You know, the most awkward part of writing one of these is the introduction; it almost always comes across as cliché.

So, now that we have that out of the way…

I am extremely pleased to join the creative and passionate EQII team as the Senior Producer.  Bruce has always been wonderful to work with and leaves me some rather large shoes to fill (speaking of clichés; they are actually about the same size as my own).  Bruce has been a strong shepherd for the team and the game and we all wish him well as he moves into his new role here at SOE.  I know he will do well, as he carries the dedication he shows in all things with him.

As far as Community Relations, I am leaving the team in very capable hands.  Richard “Greeblen” Schmelter will be giving that team the love they need now, and I know he will shine.  Why the change for me?  Well, first you should understand that it is not as different a career as you might think.  A producer is a manager, just like a director.  So, many of the skills are the same.  Just different processes, more people, more assets.  More, more, more.  And of course, now I have these large looming deadlines.  What was I thinking?  I love games, especially MMO’s.  EQ was my first love and brought me to SOE, but it was EQII that held me longer than any other.  I love the game and when the opportunity arose to work with this team, I could not pass it up.

This team is amazing!  I have spent the last two days in meetings as they talk about their work and their passion for this product; I am excited, as I could not be blessed with a better group to help me make this transition into Production.  Coders, Designers and Artists are all working very hard to make sure EQII stays the quality game it is today.  Over the next few weeks you will see some of their plans come to fruition as we publish Monument and Might (GU 52) to Test and then Live servers sometime in June (possibly before Fan Faire).

But that ain’t all we have in store for you.  As we sat together and went over the plans for GU 53 and beyond, the player in me was piqued.  I wanted this new stuff NOW.  I wanted to play with the new zones, items, and dungeons.  I smiled and laughed as I saw new creatures and their animations (complete with sound effects provided by Tom Tobey, one of our Senior Artists), and I know that you will love them too. 

We also have some not so much fun stuff to get to, maintenance to the game to allow us to continue to develop content, expansions, and items for years to come.  Some of those pills will be tough to swallow (cliché).  The team and I will work hard to make certain you understand why we’re making these changes, why they are necessary.  We will discuss them with you and listen to your feedback.  While that doesn’t mean we can always go the way some players feel is correct, it does mean we want you to know the WHY of our decisions.  I used the word “shepherd” for Bruce and it is fitting, as that is what a producer does.  They make sure the game is headed in the right direction, away from cliffs and pitfalls so that it stays around, competitive, and most importantly fun, for a good long time. 

I will be available on the forums occasionally, on Twitter often (handle is Brenlo) and in game when I can log in to chat with you.  I look forward to hearing from you.  I look forward to playing with you.   I look forward to being a shepherd for this game and development team.  Leading them, shaping their plans and guiding their passion.  A passion you, I and the team share.   

See you in Norrath.

Alan "Brenlo" Crosby