daybreak game company

Daybreak Game Company, colloquially known as just Daybreak, is what remains of the formerly Sony-owned studio SOE. The company was renamed following its purchase by investment firm Columbus Nova in early 2015. It is known best for the EverQuest and PlanetSide franchises, as well as Star Wars Galaxies, DC Universe Online, H1Z1, Vanguard, Dragon’s Prophet, The Matrix Online, Free Realms, and Clone Wars Adventures.

Landmark will have just one more character wipe

Ever since players learned Landmark will definitely have another character wipe, we’ve all been very eager to know all the details. Those details are now in: Producer Terry Michaels has posted answers that address the most frequently expressed concerns. For one, this character and claim wipe combination, which will occur on or near April 29, 2015 (after the Qeynos competition concludes), does not herald the start of open beta. And two, although there will be a claim-only wipe before open beta, this is the last character wipe. Michaels emphasized,

We’re taking this opportunity to do the *only* character wipe we intend to do. That’s correct; we no longer believe it will be necessary to do a character wipe when we transition from Closed Beta to Open Beta. We *will* do a claim-only wipe when we transition to Open Beta in the future so that everyone who purchased the Trailblazer pack will have their 2 days head start to stake their claim in the world of Landmark!

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The Stream Team: An EverQuest anniversary with gifts for you!

EverQuest celebrates another year today, which means it’s time for a birthday party. And do you think MassivelyOP’s MJ would miss a party? Not a chance! The festivities include new player-designed missions that kickoff today, and MJ can’t wait to check these out. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to share your favorite Norrathian moments while celebrating EQ’s sweet sixteenth. You might even walk away with a gift of your very own — one of 16 30-day All Access memberships!

What: EverQuest
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 16th, 2015

Enjoy the show!
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DCUO’s Andersen, Scott demo new munitions power

Want a 60-second preview of DC Universe Online’s latest power set? Daybreak has it in the form of a new teaser video. Munitions feature a mobile run-and-gun playstyle featuring explosions and conventional weapons, according to the DCUO wiki.

If you’ve got more than 60 seconds, you can watch the full livestreamed power set preview featuring creative director Jens Andersen and systems designer Jesse Scott. Both clips are embedded after the break.

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EverQuest kicks off 16th anniversary with player-designed missions today

It was 16 years ago today that EverQuest welcomed players into its 3-D world and in so doing helped to propel MMOs to greater popularity. A good anniversary shouldn’t pass by unobserved, and the team has seven new player-designed missions that are going live today.

These player missions will run for six weeks and mark the start of a string of in-game events for EverQuest’s sweet sixteen. Upcoming events include Brew Day (starting March 18th), Bristlebane Day (starting March 25th), Stomples Day (starting April 1st), and a reprise of past player-designed missions throughout the month of April.

[Source: Official forums]


H1Z1’s senior designer maps out the next 12 months

H1Z1 senior game designer Adam Clegg hosts Daybreak’s latest dev spotlight video. Clegg, who works mainly on world design, fields a number of community-generated questions that touch on everything from map expansions to airdrop mechanics to the team’s 12-month vision for H1Z1.

“Twelve months from now I would hope that we have more game modes, more server rule sets, hopefully things like a life mod or a karma system,” Clegg says. He also mentions squad and team functionality for battle royale. Click past the cut for the full clip.

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MMO Mechanics: Navigating fast-travel systems

I’m delighted to resurrect the column that brought me to Massively-that-was, MMO Mechanics, for the ravenous readers of MOP. The column focused on the various mechanics that underlie the MMOs we spend so much time in, exploring the under-the-bonnet workings that keep players playing and tackling the issues some of these mechanics present. You might remember the original column from its brief tenure around a year ago, but if you don’t, you can still find it on the interwebs. To get the ball rolling again, I’m going to discuss the logic behind fast-travel, the merits and perils of its various mechanics, and their use in MMOs.

With such vast, interesting worlds lying tauntingly at our characters’ feet, navigating such an impressive amount of virtual space can be both a challenge and treat simultaneously. Just as in the real world, the secret of a true adventure is chasing the action wherever that may take you by whatever method you can, all to keep your quest alive. Depending on where we must go and the method by which we find ourselves there, however, what was once an exciting adventure can become mundane rather quickly. Say, for instance, you must travel to work each morning and travel home: This journey is repeated with enough regularity that you end up so familiar with the route that it becomes tedious, no matter how pretty and exciting it was the first time around. If you had a switch that could magically apparate you there and back again, effectively abstracting away that tedium, you might feel tempted to use it.
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EverQuest Next ditches lore and general discussion forums

Assuming that there will be a wealth of lore and backstory in EverQuest Next, you won’t be finding out about it on the official forums.

