Since SOE Live is now over, and Everquest Next has now shocked the MMO world with it’s new art style, and big golems smashing the place up, I feel like I should share what I want from the new game.
I want the art style to stay exactly how the art people at SOE want it, don’t bow to pressure from the MMO community. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was a radical new art direction for the Zelda games, at first, people hated it, now it is fondly remembered for how awesome it looked. Please don’t compromise on your “Vision.” There is a reason you people are making successful games, and we’re at home playing them.
I want diversity of character builds. Yes, there is multiclassing, but I don’t want there to be only a few viable builds, this is a problem Rift had, some classes were pretty useless, and only a few builds actually worked, yes there was minor tweaks you could make, but it was not very open in what you could do. People who specialise should be better at certain things than people who spread their skills across several classes, the specialists simply can’t do as much as the generalists, there is no need to balance unless there is a definite exploit going on.
I want no Endgame, or if there must be one, can it not be “Endgame = Raiding.” You should be having the same amount of fun, and have the same amount of content available to you at low levels, as you do at high levels. As you level, or in EQN’s case, “Tier up” into new content, leaving old content behind, there should be an equal amount of new content for you, no “funneling” into a certain zone, Paldual Caverns from EQ1 for instance, choice is paramount, it adds replay value for the alt-o-holics and gives others an opportunity to explore. I’m hoping that once you hit the end Tier, you have more to do than raid. Raiding is a barrier. Raiding takes a lot of development time, and only a small fraction of players get to experience it, lets have the devs working on content everyone can experience.
I want epic journeys in the name of epic loots. The game supposedly has a massive area of land to explore. Can we please have quests that make use of it? Think the Fellowship in Lord of the Rings, or one of the Viking Sagas. It should be possible to get a band of likeminded adventurers together, and go on a quest to some far off place, where the journey is the majority of the fun. A “caravan” system like seen in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, where you sign up to join an adventuring band, and when you have to leave, you can log back in where your party is, and not where you logged out.
I want to have to travel, the hard way. EverQuest 2 had a huge gameworld, especially after the numerous expansion packs, did it feel huge? No, it felt quite small with the myriad of travel options available. My house had access to 9 different zones through teleport items, my guildhall could teleport me everywhere else. I was never further than 3 zones from anywhere else. Bring back ships, maybe add trading caravans you can hitch a ride on, and if you don’t want to pay the full price, you can sign up to be it’s armed escort, a la Age of Conan. In the footage from SOE Live, I saw the Spires making a return, and they looked pretty intact, bring back Luclin while you’re at it.
I want crafting to be challenging, and rewarding. I also want it to take time to learn. I want a player skill based mini game to get through. No click and wait progress bars, a system like Final Fantasy XIV before the cataclysm (read: A Realm Reborn). Crafted items should also be a lot more than just items to wear when you’re leveling up, the very best crafters should be able to make items on par, if not exceeding, with drops from raid bosses.
I want GM’s doing stuff. In D&D, a Game Master is someone who reacts to what the players are doing, someone who creates content. In EQ2, it’s someone you file petitions to, someone who gets you unstuck, and undeletes items you lost accidentally. SOE should employ loads of people, and give them the “Big EverQuest Lore Book” and let them run wild with what’s contained in that Tome. Keep things vaguely RP, but always interesting and fun. A GM should be able to shapechange to a Lich Lord, and raise an army of undead to attack a village, players will then rally to defend the homestead, and will talk about it for weeks afterwards. This is the stuff that keeps people playing, not scripted quest lines.
So, there we have it, just a few ideas on what I want from SOE’s latest. I really hope it turns out to be so good, MMO’s in future are questioned if they’re the “Next EQN Killer.” Thoughts? Any other ideas? By all means, let us know in the comments below.
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
If you hadn’t noticed, SOE Live 2013 is currently happening over in the USA, they’ve been talking about Everquest Classic, Everquest II and today (Aug 2) there will be a keynote about Everquest Next of which there has been a complete media blackout by SOE as well as a rewrite from the ground up.
The first details are starting to emerge about Everquest Next, yesterday they gave a sneak preview of the Everquest Next theme tune written by Jeremy Soule (he of Skyrim Legend).
Everquest Next Theme
Everquest II keynote
Other keynote announcements included Expansion 10 for Everquest II, ‘Tears of Veeshan’, the main feature to be added is a new class called the Channeler, a priest archetype with construct pet with customisable parts that you can mix and match. It’s a range class healer type, sounding like a cross between a magician and a healer.
There are also mercenary slots and a revamp of Frostfell zone. They’re also adding Highkeep into the expansion.
Everquest’s next expansion (20 I think /boggle), is ‘Call of the Forsaken’, including voiceovers a new race/class combo (no details as yet).
More to come over the next few days…
MMO giant Sony Online Entertainment are busy on the next big installment of Everquest. Word has come our way that the Everquest 3 (EQNext) will be a sandbox MMO.
Let’s all hope that their initial project meeting didn’t start with the words, ‘How can we take players from World of Warcraft’, there has been a slew of poor themepark style MMOs over recent years that have tried to beat WoW and quite frankly they’ve all failed, games like SWTOR and GW2 promised so much and never delivered a long lasting gaming experience.
Everquest is and will always be my first home when it comes to MMOs and regardless of what a cluster**** SOE make of it, I will be purchasing the game to play, just to return to the setting that I love so much.
Oh to be a Qeynos Bard again and travel the hills of Qeynos and battle giant green scarabs in the Karana’s.
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