Everquest 3 Contrarian

There’s been a little discussion of late about the nature of Everquest 3. Tipa has been proposing that EQ3 will use the client/server model that seems to work so well for Free Realms. This model works by streaming data as the user plays, not by downloading a single large patch before playing. Ogrebears has taken the opposite viewpoint in that a hypothetical Everquest 3 would have a much larger data footprint than Free Realms which would make a streaming data model impractical (for a number of reasons.)

So why are we talking about Everquest 3?

Well, it appears that SOE have a new project in the works, and that this project has been the destination for a couple of high profile members of the EQ:OA and EQ2 teams. (Sorry, I read this the other day and can’t find the article.) This would seem to suggest that the new project is something at least related to Everquest.

However, I’m going to disagree with Tipa’s premise. I don’t believe that SOE are developing Everquest 3. I think that the effect that EQ2 had on EQ1 is reason enough for them to go for a new IP.

Everquest 2 had a big impact on Everquest: Online Adventures. Players left for the new game and didn’t come back when EQ2 wasn’t what they had hoped for. (Some did come back, true, but WoWs arrival a few months later siphoned off a lot of disillusioned EQ2ers.)

So with both Everquest and Everquest 2 now seeing a measure of stability — a player base that seems fairly healthy and consistent — why would SOE jeopardize this by releasing another sequel?

But if the potential for destabilizing the existing playerbase is an issue, the other is lack of freedom. If SOE decide to go the EQ3 route they are constrained to follow the existing lore of both games closely. The alternative is to risk alienating the players who love the world and lore of Norrath. The big advantage of developing a new IP is that the developers can pretty much do anything they want, go in any direction they want. And the players get something fresh and new.

Finally, as has been pointed out before, there’s a perception that MMORPG sequels don’t tend to do all that well. Having said that, there have been precious few sequels to be able to validate this, and (as I believe) it has more to do with managing expectation and execution rather than the fact of being a sequel. But, there’s a perception of greater risk with sequels, and I’d have thought this would have been taken into account by SOE’s marketing department.

So I just don’t think the new game will be EQ3 set on Norrath. I’m expecting something new.

Of course, I also don’t see how Hollywood can justify doing sequels and remakes of old movies and TV shows out the wazoo either.

As just an aside, developing a new project is expensive. Given the current recession, perhaps this is a big part of why SOE have canned The Matrix Online, to open up some funds for whatever it is they are developing.

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  2. Brad

    Um, if you think EQ and EQ2 have “healthy” community numbers you are mistaken…from 2004, i bet you the population has fallen 400%..an thats not exaggerating.

  3. Gellor

    Ok ive been playing eq2 for a 2 weeks now , I say eq2 is ok pop wise , Yes it is not where it was a launch , but there are only like 15 servers now , and all seem to be populated just fine except for two low pop one . Is it WOW sized no but it is still alive . I have found the community is much different then wows .

  4. Stropp (Post author)

    I guess ‘healthy’ is relative.

    I see a players on even during the odd oceanic times, there always seems to be someone around, and that’s in the low level areas on Lucan Dlere. I’m told that the high level areas have a better pop. Maybe someday…

    Yes, a lot has changed, but EQ2 still has enough players to justify SOE developing another expansion (also with EQ). If the game wasn’t ‘healthy’ I doubt they’d be spending money on an expansion.

  5. Gellor

    I did a who on Lucan De Lure last night in Greater Faydark and got 21 + players , Ive seen quite a few people in the low zone — and this is at 10 pm – 1am est . Not exactly peak . So Healthy is right . I still need to look you up Stropp , I created a new toon ive gotten him to lvl 18 quick

    Shaneo Lvl 18 Dirge .

  6. Stropp (Post author)

    I’m playing as Bargears at the moment, 20 SK and have been taking it slow, working on my AAs and tradeskills. Currently 20/24/27 Carpenter.