Daybreak announced yesterday that it is shutting down both the lore and general discussion forums for EverQuest Next as part of its “corporate realignment.” This leaves the upcoming fantasy title with only three sub-forums on the official site: News, Style Guides, and Workshop, only the last of which allows players to start threads. Threads in the other forums have been temporarily archived until March 31st for players to copy if so desired. Two forums now reroute players directly to Twitch and Reddit.

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PlanetSide 2’s Clint Worley departs Daybreak

Former PlanetSide 2 Executive Producer Clint Worley has left the team and studio, according to a brief announcement by him on Twitter. It is unclear whether he was laid off or departed for another reason.

“Sorry for the lack of updates,” Worley said. “I am no longer working at Daybreak Games. The PS4 team is still cranking away and the game is in good hands. I can’t wait to see how the project turns out. PS2 on PS4 is epic and it will redefine free-to-play on consoles.”

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H1Z1’s latest patch buffs its Battle Royale mode

This morning’s H1Z1 publish is now live with its overhaul of the Battle Royale system. Daybreak told followers on Reddit last night that the patch is intended to improve Battle Royale matchmaking, bugs, disconnects, maps, population tracking, and “other anomalies.” Other game tweaks include new recipes, better base building functionality, and debuff adjustments. Critically, “furnaces and barbecues now have less health.” They were totally OP.

Daybreak is also promoting a test event this weekend for Battle Royale:

“Battle Royale is getting a lot of improvements with this next publish and we want you to help us test them. To show our appreciation, all first place winners of BR matches this weekend will receive a special item at the end of the round. Everyone who participates will earn a unique item which will be granted at a later date. The event will take place from Friday at 3 p.m. PDT through Sunday at 6 p.m. PDT and we encourage everyone to jump in and send us your feedback.”

[Source: Reddit thread, unofficial patch notes]


EverQuest springs ‘surprise’ patch today

Do you like surprises? As long as they’re good, right? Well, EverQuest players can breathe a little easier once they realize that today’s “surprise” patch is quite beneficial.

“There’s an in-game issue we need to fix so we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and address a couple of other things, namely a few improvements to experience gains,” Holly Longdale said on the forums.

Today’s patch increases XP gains for high-level characters questing in older zones, bumps up mercenary task XP, and adds a potion to the marketplace that triggers a 75% XP buff.

[Source: EverQuest forums. With thanks to Starbuck for correcting our EQ1/EQ2 goofup!]


Daybreak layoffs totaled 140 in San Diego

It’s been almost a month since Daybreak (formerly SOE) laid off several of its employees following its acquisition by Columbus Nova, but we’re only now starting to see the full scope of the event.

U-T San Diego reports that 140 employees were let go from Daybreak’s San Diego office, although the studio is not talking about how many were affected from the Austin location. Those laid off had an “effective termination date” of April 13th.

To recap the Daybreak saga so far: Investment firm Columbus Nova purchased SOE from Sony on February 2nd and renamed it Daybreak Game Company. On February 11th, the studio laid off a portion of its staff from several teams. Since then, PlanetSide 2’s Matt Higby resigned, EverQuest Next dropped Storybricks (which then closed), and GM support in Daybreak’s games was pared down.

[Source: U-T San Diego]


Daybreak posts new Landmark blueprint

Daybreak has published an outline for Landmark development over the next few weeks. The next update, likely dropping somewhere between March 18th and 25th, will focus on achievements and achievement polish, prop palette changes, building improvements, newb experience tweaks, claim upkeep changes, and new props and mats for Qeynos workshop.

Approximately two to three weeks after that update, the following build will address combat iterations, “crafting consolidation and cleanup,” and several other bullet points that you can view via the link below.

[Source: Daybreak forums; thanks Bob!]


Daybreak now has two G.I.R.L. scholarships for 2015

After this week’s Storybricks drama and today’s brutal cutbacks of customer service and forum support, the company formerly known as SOE could really use some good PR, and it might just be getting some in the form of its annual Gamers In Real Life scholarship.

For the past seven years, the studio has awarded a college scholarship and internship to one worthy applicant in its pursuit of supporting women in game design; this year, Daybreak will split that award in half for two applicants, one in art and design and one in programming and engineering. While entry to the competition is not restricted by gender, in past years the program has focused on encouraging and promoting women in the games industry, even requiring applicants to submit essays on the state of women in video games. This year, though Daybreak says the scholarship “aims to be the first step towards empowering bright careers for young women in the video game industry” by way of “helping to create more opportunities for women in game design,” the applications require only design materials and essays that discuss the college student’s “unique perspective.”

[Source: Daybreak press release, application]


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