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Default Everquest Next - News Roundup

August 5th, 2013, 07:02
Up first we have an interview from PC Gamer with Lead Designer Darrin McPherson and Creative Director Jeff Butler.
Forget about smashing voxel castles for a second—that’s crazy, but EverQuest Next is also kicking down the pillars of its own D&D foundation. SOE is changing fantasy MMO tropes it helped define and which its fans are used to—we’re talking getting rid of traditional leveling and introducing a multiclassing system, as well as handling expansions with Rallying Calls, which are grand scale, multistage storylines that permanently change a server’s world. These aren’t totally new RPG ideas, but they sure are for EQ.

It might have been just as risky for SOE not to change anything, but I’m happy that this is such an interesting risk. After the reveal at SOE Live in Las Vegas today, I met with Lead Designer Darrin McPherson and Creative Director Jeff Butler to get some insight on how everything will work.
Next we have a first look from Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
Rather than releasing Everquest 2.5, which would have been far cheaper than this long-haul iterative design, SOE have actually used their talents, thought about what could be done, and understood the time and money that a cooperative big name publisher can provide. They have elected to experiment with the form and attempt something pioneering. I’m struggling to think of another project in development with as much concentrated potential.
And finally we have Part 1 and Part 2 of it's presentation from SOE Live 2013. Followed by six videos from Polygon showing off various parts of the game. Enjoy

More information.
Last edited by Couchpotato; August 5th, 2013 at 07:14.
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August 5th, 2013, 07:02
This looks incredibly ambitious and is well poised to be the next big MMO.

- Multi-classing. Start with one of the base 8 and find a total of 40 classes
- Voxel-based destructible terrain
- Dynamic world events which play out for weeks or months leading to persistent permanent world changes.
- Dynamic AI with emergent behaviour
- Multi-layered world. Break through the terrain on the surface and land in a cavern. Currently has 3 levels.
- Change in trinity roles (tank, healer, damage) for group play. Further details to be announced.
- "SOEmote" : technology that utilizes your webcam to map your head tilts and facial movements to your ingame character (was developed for Everquest II).

And another game launched alongside called "EverquestNext: Landmark" for creating objects and buildings ala Minecraft. Anything that exists in the main game can be replicated in Landmark. With the added bonus of being able to sell and buy creations.

All this for an F2P MMO? Blimey….
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August 5th, 2013, 07:14
Potentially, this could be utterly amazing.

However… Listening to what they have to say and looking at how far along they seem to be, I'm quite sceptical.

Frankly, this looks like something from a very early stage in development and they're not being very clear about any kind of specifics - like how they intend to balance the level of destruction possible in that environment.

Looks and sounds like a dream that is very far from coming true - but I'm going to keep a close eye on this game, that's for sure.

If this gets released any earlier than 2015 - I'll be shocked.
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August 5th, 2013, 07:39
Agreed. Especially considering one preview said that they scrapped about 4 years of development after it was clear they were making the same game as everybody else. Apparently, what they have now is based on 2 years of development, which seems short.

Nonetheless, I'm all for striving to mix up the so-so gameplay of current MMO's, so I applaud their efforts, at least.

I'm surprised there's not more of a hue-and-cry about the art style. It almost looks Disney-ified to me…
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August 5th, 2013, 07:47
Originally Posted by Fantasm View Post
I'm surprised there's not more of a hue-and-cry about the art style. It almost looks Disney-ified to me…
You should try visiting some of the more grumpy MMO sites - like MMORPG.com

People are bitching endlessly about it.

I was one of those guys who had a serious issue with WoW when it was released for that reason.

Funny thing, though, is that I ended up playing it intensely for 3 years - and I've come to greatly appreciate the technical advantages of going cartoonish.

I'd still prefer a more realistic style - but you can't have it all, I guess.

If I could have my way, MMOs would look like a modded up Skyrim or something like The Witcher 2 - but I don't think we're quite there yet.

As long as the artists are sufficiently talented, a proper cartoon style can work admirably.

Age of Conan is probably my favorite MMO in terms of "art style" - but they had to make some obvious technical concessions - like going overboard with instancing.

WoW is still the best engine for streaming and performance - and it's close enough to being seamless.

GW2 has a wonderful engine - but it's got a lot of loading screens and it doesn't seem capable of handling dense forests or truly detailed environments. That's not good.

Nah, EQN looks fine to me.
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August 5th, 2013, 07:50
We can blame Minecraft and Notch. He spawned a generation of new games who will use Voxel tech. I don't mind all that much though as some look promising.

"Frankly Sir /Madam I don't give a damn about your opinion."- Couchpotato
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August 5th, 2013, 08:00
Well, I've been waiting forever for developers to give more power to the players.

But the challenge has always been how to balance it - and how to create a design that can satisfy all kinds of gamers.

This team doesn't seem to have a full grasp on the details yet, and they seem almost casual when they dismiss the issues of balancing a game with this level of player freedom.

That's not a good sign.
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August 5th, 2013, 08:27
This looks like it has a lot of potential, but man is it going to take a long time to release. And can they give everything they are promising? Probably not, but it would be very impressive if they did.
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August 5th, 2013, 08:55
Personally I do not mind the Pixar-like art style too much. Apparently one of the reasons why they adopted "exaggerated facial features" was to convey emotion more easily.

The devs have also stated that the playable landmass is bigger than than EQ1 and EQ2 combined. And the entire game world is seamless with no zone loading.

