The Next Era of EverQuest Dawns this Winter

EverQuestNext

Over the weekend at its SOE Live fan gathering, Sony Online Entertainment lifted the veil on the next EverQuest entitled — get this — EverQuest Next!

In development for four years now, EverQuest Next will mark the beginning of “The Emergent Era” for MMORPGs, an era in which players will work together to help build the game alongside SOE’s developers. This cooperative effort will all be possible through the “collaborative building hub” known as EverQuest Next Landmark, a mix of social MMO interaction with the design tools being used to create the game. Landmark will be available this winter as a “Free To Play. Your Way.” product that will allow players to collaborate with each other to design structures and environments, all of which will be considered for inclusion in the full release of EverQuest Next.

SOE doesn’t have a launch date targeted yet for EverQuest Next proper, but like Landmark the game will be a free-to-play offering. I suppose release timing will all depend on how the community embraces Landmark and how quickly content comes together. That stuff will be sorted out in due time. For now, continue reading for more early game info and media SOE has provided for the next generation of EverQuest. Additional updates can be found at www.everquestnext.com.

EverQuest Next Features:

Multi-Classing – EQN will offer players the ability to explore and interact with the world according to their individual style of play. There are no levels in EQN, but there will be more than 40 distinct classes (or professions) at launch, with multi-tiered abilities and specialized weapon skills to collect and master. Players will even mix and match abilities from each class, creating truly custom characters that feel distinct and powerful.

Destructible Environments – No modern MMO has successfully implemented destructible environments that stretch across an entire seamless game world – this changes forever with EQN. Every piece of the world is fully destructible and players will have the ability to manipulate almost all of it. They will interact with and explore the world in amazing ways; venturing down into the deep bedrock beneath the surface and using powerful combat abilities to blow gaping holes into the ground. The EQN world will extend far into the heavens and deep into the procedurally-generated earth through 10,000 years of known lore and history.

Permanent Change – Players will also have the ability to cause the world to change around them, permanently, in dramatic ways. Through the concerted effort of the world’s inhabitants, including players, creatures, and non-player characters (NPCs), city walls will be built and destroyed, large-scale wars will be fought and won, and epic stories will unfold over months and years.

Emergent AI – In EQN, NPCs will have specific motivations and preferences that direct behavior in nuanced and unpredictable ways. Players will find themselves in a world where NPC decisions are based on core values, not dictated by static spawn points. For example, Orcs may attack opportunistically because they want an adventurer’s gold, not simply because a careless hero wanders into an attack radius.

A Life of Consequence – Finally, each character in EQN will have a unique story; they will not follow a predetermined path. Instead, they will seek out adventure, fame and fortune in a constantly changing sandbox world. The game will remember every choice and action that players make and will organically deliver increasing opportunities to do more of the things players like to do … from crafting armor and exploring the wilderness to purging goblins from the forests.

Introducing EverQuest Next Landmark

This winter, SOE will introduce EverQuest Next Landmark™ (Landmark). Essentially, Landmark will combine the powerful and intuitive building tools SOE is using to create the fully destructible world of EQN with all of the social functionality expected from a modern MMO.

The game will feature huge persistent worlds that each support thousands of other players and varied terrain inspired by the environments of EQN. Most importantly, Landmark will provide anyone who wants to participate with the opportunity to actually build structures, and eventually create other types of content, to be considered for inclusion in EQN. Landmark will enable players to:

Create Amazing Things

– Build highly detailed structures with powerful and intuitive tools.
– Quickly design complex projects or collaborate with friends to undertake massive shared builds.
– Lay claim to and control specific areas of huge persistent worlds.

Share Your Imagination with Friends

– Landmark’s persistent servers will enable players to interact with and experience the collective imagination of thousands of players in a unique shared world.
– Players will have compelling reasons to explore and interact with others. They will congregate at crafting hubs, build design templates to share and trade, and journey across the world to collect the resources required to build and craft.

Build EQN with SOE — Using the Same Tools

– Landmark players will gain increasing access to many of the same tools that SOE is using to construct the game world of EQN.
– Not only will Landmark give players access to these world building tools, SOE will provide specific guidance on what we want help building.
– Through this collaborative approach, EQN may eventually represent the largest overall collaborative development effort in the history of online games. For anyone who has ever thought about becoming a game developer, here is your chance. Together we will build extraordinary things!

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About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!