EverQuest II
John Smedley Explains Recent Interview Comments

The president of Daybreak takes to Reddit to explain a recent comment about old school MMOs.

During a recent interview, Daybreak President John Smedley was quoted as stating the following:

"I firmly believe the days of the WoW-style MMO are over," Smedley said. "And that means we have to change with the times. Luckily, we were kind of early on that bus as opposed to late. But we're changing what we're making. Look at H1Z1. Is it an MMO? Sure, by definition, but I would consider it a session-based online game with a lot of people. And I say that because the average life expectancy in H1Z1 might be 45 minutes, and that's what today's gamers want. How many people do you still know that are still raiding in WoW every night, or EverQuest and EverQuest II? It's just the time commitment necessary has changed so much. That means we need to change with the times, and we are. So we're getting interested in a broader array of games and gaming styles."

Today he took to Reddit to explain the above. The full response is after the jump; here's the main point of it here:

"I was asked in the interview about what things we're doing differently for our new games going forward and that's when I said we're focused on shorter session times because not many people have the time anymore to spend on a 4 hour raid.

"Don't mistake that comment for me not believing in raiding or knowing that there are a ton of people that play MMOs that still absolutely love to do it! We also plan on continuing to support EQ, and EQ2 for the very long haul and providing exactly the kind of cool content our players have expected. None of that is changing."


Posted April 30, 2015 on Reddit:

"I've read some of the threads about my comments in that interview. I wanted to clarify what I was talking about. I was asked in the interview about what things we're doing differently for our new games going forward and that's when I said we're focused on shorter session times because not many people have the time anymore to spend on a 4 hour raid.

"Don't mistake that comment for me not believing in raiding or knowing that there are a ton of people that play MMOs that still absolutely love to do it! We also plan on continuing to support EQ, and EQ2 for the very long haul and providing exactly the kind of cool content our players have expected. None of that is changing.

"However, when we're choosing what new games to make we're focused on games with shorter average session lengths. Why? Because that's the way the gaming world has evolved and we need to adapt. That's precisely why we aimed so high on Everquest Next. We know we needed to change our aim on these games. We can't just expect our users to want to grind through an epic 8 hour raid encounter or treat these games like it's a second job. We need to make sure our games are just as fun in smaller time increments.

"That's the entirety of what I was talking about. It's not a comment on today's games. It's a comment on today's reality and where we are aiming at least some of our games.

"We remain majorly committed to producing great content for our EQ and EQ2 players for a long time to come, and rest assured there is going to be plenty of content for EQN players as well including raids and all the stuff players have come to know and love in these games."

Smed

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Raiding
# May 05 2015 at 6:47 PM Rating: Good
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So the above interview confuses me for one main point:

If the playtime is down and people don't want to log in for hours to raid anymore, then why are all these progression servers popping up and filling up with people who, shock, want to play for hours on end?

the answer in my mind is simple: The old content was far superior to the new content.

Give the players what they want to play and they will come back and play. The replay value of EQ's first 6 years is enormous. Its not just nostalgic.
Raiders
# May 05 2015 at 5:29 PM Rating: Good
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LOL I find it funny that after kissing the backside of the raiding players for 15 years now its all about not raiding.
I run a small guild
# May 04 2015 at 10:24 AM Rating: Good
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I run a old raiding guild from 2001 (now a casual guild in the last few years) on Drinal and I have noticed that many many people still come back to EQ1, even after lengthy periods of being gone. They might sub for a month or a few months and sometimes they stay, but often they go for a time and come back again. There seems to be a constant churn of interest in the game. Something keeps me playing every day and something prevents many people from sticking with it. I always assumed that it's other games that are more compelling, but just don'y satisfy in the long run like EQ1? I keep trying other games but nothing has the depth of EQ1. I never get bored, and all those old players don't want to let go.

