EverQuest Next: Landmark Updates (EQNexus.com)

EverQuest Next’s Landmark tool was quite possibly the biggest announcement at SOE Live 2013. As such, there has been a gigantic number of questions on various forums and even on YouTube via comments. Fortunately, EQNexus has come through and provided a bunch of clarifications for us.

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As day number 3 at SOE Live gets rolling, we have a significant number of updates rolling in from the networking that went on at last night’s pool party, as well as this afternoon’s early panel on player creativity and EverQuest Next Landmark.  Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the info?  Stay tuned to EQNexus, as we will be compiling all of the bits and pieces in our final event roundup at its conclusion.  Until then, read on. The credit for covering these panels goes to: RekMMO @RekMMO and Chad Albritton @chad_Albritton.

Today’s EverQuest Next: Landmark Details

  • Developers are building EverQuest Next with the same tools players will use in Landmark
  • Players using Landmark will have an upkeep cost on the claimed area they are using.
  • All players will have a simple character avatar; a scaled down version of an EverQuest Next avatar.
  • Players may participate in multiple plots/land claims.
  • Everyone who participates in a build gets credit/reward for their effort.
  • After an item is built, it may be painted.  Brushes are adjustable.
  • Players will be able to set up custom activity alerts about the builds they are participating in.
  • Players may ‘tag’ and theme their builds so others can find what they are interested in.
  • This tagging process will involve some browser and phone functionality and support.
  • The player map is the gateway and portal to other builds.  Players will be able to queue up locations to visit.
  • Players will be able to rate and subscribe to builders they like.
  • Seasonal contests and challenges will be present.
  • When players sell their builds, they are selling a blue print, not the object itself.
  • Templates will help players build and are not meant just to be used in the Player Studio.
  • Players can assign percentages of royalties to be paid to players who participate in their builds.
  • No limit to what types of items players can build – Sci Fi, fantasy, modern, etc.
  • There will be size limits on items.  No cities, can build villages and dungeons.
  • Builds that make it into the actual EverQuest Next release will have to fit a specific theme, be consistent with lore.
  • Retail price of EverQuest Next: Landmark – $0.00
  • The first Landmark release will include buildings only, no flora or fauna.
  • The Player Studio will be US only to begin.  They are working to expand further.
  • No system requirements are available yet.
  • The team is debating internally about the use of 3D software to be used alongside game tools.
  • No Minecraft-style creative mode in Landmark.
  • There will be some microtransactions, but ultimately very little for sale in Landmark

Additional Panel Details and News Gatherings

  • The demo shown in the EQN debut was more of a tech demo; no enemy pathing, some were not fighting back.
  • The land mass shown in videos may not be known as Antonica
  • No zones, the world will be seamless
  • Oceans are not in game yet, though the engine is capable of rendering fluids.
  • Mining tunnels is in game and functions currently.
  • Class progress can be limited by choice – a player cannot pursue Paladin and Shadow Knights paths, for instance.
  • Rangers have been confirmed as a class.
  • Bows are a weapon type.
  • Combat will not be handled via auto-attack.  Similar to NeverWinter combat, but more advanced.
  • Crafting comparable to that of Star Wars Galaxies, but more advanced.
  • There is no experience granted for killing mobs, no grinding.  Combat and questing is handled as a series of objectives.
  • There are more than two factions in the game, not simply good v. evil, Freeport v. Qeynos, etc.
  • The game will be heavily gear dependent and crafted and dropped items will be of comparable value.
  • Players can choose the style of their look – giant shoulderpads or not, scantly clad to Joan of Arc.
  • Items have a sub component system allowing further customization of a specific armor set.
  • All items will be “Bind on Equip” (or pickup, the author is unclear).
  • Multiple servers with varying rule sets are possible, but undetermined at this point.

EverQuest Next: Class System (EQNexus.com)

“SOE developers took to the stage this afternoon to describe to a room full of die hard EverQuest fans how a multi-class system with at least 40 unique classes will make EverQuest Next something they want to play: not an easy task.  Few MMORPG audiences are invested as emotionally into their class experience as EverQuest fans.  Here is a rundown on what they heard.”

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The credit for covering these panels goes to: RekMMO @RekMMO and Chad Albritton @chad_Albritton.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Curse Gaming, we have also been able to add video of the panel.

