Posts Tagged ‘SOE’

Good Star(t): SOE On Next Game’s Star Wars Heritage

By Nathan Grayson on February 5th, 2014.

Star Wars Galaxies was a lot of things to a lot of people. A largely barren land of infinite possibility, a janky pile of half-finished bantha poodoo, a player-driven sci-fi sandbox, a nigh-directionless walk through an abandoned Star Wars theme park. Maybe it was a little of all those things when it first came out, but people (myself included) came to love its quirks. And yet, though war never changes, Star Wars do. The New Game Experience (NGE) took SWG in a more cookie-cutter direction, and nothing was ever quite the same after that. Then the whole universe imploded in 2011. And in the game. Flash forward to 2014: SOE president John Smedley recently claimed that SOE’s next game will be “dedicated” to longtime SWG fans. But what does that even mean? Speaking with RPS, he recently elaborated. A little. The game is still technically unannounced, mind.

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EverQuest Landmark Alpha Out Today, What To Expect

By Nathan Grayson on January 31st, 2014.

We’ve played EverQuest Next Landmark and spoken with SOE about their mad (yet not entirely impossible) ambitions for the game/world creation Photoshop thing as it grows and evolves, but now it’s your turn. Well, maybe. If you’re willing to pay and also not talk about it for a while (hip-hip-hurrNDA, etc). EQNL’s roughly 60 percent complete paid alpha will launch later today, but it won’t be without its bumps in the road. We spoke with SOE about how it’ll handle progression, character wipes, and other growing pains typically associated with bouncing baby entire universes. Tunnel to the chewy, nougaty center of this post for everything you’ll need to know.

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SOE’s Next Game ‘Dedicated’ To Star Wars Galaxies Fans

By Nathan Grayson on January 28th, 2014.

Storm Troopers' helmets make it look like they're angrily disapproving of everything. I bet it's very hard for them to attend their children's piano recitals.

Back in my day, we played the original pre-NGE Star Wars Galaxies, and we liked it. No seriously, we really did, and I think the tide of public (or at least, gamerly) opinion has started lapping at those same shores over the years. Sure, the MMO was a mess when it first tractor-beamed money out of thousands of wallets, but it tried to be legitimately different. It set out to let us authentically inhabit the Star Wars universe, a brilliant vision hampered by half-finished, well, everything. But then the New Game Experience happened, everybody became a Jedi, and SWG was never the same again. SOE, it turns out, regrets that one big time, and they’d like to apologize. With a new game.

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SOE Shuttering Vanguard, Free Realms, Wizardry, More

By Nathan Grayson on January 27th, 2014.

The dragon is upset because he will miss you all very much and also because people are killing him right now

All good things must come to an end. Even MMOs, and – at least, these days – especially MMOs. Between shifting business models and “there ain’t room enough in this town for the six thousand of us” syndrome, niche standouts are finding it harder and harder to keep their heads above water. That sorry truth curling up like a cold, uncaring cat on our hearts and minds, let’s bid farewell to Vanguard, Wizardry Online, Free Realms, and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures.

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EverQuest Next Landmark’s Insane Ambitions Video-ed

By Nathan Grayson on December 9th, 2013.

I'mma turn this into a giant robot!

I have played EverQuest Next Landmark, and lo, it was akin to using Photoshop to birth worlds from my finger (and brain) tips. Also, a giant ice cream cone. For all of SOE’s boasting, there’s actually some awe-worthy power in the toolset, and that’s not even all there is to the game. Landmark is a universe of exploration, combat, and survival that will constantly expand as players build onto it. From a standpoint of scope and ambition, vanilla EverQuest Next pretty much pales in comparison. If you still don’t understand exactly why (SOE did a horrendous job of explaining it early on), there’s a fairly substantial video below that ought to help.

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New PlanetSide 2 Progression Won’t Involve Gear Or Power

By Nathan Grayson on December 4th, 2013.

It will instead focus on unlocking all portions of the purple color spectrum, making your purple even purpler than your purplest of compatriots.

A modern first-person shooter without a slow-burning, arsenal-amassing progression system is like a clown without big, poofy pants. The absence is glaringly noticeable, and then someone gets arrested for public indecency. PlanetSide 2‘s equivalent of that is the cert system, but in a game that’s just as much an MMO as it is a shooter, that poses some continent-sized content issues. This isn’t Call of Duty. There isn’t a new treadmill to hop onto every year. SOE, then, wants to get off the oh-so-trendy gear-and-guns train entirely with additional, entirely separate means of progression.

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I Will Never Be This Creative In EverQuest Next Landmark

By Adam Smith on November 29th, 2013.