If Daybreak can figure out how to keep all the old players satisfied, so that they can play casually, as a gold player, they just might be able to get all those old players to maintain a gold account with a reduced playtime restriction. Something like: Gold account monthly for $5 but they can only play 2hrs a day. I get the sneaky feeling that there are a lot of old players that want to play but don't want to shell out the monthly cost or commit to a yearly cost. They hate the free account because all their old raid gear is useless. I think a reduced cost gold sub. offering with a play time restriction would be a nice hook. Let them enjoy their old raid gear and goof around in the old content they remember for the short amount of time they are going to play. Bring back the revamped and revised Silver account.
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I run a small guild
# May 04 2015 at 5:53 PM Rating: Decent
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I think taking away the prestige restrictions on all loot up to and including the latest free to play expansion would help a lot towards getting more people back into playing. I would love it if i could equip older augmentations that have prestige or prestige gear at the Rain of Fear lvl. I also think if they ever added a one time purchase to let people use any journeyman tier mercenary they had unlocked without requiring a gold account that would also help.
I run a small guild
# May 05 2015 at 5:46 AM Rating: Decent
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Rickymaru wrote:
I think taking away the prestige restrictions on all loot up to and including the latest free to play expansion would help a lot towards getting more people back into playing. I would love it if i could equip older augmentations that have prestige or prestige gear at the Rain of Fear lvl. I also think if they ever added a one time purchase to let people use any journeyman tier mercenary they had unlocked without requiring a gold account that would also help.


There are a few problems with your assessment. All xpacs include up to RoF, the latest free to play expansion, so I'm confused by what you mean there. Sony, when they removed xpacs for sale via Station Cash, explained their main source of revenue for EQ came not from subs but rather xpac sales (though they do have a habit of lying). Removing all prestige items would pretty much mean anyone with 9k+ aa could essentially stop paying (I find generally, once you get close to 9k aa, the AA's left to buy are very, very marginal.) and get full benefit of a gold account.

However, I'm not against reform entirely. I'd like to see the return of silver accounts. I'd like value of increasing your AA cap to increase (that is, increase cap by 1k aa for around $8 per rank). I'd like RoF T2 to be non-prestige (it worked in the last two xpacs, why not RoF?) At 95, your two non-prestige options is buying/farming Boreal or buying/farming Gelid. Well... ok, that wouldn't change, but still. Also, in WK, have non-prestige currency vendors with non-prestige gear for sale. Double the price of it, I'd pay 600 marks for non-prestige instead of 300 for level 85 junk at 90. This might sound counterproductive for Daybreak, BUT... CotF is useless for gear until level 100 if you're a free account. If you're not a free account, you can actually level up and gear up from 75, which, yes, gives paid players an advantage as it should. HOWEVER, if non-prestige gear were available, I'd be buying the xpac on many more accounts which would probably generate move revenue than the subs that gain the advantage. I LOVE the non-prestige augs in CotF, very well done. Wish there were more static named that dropped them instead of missions only.

I think Silver is a happy medium. Change 1k AA to $8. Charge $10 for silver status for life. Maybe create a medium prestige flag for silver only players. This way, they're making more revenue from other wise non-revenue making free players, the players who don't want to go gold but still want more than free can pay roughly half of what a non-renewing, 1 month sub costs (and get half the benefit of doing so).

That's not to say I'm not grateful the game is free to play now. I very much am.

Oh, and fire John Smedley. And the person who thought of the Campaigns idea and wanted to bring it to EQ1. And sack anyone who wants to make EQ1 more like EQ2.

Edited, May 5th 2015 7:58am by Baeddon
I run a small guild
# May 05 2015 at 7:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
There are a few problems with your assessment. All xpacs include up to RoF, the latest free to play expansion, so I'm confused by what you mean there.


When you log into an account that is free to play it sais you own 19 of 21 expansions. Im saying it would be awesome if all the prestige tags were taken off all the gear from those 19 expansions. The latest of those 19 expansions is Rain of Fear so that is what i meant when i said I would love it if i could equip older augmentations that have prestige or prestige gear at the Rain of Fear level.

