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 III - The second scenario - Dark Elves conquer Serpent's Spine Edit
SB: We've seen how NPCs work in an autonomous manner. Here, nobody stopped the kobolds.But what happens, when the players get involved? Because, as we said, everything is about creating content for theplayers.
SD: Right, as we said, Everquest Next is all about putting the story in the hands of the player.
SB: It works in the same way. There are groups in the world that have needs that they can't satisfy by themselves.
SD: Right, they require players to jump in and help them achieve their goals.
SB: So, you have NPC groups, and depending on theirdrives it will generate needs that can then be fulfilled by the players. And when they do, when the players play the game, basically, and satisfy those needs, this will create new needs.
SD: Yeah, that's right. It feels like a very dynamic storyline that is playing out, because you can do actions in the world and see the effects of those actions play out. And it also changes what the NPCs are doing. Again, this is not a static world, where you are just seeing the same treadmill over-and-over. Things are very dynamic and alive.
SB: Not only will this open up new content for you, but this will also change your relationship to these groups.
SD: Right, because as you are traveling through the world, you are encountering these groups, these organizations, these individuals and they pay attention to not just the things you do, but the way you have chosen to solve problems. So this is not just some binary faction-bar that you are moving back and forth. If you have chosento live a life of violence, they will react to that. If you have chosen to use cleverness to solve problems, they will react to that, too.
SB: So, it's very true. One other thing we have shown in the previous simulation was this abstract notion of this big gem. And we call that dramatic resources. And this dramatic resource in that case was wealth. So, kobolds reacted to the presence of wealth in this territory, and it was in this case gems. But it could also mean that wealth created by trading routes exists in this region and then they will ambush caravans. Or they will try to raid wealthy places.
SD: Right, so these influences take a lot of different forms in the game and all depending on how we want to set those scenarios up.
SB: And that means that players, to go back to your examples, can interact with these resources in many different ways. If you want to increase wealth, well you have many different ways of doing so. You could bring your loot into a region, or you could help develop the economy of the region. So, maybe we should have an example showing how this works with the Dark Elves.
SD: Yeah so, this is in the second scenario, where we have the Dark Elves, who are coming into this region. If you know the story of them, they have come back from their exile in this shadowy world called Umbra, and now they are trying to reestablish their kingdom. So their goal is to build a powerful stronghold, from which they can seize control of the area and then ultimately expand their influence into Kithicor, because that is a place that is radiating with this magical power.
SB: Alright, so here is the situation at thebeginning of the scenario, where the kobolds have conquered most ofthe Serpent's Spine and the elves have established a small stronghold in the northern part of the region. But they are not strong enough to take on the kobolds by themselves, and that is where you come in.
SD: Right, because the Dark eElves are still few in numbers, so they really need the players to come in here andhelp them seize this territory
SB: And what we can see by looking at the elves' drives is that they have a series of drives. And the first thing that they need is to strengthen their settlement. And when they do, when they are able to do that, then they can move to another drive. So if we run the simulation, we see that the players can help the elves build a new outpost, take a better control of the land and get control of a place where there are resources that they can then use to strengthen their position, for instance iron mines or hard stones that they can use to build fortification.
SD: Right, so again, you are seeing that their storyline is playing out, and you are affecting it and it is moving through these different stages. And so, just like we as human beings have a hierarchy of needs, the NPCs in our world do as well.
SB: Exactly, and we can see that now this need is satisfied, they can start conquering more new lands, and again it involves players.
SD: Right, because players are at the center of all these stories.
SB: So now they have missions to remove the kobolds from the area. And I will just let the simulation run, but you can see that they(the players) are conquering new resources and the elves are taking control over the area. In the end, when they have enough resources, they can focus on their next goal, which is to increase their magical powers by building a shadow pit, which we saw in the video, and which is their source of magical power in the region.
Other Parts of this TranscriptEdit
Life of Consequence Video - Full audio transcript pt.3