The recent release of Dragons of Norrath makes this the perfect time for a new Evil Agenda. Dragons changed Everquest a lot. We talked about what we liked. We talked about what needed improvement. Now is a good time to talk about what we want in the future. Like previous evil agendas, I will focus on five areas of the game I feel need improvement.
The mission system in Dragons show us what a wide variety of encounters a single group can be given to accomplish within 90 minutes. Improve single-group boss mobs to tap into the creative work used currently for raids. Make single-group boss and named NPCs more interesting than typical mob encounters. Continue to focus on creating new and interesting single-group missions. Add missions that take players to Norrath's old zones.
Add missions for each old-world dungeon with a focus on exploration and lore. Offer a new low and mid-level mission vendor with appropriate rewards for these missions. Show new players the strength of the new quest and mission system. Add tasks that focus on exploration and discovery at lower levels. Add in new progressive low-level quests using the new quest journal. Make quests alignment / archetype based instead of race / class to open up each quest to a wider audience.
As players progress through missions and single group encounters, unlock new sets of more powerful equipement on mission vendors. This offers further progression for single group hunters and helps raiders gear up new recruits without having to defeat older content. The difficulty of the encounters helps ensure that players earn equipment they deserve. Ensure that all players have methods to progress through single group item rewards.
The Plane of Knowledge is a natural gathering point for players. It is not uncommmon to find hundreds of players within its walls. New players should become aware of its strengths earlier. Add tasks to take new players from their home city to the Plane of Knowledge. Add a level 20 quest for a high casting time, high recast cost recall to Knowledge item to allow all players a quick way to safety when real life requires attention. Rebuild the Plane of Knowledge using the latest features of the New Graphics Engine to show all players how far the look of the game has improved.
Improve the friends window to allow notes and track the last played date. Allow group member invites from across zones and directly from the LFG channel. "/invite soandso" should invite a user no matter where they are. Add "find PC" as a basic feature of the "find" command. Add players to the "Find" window when activated. Add an email indicator hotbutton to the default hotbox. Add a "new email" text alert. Add more hotboxes to each hotbox page. Add a default "new player" chat channel and autosubscribe new players to this chat so veterans can help out. Add an EQ2 style mentor system to Everquest.
The release of Dragons of Norrath shows a strong new direction for Everquest. The above recommendations will continue to help strengthen Everquest into a wide and entertaining game for years to come.
17 March 2005