I think starting from the Seed of Destruction expansion stuff started getting tagged with Prestige on it. If it were up to me that would be removed. Since its free to play i basically want all of it up to that point to be free to play. Right now its more like you have to pay a monthly fee to use the best gear from those free to play expansions.
Everquest Rocks...I Still Love It....Always Will
# May 04 2015 at 12:25 AM Rating: Good
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I truly hope, with all my heart, that Daybreak doesn't give up on EQ. I have devoted countless hours of my life to this game, developing characters, conquering zones, raiding, and my passion for this game has not waned in the Many Years I have been playing it. I talk to people every day in game that I would not talk to otherwise. I have met and created life-long friendships from this game. So, if what I say matters at all, I hope you decide to keep EQ around for many years to come because we still have a great fan base and people love to play this game for the friendships, the social aspect of the game, and to just get away and do something together while having fun.
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Question the Premise
# May 03 2015 at 1:59 PM Rating: Decent
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I cannot prove my following statement, but each man and woman must judge, discern, for himself if what I say rings true.
CEOs, journalists, professors, and other pundits sit in high places from which they survey the vast landscape that is the global gaming market, and see movements that they feel compelled to describe.
Analysts crunch the numbers, create their charts, and speculate on cause and effect.
Many CEOs, especially, by their choleric nature, and in a well-intentioned desire to keep the message simple (KISS method) too often over-simplify these charts to signify some monolithic, creeping glacier-like trend.

Hence you get statements like Smedley's, "I firmly believe the days of the WoW-style MMO are over," Smedley said. This premise he forwards without any reference, other than his own name and the qualifier "firmly."

I humbly submit to you that John appears to overlook a few basic truths about any industry :
1. It is not homogenous, either in culture, preferences, or income.
2. It is not predictable, not really.
3. It is not even glacial, that is, it is not moving in just one direction.

I am open-minded, and would love to see what study or studies he bases his premise on. Then we could judge for ourselves if his conclusions are likely.

Until then, what he is truly expressing are his perceptions of others preferences, without any declared supporting reasons that should convince us.
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Mixed feelings
# May 02 2015 at 1:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hiya,
From what I am seeing, these are my thoughts ( and I have not read every last article or post, so bare that in mind).

1.) Everquest was originally based as an adventure, where players had options to advance their characters. These options included:
a.) Killing to grind xp
b.) questing to grind xp
c.) farming for special drops from boss monsters ( named)
d.) progression
e.) special events ( GM events like Castle Mistmoore, fighting Mayong)
f.) Gm tournaments ( specialized titles and bragging rights)
g.) tradeskills ( increasing skill value to make bigger and better, as well as making a source of income (lets face it, you are stuck in towns usually doing Tradeskills, so you aren't adventuring, you need a revenue source. Just one of many trade ups in the game)).
h.) Raiding ( for progression, special drops, competition between guilds on server or across servers)
i.) Special 1 time events ( Sleeper raid, among a limited few others)

Doing these you had options:
a.) solo
b.) duo
c.) group
d.) raid

2.) The vast majority of the Player base are used to how the game was meant to be played and acknowledges that it's their choice how they play; whether it's short duration, medium duration, or long duration ( IE 1-3 hours, 3-6 hours, 6+ hours). ( This does not mean that people's playtimes and/or situations don't change, it's just an overview). With that in mind there should always be introduced content in equal amounts for each type.
a.) It's a fact that those that play longer will always be further ahead. That's a universal truth to these types of games. Trying to make everyone equal in any terms by adding ways to boost a characters progression through levels, gear, or expansion progression just to catch up is demeaning to everyone, including those that are trying to catch up. It ruins the adventure, the experience.
b.) on the other hand there should be ways that players can catch up, without creating a rift between each other. in the days of old, people would Powerlevel: through buffing, level differences, class mechanics, zone bonuses, gear 'twinking", etc.
There are ways to help those that are lower to catch up. There always have been. People just need to become a community again. ( I say this because the game has turned inward and too much to greed lately, that those lower find it harder and harder to find help).(mind you I have run the same guild for 12 of it's 16 years of life, and the vast majority of the time we help our lower players succeed; through grouping, tips, info, strategy, class training, etc.) It's all how you look at things.

3.) Times do change. New games come out. New ways of thinking are developed. This is all fact; but care must be given with the discussion of change or direction that will be taken on older games / content. In this way will a product stay unique, and stand out from others.
THIS is what Everquest was and has been for more than one and a half decades.

