EverQuest Next: Gamescom 2013 Confirmations, Announcements

I was following the Gamescom live stream today and there were quite a few new things announced during the presentation. Unfortunately, this early into the development, they didn’t flesh-out most of it, but it’s still exciting to see new announcements. EverQuest Next still has four MORE days of presentations. I wonder if they are going to drop something new each day? I can’t imagine they’ll rehash the same thing five times in a row so the other days must be panels (crafting, lore, etc.) like they had at SOE Live?

This is their current presentation schedule for Gamescom 2013.

  • Wednesday, August 21st: 7 AM Pacific
  • Thursday, August 22nd: 5 AM Pacific
  • Friday, August 23rd: 2:15 AM Pacific
  • Saturday, August 24th: 5 AM Pacific
  • Sunday, August 25th: 7 AM Pacific

The Electronic Sports League is set to stream each of the panels on their channel.

Here’s what we learned today.

Wednesday, August 21st

1. Tinting. This is a dye system.

2. “Adventurer” class is a brand new class in Landmark. If you play it in Landmark, you CAN multi-class immediately in EQN and play as the Adventurer. It will import directly to EQN.

3. Player stalls to vendor your own items. The game will have areas where players can set up their own stalls. This is being done as a way to generate community and enhance being social.

4. Wizard spires instantly teleport anywhere, across worlds (along ley lines?). This was specifically mentioned for Landmark as a way to explore all of the other worlds and see what players have created, but the mechanic is in EQN.

5. Mounts will be in game. No other details. This was a bullet point and that’s it.

6. 5-6 tiers deep of content. Confirmed that “6 tiers” is now in game.

7. Crafting is done at crafting tables. Rare tables can be found. Group tables require multiple crafters at the same time.

8. Starting areas are social hubs structured around “Landmarks” or “Epic Monuments”.

9. Social groups are: Friends, guilds, co-op buildout, VOIP, text chat, SOEmote, and Leaderboards. Tag your content, others vote up/down, and compete for places on Leaderboard.

10. Player Studio. Players create items, put on studio, other players buy and use elsewhere and you earn real money via royalty structure. Player Studio includes achievements, filter and follow (filter through the options, follow specific players to be alerted when they sell new items), and Real Estate (entire plot can be bundled/sold).

11. In Landmark, one continent is Norrath and ONLY able to have Norrath related look and feel so players can up/down vote the “best” items that will be included in EQN.

12. You can record your timelapse builds in game and have it export to YouTube.

13. Day/night cycle shown in a video that was previously shown at SOE Live 2013, but was something I hadn’t really noticed previously.

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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.

EverQuest Next: Landmark Tool Allows Players to Be Devs (PCGamer.com)

The EQNext announcement yesterday at SOE Live was mind-blowing. They are actually doing some revolutionary things in the MMORPG genre. This Landmark tool alone has the potential to get every person who’s loved Minecraft and every person who’s ever played EverQuest or EverQuest II in the same world creating jaw-dropping scenes.

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EverQuest Next Landmark, a free-to-play voxel building game, coming this winter

EverQuest Next’s entire environment—hills, forests, deserts, and cities—will be made of voxels, little bits of matter which can be smashed apart by explosive spells and giant Golems. Before we start breaking things, though, SOE wants us to start building—the developer is announcing today that it will be sharing its voxel building tools in EverQuest Next Landmark, a separate free-to-play MMO going into beta before the end of the year.

“Right away we noticed people were consuming a lot of cycles using these [voxel building] tools, because it’s really fun to build stuff and show off to each other,” said Director of Development David Georgeson in a meeting with PC Gamer. “And that’s not new! Minecraft has been doing that for a while, and once we realized that we had that element within the game, we realized, ‘Well, wouldn’t it be cool if we gave the players the tools?’”

Georgeson showed me a brief demonstration of the tools. Take Minecraft and put it in PlanetSide 2′s Forgelight Engine, then imagine you have copy, paste, and undo functions, the ability to scale and rotate cubes, and smoothing and bevel tools which can subdivide edges. I can’t wait to see what players build.

“Landmark is a totally crazy thing, because we’re letting them build anything, anything at all!” said Georgeson. “Well, anything that customer service allows—we’ll have some interesting…but we have it handled.” No 500-foot-tall penises, gotcha.

All this will take place in persistent worlds, servers which will house a thousand or more players with “chat, and guilds, and marketplaces, and brokers, and all the things you expect in an MMO.”

To keep land ownership civil, players will get a flag with which to stake their claim. Their area, which can be expanded with more flags, will be protected from other players, while the unclaimed parts of the world are for free-for-all building. Georgeson also mentioned the possibility of “trustees”—players you explicitly allow to build in your territory—and experimental continents for group projects.

Players will also be able to sell their creations on Player Studio—similar to Steam Workshop—which Georgeson hopes will take off, earning money for both the creators and SOE. Even beyond direct sales, if one player builds a tower template and another buys that tower and uses it to build a castle, then sells the castle template, the original tower creator will still earn a cut automatically.

“[EverQuest and EverQuest 2] have a drawback in that you have to learn Maya, or 3DS Max, or Photoshop, and all these other tools, which greatly reduces the number of people who can participate,” said Georgeson. “In EQN and Landmark, those tools are already built into the game. They’re fun and intuitive to use. So we expect players to go absolutely crazy with it.”

Georgeson also plans to work with Landmark players to turn their work into permanent fixtures in EverQuest Next proper. Every Landmark world will have a continent reserved for EQ Next art direction, where SOE will run contests to build new EQ Next areas.

“As we build EverQuest Next, as we complete all these different areas and concept pieces and all the different materials and textures and stuff that go with it, we’re going to give that to all the Landmark players, and let them build EverQuest Next with us,” he said. “We’re really serious about this.”

