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August 8th, 2013, 14:05
Forbes has another preview for Everquest Next talking about expectations and speculation.

Is it entering the realm of mad ambition to try to push out a procedurally generated voxel MMORPG with emergent AI? Role definitions thrown out the window with 40 mixable classes? No levels or level cap? Pets for everyone? What is this? It’s almost disingenuous to call it a MMORPG by the current common usage of the term. It has the potential to be rather terrifying, as current consumers of MMOs will realize rather quickly that this is EverQuest in name and lore alone.

While current consumers can claim they’re looking for something other than the core MMORPG experience currently offered by titles like World of Warcraft, the title still commands 7.7 million subscribers.

There’s the question of whether or not the MOBA/ARTS genre is taking players out of MMORPGs entirely, but that’s another issue. Does SOE overpromise and underdeliver? With EverQuest Next they are taking MMORPGs in a different direction, way beyond what we’ve seen in recent years with shifts toward free-to-play as the standard and the rise of “action” MMOs. It’s bold. It’s brave. Is it flying too close to the sun?
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August 8th, 2013, 14:06
I sort of find sad when article like this says that EQNext is taking the genre in a different direction like it was an all new one. The current MMORPG market is composed mostly of lobby-games (queue for content!) and "esports" titles (no so much in content, but the number of self-proclaimed MMO players that are asking about competitive content makes me think that this is how some people perceive them).

MMORPG were about adventuring with others in a world. They were cooperative games at heart. That concept have been lost in the last few years, MMO updates are all about making more instanced dungeons or adding leatherboard and ranking systems now. SOE is trying to bring back adventuring into the genre, it's not moving forward, it's moving backward toward what MMORPGs used to be.
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August 8th, 2013, 14:11
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
I sort of find sad when article like this says that EQNext is taking the genre in a different direction like it was an all new one. The current MMORPG market is composed mostly of lobby-games (queue for content!) and "esports" titles (no so much in content, but the number of self-proclaimed MMO players that are asking about competitive content makes me think that this is how some people perceive them).

MMORPG were about adventuring with others in a world. They were cooperative games at heart. That concept have been lost in the last few years, MMO updates are all about making more instanced dungeons or adding leatherboard and ranking systems now. SOE is trying to bring back adventuring into the genre, it's not moving forward, it's moving backward toward what MMORPGs used to be.
No, EQ Next is moving neither forward nor backward, it's moving sideways to a different genre altogether. Only time will tell if they made the right or wrong choice.
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August 8th, 2013, 15:49
From what I saw from the reveal it's actually moving into the Minecraft area. It wa one of those "Don't mention …" presentations. Landmark even more so but I'm intrigued by server specific persistence, i.e. events might happen on one server which might never on the other. Only problem is if there are server merges, how are they going to reconcile them?

BTW, SOE already has a competitive sort of MMO in PlanetSide 2 so focusing on adventuring with EQNXT is a smart move. No use in one company offering 10 mmo's with the same type of content. In regards to server merges, there have been a few already with PlanetSide 2 so I hope they have a gameplan in regards to the differences between the server worlds (maybe the one with the largest pop gets to go on while the other is destroyed).

I do hope PlanetSide 2 gets worked into a bit less of a Tug of War game and we will finally be able to lock-out factions, as that one is now it's just a shooter with gigantic scale.
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August 8th, 2013, 18:24
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
SOE is trying to bring back adventuring into the genre, it's not moving forward, it's moving backward toward what MMORPGs used to be.
That's purely assumption.

I like instances, to me that IS group-based. Where group-based is missing is from the 95% of the rest of the game. MMORPGs have shifted from being 100% group-based or mostly group-based to being 95% solo with entirely optional grouping til endgame and even then many MMORPGs continue to provide solo opportunities.

Solo is for single player games. What makes MMORPGs special is the potential for grouping that can go on for years. Or that's what made is special originally. The genre has shifted to try for broader and more casual appeal, which is a mistake, and it's why game after game have been considered failures and go from subs to F2P. They are not true to the genre and thus can't keep consistent populations like the older MMOs with more true designs did.

The other thing that the older MMORPGs had is challenge, and that is generally entirely lacking in modern MMORPGs. Not just optional challenge, mandatory challenge, content that makes you feel like you accomplish something when you do it. Nonstop solo ez-mode is just something to quickly pass time hoping to get to and endgame with challenges. It's rubbish that people blast thru in days. It's content that takes millions of dollars and years to make that players vaporize.

Even WoW, which people love to bash, had plenty of challenge at release. It was a good transition between the excessively punishing gameplay of old and the powder puff easiness of new. WoW has been refined and gutted to be suitable for play by infants but it wasn't always so excessively pathetic. Their stupefied approach has kept good numbers thru churn but driving away core players is finally catching up with them in their numbers.

I don't see EQNext really changing this. Console/action design, 8 skills in use at any one time (is way too simplistic), zero mention of group content in the reveal. Procedural content, player generated content - neato ideas, but not if they're geared towards soloists. You don't need an massively multiplayer online game for interesting solo content. Public quests aren't group content to me. It's a bunch of soloists zerging in the same space.

What many of us want is a return of more heavy group-based gameplay and some degree of difficulty beyond every brain dead one-armed chimp with no clue being able to solo everything in the game with ease.

I'd like to see one developer grow a pair of balls and make a real MMORPG. A game where you MUST group 95% of the time and can maybe solo 5% of the time. I think there's enough players who want something like this and it can be done without going back to camp and grind to extend leveling times and with modern trappings.

If people who think MMORPGs are all about solo choose not to play then that's a plus since IMO those people should be playing single player games.

Right now it's the reverse, and MMO after MMO either go F2P or start F2P because the game has no chance of retaining players like the classic biggies, because no game that's so easy that you can finish in 1-3 months is worth a sub - they are just semi-glorified single player games with tiny bits of grouping thrown in.

EQN *could* be that game but I'd bet cash that they are going for casual players and mostly solo. They're going F2P immediately which is pure trash. F2P is the worst thing to happen to the MMORPG genre for anybody who gives a crap about quality of gaming experience.

EQN will probably be a good game if they manage to hit even some of their dreams and talking points, but I doubt I'll consider it a good MMORPG, and it's not what a lot of people were hoping for.

Casual players who can't handle any kind of challenge, who prefer to pay to win instead of play to win, and who want to solo online next to other players you don't care about, rejoice! You'll have yet another game to flit around to, have zero loyalty to, and ultimately not care much about. Because the genre doesn't already have enough of this litter now.
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August 8th, 2013, 18:50
EQNext is a sandbox, you might want to compare it to other sandboxes MMOs, like Asheron'Calls and Ultima Online.
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August 8th, 2013, 21:57
Personally, I think SoE would be amazed at the response if they went more oldschool with Eq 3, and brought back some of the fun things of the past….having to travel the lands instead of instant travel, corpse runs, possibly losing all your if certain things occur. I think they'd make a killing with the older folks that might want some challenge back in their game.


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