Daybreak: Here’s where the EverQuest franchise, DCUO, PlanetSide 2, H1Z1, and Just Survive stand

    
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Not counting Standing Stone’s titles, Daybreak currently develops and publishes six of its once massive stable of MMOs: Both EverQuests, DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, H1Z1, and Just Survive. As last week’s bizarre corporate shenanigans and mass-layoffs unfolded, some of the reps for these games addressed their playerbases (with more than a rote denial that anything was wrong).

DC Universe Online’s Executive Producer Katnikov says that “nothing has changed in DCUO’s development schedule” and “these events have not limited [the team’s] plans for the game and future development” as the Deluge update overperformed and there are two episodes and more style unlocks in development. A huge three-parter Superman birthday tie-in apparently begins on May 16th.

PlanetSide 2 Producer Nick Silva reiterates the statement made earlier on Reddit that nobody from his team had been laid off. “PlanetSide 2 has not been negatively impacted by any of the recent reorganization at the company,” he writes. “Our plans for the rest of this year have not changed and we are excited to continue to bring amazing new systems, features, and content to the game we all love. In the coming month we will be celebrating the 15th anniversary of PlanetSide as a franchise. There will be new content, some promotional events, and a new alert type added to the game. We’ll also continue to put out game updates at a regular cadence, as we have been previously.”

EverQuest and EverQuest II Producer Lauren “Mooncast” McLemore has posted nearly identical messages to both communities, attempting to “reassure you all that this restructuring will not change our plans for EverQuest and EverQuest 2” and that more content for both games is on the way, though apparently the studios aren’t announcing much yet. “Both game teams are still gearing up for this year’s expansions, and EverQuest 2’s Game Update #106 is just around the corner with loads of new in-game content got players (stay tuned for news on that very soon!). Plus, on top of all that, we’re already entering the planning stages to make sure that EverQuest’s 20th Anniversary will be an event to remember!”

H1Z1 and Just Survive don’t have forums, only Reddits and Discords. The Just Survive community, facing down rumors that the entire Just Survive team had been let go, is currently expressing dismay on Reddit as they haven’t been given any sort of update from Daybreak on the future of their game. Survivors have taken it upon themselves to start up a thread thanking the lead dev on the game. H1Z1, whose poor performance has been blamed by our sources as the reason for the studio re-alignment, has also not issued a developer statement to players, although someone is clearly manning Twitter (and not addressing the issue). The Twitter account has reiterated that plans to port H1Z1 to PS4 continue.

Worth pointing out is that a Daybreak representative told me all of Daybreak’s studios had been affected by the layoffs but that none of the games would be. It’s not currently clear how that could be the case if Just Survive has been all but marooned, and of course, with 70 people gone overnight, it’s hard to imagine how the games couldn’t possibly be affected.

It is likewise not currently known how the teams working on Daybreak’s in production games – we assume that would include the rumored EverQuest 3 as well as the rumored sci-fi-ish shooter – were affected.

Tangentially, we’ve also had a refreshed update from a source within the Player Studio program. In our earlier report, we noted that participants in the Player Studio program (players paid to design gear for PlanetSide 2 and the EverQuests) hadn’t been told what would happen to the program as the one person assigned to oversee them was among those laid off. Now, it appears that employee, Rick “Syrah” Reynolds, has been allowed to communicate privately with his player team and has said that while technically the EverQuest II producer, Mooncast, is still in charge, he is not sure who the future direct overseer will be. Apparently, the players do expect to be paid for their current work, though it’s not known whether the turnaround time for submissions (up to a year) will improve.

With thanks to Suikoden, Kinya and Anon.

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A Google User

I keep checking back to see if there’s more news, but apparently not. So I will just add another recent observation: So apparently we do have a Mythical Epic 2.0 weapon that is a raid version. But the reward for doing crafting weeklies is…. Advanced Jeweler 108. Wow, guys, really? And Feldon was just talking a couple months ago about how “betrayed” the developers felt by the raiders slamming them online? Stockholm syndrome much?

Anyone who used to log in, play with friends on a heroic level and then log out, they’re gone. It’s raid or nothing now. It took all day to get a heroic group on my server both Saturday and Sunday, and it took hours to finish the weekly. Nobody quit though because that was the best we could scrounge together.

The number one problem is the same as always: you need raid gear to do heroic without spending hours on it, you need heroic gear to do overland without spending hours on it. It’s not true that once you have heroic gear, heroic zones are reasonable. That’s the basic issue, and has always been the basic issue.

It’s obvious. Look at the currency vendors. When you can buy raid wrists right off the bat, you should worry because the developers assume you will need them.

Meh, it’s no fun to spend hours LFG and then hours doing tiny damage because we’re heroic geared on heroic mobs. So I try to go for a tradeskill quest and am greeted with a garbage reward. What’s left? Gee what pretty graphics? Yeah, gotta give them that.

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A Google User

“with 70 people gone overnight, it’s hard to imagine how the games couldn’t possibly be affected.”

This is already happening, and has been happening for a few years. Nothing will ever replace EQ/EQ2 in my life, however, now that I’ve played other games outside the DBG milieu, I can see how far the “borrowing” has gone. I think the reason there are so many broken pieces of game in EQ2 particularly (LFG and cross server stuff that never worked, DM getting canned but now used as a decoration, bizarre new crafting methods which get abandoned quickly…) , the reason for this is obvious to me now.

They’ve been hiring the development work out for years and the game quality has been degraded as a result. It’s full of things that don’t work right anymore, like broken toys on the carpet. This is the latest installment of letting people go and planning to make it permanent that developers we don’t know and who don’t have our game foremost in mind will be creating it. If it survives this, that is.

I’ve never been rational about loving video games, I don’t think we should be, that’s part of the fun. But this is pushing me into a sad desperate place where I hope my sick game doesn’t die from neglect. I still log in, I still play every expac and I will do so until the lights go out. But I’m happier now that I know I have other games I can play and enjoy, but I’ll never love a game as much as EQ2. And it’s a travesty what’s happening to it. I sympathize with the players of the other games affected. Nobody should watch something they care about go through this.

gylnne
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gylnne

Every notice gaming pr ppl sometimes sound just like politicians?:P

If it is true over 70 were let go there is no way this will not effect bug fixing and new expansions.

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Moxie Grey

It depends on who was let go. If it was mostly PR, advertising, etc., then it won’t affect that stuff much. Looks like a lot of it was management & site admin types (which, let’s face it, most Daybreak games needed new ones anyway).

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Armsman

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Kevin McCaughey

Everquest 3?

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Ben Stone

Could Daybreak just sell the Everquest IP so we get a decent reboot?

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Jack Pipsam

I’m guessing they’d rather use it as leverage for anyone interested in buying them as a whole. Which for EQ & EQ2 might be better in terms of live operation as I don’t know if they’re the kind of games you could just dump into the laps of a different team and expect them to pick up easily.

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Kheldar

EQ1 they could possibly use as leverage, as the EQ1 team has actually been working rather hard it seems to add things into the game, make actual desirable crafted items, and generally make it more fun. They have also been responsive to the players, and actually listen to them.

EQ2 in its current state would be a liability, as the EQ2 developers have done nothing like EQ1’s did. They have constantly added/removed/screwed with stats to overcome creative shortcomings, and have turned EverQuest 2 into “Gninja’s EverRaid Forever”. They have lied about class balancing, they have reduced the entire game to running instance after instance, and then when people were running them too well, they screwed up to require this class, or that class, or x many people. They completely destroyed the idea of being a tradeskiller, and with Ascensions, are only looking to keep the grind (or the cash store) going.

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Moxie Grey

Honestly, I’d like to see Deep Silver buy ’em. They hate gambling lootboxes, they don’t rush for deadlines (unlike the trash fire that is EA), they communicate with their teams & playerbase, and their developers actually seem to have fun making games.
As long as they get the actual development teams on board as well, I think they’d be good for a lot of these games. Especially DCUO and EQ (which could honestly use a revival; EQ2 started out so promising, but was carved into a husk really quickly).

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Toy Clown

Oh boy. Every MMO management team ever always issued statements like this before the plugs were yanked. I’m hoping it won’t be the case here.

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Sorenthaz

Just Survive dying wouldn’t be surprising. The whole DayZ craze died awhile ago at this point. And tbh, why bother wasting further resources on it when the vision was thrown aside for King of the Kill ages ago.

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Richard de Leon III

I wish that werent the case, I cant seem to get tired of any zombie game, despite the oversaturation.

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Sorenthaz

For me I guess I’ve got Dying Light, Dead Island, 7 Days to Die, and possibly State of Decay 2 to scratch the various itches I might have. I guess out of those 4 7 Days is probably the closest to Just Survive.

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Utakata

…or tl,dr: “It’s just a flesh wound!”