage i noticed that there were no names for the seas surrounding the continents. Do they have names? Can you follow the coastlines on small boats or is sea travel limited?
A: I just took a look at the maps on http://www.everquest.com and the oceans and seas are named there. Most ocean travel is done on larger ships.

Q: Will there be a map feature showing where you have traveled in the dungeon that is automatic, or might you be able to buy some type of map from a shop?
A: We feel exploration is key aspect of RPGs and feel an automap feature ruins this, as well as limits the types of mazes and trap systems we can implement. As for buying maps in shops, we aren’t sure if this will make it in by ship or not.

-(Brad’s opinion about automapping is certainly subjective. I don’t think anything has to be ruined just by adding the convenience of having your map being recorded by the computer as you explore, rather than by pencil [or blood, if you’re overzealous]. On the other hand, since automapping has become such a standard in CRPGs, I have missed – to a degree – sitting down and making my own map of areas on graph paper. It’s funny how something so knee bitingly tedious at the time could be so missed years later.)

Eh… Wait a few weeks, and there will be screencap maps out on every website. (Or at least mine :)… Which first? A world map, or Dungeon maps?)

Q: What type of emoting options will we get? I noticed that in one of the screen shots it showed a bunch of chars justraising their arms or sometin. Will we be able to do other such things, stick out tongue, jump, stamp feet, etc
A: You can pretty much emote anything you want, and then several of these emotes are attached to in-game animations, such as waving, cheering, etc.

-(We need animations for throwing up, I think. That’s all I want, just give me that!)

I recall in one of the earlier screenshots, the guy witht he two swords was kneeling… Sweet 🙂

Q: Will the player who makes the deathkill on a monster or opponent get first pick of the loot?
A: Yes.

-(Hmmm… this is another thing I’m wondering how they’re going to implement. Will the rest of the party just be unable to touch the corpse until the killing player is finished? If so, how will the computer know when he/she is finished? I want answers, Spock!!)

No matter what they plan on doing, it will have limitations, and there will be folks that don’t like the solution. U guess the computer will know that the player is done when he closed the corpse window???

Q: What school of magic will a druid’s/ranger’s magic come from?
A: They each have their own spell lists and their powers differ greatly

Q: How hard will it be for me to get the cloth I want my character to use? Will I be able to pick different clothes when I start my character? Style, color, etc?
A: Some items are easy to get, some very hard — depends on the item. And some items alter one’s appearance, and some don’t.

Q: since enchanters can apparently charm mobs, what kind of interface exists for controlling them? Can you order them to do anything they noramlly can do? cast spells? equip items? hold stuff for you? move a certain direction?
A: You give them verbal orders, which they will obey.

-(Brad just keeps getting better and better at dodging questions each month. I, for one, wouldn’t mind ordering that shapely Wood Elf female to — *WHAP*…[at this point, Shadoe’s wife knocked him unconscious and we will never know what he was about to say. And there was much rejoicing…])

Heh, Serves you right 🙂

Q: Has Macro’ing your stats using a program been succesfully eliminated so characters cannot become gods in a night or so of macroing?
A: We believe we have solutions to the macroing problem..

-(Promises, promises.)

Q: How much of a role do deities play in EQ? Simply, will clerics and wizards learn different spells by worshiping different gods; will they affect abilites somehow?
A: at this time the diety a cleric follows does not influence the spells he or she can cast.

Q: How close together must a party of beings be in order to gain shared experience. That is, can a party be scattered all over Norrath and still be sharing experience points or do they have to be within a few screens or even view the act to gain some of the experience?
A: They have to be within range of the combat. I don’t know the exact number of feet, but you have to be reasonably close. Now, you can still be in the group farther away, but you don’t get the share of exp.

Q: Spell failiure effects…..can spells backfire and effect you of your party?
A: spells can fail.

-(“Like a Rock! Oooooooh, Like a Rock!”……… It’s a Dodge commercial…. As in question dodging?…. Forget it.)

Q: How much variety is there in character dress?? and how much can we customize the color of armor and clothing? Enough to beable to create fairly varyed guild colors or just rather bland?
A: There are several different texture sets per character type (of which there are 24 — 12 races x 2 genders) — to change them, you find items, such as red dragon armor and such. In EQ you don’t arbitrarily change the color of your items — the color is based on the actual item.

-(Am I the only one who’s a teensy bit disappointed at this? One thing UO does right is the ability to choose the color of the shirt you’re wearing. I know it’s trivial, all things considered, but it’s something that I think kept me playing UO for as long as I did. 😛 I dunno… maybe I’m reading too much between the lines here.)

I agree with Shadoe on this one. It was nice to be able to dye your clothes to suit your tastes… Even in “The Realm” (Blech), you could dye your clothes and armor. I guess if you can’t, then you can’t, but it would be nice.

Q: WIll there be an overall skill cap, or will a player be able to master every skill available to his class?
A: There are skill caps based on class — so two classes might have the same skill, but one class might have a higher cap.

I think the answer was that you can max out all of your skills to the highest level that your class will allow. Unlike UO that has an arbitrary skillcap of 700 total points, in EQ, each class has maximum values that any skill can be. If you practice enough, you can max them all… Same sorta thing, but UO let you decide your own class, and EQ mandates your skills. In UO, you could change professions, in EQ you can’t.

Q: If you are a low level adventurer and group up w/ like a level 12 guy and watch him kill some monster, will u still get exp cuz’ you are in his group?
A: We have implemented a system that inhibits higher level players from ‘twinking’ exp for lower lvl players.

Q: I noticed in the text on some of the newer screenshots that it showed some monster casting an offensive spell. if they can cast offensive then can they cast defensive spells on themselves like heal?
A: oh yeah

Q: I’ve heard that once you die you get instantly resed in your home town, or something to that effect. But If you get instantly resed, how will clerics res?
A: It’s different, but we’re not going to go into details at this point, sorry.

Q: [Obsidian^ ) 1. Will there be some way to report people, as there is no realistic way to have GM’s monitoring everything? And perhaps have a punishment for reporting false alarms?
A: We have something similar in Tanarus, and are looking at appropriate ways to put it in EQ as well.

Q: Will we be able to kill players and NPC’s by falling on them?
A: No.

-(Then the little 60 lb. halfling won’t have to worry about being crushed and suffocating underneath the huge 450 lb. ogre that just leaped on him from the outcropping twelve feet up? Does this seem right to you? I dunno… I can see plusses and minusses both ways.)

Interesting that you can take falling damage, but not damage things (people) that you fall on… It would be an interesting initial strike if you were playing one of the larger Races.

Q: *Tharger* uhh…ok…”Is the story by “Anonymous”, in the latest EQX, which claims to be a story about his experiences during the .5 beta test, true?”
A: Yes, it was submitted to me by one of the external beta testers, and I then forwarded it to EQX.

Good… That was the source of my comment on taking falling damage 🙂

Q: [Gromph ) k… I dunno if this has been answered before, but what exactly happens with say a Dark Elf goes to a human town and tries to get in, what do the guards do?
A: Depends on the Dark Elf in question and what he has been up too…..
A: Typically, the guards will kill him, though.

Q: Will there be some sort of jail for people who violate laws in towns/ cause in-game problems?
A: course… they are known to kill them too…
A: No, they are typically killed if caught too — not a whole lot of civl rights in Norrath. Break the law, die. That sort of thing. Now, if you are talking about non-game related problems, those people are banned. cheaters, harassers, etc.

Q: *chib* when can you extimate the next phase of beta will be out and do most the testers like the game?
A: So far the vast majority of testers love it… as for the next phase… we’ll probably start a few phase 2 people in the next week or so, but not all of them. I want another 100 or so people in sooner than I had originally planned. As for the rest, probably in the next month or so.

[Daedalus ) If there are no inherent “worker” classes like carpenter, will we have to buy arrows and other “makeable” products or will there be a way to make them?
A: You can buy items like arrows, find them, quest for special ones.. beyond that I can’t comment at this time.

Q: can Clerics turn undead? In what fashion – e.g, destroyed, flee, or do they spin in a circle like geeks? =)
A: Actually, seriously, there are ways to do all 3 of those — destory them, make them flee, and make them circle like geeks.

Q: [Siraris ) Brad – I wanted your professional oppinion… I wanted to get 2 Monster 3D 2 V2’s and SLI them to play EQ, but a friend of mine said that Matrox G200 is much faster and has more updated Technology and will run EQ Much faster… is this true or should I go with the SLI? You said before that you played EQ in SLI and it was like a hot knife through butter
A: I’m really not in a position to reccomend specific 3d cards for EQ — both of the cards you’ve mentioned are great. For performance, I’d reccomend you read the several good articles out there on the net and in magazines that compare performance of the various 3d cards.

Q: [Vertinox ) will emoting have sounds? like /laugh will actually make a sound or would that be too much?
A: We haven’t finished putting in all of the sounds in the game, so I can’t comment on this yet.

-(So there’s hope yet for your farting emote, Gram!)

WOO HOO!!! We can only hope 🙂

Q: will there be any type of transportation so as to move faster across land(not sea!) without use of spells?
A: Can’t comment on that, sorry.

Q: *SoloSteel* will people like “Anonymous” be encouraged and/or allowed to tell beta stories like he/she did? (after it goes through you of course)
A: Beta testers are welcome to send me their stories — if they don’t reveal information we haven’t released yet, then I have no problem forwarding them to be posted.

Q: [ChrisLTD ) Will there be race or kingdom wars in EQ? And would these circumstances allow PK’ing?
A: Guilds and other players are welcome to involve themselves in wars and such — and it’s possible our GMs will organize official conflicts given sufficient time.

Q: well, since certain races…don’t get along well enough to cohabitate, will there be any tolerant cities so that friends who wnat to play a multi-racial party will be able to adventure together, oir will this sort of thing be geographically discouraged to the point of irrelevancy?
A: There are plenty of areas where multiracial parties could meet and adventure.

Q: *HP-Koss* How will EQ handle ‘excessive’ player killing? Will they resort to the same methods 3do and Origin use and ban entire guilds for simply becomming too good and powerful?
A: No, I don’t see any need to interfere with people playing the game legitimately, regardless of how successful they are.

-(Has Origin really done this in UO? It must have been since I left, because I certainly don’t remember seeing them do anything like that. I mean, sheesh, it takes an Act of Congress just to get ONE cheater banned in UO, much less an entire guild for merely becoming too powerful. This whole thing just doesn’t add up with me.)

I haven’t heard about this one either… Kinda impossible to BAN a guild though isn’t it?

Q: Compared to the size of the char, what is the size of the world?
(in scale miles, etc)
A: We haven’t yet finished the world… however I’ve been told by external testers that we’re already quite a bit bigger than our competition.

Q: Are the Guards vulnerable and can you outrun them?
A: Guards in EQ are not invulnerable.. as for whether you can outrun them, it depends on the guard and it depends on you. Very situational.

Q: [Erazimuss ) Will there be, or what kind of restrictions will be placed on opposing alignments in the same party. Can a Paladin and a Shadow Knight join the same party with no penalties?
A: At this point, we’re not restricting parties like that… we’ll see how well that works in the beta.

Q: Ziv* Is the classes list complete for races, or may more classes be available in the future? (Dwarven Ranger wannabe)
A: The class and race listing on the official site (www.everquest.com) is complete for what we intend to have at ship. Class/Race combintations (which races can be which classes) have not been released in that they are subject to change during the beta.

Q: In a previous chat, or perhaps a message board post, I remember something about “last names being earned”. Now, in recent screenshots, I have seen the main character named “Aramith Mithara”. Was this last name earned? And secondly, can you make a name like “Hollakaranu of Freeport” (names with multiple words) without earning them? Please clarifly this concept of last names or multiple words in names, it will open up good ideas to potential role playing
A: last names and titles are granted (ie. earned) — when you create your character you create him/her with just a first name. Aramith Mithara in the screenshots was a GM and thus had a last name.

Q: Roman ) Can a PvP- get flagged PvP+ if they mistakenly attack a PC thinking it is an NPC? IS there a dialogu box that will pop up to warn you?
A: There will either be a dialog box warning you, or you just won’t be able to harm another player period if you’re -pvp (the latter is the way it currently is in the game).

-(That makes me feel better. It would make me feel even better still if he said that you can’t heal a +pvp character if you’re -pvp. I’m hoping this is implicitly the case.)

Q: concerning the skill ‘meditate’. its been said that it helps in memorizing spells quicker, and casting them quicker. How long does it take to cast a spell? are they all different times? and memorization..? how will this work?
A: Each spell can have a different casting time. Meditate helps you regenerate mana more quickly and helps you memorize spells more quickly — it doesn’t allow you to cast a spell more quickly.

Q: [DDH|Hate ) if your in a player vs player fight and the other guy runs away, would it be possible for him to run across an area that requires a long load time, and will that enable a person with a faster machine to get away more easily?
A: that has not been my experience, no.

Q: is there an option once u get and sign your NDA to d/l everquest instead of waiting 4 weeks for the cd
A: We have let people with fast connections d/l the client, yes.

SWEET!!! I’m ready to go 🙂

Q: [Quas ) If you decide to make PvP- become PvP+ if they for example heal PvP+.. why not make them PvP- again after a certain time.. like some minutes.. so if they heal in combat they can get attacked.. but if they do it in the wilderness they just need to be a bit carefull
A: At this point, once you are +pvp you can’t return back to -pvp.

Q: Will Magic items and/or weapons glow or eminate some sort of visible aura?
A: Can’t comment on that at this time, sorry.

-(Hehehe… to me, that either speaks a definite “yes” or a “oh my, we haven’t thought of that… are you taking notes, Btrost?”)

Q: [Aldgrim ) In the letter that was submitted to EQX, the beta tester says “They provided me with the equipment that someone of this level would probably be able to achieve with hard work, a full set of leather armor” Is it really that difficult to acquire items?
A: Yes, EQ is game in which you can take real pride in character development. You have to earn levels, earn skills, earn your items… and it can take some time. As I’ve stated before, we’re designing it such that it should take between 1 and 2 years to max out a character.

-(1 and 2 years for the power gamer, or the casual gamer, Brad? Maybe it will be 1 year for the power gamer, and about 2
years for the casual gamer.)

Ahhh… The eternal question, How long is too long? If you don’t see character advancement, the game becomes boring. If you are a god in 2 weeks, then you get bored… The perfect balance is as of yet an elusive beast.

Q: [RoadRebel ) who should be contacted about dl’ing the client if our NDA was sent in already?
A: No need to contact anyone — if you are chosen to d/l the client, we will let you know.

Q: [Daxx ) On the features section of the EQ site (www.everquest.com) it says the following: Five enormous continents to explore, as well as other dimensions and planes. what is ment by dimensions and planes?
A: As for dimensions and planes… well, these are places outside the reality in which the world of Norrath exists…

-(Well, DUH!)

Q: do races still have their own languages like mentioned a while back?
A: Yes.

Q: Endral ) Will chars just rotate w/o animation, like Resident Evil for instance? Or were those animations just not available at the time of the 3rd movie releaseat E3?
A: The 3rd movie depicted the beta at that time in development, and the game was not (and is not) yet complete.

Q: Will the underground races(Dark Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, etc) have local caverns and below ground areas to explore early on?
A: There are plenty of areas to explore near the various home towns.

Q: [Ziv ) I apologise if this question has been answered before, but how would one go about learning a different races language?
A: We haven’t yet revealed all of the details related to different languages, sorry.

Q: [DDH|Hate ) every good 3d engine thus far has had to limit level size in order to make really cool level, EQ has somehow gone beyond this?
A: Well, certainly levels must be finite in size, but our engine has been designed for this game (a massive RPG), and I think you’ll find that our levels are very large.

Q: If Phase 2 is begining in a week or so, have those 100 people been choosen?
A: A portion of phase 2 people will be sent disks soon, but I’m not officially calling it phase 2 yet… the 100 people will probably be chosen randomly from the phase 2 list… and yes, the phase 2 list is complete.

Q: [TM-Grimst ) if items are so hard to get, are they hard to lose? I mean working a month to get a cool sword and losing it in minutes is gonna suck
A: It really depends on the situation… how careful you are, what you’re doing… whether your -pvp or +pvp, etc.

Q: If the phase2 list is complete, do those people know they are in yet?
A: All phase 2 NDAs have been mailed, as far as I know.

DOH!!! BAH!!! I should have been more diplomatic with the Origin folks… I’ll never get in the beta 😦

Q: [Roman ) If you die during the battle, do you still get eps? Will they be pro-rated somwhow?
Q: thats supposed to be exps
A: Depends who died first, you or the creature you were fighting. If you killed a monster, and then died a few seconds later to another monster, you’d still get the exp for the first monster.

Q: Will logging in a fight be any sort of issue? Currently in certain ‘other’ games, closing the client logs your character out of the game and thus out of the fight? How will you be dealing with this?
A: Logging out, disconnecting, etc. still leaves your character in the game, subject to death — I wouldn’t reccomend doing that to try to escape a fight. let me clarify that… similar to other games, you can camp out, which takes some time, which removes your character from the game. however, just abruptly disconnection will leave your character in the game for several minutes.

Q: [Gil ) will there be different swordsmiths and such, and will you be able to find swords a fragile as a piece of glass and as sturdy as a mountain (fancy wording) or will they all be the same??
A: There are many different kinds of swords… I’m not sure I understand that question totally. Q: I think he means will sowrds of the same type have varying strengths?
A: Swords and other items don’t wear out, if that’s what you mean.

-(Here’s the question as I think it should be asked. “If you acquire a long sword made by a blacksmith of exceptional talent, will that long sword do more damage than any old average long sword?”)

Q: [RymesP ) How long is the loading between the zones? Is it seemless and can you see into the neighboring zone?
A: As for loading between zones, it doesn’t take too long, and we’re still optimizing, so it will only get better.

Q: [Pico-san ) How have you decided who gets in these first few phases?Age and experience are my guesses.
A: Both phase one and phase two people have been chosen — the exact method we used to select these people is not public, but we’ve listed in the FAQ and elsewhere on the site what’s important to us. Phase 3 and beyond have not yet been chosen.

-(With the number of people in their database, it wouldn’t surprise me if it came down to a toss-of-a-coin in many cases.)

Q: [|oo| ) Yes I have a question concerning race wars, say I am an ogre, will seeing a “Human” if I am not on a raid or vice versa be a rare sighting? or will good/evil races be mingled with each other?
A: relay3: depends on where you are — players of all different races will be exploring the world (I would hope) and could certainly run into each other.

Q: Are/were the phase 2 participants interviewed, or were NDAs simply mailed?
A: Phase 2 participants were not interviewed verbally, no. That only occured for phase .5 and phase one.

Q: I have a concern about being able to switch from -PvP to +PvP during game. Now i know you can’t switch back from +PvP to -PvP or if you can it won’t be easy. But my Concern is those that use the PvP switch to hide behind until they attain a level they deem acceptable and go +PvP. Now the thing I have a problem with is (A.) It’s Tactical Ability is Superior and i think unfair to those who might start at an early age only to be Pked by. someone who does that, only influences others to follow his method thus raising the standards of PvP engagements.
A: Some players will want to get used to the game before switching to +pvp, while others want the immediate challenge. It’s up to the player.

