Everquest Next

[intro]

Sony has had two preceding Everquest games. Now Everquest 3 is coming, but in a totally different setup. You perhaps have already heard about Everquest Next and Everquest Next Landmark. They are however not the same thing. Landmark is based upon and has a providing role for Everquest Next.[/intro]

This first article is about Everquest Next, Sunday’s article will be about Everquest Next Landmark.

Everquest Next is a MMORPG sandbox in a fantasy setting. This is the main game, with the quests, the NPC’s the world with its own storyline, the cities, kings, gods and what not more. It’s a game where you can play the role you want. Want to be a plate wearing rogue performing healing magic? Want to be a battle mage with good armour and some sword usage? You can! You start the game with a certain ‘class’ and can add more classes through playing the game. Ofcourse, it’s very early in the development and therefore we can only tell you what Sony has been telling us right now. Things are subject to change!

So you can play the role you want, be or combine the classes you want to have and wear the stuff that looks good on you with the best stats available.

Things have to have a meaning in EverQuest Next – that ‘weaponskin’ of a special sword can only be obtained through the defeat of that mighty dragon.

Basicly we are talking about a type of weapon and armour skinning or transmuting, although they were talking at Sony about a weapon or armour family. Meaning anything inside the family will look the same, but have different stats. This will make sure that you won’t have the best items that make you look like a clown in the same time.

The armour families will be race based. Better items ofcourse need to be found or acquired through the content.

Another important feature in Everquest Next will be the full destructibility of environment and buildings — Everything in EverQuest Next can be destroyed. Destroy the ground beneath your enemy’s feet to make them loose their footing — or crush them under an avalanche you created. The possibilities are endless!

We wonder what this will mean to how the world will look like after a while… everything destroyed or will there be limits as to how much you can destroy, how much power this will cost etc (?!).

Everquest Next will be a MMORPG and it will have sandbox elements. It will have the usual classes, races, crafting, dungeon running, monster slaying, mounts, waypoints, death penalties etc. etc.

Death penalties won’t be about permanent death, but will have some sort of (hefty) penalty from which you will have to recover. They however want to prevent people ending up in the vicious circle of getting defeated by a monster, running around with a penalty and making even less chance of defeating the monster that killed them the first time.
Also they are thinking about a viable solution for being able to survive as a solo player.

There will be mounts in the game and there will be a fast travel network. They want us to have fun moving around in the game. The world should feel big, while you should still be able to join your friends in a manageable time (quickly).

There will be therefore fast travel implemented, but for that you will have to discover the various ‘waypoints’ before you can make use of it.

They also have talked about guilds. In most MMO’s people have/play alternative characters because they want to try out a different class, race or different role (crafting and muling versus raiding and pve/pvp).

Because of the more flexible character design, it is less likely that people will have a great amount of alternative characters (unless you are a roleplayer ofcourse).

In Everquest Next they see guilds as a channel. Every guild is like a profession or class or race. You have your main guild with the raiding or questing etc, but you are also member and in the chat channel of the weapon smithing guild and also in the Warrior’s guild channel. These channels can be active all on the same time.

As for being online / friends system. You will be able to add friends on a per-user basis or a per-character basis. This means that you can stay hidden for those you want to stay hidden for when you are playing on an alternative character.

The Everquest Next world will have a dynamic design. Weather will change continuously and realisticly. You can change the world around you by destroying or creating. Everything players do in the game will directly or indirectly affect how the storyline develops or the environment around you changes. Kings come to power, kings die, kingdoms and cities rise or fall, NPC’s appear or disappear, even GODS might change.

Everquest Next will contain both contested and non-contested content. We aren’t really talking about PvP here, but about whether a dungeon is open to the whole public, or whether you get monsters and dungeons privately and instanced to yourself / your group.

There will be PvP in the game and pvp will be in contested content, but it won’t be free-for-all everywhere.

The dynamic changing world is also formed by the monster AI implemented. They are making use of a so-called A Life + script engine. It is based upon the self sustaining form of monsters. Monsters will no longer spawn on one location only and camping is therefore useless. Monsters will move around in the world while the rest of the world also changes. Spawn points will change all the time and monsters will roam the area in group or alone. Expect smarter monsters and smarter combat.

The events that will make the decission of whether a city will fall or whether you will have an alliance with Orcs, will depend on the outcome of the so-called ‘Rallying Course’. It’s a system like a public quest system but than on steroids, said Sony.

There is also a game called Everquest Next Landmark. This, however, is not the same game. It is a sandbox game in which the main objective is to build, modify and form things next to gathering the materials and unlock the tools to do so.
Here one can also do quests, but only those that are made by you or others. It has no direct connection with Everquest Next. The only eventually direct connection with the main game is that the developers could choose your creation to be implemented in the ‘main’ game.

Everquest Next will be in beta sometime in 2014. You can sign up for it on their website. The alpha of Everquest Next Landmark will already start in February 2014 and closed beta in March 2014. Early packs can be bought to get guaranteed access to these.

Here’s a video of some features of Everquest Next:

On Sunday I will write about Everquest Next Landmark.

Game on!

Steven

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