Tidbits for a Friday Post – Mammoths, Xboxes, and What is Next

A few items that I couldn’t really muster a full post… or much passion… about, but which I wanted to at least mention in passing so I could bring them up again in a year to see what happened.  That is one of my things.

EverQuest, What is Next?

I thought SOE must surely be trolling us.

I figured that they must have gone on some sort of bender after getting the MMORPG.com Best of Show Award at E3 with a game that almost nobody saw and which nobody can talk about. (Must be all the StoryBricks stuff, eh?)

Seemingly high and feeling cocky after those accolades, SOE announced that the final name for EverQuest Next would be… EverQuest Next!

Really?  Who was up watching TNG reruns at 3am and thought, “Hah, this will be great!”

But no, they seem serious. They have registered the domain and such.

I mean, I get it… sort of.  Or, at least I have been there.

When a project gets a code name and you use it a lot, it takes on a life of its own.  People within an organization will use internal code names for products for years after they shipped, much to the chagrin of marketing. (I have often been admonished by marketing over the years with phrases like, “Stop calling it that! That is not the name of the product!”)

Why not just go with what everybody is calling the product already, right?

But my own experience with many a badly named product makes me feel that, in the long term, sticking with EverQuest Next is going to be regretted.  To start with, what do you call the next game in the franchise?

Still, I went and made an EverQuest Next category for the blog.  I am sure we will be talking about it much more in the not-so-distant future, though I am trying not to pin artificial hopes and dreams on it quite yet.

Microsoft and Xbox One Policies

It was interesting to see how quickly Microsoft changed its mind on a number of the policies that made Sony so popular at E3.  Though, after the Adam Orth Twitter fiasco not too long ago, not to mention all the grumblings when this sort of thing was just rumors, one wonders why they needed to get that far in order to see the light.

Of course, some people are skeptical at this change of heart.  Microsoft isn’t as despised as Electronic Arts, but there are still trust issues.  I think that, for the most part, people don’t think Microsoft will shoot itself in the foot again on this issue any time soon.

So all that is left of the PlayStation 4 win at E3 is the $100 price premium for the Xbox One, which I suspect will become a non-issue in the absence of the other items.  The $100 gap seemed like a an obstacle when part of that list, but if that is all that stands between you and the next version Halo, it won’t seem like all that much.

More amusing to me though are the responses… of lack of responses… to this change of policy from some vocal individuals in the industry who were aggressively defending Microsoft’s initial plan.  One is already loudly proclaiming that consumer feedback had nothing at all to do with Microsoft’s retreat.  Keep on keeping on, man!

The Mammoth and The Art Department

There is a forum post up about revamping the industrial ships in EVE Online.  Industrials are the low end haulers that most players start out using. The plan is to try and give every ship of that class a viable role.

Not a bad idea.

Over the years CCP has added ships rather haphazardly at times, leaving some ships as second best at everything, so nobody bothers to fly them.  Lately CCP has been revisiting and revamping ship classes to try and create a place in the universe for everybody.  Last August it was mining barges.  Then it was frigates, then cruisers, then battlecruisers, and most recently battleships.

However, one of things mentioned in the industrial revamp post was a plan to swap the roles of two of the Minmatar haulers, the Mammoth and the Hoarder.  The Hoarder would become the largest capacity hauler while the Mammoth would be given some other task in life.

This was kind of a “WTF?” item in the middle of an otherwise sane… well, sane for CCP forum post in any case… discussion of a hauler revamp.  A lot of people out there, like myself, followed The Complete Miner’s Guide back in the day which recommended the Mammoth because it was the biggest hauler you could get into quickly.  The sausage-like Iteron V could haul more, but you needed Gallente Industrial V to fly it, which took more than a month to train.  The Mammoth could be yours in hours and, with further training and the right fit, could haul a jet can worth of ore, making it a nice fit for a miner.  The Mammoth became very popular.

My Mammoth and Retriever – September 2007

So people wanted to know why CCP would want to make everybody who flew a Mammoth for its capacity trade it out for a Hoarder.

The answer that came back was that the art department did not like the Mammoth model for purely aesthetic reasons.  They wanted the Horder model to be the main Minmatar hauler.  This lead to a lot of “But, I love the way the Mammoth looks!” replies to the thread (a few Hoarder fans chimed in as well, and I must admit that ship isn’t as ugly as I recalled) along with the perhaps more logical “Why would you screw some people over for this trivial reason?” argument.

In the end, the art team apparently wasn’t that invested in the change and let it drop in the face of some forum noise.  Pick your battles and all that.

Jester (twice) and Nosy Gamer (and now Funky Bacon) have relevant quotes, links, and discussions about this issue and the overall proposed industrial changes, if you are interested.

My world view is a lot less complex.  I like the Mammoth model and don’t really want to have to swap out three rigged Mammoths for no good reason.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t actually put me out that much if I had to.  So, whatever.

5 thoughts on “Tidbits for a Friday Post – Mammoths, Xboxes, and What is Next

  1. bhagpuss

    On EQNext, given that they had to have Everquest or EQ in the title, this seemed quite a sensible decision to me. Everquest 3 is just bland and the alternatives were probably along the lines of “Everquest Meterological/Geological/Mythical Event” (Cataclysm/Apocalypse always being favorites there) or Everquest: Abstract/Proper/Common Noun Singular of Abstract/Proper/Common Noun Plural (Cf every EQ expansion ever).

    I’d say we got off lightly.

    What did you make of the MMORPG.com “Best In Show” thing? I thought it was the single weirdest piece of MMO news this year and I’m surprised it seems to have slid by with so little commentary thus far.


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – There were certainly a lot of bad options out there, and I am in no way advocating EverQuest 3. Eeep, no. But I still think they could have come up with something better all the same.

    However, I suspect that after a few years of calling it EverQuest Next, that name was stuck with the team as the natural order of things. Nothing they could come up with would fit like that comfortably worn-in title. So, in the absence of somebody putting a gun to their head and saying, “Anything but that!” it became impossible to choose anything else. Believe me, I’ve been in the conference room for those decisions before. We were once saved from a tragically bad name only because somebody else had tradmarked it already.

    Just because we’re used to it doesn’t make it a good name. Take a turn of phrase like, “Get out of town!” Modify it to something that sounds awkward to your ear like, “Get straight out of the town!” Now force yourself to say that a few times a day. After a while, it will cease to feel awkward to say. It will start to sound natural. Then you say it to somebody who hasn’t heard your variation before and they will look at you like there is something fundamentally wrong with you. I have unintentionally been party to such a process when at one point a friend and I decided it would be hilarious to try to get somebody fresh in the country to pick up incorrect US idioms. Instead we just trained ourselves to look like idiots.

    Ah well, the name is really par for the course for SOE when you think about it. Maybe the best we could have hoped for.

    As for the “Best in Show” thing, I think MMORPG.com has some definitional issues to overcome. Is something that was not actually shown in the show at large really part of the show? I guess we wait for SOE Fan Fest Live to find out more.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Keen – Hah! Just seeing if you’re paying attention!

    I really, really want something good in EQN. But if I let myself get worked up about it, I am liable to be disappointed, so I am already starting the “avert my eyes” strategy.


  4. Lei Merdeau

    As an Itty only flier, oh I will lose my biggest Indy cargo by a fraction, o’well, But that the Mammoth chosen for Mini cargo is to switch for the pixels is insane. Cargo is the entire point of an Indy.


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