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Fan Faire 2011 in review

FerrelI’ve returned from Las Vegas (and immediately left back out on a business trip) after an extremely brief meeting with my friends at SOE during Fan Faire. I wasn’t able to attend any of the panels outside of the one that Karen and I hosted. We put together this years guild leadership panel and it went extremely well. She’ll be putting together a write up for Massively.com and I’ll be editing the audio for a special version of A View from the Top. It was nice to see familiar faces at the show and if I had not had something so important and wonderful to do in Vegas (my best friend got married) I’d almost be sad I didn’t do more.

This year the show seemed a bit smaller than I had previously seen. There wasn’t quite the horde of SOE players that I’m used to but I suppose that can be expected given the current state of the company. They have an aging portfolio of MMORPGs and aren’t quite to the point of releasing new ones. We did have the opportunity to talk to a DCUO guild leader and that was extremely interesting to me but beyond that it was the usual, diehard SOE fans. I love that crowd and fit in well with it!

I did see via EQ2 Wire that there were some huge changes coming to EverQuest II. Not surprisingly SOE is redoing itemization and statistics again. This has become a yearly or twice-yearly occurrence now and I hope that at one point it stops. Sooner or later the itemization plan will either work or they’ll leave in the broken state it ends up in. I just don’t see the benefit to changing how everything works continually. You can check that out and additional information on EQ2 Wire.

I always appreciate a SOE event because they treat the players so well there. I just wish that could be a little clearer in their MMORPGs these days. I felt like the odd man out since I’m not currently playing a single title that they make. It was good to see my friends though!

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3 Responses to Fan Faire 2011 in review

  1. Dethdlr says:

    Ferrel said:

    Not surprisingly SOE is redoing itemization and statistics again. This has become a yearly or twice-yearly occurrence now and I hope that at one point it stops. Sooner or later the itemization plan will either work or they’ll leave in the broken state it ends up in. I just don’t see the benefit to changing how everything works continually.

    Unless I’m mistaken, most of their recent redoing of itemization has just been done at the level cap. They’re actually going back this time and redoing the stats on everything from level 20-90. They say they’re even doing quest, group, and raid drop items from 20-90. My memory isn’t what it used to be but I don’t remember them doing a re-itemization quite this big ever, certainly not in recent years.

    You’re right though that redoing the way things work continually is kind of silly. To be honest, I think a large part of it is because rather than taking the time to figure out how to tweak the current system to make it work better, the developer in charge of itemization this week decides to chuck the whole thing out the window and start over. That sounds like the easier solution but it rarely is. That just sets you up for a whole new set of problems that you didn’t think about.

    They seem to have more of a long term plan for the game now than they have as long as I can remember. I’ve got high hopes. Only time will tell whether they will come true or be crushed. :)

    • I’ve heard via Feldon’s place that they literally used a random script to generate the loot for Velious, and they still somehow made large numbers of items with stats no one wants. In fairness, they do have 24 classes to itemize, and Beastlords won’t make it easier by equipping Brawler (Fighter) gear even though they want Scout stats. Guess this is why pilfering WoW’s item reforging system was such a high priority, as least players know what stats we need. :)

      Also, I wonder whether the lower level re-itemization pass will include flagging all the quest rewards in the game as “legendary”, which they did in DOV to ensure that non-subscribing EQ2X players need to pay by the item to equip them. If so, I hope they offer the option to disable spamming /guild, it’s frankly embarassing to ping a shared channel with stuff that’s so trivial.

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