Daily Archives: June 17, 2016

The End is Nigh for PlanetSide and Legends of Norrath

More Friday afternoon announcements from Daybreak, spotted by Feldon over at EQ2 Wire.

The first to go will be PlanetSide, which will be shut down as of July 1, 2016.

PlanetSide back in the day...

PlanetSide back in the day…

Unsupported and basically free for ages now, its continued existence was largely due to the grace of Smed, who championed the game and its successor, the troubled PlanetSide 2, and a sense of nostalgia.

Smed is gone and nostalgia without financial support only gets you so far, and so the following was posted to the PlanetSide 2 site… because PlanetSide doesn’t have its own anymore.

April and May were really exciting months for us with the release of the new Construction System, base revamp of Indar, and new population caps to improve battle flow. It’s been exciting to watch all of you experiment with base design and shift battles in new directions. A big thanks to all of you who have jumped in to try it out and given us feedback.

While we hope you are as excited as we are about the recent changes, we do have to make a more solemn announcement. On July 1st, at 4:00 PM PT, we will be closing the PlanetSide 1 server. PlanetSide 1 has a very important history with Daybreak Games and a special place in the hearts of those who work on its successor. While we have run the game for free since 2014, due to evolving business needs and technical requirements it has become necessary to conclude this service.

We hope you will take this opportunity to enjoy the remaining time available with each other and please help us give PlanetSide 1 the sendoff it deserves.

And so it goes.  I was never a fan myself, but the game had a dedicated, if small, following.

The next item is Legends of Norrath, which was removed from the EverQuest and EverQuest II clients recently, followed by loot packs from the card game becoming available in the cash shop.  That seemed to be a sign of things to come.  Today there was a post in the forums and on the Legends of Norrath site, accompanied by email notification to subscribers, indicating that the collectable card game would no longer be available after noon on August 17, 2016.  The email notification says:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING LEGENDS OF NORRATH

On Aug‌ust 1‌7, 20‌16 at no‌on pac‌ific, the Legends of Norrath Trading Card game server will close.
The monthly All Access Membership claim of Legends of Norrath booster packs and the ability to purchase Legends of Norrath booster packs will no longer be available after Ju‌ly 1‌8, 20‌16 at 10‌AM paci‌fic. Legends of Norrath packs will need to be opened in the LON client and all loot rewards will need to be claimed prior to Aug‌ust 1‌7, 20‌16 at no‌on pacific to ensure your loot rewards are available in EverQuest or EverQuest II.

For more information regarding this announcement, please see the Legends of Norrath website.

Daybreak Game Company LLC

Again, the writing seemed to be on the wall recently.  The forum post indicates that the game has not had an active development for some time.

At one point, just before the announcement of the Daybreak acquisition, Smed seemed to have taken inspiration from Blizzard’s Hearthstone and indicated that SOE might do something with the game.  That clearly never came to pass.

I was never a fan of this game either, and only tinkered with it because as an All Access member I was given free card packs.  The last time I checked I had ~70 unopened packs waiting for my attention.  Now they aren’t even in the EQ or EQII client and I am not sure it is worth the effort to grab the stand alone LON client just to see what they may hold.  And hell, if there was anything I really wanted I will be able to buy it in the cash shop eventually I suppose… if I am willing to buy a pig in a poke.

Random... I hate random...

Random… I hate random…

I will mostly remember LON for using members of the community as models for some of the cards.  I was pretty happy when I finally got the card that had Brent from VirginWorlds on it.

Brent from VirginWorlds got a card

Brent from VirginWorlds

Daybreak continues to trim down.  I do wonder at times if they are planning anything new, or just riding out an extended end game on the few assets of value they have left.

 

Blizzard Admits that WoW Expansions are Just Going to Take Time

I don’t think yearly expansions would be the best things for our players.

-Ion Hazzikostas, Blizzard Dev Q&A Stream, June 16, 2016

My daughter and I were just discussing the possible timing of our inevitable return to Azeroth this week.  WoW Legion is coming at the end of August, the WoW 7.0 patch and pre-expansion events will drop a bit before that (that just went up on the PTR this week), the Warcraft movie just came out, Blizzard is pushing some new player items on their web site, so the time seemed ripe for that discussion.

My daughter thought this coming weekend, which includes Father’s Day here in the US, might be the time.  We could get back on and play together in Azeroth.  I thought that might be a bit too early for us to re-up.

Experience shows that both of us have something of a limited to how long we can play WoW before we wander off to other things.  I am generally good for something between 12 to 18 months before I need a break, while my daughter tends to clock in at about half that.  So I don’t want to start too early.  Waiting a few weeks, maybe for the US Independence Day holiday next month, seemed appropriate.

It was, as I explained to my daughter, about knowing your limitations, an idea brought home early on in yesterday’s Blizzard WoW Legion Live Developer Q&A stream.  You can find the recording of the stream here, though you need to jump ahead to just past the 17 minute mark before anything happens.  The joy of Twitch stream recording.

The stream, which features Assistant Game Director Ion Hazzikostas and Community Manager Josh Allen, delves into all sort of questions from the community.

Ion and Josh live on Twitch

Ion and Josh live on Twitch

If you’re really into the game… well, you’ve probably watched it.  But if you haven’t, there is a lot of decent information about plans and changes and what not.  They can’t tell you when the WoW 7.0 patch will hit… because they don’t know yet… but other details abound.  There will be flying in WoW Legion, for example.

For me though, the stream gets straight to the meat of the elephant in the room, just to screw up a metaphor, with a question about content droughts, which comes in at just about the 23 minute mark.

Seriously, what is the plan?

Seriously, what is the plan?

With this Ion has to come up with a mea culpa as they admit live, on Twitch, that there was such a post-Warlords of Draenor drought because they thought WoW Legion was going to be out a lot sooner.  They admit that, in hindsight, with five expansions worth of experience behind them, that they probably should of known this wasn’t a viable plan.

There is a philosophical moment in there where Ion says that they could do a drop with some new content much sooner, but what distinguishes a WoW expansions, what we have come to expect, are things like to systems, new races, new classes, and things like that which simply take more time to get right.  An expansion every year wouldn’t be what we we expect out of a WoW expansion.

So the plan is to have a lot more post-launch content drops for the WoW Legion expansion.

I have already seen an assumption about this based on the belief that, with the pressure removed to get expansions out more quickly that the cadence of such releases might thus slow down, leading to fewer expansions.

I guess I could see that, but there is still the economic incentive to get expansions out as they still represent a significant pay day for Blizzard.  I doubt they will be letting expansions slip to, say, one every three to four years for that reason alone.

And that payday is multiplied by the fact that expansions tend to be community revival events that bring lapsed subscribers back to the fold.  Expansions need to stay on their current track.

Of course, all of this will mean different things to different people.  I am not sure I have ever stopped playing WoW because I lacked for content, simply because I am pretty sure I have ever lacked for content.  There has always been something else to do in the game.  The limiting factor has generally been my attention span and my desire for a change of scenery now and again.  But that is just me… well, me and my daughter, chip off the old block head that she is.

Anyway, if you are into it, you should probably go watch the video for the same reason I did, which is the reason Ion would like you to as well.

It can be very different hearing somebody actually talk about something in context than reading a summary of that discussion after the fact.  You often end up with trolling, inexplicable quotes like that one I put up at the top of the post just to make this point.

Addendum: We’ll see who else picks up this topic.  Currently there is: