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.

Rend’s Jeremy Wood on how Frostkeep borrows from Blizzard, Dark Age of Camelot, and PlanetSide

GameDaily has an interview with Rend’s Jeremy Wood this week that covers a bunch of meta topics of interest to MMO players and watchers of this oddball hybrid title. While Rend has no plans to suddenly become a battle royale title, Frostkeep is very much watching what the MMO subgenres and companies are up to in order to “fill the same psychological needs that are being filled by those games in [Rend].” Specifically, Wood says his team learned a lot from Blizzard and the MMO genre.

“Our biggest takeaway from our Blizzard experience is you can make a fantastically unique product without really inventing anything new,” Wood explained. “Blizzard got where they are by taking inspiration from all sorts of different great pieces of games in different genres.”

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EverQuest II is merging one of its progression servers into a regular server

The residents of two of EverQuest II’s servers are about to get really chummy with each other.

Daybreak announced this week that on September 4th, it is going to merge the population of Stormhold with Antonia Bayle. This means that Antonia Bayle is going to see an influx of refugees while Stormhold will be shut down for good. This will be slightly tricky due to the fact that Stormhold was a time-locked expansion server, but that will come to an end as Antonia Bayle is a normal server ruleset.

There’s a lot of details that Daybreak covers concerning potential name conflicts and the transfer of mail and housing, so read up on the FAQ if this server merge affects you.

Source: EverQuest II

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Global Chat: Everybody’s burning up about that Sylvanas thing

Yes, just about every MMO blogger was sharing heated opinions about last week’s World of WarCraft WarCrime. “It’s such a sad event and I’m particularly mad at Blizzard at the way they chose to write this,” wrote Aeternus.

Moonshine Manor was equally appalled, saying that she was “not sad at the story, but at having to mourn my fandom.”

“The storyline strips players of agency, it’s not a good feeling,” wrote Mmosey.

And Leo’s Life couldn’t make sense of it: “The lore nut in me sees no logic in this.”

In An Age sympathized with the outrage but noted, “This cinematic short is amazing in isolation.” And Atheren doesn’t want this to be the beginning of the end of Sylvanas: “I hope she gets a redemption arc.”

And Wolfy felt that the community reaction was too much for an outsider: “The level of the freak-out was above and beyond what I’ve had the misfortune of experiencing as someone barely remotely associated with the WoW playerbase.”

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Leaderboard: Must MMORPGs revolve around grouping to be MMORPGs?

It would be easy to dismiss Saga of Lucimia’s pervasive “group-based or go home” ideas as mere rhetoric, but the reality is, there exists a small segment of the veteran MMORPG population that genuinely believes an MMO is not an MMO if it doesn’t focus exclusively or near-exclusively on grouping, and there are going to be games that cater to those folks.

I wanted to bring up that recent tweet because it seems like an extremist, maybe even revisionist position to take for a game in our market, and I don’t just mean in 2018 when plenty of non-MMOs have called themselves MMOs and even more MMOs have shunned the term. I mean in terms of the historical games being used as a touchstone for these ideas. Yes, some early MMORPGs like EverQuest emphasized group content; while you could level up on some classes and in some cases alone, for the most part, you needed to group up to get things done, whether you were taking down a dragon or just trying to squeeze out a few more bubbles of level in the midgame.

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One Shots: Selfie school

I certainly did not have to twist readers’ arms to get them to bring out a mountain of MMORPG character selfies set against interesting backdrops. Of course, everyone had their own definition of what that should mean…

“When it comes to character selfies the backdrop becomes less important if there is an important lore character in your picture,” said Ryuen. “Case in point: My humble Monk managed to snare Firiona Vie herself in EverQuest II for a quick pic before she had to attend to more pressing matters.”

She had more box art modeling to do. It’s exhausting, being one of the last of the Midriff Elves in the game.

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Take a peek at the development of Shroud of the Avatar’s player-designed dungeon system

Drama seems to plague Shroud of the Avatar, but if you can look past it, there’s some fun innovation going on inside Portalarium in regard to MMO mechanics. Portalarium Technical Director Chris Spears, for example, has been slowly revealing a massive new player-generated dungeon system for the game, hidden away in the bowels of the forums until this week’s newsletter.

If you’re a fan of City of Heroes’ old Mission Architect, Star Trek Online’s Foundry, or even Star Wars Galaxies’ ancient Chronicles system, you’ll see remnants of all of those in this system. Basically, you buy blueprints for individual pieces from NPCs, then combine them with mats to build your dungeon space chunk by chunk, on a housing lot, out in the real world. Eventually, you’ll populate “encounter rooms” with mobs and make it a real delve for other players.

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EVE Online overhauls a half-dozen ships and improves the starter experience

You notice how other studios, rather than scrambling away from next Tuesday’s World of Warcraft expansion release, seem to be trying to compete with it in some way? EVE Online is certainly not the only MMO that’s pushing out alternative entertainment for the larger community. The August release for EVE should improve the game overall with some spiffy ship redesigns, an update to the tutorial, and client performance.

Six iconic ships — the Navitas, Thalia, Tayra, Bustard, Badger, and Crane — are all slated for visual reworks when the patch lands on August 14th. These are all getting better models, textures, visual effects, and animations, so the ship you end up with next Tuesday may seem like a completely new experience.

And speaking of new player experiences: “This update focuses on delivering a new basic starter site for rookie pilots, as well as combat challenges displayed via The Agency and a new Agency UI for training tasks. These challenges are repeatable, but new pilots will only be rewarded with skills upon first completion as part of the rookie orientation process.”