  7. ride54

    I just tested the 14day trial of EQ2 and will probably stay.
    I got a Lotro Lifetime account, but Lotro sucks after 4 months I’ve seen everything and its way too small. I even have raised 5 twink to near Lv60…
    EQ2 is way bigger and better than Lotro.
    I hate WOW for its silly comic style.
    EQ3 would be great too :_)

  8. Gellor

    I have to agree on LOTRO , i also have a lifetime account , Every time i start to play it allot again it get burned out very quickly , I have a lvl 48 capt Ive had since beta , and i get stuck lvling him every time . I also have a lvl 20 Dwarf Guard . Maybee its the classes ive played , So so far EQ 2 very fun .

  9. EQ_CazicThule

    The Matrix Online was canned because of its attachment to the Matrix line of movies, the license contract was over. That’s why it was canned, not because it was a horrible game, I actually think it was self sustaining, it wasn’t GREAT, but I think they mite have been breaking even.

  10. Stropp (Post author)

    @EQ_CazicThule – That may be so, but don’t forget SOE would have had an option to renew the licence. Either the negotiations priced it out of reach (which I doubt), or SOE simply didn’t consider the cost to renew worth while. If they had been making money off MO, I doubt they wouldn’t have renewed.

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  12. Tony

    For me to play a new EQ game, they would have to close EQ1 or EQ 2 First..

  13. Nagafen*

    I can’t say YeY or Neei if SOE makes an EQ3..because I am still happy with EQ2.

    I’ve been playing EQ2 since the beginning, and I still love it!
    I tried different mmorpg’s from the “comic-style” WoW, Warhammer to Conan and so on, I gave them 2-3months of playtime, but still I went back to EQ2 because I missed 1) community, 2) graphics 3) PvP and ofc. 4) the Raiding.
    Imho. EQ2 has the best raiding zones+raid mobs compared to the other mmorpg’s out there.
    Another thing is that PvPing in EQ2 has become the biggest thingy in EQ2, so if you want action, start playing PvP on nagafen, I can recommend it to you.

    I remember the times when EQ2 was totally buggy and had some major delay issues with “zoning” to other zones and the stiff/slow graphics with animations it was even required a new computer to have a lag-free playtime…well, that was the time when many players stopped playing it.
    Now a days it’s nothing like it anymore.

    *EQ2 is growing everyday!

  14. Hak

    @ Nagafen, dude absolutely. My friend got me into EQ2, I watched him play a couple of times and just seeing it made me want it sooooooooo bad. Therefore, I spent some money and built my own computer, it runs on high res pretty much across the board. Absolutely fantastic. After a while I wanted to try others, I went through a few, WoW, Lineage, Vanguard. Couldn’t find a decent comparison. And as for the community in EQ2, better than any other MMO out there. WoW is filled with wiener kids who feel its necessary to complain about anything and everything. There was a time on WoW where I was reading the chats and someone said “F*cking GC nerfed Pallys, I’m quitting!” and then 10 or 15 other people joined in making this guy seem like a genius. Same scenario in EQ2, dude mentioned Furies and Shadowknights have been “nerfed harsh”, the EQ2 community responded a little differently. Told the guy to shut up and pick a new class if he doesn’t like it.

    The problem I found with other MMO’s is that the vocal minority have a greater voice than the silent majority.

  15. Anonymous

    I have also made the rounds of MMOs and think that EQ2 is the best of them all. For things to do in game, it’s the most dynamic. Meaning that solo quest archs can be just as rewarding as the heroic and raid stuff. (At least for the gaming experience if not the in-game rewards). Housing, collection quests, the world events, Lore and Legend quests–there is just so much to do for characters of all levels and play styles.

    Then, as a long-time player of EQ1 (I’ve also played EQOA briefly–loved it), there is the history of Norrath. EQ2 evokes nostalia. Revisiting zones (Faydwer and Kunark are two of the best ex-pacs I have ever played for any game of any genre), the Heritage quests, the ghost of Holly Windstalker–it’s a lot of fun to see how everything has changed, and to find new ways of interacting within our second planet.

