Note: This post was written right after attending the "Anatomy of and Update" Panel at FanFaire 2007. I'll have a FanFaire recap soon(I know I'm late but you are already I'm sure inundated with "FanFaire Recap" posts, so check mine out later.
So I finally got to FanFaire after much delay, hit up the "Anatomy of an Update" EQ2 panel. Which was quite good, Scott Hartsman is just as nice and personable as people have said. The panel overall was informative and really gave an in detail idea of how the update cycle works and how the fallout is handled bugwise. The panel rooms are much smaller than I thought, though it does give the participants a very close/personal feeling. I tried to get into the "EQ2: Into the Future" panel but it was packed, fortunetly though they will be breaking the panel into three 45 minute sessions for those that could not attend the previous. So I am looking forward to that along with a VG panel on game design, after that though it seems like it is already over! I have to say I really wish FanFaire were a bit longer, as it is only two days and DefCon is three. I have to say though they content of the panels seems pretty impressive, and I wish I had the chance to just do FanFaire instead of having to split my time between the two.
One cool thing that came out of the "Anatomy of an Update" panel was the revelation that there will most likely be another zone added before RoK is released(I missed the RoK panel and for that I am quite sad). Which is great, Scott and the group also gave insight into how these zones are created and I was surprised as the words "quality of the content" came up, it really gave me the feeling that quality was paramount, if a particular zone did not meet the benchmarks it is scrapped and either dumped or redone entirely. This kind of embodies the new EQ2 attitude, where broken content doesn't make it, adopting Blizzard's "when its ready" stance on content(though I can't say they are even close to perfection with regard to that statement(especially with regard to high end raid bosses)).
Also the panel talked a bit about the new and for coming "persistent instances" and how they work in terms of saving an instance and players being booted from instances. Basically the big thing is that players in a raid can be spread out amongst physical boxes and if one box goes down only those players will be booted and the players on the other box will remain in the instance. Also with that the instance is hard saved every time a "noteable mob" is killed, which means if a crash occurs you will most likely have to re-clear trash, which isn't the end of the world except if you are currently engaging a boss and the whole thing blows up, that wouldn't be a fun night. But still it is a decent system for such a complex environment, I have yet to have any real experience in these new zones so I can't comment from personal experience about it but I can assume raid leaders can force a save, or that before you leave the zone it saves the current progress.
Anyways great talk, time to go walk around!