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Star Wars Galaxies fans are working on an emulator for the game’s TCG

I haven’t been making any secret of how much fun I’m having in the Star Wars Galaxies Legends emulator (and thanks so much to the readers who urged me to try it!). What I haven’t tried just yet is TCGEmu, which is trying to revive the Star Wars Trading Card Game that existed chiefly inside SWG itself.

Late-game SWG players will recall that the TCG was ahead of its time on so many fronts: It was actually one of the first fully online card games out there, but back then it had no chance of reaching the heights of mainstream adoption that we’re used to seeing now with games like Hearthstone, especially since few people outside of SWG knew it existed. It was gorgeous as heck, too, with stunning artwork that exists nowhere else.

Of course, the TCG also has the dubious honor of being one of the first openly and egregiously lockbox-esque pay-to-win systems in a major MMORPG, as players spent gobs of money angling for loot cards, which they could then use (or sell) inside Star Wars Galaxies itself. While I personally bought and traded my (free monthly) loot cards and loved some of the clothing and homes added to the game, I was also among those who argued that all of those items should have been added to the sandbox through crafters rather than through gamblers and junkies spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on what were basically lockboxes in the form of card packs.

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Massively Overthinking: Should MMORPGs incentivize exploration – and how?

Our Daily Grind on exploration last week sparked an intriguing follow-up from MOP reader Miol.

“When asking about sightseeing and exploration in MMORPGs, you also mentioned the lack of rewarding incentives for exploring those worlds, or worse, a poor implementation of such features, as you pointed out by Guild Wars 2’s vistas. Many of Wander’s mechanics also come to mind for me. You and many commenters in that article stated that their exploration mostly happened by their own initiative!

“So what features would you all wish in an exploration-heavy MMO? Is Trove’s Geode with its non-combat spelunking on to something? Would exploring other players’ curation and display of art already be enough for you, a la Occupy White Walls? What would an MMO need to simulate a fun road trip? Would looking for that one place with those until-then-unmatched resource stats, be a definite must for you, as in Star Wars Galaxies? Or is open-world housing more of a priority, so you can find that perfect spot for your porch? Purely just survival features? Or maybe even, as Andrew once mentioned, a certain mechanic for dying, as in Project Gorgon?”

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Runewaker’s Guardians of Ember is getting a relaunch in the west thanks to Gameforge

It’s been a weird 2018 for Guardians of Ember. Back in February, Valve booted its publisher, Insel Games, off Steam, citing review manipulation in regard to another of its games, Wild Buster. Wild Buster was heavily affected, such that Insel transferred its publishing rights and rebooted it with a new name to get it back on the platform this past spring.

So what happened to the MMOARPG Guardians of Ember, the Runewaker game that was actually pretty decent at what it did? It kept on running through the studio’s own website and the Humble Store, but now, it’s upping its profile with a move to European mega-publisher Gameforge.

“Gameforge — the leading western publisher of popular Asian free-to-play multiplayer online games like SoulWorker, Elsword and NosTale — today announced that it has acquired the publishing rights to Guardians of Ember, the popular Hack’n’Slash MMORPG from Taiwanese developer Runewaker — creators of Runes of Magic and Dragon’s Prophet. […] Guardians of Ember will officially re-launch later this year in North America and throughout Europe through Gameforge. Currently, the game is being operated by Insel Games in the west; Information regarding how existing Guardians of Ember players will migrate their accounts and game data will be shared soon.”

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Jace Hall confirms that he’s H1Z1’s new PC lead, promises the sky

The rumors and hints are true: Monolith’s Jace Hall has made the jump over to Daybreak to take on the position as PC lead for H1Z1. Hall said that some of the details of this transition and future plans are still under NDA but that everyone should expect to hear a lot of details about the game’s development soon.

“Generally speaking, things that the community WANTS are the things that the community WILL GET,” Hall said. “It is not a question of ‘IF’ we are going to deliver desired changes to the player base, it is only a question of ‘WHEN.’ Count on it. The game is a service. A good service delivers what its customer’s want. It’s that simple.”

Hall certainly has high aspirations: “I believe that H1Z1 PC total ecosystem can slowly but surely and uniquely become something like the Counter-Strike of the battle royale genre. It’s an exciting thought.”

Oh, and the Daybreak H1Z1 forums appear to be back, so that’s pretty cool for those who don’t like to spend their lives lurking on Reddit!

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Perfect Ten: 10 MMO features that deserve widespread adaptation

You know what gets me excited about upcoming MMOs? It’s certainly not the list of expected systems and features that have since become standard for most games in this genre. Good-looking fantasy online RPG? Neato, that’s terrific, but what else are you selling?

No, what truly grabs my attention is when a dev team uses its imagination and comes up with a creative feature that makes me sit back and say, “Wow, I wish they all had this!”

It’s a shame that we have seen plenty of these systems over the years that were tried maybe once or twice but never adapted into the greater sphere. Today we’re going to come up with 10 examples of such features that truly did try something revolutionary (or at least pretty cool) but haven’t seen follow-ups in games since.

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Saga of Lucimia’s epic quests will take ‘time, effort, and teamwork’ to finish

What defines an epic adventure? This is the burning question that Saga of Lucimia is tackling this week, starting with the derisive analysis of current MMO questing as “grocery runs.”

Instead, the dev team has looked to larger adventures for inspiration, including the ring and shawls quests from EverQuest and the quest to destroy the One Ring in Lord of the Rings. This is the kind of scope and involvement that Saga of Lucimia is striving to attain.

“You’ll have your major quests that require you to form a group or be in a guild to complete. The ‘destroy the One Ring’ type of adventures and campaigns,” the team wrote. “And along the way you’ll branch off from time to time and work on side quests and adventures with other people who aren’t part of your main group […] But at the end of the day, the campaigns and adventures that we want players to explore in our world are those which require time, effort, and teamwork to complete.”

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