-(Not to mention the fact that the rules are the same for ALL players. So what if they choose to go +pvp after a while? You have the same option as they do! Of course, that means there are few [if any] +pvp newbies to pick on.)

Q: Bizzmark ) We need a new (or a few new) EverQuest movies! When are you planning to release some
A: Actually, we just finished shooting raw footage for one last week and a new one is being made as we speak.

-(I hear it stars Eric Estrada.)

Q: [Tharger ) If we just got a whole new computer system, but we originally submitted a beta application on the first day availible, would it be better to resubmit or leave it at what it is?
A: I would suggest you resubmit with the updated information.

Q: SoloSteel ) what happens if you get disconnected while swimming under water? do you sink and pray to god, you can logon in time to save your charecter, or what?
A: Currently, you drown, but we’ll be experiementing in beta with ways to make this more fair (as long as its not abusable). Perhaps you stop using air when you are link dead. we shall see.

-(Yeah, SOMEthing. I hardly think it would be fair to simply drown. At least they’re on the case.)

Q: [ARH ) Are there “banks” in everquest to hold your items in?
A: Can’t comment on that right now, sorry.

Q: [Daziarn ) if we resubmitted our application due to things we forgot to mention the first time we submitted, how drastically does that affect our chances of being entered into one of the next phases?
A: We look for multiple apps submitted by the same person, and use the most recent in terms of assuming whats the most up to date.

Q: [|oo| ) Concerning underwater enviroment, will there be a such thing as secret caves that hold treasures, or certain nooks and crannies with valuable items that would have to be stumbled on by dumb luck or a long time searching?
A: Absolutely — what kind of RPG would we have without stuff like that.

-(“No, sorry. The waters and swimming are merely window dressing.” Yeah right.)

Q: oo| ) I am curious if one can become “Famous” in the world of Norrath, or will one ever be able to reach status of say “The High Council” where there names are known throughout the land. Also, will PCs be able to achieve titles as say “Captain of the Guard” or “Bishop” etc?
A: There’s definitely an opportunity to become famous (or imfamous) in the game, but that’s up to you, the player.

Q: [Calamus ) In 1st preson perspective, will you be able to see your weapon, like in DaggerFall?
A: Yes, but unlike other games, it’s not a bitmap we place there, but the actual weapon in the 3d world. In fact, you can look down and see your toes.

-(A real treat for players with toe fetishes and pointy ears. Spread the good word, everybody!)

Q: [Banchee ) will EQ run on all processors or will it be made spacificly for Pentium….IE: AMD, Cyrix, exc.?
A: We’re certainly not doing anyting code wise that would make us not run on the various CPUs out there..

Q: [Caesar_ ) I’m not sure if this has been asked before, but if a human and an ogre meet in the game somewhere and they are both -pvp can they attack each other since they are enemies?
A: no, if both are -pvp, they cannot attack each other (unless they both consent to a duel).

ok, that’s it for me guys.
thanks for coming out — I think this was our biggest turn out yet.
Also, if you get the chance, check out the sept. issue of PC Games magazine — EverQuest is on the cover!
* Aradune waves

———-

So, nothing uber-exciting revealed. Somehow I think we’re going to find fewer and fewer earthshattering revelations until we’re all invited to play the beta right before release.

That’s it. Thanks!

July’s EQ Chat Log
By

Yes, yes, I know it’s been two months since you’ve heard anything from us. Well, the fact of the matter is that lately there haven’t been any hare-brained articles to rant over. Sadly, all the latest releases by EverQuest Express and EQ Vault have been well written, thought-out and entertaining, which makes it very difficult to rant.

But Brad McQuaid has saved us from our boredom with another chat on IRC! What’s more, this was the first chat I was actually free to attend in person (late as I was).

Here it is, in all its glory…

———-

Good evening Brad>
hello everyone 🙂
One moment and we’ll get started. We’d like everyone to please refrain from nick changing during the chat.
I’d like to welcome everybody to this months chat.
We are going to start with questions fromt eh EQV chat board, then take questions through the relay sytem, which will be explained later
Any misbeahvoir will result in a ban, so don’t bother 🙂
and don’t mind my typos 🙂
Hello all, and thanks for coming.
Q: Is the game on schedule?
A: Yes, the game is on schedule, and everything looks great for a 4th qrt release.

-(Don’t take this the wrong way, but how else can Brad possibly answer this question? “No, sorry, all hell’s breaking loose out here at 989 Studios. The combat system needs major work, none of the testers we picked for the closed beta are doing their jobs, Norrath is only 2% completed, and the AI we have for the NPCs puts them at a level below earthworms. It looks like EverQuest won’t be released until summer of 2003. Sorry.”)

GOD I hope not!!!

Q: Is there an age restriction for beta?
A: No, we have a section on the NDA for a parent or guardian to sign.
Q: Why all the secrecy about beta?
A: A couple of reasons — mainly what Shon touched on in the last interview, and also the fact that there is competition out there.
Q: Games.net winners, where to they stand in the beta?
A: They were and are considered for phase one.
Q: Many people want to know more about necromancers and how they manipulate the dead or living to create undead.
A: Necromancers animate corpses of NPCs, turning them into ‘pets’ that will do their bidding.
Q: Is there a tracking skill, and how does it work?
A: And yes there is a tracking skill, but I can’t comment on exactly how it works, other than to say it’s becoming very handy.
-(Watch it be yet another thing that has to do with the deity/alignment system…)

Hmmm… I dunno about that one? My guess is that it would have something to do with Class… Druid, or Ranger maybe?

This brings up two points of personal interest…

Class Restrictions on skills, or at least Class Benefits. I think it’s a good idea, and will also help to enhance character diversity. A spellcaster could have a “Locate” spell, but how many mages would you imagine would get down on the ground to look for tracks, or broken twigs from a passing animal?
Realism of Tracking Skill. Shouldn’t tracking only work if the thing that you are tracking was actually where you are (or at least near?), and shouldn’t it have you follow the path that the creature / person took, as opposed to being a magic compas pointing to anything within 2 / 3 screens of you?
Q: Can you tell us about missile weapons, and if they are retrivable? How about weapons that could be both hand and missle weapons, like a dagger or axe?
A: We have throwing axes and other weapons that can be used both as melee and missile wpns.
-(Let’s hear it for question dodge #1.)

Q: Can you tell us more about the interaction between classes and religion? Will all clerics abilities/limitations be dependent on the individual god?
A: At this point, the deity a cleric chooses to follow does not affect which abilities/prayers he gets.
Q: How does hiding work in a multiple POV environment? Can you tell us a little more about thieves abilities?
A: Can’t comment on those specific skills at this time, in that they are still being tuned.
Q: Is it at all possible that someday in an add-on to EQ you could introduce horses or dragon riding?
A: Yes, it’s a possibility. We definitely plan on having expansions, which could include more features, more lands, and more playable PC races/classses.

-(Dragon riding. I agree it’s an admittedly cool concept for “Dragonriders of Pern” or “DragonLance,” but PLEASE, people!)

Q: Tell us about lycanthropy and vampirism in EQ? Are they sun/moon sensitive?
A: Lycanthropy will most likely be in the game… vampirism is unknown at this point, as to whether it will be in-game at ship. Both are linked with time of day.
Q: Please tell us about clothing, how much customization is possible?
A: There are several texture sets that change depending upon what you are wearing, some of which are tintable to different colors.
Q: Please tell us about sound, what kind is supported, how detailed are the sound effects?
A: I can’t say too much about sound, in that it’s still being worked on. We’ll get it as sophisticated as we can by ship. It will be midi, and will use higher end sound cards. There will be many sound effects, and we are researching 3d sound, but no committment at this point.
Q: Please tell us about what factors you are considering in balancing the classes.

-(This person, like many of us, has obviously made the laughable attempt at playing a straight wizard or cleric in UO.)

A: A few factors are very important to us — first, that the classes are balanced such that you can play what you feel like playing — what you want to role-play — as opposed to being compelled to play a certain race/class because its simply better. Also, we want compelling reasons to play all race/class combos. We don’t want any ‘dud’ classes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they all need to be able to stand toe-to-toe with each other in combat. Rather, that they are all useful in adventuring and questing.
Q: What will happen if you lose connection and disappear from the game, while on a moving boat. Will you stay on the boat? or get thrown out into the ocean, or get washed ashore to the nearest island
A: You stay on the boat/ship, just as if you were on dry land.
Q: How are zone load-times looking? Will we have to run, load, run load, or will it be as seamless as you can make it?
A: There are zone load-times, as different parts of the world are loaded into memory. We are just beginning to optimize our engine, and are very confident that load times will be minimal.
Q: How does the experience-per-level deal work? Will the experience required to level up each new level double, or will it multiply by 1.5, or what?
A: We have a formula for it, and we have graphed it and such. It does indeed get harder as you go higher.
Q: Will there be multiple-caster only spells, e.g. powerful spells of mass destruction or mass something else?
A: There are definitely very powerful spells… some that require a lot of preparation prior to casting — you may have to do some smaller questing first to get set up before you cast that powerful spell.

-(Sounds like they have their act together as far as planning out the time and effort it will take to cast high level spells. I just hope it works out in practice, and not every spellcaster will be zapping themselves all over Norrath or summoning demons left & right.)

Q: Will there be class specific emotes in EverQuest?
A: A great idea — they aren’t class specific at this time, though.
Nothing like getting the traditional Troll “Fart” greeting, or “nose pick” in response to a tough question 🙂

Q: Will Shamans be the “witchdocter” type. Or just wanbe clerics for low int races?
A: More of the witchdoctor type, and while they are for the low int races, they are turning out to be very formidable and valuable both in combat and out.
Q: what about scars?? I mean they add character don’t they….
A: no scars.

-(What about teeth-brushing? It would add a degree of realism! And what about the characters’ hair getting messed up in battle? How about GROWING hair that needs to be cut, for that matter? A new class, the BARBERIAN! Yes, folks, there *is* such a thing as too much realism. I don’t even WANT to touch on going to the bathroom…)

But Farting is a MUST!!! (Guess what Terrance… What Philip… Thppt… Ha Ha Ha Ha 🙂

Q: Can a guild “take over” a certain area of the game, as in, be recognized as rightful ruler by NPC’s?
A: They could take over and hold an area by force, killing any NPCs and +pvp players in the vacinity, but the NPCs won’t recognize them as rulers, no.
Q: can we build our own cities, complete with NPC inhabitants?
A: no.
Q: First, I read in an earlier chat that after you use your scroll, it dissipears? Is that true???
A: One uses a scroll to scribe a spell into your spellbook, afterwhich it disappears. But the spell is then permanently in your spell book, and can then be memorized and cast (provided you have sufficient mana, any necessary components, etc.)
Q: Will we be able to teach each other skills. (ex meditating)
A: No. skills are earned, and one gets better at them with practice.
Q: Will swimming be able to be learned, if you are near a shallow lake?
A: Swimming is a skill every race/class gets, and the more you swim, the better you get at it.
Q: As a former victim of the UO Charter Edition, how commited is 989S to keep EQ the same game that they release? I understand that somethings change during an online games lifecycle, but is there any danger that EQ will switch directions from Quest-centric to Guild-centric?
A: I think we’ve been pretty clear that EverQuest is definitely a quest-centric, adventure-centric, fun-centrc game, and we all intend to keep it that way.

-(Here’s another one of those “how else is Brad gonna answer that question?” question. “We’re going to start out with a quest-centric goal, but five months after release and we have all your money, we’re going to switch to a more player-controlled guild system, cutting back on the staffing overhead needed to run the game.”)

Q: How are quest’s going to be handled, so that everyone that wants to quest can? You may not be able to give specifics, but I want to know that if I gather a party of close friends and want to seek high adventure I can find it? Will quests be tailored to the character or party so that it won’t be a race against 500 other people to find the foozle?
A: Some quests are available to lots of people, and some to specific groups of people. This all ties into our alignment system, which, while we are close, we still aren’t quite ready to elaborate on.
Q: If and when your servers experience outages, what type of notification will you provide? It’s not enough that we can’t connect, I would like to see some acknowledgement that you know the system is down and how long you expect it to be down.
A: A lot of that infrastructure hasn’t totally been determined yet, but I think it’s pretty reasonable that we inform the play that a certain server is down, and that we’re working hard to get it back online asap.

-(Players are going to hold you to that, Brad. Let’s do the right thing and not pull a George Bush.)

Q: How will you fight underwater?
A: It’s similar to normal combat, except of course the physics are a bit different.
Q: This is one of my oldest questions about EQ. Will there be ‘disguises’? Will rogues be able to change thier appearance? Will there be spells that do the same (polymorphing of any sort)?
A: There is indeed a polymorph spell.

-(Let’s hear it for question dodge #2.)

Q: Will we be able to choose an appearance for our characters that is NOT the standard macho/goddess type that we see on the game’s web site? I would love to see some younger and older character models (Coots and Crones!) This would also allow you to add some interesting effects, like aging from magical attacks (ghosts) and fountain of youth type things.
A: We feel there is quite a lot of variety in appearance given our 12 races… from ugly trolls to ‘macho’ barbarians, and more cerebral Erudites, etc. I think one’s ability to look different, and to play a character and to role-play, is pretty unprecedented.
-(Let’s hear it for question dodge #3. [Though, I do believe this is Brad’s long-winded version of saying “no.”])

Q: In many diffrent pages including eq’s home page it has been noted how dark elves are great for seeing at night. How much of a diffrence will this make like will their accuracy be better, range or anything? also will they be punished by haveing a weaknees during the day.
A: Dark Elves see the best at night, followed by some of the other races that have infravision. So far in playing the game, having these abilities is very, very handy. As for dark elves being penalized for being in the day outside — they aren’t at this point, but it’s something we are keeping in mind if we need to counterbalance them as a race.
Q: Posted by Jennifer on June 24, 1998 at 12:30:02: My question is about breast size; are you going to make it a standard size and if you do are they going to be realistic? Are there going to be different attributes for female characters? Are they going to be weaker than male characters? Will the differences also apply throughout the races?
hehe
good night..that’s always important..
haha
Most important question tonight 🙂
rofl
Sorry… they made me do it 😛
yes we did…
I had nothing to do with…
forget gameplay, latency and balance…let’s get to the real issue..breast size
lol 🙂
hehehhe.
damn right brandon =)
-(Can you believe it? Arriving late, THIS was the question I first saw as I came into the channel.)

A: The only difference between male and female characters in the game is their appearance and how people role-play them. As for breast size, no it’s not customizable, and it’s more dependent upon the race you choose. And we define ‘realism’ in Norrath, and our lead artist has deemed them so 🙂
-(This is good. I make no pretense about my enjoyment of the Tomb Raider games, and for having Lara Croft as its focus character. Granted, it’s not roleplaying [at least, not in my book], but it’s definitely one of the most all-around fun games I’ve played in a long time. My only pet peeve with it is how grotesquely gargantuan Lara’s chest is rendered in the cinematics! I understand how they’re trying to rank her along with other comic-book-type heroins, but PLEASE, people!)

Q: It may be too eaarly to ask, but will the number of guards guarding a town be limited? It would be nice if monsters (or other players) could overrun and hold a town, without a steady stream of guards appearing out of nowhere, as well as inspiring a sense that the defenders are fighting for something besides experience and gold.
A: It really depends upon the city, and where one is trying to enter the city. As I’ve said before, it will not be entirely impossible to enter a city in which you are unwelcome. You might even get back out alive — depends on how clever you are.

-(Let’s hear it for question dodge #4!)

Q: Will ALL races have innate skills/abilities? Or will Humans be the only race excluded from innates?
A: Humans don’t have any innates, that’s true, but are the most flexible in terms of what classes they can be. Most other races have some innates, some definitely more than others.
Q: If my corpse decays before I loot it, will the loot appear in a little pile where the corpse used to be? Or will the loot decay too?
A: Currently, the loot also decays. This may or may not change during testing.
Q: Do you have to be X amount of yards from your target to use range weapons?
A: Yes, both melee and range weapons have ranges, and it’s not advantageous to use a range weapon up close.
Q: Will there be actions such as ducking, jumping, running/run mode, used outside of combat?
A: As a matter of fact, you can do everything you just asked.
Q: Will some skills be automatic? If you have the dodge skill, will you automatically dodge certain times during combat or do you have to click the ‘dodge’ skill button?
A: Yes, some skills trigger automatically, while others are activated manually.
Q: Will the servers reset every once in a while, other than for fixing bugs and such? Perhaps to allow “artifacts” to be replaced if they have already been found?
A: We can do all of that dynamically. They should only go down due to a bug or due to some need for hardware maintentance, or some such (which, of course, we will try to minimize as much as possible).
Q: Will the gore be realistic? Or will it be kept down to mild levels? Perhaps a Parental Switch or something to toggle? Will cursing be allowed as long as its not directed at another player?
A: We didn’t go out of our way to make it a gory game, but EverQuest is definitely about adventure, which involves combat and death. Also, there are some pretty evil races and such out there, and they don’t have happy homes. Currently, there is no plan for parental switches. As for cursing, it most likely will not be allowed.
-(“You [bleepin] maggot troll [bleep]! You [bleepin] [bleeped] my [bleepin] partner! I’m gonna [bleepin] rip your [bleep] out of your [bleep], and stuff it up your [bleepin-bleep-bleep] until it [bleeps]!” I can hardly wait.)

I have to agree with Shadoe on this one… Being an adult, there are the occasional times when a well placed curse is in order… And that brings in the question of censorship… Which words do YOU deem to be too nasty to hear (or read)? Give us a filter switch, so those of us not offended by potty mouth can hear what is really said.

Q: Are there any containers which can hold an infinite amount of items, like the bank in UO? Do objects still retain 3d qualities even in a backpack or box?
A: No, no containers that can hold infinite items, however there are some that are weightless, regardless of the weight of the item contained therein. Items in containers and in your inventory are represented by icons — please check out the screen shots of the inventory screen we’ve released — I believe there is one on the everquest.com site.
Q: If you aimed at an enemy but someone pushed it out of the way, would that person get hit if he went in front of you as your weapon came down?
A: Combat is a little more determined by stats, abilities, and such, then what you are depicting with your question.
-(Dare I say… let’s hear it for question dodge #5!)

Q: If we catch a sneaky thief rumaging threw our personal belonging in the attempt to acquire that which is not there will the guards recognise our disdain for this person and allow me, nd even help me dispense justice to this villian, or will the guards just start bashing heads
A: Then tend to try to bash the head of the perpetrator.
-(Define “tend to,” Brad. I “tend to” eat and breathe, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to die someday.)

PLEASE!!! no random steals. They have to be close, and unless it is an item in the open (like a purse on a belt), they have to be REAL GOOD to rummage through your pack and steal something (what a farce that is). I can see it… A pickpocket in Manhattan… Walks past a businessman, he “Picks” the man, and gets a Calculator from inside the man’s briefcase… GET REAL UO!!! Er… Settle down Gram.

Q: I was thinking of running a ferry service and I read the moongates preview were it was stated that ships follow a set path. I wanted to make my own path that the ship could follow, is this possible? If not, could it be changed? Also, I was wondering if I saved up the money would I be able to buy a ship?
A: Larger ships follow paths, smaller ships and boats are controllable by the player. At this point, you don’t purchase ships.
-(Carefully ambiguous there.)

