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Default Everquest Next - Preview @ PC Gamer

September 25th, 2013, 17:43
PC Gamer has a new preview of Everquest Nexttalking about the games voxel-based landscape, and the ability of the player to shape it.

Once upon a time, players believed that MMO worlds would respond to what they did in them. Over the years, that promise has been eroded and replaced with other systems and other ways of rewarding the player. EverQuest Next promises to restore some of that initial optimism, and we hope that it succeeds: if it does, the ground is about to collapse beneath this long-stagnant genre.
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September 25th, 2013, 17:43
The world of EQN could be amazing but it won't be worth a crap if EQN is a single player F2P steaming pile of dookie.

What is truly missing from MMORPGs is the full on grouping experience that defined the genre originally, whereby you were grouping 90% or so of the time and solo was horribly inefficient and something you rarely did.

In the unnecessary shift towards casual and solo (that were never needed since the original MMORPG paradigm worked fine and all the biggies from the old days are STILL successful) the genre has shot itself in the foot (nonstop parade of games that play more like glorified single player games that can't retain players or stay sub-based) and stripped away its own soul and identity.

MMORPGs are complex games suited to PCs. Designing for console just diminishes the overall game. EQN's stripped down 8 skills up at once design is just weak and a sure sign that they're designing for the least common denominator or flat out idiots. Not a good sign. It's also very unlikely that the game will have sophisticated role-based grouping since it's pretty tough to create classes that can both do the inevitable mountain of solo AND have grouping skills with just 8 skills (could be possible with their screwy class system and swapping in and out but I'd guess EQN is being designed to be mostly solo, which is fail).

F2P is a fine business model for games like LOL that can pull it off without sacrificing the integrity of their game. Nothing important to GAMEPLAY can be bought in a game like that. This is never how it is in MMORPGs, which are all about time spent vs reward. Cash shops and F2P in MMORPGS ALWAYS compromise and involve pay to win. F2P is sheer garbage for quality MMORPGs. Going F2P by design is just admitting your game isn't worth a sub, that you expect high player churn, and is like surrendering before the fight even begins. Utterly weak.

SOE didn't create EQ, they bought it. EQ2 wasn't bad but it was pretty rough initially, never truly had the impact of a biggie, and ultimately went F2P and or pure P2P before many others. SOE has been involved in a bunch of failed or really bad MMORPG projects.

Why should anyone believe that SOE is capable of creating a really good MMORPG? Why should anyone believe that SOE can make a game that lives up to the EverQuest name? Especially when they are clearly making something that isn't quite an MMORPG.

The MMORPG genre doesn't need redefining - there was NEVER anything wrong with it. Ever. Games don't need to have millions of players to be successful. I can see corporate whores only being concerned with numbers and profit, but not so much game designers wanting to make good games. And the best MMORPGs, the ones that are loved, the ones that are played for years, the ones that established the genre, are all a little more hard core, challenging, and group-oriented - and there has never been a good reason to shift that towards dumbed down and casual, and doing so has only lowered the quality and staying power of those games and dramatically lowered the quality of player and community in those games.
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September 25th, 2013, 23:20
Game publishers, at least all of the big ones big ones like Sony/EA etc, are publicly traded companies. They have 1 goal in life, make money for the investors. More people playing = more money. Those hardcore, grouping required MMOs probably will never see the light of day from a major publisher anytime soon.

Hardcore grouping MMOs can clearly be successful, provided the right balance of cost, quality, and sustainable player base is achieved. But, their days of dominating the market are over, for now at least. Solo content, forgiving mechanics/fights, and F2P have been on the rise consistently. Let's not forget, WoW really set the bar for MMO success, and even in vanilla, grouping was optional for everything but endgame (or I guess dungeon leveling even though it's always been vastly inferior to solo speed).
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