Without any doubt, EverQuest series is one of the pioneers of MMO genre we see today. In a press release Sony Online Entertainment has announced that the next version of the EverQuest franchise is on its way and official.
Starting with how in 2003 EverQuest had revamped the whole gaming scenario with its massive multiplayer and exclusive gameplay John Smedley, President Sony Online Entertainment goes on to mention that “With EverQuest Next, we’re going back to our roots” giving an impression that the game might be based on the basic concepts of EverQuest itself.
There’s nothing to worry in that though, for Dave Georgeson the Director of Development for the EverQuest Franchise has clarified that the game won’t be a “continuation” of a former story. It will of course have a touch of the lore and environment typical to the franchise but this version “is a boldly different game unlike anything that has come before”.
Being in development since 2009, EQN has been thought upon such that it is built from the ground up to ensure that it is unlike any other MMO. The core areas mentioned explicitly in the press release form a comprehensive list.
The game doesn’t have levels, though it has more than 40 classes or professions. Introducing a touch of difference, the game will challenge you to acquire multi-tiered abilities and skills as you go. You will be able to mix abilities from different classes too meaning it could be a whole new world of customization.
SOE is boasting of providing the best game there is when it comes to manipulation of environment and destruction – nearly the whole of your surroundings will be destructible and able to interact. “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” – they say.
Unlike many of the otherwise good games, EQN will allow users to permanently change the world they live in. You blast an installment with a bomb once and all you will see in its place is a ruin every time you come across it. City walls will be built and destroyed, large scale wars will be fought that will change the future.
Just like any other excellent interactive game, the AI will be better and much more resilient. Non Playable Characters will have their own motives behind everything they do, making them unpredictable. Other than that some of them will attack you instinctively and not just because you came up to them, for instance Orcs might attack because they want gold and not because you wandered into their attack zone.
SOE also explains how each character will be different from what you usually get to play with in multiplayer online games. Each playable or non-playable character will have a distinctive personality and reasoning behind him, “they will not follow a predetermined path”. A perfect sandbox game as they refer to it, EQN will ensure to record every action and choice of every character and organically give them more opportunities to do what they like to do.
Along with the announcement of the game Sony Online Entertainment has also announced another feature that will accompany it: the EverQuest Next Landmark TM. In their own words, Sony is trying to provide players with an absolutely new kind of game experience and arguably for the same reason they are introducing the Landmark feature that will let players build the game along with SOE and actually be considered for inclusion in the game.
The Landmark feature will include building tools as well as social functionality, you will be able to:
- Build structures with the tools used by developers.
- Design complex projects and/or tag along friends for shared builds.
- Control specific areas of huge persistent worlds.
- Interact and experience the imagination of thousands of players in a shared world.
- “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”
Other than that, the users interested in building the game will be given guidance on what needs help in building as well as access to the tools used by SOE. They boast that this could be the largest collaborative development in the history of gaming – a chance for everyone in the world who has ever wanted to become a game developer.
So far no formal date has been shared regarding the release date and/ or any other additional information regarding pricing etc, though the press release directs us to the Official Website of EverQuest Next for more on the game.