Q: what will be the extent of playability, impact, and felxibility of quests?
A: That’s a pretty broad question regarding quests — please be more specific.
-(I think I would have answered this question by saying “Don’t expect to find yourself in the middle of a Terry Goodkind novel every time you go on a quest.” I guess that’s why I’m a programmer, and not staffed in the PR department.)

Q: I heard, somewhere down the line, that there was going to be a PvP server. I also heard that you have an overwhelmingly large budget to work on so, will you also be implementing a Role-Playing server or two?
A: No, all servers will be the same. Both +pvp and -pvp players will co-exist, and this is on purpose — we feel keeping people together so they can talk, interact, trade, etc. is important, regardless of whether they are +pvp or -pvp. As for roleplaying servers, until the world agrees upon what rping exactly means, we really don’t think that would be realistic.
-(One of the great debates of this day and age is whether or not this PVP switch will enhance or detract from the game’s immersive enjoyment. Personally, I think it’s a good idea for the most part, but I also find myself nodding in agreement when I read a few of the negative points people have brought up about it. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.)

Yep, a recent EQX brings up a situation of what a -PVP switch can do… Guess we’ll have to see what happens.

Q: How will the effect of casting a long distance spell work versus a close range weapon when attacking huge enemies such as dragons?
A: That really depends on the spell, the NPC, and the weapon.
-(…and the dragon!)

OKay, thus conconcludes the questions from the EQV chat board
Switching to live questions now.
Q: [Snargob ) Will there be a “mass transit” system? If so, what form will it take?
A: There will be high level spells that allow one to travel long distances.
Q: Any deadlines for the close of first phase beta nd begining of second?
A: No deadlines per se. I will elaborate a bit on the closed beta testing after we conclude the live questions.
Q: How does Everquest plan to compete with the fine game Ultima Online in pricing? (www.owo.com)
-(This poor, disturbed boy was not very popular with the crowd… whoever he is.)

A: We will have similar and competitive pricing and pricing plans.
Q: Will the game show us numbers for experience alignment etc, or will it just say ‘you are far from leveling’ and ‘you are close to leveling’ like in some muds
A: We are attempting to have the right mixture of numbers and descriptions — we don’t want EQ to be a purely numbers game, but we don’t want to be vague either, when it comes to important information. I think we’ll hit the right mixture of this information by release.
Q: [Kenickie- ) Will the world of norrath be round? Also, on a related note, will the time of day be relative to where you are in the world whether it is round or flat?
A: Whether or not the world is flat or round won’t be detectable at first, in that we’re starting with one hemisphere… so also then is time of day constant.
-(It must be quite a bit smaller than a hemisphere, if time is constant across the known world. But I digress in my nitpicking… this time!)

Q: Will running be an innate skill or can it be improved? ie will people run around town on their first day like in Daggerfall.
A: running is not a skill, but one does get tired — and there will be items and spells that can increase both the distance one can run and also the velocity at which one can run.
Q: In the case of a new server opening up… might someone from another server come on and complete all the quests from the previous server ? Or will there be COMPLETELY unique quests and history to each server ?
A: The quests will be same on each server, but there won’t be anyone who can complete even near all of the quests (again, this due to our alignment system). I’m not talking about the dynamic quests, of course.
Q: Will it be possible to use catapults to launch the smaller races?
lol
rofl
heh
*chuckle*
A: Heh, as attractive as that sounds (I see the flying gnomes in my mind now), that won’t be a feature on release, sorry.
-( 🙂 )

Q: [ElessarCW ) Can players teach spells or songs to each other?
A: No, and that’s again our intent. People will have to quest for certain spells and songs, and they will be hard to come by. Thus, the scroll disappears after use. If one could teach them to others, eventually everyone would have everything, and we think that would take a lot of the fun out of it.
-(Agreed.)

Q: In the case of one firing a projectile weapon at an opposing player/creature and an object (another creature, player, etc) stands in the missile’s path… would the arrow simply travel through this object (unrealistically)? What if the blocking object is a non-PvP player ? Will it unrealistically fall to the ground with no damage?
A: Excellent question — we are still working a lot of that out in beta, attempting to make it as realistic as possible, but still dependent upon stats and skills and such. So there really isn’t a definitive answer on that yet.
Q: will the time of day (day or night) affect how spells work…like a good spell (healing) work better in day time?
A: Can’t comment on that at this time, sorry.
Q: Will you have to get high level spells from high level monsters as scrolls or will they be available to you as you level. Also will items/spells always load on monsters or will there be a chance they won’t load.
A: Scrolls must be obtained, and as I’ve said, some are very hard to come by. When, where, and with what, are all very flexible in terms of monster spawning.
Q: [Exos ) will there be audible noises(taunts) via hot keys? and how will we store large amounts of money we are saving up?
A: There are banks.
-(Let’s hear it for question dodge #6! People really have to learn not to ask Brad more than one question in a single breath. He has a way of conveniently dismissing many of them.)

Q: How big will the name field be, in characters/digits?
A: You have a good amount of room, and keep in mind that there are other fields, such as the title field — so titles, last names, and such can be awarded to certain players in-game.
Q: As EQ seems purely combat based, what methods of attaining revenue will be available to purchase/repair supplies? Will monsters have exceptional loot?
A: I prefer adventure-based to combat-based — I think that’s more accurate — there’s definitely more to do than just fight. As for loot, yes a great way to come by wealth will be to complete quests and slay monsters and such, and some NPCs have some pretty nifty stuff.
-(I knew Brad would take exception to that term. It implies a very narrow vision for an RPG. Be that as it may, I do believe any PC blacksmiths and carpenters will have to suffer in UO for a while… )

Q: Will the enchanter class be affective in battle? Or will it be mainly for adding specail properties to items?
A: Again, one of the criteria we are using in balancing the classes is that all classes should be valuable while out questing and adventuring. An enchanter just sitting around the city echanting things is NOT an accurate depiction of that class.
-(…Case-in-point.)

Q: Will spell targeting be auto in order to move away from quake style of play..
A: Not sure what you mean by ‘auto’, but its definitely very different than Quake.
Q: is there any plans for quests or anything fun to do while you are a ghost?
A: Who said anything about ghosts? What game are we talking about? 🙂
-(Why, Barney’s Great Adventure, of course! 😛 )

A: As for events — what you describe is related to our quests and alignment system — hang in there.
Q: Will there be moderated events such as jousting tournaments or archery contests where we can compete against NPCs and other players?
A: Sounds like our dynamic quests we’ve talked about in the past, so yes.
-(It also sounds like it’s along the lines of the duelling capabilities that were talked about before.)

Q: [^^CrAsH^ ) Will Shadow Knights be able to either become complete warriors or complete necromancers at some point?
A: No, one doesn’t change one’s class in-game.
Q: Will different types of armor affect spell damage. For instance wearing platemail cause a lightning bolt that hits you to cause double damage?
A: That could happen in a sense — if you look at our inventory screen shots, you’ll see resistances to magic, fire, cold, etc. Items can either help you or hurt you in those areas. So a certain piece of armor could make you take more damage from spells in general, or another piece could enable you to take less damage from walking in lava, etc.
Q: Can items be destroyed…say if you were rosted by a high lev. fireball?
A: That is something we will experiment with in beta.
Q: [CTidwell ) Can the phase of the moon be determined within the game (assuming there are moon(s))
A: There is indeed a moon — we are tossing around the idea of having more than one — as for phases, though, not at this time.
-(Let me just say that I think moooooon phases would be awwwwesome. Thank you.)

Q: Will land elevation give you any advantage with range weapons?
A: well, certainly, if you are in an area in which your opponent can’t get to you with melee wpns, and you have a range weapon or can cast spells, you have an advantage.
-(Brad, methinks Razor was talking about range effects of higher elevations… wasn’t he? Could this be question dodge #7, or should we give Brad the benefit of the doubt?)

Q: Do you think it will be at all possible for events to happen, in which the players can choose their own path and will largely affect all parts of that Norrath, (for example an invasion of shadow creatures and the players may choose whether to find the origin, or defend the towns) or will quests be specifically appointed
A: already answered that one.
-(You did?? I must have been sleeping.)

ZZZZZZZ… Huh? Did someone say something?

Q: [Kenickie- ) How will we be able to know if someone is talking (besides reading it)? Will there be animations or noises from the characters? Also, will you be able to hear the players sing if they use that skill?
A: There are some emotes that trigger animations, like waving and such. It’s possible, if they’ll all fit, that bard songs will trigger music and such — we’ll see how far we get with that.
-(“And now, ladies and gentlemen… Manos, the silent bard!” I hope they decide to have bards actually PLAY MUSIC… I can’t imagine that’s too much to ask for.)

Q: When you kill a person, will you gain experience for the kill?
A: There is no experience gained from player killing, if that is the question.
-(That wasn’t the question. DDH|BLOWS was just being a total idiot during the whole chat.)

GOOD!!! If the monster spawns are screwed, PVP will ONLY be good to get stuff, and not experience like an other game I used to play.

Q: How is player textures handled? Are there uniform textures i.e. one plate texture, one mail texture, one robe texture, or is each body part defined in the texture and can be replaced by the proper piece of equipment’s texture so that you see every single piece of equipment worn on player models, instead of seeing only the general armor.
A: Somewhere inbetween, really. If you look at the inventory screens, you’ll see that there is something like 21 different body locations in which you can place items (earrings, leggings, belts, etc. etc). Something like half of those actually change textures on the character, so you get a lot more detail than just general armor and such. A player could have visible leather boots, plate leggings, chainmail sleeves, etc.
I know this is a bit much to ask at this date, but it would be nice if those earrings and rings that you wear would be visible as well.

Q: [Frb`eldrn ) What can we expect to be different between each server besides the players?
A: Hopefully less lag, depending on where you are 🙂 Also, different dynamic quests and such.
Q: Will the amount of time before a character times out be high? If so how will they deal with the matters of someone getting disconnected while they’re under water…?
A: We’re tweaking that amount of time, and will continue to do so in beta — it needs to be fair, but it also needs to be long enough such that its not abusable.
-(I don’t envy the poor soul who’s tweaking this. I hadn’t even thought about swimming underwater and getting bumped from the server…. glub!)

Q: Will there be weather effects that change the actual landscape (adds snow to a grassy field for example) and will these changes affect mobility? And will there be and earth or fertility goddess for druids??
A: Weather doesn’t change the actual landscape, no, but it does change the physics in that area, eg. how slippery a slope is. As for dieties for druids, they have a few that are definitely the type a druid or ranger would prefer to follow.
That’s a shame… I look forward to the day that technology has advanced enough to allow the landscape to change when it snows. Maybe in a year or two.

Q: [Cereborn ) Will different races have different styles of houses? Will there be nice cosy hobbit holes?
hobbit holes… lol
thehehe 🙂
A: Definitely… the home towns for the different races are very destinct. As for Rivervale, home of the halflings… well, I think you’ll like the holes there.
-(…at which point, some jerk started dogging Brad for his reference to Rivervale, claiming it was too “Tolkien-eque,” and that it was actually called “Rivendale” in the books. This drooling moron, with less than two brain cells to rub together, didn’t stop to consider that, yes, there *IS* a town on the Antonican continent named “Rivervale” that is home to the hobbits/halflings. And, Tolkien’s *Rivendell* (not “Rivendale”) was home to *ELVES*, not hobbits! Think next time, before you make a fool out of yourself, buddy!)

Q: What causes a person to turn int a werewolf, and what happens to the player after the transformation?
A: It’s a curse… and I can’t go into details, other than to say that when you target a player or NPC while under that curse, instead of revealing its name (as is usual), it says ‘meat’ 🙂
yikes
meat?
lol
-(I agree with Relay_2… “meat?”)

Yum!!!

Q: are you guys planning on using guild stones ala UO to help in guild management ingame?
A: No, the way we are handling guilds are a bit different, yet also quite detailed.
Q: It’s been said that there will be plenty of unique items to be found in the game. Is there anything in place to deal with hording? (ie. Players grabbing all the uniques they can find, dumping them on a mule or in the bank and letting them sit there?)
A: I don’t think we’ve ever said they’ll be plenty of unique items. In fact, we’ve said that artifacts will be rare and hard to come by — possessing one will be something to be very proud of. I certainly can’t envision someone hoarding artifacts — it won’t happen.
-(Elric says to Moonglum: “What, Stormbringer? Nah, I left it back in the guildhouse. It’s a unique item, and far too valuable to carry around with me. What if I get PKed?”)

“It won’t happen”… That phrase scares the h#$@ out of me, as it was used so many times by the development team of another game… Benefit of the doubt…

Q: How will name uniqueness be handled when moving a character between servers. Will people have to change thier name to move if someone already has thiers on the destination server?
A: Yes, the person already on that server with that name has the priority, thus the person transfering will have to choose a new name.
Q: What type of machines will be running the EQ servers? and what ISP or Tier1 provider will 989S use.. (i.e. MCI sprint) ??
A: We are not revealing any information pertaining to our servers.
-(Maybe I’m reading too much between the lines, but notice how he didn’t say “at this time…”? Something tells me we ain’t gonna see too much info about their hardware, now or ever.)

-(Some micro-brain lackey at EQ Vault seems to have left out *MY* question about Keith Parkinson in their rendition of the chat log! Yes, I am in the process of filing a class-action lawsuit against the entire Vault Network. Anyone have George Schultz’s number? It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!!! Anyway, my question was, of course…”

Q: [Shadoe ) Will we be seeing much more (excellent) artwork by Keith Parkinson?
A: Keith did a very large painting, from which we made a poster some of you who went to CGDC and E3 might have — we will be using that art all over the place. As for any more from Keith, it could happen depending on his schedule and ours — he’s a very busy guy, but great to work with and very inspired.
-(I just want to say that I’ve been an admirer of Keith’s work for years, and I just had to ask. I couldn’t live any longer without knowing. So there.)

Q: how will patching to the client, if necessary, be handled. Will it be an autopatch like uo?
A: Yes, its an auto-patch program similar to UO’s and the one used in Tanarus.
Q: [DjinnJiN ) will there be mana nodes like meridian59? or will u gain mana like for doing skills? or quests?
A: You gain mana by leveling, and there are also spells and items that can give you extra mana.
Q: Any word about alchemy? Will players be able to create potions?
A: As a matter of fact, yes, alchemy is a skill.
Q: [Syrneus ) is there anything EQ fans need to know about what happened besides a name change with the old SISA?\
A: Nope, it was pretty much just a name change for our entire studio (PC and Playstaion development). We are still the same company and a division of Sony.
-(*I* think Brad just didn’t want to admit that SISA sold out to Microsoft! :P)

Q: Hey Brad, my favorite question, will there be any items in the game resembling a helmet that holds two beer cans on the side with a straw leading to your mouth?
lol!
lol
=)
hehe
rofl
heh
A: An excellent question to end the chat with — I can’t comment on that right now, sorry.
freaks
LOL
haha
hehe
no comment.. I love it
lmao
Gee…who thought that one up
i did, you got beef?
*drum roll*&
Thanks Everyone for coming out.. I think brad has something to say about beta?
Yep, I have a few announcements about the closed beta, where its at, and such. We decided a while back to have a Phase .5 of sorts, involving approximately 40 people, and this phase has been going on since right after E3. It’s going great, and while that phase has been underway, we’ve been calling people about phase one, and sending out NDAs. We have well over 200 NDAs out now, and will be sending probably 100 or so more out for phase one. The plan is to have, as stated before, about 100 or so people online at any given time. Phase two will begin after we are happy with the way the game is progressing under phase one. With phase two, which will still be under NDA, we will increase the number of people such that we have approx. 500 people playing at any given time.

Q: Are people still getting called? IE, is there still a chance? 🙂
A: People are still being called for phase one, but we’re pretty close to having everyone for that phase. But our people will continue to call out for phase two, and like I said, there will be a lot more people. Phase 3 and beyond will probably not involve an NDA, but we aren’t positive at this time.
* RedFalcon sighs
*cough* call me 🙂
* StRaG0 cries
Haha
* StRaG0 falls over…
* Dach slaps Gaijin
hehe
As for when phase one actually begins, it looks pretty solid that it will begin in about 2 weeks, maybe less. Like I said, there are over 40 people externally testing now, along with our internal testers and the dev team.
Well, if thats it Brad, I would like to thank you for coming out, and I would like to thank everyone who mobbed us relayers with questions for giving us material.
Congrats on the baby Brad! =)
Yes, congratulations
Thanks for coming out, and for your interest in the game. And thanks to the relayers for their hard work at helping with this.
*cough*call me*cough*
***me to***
hahah
heh
A: Take it easy, and I’ll see you all next month.
Thanks for coming again and taking the time Brad!
———-

After Brad left, people started whining and moaning over the things Brad said and over his question dodging, which gave me an adroit reminder why I don’t hang around in IRC much anymore. So I left town to write this review for you all to read.

It was a fun time, though. No nuke attempts that I could see, and aside from the occasional bout of wise-ass nick changing, people behaved themselves. All in all, I give it about an 8. Don’t ask me on what scale, though… 😉

This is Shadoe, GPEQ news, London.

May 09:
Here you have it EQ fans, the latest chat with Brad (Shadoe Style). Late as usual (that’s my fault… as usual), but good reading.

May’s EQ Chat Log Review
By

Hey, guess what time it is! That’s right, it’s time for Bill Clinton to become a eunuch! But, candidly, I’m more interested in reading about the latest chat with Brad McQuaid. So go get something comfy to sit on (I prefer a chair), make yourself a relaxing beverage (I prefer a low-viscosity liquid), and let’s get started!

———-

Welcome to the chat, and thank you all for coming. We are almost done sorting through the thousands and thousands of apps and hopefully will begin the first phase of external closed testing soon. I do appreciate everyone’s patience, but we want to make sure we’re ready. That said, I’d be happy to answer some questions.

Q: Are there any limits (other than the pvp/nonpvp issue) to what kind of races/classes can be in the same party? Like can a dwarf and ogre (or a shadowknight and paladin) be in the same party even though their races/classes in general don’t get along?

A: At this time there are no restrictions to grouping in terms of race and class. Unless this becomes a problem in testing, it will probably stay that way.

–(On the surface, it seems it would be best to leave odd groupings and the roleplay reasons behind them up to the players. Not unlike the fable of the mouse and the lion who became fast friends because the mouse pulled a painful thorn out of the lion’s paw one day [one of Aesop’s, I think.] On a deeper level, I groan to think of all the power gamers out there who decide to ally dark elf shadow knights with human paladins just to exploit some quirk in game mechanics to their advantage. It only takes one nut to crack a shell.)

Hmmm… This brings up some interesting points. I cant help but think back to the banks in UO… “The Great Lord was working with the PKers.” Is this the same situation or not?

I just read an article in the latest Everquest Express release that discussed class wars and alluded to religion affecting gameplay… Will it though?

Without a doubt, the system that is set up in EQ has enormous Role Playing potential, and a number of people will take advantage of these devices. Unfortunately, as UO has shown us, the masses don’t know how to roleplay, and will “Play to the environment”.

Put a newbie with no RPG experience in a closed game with nothing but serious roleplayers, the newbie will learn to roleplay, and think that is the way the game is played. On the other hand, put the same person in with a different class of player (you know the ones), and guess what… the same newbie will become the scourge of the game.
Wouldn’t it be nice, if you ware a newbie, separated from your party, wounded and lost, to come across a Shining Paladin in full plate riding across the field you are in… Paladins are good, he’ll lend a hand if he can. He rides up, and with a single slash from his magic sword you fall to the ground dead… The last words you har are “I love playing a Paladin… They run up to the slaughter”.