    This is why I would welcome EQ3. But I pray that they can avoid emmulating WoW. For me, LotRO, WoW, Vanguard, Aion, among other MMOs, all have the same feel. They are just clones of each other in the graphics, the interface, the quest logs, combat, etc. EQ2 stands out from them. EQ3 should do the same. And hopefully, though it seems that SOE does not learn from their mistakes, it will not release the game hastily as in EQ2, or have the same problems that Vanguard had. Because the developement of EQ3 would likely be done in house from its concenption, it will avoid the situations like the Vanguard debacle. But who knows; SOE knows how to screw things up.

    EQ3, to be successful, will have to be the second coming. EQ2 dissillusioned too many players at its release to have fulfilled the role–which sucks because with all the changes and updated content it is one of the best games out there. And it better be PC-based!

  16. Yetian

    I hope they do make an EQ3 and that they go for a mix of EQ and EQ2, you don’t have to stick to the mass market to make good money. A smaller market with customers who stay around longer can bring in just as much cash for the company.

    I have a post on my blog MMO-Symposium (linked via my nam in this comment) with lots of comments about a possible EQ3, Sony have hinted there will be another visit to Norrath though they didn’t say it would be EQ3.

    By the way, I’m going to drop a link to this blog on MMO-Symposium hope ihat’s ok?

  17. Delboy

    All this yapping about EQ2 is kinda making me wonder if I should pop back into it once more. Last time I was on tho it seemed a little bit empty. Splitpaw server I think I was on as am from Ireland and wanted a Euro server.

    Anyone think it would be worth trying a US server and poping back in?

    Thanks in advance.

  18. Stropp (Post author)

    @Delboy — I’d recommend for getting back into EQ2, but then again I’m slightly biased as I quite like the game.

    If you want to try a US server, I’d recommend Antonia Bayle as it’s probably the busiest of them. I’m on Lucan D’Lere with the Halasian Empire guild there and don’t find it all that quiet. However, I’m in the Aussie timezone and find a lot of US players play at the edges of my day.

    The other factor to take into account, is that EQ2 is a mature game and hence most players are at the level cap. Consequently it can be pretty difficult to get a group at anything much lower than 70-80. If you can find a good guild that will help with that, but you’ll still probably do a bit of soloing on the way up.

  19. Delboy

    Cheers Stropp. I am back in and playing away. Back in Splitpaw and its no too bad. Think I’ll continue playing for a while. I see a few ppl running around, all high lvl to me, so at least I dont feel like I am playing a single player game.

    Dont really mind soloing as long as other ppl are on to chat with as I am in not rush to ping max lvl asap.

    Might have a look at US server and see who is on. My times are all messed up as I do shift work so its all the same to me.

  20. Anonymous

    I would be ecstatic if they would REMAKE classic EverQuest and make it look totally awesome – perhaps while integrating the best elements of EQOA, EQ2, and Free Realms. A ton of former EQ players miss the game which was, for many of us, the first MMO we ever played. Forget WoW. It’s an immature game with immature players. Sony ought to cater to the thousands of alienated, nostalgic fans of the EQ franchise who want risk and challenges along with a mature and adventurous atmosphere.

  21. Era

    lol @ “Well, it appears that SOE have a new project in the works, and that this project has been the destination for a couple of high profile members of the EQ:OA and EQ2 teams. (Sorry, I read this the other day and can’t find the article.) This would seem to suggest that the new project is something at least related to Everquest.” since they just announced EQ2X Free2Pay

  22. Era

    I do agree that EQ2 is the best MMO around today and coming soon(tm). I don’t play anymore because of how they’ve killed the fun of pvp for me, but if you didn’t play it when it was good, it might be good enough still.

  23. Dinfryn

    Hey, good to hear about you again Orgebears! Its Dae by the way… Here’s my thought, if SoE was wise and wanted to avoid troubles like they did in the past, they should integrate whatever new version of eq into the current one. So in other word, eq2 would become eq3 but nothing would change to the user, except maybe new graphics and content. But i think they do that already…

  24. svann

    I think a new world would be best. I always thought that the design of the classes, races, and combat was more important than the lore. Not that lore is unimportant, just not as important. Anyway, we saw the same or similar world twice now. The second time worked just for nostalgia but it wont work a third time. There is no gaming like eq, but you cant go back to norrath too many times. Make a new world to explore.

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