EverQuest Next: SOE Day 1 Wrap-Up (EQNexus.com)

EQNexus has done an excellent job of giving us all of the details released thus far about EverQuest Next at SOE 2013. This is part one. Part two is coming and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that there’s a part three in the works.

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Now approximately 30 minutes after the debut of EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next: Landmark, I sit down and face the daunting task of summarizing what we just saw.  It is certainly not an evolution of the MMORPG genre, but a complete revolution that uproots most of what we have grown used to, smashes it repeatedly into the ground, and dumps the remains into the 200 foot cavern that was just created.  Here, in summary, is what we know about EverQuest Next.

A Complete Re-Imagining of the EverQuest World

The game is built based on 10,000 years of explorable history, including a Norrath that is literally several layers deep.  Names and faces may be the same, but the roles they play may be different.

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Complex and Dynamic Interaction with Environments

Everything you see in EverQuest Next is created with tiny building blocks named ‘voxels,’ and can be destroyed and rebuilt.  Some areas will be subject to permanent destruction, while others will ‘heal’ themselves over time after devastating events.

“Learning” Content, Eliminating Static Spawns

Everything in EverQuest Next is designed with, for lack of a better term, a personality.  In the example used in today’s presentation, an orc is designed to like remote highways where travelers may find themselves isolated, and loathes cities populated with guards or players who enjoy hunting orc packs for fun and profit.  Orcs are spawned in EverQuest Next, but they will read and understand the culture and population of the server world, and dynamically choose where the best location would be to set up an encampment.  If their particular stretch of treacherous highway becomes overpopulated with powerful travelers, if travelers learn to avoid the area, if guards begin their patrols, or if players just overpower the orcs, they will make the smart decision to pick up camp and try their luck elsewhere.  This means no more ‘camp check,’ and that your travels will once again be unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

Players Making a Permanent Impact

The type of feature that keeps players coming back on a regular, even daily, basis; “Rallying Calls” will be types of public quests that will create permanent and unpredictable change in the world around you.  And it will vary from server to server.

Dynamic Multi-Class System

Players will begin with a selection of 8 as of yet unknown classes.  Through exploration of the world, they will have the chance to experience a total of 40 classes that may be combined together in a dynamic multi-class system.  Each class will have special weapon abilities that will change as they equip new weaponry; weaponry that may be further changed and augmented by crafters and trade-skillers.

As players unlock more and more classes, they will be able to combine and mix abilities to make unique ability sets specific to their character.

Highly Interactive Movement

When dealing with the complex environments in Norrath, players will be able to use parkour style slides and jumps, specific to their class, that make movement far more dynamic than seen previously.

Super Expressive Character Models

In one of the more impressive visual moments in SOE’s presentation, a highly detailed set of emotes and animations were shown that give player characters expressive appearances that can only be likened to what is seen in the highest of quality animated films.  These features will be totally compatible with SOEmote.

SOEmote Face Expression

Sub Surface Gameplay

No longer will players head into a dungeon tunnel marked by a zone line and a loading screen.  The very ground found on Norrath’s surface covers multiple layers below that are accessible through the dynamic constructive and destructive abilities players will use in the world.  You may find yourself slammed through a stone walk way, only to land hundreds of feet below in an icy cavern.

How theyh designed the world

Landmark

As part of an “open” design process, EverQuest Next: Landmark will launch later in 2013, allowing players the opportunity to design the actual content that may be found in certain parts of EverQuest Next.  Not only that, but if players find your tools useful, they may even result in royalties for you through consignment in the SOE Player Studio

There is a tremendous amount of surface level information for us to process and digest over the next few hours and days.  As it all begins to sink in, join us in the EQNexus forums for more fan reaction and discussion.

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