Yeah, I guess it is possible that a paladin could snap and go bad, but highly unlikely (I would assume).

You can see where I’m going. What will the game do about situations like this? Can a player worship a Good God, play a “Good” Class, yet be a mass murderer? If a “Good” Paladin murders “Evily” alligned PCs, is that good for his “Notoriety”? What if the same murders other “Good” Aligned PCs / NPCs? Does his alignment change? Can he remain a Paladin? Will you be able to change Class in the game?

You start out with a “Good” Character. As your character evolves, you see a new direction that you want your character to go in… Can this be changed?
I guess my point is that EQ seems to have all kinds of potential. But the final feel of the game will depend on the players. We’ve all seen that it’s easier NOT to Role Play, so the masses don’t. I think the solution that we are looking for lies in Private Servers.

When I say private servers, I mean that a local group or community could have their own hardware, and software to run a server, OR could possibly lease a server from the Company…

Think about this, Sony is going big anyway… Lots of servers (we hope). Say they somehow allowed for a “Moderated?” server. Where a team of “US” were the GMs. There could be a $5 / month surcharge to play on this server. This would go to pay the GMs and Sony. Every player has to be sponsored to get access, and can loose access to that server for impropper conduct. Sure it opens a HUGE door for exploitation and favoratism, but with a group of Like minded Role Players??? Who knows? I think it might work?

er… back to the chat.

Q: I’m thinking that it wouldn’t be all that hard to kill any npvper… The problem is, people can enchant a monster someone is fighting (maybe a heal spell, defence spell, strength spell) which would enable the monster the npvp-er’s fighting to kill him… how will that be handled? Is it gonna be prevented?

A: We are continally brain storming on potential areas of +pvp and -pvp abuse, and are implementing quite a few ways to avoid most abuse. However, also keep in mind that a +pvp person figuring out a way to harm a -pvp person will be considered illegal and could result in banning of that person.

–(It’s sad, but true, that there will be oversights out there when it comes to the PK switch, and there will be players who would sell their souls to exploit them. I think if we enter into the mindset that this is inevitible, we’ll all be happier [or at least hold less rancor] when it rears its ugly head. Brad’s claim that this will be grounds for banning has my attention, though. I guess what he’s saying in a nutshell is that non-PK characters’ lives are sacrosanct, and PK characters must leave them alone. I trust that this is a two-way street as well, in the sense that non-PK characters who find a way to kill or assist in killing PK characters will be treated similarly.)

Banning Abusers. I’m all for it, but there has to be a definate policy in place to take into account mistakes. If they are going to ban, do it regularly, do it consistently, and do it fairly. Keep archived logs of player actions… Be able to get proof whether someone did something or not, and how many times they did it (and when).

This also brings me to Player Losses due to game instabilities. We hope it won’t happen, but it’s pretty much unavoidable. If a GM has the tools at his disposal to easily and quickly determine if what the player says indeed happened, then by all means replace the item (s). This would do a world of good for Customer Satisfaction, and would be a big One Up over the other guys.

I’m thinking that it wouldn’t be all that hard to kill any npvper… The problem is, people can enchant a monster someone is fighting (maybe a heal spell, defence spell, strength spell) which would
*cough*
I suck, don’t you agree?
* RaV nods.

Q: Since bards can sing, do you actually hear voices coming out of the computer or is it going to be some stupid skill?

A: We’re still working out the details behind some of the music and sounds, but the current plan is to have short songs related to both bard’s singing and instrument playing.

Q: What kind of items can we expect to find on slain monsters??? And will being a certain class of Character affect you, as say going into different cities??

A: It all depends on the sort of monster you end up slaying… low level and common monsters will tend to have lower level and more mudane items, and higher level monsters will typically use more exotic items. As for classes, some classes are more related to one’s alignment than others. And some cities are more sensitive toward other alignments than others, so you’d have to be more specific. For instance, I wouldn’t want to be a necromancer and parade into the paladin’s guild in Erudin.

Q: Will Necromancers ‘create’ their undeads from thin air or will they need to have a corpse of a dead monster or (n)pc to make them?

A: Animate dead Necromancer spells require a corpse as a target.

–(I think it would be interesting if you could summon a corpse with the conjure spell, and then have a necromancer animate it. I didn’t say it would necessarily be a good thing… just interesting. I can’t think of any more uses for a “summon corpse” spell, though, unless you want to get really really distasteful…)

Jerky anyone?

Q: 1) I was wondering how expierience was going to be awarded? In uo, it’s who ever inflicted the final blow to kill it

A: Currently it is awarded with the final blow.

–(It’s my bet that an improved system will be implemented sometime during the beta. Probably something to do with the adventuring party grouping system that’s mentioned in the FAQ.)

Something like everyone in the party gets a proportional part of the XP if anyone in their party performs the Coup De Gras. Er this has some room for exploitation too, but you have to take the good with the bad I suppose?

Q: Asheron’s call is going to have high, medium, and low attacks during combat. Is EQ going to have anything like that possibly better? And if you do have that did you ever think about possibly adding the ability to use a controler in the game and during combat making it maybe more like a fighting game?

A: There are several different things you can do doing combat, and it typically involves using combat related skills, such as kick and bash. Monks, for instance, have many different types of attacks. As for using a controller to make it more like a fighting game, we are definitely against making it ‘more like a fighting game’ in that that genre is twitch based, and this is not a twitch game. But as for different controllers, we are looking into it. Currently, it’s mouse and/or keyboard controlled.

Q: Can you tell us if race actually makes a huge difference in game play and i dont understand what you guys are talking about with language. Do you mean that if im an ogre i can only talk to another ogre? or i can only understand an oge npc if you have ogre npcs?

A: Race makes a big difference both in terms of your stats, innate abilities, and class selection options, as well as in how the world and its inhabitants react to you. As for language, the current plan is to have a ‘common’ tongue that would allow just about everyone to converse with anyone else, but to also have race specific languages that one could learn and become fluent in.

Heh, cool 🙂

Q: Will new NPCs, monsters, continents, and buildings be added to the game world after the release? Possibly through a mandatory patch? If so, how often will they be released?

A: Absolutely — all three. The plan is to keep the development team working away, adding on the world. This would either be done through periodic patches and/or the purchase of expansion packs at your retailer.

Q: Can characters be tagged with their guild name or abbreviation by guild leaders and untagged as well? If not, how will guilds be identified within the game since I know that skins are still up in the air?

A: Yes, your official guild affiliation will be stored with the rest of your character information on the server, such as your name, title, etc.

Q: Question in its simplest form: Will EQ attempt to prevent the use of “mule” characters?

A: If they become abusive in our unique environment, yes. We’ll find out in testing if this will be a problem in EQ.

–(Trust me, unless SI has an ace up its sleeve they’re not telling us about, it will be a problem.)

Q: In UO, it was possible for a person to block a doorway. In EQ, will a person of -PvP status (or +PvP) be able to block the movement of a +PvP (or -PvP) person? Or does opposing PvP settings give imediate “Push Past” abilities?

A: There will be ‘push-past’ implemented.

–(Let’s hope they have enough foresight to make it so you can “push-past” more than one person every 30 seconds, unlike another game which will remain Ultima Online.)

Q: Brad mentioned that there will be GM run quests for Artifacts for very active guilds. Will there also be GM run quests for Artifacts for us solo types?

A: We won’t be limiting special quests just to official guilds, or groups, or inviduals.

Q: Will we be able to hire guards or vice-versa as bounty hunters?

A: At this time we are not planning on bounty hunters or the ability to hire guards in the first release, no.

–(Eh, there are some who would disagree with me on this one, but it’s been my experience that hiring NPCs to protect you — albeit an adittedly cool idea — is about as useful as renting a neutered bull to breed your herd. Perhaps SI would have done it differently, but the AI behind a sufficiently “intelligent” NPC bodyguard to fend off would-be PC assailants would have to be massive, and franky, not worth the investment to develop, IMHO.)

Q: 2) In one of the recent screen shots Aradune seems supped up. His stats are all above 100, his AC is over 200 and all his resistances are above 50, all at 1st level. I know this was probably done for testing but what will a “regular” Human Ranger’s stats look like compared to that and will the Sony staff play with “normal” characters in final (at least part of the time)

A: It is true that Aradune’s stats were buffed up for testing, however do keep in mind that the scale for AC and attributes and other stats is a bit different than others systems — some range from 1-200, and others 1-400. Sony staff will play all sorts of characters in-game, and sometimes you will know they are Sony staff, and sometimes you won’t. It depends on the role they are playing. If a GM is assuming the role of an avatar of one of the gods to hand out a quest or some such, I would expect that avatar to have some pretty hefty stats.

Q: In a recent screen shot it is clear that class and level can be seen by members of your pary. Will there be an option to NOT show class and level to other players? Even in your party?

A: Yes, you can make yourself anonymous, at which time only your name is apparent to others.

Q: Are clerics ‘just’ wandering healers or can they wear all kind of armor and deliver mighty mace blows?

A: Clerics are pretty formidable fighters and can indeed wear armor and wield maces.

well thats it for the ones from the message board. You have time for some Relay questions brad?

you bet!

Q: *FL_Sonik* Alright: will monsters display cowardice .. . will weaker monsters purposely avoid you and/or only attack you in groups?

A: Yes, some monsters will display cowardice and react differently toward groups and individuals, as well as character they perceive to be more or less powerful than they are. It depends upon the intelligence and type of monster.

–(At last, we make the break from the foolhardy NPC monsters who clearly have no chance of winning a fight, who struggle down to their last 10 hit points, and then try to escape their fate. The concept of futility is something that should be more recognizeable for monsters with higher cognitive abilities.)

Aw… I can’t stand in the middle of a room and call them to me anymore 😦

Q: “At character creation is there going to be a place where we can write our character history so GMs can look for a suitable quest for us? If so can this history be changed?” Is that a good question or will that idea be hard to do. (The GMs would have to read a lot.)

A: That’s a great idea, but I’m not sure how practical because of exactly what you said there, the fact that GMs would have to read a lot. We’ll definitely toss the idea around.

–(I like how publicly open Brad is to suggestions… even the ones he deems to be teetering on the impractical side. For some reason, the UO team decided to keep their acceptance of specific 3rd party ideas a secret from the rest of the world. I wonder why that is?)

Q: Will we see battle damage on our equipment.. maybe alittle blood on a sword.. Or a broken string on a bow.. ?

A: No, nor do weapons wear out.

–(Hmmmm… so, if you can manage to remain alive, you could conceivably keep that Silver Halberd Of Ungodly Manslaughter for all eternity. Interesting. The first thing that comes to mind for the sake of roleplaying is the concept of heirlooms passed from character to character that don’t end up being useless items after a gazillion repairs. I’m trying to think of a downside to this. Though I’m sure they’re out there, none spring readily to mind.)

I gotta say, I’m for this one. In UO I found repairs to be nothing more than an expensive nuisance. An attempt to force life into the economy, and to foster “RolePlaying”. In reality, everyone is either a blacksmith (partially), has a blacksmith Mule, and a house with a forge (and can recall from the battlefield, home to do repairs, then back again).

Q: when someone dies.. how will you be able to have proof of the kill (an ear or heart or head?) or maybe it will say “Darkwalker is dead(yea right)”?

A: I assume you mean a pvp kill… well, one way would be that I assume you’d have the victim’s items, and if he were truly a formidable foe, I’d assume he’d have some pretty nice equipment… which would be yours.

–(I may have spoken too soon about the suggestion thing two questions back. What could possibly be impractical about implementing the time-honored tradition of delivering the victim’s head/ear/scalp (I prefer head) as undeniable proof and identification of a kill? At the very least, it’s just another item to be placed in the corpse’s inventory for the assassin to pick up. I mean, grabbing neato items off a fresh kill is terrific and all, but it’s not a sure-fire method of proving you took out the proper mark. The only exception is when it’s known that the mark posesses a unique artifact that never leaves his side, but how often is that going to happen in EQ? By Brad’s own admission, unique artifacts are going to be somewhat rare and quite valuable items. On the other hand, producing an item called “Head of Maligant Nightweaver” that can only come from one source — the freshly killed body of Maligant Nightweaver — is a conclusive means of identifying a proper kill [unless it was stolen, which is another story in itself.] This rings especially true when you consider their plans to make character names unique.

Taking this thread somewhat off the subject, if the design team decided to be very creative, they could delve into more dark ritualistic actions, and add decapitation [among many other “icky” things] as something you must perform on a dead body in order to obtain the head. It would certainly make for some truly excellent fodder for those wanting to roleplay evil characters [if nothing else, it would really put some actual meaning into roleplaying drow!] Siting UO as a prime example, they made it possible to mutilate corpses. I don’t say it often — and I don’t say it loud — but this is one of the few things I think UO did right, and it’s something SI would do well to adopt if they truly wish to encourage roleplaying in a medium that is perpetually under attack for its lack of style — player killing.)

Q: Aww no scalps?

A: We MAY announce deaths, but then I’m concerned about excessive spam.

–(We fear spam. Spam is evil. It must be destroyed.)

Q: *Billtor* any pirate themed areas implemented or planned yet?

A: Hrm… I can’t recall if they’re are any pirate areas at this time… definitely bandit camps and such… I’ll ask Bill and post what I find out.

Q: LrdHotdog ) Will higher level Necromancers be able to change or morph there appearence or form, ie. change into a Wraith or Lich

A: Hold on, let me check my list of necro spells… Actually, yes. We also just implemented lycanthropy, btw.

–(Call me green, but I’ve never heard of the term “lycanthropy” in my years of roleplaying, and there’s no reference to it in the dictionary I have handy. My wife says it strikes her as being vaguely reminiscent of werewolves. Do you know what he’s talking about, Gram? That’s promising news about the wraith/lich thing, though!)

Yep, I’ve heard of lycanthropy, and your wife is correct. It is indeed Wearwolves, wererats, werebats… list goes on. Not sure whether that means that a Necromancer can turn a PC into a werewolf, if they can turn themselves into a werewolf, or if bitten by a werewolf, once a month when you log in, your character IS a werewolf (How’s that as a vent for a closet PKer 🙂 But it sounds cool 🙂

Q: In the last chat you mentioned that if you wanted dragon scale armor, you’d have to kill a dragon, which implies that you can have custom armors. Will there be some? Also, if so, will special armors like plate or magical have to be “special ordered” (taking real time before you get it)

A: Powerful and magical plate mail and other exotic items will probably be quested for, and/or taken from the corpse of a powerful foe, such as a dragon. In the particular example above, you’d probably take the dragon scales from the dead dragon (assuming you killed him and didn’t fry 🙂 and take them to an ancient armorer across the continent, and he’d make the dragonscale armor for you. That’s just an example, not an actual quest (well, it could be). But that’s how that sort of thing will work.

–(Good, because it nauseated me how many people actually got to wear bone armor in UO. Best not to allow it to escalate by having something like dragonscale armor commonplace, too.)

Q: Will the NPC kings and such run thier land by the Feudal system? Will we be able to join their army for pay?

A: You couldn’t officially become part of an army per se, but you could server the king and his army, doing quests for them and such.

Q: Will the casting of certain spells be delayed longer than others?

A: Yes, different spells have different casting times, which can also be affected by your skill in that magical art.

Q: [FL_Carbun ) In the FAQ, you mentioned more exotic ways of travelling beyond land/sea/teleporting/etc… Please elaborate. – Carbunkle & Ingwe (c)1998

A: Too early to elaborate, sorry 😦

–(EXCLUSIVE GRAM’S PLACE SCOOP: It has been confirmed by an inside source at SI that these “more exotic ways of travelling” Brad McQuaid speaks of are indeed by way of taking a Carnival cruise with Kathy Lee Gifford! It is reported that fans are outraged and a mass exodus of loyalty has begun, as polls indicate EQ’s plummeting in everyone’s estimation as being the next milestone in computerized roleplaying games. Sony Interactive stock has taken a dramatic dive in the marketplace, throwing off the predicted sales of high end Intel Pentium II processors in the next nine to eleven months. The 3D accelerated video card market remains stable, however, due to a recent EIDOS press release stating that players will be seeing action game superstar Lara Croft totally unclothed throughout Tomb Raider III, scheduled for release early next year. In other news, entrepeneur and CEO Bill Gates has announced that in lieu of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Windows 98 will instead come packaged with its very own version of Donkey Kong Jr., which users must play in order to successfully use its “new and improved” file management system…)

Er… The views of Shadoe are his and his alone (and his sense of humor), they do not necessarily represent the views of Gram or Gramsplace 🙂

Q: Has any consideration been given to the idea of EQ access on online gaming services, i.e. Mplayer, Heat, etc., in order to capitalize on those growing markets?

A: We’ve considered it, of course, however current plans are to host all of the servers ourselves.

Q: “Honorable Brad McQuaid, could you briefly outline the system used to implement different languages in Everquest? Will it be skill-based? Will languages one does not understand show up as random letters, or coherent words?”

A: I pretty much already answered the language question in an early reply.

–(I beg to differ, Brad… that last particular question, you have not answered!)

I must concur.

Q: *Lohrno* Will there be set of more ‘mature’ variables, like will there be a switch that lets us see things like nudity and blood?

A: There will be a profanity filter, but there will be no nudity. There will most likely be a switch to turn off blood and such, depending upon how graphic we end up making it look.

Q: Will some spells be able to be used in conjuction with one another, either combat or non-combat?

A: Yes.

Q: All classes can fight to some extent, is it out of the question that all classes might learn some simple magic? Maybe only exceptional members of a certain race/class?

A: No, we feel it’s important in terms of balancing classes that not all are able to use magic, and some to be able to use it more effectively than others. However, if you do look at the class list and descriptions, most classes can indeed use magic at least to a point.

Q: How many spells does it take to get to the center of Norrath..? (IE will the game be ruined by player-cast Teleport or Recall spells?) A viable solution might be to be able to teleport between temples of similar faith for a fee. <- I added the last part Not sure if I asked that one or not..

A: It depends upon which teleport spell… the very high level ones might be able to transfer a person a long distance, but only so often. Or another might be able to transfer a character back to only a specific point. There’s a lot of variation, but we definitely don’t envision a game with people teleporting all around at will, and never having to travel. It will be difficult.

Q: *|Xizor|* my question is will u be able to zoom in to see a person better? Do u have to be a special class like archer?

A: Using the several camera views, it is possible to zoom in to a point, yes.

& In UO, there was a “death penelty” if you did anything wrong. In EQ, will eveyrone be killed on sight, or will the guards try to capture and then jail people? (Also allowing you to escape).

A: Guards will typically try to slay you if you annoy them, so no, no jail time. No bill of rights in Norrath 🙂

–(Brad’s slipping in his political diplomacy. The way he responds here makes it sound to the uninformed fan as if law enforcement is going to be the same in EverQuest as it is in Ultima Online. Rest assured, earlier chats have indicated that the guards in EQ aren’t going to be the juggernaut, godlike entities they are in UO.)

