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
SOE announced that Dragon’s Prophet would be “launched” in September during the first keynote of their SOE Live convention in Las Vegas. My question is; will anyone actually be playing by then?
A bit of background: I managed to get a Dragon’s Prophet beta key (after signing up for a chance at a key with SOE and Infernum, the European publisher) a few weeks before it went into it’s current phase, open beta, and thought the game showed a lot of promise, a couple of translation issues and it would be there. SOE and Infernum, started offering Founders Packs, so having enjoyed my time in the beta, I decided to drop some coins for the middle tier package, the Dragon Master pack. I’m a sucker for melee pet classes, and all the classes fitted the bill…
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…
As Final Fantasy XIV is approaching it’s 4th Beta test (which will have no character wipes unless something truly awful happens), widely rumoured to be the 9th of August, not long before the games August 27th release date, Square Enix have decided to unleash their Benchmark and Character creation tool (available here). My other half and I decided to make our characters ready, and I must say we look pretty darn spiffing. There’s also a benchmark to see if the game will actually run on your PC; the games first iteration was notoriously un-optimised, but I’m happy to say it runs perfectly on my modest system.
Few more pics after the break.
Finally, after several thousand hours in some graphic design application, and many years browsing the interwebz for a new WP theme, we have a newly designed website.
Much love and thanks to Sres for fixing the CSS and stuff, and to Yeti for not hating it when he eventually sees it.
Lately, I’ve been looking for my new MMO home, Guild Wars 2 was not it; I felt like I’ve done everything in the game, so not much keeping me there; The Secret World wasn’t it either; feels like they won’t be adding massive new features since it went F2P, TERA is not there either, same F2P nonsense as always. EverQuest is not EverQuest 2 with a seriously clunky interface and the old game I knew and loved simply isn’t there any more, I even tried EQMac, but since everyone is level 65, and fine steel weapons cost several hundred thousand plat, I shall not be attempting that again.
So, the other half saw Vanguard: Saga of Heroes on Steam’s Free to Play section, so we thought we would give it a go. I remembered my old station access details, and we were good to go. I had tried playing it before, but quit due to the bugs and general unpolished quirkiness of it all. I had my old character sitting where our guild house/shed used to be (seems it got removed). Deciding I have no idea what to do, I rerolled.
Starting on the Isle of Dawn, the new tutorial island, was a fun experience, quests showing you the basics of combat, diplomacy and crafting (harvesting being fairly self explanatory) was a completely new experience to what came before, basically being left to your own devices in your races’ home town. The new player experience is really good, as a cleric you start in some weak, but pretty cool looking equipment, which is much better than brown leather crap you started with before. There are still some glitches, but it’s like a released game, rather than a (very) extended beta test.
It was all too good to be true, and then I noticed someone in the regional chat channel wondering why there was only ever 20 people being listed on the /who all command. Obviously this isn’t an accurate measure of the servers population, but it doesn’t bode well. Looking at the games Subreddit on.. err.. Reddit it seems there is very little activity at all, so with 2 servers available, it seems it’s another dead game.
Looks like the hunt for that one “home” game is back on, will it be a triumphant return to form for Final Fantasy XIV, will Dragon’s Prophet be any good? Will I actually find a populated Shadows of Luclin emulated server for EQ1? Who knows? I hope some kind developer makes a good MMO one day…
Ok, I’ll be first to admit it.
This Blog has been neglected.
There is various reasons for that though…
Firstly, there simply isn’t an MMO that is holding any of our collective attentions for long enough for us to formulate an opinion about it, and secondly, we have been busy, Yetian is now a Dad (yay!), Sres hates everything and I moved to Switzerland.
On the MMO front I’ve been giving TERA a second chance since it went F2P, it’s ok, but the nagging feeling that the US servers are getting a considerably better deal is off-putting to say the least. I tried EQ1, they’ve actually changed it into a clunky EQ2, the game is now officially off my radar until I can find a decently populated Emulated server running the expansions up to Planes of Power.
As it stands, I’m waiting for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, hoping that it will deliver, ArcheAge, though some reports are painting it as a bit meh, and finally Bless and Black Desert, which both look really good, but are a bit of an unknown quantity.
I digress, I now have a PC with an interweb connection (oh god, the price on things here hurts my soul) so I shall endeavour to post more often.
Again, apologies for the slacking!
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.
Finally, we now know when we can preorder Guild Wars 2. Go here on the 10th of April. Physical Collectors Edition is: £129.99/€149.99/$150, the Digital Deluxe at £64.99/€74.99/$69.99 and the Standard Edition at £49.99/€54.99/$49.99. Not exactly cheap, but it looks nice, comes with a Soundtrack, Rytlock Figurine, some art print things with a frame, and an art book, to be fair, the concept art for the game is beautiful. The Digital Deluxe and Collectors edition come with 2 pets; 1 combat, 1 fluff; 2 exp items (single use) and a Banker, who is curiously “5 Days.” The pets are a cool addition, but the single use items and 5 days for a banker is a bit meh.
Digital Deluxe for me, 129 quid is a bit rich for my tastes, anyone else getting in on the Guild Wars action?
Lately, I’ve not been playing much in the way of MMOs. Hence the lack of posts by me. There is 3 reasons for this.
1: They’re F2P, which usually means you do have to pay, and pay a lot more, to make the game remotely fun, and not just an epic grind.
2: The developers have actually ruined the game (see EQ2, which has had a spectacular fall from grace; from almost Sandbox open world joy, to quest hub ridden WoW wannabe)
3: It’s a dull themepark which holds my attention for the first month then I give up.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is the latest in a long line of MMOs that have not delivered what they should be able to, in my opinion.
What I wanted was a MMO where I could wander around the Star Wars universe, getting caught up in skirmishes, exploring, trading and other adventure-y things. What I got was small “Planets,” limited exploration and the dreaded “Quest Hubs.” The fact that 99% of my time is spent soloing with my companion is shocking, this is an MMO, Massively Multiplayer Online. It does the Online bit right, Multiplayer every so often when a quest is deemed “Heroic,” Massively; Nope. The game is essentially a Single Player RPG with a chat box, now excuse me, I can do this using steam and any other Single Player RPG, doesn’t have a monthly fee either.
Developers, please listen. Quest Hubs are crap, story arcs are crap, we want to make our own adventures, not your scripted ones, which everyone else will do anyway. We want to explore, not run to the next quest waypoint. If I want an epic story with cutscenes and all that stuff, I’ll play The Witcher or something, I WILL MAKE MY OWN FUN DAMMIT.
Indie MMO’s like First Earth are far more interesting to “Seasoned” MMO players, who are more likely to stick around, rather than quit and go back to whatever MMO they played before (WoW).
If you want to retain subscribers, and not loose thousands before the first month is up, fill it with content that is freeform, not scripted. It’s easier for you to do, and we get more fun from it. Simples.
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