Saturday, June 19, 2010


Some days I'm just in an odd mood.  As poor Vanesta found out.  A few months ago when we were planning out the in-game loot items for the upcoming Legends of Norrath set (the online trading card game that ties in with EQ and EQII) I had another of those moments.  I'd been working on Tinkerfest quests at the time (a gnomish festival of all things clockwork that comes around once a year) and so I suggested something along those lines.

I think my exact suggestion may have been something close to: "how about a box with a big red button on it that you can put in your house.  And if you push the button, it kills you." {followed by evil snickering}  And I asked some random people on the team, "would you find this funny?" and the general consensus was yes, so we decided to make it.

And so, one of our wonderful EQII artists, Jeff Jonas, made a very pretty little clockwork box with a big red button on top.  Little cogs spin and turn, and you see the button depress when you click it.  It looks great.  We called it an "Overclocked Tinkered Control Button", and put a big warning label on mouse-over that pops up text saying "WARNING: DO NOT PUSH BUTTON", and added a huge and lethal fireball effect if you do press it.

And I tested it, and laughed my head off.  And we sent it to QA, who tested it and laughed their heads off.  But sometimes, things that designers (and QA) think are funny don't always seem as funny when they make it into the live game, so I was curious whether people would like it or not.  This past week it went live, and the first people playing LoN started to get the loot cards and get their own tinkered control buttons.  While I was logged into Test server checking out the Tinkerfest event there, the item was mentioned in the test server chat channel.  As follows from my logs:

Everfrost.Aeryal tells test (3), "oK [Overclocked Tinkered Control Button] who thought this up?????????????"
You tell test (3), "erm, that may be my fault, Aeryal."
Everfrost.Aeryal tells test (3), "it blew me up and killed me it said i would revive outside"
Daithe tells test (3), "Aye, it is fun!"
Dwargo tells test (3), "Good God, Daithe!  Are you out of your Half Elf mind?"
Everfrost.Aeryal:Everfrost.Aeryal tells test (3), "seriously  you made a house items that acctually kills people?  "
You tell test (3), "yes"
Everfrost.Aeryal tells test (3), "does it kill you everytime?"
You tell test (3), "and yes"
The_Bazaar.Faeurelis tells test (3), "*giggle*"
Elana:Elana tells test (3), "ohdear"
Tock:Tock tells test (3), "that's fantastic!"
The_Bazaar.Seecret tells test (3), "which item kills????"
Everfrost.Aeryal tells test (3), "[Overclocked Tinkered Control Button]"
You tell test (3), "yes, that one.  It says very clearly DO NOT PUSH BUTTON!"
Tock:Tock tells test (3), "lol"
Elana:Elana tells test (3), "{falls over laughing}"
Splitpaw.Chlorr tells test (3), "does it only do that if you press the button or is it random?"
Dwargo tells test (3), "oh, i LOVE the Babbage Engine wheels"
Everfrost.Aeryal tells test (3), "well be a good item for a party drunki can get easily sobered"
You tell test (3), "it only kills you if you press the button marked DO NOT PRESS BUTTON."
Daithe tells test (3), "*snickerfits*"
Splitpaw.Chlorr tells test (3), "oh good, thank you"
Butcherblock.Lohkee tells test (3), "The effects of prolonged exposure to the 1500 megawatt Aperture Science Heavy Duty Super-colliding [Overclocked Tinkered Control Button] are not part of this test."
The_Bazaar.Seecret tells test (3), "wait, the button is from LoN, not tinkerfest?"
You tell test (3), "yes, the button is from the LoN set that went live today."
Slybones tells test (3), "WTS  recipe for BBQ gnome buffet"
The_Bazaar.Seecret tells test (3), "*gets to work thinking of trades to make for it*"

It's good to know I'm not the only one who thinks sudden, explosive death can be funny.  =)  It's also a good example of how an in-game loot item with absolutely no gameplay functionality or stats whatsoever can still be desirable!

Now I just gotta get one for myself...  boom!

(If you play EQII and want to check out the button for yourself, or any of the other in-game loot from the current LoN set, it should be on display in the LoN Showroom in game, which can be accessed via a portal in the Lion's Mane Inn in South Qeynos, or the Blood Haze Inn in West Freeport.  The showroom should be displaying the current LoN set "Doom of the Ancient Ones" from next week until the following set is released - date not yet finalized, but that won't be for several more months.)


  1. Quite possible the best idea EVER. I've worked for several companies for whom that would have never seen the light of day. Kudos to you guys for having the hutzpas to go throug with it, and to SOE for actually allowing it to go in game. Good gawd I'm still laughing. Nicely done!

    Dusty Monk

  2. I love it and I want one, would love to be able to place it in the guild hall! Yes, Yay for the humor side of SOE!

  3. That is awesome! :D I wish I had money to shell out for that sort of thing! :D

  4. I for one find that hilarious. And would get one. And would press it regularly. And would make noob friends press the button regularly.

    -VG of

  5. My guild hall has one, and my wife HAS to press the button everytime she enters. She wanted me to find out what it was since our guildleader just snickers quietly whenever we ask. love the item! Great Job! *gonna cost me a fortune in my wife's repair bills though*