SOE Live 2014 – What Are You Wishing For?

Currently I am not very invested in any SOE games.  I pay some attention to changes in EverQuest, with occasional glaces towards EverQuest II, based mostly on nostalgia for the “good old days,” but otherwise there isn’t much in their current lineup that thrills me.  Landmark has some potential once it gets closer to being feature complete.  EverQuest Next has raised some enthusiasm, but exists only as a blur on the horizon at this point.  And the other remaining titles aren’t really my thing.

But here it is, the week of SOE Live, the time for announcements big and small.  Yes, whatever Smed says during the Thursday night keynote will likely be overwhelmed in the news cycle by Blizzard’s big Warlords of Draenor announcement planned for earlier in the day… I think the timing was more to head off the subscription numbers news than to stick it to SOE, but they seem to have gotten a threefer on that one if you include the SWTOR hit as well… plus there is Gamescom this week as well… but some of us will still be paying attention to SOE.


And because it is that time, I am asking myself what I would like to see and what I expect come out of the event.  SOE Live can bring with it some very big news.  Last year had a lot of people talking about EverQuest Next.  What will we get year?

What I Expect

  • Some firming up of the Landmark timeline, with some more details about specific features, but no real “go live” information
  • Expansion announcements around EverQuest and EverQuest II, though as the F2P years roll along I am not sure expansions have all that much impact any more unless they raise the level cap or add new AA features
  • An open/paid beta plan for H1Z1 with an estimated date for access that will be off by at least a month
  • Something about fixing whatever woes are currently afflicting PlanetSide 2
  • Some more screenshots and in-game video from EverQuest Next, but nothing playable and no concrete details

Things I Would Like to See

  • A date for Landmark to be feature complete and generally available for those who didn’t pony up for a pay-to-test package. (Even if it is off by 3-6 months.)
  • Something solid, tangible, and new about EverQuest Next
  • Or just something that ignites some hope that EverQuest Next will be a game I want to play

Things I Fear Might Be Communicated

  • Closing down PlanetSide… well, that might not be a fear for me, but I do wonder how it is still running
  • Little or nothing about EverQuest Next
  • A draw down of content for EverQuest, no more expansions, limited content updates on a vaguely expressed timeline
  • That some new game is dedicated to the dispossessed players of another SOE title that has been shut down (e.g. The planned science fiction biome in Landmark is really dedicated to former players of Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures)
  • Some new technological dead end like SOEmote or SOE Launcher to eat up dev cycles for no real benefit or follow through (cue Sony Olfactory Enhancements or some such)

Dreams Likely to be Unfulfilled

  • Something about the next EverQuest nostalgia focused server, progression, classic, or otherwise
  • An announcement that an EverQuest II nostalgia focused server… original content, steeper leveling curve, more difficult mobs, or whatever… is in the offing
  • Something that might otherwise revive my interest in either EverQuest or EverQuest II… but I don’t know what… what is the “fix these games for Wilhelm” plan?
  • An open/paid beta plan for EverQuest Next with an estimated date for access… this I might pay for… maybe
  • Something about hats… no… wait…

From Left Field on Bizarro World Unlikely

  • The Agency being revived on the PlanetSide 2 platform ala H1Z1
  • The return of any dead SOE game
  • A new game announcement
  • The EverQuest Next plan being completely revised from last year’s announcement
  • EverQuest Next being cancelled
  • A ship date for EverQuest Next

So those are my various lists.  What do you want to see, expect to see, or fear might come from this year’s SOE Live?


8 thoughts on “SOE Live 2014 – What Are You Wishing For?

  1. bhagpuss

    Looking at the SOE Live schedule there are panels introducing expansions for both the EQ titles.

    The EQ2 expansion is Altar of Malice, according to EQ2Wire. The level cap goes to 100. There’s a panel about it at midday on Friday.

    I can’t find a name for the Everquest expansion but it has a panel on Thursday at 1pm. Can’t see a confirmed cap increase.

    As for Everquest not getting any more expansions, I think people tend to underestimate how important the older game might be for SOE. Lineage is the same age and it’s there or thereabouts still NCSoft’s biggest earner, certainly far more important for them than Lineage2.

    In terms of what I’d like to see – hard information about EQNext including an alpha or beta date. That won’t happen. A Landmark launch date. That won’t happen. No-one making wildly hyperbolic claims for something hat turns out either never to happen at all or to be nothing like it was described when it does appear. That won’t happen.

    I’m playing EQ regularly again, albeit in short sessions, and it feels *much* busier than EQ2. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the situation there was quite similar.

    Also, I would guess they have the 20th anniversary in sight. Maybe by then the game will be winding down but I wouldn’t count on it. I wouldn’t count on EQNext being out by then, either.


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – Hah! Do we have a sneak preview of an Inventory Full post? Should I tweet that I have an exclusive?

    The thing with EverQuest is that while it is important, there has to come a point where you ask, “How much content is enough?” 20 expansions and 1500+ zones later, you start to think maybe it might be more efficient to re-tune or re-use some of the better past stuff. (Like they did with the stuff in Qeynos and the Karanas a bit back.)

    EverQuest seems well positioned for a transition away from the big expansion idea to a more ala-carte style new content buffet (he said mixing food metaphors), where you spend a bit of Station Cash for a new raid or dungeon or whatever.


  3. bhagpuss

    Heh! No, I meant that para should be the final para of the comment, after the one that begins “Also..”. Although I do have an EQ post in mind…

    Yes, they could break expansion-like content into smaller chunks and sell them in the SC Store. I’d prefer it, personally, but it’s an idea that’s always been very badly received when it’s been suggested in the past. By this stage I think EQ players must be nothing if not traditional. Then again, 90% of both EQ and EQ2 players were dead set against F2P but it happened in the end. Player pressure probably delayed it for years, though.

    The multiplicity of zones is interesting. Clearly they have far more than they need now but again people kick up a stink if they change any of the old ones. What EQ players do love is getting revamped versions of the old zones as high level instances, but in addition to the old ones, not instead. When I was on the other day there was a long discussion in general chat with people listing all the zones they’d like to see re-done as level 100 instances.

    It is, in fact, how both EQ and EQ2 are now handling a lot of the new content. Just today I spent an hour doing the access quest for “Old Blackburrow” which is a level 70-80 version of Blackburrow – same layout, same mobs, slightly renamed. Presumably uses the same underlying assets, retooled. Most of the “new” zones for quite a while have been done like that in both games and it seems to go down well.

    I would be surprised if one or quite possibly both of the expansions don’t turn out to be largely based on re-purposed zone architecture. It must save a lot of time and development cost.


  4. welshtroll

    I agreed the current SoE portfolio does nothing for me.
    I finally managed to find a link for Planetside installer (since the websites gone and it doesn’t appear in the list of games) on a support page, there were a handful of players on, none of which were in an outfit as you need 10 people to create one.
    Original PS is likely to go surprised it didn’t get culled in the last 2 announcements.
    H1Z1 will bring nothing new to the survivalist genre other that cash shops.
    The new person in charge of Planetside 2 will go on about understanding what players want and how the game will change to reflect that, via more cash only items.


  5. SynCaine

    Put me down for “SOE shuts itself down, apologizes for being the first to ruin the MMO genre with EQ taking us down crap lane over the virtual world paradise of UO”.

    That or being unable to start the event at all because… SOE.


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