Everquest can continue to grow and mature, remaining one of the best, if not the best, MMORPG of all time. Everquest IS the Legacy, the one that started it all. Remain true to her.
I've played since beta on across over 30 accounts. 20 of which I still have ( lot of TS mules). I have about 30-40 Mains that I play. I barely ever box, unless it's a short duration when in need ( like for tracking, TS, or getting particular missions). I have 7 characters level 105(none of which are heroic characters), each over 10k AA with at most 1k AA from the autogrants on any of them. My play times range from 1-5 hours weekdays to 12 hours+ on weekends when I don't have my daughter. I do not see a penalty in quests that take longer than my playtime to complete, as most have unlimited timers to complete them. Missions very rarely ever take more than the time I have to play to complete. I am not part of a raiding guild, in fact I haven't actively raided since 2002, when my guild was one of the top raid guilds on my server. Sure I miss it at times, but I can always guest raid with the top raid guilds, or find open raids to attend. There are enough of them around that I never feel pressured with my time, or schedule.
I actually miss solo, duo, and group content. The game has been focused on the top end to keep raiding and end levels happy; in doing so a great majority of new players, returning players and veteran players that want to start new characters are being snubbed. A great deal can be done to revitalize the lower mid to higher mid level content to make it more enjoyable for players of all backgrounds.
I love new content, gives me new things to do. However I do love existing content: original epics, Iksar weapon quest arcs, Dragons of Norrath progression, etc. as well.
I like the idea of new progression servers, however I'd love to see one with an actual timeline of that of EQ. ( Each expansion released to play in the exact time frames that the original released them.) This would allow the complete recreation of the experience. All the bugs have been fixed already, it would be smooth and fun.
EQ has very little advertising. Most I talk to that are gamers are surprised she's still running ( a few have come back, for nostalgia... at first). People need to know She's still here, that she's still growing.

I can keep going and going here. But I think if most would just think about it, many ideas could be formed that would benefit EQ ( be realistic on them, not things which are outlandish). From what I have read P99 has been doing things to keep to the original as closely as possible, they have been around a long time. If they can, we can.
P.S. I do not see how "Campaigns" compare to Staggered released content like how Rain of Fear or Call of the Forsaken was done. Individual campaigns may not have anything to do with one another ( one could be Luclin based, while another could be kunark based; with no lore or interactions of storyline of either being related to the other). If they were, then yes, it would be widely considered Staggered released content of the same item ( expansion) and would HAVE to be prices as such ( included together). I do hope the people at Daybreak Gaming Company realize that we players have already been through the, pardon the expression, **** storm of Business as usual and know what to expect, what certain language means and how short comings and short cuts are implemented.
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He is right but off the mark.
# May 02 2015 at 3:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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The biggest problem I have is they forget it is supposed to be an adventure. Games with a session of max 45min can never be that. If they actually made games cater to both I'd be happy, but they don't. Sorry, but if you make sure the world is big and part of the content then people can decide their own session time that is not based on how long you design the content to last. Then it would cater to both worlds, but instead they create content in a way that limits sessions unless your thing is doing the same thing 100 times in a row. Add the strange fascination with extreme vertical progression so fast anything you do is worthless in a month and you just made sure developers can never keep up with content compared to their players.
I agree completely.
# May 02 2015 at 12:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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I logged in just to up vote your comment, but maybe it's not working right now?
Anyways, you are spot on. I've never understood people who want to power level and ignore the story completely. Someone just killed 30 monsters -- why? How do they know they weren't tricked into doing the dirty work for some bad guy? The canned reply of "It's just a game" is met with my response.
No, Monopoly is a game. Pinball is a game. This -- is a world, a world in which we have adventures, if you choose.
If they choose not to, their loss. I just wish they'd clean up the corpses and treasure chests that slow down, (at least so I've heard ) respawn times when they rip through a dungeon. I guess I should be glad there is still someone else on my server. :)
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I agree completely.
# May 02 2015 at 3:59 PM Rating: Good
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I have never been able to thumbs up/down or vote up/down or do any kind of thing like that on Allakhazams Everquest site and this is the only allakhazams site i have visited regularly. I have tried to figure out how some people get Sage or Guru or how they get more stars and all these years i have never come across anything explaining how that works. If a person is required to have a paying membership. If they need to change an option in one of the windows.