EverQuest Next will also allow players to build with these tools, but owning land will be a more exclusive luxury.

“[Landmark is] kind of practice mode for EverQuest Next, because when you get to EverQuest Next you’ll actually have to earn your land,” said Georgeson. “You’ll have to fulfill quests and stuff like that to get a land grant from the equivalent of a duke or baron, and then you can start building on that. And a lot of the stuff you create in Landmark might be able to be brought over, as long as it fits the art direction.”

Read all about SOE’s exciting goals for EverQuest Next in our preview. Landmark is expected to be available before the end of the year.

TenTonHammer’s Best of E3 2013 Awards

This year, TTH provides awards in the following seven categories:

* Best Gameplay
* Best Respawn
* Biggest Surprise
* Most Innovative
* Best MOBA
* Most Anticipated
* Best of Show

Head over to their site to find out all about why each game won and what they were looking for in each category. The quick picks are below. However, I’m most surprised that EverQuest Next made the cut at all! I’m suddenly interested in the game for the first time.

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Best Gameplay

WildStar - Best Gameplay

The team at Carbine has proven that you don’t necessarily have to sink tons of precious marketing dollars behind a game at E3 to make an impact. While the flashing lights and cosplayers in tights can add a lot of show floor ambiance, at the end of the day it’s all about how fun your game is to play.

So what WildStar might not have had in a flashy booth display, it more than made up for with the best gameplay we were able to get our hands on at this year’s E3. Everything from the distinctive setting and art style, to the combat and sheer depth of gameplay options are worthy of high praise.

Best Respawn

FFXIV: A Realm Reborn - Best Respawn

Very few MMOs have managed to survive following a rocky launch, and fewer still have managed to successfully relaunch after the fact. Square Enix is attempting to do exactly that with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and from what we experienced at E3 2013 the game is certainly worthy of our Best Respawn award.

While the game still retains its distinctive look and feel, nearly every aspect of the game has been rebuilt into a tighter, faster, and more cohesive overall MMO experience. While they didn’t necessarily attempt to reinvent the MMO combat wheel, our experiences with the system displayed a clear refinement of what made more traditional hotbar combat so enticing in the first place.

Biggest Surprise

Warhammer 40K Eternal Crusade - Biggest Surprise

Warhammer 40k is one of those golden IPs that has the potential to translate into one killer MMO experience. Games Workshop clearly understands this potential, so when the originally planned game from THQ fell by the wayside, it was only a matter of time before a new developer would pick up the reigns.

A week before E3 this would have landed squarely in the realm of speculation, to say we were surprised by the event week announcement of the Eternal Crusade MMO would be a gross understatement. It clearly took gamers by surprise as well, with Warhammer 40k being one of the most talked about announcements to come out of the expo.

Most Innovative

Proper sandbox MMOs are only as good as the depth of the toolbox given to gamers, and from what we’ve seen of ArcheAge that box is deeper than any other sandbox MMO we’ve seen to date. The fact that ArcheAge comes packed with stellar graphics is just icing on the proveribial cake.

ArcheAge offers a true multiclassing system, the ability to turn your back on the major factions and live the pirate’s life, or simply live out your virutal days as a humble farmer or trader of goods. These things may sound fairly basic on the surface, but the ways in which you can interact with the world for each are both plentiful and inspiring. Expect big things from ArcheAge once it lands on North American shores.

Best MOBA

Infinite Crisis - Best MOBA

While Turbine may be known by many for their major contributions in the MMO space, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by our experiences with Infinite Crisis so far. Many aspects of the game hold true to what excites gamers about the genere in the first place, but Infinite Crisis also brings a lot of new gameplay hooks to the table. And you have to admit, the DC universe setting and characters offer a pretty killer framework to build upon.

Infinite Crisis is shaping up to be an excellent game, and will even be taking the full MLG eSports plunge. We expect big things from the game, and are sure that Infinite Crisis will bring some stiff new competition to the wide world of MOBAs.

Most Anticipated

Elder Scrolls Online - Most Anticipated

If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then by the time the cross-platform launch for ESO rolls around in the spring of 2014, it’s probably safe to say that legions of gamers will be enthralled by the next great chapter in Elder Scrolls history.

We’ve had numerous chances to play the game throughout the year so far, and our hands-on time at E3 only helped solidify Elder Scrolls Online as our most anticipated game following this year’s event. In the immortal words of Wesley Willis, ESO whips the llama’s ass by offering the best of both worlds: an awesome Elder Scrolls game with all the gameplay hooks that help make MMOs great.

Best of Show

EverQuest Next - Best of Show

We’ve been looking forward to EverQuest Next for quite some time now. Even though our expectations heading into our private viewing during E3 were high, EverQuest Next exceeded those expectations on all fronts.

While we are sworn to secrecy on exactly what we were shown, what we can say is that EverQuest Next was hands-down the best game we had the pleasure of seeing during E3 2013. Franchise fans and MMO gamers across the globe will be able to learn exactly why that’s the case on August 2nd during SOE Live when EQNext is given its grand unveiling.

Trust us when we say that you’ll want to mark that date on your calendar, and be prepared to bask in the warm glow of EverQuest Next in all its glory. In the meantime, kudos to the folks over at SOE for winning our Best of Show award; we’re as excited as you are to witness the impact EverQuest Next is surely going to have on gamers this August!

Original TenTonHammer Article

EverQuest Next Pic Surfaces (MMORPG.com)

John Smedley, long known for being a Twitter Tease, has sent out a picture that shows some early models from EverQuest Next. Further, he indicated that the team was very excited to show of EQN at this year’s SOE Live in August.

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