This is the last question, by the way.
no I think I have another
then spill it
Q: when you discover a spell? is it used up when you put in book or can many people learn from it? Like if you find a scroll of ancient knowledge…

A: Once you use a scroll to enscribe it into your book, it’s gone.

–(Two words: In Credible! Brad just let slip a little something about the magic system… something he’s outright refused to do until now!)

Ok, so thats a rap 🙂
ok. Thanks all for coming!
Anything else you wanna say before you leave Brad? 🙂
Just hang in there — hopefully we’ll be able to announce more beta info soon.
Yeah, “get patched”
bye now.
———-

This concludes our monthly chat broadcast for the day. Please tune in next week when Gram reveals he’s really Elvis living in Canada under an assumed name. Thank you.

?

April 18:
Quick note…

I’ve just posted the latest screenshots to our screenshot page. These are all hosted locally, so if you are having troubles downloading from the EQ site, this may be faster for you.

Unfortunately, most of the other screenshots were NOT hosted locally. In redesigning their site, The EQ team either deleted, renamed, or moved the old shots 😦 As a result, most of the old thumbnails and images are no longer working. I’ll fix this sometime soon 😦

Hail one and all.

I appologize for not doing many updates recently. I’ve been completely SWAMPED with work recently.

I’ve taken a look at the new EQ Site, and it is HOT!!! Some GREAT screenshots (I gotta see that magic casting stuff… It looks SO cool! There are also some questions that the new site raise… I’ll try to get to them over the next week or so… Sorry, but 🙂

In this update, Shadoe took the time to do another writeup on Brad’s Latest Chat Session… (over a week old now, that’s my fault, sorry).

And Issue 18 of the Everquest Express is up.

So, without further ado, here’s Shadoe…

Latest Chat Log Review
By

Here it is, finally… the latest chat log by Brad McQuaid, along with his sidekick “Fire Marshall Bill,” who is a lead designer and artist for EverQuest. I’ve reformatted the EQ Vault’s “readable” version into an even more readable format by getting rid of the extra fat that has nothing to do with answering questions. Rest assured, however, that the original text typed by the authors is unedited (to the best of my knowledge, anyway).

I’ve also made the SI people’s text in italics for clarity. Brad’s nickname is “Aradune” and Bill’s is “Btrost,” for those of you who are lost and alone in this big, big world of EQ game development groupie gatherings. 😉

Let the fun begin…

———-

I will let Brad field these until he leaves and I can dish teh real dirt.. 😉

* Aradune bonks Bill on the head.

Q: Will there be Blood in Everquest (i.e. in Battles, and spells)?? – Ying

A: Most likely, yes.

–(I may be out of line here, considering Brad’s response, but it just seems to me this question is like asking if the ocean will have any water in it.)

Q: I want to know how Everquest is going to handle map mechanics. Will the ‘world’ reside on our hard drive? Will there be the mud equivalent of ‘zones’? If so, how will the transition work, will we load the new zone from our computer or from the server? Will we be vulnerable while we wait for the load? – SN-sG

A: The static data will reside on your hard drive, but the dynamic data will come from our servers, so to answer your question, the world will reside in both places. And the world is divided up into zones.

Q: Will the shamans of race “a” be the same as the shamans of race “c”? Example: Would the Ogre shamans have access to different spells than a Barbarian Shaman? – Ian Ash

A: At this time race doesn’t affect which spells a class has.

Q: My questions are about the player – set custom views. 1) Can they be customized on the fly during combat or is there a separate “set custom camera view” menu? 2) Does my character have to be centered in the view? 3) Will the 3rd person views follow LOS? In other words: can see things on the other side of a nine foot tall wall if in top down view? (assuming I’m not an Ogre) – Ueser

A: You can customize it at any time, and it does center around your character, and we have built the zones such that the moveable camera doesn’t spoil LOS.

–(Hmmm… I wonder how they made it so line of sight isn’t affected by the camera. What do you [the player] see if you position the camera so it points at an area your character normally couldn’t see? Blackness?)

Yep, interesting question. That one will be interesting to see… Good question.

Q: Mr. Brad McQuaid: Will there be penalties for performing actions that go against your race/class alignment? And bonuses for acting with it? For example: A Human Paladin, devoted to a good god, kills a high elf for no reason. Will he then lose some of his paladin abilities? – Xaphoo

A: Unfortunately, our lips are still sealed when it comes to alignments and magic. Sorry all.

Good answer. This is a TOUGH question. “For no reason” is a speculative issue. How can the software make these judgement calls? Would be nice if it worked properly, but…

Q: How will choice of religion affect clerics? Non clerics? – Oghma

A: Religion is linked to alignments and other than saying that it will affect you, we’re keeping the details under wraps.

Q: How will we be resurrected? Will there be substantial penalties, and where will we appear after death? – Beowulf

A: When you die, there are substantial penalties — some experience loss and a few other penalties. Your corpse with items remains where you died and you reappear at your home point.

–(Imagine that… no more people yelling “no looting!” when they die. As if that made any difference other than to call the neighborhood looters’ attention to their corpse, anyway.)

This is interesting. I think it’s a good thing that death will have serious penalties, but I’m sure that other’s won’t be so optomistic. Imagine going on a quest to a far away dungeon / town with some friends. After a death or two, you find yourself by yourself, WAY over your head… Odds are good you’ll be joining your friends back at home 🙂 Relate this to real life, and it does add a touch of realism, but does this also mean that people won’t be doing too much traveling? Only time will tell.

Q: When a cleric resurrects someone will they still lose things? Will there be less lost if you are resurrected? Or nothing lost? – Tomstomp

A: Significantly less lost.

Erf… Unless you have a good cleric in your party 🙂 I can see this being an interesting class. Who wants to play a Cleric… not much fame, but they sure will be popular to have along on an adventure… I think I may see the rebirth of Bethany the Healer.

Q: Brad, I understand the approx cap of 1000 to 1500 per server, but what will happen if the server I have been building my character on is full when I want to come online and play? – Shogun

A: We’ll probably limit the number of people registered for a given server, but not limit how many of those registered people can be on their server at one time.

–(Ooooo… interesting twist. This brings up a few important points: 1) SI had better be prepared to set up quite a few game servers to accomodate everyone. 2) What about server latency issues for the players? I cringe to envision seeing myself getting EQ and finding out that all the servers I have great connections to are all filled up with registrants. As I am living in the Mountain time zone, this is saying a lot. 3) Will players be allowed to register on more than one server? If not, this seems very restrictive. And if so, then what’s stopping players from immediately registering on every new server as they go up, just to reserve a slot for future play in that particular world? Any way you slice it, I can see some very large problems arising.)

Good points Shadoe… This is one of the solutions that I came up with back in the early UO Beta days when we had no idea how the live servers would be handled.

A few thoughts on this point…

with 1000 – 1500 ppl online at any time, that means that each server will have 3000 – 4000 registered users.
Maybe the billing will be per server that you are signed up on? Or maybe each account is allowed to be signed up on 2? servers?
Assuming that everyone signed up on 2 servers, and the monthly bill is $10 for both servers, then they will be making $15,000 – $20,000 / server / month. Still a pretty good markup there.
Hmmm… Actually, since you can only be on one server at a time, if they increase the number of servers that you can sign up on, then they can also increase the number of users / server. This will be fine as long as the servers are up, but if a server goes down, then there will be some serious load on other servers. I guess it all depends on how many servers they are going to set up. 10, 20, 50? How much will the market bear?
Q: I was wondering, are some races going to be faster than other races? In UO this was a big problem, someone with low Dex was just as fast as someone with high Dex and I would like the ability for some races to be faster than others. – Ryu

A: It’s based on agility, and some races have better agility than others.

Cool 🙂 I always thought that Dex should mean something in a game 🙂

Q: Will running be a skill in the game? Will jumping? And if so, will there be a limit as to how much you can develop it? – Lohrno and Whisp

A: There is running and jumping, but at this time they are not skill based.

Q: Can you squat or duck in EverQuest? and walk that way? – Ying

A: Yes to both.

Check the new screenshots, there are 2 shots of people kneeling (SO COOL!!!)

Q: Is there conversion in the game, could a cleric gain exp by converting another pc to follow his deity? – Narthos

A: Not at this time, no.

Q: Will you be able to tell what profession someone is by looking at them? – Ian Ash

A: You’ll probably have a decent idea based on what they are wearing, in that there are class-based item restrictions. Also, if they choose not to be anonymous, you will see their class listed in the players list.

–(This is nice, being able to determine if you appear anonymous to others. I wonder if this extends to your character’s name as well? This may be premature to ponder, but I also wonder if it applies to a character’s alignment, too… that is, outside of mere race identification.)

Q: Brad, what are the limitations on names going to be, example: one Malachite per server or one Malachite per the entire game? – Malachite

A: Most likely unique to the server, not the entire game.

–(Again, I have the same problems with this restriction as with the issue of registering X number of people per server. To be fair, it does help facilitate long distance messaging without having to memorize or record some sort of user ID. Still, everyone has their beloved characters they’ve named and played over their years of roleplaying, and it rubs me the wrong way to think that most of them will be hindered because there can’t be more than one “Malachite” per server.)

With only 3000 – 4000 people registered per server, I don’t think this should be too big of an issue, as long as it is a unique name. I’ve got to admit that I’d be kinda miffed if I tried to start Lamron to find that someone had taken the name. On the whole though, I think that unique names are a good thing… Er, let me rethink that. Looking at the recent, you can SEE the difference between people (unlike other games… what color robe, and what type of helm were they wearing?). I don’t think that non unique names would be too bad.

One more for me, then I must hand the show over to Bill.

DOH! er i mean YEAH!

Q: If there are going to be potions? Will we be able to mix and match different substances together to make these? Maybe you might mix the wrong thing and BOOM there would be a small explosion. – Saturnino

A: There will be potions, however one won’t be creating them like you describe.

Ok, thanks all. Talk to you soon.

thanks Brad

In walks Fire Marshall Bill

Thanks brad.

*** Aradune (~aradune@intergate.sonyinteractive.com) has left

–(Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.)

Q: Here you go, Bill: Will PC’s be able to convince NPC’s to join quests? – Shanus Kilpirate

A: maybe… It is something that has been discussed. But if it does happen it would be very rare..

Q: Bill: How many characters can be in a group with conversations, or rather can you be in more than one group at one time? – Weykir

A: By group I assume you mean adventuring party .. so.. no. you can only be in one party at a time. and currently there is a limit of 6 PC’s per party.. but that could change.

–(Interestng limitation. Not an unreasonable one, if you ask me, but I’m speaking as a player who is used to playing alone or in small groups anyway. And I’ve never felt the urge to join a guild. Nevertheless, I know people are going to complain about this one, especially guildmasters. The beta will be the judge.)

I think it’s a good number actually. There will of course be some people that will complain about it, but it just means compartmentalism. If you have a HUGE squad, pick your sub band. This will allow for small groups to work as teams…

Q: Will we be able to reincarnate our character for a penalty similar to death, to play a new race and/or class without having to start over from scratch? – Wynn Orill

A: nope.

Q: So, can your character become an NPC character? Obviously he won’t as an NPC have my sparkling personality, but it’d be nice I think to go up to my old adventuring buddy and buy a drink off him :). – Comstar

A: Retiring characters is still an unknown at this point.

–(I just wanted to say I think this would be a fun idea. Dunno how implementable it is, but…)

Q: Will there be a climbing Skill for climbing tree’s and cliff’s, and can I have a Tree House? – Ying

A: No climbing is not a skill at this point. i wouldn’t hold my breath for a tree house… 😉

Q: Will there be illegal substances in EQ, like ALE, or other fun stuff. If there will be spirts, will they’re be a large assortment, and will we be allowed to get roaring drunk? – Sutam

A: Ale is illegal?! cripes.. Yes there will be spirits in EQ.

–(Forgive me… that ocean similie I made above belongs down here!)

Q: Will you post the names of the people that make it into each beta, before it starts? I’m getting anxious to see if I made it. – Sir Robert

A: beats me. That will be determined by the suits and Brad. Sorry.

Q: Bill, will we see aging on the characters?

A: It is doubtful at this time….

Q: [B_Trintis ) I am asking this for all the Guild masters out there: Will there be a way to insure that guild members can get on teh same server??

A: I really dont know.. there will be ways to transfer character from server to server but I guess it would depend on the situation.

–(This is symptomatic of the problems I mentioned earlier about player registration limits on the servers… I didn’t even stop to think about how this affects guild unity. Not to mention how the bloody ‘ell they plan on handling transferring characters between servers. If there’s a preexisting character on the destination server with your character’s name, does it mean you can’t move to that world? Is the process of transferring a character bound to the same rules as creating a new one when it comes to the player cap? Granted, this registration system solves the problem of making people wait to log on to their favorite server to play, but it breeds other problems as well. Lots of ’em!)

Q: [D_Dark ) Brad mentioned something about a home point. Will this be the place you start your character from or will it be a place you choose?

A: It will start where your character starts his adventuring career but there will be ways to change it… difficult ways… 😉

Q: [IPASpro] Bill, what can you tell us about counselors and GMs? Would an experienced counselor be able to become a GM over time?

A: Player counselors or GMs are something I cant really comment on at this time…

Q: Will there be the ability to severe (cut-off) somebody’s limbs or part of them, perhaps at death if not any time else? If so, will there be ways to regain this, and will they cause penalties? As a sub-question, will injury reduce your performance (hit rate, speed, etc.)

A: The mechanics of combat are still in flux at this time. Severing limbs is doubful..

Heh… I can see it now, 2 months after a server goes up, you take a stroll through, and there’s nothing but a bunch of invalids who can’t carry a sword anymore, because both of their arms have been chopped / gnawed off… Come back here, I’ll bite your ankle…

Q: [WynnOrill ) Will there be level restrictions on which PKs can attack which PKs or is everyone with the switch on fair game?

A: no. there will be no level restrictions on PK vs PK combat.

–(I can see it now…

“So, puny halfling… You thought you could defeat
Mythrag The Mighty Ogre! How foolish of you…”

“Ah, but you’re only a level 10 fighter!
I’m a level 35 wizard… BRZZZZZAP!”

…Hey, it could happen!)

Q: two part question bill. will we be able to choose from many types of guildhouses?…like can we have a tavern or a cathedral or a fighters arena built onto the main building? -stump|[JETLAG-] can you burn down a building

A: Ok.. Um I assume you are talking about player owned guildhouses… Yes there will be many types. and since we like having some buildings in EQ you will not be able to burn them… 😉

Q: How will loot be distributed? Will each party member be assigned random treasure through some mechanism, or will it be the first person to the body gets the goods?

A: This is something we have discussed and we will test many methods in playtesting to determine which one to use…

No kidding this will require some playtesting. Who cares about the stupid 20 gp when the other guy got the enchanted Breastplate. In UO, you never really knew what there was… First grab, first dibs. Divy up the gold, but keep the gems and magic weapons for yourself (or that’s what I’ve seen for the most part). I guess we’ll see whan it goes live. You can bet that it will go through some revisions.

Q: [Whisp ) Will you be able to hire NPC’s to kill other players? If so, how will this affect non-PK players?

A: Nope.
A: long winded aint I?
A: 😉

Q: [Asmodai] will weight take effect on swimming, like will you sink if your wearing full plate

A: Yes encumberance affects the physics of the game..

COOL!!!

Q: Will you be able to see damage on your character (the more damage you take the worse you’ll look, etc)?

A: nope.. not at this time… Texture memory constraits are a big concern…

Q: [SirRobert ) will there be a system to leave messages for players, that they could retrive when they log on?

A: We hope so. whether it will make it into the 1st release is unknown. There will be bulletin boards in game for this purpose though.

Q: [padriec] How will player merchants be handled? can we hire NPC vendors or do we have to do all the selling ourselves?

A: NPC vendors work for themselves. 😉

Q: will a hint book (which tells specific race and class info, etc) be released sometime after the game? if so, when?

A: I really dont know. I would guess so.

Q: [D_Dark ) Bill: Leveling is dependent on experiance. When one reaches the next level how will the improvements on skilss be handled, will it be a system where a person is given points to distribute however they wish or what?

A: That is something I cant comment on right now… sorry.

–(Another curious answer, since Brad has told us in an earlier chat that your specific skills increase as you use them. Perhaps they’re reconsidering this approach?)

Or a combination of both?

Q: [LotP_Coni] will the zones be for each town/city/major area or will it only be for like going into dueogons or places like that like uo?

A: ? I dont think I understand the question… Zones are just large areas of the game.. cities, dungeons, wilderness are all made up one of more zones..

Q: Any cvhance of a developer’s journal with details about the nitpicky parts of the game you all are working on?

A: During development? nope. Too much top secret stuff.. 😉

Q: [AoA-Cy ) Will you be able to form formations for battle, like a row of shield-men, and spearmen behind them and have them charge with the spears inbetween (without hurting the shield-men)? And will you be able to launch arrows at an arch?

A: you can choose to organize your combat tactics any way you like… Depends on the range for arching arrows..

Q: [Magi ) If you are switching your character over servers and you log out in Server A in a forest somewhere will you log into Server B in that same spot or do you pick or a town or somethuing else?

A: I really have dont know how that is going to work.. I am just an artist / lead game designer 😉
A: the programers will figure that one out..

Q: Will certain mobs load unique items, and will each item be limited in the game to promote value?

A: I assume you mean will the same monster pop. with the same items every time? no. no. no. yes unique / rare items should have real value…

Q: [_Shot-KoT ) Are our stats (Str, Dex, Int, etc) permanently set or will we be able to modify them like skills?

A: I really cant comment on that one.

Q: [D_Dark ) Bill: will the characters have a luck/karma attribute?

A: Not at this time… you determine your Karma by your actions……. 😉

thats the last question that will be asked 🙂

———-

That’s about it, folks. Please note that no HTML tags were maimed in the creation of this review.

March 28:
Greets, readers. Just a quick update on some comments and clarifications I’d like to add to yesterday’s review of the Games.net chat with Brad McQuaid…

———-

Q: Hello, I was wondering, I am on the Newsgroup and naturally I have some questions=) oh man I just forgot what they are, funny how my mind goes blank at this very time…ah here it is ok. I have heard that there will be a pk switch, right? But what about limitations within limitations? By that i mean, will there be sanctuaries? Can you fight in taverns? What will the system be like

A: There aren’t any sanctuaries per se, but there are definitely areas, typically within populated cities, where you’ll be fairly safe due to the number of guards around.

–(We’ll see how well this works. If memory serves, this was the same scheme OSI was using with Ultima Online in cities during the first phase of the beta. For whatever reason, they switched to summary capital punishment for any attack in town via teleporting, invincible, juggernaut guards. I’m not saying OSI’s decision was logical, by any means… just citing the case.)

Actually, it’s much more lax now than it was in the beginning of the UO Beta…

It used to be that if you a) attacked anyone, b) tried to move an in game item (sewing kit, book…), or stole anything (even with no witnesses within screens), you would get immediately thumped… At least now you can steal, and as long as nobody sees you, you’re safe.

–(True, but still, if you’re caught breaking the law in UO, it’s not a matter of being able to fight off the guards and escaping… by default, you’re pulverized into roadkill. What Brad’s saying suggests this won’t be the case with EQ. There may be at least some chance of surviving the incident.)