 


EverQuest Next Class System Updates

  • Goal is iconic abilities with new functionality.
  • Warriors are destructive and strong.  Have a leap, whirlwind, and shield bash abilities.  Animations are inspired by the incredible hulk.
  • Tempests are a storm themed class with two-handed swords and lightning effects.
  • Classes must be fun to play and to look at.  Each class must have a personality.
  • Class choice will determine your armor and weapon options.
  • Weapon choice will determine which 4 weapon abilities you have.
  • Classes that use the same weapons have different animations, enabling players to identify what class someone is playing by watching them move.
  • Character ability types: movement, offensive, defensive and utilities.
  • Progress earned on a specific class may be applied to any other class that a player has discovered – much like diverting AA experience currently.
  • No dedicated tank or healer roles in group play.  Everyone is responsible for their own safety.  Combat model will not support that type of play.
  • You can still play specific roles within combat, and some classes can be built to tend toward support, defensive, etc.
  • Players perform roles in combat and customize their abilities to trend their class towards things like tank or support, but you will not build a class that ONLY has tank abilities and have that as a required tank class for every group.
  • Utility classes will be rewarded for their efforts.
  • Players may customize their class by choosing abilities from any of the classes they currently possess.
  • Example Classes: Blademaster, Rogue, Wizard, Tempest
  • Character abilities are pick and choose, weapon abilities are not.
  • A class is defined by armor type, weapons, and weapon abilities – those cannot be changed.
  • A class also has four other abilities grouped by type (movement, defensive, offensive, utility) that can be swapped.
  • Items often modify class abilities and make a difference in how you play.  Abilities + Items = Class Build.  Examples are Brain Burn, Teleport, Spell Reflect, and Stun.
  • Emphasis will be on customizing your class with multi-class abilities.
  • Players can name custom classes.
  • Ranged abilities will “definitely have range.”
  • Item releases compared to League of Legends champ releases and Magic’s sets.  Each changes strategies.
  • Many abilities will not require a target – swing a long sword, hit anything in its way.  More action oriented.
  • Raids do not require specific classes or roles, but there are some that are raid or dungeon crawl specific.
  • “No specific role or pair of roles will be integral to unlocking the encounter,” but there will be group responsibility.
  • “Did your best healer quit the guild?  No worries, it’s no longer going to be detrimental.  Time to move on.”
  • Tactics are more important than roles.
  • Newly added weapons will give the game more abilities.
  • Many variations of pets: permanent and single fight.
  • Player pets will also use the emergent AI system described in the EverQuest Next keynote.
  • The combat style seen in the debut video is not the norm.  Those were highly advanced characters versus weak AI.
  • Eight combined abilities is like choosing eight spell slots in EverQuest.
  • There is no artificial limitation to the number of classes or abilities that you can collect.
  • AI will not be tricked into fighting someone.  They will know how you are hurting them, and they will stop it.  You will want friends playing with you.
  • Another goal: longevity.  Additional classes can be added after launch.
  • Multi-classing reminding some of AA builds, mixing and matching situationally.
  • Faction limitations are a possibility for race/class combinations.
  • You don’t have to multi-class, and they will work to make sure classes are not useless in certain situations.

EverQuest Next: SOE Day 2 Wrap-Up (EQNexus.com)

No videos here, but some extremely interesting information about EverQuest Next from SOE day two. Primarily, no levels, only horizontal progression, no one can collect all classes, and only eight skills on your hotbar at any given time. Definitely worth the read!

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Day number two for SOE Live is winding down, and the information surrounding EverQuest Next is starting to trickle in from tonight’s panel discussions.  In addition to our earlier recap article, read on to find out what else we have learned:

  • There are no levels in EverQuest Next.  Progression is based on tiers and horizontal gameplay.  There are 40 classes to “obtain,” and each is advanced individually once obtained.
  • Player stats are called attributes.  Equipment will not provide attributes.  Additional attributes will be extremely rare and will require tremendous effort to modify.  All attributes will have impactful meaning for all classes.
  • Discovering new classes will occur at varying rates and occur through quest type events and may be restricted by player behavior and the impact of emergent AI.
  • Armor (and the ability to craft intricate armor components) will be a major form of character customization, and many custom items will be recognizable on sight.
  • The ability hotbar will have a maximum of 4 weapon skills and 4 class skills at any given time.
  • Each class comes with 4 class specific skills.
  • Crafting skill will not be advanced by repeatedly making the same item over and over.
  • Crafting components remain useful based on their properties, not on a crafting level.
  • Rallying Calls (public quests) will be ongoing until players on a specific server complete each stage.
  • Player housing will be in game, but no details are available yet.
  • There are at least 6 starting races: High Elf, Dark Elf, Human, Kerra, Dwarf and Ogre – there will be more, but as of yet unannounced.
  • Old school style mage pets are in EverQuest Next
  • Gear system provides 5 visual slots (chest, back, etc.), but each slot is made up of individual components that may also be swapped out.
  • Homage will be paid to the EverQuest franchise through locations, armor – an example used was the Flowing Black Robe.
  • Families of armor can alter your look – not just cloaks, but quivers, etc.
  • Exploration will yield a variety of useful items: i.e. resources, recipes, collections, etc.
  • Storylines will be important, the world will evolve, its occupants will be relatable.  In short, “everything matters.”
  • Parts of the environment that are destroyed will be regenerated over time, the speed of which will be determined by population and the extent of the damage done.
  • Gravity will be deadly – every action has a consequence, the same with unsafe travel.
  • The world is vast; travel will require a time investment and a money investment.

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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