Look Into My Eyes
I'm an Illusionist, right? A master of mind and mental influence. Today I try to read the collective minds of our developers, to see if I can understand their thought proceses.
Taken from the official SOE Everquest forums was a post from Frizznik about the new crafting books for imbuing items:
I wanted to clear up some confusion about the new crafting books which are used for creating imbued items. The current implementation of needing to finish quests before being able to buy the books is more difficult and adventure class related than intended. We are working quickly to get those books so that they are available to those who are pure crafters. In the meantime, those books are tradeable so if you have someone that can run and get them for you that would work.
That was on March 21, in yesterday's patch, the books in question were made available on the wholesaler. That was a very speedy reversal. And a puzzling one.
It makes me wonder at the process behind this. Did SOE miscalculate player reaction and reverse themselves in a storm of protest? I'm not sure how to tell, but I don't think so. Why? Well, a few weeks ago, aggressive bears and crabs began to infest the road in Thundering Steppes that led from the Antonica zone to the docks. The aggressive crabs even infested the revival spot next to the docks, which is supposed to be "safe". So, I think that was a bug, pure and simple. The wanted to increase the number and region of aggressive mobs in TS, and forgot to restrict the area that they wandered to exclude the road.
It took them perhaps 10 days to clear the road after that. So that gives us a baseline of their reaction time to what was presumably a miscalculation that they weren't aware of.
The reaction time in the case of the imbuing books was MUCH swifter. Really, only 3 days. So I think something else was going on, other than a general reaction.
I think that we more likely saw an example of "the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing" kind of thing.
First of all, in Frizznik's mind these new recipes are tied to the release of the first Adventure Pak, and so they are available via quests with the new NPC's in the new zones. They were probably developed, with the cooperation of the tradeskill team, by the Adventure Pak dev team, and thought of as a tradeskill component of that adventure pak, part of which would be available to the public.
However, I suspect that the distribution method of these recipes escaped scrutiny by the games overall manager(s). Until it was too late, the release needed to go ahead, and the decision was made to patch it quickly afterward. All too familiar a story to me, I'm afraid.
Other sorts of problems that SOE has had strike me in much the same way, and in some sense, they are typical for a game company. Most of the game developers I know work very long hours, underestimate how long projects will take them, and rush products out the door at the last minute, with little thought given to how to do development more efficiently, or ensure a consistent level of quality. I can hardly blame them, since that's what their managers seem to want, and reward.
Overall, I like the game a lot, and this does nothing to change that opinion. And EQ2 has it all over EQ1 in terms of a lot of basic robustness and reliability. I'd just like to see them demonstrate a little more patience with their product. The game design has definitely taken the long view, I'd like to see the development managers do the same.