“Some Chance” is the operative word… If a Guard moves as fast as a person (Do different races move at different speeds? And what about encumberance… Nobody’s asked that one yet in the chats…), if there is Internet Lag (at all), the game controled guard will catch up… But I do like the idea of running, or possibly even fighting… Not that I tend to do much illegal stuff, but…

Q: What will the monetary unit be in EQ? Gold coins?

A: We have gold, silver, platinum, copper… and then there are jewells and gems as well.

–(Makes me wonder what the rates of exchange are between them.)

Didn’t you comment on this same issue last chat? What difference does it make what the exchange is… As long as there isn’t too much or too little of any of them 🙂

–(I think you’re referring to my comment about “how much does a house costs in EQ?” This is different, and you summed it up in what you just said. Is a gold coin going to be seen as something relatively rare and valuable, or is it going to be so many pennies strewn across the land as it is in UO? I’m hoping for the former.)

Ahhh… that was it… Good point. I like the analogy too… Just so many pennies 🙂

Q: How will the economy work in EverQuest? Will there be set guides for the monetary units or will the value of money follow mercantalistic laws?

A: The economy will be driven by the players. As supply and demand fluxuate, prices for items, whether they be rare or mundane, will go up and down.

–(Red flag here. Such a system requires a lot of time for major tweaking to get to run correctly. I hope they tackle it sufficiently during the beta! I’m wondering if it wouldn’t just be better the have set prices for common items. But hey, my mind’s open to argument on this point.)

As long as the servers and client are stable, the combat system works… I could care less about the economy… I’m sure that something will be worked out… Stability, respawn and SSL are my BIG issues… And customer support in the final.

–(Be careful how you belittle the impact economy has on the very issue of combat, my friend. I distinctly remember my blind attempt at playing an archer early on in UO when shopkeepers charged the laughable price of 60+ gold per arrow. Suddenly it was costing me hundreds of gold to finance the killing of an ordinary orc…? This, among other things, made the archer character unplayable as far as combat goes, and this is just one example among many.)

Hmmm… I remember those times as well, and I was an archer too. I LOVED it though, because I knew where and how to hunt birds… I always had stockpiles of several hundred feathers. When they ran low, I’d go out on another bird quest… Lot of birds, they only gave 10 feathers each (or less) at that time.

Q: What is the situation reguarding languages in EverQuest? Will each race have a language, and you can only understand it if you speak it? And a common language?

A: Each race will have its native tongue, however there will be a common speech as well.

–(Now, this is something I think could be very interesting. If you’re a human that doesn’t understand “trollish,” and a bunch of trolls are nearby yakking in their native tongue… what happens? Is it just gibberish that comes across your dialog window, random pre-determined “trollish” phrases, meaningful “trollish” phrases based on what they’re saying in english, or something even more complex? I can imagine this could be either very simple or mind bogglingly complicated. Chances are they’re opting for the simple side.)

I’d like to see this on the more complicated side… Give the ability to learn other languages… Make it tough though… Nothing like being able to evesdrop on a conversation that the people speaking don’t think you understand… A switch for speak in common or native toung… I like this idea 🙂

–(I very much agree that I’d prefer to see the complicated style come to life. It would be engrossing and allow for quite a bit of style for ambience. Sadly, I doubt the development team would have time for just one relatively ineffectual aspect of the game. Nevertheless, I’m anxious to see what they come up with.)

Q: Are their limits to how far we can build our characters, such as stat or skill or level caps?

A: We are still debating as to whether there will actually be caps or limits, but we all agree that if there are, it will take a LONG time to reach them.

–(How long is “long?” I mean, a solid week is a long time when you’re expecting your STD test results, but not when it comes to godlike character development.)

And what may be long to a powergamer that plays 18 hours a day every day is a lifetime to a 2 – 3 hour / weekend player… Who will they cater to?

–(Indeed, this is a dillema I’m glad I don’t have the burden of solving. From what I can see, the casual player must allow for a certain amount of acceptance that the people who play more will generally have more powerful characters. It’s a de facto… [of life-o].)

Yep, but isn’t it kinda silly and unrealistic to even hope otherwise… Just like in real life, if you do 30 minutes of pushups a day, are you going to be as buffed and as pumped as the guy that works out at the gym for 3 hours every day? It’s all a matter of commitment, and how much time you are willing to put in to achieve results…

Time isn’t the only thing though… Knowledge of the game helps a LOT too, but how do you truly get an understanding of the game??? Play it lots.

Q: Will there Game Masters in game 24/7?

A: Yes, we will have GMs online 24/7.

–(Yeah, right… like decent people would do it any other way-… uhm, *ahem*… nevermind. 🙂

That’s all well and good, but will there be more than one of them for all servers, and will they have “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do about that.” set as a ‘Say’ macro.

–(Maybe I give SI too much credit, but I get the feeling this is another thing SI has learned not to do from the lessons of the competition. Either that or it’s just wishful thinking on my part.)

I certainly hope so… Once again, what would it hurt if the GMS actually gave back some items if they believed the story… Some would argue that it would offset the balance of the game, and would lead to abuse… There undoubtedly some people that would abuse that one… But these are the same people that will spend hours sparring, duping, or doing whatever else they can do to unbalance the game…

And quite frankly, if they kept a log of all items given to a character or player, it would be pretty easy to see the ones that are asking a but too much… Regardless of whether it will unbalance the game, and whether it will be possible to dupr items in EQ, if the GMS are able to do something about problems other than jst get you unstuck from holes in the map, it will do a WORLD of good for PR.

Q: Will EQ work through a firewall?

–(“Yes, in fact it will really help boost your magic resistence!” [Okay, okay… sorry, but it had to be said!])

Not recently… But the poison fields do a god job 🙂

–(Everybody’s a humor critic! :P)

Q: I’m sick of players abusing online RPG games by using automatic macroing technics or building up skill and magic percents by practicing on other players. M59 has this problem, but UO is worse. Will EQ players be able bulld stats and skills this way?

A: Absolutely not — the mechanism by which skills are increased in EverQuest is essentially macro-proof.

Erf… Sounds good… Heard it before though.

–(No, Gram, no! We’re entering this with a positive attitude! Then when reality slaps us in the face, we get to rant… it’s what keeps us employed! Speaking of which, you didn’t send me my paycheck for last week… 🙂

??? I beg to differ, you forgot to send mine… But I wasn’t going to mention it… I’d just take 4¢ next week.

———-

On that happy note, I’m off to take a look at the new screenshots and Java Gram’s put up. S’later, all!

Brad McQuaid Q&A Transcript
Edited By

Here it is, gang. All this morning, I’ve been going through and formatting the entire convoluted transcript of the Games.net chat forum with Brad McQuaid. Here it is in a far more readable format, along with some of our own comments in thirty-one different flavors…

———-

Q: Hello, I was wondering, I am on the Newsgroup and naturally I have some questions=) oh man I just forgot what they are, funny how my mind goes blank at this very time…ah here it is ok. I have heard that there will be a pk switch, right? But what about limitations within limitations? By that i mean, will there be sanctuaries? Can you fight in taverns? What will the system be like

A: There aren’t any sanctuaries per se, but there are definitely areas, typically within populated cities, where you’ll be fairly safe due to the number of guards around.

–(We’ll see how well this works. If memory serves, this was the same scheme OSI was using with Ultima Online in cities during the first phase of the beta. For whatever reason, they switched to summary capital punishment for any attack in town via teleporting, invincible, juggernaut guards. I’m not saying OSI’s decision was logical, by any means… just citing the case.)

Actually, it’s much more lax now than it was in the beginning of the UO Beta…

It used to be that if you a) attacked anyone, b) tried to move an in game item (sewing kit, book…), or stole anything (even with no witnesses within screens), you would get immediately thumped… At least now you can steal, and as long as nobody sees you, you’re safe.

Q: What will the monetary unit be in EQ? Gold coins?

A: We have gold, silver, platinum, copper… and then there are jewells and gems as well.

–(Makes me wonder what the rates of exchange are between them.)

Didn’t you comment on this same issue last chat? What difference does it make what the exchange is… As long as there isn’t too much or too little of any of them 🙂

Q: When the First Phase of Beta Starts, will the game be completly open, or are parts gonna be “Closed” till further notice?

A: The world will expand as the several phases of the beta open.

Q: when will the beta testers list be released?
A: We have already started sifting through the ENORMOUS number applications we’ve received so far. It’s going to take some time, but we’ll let people know as soon as is possible.

Q: Please tell us when you plan to start the beta 🙂

A: We will start the beta when we’re ready — I really don’t think anyone wants us to rush things — we want to make sure the time is right.

Take your time… Do it right.

Q: Will 750 people from games.net *really* be accepted into the first phase of closed beta?

A: We have promised games.net 750 people into the earlier phases of the beta, however the first phase will be hand-picked by Sony and will consist of less than 100 people.

Q: Brad will there be a need to eat food in EQ?

A: There is food and drink in EverQuest, and it’s important, but you don’t starve to death. Basically, we felt sustenance was important but we don’t want it to be tedious.

Q: How will the economy work in EverQuest? Will there be set guides for the monetary units or will the value of money follow mercantalistic laws?

A: The economy will be driven by the players. As supply and demand fluxuate, prices for items, whether they be rare or mundane, will go up and down.

–(Red flag here. Such a system requires a lot of time for major tweaking to get to run correctly. I hope they tackle it sufficiently during the beta! I’m wondering if it wouldn’t just be better the have set prices for common items. But hey, my mind’s open to argument on this point.)

As long as the servers and client are stable, the combat system works… I could care less about the economy… I’m sure that something will be worked out… Stability, respawn and SSL are my BIG issues… And customer support in the final.

Q: how will the lag in Everquest compare to Ultima Online?

A: As far as lag goes, we are using very mature network code and also limiting the number of people per server. We feel this will significantly decrease the server based lag players have experienced in other games.

Q: brad will Creatures employ such tactics as hiding and ambushing?

A: We are very happy with the sophistication of the AI our NPCs employ… the more intelligent monsters will be a great challenge to players and we think you’ll be happy with it.

Aw… And I so much enjoyed hooking an Ogre Lord behind a table and shooting 1000 arrows into it until it finaly died…

Q: a few questions to whomever is answering these, I already filled out an app at the EQ site, should I fill one out here? and, will there be actualy RPing in EQ, or will it be just another RPG imitation?

A: We are removing duplicate entries in our beta apps, so it doesn’t really harm anything to fill them out multiple times, but neither does it help. If you have already filled out an app, you are fine.
A: As far as role playing goes, we are definitely encouraging role playing in the game, but everyone has a different definition of RPing and we certainly don’t feel we can enforce something so nebulous.

–(Though probably not exactly the answer most of us RPGers wanted to hear, I believe this is the best approach they can take, overall. Trying to force it just causes problems and discontent for everyone involved.)

This is a tough one in my eyes… Role playing is in the eye of the beholder… Does Role Playing require that you speakin archaic manner? Does it mean getting into your character… Yes. Will there be Quakers in the game… You bet there will… Probably as many if not more than in UO… I figure if you want roleplaying… Roleplay. Don’t expect others to… Do it yourself… If enough people have this attitude, then there will be a good enough number of roleplayers.

A: And this is Brad McQuaid, btw.

Q: How will the magic system work?

A: The magic system is primarily mana based, but at this time we are not going into details regarding how it works. We are keeping a few things under wraps until we are well into beta testing.

Q: what are you looking for in your early beta testers??

A: Primarily experience in this genre of game. We are looking for people who have played lots of online RPGs, MUDs, single player RPGs, paper and pencil. etc. Also, actual beta testing experience is important to us as well.

Q: Tell us about the new screenshots. Underwater creatures and the new character.

A: Well, those are giant piranahs, and well, they are hungry and would like to eat the poor female wood elf…
A: And the other pic is a halfling exploring the depths of the dungeon of Paw.

Thanks for clearing that one up… You know wat they say about a stupid question…

Q: what is the difference, if any, between signing up here and signing up at everquest?

A: There is no difference — both applications are valid.

Q: will race effect exp needed for raising?

A: No, the experience tables are primarily based on class, not race.

Q: Will magery out of control like in Uo, or will it be more contolled?

A: I think it will be significantly more controlled, because we have a classed-based system. There are no jack of all trades. Our mages are indeed powerful, but not so well-rounded that they can always stand by themselves.

–(YES!)

Q: Will eq be compatible with agp 3d GFX cards?

A: Yes, EverQuest will take advantage of AGP.”

Q: How will speech be handled? Will it be presented in a separate window or something similar to UO where text apears above a characters head?

A: Speech appears in a text box under the 3d view. This is because you can receive tells and other messages from people not in your direct view.

Q: Have you done much thinking about the teleportation aspect of magic? Perhaps a more randomized approach where an unskilled mage might have a very difficult time going to a precise spot?

A: We are balancing teleportation magic by making teleportation spells very high level and limited to only a few classes, as well as limiting a few other ways I’m not going to detail at this time.

–(My bet is they’re taking a very close look at this particular spell. Many people [myself included] believe the equivalent Mark and Recall spells in Ultima Online have defeated the purpose of having such an enormous world, and have served to enourage a non-roleplaying play style among the populace.)

Q: Will only the larger guilds benefit from the GM generated quests, or will smaller guilds be allowed to participate also?

A: Our GM’s will do their best to be impartial in regards to who gets dynamic quests…

I’m not sure what I think about this one… I am probably in the minority because I prefer to play alone as opposed to with others, and most people like to be involved in guilds… Will there be something for us loners to do other than kill the same monsters again and again?

I certainly hope so… The UO quests are so lame… It could only be better.

Q: I understand that there will be a PK switch. But what about further limitations? Will there be sanctuaries? Say can you fight in a tavern or not?

A: There are no sanctuaries per se, but there will be areas, primiarliy within populated cities, that will be pretty safe. This due to the fact that guards will be prevalent.

Q: will there be any way for us to make and add our own part of worlds and also quests to Everquest?

A: At this time the world of EverQuest will be created entirely in-house… as for the future, we shall see.

–(That would be fascinating. A massively multiplayer online game with areas all over the place that look like convoluted, player-created Descent levels.)

Actually, this could be interesting… Consider this… All you would need would be a door or portal… Once you steped through the portal, this new world / room / dungeon / whatever could be downloaded to your client… You could then enter other people’s worlds… Probably won’t happen with this generation of games, but in the next generation, I see this as being a distinct possibility…

It would be a cool solution for your own house… Go into an “Appartment Building” or whatever, somehow select a room to enter, and there you are… Seperate from the main server, decorated as you wish… There are a lot of obvious objections I can come up with off the top of my head, but consider the possibilities… Maybe in a few years.

Q: Can you tell us about the banking system to save money for buildings we wish to buy and if once we have the money, does the building appear automatically once bought.

A: I really can’t go into details on how buying houses and ships will work at this time.

Q: Will there be in-game mail?

A: We are planning on in-game mail, but whether it will make it into first release isn’t certain at this point.

–(This may sound like a totally cool idea at first, but think about it for a second. On top of our regular, everyday e-mail, we will also be expected to check each of our characters’ EQ mailboxes regularly as well. I’m not sure if that’s something I want to spend my valuable game time doing.)

I can appreciate your points Shadoe… But, there will still be ICQ, and there is eMail… If something like this was integrated into the game, I could see some advantages… I don’t use ICQ currently, and if it were in the game, I don’t think I’d use it either, but there are those that would… Same thing for the mail… Don’t answer your messages if you’re not interested in it, but it could help to enhance the roleplaying aspect being able to leave messages for people…

Q: I have a two part question, 1- how will be notifed if we make it in the closed beta, when? 2- How will our reports be sent in, will they be posted on a site as usual (will it be available to the public)???

A: 1. you will be notified via email if you are accepted into the beta.
A: 2. We are planning on an in-game bug submission form, and no these forms are not available to the public.

Q: how will the chat system work, will it be similar to UO, or will it have a screen at the bottom like Meridian 59 and the Realm

A: The chat system is much more similar to m59 than UO, in that you can send and receive messages to people anywhere in the world.

Q: How many players will EQ support?

A: The current plan is to accomodate between 1,000 and 1,500 people per server, in order to preserve more of a sense of community and to keep server based lag down.

–(Not an unreasonable number of connections per server. Still, I’d be interested in knowing how they plan to handle the masses of people wanting to log in during busy hours. Again, I imagine it’s a queue of first-come-first-served, but t’aint dat simple.)

I don’t know which is worse, a lagged game that you san’t walk in that crashes regularly, or a game that you have to start trying to log in to an hour before you want to play… What do you bet that one of the first utilities that will come out will be a) a log in utility that you set to log you in an hour before you get home from work/schooland b) a utility that will keep you moving so that you never get kicked from the server for inactivity…

If on the other hand, there are enough servers, and they assign the maximum user base for any particular server to 2000 – 3000 people, the odds will be good that you will be able to get into your server when you want to… If you don’t log in to your server for a period of time, you are set as inactive, and they then add another new person to the server… This may work, but will require a LOT of servers from the start… I also hope that they are localized as opposed to all in one central location.

Q: Is Everquest going to be aimed at the UK market at all? Connecting to the USA causes high ping times etc. Are you going to think about this potential market (As it is currently 1am here, I guess you haven’t thought of us yet 😉

A: We are looking into international support, but I can’t commit anything at this time. I hope to be able to address these valid concerns in the future.

Q: Is there a way to know when a player has his PK button turned on or off to avoid having your own PK button turned on?

A: It will be very clear in-game whether a person is PK or not, as well as if you are about to become PK. Don’t worry, people won’t be turnning PK by accident.

–(Promises, promises. Let’s hope he’s right.)

My thoughts exactly.

Q: how big are the everquest continents going to be??

A: Well, we are continuing to build those continents as we speak, and they are getting pretty huge. I think people will be happy with the massive size of the world of Norrath.

Q: is this game absolutely require a 3dfx?

A: No, it requires a microsoft direct 3d compliant card. There will be a direct 3d AND native glide (3dfx) version of EverQuest.

Q: if I am an ogre mage how will I differ from a Human Mage?

A: You will most likely be more ugly 🙂

–(A very deft way of saying “no comment.” I’m impressed!)

And funny too (giggle).

Q: What is the situation reguarding languages in EverQuest? Will each race have a language, and you can only understand it if you speak it? And a common language?

A: Each race will have its native tongue, however there will be a common speech as well.

–(Now, this is something I think could be very interesting. If you’re a human that doesn’t understand “trollish,” and a bunch of trolls are nearby yakking in their native tongue… what happens? Is it just gibberish that comes across your dialog window, random pre-determined “trollish” phrases, meaningful “trollish” phrases based on what they’re saying in english, or something even more complex? I can imagine this could be either very simple or mind bogglingly complicated. Chances are they’re opting for the simple side.)

I’d like to see this on the more complicated side… Give the ability to learn other languages… Make it tough though… Nothing like being able to evesdrop on a conversation that the people speaking don’t think you understand… A switch for speak in common or native toung… I like this idea 🙂

Q: are the spells, skills, etc.. going to be listed soon?

A: No, we are going to wait until we are well into beta testing before listing any spells and skills. Also, because we want it to be fun for the player in the game to learn about spells and skills, there will probably never be a complete listing.

Q: Is Everquest going to be done in real time or turn based?