My proudest Minecraft creation was a shack on top of a mountain. It had a single room, a bed, a chest and one glass wall that looked out across the world as far as the draw distance could see. It was a terrible little box but it was my terrible little box. I look at some of the architectural wonders and recreations that people make and I think to myself, ‘that is incredibly impressive and it is also something that I will never ever have the patience to do’. The same is true of the EverQuest Next Landmark video below. A piece of concept art is recreated in the game, the whole thing shown in time lapse. I want to walk around a world and see things like this but I’ll be in my shack, with a telescope, watching the ants at work.

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O:MFG! – SOE Finally Optimizes PlanetSide 2

By Nathan Grayson on November 13th, 2013.

Whoa. I'm so shiny, I can see a mirror's reflection in myself.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say SOE wanted to keep PlanetSide 2 all to itself. That would explain why the technicolor dream MMOFPS has been the stuff of mid (and even some high) range rigs’ nightmares since day one. But then, nobody likes the idea of being desperately poor and all alone forever, so I’m guessing SOE just made a gigantic boo-boo on its priority list. But now, finally, it’s managed to set all of that right with a huge optimization patch. If your machine choked, sputtered, and excused itself from the table (or life) after trying a bite of PlanetSide 2, now might be the time to give it another go.

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SOE On Why EQN Landmark Is Its *Real* Next Big Thing

By Nathan Grayson on November 11th, 2013.

EverQuest Next sounds marvelous. Maybe, finally, it will be the fountain of youthful innovation that this creaky, stuck-in-its-ways genre so desperately needs. A lot of jaded players are pinning their hopes on it, so fingers crossed. Here’s the thing, though: SOE’s EverQuest Next is actually only a very small part of the bigger picture. EverQuest Next: Landmark is the game that SOE thinks should *really* have everybody talking. It’s a tool that, in theory, will allow anyone to construct their own MMO world. EverQuest, SOE hopes, is done being a single game. Instead, it’s destined to become a player-generated universe, a rainbow sea of crisscrossing themes, settings, and goals. I spoke with director of development David Georgeson about specifics of things like classes, emergent AI, and combat, as well as trolling and why SOE is actually happy that player created content could entirely overshadow their own. It’s all below. 

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I Built A Giant Ice Cream In EverQuest Next: Landmark

By Nathan Grayson on November 11th, 2013.

When I was but a wee young’un, I played the original EverQuest until I felt more lizard person than socially confused middle-schooler, until I could fearlessly face down even the most mildly irritated of dogs because they weren’t Sand Giants. If you had asked me back then, “Gee Nathan, where do you think this series will end up in 13 or so years,” I would’ve been way off the (land) mark. And then I would’ve said something stupid and obnoxious and I would totally understand if you just hauled off and punched teenage me in the mouth. He had it coming. Point being, EverQuest Next: Landmark is more hyper-advanced Minecraft evolution than massively multiplayer role-playing game, but it’s a foundation on which we’ll be able to build infinite MMO worlds, quests, storylines, and dreams. SOE’s EQN is just a single twinkling star in its gigantic galaxy. So of course, I used it to build a giant ice cream cone.

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Let’s All Sign Up To EverQuest Next’s Landmark Beta

By Craig Pearson on October 23rd, 2013.


Mighty Questers of Early Access, in search of the door into EverQuest Next Landmark, do not falter. You are nearly there. You’ve captured the breath of the Dragon of What, held steady as you traversed the lands of Really? EverQuest? If You Say So, and ascended the peak of Is It Out, Yet?. There is one more step on the road, a perilous place known as the Sign Ups Of Beta. There you must complete the final challenge, the Perilous Form Of Smedley: tell it your life story to pass the Gates of Hype and into the Lands Of Hooray! Details are below.
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Privilege Issues: Start Everquest II At Level 85

By Jim Rossignol on October 3rd, 2013.


SOE send word that the latest update to ageing fantasy massive ‘em up Everquest II will give players a shoe-in at higher levels. They explain: “for a limited time new, returning and current players can create one permanent Heroic Character for free.” This option will be available from now until the 15th. Beyond that, a new Heroic Characters Programme will allow you to try a level 85 character for free, and to buy in should you so wish. All this is in preparation for getting the community buffed and with a level 85 tan ready for November’s high level expansion, Tears of Veeshan.

I’ve posted a video of the SOE Live panel explaining the upcoming expansion, below.
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An Unexciting Video About Optimising Planetside 2

By Craig Pearson on September 25th, 2013.


… but you should watch it, anyway. In my very casual time with Planetside 2, I haven’t ran into that many egregious technical troubles. I think I must be in the minority, or perhaps even the only person who hasn’t had his game hitch or crash or exhibit any slowdown, because SOE has (virtually) downed tools on a lot of content updates to focus on making the game run better. They’re also documenting this process for the fans in least visually exciting gaming video series, ever. You know how seriously they’re taking this when they have a game with Planetside 2’s visual oomph but put out a video of people talking in a room. Operation: Make Faster Game’s (O:MFG) first video is below.
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