They certainly have some lofty objectives. We'll just to have to wait and see what happens.
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August 5th, 2013, 13:07
Multiclassing and the emergent AI has me sold. I'll at least give the tires a kick and see where it goes. Curious to see what issues all these new systems bring up and how they look to address them.
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August 5th, 2013, 13:37
Personally EQ Next video was one of my biggest disappointments in my gaming history. As a person who loved Everquest, and who doesn't like Minecraft, basically my expectations for EQ Next went from sky-high to bottom-of-latrine low, in the 1 hour the video lasted.
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August 5th, 2013, 13:42
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
Personally EQ Next video was one of my biggest disappointments in my gaming history. As a person who loved Everquest, and who doesn't like Minecraft, basically my expectations for EQ Next went from sky-high to bottom-of-latrine low, in the 1 hour the video lasted.
So, because EQN has building and destruction of the environment - it's exactly like Minecraft? All those other MMO features don't matter?

Strange reaction, but ok.
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August 5th, 2013, 13:53
Destructible terrain? Human beings (and especially online players) being what they are, I expect that the entire world will be one huge crater within a week after launch
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August 5th, 2013, 13:56
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Destructible terrain? Human beings (and especially online players) being what they are, I expect that the entire world will be one huge crater within a week after launch
One can probably expect the developers to limit the areas where total destruction is possible
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August 5th, 2013, 14:29
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Potentially, this could be utterly amazing.

However… Listening to what they have to say and looking at how far along they seem to be, I'm quite sceptical.

Frankly, this looks like something from a very early stage in development and they're not being very clear about any kind of specifics - like how they intend to balance the level of destruction possible in that environment.

If this gets released any earlier than 2015 - I'll be shocked.
Everquest Next Landmark is supposed to release this year (dev even said November 2013). Think of it as playing Minecraft Survival at Peaceful level, while EQNext will be more like Minecraft Survival on Normal. You have to harvest material and craft if you want to build things. There are a few other differences, but it's the same engine and a lots of systems are shared between the two. They will even support guilds in Landmark.

The full EQNext game completion is another story, but I suspect it is much more advanced than what they showed at SOE Live. In the class panel, they showed 3d models with combat ready stance for all 40 classes, but highlighted only 3 of them.

People should also keep in mind that the game is going to be "empty" at the start. It start right after a big war with dragons ended and the Combine (alliance of different races) just started to build Qeynos. Players will have to help build the city if they join at release. That's part of the "Living Story" (I think Arenanet should have copyrighted that).

The underground levels are procedurally regenerated periodically as well, so they just need to design biomes for them.

Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Destructible terrain? Human beings (and especially online players) being what they are, I expect that the entire world will be one huge crater within a week after launch
Some places can't be destroyed, like starting cities and your house unless you set the permission to allow for it. Even if destruction is allowed, unless it's a Rallying Call and part of the Living Story, it's not permanent. Current "healing rate" of the world is 5 minutes (I expect tweaking while in beta). See they even though of that, I suspect they did play Minecraft on a public server…

Also, you need to appropriate ability, items and power level to destroy things. The characters in the videos were "advanced" and the way they explained harvesting, I believe that you will need the required tool to break things, like in Minecraft. Pick for rocks, axe for trees, etc.
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August 5th, 2013, 15:24
They said nothing about grouping and crafting so they have a long way to go, to sell me. I was hoping for more realistic graphics but I can live with what they showed. They got my hopes up talking about going back to EQ but we will see if they can deliver.

Did not talk about dungeons too much either and that is what made EQ. I would spend a month in a zone like Unrest and learn everything about that haunted house. In a new game like Guild Wars 2, I spent a month to get to max lvl and there was nothing to do after that.

Did not talk about factions too much either. I agree with wolfing and my expectations have been lowered. They can be raised again but when you get rid of the Holy Trininty (tank, healer, DPS) I think it may just become a zerg fest like every other MMO released in the last few years.

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August 5th, 2013, 15:43
Plus, how fast paced will the combat be? Seems like they are going the GW2 route with your skills based on weapons and that got boring pretty fast. I don't mind only having 8 hotkeys but they better make them exciting and not just a button mashing contest.

Starting out with a huge world to explore and hardly any major cities is a great idea. The explorer in me will make me buy this game and give it a try. If the make it a single player game where groups don't have to be formed then I won't be staying long.

I am sick of games where every character is a God and everything is handed to you without putting in any work. Make it take months to get your epic weapon. What do you expect though when we live in a world where everybody gets a trophy just for showing up.

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August 5th, 2013, 15:46
Some people like me get a thrill during exploration/investigation/learning phase of the game. The less info about craft I have, the more inetersting it'll be to find it out for myself. Reading endless review/overview/details/guides/etc just sure way to kill the game for me. I don't mind reading about it after I have completed the game though to see what I have missed and what I could do better.
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August 5th, 2013, 16:33
A fan site put up an "index" with the information gathered so far.
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August 5th, 2013, 16:35
On one hand, I like the fact that you can affect the world environment. On the other hand, looking through those videos, it does not feel like Everquest at all, but more like a modern-day MMO playground. Skills are way too-actiony for my tastes and fights are over all too soon.

But one can't live in the past: although I played Everquest religiously for five long (personally stagnant) years, I don't think I'm the target demographic for EQ Next. And I'm ok with that - times change.
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