This is a transcript of the audio from the video "Devs Talk a Life of Consequence in EverQuest Next [FULL VERSION]". It was published on Youtube by Sony Online Entertainment on September 30th, 2014. You can find the video here:  Since posts concerning the design and mechanics of the game are currently not allowed on the official forums, this information will be stored here for everyone to see.
SD: Steve Danuser- Lead Content Designer for Everquest Next at SOE
SB: Stéphane Bura- Lead Designer at Storybricks
Part IV - Third Scenario - The Dark Elves and the Dryads battle for Kithicor Edit
SD: So as we begin our third scenario the Dark Elves have seized control of lands within Serpent's Spine Mountains and they have undertaken construction of their shadow pit. So now their influence is radiating throughout this region. So now what they are going to do is move into Kithicor, because there is those Dryads that are resonating with magical energy, and they want to captured that essence and imbue it into their shadow pit and make themselves stronger as a result.
SB: Each scenario that we show you, is meant to show you a different aspect of this (design). In the first one we saw autonomous behaviors, in the second one we saw how drives could generate player content, and in the third one we show how conflicting NPC drives can create conflict between players. So here we have two factions, which are the elves, who want to accumulate nature essence to turn it into shadow magic, and we have the Dryads, who are here to protect the existing nature essence. So conflicting drives means there are two kinds of content for the players, and the players can choose whichever they want. To help the Elves, or to help the Dryads. We are not going to choose for them.
SD: Right, player choice is fundamental to everything that we are doing on this project. And just by coming into an area and seeing these different factions opposing one-another, you as players will have that choice. You'll see, do I wanna help these Dark Elves harness that Dryad power, that seems a little nefarious? Or, do I want to help nature and fight on the side of the Dryads and try to push back the Dark Elves and make sure that they are not overtaking this area?
SB: And what you have to understand is, that this form of interaction is not really PVP. It's more indirect PVP, because you play content and you can shape how the world will be, but even with conflicting goals you don't have to actually fight other players.
SD: But it is a good example of how we could open up optional PVP objectives that you can opt into, so if you want to fight those players directly you are going to be given an opportunity to do that. But we won't force that upon anybody.
SB: Exactly. So let's have another look at the simulation itself. For instance, here we have the Dark Elves, who have started spreading their influence in the form of shadow. That's how they use their magic, just spread shadow over the land, which gets them more power and they can fight better there. Because if you are going to fight the Dryads in their own land, you are asking for trouble.
SD: Yeah. Again, the Dark Elves are still small in numbers so they are using this shadow magic to their advantage.
SB: Yeah, and they can help the players fight the Dryads, using shadow magic. But the Dryads themselves also fight back with the help of other players, and take back control. And I will run the simulation a bit faster, so that you can see that there is this ongoing struggle that is translated into actual influence in the world.
SD: Yeah, and youcan kind of imagine how this might play out. You look in your Rohsong and you see this map of this region and you can see that control is shifting between these different factions. And you can jump in there and help push that balance back and forth, according to the side that you choose to fight alongside.
SB: Exactly. It's very dynamic and we are not controlling the outcome of this, so players could definitely have an impact on how it turns out.
This is a diagram that shows, how the influencethe players have can affect the world. It's basically the same diagram that we showed before, but with several groups. But the big difference is that, when you satisfy the drive of one group, you can mess with another group.
And we were talking aboutrelationships, and only the positive kind of relationship that you can get by helping some groups,...
SD: Right, but by choosing sides, you are also building up a negative reputation with some groups in the world, because there are groups who won't like that you helped one side or another in this conflict. And again, the methods that you chose to use, in order to help out these groups in the world, will have repercussions as well.
SB: And we have to point out something here. It doesn't mean that you won't have access to the content that would be reserved to the player with good relationship. It means that you will have access to a different kind of content.
SD: And you will have ways to make different choices and decide that, well I was opposing the needs of this group before, but now I want to fight alongside them, and you will be able to build up reputation (again). But that will impact the other relationships you've had before. So it's this very complex web of story that is playing out, in a very natural way, because it is not about watching UI-bars grow and shrink. It's about seeing how people in the world react to you, and the content that opens up to you based on the choices you've made before.
SB: And it may turn out that being the enemy of one group opens up some very interesting content.
SD: Some very cool stuff, definitely.
Other Parts of this TranscriptEdit
Life of Consequence Video - Full audio transcript pt.4