A: um, where’s my lawyer? 🙂
A: (real time 🙂

–(Can you imagine a TURN BASED massively multiplayer online game, with thousands of people playing at once? Eeeech, the very notion that someone bothered to ask the question is going to give me nightmares!)

I’m beginning to like Brad more and more… Two funnies in a row 🙂

Q: When can we expect EQ to hit the shelfs?

A: Sometime in the 2nd half of 1998.

Q: will there be limitiations in the skill development. i. e. will mages be limited to magic with no fighting skills

A: There are skills which all races and classes possess, such as swimming, but there are also class specific skills. So mages will have certain skills warriors don’t, and vice versa.

Q: Will there be any form of support of guilds by the SI team?

A: Yes, we plan on supporting the guild system within the game.

Q: Will there be any type of “lag meter” to determine if lag is due to server lag or simply a bad connection?

A: Yes, you can take a look at it in our Tanarus game — we want to give the player as much information regarding his connection as possible.

–(Now, this is definitely one of the issues Brad was talking about [or will be a bit later] when he mentioned learning from the mistakes of the competition. Methinks SI is doing itself a huge favor by taking this approach — not to mention us.)

I think they’ve seen that Customer Support is a BIG issue… Lets hope that they take true customer support to heart as opposed to just giving it lip service like some other unnamed games…

Q: What will the cost of the game itself be (In Store), and how much will it cost a month?

A: We haven’t yet announced official pricing, however EverQuest will certainly be competitive with other games in the same genre.

Q: How will Everquest, which is 3D…beat LAG when UO, which is 2D has been pluaged by it?

A: Actually, whether a game is 3d or 2d really has little to do with the lag people are seeing in online games. It’s typically either server side lag, or a problem with your ISP or internet connection, neither of which are related to 3d or 2d.

Q: will there be multiple or any character wipes, during beta?

A: Yes, that is unavoidable I’m afraid. We’ll attempt to keep wipes during beta to a minimum, but realistically, they will occur.

Q: what steps are you taking to ensure that the economy will be stable and what can we expect out of the economy of Norrath?

A: Essentially we are going to let the players drive the economy and not try to interfer with it much ourselves other than by making items and other valuable objects either harder or easier to get. Supply and demand will drive this economy, and what’s valuable to the players.

Q: does all elf will look the same? Will it be possible to choose hair style and stuff?

A: You will have several options in character creation in terms of customizing your appearance. Also, once in the game, what you wear and wield will also affect your appearance.

–(Considering the detail in the recent screenshots we’ve seen, my hopes are high that character appearance will be a very diverse part of the game. We can only hope.)

Q: What’s the framerate like on a moderate system such as a p200. Also, hows does it run on Voodoo2’s?

A: I really wouldn’t be very educational to reveal frame rates at this time because the games not done — we are still optimizing our engine. However, we are very pleased with the overal performance of the game. As for Voodoo 2, we are already running EverQuest on those cards, and it screams

Q: Since a spell will become weaker as more people learn it, is this a way to reduce the possibility of everybody from becoming a mage?

A: I think you are refering to a magic system being proposed by one of the other online games out there — not us 🙂

Heh… Get your FAQs straight 🙂

Q: The developers of Everquest seem to have a strong MUD background… when did they start playing online multiplayer games like this?

A: Years and years. There’s even a guy on the EverQuest team who played the first MUDs back on mainframes in college in the mid 70s!

Q: after beta testing many online games I am most concerned with longevity- how will Everquest be different in keeping the interest for the player so that boredom doesn’t set in after a few months- will there be a steep character progression curve,quests, etc?

A: Basically, you answered that one 🙂 It will take a long, long time to max out a character, and as for quests…. we didn’t call the game EverQUEST for nothing 🙂

Sounds good to me… Last time I played UO, I was able to become a Master Armsman 2/3 of a spellbook, a house and boat within 5 days… No cheating, no help… I always found the advancement to be the most fun anyway…

Q: (have server locations been determined? will there be different worlds like in UO?)

A: Each server represents a world, yes, but as for exactly where these different servers will be placed, this has not yet been determined.

Q: I am a guide on meridian 59 will you need guides on EQ

A: We are looking into allowing people from outside of Sony to possibly be GMs of some sort, however the primary GMs will definitely by Sony employees. At this time I can’t go into more details on that.

Q: can you elaborate on the switching mechanism between PK and NPK?

A: When you create a character, you will choose whether you are PK, or non PK. It is possible to switch from nonPK to PK in-game by rendering assistance to a PK player… as for switching back to nonPK, IF we allow this at all, it will involve a very long and arduous quest.

Q: Are you looking at Ultima Online so the same problems that plagued them won’t happen in Everquest?

A: I think we would be foolish not to look at those who have released games before us and to learn from both their mistakes and successes.

Q: what is the expected ratio of monsters/npc/pc?

A: Slaying monsters, solving quests, and generally adventuring is key to EverQuest, and to accomodate that, we will make sure there are plenty of NPCs around.

Q: What will be the metrics used for good vs. evil, notoriety? based on class?

A: Alignment and how it works is another topic we are keeping under wraps at this point.

–(Yet another issue I’m sure the team is scrutinizing very closely, considering the dubious “success” of other systems of notoriety.)

Q: How vital is the importance of pervious beta testing compared to RPG experience for the beta test?

A: Both are important to us.

Q: Will EQ be played over its own Servers and logins and such, or will Mplayer or some other lame Online Gaming Site be used.

A: EverQuest will run on our own servers.

Q: About when during the testing process will some of the game information be released to the public?

A: We will continue to release as much information as we can throughout closed testing. Once we are into the open beta, anyone can reveal whatever they want.

–(…In fact, this is something they’re counting on during the open beta!)

Q: What kind of notoriety system is there? And will this system keep Newbies from being killed by PK’s for the fun of it?

A: Alignment, notoriety, etc. and the system behind it is something we are keeping under wraps at this point. I will say one way to keep a newbie from being PKed for the fun of it would be for that newbie to at least begin his character as nonPK.

Q: Will the gods interact with chars, like when a cleric prays for help?

A: Our dynamic quests will be given out by GMs taking over NPCs… which NPCs, whether they be god or goblin slave… well, we shall see 🙂

Q: Will charcters be saved on HD or server?

A: All information will be kept on our severs, not on the client.

Q: will high necromancers be aloud to become liches like i heard was being considered

A: Not sure if the ‘lich option’ will make it into the first release.

Q: What will be done to curtail non-roleplay player killing?

A: Again, we cannot enforce role playing, but we can encourage it. Suffice it to say that there will be penalties for randomly killing people repeatedly.

–(“Curiouser and curiouser,” commented Alice.)

Hmmm…

Q: How will combat be handled, will it be a quake style circle and attack or a more isolated battlefield type set up?

A: I want to emphasize that EverQuest is not a ‘twitch’ game… combat happens real-time, but at a pace related to the character’s stats and the speeds of his weapons and spells, not by how quick he clicks on a mouse. So, I wouldn’t want to make any combat comparisons to Quake.

Q: Will there be social commands in EQ, like, waving, bowing, smiling, that sort of thing?

A: Yes, there will be emotes, and many of those emotes will trigger some nifty animations, like waving.

–(I wonder how far to the rude side the gestures can go? Not that it’s vitally important, per se, but it could make for interesting roleplaying possibilites! 🙂

Q: Will objects such as buildings be able to be built/destroyed, etc?

A: In general, no.

Q: can a rogue kill someone with one hit using the backstab ability? Even LARGE foes?

A: That all depends on the level of the Rogue, his skill in backstab, his attributes, and then the attributes, level, and skill of the person he’s attempting to backstab.

Q: Brad, can you take up a career as a pimp in Everquest? As an occupation…

A: A pimp is not one of the classes in EverQuest. (did I really just answer that question? 🙂

–(Yes, Brad, you did. Now we can all put our worries over this issue to rest.)

Q: Say i sneak up behind someone and backstab them with a sword. It will do more damage right? If i hit someone in the head with my sword will it do more damage than a blow to the chest? Or can you not answer this at this time?

A: Combat will be involved and the tactics you use in combat, including how and where you approach your foe, will make a difference.

Q: What will happen when I die? Will I have to find an NPC to res me or will there be designated areas? Also, will I lose my stats/skills/equipment?

A: There are significant penalites when you die — you won’t want to take death lightly. However, death is not permanent and you’ll be able to recover and continue your adventures.

–(In short, death isn’t the handicap it used to be. :P)

Q: (how will you determine who plays on what server? If you go to play on a specific server how do you know if you will be let in again at anytime?)

A: The specifics of players and logging on to servers and moving from one server to another really haven’t yet been determined.

–(Translation: “We don’t have a f@#%in’ clue right now.”)

Q: Are their limits to how far we can build our characters, such as stat or skill or level caps?

A: We are still debating as to whether there will actually be caps or limits, but we all agree that if there are, it will take a LONG time to reach them.

–(How long is “long?” I mean, a solid week is a long time when you’re expecting your STD test results, but not when it comes to godlike character development.)

And what may be long to a powergamer that plays 18 hours a day every day is a lifetime to a 2 – 3 hour / weekend player… Who will they cater to?

Q: As far as music goes on EQ, will the player be able to write their own monophonic (one voice) music for their character to play?

A: I like the idea, but at this time the music in EverQuest will be provided in-hosue.

Q: Will there Game Masters in game 24/7?

A: Yes, we will have GMs online 24/7.

–(Yeah, right… like decent people would do it any other way-… uhm, *ahem*… nevermind. 🙂

That’s all well and good, but will there be more than one of them for all servers, and will they have “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do about that.” set as a ‘Say’ macro.

Q: Approximately how strong are the dragons and wyverns found in Norrath? Will there be some wyrms that are far stronger than others?

A: The dragons are extermely high level and quite formidable foes. Wyverns, drakes, and wurms tend to be less intelligent and thus less powerful. But I’d still not want to solo one.

Q: are there any plans to allow players to take the role of monsters and fight as them?

A: Nothing concrete at this time, but we have tossed those ideas around from time to time.

Q: (is the player view frm the first person only, or can you switch between views?)

A: There are several views in EverQuest and we can pretty much more the camera anywhere we want in our real 3d world. There is first person, top-down, trailer-cam, and then several user-defined third person views.

Q: 2questions. Will there be boat to boat combat? where there will be cannons? or will you have to rely on a mage or archer to shoot at the opther boats? 2. How long vould it take to sail from one continent to the other? could it take an hour? or only like 10 minutes?

A: Yes, there will be ship combat, and as for how long it takes to sail, it all depends on how far you are sailing.

Q: what advantage do human classes have over other classes?

A: They don’t have an advantage per se — we intend to balance this game as best as we can, and to do that we need to control advantages and disadvantages that classes and races have over each other.

Q: Will users be able to have more than one character at a time?

A: Yes, you can have several characters per server, however you may only have one online at any given time.

Q: I was wondering if I kill a creature, Can I loot it?

A: Absolutely — that’s one of the best ways to acquire treasure and other nifty items.

Q: Will EQ work through a firewall?

–(“Yes, in fact it will really help boost your magic resistence!” [Okay, okay… sorry, but it had to be said!])

Not recently… But the poison fields do a god job 🙂

A: It really all depends on how your firewall is set up and what ports and such your firewall lets you have access to. We are certainly not doing anything on our end that would inhibit it from working.

Q: will you age in the game? get older?

A: That’s something we have considered, however we don’t know if it will make it in the first release.

Q: I’m sick of players abusing online RPG games by using automatic macroing technics or building up skill and magic percents by practicing on other players. M59 has this problem, but UO is worse. Will EQ players be able bulld stats and skills this way?

A: Absolutely not — the mechanism by which skills are increased in EverQuest is essentially macro-proof.

Erf… Sounds good… Heard it before though.

Q: give us a real scoop 🙂 anything..

A: Don’t swim near big, hungry fish.
A: Actually, here’s a scoop : we will be offering a rebate when you purchase EverQuest to people who own UO.

–(…and then the audience all went “Ooooooooo!” A gutsy move on SI’s part. I’m liking them better and better!)

I wonder what they’d give me for my autographed Hint Book…

Actually, they don’t even need to do this, but it will insure a MASS exodus from UO as soon as EQ goes live… Have those servers ready… Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression… Do it wrong, and you’ll have morons with names like Gram and Shadoe making wise cracks about you.

Q: From a roleplaying/power gaming perspective. Where do hope EverQuest will fit in regards to these two groups.

A: I think EverQuest is going to offer quite a bit both to the role player and to the power gamer, and I think more often than not people like to play a combination of both styles.

Q: How will advancement in non combat skills be done – just through use or a more elaborate system or perhaps are you given an overall level and awarded points to put into non combat skills as you advance in level?

A: I can’t go too much into details regarding skill increase, sorry.”

Q: Will blacksmithery be implemented, and if so, will colored armor be possible?

A: The color of armor and other items is determined by what the item is. Red dragonscale armor will apear red, while mundane chainmail will be metallic grey, etc.
A: You will be able to tell what a person is wearing by the color, shape, and details of his armor and other clothing.

3/2/98 EQ Chat Log Review
By
Okay, enough of this “no news is frustrating news” garbage we’ve had to endure for the last couple of weeks. We finally have more info to work with, courtesy of the latest EQ Chat that took place on the 2nd day of this month. I will be reviewing it, along with my own marginal opinions and comments. For those of you who’re familiar with my earlier postings, let me reassure you this is not a flame… just some thoughts of mine regarding a few choice answers to the questions.

Please note that I will often be making comparisons between EQ prophecy and UO reality, and that’s probably very untoward of me to do, considering how different the two games are going to be on many levels. Nevertheless, Ultima Online is the only real “control” for this “experiment,” so naturally it will be the standard against which EQ’s success/failure is measured. What I’m trying to say is if anyone has a problem with that, I suggest they put their fingers in their ears and hum really loud.

So, without further delay…

———-

First of all, I’d like to welcome Aradune to one of our chats again
and thank him for coming
Let me explain how the chat works
The people named Relay are the ones who will relay questions to the channel
Please message them with your questions
Not me or the other ops 🙂
try not to ask questions that have been answered previously
and have fun
Again, welcome Aradune
Let’s go. 🙂
Please don’t send me direct messages guys — I just really don’t have time to respond.
*Brandon-1* Approximately how many phases will there be? How long do you think these phases will be?
*At this point Aradune gets Nuked by some UO fan =)… so we have to wait a bit while we get him hooked up w/ a secure connection…*

–(…and who says UO players are immature? Okay, okay, cheap shot, I know.)

we are putting Aradune on a safe connection.
ok
he is set
Please message them with your questions
Also, keep nick changs down to the barest of minimums
We really have no idea how many phases there will be — as many as necessary. We will test certain aspects of the game with one phase, and when that’s finished, we’ll move on to the next.

–(This sounds dangerously familiar… though I still remain hopeful that Sony Interactive has what it takes to do things right.)

*Thayer* Are the classes of magic in EverQuest individual to each class that uses them? For example, can any class learn from 2 different classes of magic?
As to how long they’ll be — well, until we’ve tested what we’ve wanted to for that phase. There is really no way to predict this stuff accurately ahead of time.
Most of the spells are unique to that class, however there is some overlap. For instance, both a cleric and a shaman can cast healing spells. The exact nature of these spells and their names might be different though.
How much AI will monsters have? Such as pack movements.
The AI is pretty sophisticated depending upon the intelligence of the monsters or other creatures involved. Groups of monsters will act like packs and attack that way as well.

–(Again, very familiar words. “Open mind, Shadoe, open mind…”)

*Brandon-1* Can you give us an approxima
al, or will updates require periodic downloads?
*EB_Ueser* Does the new modeling system allow for gulid skins or are you going to wait till post ship to impliment that (if ever)?
The new modeling system does indeed allow for guild skins and it is our intent to support those at ship, not after. How many guilds we can support though is still undetermined.

–(This, I don’t know how they plan on pulling off. If the number of guilds in Ultima Online is any indication of the massive number of skin graphics they’re going to have to include in EQ, then the minimum client hard drive space required just shot up to about 2 gigs. Perhaps if they had a minimum number of guild membership enrollments in order for a guild to qualify for a skin, that would keep it to a sane level.)

*FL_Oghma* Could you tell us more about how exp will be used to buy levels, stats, or skills?
Experience isn’t used to buy skills or stats per se. Your skills go up as you use them, but they can only go up so much per level, and then also at certain levels you are allowed to learn new skills.
*UW_Iimz* Hail Arudane, What will be one of the main trouble spots that you will ask the first beta testers to focus on?
Probably the stability of the client, our servers, and the network portion of the code.
*Brandon-1* Will Monsters gain experience? Will they be tougher in their native habitats?
Monsters don’t gain experience, no, but they will fight differently depending on the terrain and time of day.

–(This I gotta see!)

what (if any) innate abilites does the ogre have besides pure strength and stamina?
I’ll give you two — the ability to body slam their opponent, and also bash doors.

–(Looks like the ogre will be a popular race among the players. More so than I thought at first.)

*IW_Tallis* Do you intend to allow for voulenteer GM’s who can lead their friends on quests, or will it be your hired ones only?
At this point the plan is to allow some members of the public to be GMs, but I doubt at the same level of access and abilities as those who are Sony Employees.

–(Whoa, hang on here for a second. GM players? Hmmmm… does this bode well? I have to say, this makes me a tad uneasy, unless they intend to give these player GMs roughly the same power as counselors in UO… in which case they’re basically powerless to effect any real change in the game, which further means they’re not much of a GM, are they? Needless to say, this whole idea raises my eyebrow when it comes to its dubious wisdom.)

*Jaxom* What are your strategies for preventing “topping-out” with experience points?
At this point experience caps aren’t planned, however it will become harder and harder to make levels, so it should take some time to reach higher levels.

–(Yes, this is a good thing. Especially when you consider that a lot of the checks and balances in the game will be implemented by restrictions between the classes and races. You can have a totally badass wizard human, but besting an equally badass warrior troll can be questionable, all things considered.)

*Brandon-1* Will quests be reserved for larger guilds, or will we see NPC dictated adventure for those who opt for a party-based system?
Please only send questions to 1 relay only please
There will be plenty of quests for all sorts of people, whether individual, or in parties, or members of large guilds. As for GM run quests, we don’t have infinite time and resources, so these will be limited, but not necessarily limited only to guilds.
Brad, Do you plan on having all races and classes in the first phases? or do you plan to only have a couple at first?
All races and classes.

–(Whew! I stayed up nights paralyzed in cold sweats worrying about that very issue.)

*Deathhound* Brad will there be player owned vendors in the game and will they have a weight and item limit
We think a significant portion of the economy will be people who buy, sell, and trade in towns and elsewhere. We don’t feel we need to make them merchants ‘officially’ for them do be able to do this, nor do they require any additional abilities. Basically, anyone can be a merchant or a vendor.

–(This question was either very deftly dodged by Brad, or he didn’t fully comprehend it at the time. Either way, I get the distinct impression that the economy system in EQ isn’t going to be as touchy as it is in Ultima Online. In short, it’s not that pivotal to the rest of the game. Still the question remains, will player characters be able to hire NPCs for purposes of sales and mercenary work? I don’t recall reading about this in any FAQs.)

