Well it happened Dave Georgeson of SOE spent the best part of an hour doing the Everquest Next reveal and I’ll be honest… it was amazing.
Sony are releasing technically two games. The first game is Everquest Next, this is the MMO, a dynamic world with revamped world lore, location names have stayed the same but new stories have been written by a number of authors, these will be revealed in ongoing fiction events starting today on http://everquestnext.com/
Georgeson essentially revealed 4 grails of the MMO that they’ve always wanted to do.
Grail 1 – Change the core game
At the start of your adventure there are 8 classes, each has a couple of weapons and character abilities as you explore your encounters will allow you to collect up to 40 classes in the world. You can play any one at any time and also mix and match abilities to create new playing styles of your choice.
Each class has weapons and skills that can be changed, you might use a halberd to clear a room, and then switch weapons to concentrate attacks on a single mob.
Weapons are upgradable, you can bolt on items to change visuals and effects, this may have included stats…
Grail 2 – Destructibility
Everything in the game world is made from Voxel’s, these are game particles that make up many bigger blocks in the game world, a player character can magic a crystal barrier from the ground that NPCs would attack to get past to the player, or the player might destroy a bridge in the game area to kill the mobs instantly.
They demonstrated the Keran warriors whirlwind destroying the game world while killing mbos…
Georgeson alluded to PVP combat…
Grail 3 – A life of consequence (Emergent AI)
An interesting concept where what you do in the world has a consequence. Gone are the static orc spawns, now orcs migrate to areas they like and setup camp, instead of being static their environment dictates where they setup camp.
The world is made up of tiers of depth, it is not just a flat world, the game encompasses dynamic quests and terraforming to manipulate the world.
Grail 4 – Permanent Change (Rallying calls)
Server wide public quest events, the example that they gave was the raising of halas. Where players come together in a common goal that could take months to complete, each event triggers differently on servers and progress is also different.
However you don’t have to do what they want, you could adventure, craft or clear enemies from surrounding areas.
How the game looked
I have to admit that I loved the look of the graphics, they’re a little on the cartoon side, but not too over the top, the game world looked atmospheric, areas shown where Ashfang which is a new area, followed by Feerrott, Ashfang looked like a desert area, lots of stones, they demonstrated the character movement, including sliding down steep hills, leaping low walls and double jumping big areas.
Feerrott was incredibly atmospheric, the light through the tree canopy made the area look humid and heavy and had a lot of stone outcrops to climb over.
Particle effects seemed big (a little too big), in certain events the feed stuttered, although there where 32,000 people watching at the time.
Here’s a battle that, well you tell me if you can see what is going on…
Everquest Next Landmark
Landmark was announced as for release Winter 2013, this add on is essentially minecraft for Everquest, stake a claim in the world and build your area, using the Voxel technology you can essentially craft your area with the building blocks, tools that you find in the world or craft yourself.
I’m a big fan of Minecraft, but I like it because of the clunkyness the modifications that non-game developers have added to the game like Buildcraft etc.
The following timelapse shows 25 minutes worth of work.
One interesting idea is the Player Studio addition, create something, package it up for sale and sell it for real cash. Then when someone uses it to build something bigger, you get royalties.
Bring it on, Sony have essentially set the bar high, if they pull this off they will take the crown back, graphically spectacular, some new unique features, it takes MMO gaming to the next level.
On the downside it could be a little too steep, will Sony pull features to get it out of the door? There was no information about whether it will be F2P or subscription, more likely it will be F2P and use Station Cash to pull in the money.
I’d certainly put that up there as one to watch.
Beta sign up > https://www.everquestnext.com/beta-registration
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