So here's a quick catch up.
If you're even bothering to read this blog then you probably already know that since May 2007 I've been a game designer on the EQII team, in charge of the tradeskill system among other things. The "other things" have varied and slowly grown over time, but tradeskills has been my consistent main focus. As tradeskill designer for EQII I've shipped 4 expansions (Rise of Kunark, The Shadow Odyssey, The Sentinel's Fate, and Destiny of Velious, plus EQII Extended); and during this time I've worked under four Producers for the EQII team: Gallenite, Froesch, Brenlo, and now SmokeJumper.
However, work is about learning and growing, and four years doing pretty much the same thing is a long time, for me at least! Not that I don't love the tradeskill system in EQII, because I certainly still do; but the tradeskill system itself (or any game system really) benefits from different perspectives and different opinions, and having the same person making all the decisions forever and ever would not be a good thing, ultimately, either for the game or for the person.
So, when I was offered the opportunity back in April to try a new role, I decided that both I and the tradeskill system would benefit from fresh perspectives and challenges. The new role is Associate Producer, still on the EQII team, and it was announced in this interview with Paul "Frizznik" Carrico, who's taking over the tradeskill duties in my place. Frizznik certainly won't think about tradeskills in the exact same way I do, and he'll see different priorities than I did, but I think that overall that can only be a good change to keep the tradeskill system from getting stale.
During the years I've been on the EQII team we've had a number of wonderful Associate Producers helping the various Producers, but during Brenlo's time the last of them left the team for various reasons (one to become the new producer for FreeRealms, in fact) so for the past year we've had none: just SmokeJumper handling it all on his own.
As was also announced recently, Dave "SmokeJumper" Georgeson is now stepping into a more senior role as Executive Producer overseeing the entire EverQuest franchise, not just EQII as before. To quote from that link:
Smokejumper: I'm still very much attached to EQII and work closely with the leads on that project. We recently promoted Emily "Domino" Taylor to become the Associate Producer on EQII, specifically to shore up the fact that I would have less time in each day to spend on EQII. So far, it's been working very well. The team didn't skip a beat during the transition, and in fact, things are probably better now than they were previously because we're able to split up the tasks and I can focus more on the game's quality and business direction.
So, that's me now: mini-SmokeJumper, and keeping remarkably busy because of it. I'd already been working fairly closely with him on a number of projects, but since the official changeover in April, it's been pretty much non-stop. I don't know how he was managing on his own.
I also recently joined the EQ2talk podcast to talk with Dellmon and Aliscious about my new role, the future of tradeskills, EQ2, and everything related. You can have a listen here. I'm a terrible public speaker, alas.
So, that pretty much catches up to the present time, and doesn't really excuse the lack of posts, but possibly helps explain the busy-ness lately that's been keeping me from posting much. As I think I mentioned in the EQ2talk podcast, I'm enjoying working with SmokeJumper so far; he's a good guy to work for and there's clearly such a lot I can learn from him that I'm trying to figure out some way to arrange some kind of mind meld machine to download it all!
In more general EQII news, we recently had another Game Update, and I helped (in a small way) our AV team to make a pretty cool video, which you can see here:
This week while I man (or possibly woman) the fort back here in San Diego, SmokeJumper is up in LA showing off EverQuest II at E3: if you're going to be there, definitely check out the Sony booth, where they're demonstrating their new 3D laptops with EverQuest II's spectacular 3D aerial races. I'd never seen EQII in 3D before and I'm really not a fan of 3D technology, but I have to say I was just blown away by how good it looks. Wow. It really is pretty amazing looking.
Also coming up soon is SOE's own Fan Faire event. Preliminary schedule and details can be found on the official fan faire site. Just a month to go now! I'll be there, and I'll be looking forward to seeing some of the "regulars" again as well as meeting new faces. Fan Faire is always such a lot of fun.
And I think that pretty much catches me up to date with the news; I'll try to think of some more interesting things to post in the future. I expect to continue to post on this blog as I think of interesting things to say, but possibly not so much about EQ2 tradeskills specifically. In the mean time, happy June, and happy tradeskilling!