*Whiskey1* There is a lot of oceans in Norrath. Will there be an opportunity for pirating and/or ship-to-ship combat?
Can’t go into details on ships at this point, sorry.
*Thayer* How will repopulation of NPC’s and Monsters be accomplished? Are measures in place to assure that a Monster doesn’t just “respawn” next to someone and attack?
The repopulation portion of the server is very robust, and we can set an NPC to not repop if anyone else is around. But then that’s not always a bad thing in my opinion, so some NPCs might pop near players.

–(Since spawn rates and methods were such a peeve with UO in the beginning, I’m very curious to see what SI has up its sleeve [if anything])

*FL_Kickah* We have heard alot about capping the player population at 1000 per server. Any idea about how many “on line” GMs you will have on duty during peak hours?
No idea at this point — that’s the kind of thing we will determine toward the end of beta.
*FL_Zealot* How severe will the NDA be? For example, can we maintain journals of our beta adventures if we do not make specific technical references or include pictures?
*I’d like to remind people not to send messages to EVERY RELAY, it makes us have to sort through them for duplicates*
and i hate sorting
the NDA for the first few phases will have to be very strict, which means no information regarding the game can be published.

–(Ouch! They must have an extremely strict filtering method for the first few betas, if they intend to keep a lid on its goings on. Can they really enforce this? I have misgivings that they can.)

*EoNXaphoo* Mr. McQuaid: Will Everquest allow rogues or perhaps other classes to use aliases or change their names or appearance? Perhaps through a skill?
We’re working on something like that, but aren’t sure if it will make it in the first release.
*Ziv* Can a chars house be damaged or looted when the char is offline, such as in a raid?
A house or hall is only as safe as you make it.

–(Very safe answer… I’m impressed. Eat your heart out, OSI!)

*aocdaddyC* Are horses yet created as a means of travel. And if not, have you ever considered the possibility of dragon travel. This also opens the option of Air-to-air combat
Horses are still an unknown at this point. I’d have to say air to air combat and dragon riding won’t be in.

–(I hope this settles things for those shmucks who kept devoutly proclaiming all during UO’s pre-beta days that they were going to tame a dragon and ride on its back as it flew them all over Britannia.)

*Strife|* I see a resemblance to TorilMUD in Everquest, was it one of the places you got ideas from?
We have a team with a lot of background in all sorts of RPGs and MUDs, and have played many, including Toril.
*DarkAnvil* Are you guys gonna try to make sure that every class is equal and has the same advantages? In alot of games magery has been the most powerful skill and over shadows others
game balance is very important to us, including class balancing. We want to make sure all of the classes have compelling reasons behind them to play them, and want to make sure they are all useful in the game.

–(“Brad? I miss Ultima Online, and I feel no need for any sort of diversity. So, could I be a human warrior/mage who can wear a complete suit of plate armor, and still cast every spell in the book? Please??”)

*EoNJarr0d* It seems so far that a lot of people are comparing EQ to Ultima Online. Well, i don’t like that. But my question is, how can EverQuest improve on Ultima Online since UO is currently the leading online game of the era?
It is not our intent to ‘improve’ upon UO, since our game isn’t based on UO. Certainly we would be foolish not to learn from our competitors strengths and weaknesses, however EverQuest is a different game than UO.

–(If Brad had responded any other way to this question, I would have fainted dead away.)

*aocdaddyC* keyboards and mouses are good, though can joysticks work as well
No immediate plans to support joysticks, but I wouldn’t rule it out. We are supporting mouse and keyboard currently, but are looking into other devices. *done*
*AzIoM* How is the gameplay going to be thru a 28.8 connection? I have played all the online rpgs and the lag seems to be a big problem. Do you think EQ is going to be better in terms of ‘lag’ than say ultima online currently is?
I don’t think most of the lag people are experiencing on these games is because they are using a 28.8. It’s usually either server based lagged or their ISPs, or somewhere in the ineternet between them and the servers. We are designed the game such that we aren’t sending out more data than a 28.8 can handle.

–(Hmmm… kinda makes you feel good about having bought that 56k modem specifically for playing online games, doesn’t it?)

We are doing several things to reduce lag, including using very mature network code (decended from our Tanarus game), as well as keeping the number of people down per server, to reduce server lag.

–(Okay, I know there are about three gazillion players out there who are going to protest having to wait their turn to log into the EQ server[s]. I’d be interested in seeing, by a raise of hands, how many people think it would be worth it paying this price to eliminate any sign of server-side lag, and how long they think is too much time to wait. Maybe that would be a good question for EQ Vault’s Poll Station, no? Personally, I don’t think I’d have a problem waiting for 5-7 minutes to play. BUT, it’s not as simple as that. What happens to people who are accidentally cut off from the game? Once booted, do they have to wait in line again, just so they can rejoin their adventuring party? My guess is that if they manage to reconnect within the 5 minute [?] timeout for their characters, they would be allowed to jump right back in. That’s just speculation on my part, but it’s plausible enough.)

*Nite* will monks/martial artists all have the samle fighting and ability skills? or will there be differences attributable to diferent “styles” of fighting with differing specialites based on style?
I think what you are asking is whether their will be sub-classes, in particular sub-classes for the monk class. At this time we aren’t planning to include sub-classes for the release of the game.
Beta Testing: when, where, how… what can you tell us?
The applications will be up within the next couple of weeks, but as to when the actual tests will start, all I can say is when we are ready. We’re trying not to rush things so we can do it right, however we are working long and hard to get the game to a point where it’s testable by people outside Sony.
[19:41] *EoNJarr0d* How can EQ ensure an equal playing ground for all players including those who are joining in for the first time but considerably after the game is established?
I’m not sure what you’re asking there — are you refering to advantages a long time player, or a player who plays many hours, has over a newbie? Please rephrase the question and moderators please ask it again. *done*
*FL_stump* will hybrid races be able to cast their respective spells with weapons armed?
You don’t have to remove your weapons to cast a spell, no.
*Og`* Alot of debate has been brought up about how hard it will be do raise skillz ect, how will skillz be raised? Will it be on a level/distribute points scale or more along the lines of practice alot while you level?
Your skills go up as you use them, but they can only go up so much per level, and certain skills won’t be available to the player until he reaches certain levels.
*DolemiteO* does everquest have an advanced physics system, where a “cold” spell will freeze water, or a “heat” based spell possibly burn items, such as pants
The physics system is very robust, however objects in the world do not freeze or burn as you describe.
Can you comment on the availablity of boats and houses? Will they be in the individual ownershop or guild only price range?
I don’t want to say ‘guild only’, but they will be very expensive and you won’t see many who have them — boats and houses are exotic items in EverQuest, something you’ll have to work hard and long for and can be very proud of owning.

–(Another thing that makes you go “hmmmm.” I got the same impression about boats and houses in UO during its pre-beta days. But contrary to that, nowadays Britannia more resembles a thriving metropolis on some shards. Let’s hope SI can deliver on what Brad’s saying here.)

*SirDash* Will combat be conducted in a 3d shooter style manner or in a UO style where you simply double click to attack and let the ai take over
Closer to the UO style, because this is not a ‘twitch’ game, but not identical to UO either.

–(I have to admit, this answer has me curious.)

*aocSmegal* If Everquest sells well in the Asia/Pacific area, or anywhere outside of USA will there be servers put up in those regions or will they be given the shaft ala EA with UO?
At this point it’s too early to commit to servers outside the US, but we are definitely looking into it and want international players to enjoy the world of EverQuest as well.
*Reefer* How will the money system work? IE just gold, or Gold, silver, and copper, all of certain worths?
Several types of coins, with different worths. Also, some gems and such. *done*
Brad, will there be small scattered islands surrounding the larger continents, or just 1 or 2 islands?
I suggest you explore the world and find out — I don’t want to take away the surprise and fun of exploration.
*Tarans* Earlier Someone asked about ogres innate abilitys Will you be able to Devulge Other abilitys for the other races? (maybe just a few??)
I’ll release a few skills and spells here and there until we are much closer to open beta, but don’t expect anywhere’s near a complete list. *done*
*Plug* Will the programmers actually play the game or will they just take input from their “playing” designers?
When I assembled the team I made sure many of the artists, programmers, and world builders were into this genre. The entire team’s input counts and they’ve all contributed to this game quite a bit. Accordingly I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see most all of them play the game quite often. This is a game we’ve all wanted to make and PLAY for many years.

–(I wonder if the UO design team has any interest in playing their game, for its own sake? Anyone? Anyone?)

*IPASpro* what will happen if you die? do you ressurect instantly, have to look for a healer or do something else?
Not going to go into details on death at this point other than to say it’s not permanent, but there will be significant penalities, such that you won’t want to take dying lightly.
*|Rayne* How to do intend to build an online cohesive society in EverQuest? What elements do you think will add to this environment?
I think the focus we have on this not just being a player vs. player game but rather also a very cooperative game will help build a sense of community. Allowing people to group, to talk to other party members, and to talk to people regardless of where they are will help this. And the ability to split experience amongst a group will add to this as well. Also, keeping the server population down will enable people to recognize names more easily.
Will you be able to have striped or streaked hair? Or hair of different color like Pink or Green
You can choose several options when you create your character, but within certain limits, those limits usually pertaining to the race you’ve chosen. An example, a troll’s skin is green, so you won’t find pink trolls running around.
*Doomslaye* Will there be unique items, such that only one or a few people will have them? And also, are magic items
in general in abundance or scarce?
STOP DCC CHATTING THE RELAYS
There will be unique items called artifacts and I don’t expect too many people to be awarded them, but please feel free to prove me wrong :). As for magical items, yes, many. A significant part of EQ is the ammassing of magical items with all sorts of nifty abilities.

–(Hey, Moorcock fans… how about the first 20 players to log on to EQ gets their own artifact sword named “Stormbringer?” Woo hoo!)

*EB_Ueser* How much will the God you chose to warship affect your character. Is spirituality just a role-playing guideline like alignment or does it have in-game effects (diferent blessings from diferent gods)?
It definitely affects your player in the game.
*WarDragon* I was wondering if houses are *WarDragon* I was wondering if houses are restricted to certain areas. Also, will you be abel to set restrictions on who can enter the house?
Let me say this about houses — you won’t find them scattered arbitrarily all over the world.
Im asking this again in case you lost it with all them disconnects… Will there be strenght limits on weapons and armor? to balance out the game. Haveing powerful mages with very powerful armor is not good, and will your hands have to be empty to cast spells?
There will be limits to who can wield and use different times, and this is indeed to balance the game. To cast spells you do not have to remove the weapons in your hands.
*MPOGNews* When people talk in Everquest will the text go above there heads or on a chatscreen? I think it would be
good if there was a chatscreen but have it so that you only hear the closest 12 or so people on the screen. I think that
would be better than it appearing over there heads as they walk around. Thanks.
There is a chat screen under the 3d view — messages do not appear above player’s heads. One of the reasons for this (but there are many) is that you can receive ‘tells’ from people anywhere in the world, not just people in your view.

–(I wonder if MPOGNews ever used Worlds Chat? 😉

*Og`* Will there be a “decay” rate, as in certain items only last so long? This would prevent certain ppl from having the “invincible” set of eq and require them to actually go out and get it again?
No Comment
*Whiskey1* Will rivers be barriers to travel without swim skill? If so, will bridges/ferrys come into play? (As strategic chokepoints)
There will be ferrys and bridges and you can swim.
2 questions. Will you be able to hire guards (NPCs) to guard your hosue or boats? can you put a boat somewhere where it can be safe? (harbor)
question2
how much gold will a first lvl monster give you about? how much is the most one will give?(any lvl) and then how much would a boat or house cost right now?
It wouldn’t be beneficial you tell you gold amounts, because you have nothing to relate the number to, and also because costs and values of things will change drastically during testing.

–(I just love questions like this question #2. Brad could have come out and said, point-blank, that houses cost anywhere from 100 to 350 gold Qeynos duckets, and the asker would be no closer to knowing how much they really cost than he was before he asked the question. Can you say “aspiring vice-presidential candidate?”)

*Kuno* will the game have weather affects? if so, will the terrain and its surrounding change with the weather?
There will be weather effects, including rain and snow, and they will change the physics model of the area you are in. An example: surfaces will become slippery when it snows.
*Abzzstain* Will there be an “official” EQ-sponsored board/messaging system for roleplay stories, etc., or will it all need to be done on private sites?
So far the unofficial sites are doing a great job and service to the EQ community, providing message boards and other useful tools and info to people interested in this game.

–(These SI guys are no fools. They know exactly where you go to find out the latest and greatest information on a recently released game… and he’s here to tell ya, it ain’t at its source.)

*LoMax`* If the game is hackable, how will the hackers be dealt with, if caught?
They will be banned from the game, and we will look into legal courses of action as well.

–(Computer security has become a serious matter on the electronic frontier… especially for the computer game industry. If someone breaks into any proprietary computer at a game company — be it a kickin’ game server or boring database cruncher — you’d better believe the consequences will be swift and severe. However, I’d be anxious to ask Brad about SI’s policy on bug exploiters.)

Will characters be able to choose their starting location or will that be determinded by race?
Are all elves able to see in the dark or just Dark Elfs?
Will their be different weapons based on race? ie: A dwarven Axe or an Elven Bow?
If your skills go up only so much per level, how will you go up in level, will a message pop up saying “You have just gone up in level”??
It is determined by race, however some races are more flexible than other in terms of where they can begin in the world.
Elves in general are able to see in the dark. And items can be restricted to certain races, classes, etc.
[20:38] *FL_Zass_* Will two weapon fighting be limited to the warrior/ranger class, or will it be availible to a wider range of classes (rogues and paladins?)
Depends on how testing goes — if one class is determined to be too weak, we might add more skills and abilities to that class. So it’s really too early to say exactly which races and classes will have what abilities and skills, other than a few general and obvious ones.
*Og`* Will there be a “rent” system? As to where you must rent whatever you have when you logout in an town inn, the more powerful the object the higher rent ect?
You can rent at inns, and camp in the wilderness. As for upkeeps for your equipment, that is undetermined at this time.
*WarDragon* Are boats hollow? i.e wil things be able to be stowed away below deck, and will you be able to go down into the boat?
The larger ships are indeed explorable and have rooms and such.
I hope we did better this month, and I’ll see you next month.
Also, please be sure to fill out the applications for beta coming in the next couple of weeks.
Remember that everyone who fills out an app is guaranteed into the last phase of the closed beta.
Thanks all, and good night.
———-

* takes a bow, and exits stage left*

Interiew with Rosie Cosgrove


EverQuest Interview (page1/2)

To follow up on the interview in the Jan issue of GR, we are proud to bring to an interview with EverQuest’s lead Artist, Rosie Cosgrove:

Can you briefly introduce yourself and your role in this project?
My name is Rosie Cosgrove — I am the Lead Artist on EQ. I manage and direct the art team as well as do art myself. When I started on the team two and a half years ago it was primarily to do world texture maps, then objects, interface art, and finally models.

There’s a deluge of sources from medieval woodcuts and folklore through to Tolkein’s bestiaries, Dungeons & Dragons and finally to contemporary games such as Diablo. What influenced your creations, and how did you decide on the expected forms (such as Trolls and Ogres) of the monsters (and characters) the game has a plentiful supply of?
When I was made lead I had a general idea of the style and appearance of the player characters, mostly based on how I would want to look walking around in a fantasy game. I wanted them to have richness, depth, and clarity, and the sexiness of super heroes. At first I thought they should fall into categories of strong and sexy, funny, or scary. As its turned out I don’t think they fit into categories at all, maybe because they seem more like creatures than caricatures. I think a turning point in the characters was when I referred to the first one, a Dark Elf female as “her” instead of “it”. For me it seemed like at that moment she became real and in a bizarre way I started kind of caring about her. Then again maybe I was just starting to crack from lack of sleep. For the monsters, designer Bill Trost, comp artist Rick Schmitz, and I let our imaginations go crazy in brainstorming sessions where we wrote long lists of cool monsters. Rick sketched up samples and we picked them according to what was best for game play and what was coolest.

How many different beasties have you and your team constructed, including variants of the same creature (e.g. skeletons)?
At first we thought we’d try to do 40 unique monsters – HA, HA! As we went along we all got faster and more motivated, and before we knew it we had well over 100! In the beginning we also did variations, for example we did 3 Gnoll variations, but in time we found tricks to make more totally unique monsters.

How do you go about constructing the monsters, how many polygons are they, how are they animated and what’s been your toughest assignment so far?
Artist Milo Cooper, one of those rare artists who can code, models most of the characters in Alias. Then we bring them into 3D Studios Max and put the maps on and animate them. The toughest challenge for the character team was the many, many player characters and their multiple clothing sets, since we had to get them done really fast. It required a period of working so long and hard I’d drop off to sleep and dream I was still working. I’d even have trouble waking up because I felt like I had to save first. After we got through that we could relax and have more fun with the monsters.

What are the biggest and smallest critters you’ve created?
The smallest currently are the faeries, pixies, brownies, faery drakes, and the like, while the biggest are the Dragons.

What are your favorite artists?
I prefer the masters, especially Van Gough’s paintings and drawings and Rodin’s sculpture. Rick Schmitz likes Rodin too — he adds to the list Monet, Durer, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and the other turtles.

From the initial sketches to the finished (and intelligent) monster roaming the hillside or desert, how long does a typical monster take to create.
3-4 days till we put them in the game and they are ready to get content added.

With the hills, valleys and various flora and fauna (such as trees and moss covered pillars), where did inspiration come from for these items, and how easy are they to create? How many different environments did you create, and which is your favorite?
Hills and Valleys are part of world geometry — all of the “outdoor” areas are created in 3d Studio Max by artist Scott McDaniel. There are over 70 zones total and I can’t really say there’s one I like best because the other zones would get jealous. It’s hard to say where ideas for stuff comes from… sometimes texturing ideas came out of sheer late night must-crank-on-textures-or-I’m-not-going-home type desperation inspiration, which I often find very effective. I also took pictures of grass and trees, and we cruised the net, libraries and bookstores for photo references of places that had the feel of what we wanted. Cazic Thule comes originally from ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins, while Solusek’s Eye has ancient cave paintings like those in Nat’l Geographic, and Akanon has a green glow and industry like “City of Lost Children”. A lot of stuff just kind of grew on itself with input from everyone on the team – the Bixies, for example. Bill saw a Pixie and started laughing about having a bee girl like the one in the Blind Melon video that would sting people. The next day I made one out of a Dwarf female and a Pixie, just to make him laugh, and then Rick animated her and we had Bixies in the game. Those are the times when we are really having a good time and doing cool things that make this job seem like more like playing than working.

How did you go about the motion-capture? Why are your Orcs purple and why are Deathfists green? Are there any creatures that you couldn’t create?
The way we went about the motion capture was that we captured it, applied it to the characters and then proceeded to do them all by hand instead. I think the industry, with the exception of sports, is finally moving away from motion capture. I can’t explain why the Orcs are the colors they are except that artist Rick Johnson, our resident genius texture maker, made them that way. Don’t worry though, there are several other Orcs you’ve probably not seen yet.

Will the final game have different body types for each character?
Yes.

What monsters are you most looking forward to discovering?
I’m always excited about whatever is new. Right now it’s a very cool ghost and a vampire.

GR would like to thank Rosie, 989 Studios and Sony for this interview. Check back soon to see the third and final interview from the team.

© Sony Ltd. 1999, © 989 Studios. 1999, all rights reserved.