If anyone reading this has figured it out please either post it or send me a personal message.
I'm so glad EQ and EQ2 will continue!
# May 01 2015 at 1:16 PM Rating: Good
I was worried EQ and EQ2 was going to go poof. But I think Daybreak understands that a lot of us love these games and they can still be profitable. I have high hopes for Daybreak Smiley: smile

On a side note. Smiley: wink I also was wondering if you guys would consider letting "Veteran Rewards" go to all characters attached to an account like EQ2 does. That would make much of the player base very, very happy. Smiley: twocents

Anyway, I wish you guys success!
I'm so glad EQ and EQ2 will continue!
# May 01 2015 at 4:38 PM Rating: Decent
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zorvok the Brilliant wrote:

On a side note. Smiley: wink I also was wondering if you guys would consider letting "Veteran Rewards" go to all characters attached to an account like EQ2 does. That would make much of the player base very, very happy. Smiley: twocents

Anyway, I wish you guys success!


A really good idea. I hesitate to delete a character I no longer want to play and do a different character because I have rewards assigned to it. If it works in EQ2 it'd be really nice to see it in EQ.

I'm really impressed with Daybreak and the efforts they've put forward.
Smed should go
# May 01 2015 at 6:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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If Daybreak wanted to REALLY do something right, they should have sacked him with the rest of the crew in February. It's been a mix of getting excited for new ideas for the future mixed with the same stupid crap business as usual. We went from "Xpac drips" to "Never again will we do small content releases, only full size xpacs from now on!" to "yep, xpac drips it is. But let's called them campaigns." etc etc etc. He has the feel of a career politician. It's very tired.
some HAs meet the solo players needs
# May 01 2015 at 1:30 AM Rating: Decent
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I have found that in EQ the HA dailies have met my needs to pop out an 1 1/2 hour game time solo. I get to play with my friends in the evening on harder content but it is nice to know that I can do an HA when my friends aren't online. EQ in it's present form can meet the needs of many different play styles. I like the fact Daybreak is committed to keeping the game I've loved for coming up on 16 years going strong.
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some HAs meet the solo players needs
# May 01 2015 at 1:30 AM Rating: Decent
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double post sorry

Edited, May 1st 2015 3:31am by Nitig
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John Smedley Explains Recent Interview Comments
# Apr 30 2015 at 7:44 PM Rating: Decent
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Personally I would like to see more questable content that offers the option for players like myself ( that can no longer raid, and spend 8 hours a day on line in world) where we could successfully quest solo, or with a small crowd and complete in a couple hours.
John Smedley Explains Recent Interview Comments
# Apr 30 2015 at 7:41 PM Rating: Decent
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I understand his perspective. I for one am one of those long time EQ players that would willing and happily stay in EQ as a hard core player. specially if there is an added focus to soloing players. Forcing your populace to group might seem like a good business decision, but you have to try and reach all folks interested if possible.
Smed
# Apr 30 2015 at 6:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Smedley has always been the EQ man. I trust his thoughts and decisions because he has always been good at keeping EQ going strong through the years :)
very skeptical
# Apr 30 2015 at 5:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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I am very skeptical on whatever this person has anything to say, or anyone associated with him,along with Sony or Daybreak. Actions speak louder than words, we shall see.
Thanks !
# Apr 30 2015 at 4:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Daybreak President, John Smedley wrote:
"I was asked in the interview about what things we're doing differently for our new games going forward and that's when I said we're focused on shorter session times because not many people have the time anymore to spend on a 4 hour raid.
"Don't mistake that comment for me not believing in raiding or knowing that there are a ton of people that play MMOs that still absolutely love to do it! We also plan on continuing to support EQ, and EQ2 for the very long haul and providing exactly the kind of cool content our players have expected. None of that is changing."


This is what I was hoping to hear from Mr. Smedley.

The kind of cool content that I would want as a group game player, is a full expansion release. If not this year (because of staff settling in and the EQ-Campaigns launch), then hopefully in 2016.

Good luck and thanks for this latest news release !



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