Sunday, July 19, 2020

Get A Job: EverQuest

I had a longish trip to make this morning. It took me out of the house for most of the day. Before I set out, I still managed to make time  to log in to EverQuest and set my Overseer dailies. I'm that keen.

Just as I was about to hit "Play" I noticed a new item in Latest News. It was short and strange: "The Nameless are searching for new blood" is all it said.

An event of some kind, perhaps? Possibly some kind of invasion? I hoped so. I like those. And I knew who The Nameless was. Or I thought I did., although the plural verb threw me a bit.

As well as being the name of a server, "The Nameless" is the name of an elder god in the Norrathian pantheon. Kind of. I think. Actually, I've never quite known exactly what The Nameless is. Allakhazam's entry doesn't exactly make it any clearer, either:

Even though I was in a bit of a rush I clicked through to see what it was all about. And it turned out to be... a job. Three jobs, to be precise. I definitely wasn't expecting that.

At first I thought the whole "Nameless" gag was just Dreamweaver being cute. Judging by the way he can't stop giggling when he hosts the Kander's Candor podcasts I would guess he's quite prone to fits of cuteness.

After I thought about it for a moment, though, it occured to me that perhaps what he was doing was obliquely explaining the underlying mystery of The Nameless as may always been understood within the company itself.

It seems no-one at Verant (or SISA or 989 Studios or SoE or whatever the hell they were calling themselves back then. You think Daybreak/Darkpaw is confusing? Nameless is clearly the last thing that company has ever been.) was expecting anyone to take the game they were making seriously. Half the Norrathian gods have anagrams for names that roughly describe their sphere of influence. Tunare/Nature, Ec'i/Ice and so on.

Even the less blatant - Solusek Ro, the sun god, for example - are punny. Sol Ro, as it's almost always shortened by players, concatenates the name of our own sun with that of the star around which Superman's home planet, Krypton, spins. Span. Is Krypton gone these days or back? I lose track...

The idea that the most mysterious and powerful of all the godlike beings, the one that "causes universes to exist" but "is unknown to most of Norrath" would be the developers behind the game fits very well with the general naming convention they appear to have been making up as they went along. If it isn't the explanation it should be.

I didn't have time to click through the hyperlinks to the job descriptions this morning but when I got back this evening and logged in to collect my Overseer xp, I popped onto the forums again to take another look. The links go to a page I really should remember to check more often: Careers at Daybreak.

If anyone's got a hankering to work there, now would seem to be a good time to apply. The three roles picked out in the forum post all involve working on EverQuest specifically but there are twenty-one jobs available in total. As I say, it's been a long time since I last looked so I don't know if that's typical or exceptional.

The thing I found most interesting were the nine openings for work on an "unnanounced project" at the Austin, Texas studios. I really can't keep track of this stuff (who can?) but I did remember that the DCUO team is based in Austin. I seemed to remember Jack Emmett saying something about it when DBG did the three-way shimmy earlier this year.

Not entirely sure what that means. (Particularly the bit about carving themselves out, which sounds unconfortable to say the least). Does Dimensional Ink "own" the whole Austin operation now, in which case the unnanounced project would presumably be theirs, too. Or are they sharing office space with some other, as yet unknown, Daybreak affiliate? Maybe, oh, I dunno, Nameless Games?

Whatever, it is a little bit intriguing, even if I don't think it's news, as such. I'm fairly sure we already heard about the unnamed project at some point. It's just that things that don't have names are easily forgotten. It's worth reminding ourselves now and again that something might be going on behind closed doors, just so we don't all hurt ourselves falling off our chairs in surprise when something playable finally appears.

As if that would ever happen.

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