EverQuest Next is a free-to-play next generation MMO currently still in development by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). Now, if you’re expecting the game to be just like EverQuest and EverQuest 2, you might find yourself disappointed. This game is essentially a “reboot” of the franchise. A “complete re-imagining” as they referred to it. Torn down to its core and then built up in a new and different way.
If you can see it as something completely new, you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised. There are a lot of changes in this game that we haven’t seen in these types of games before. Foremost, there will be fully destructible environments. Like say you punch a hole in the ground, that hole stays in the ground (unless another player comes along and changes that). Knock a tree down, it stays down. Destroy a bridge, the bridge stays destroyed. You can get together with your friends to build a castle. Build a city. Rebuild that bridge you destroyed. And so on and so on. Cities are continuously altered by what the players do or don’t do, as is the game itself. AI’s change their behavior based on how the world around them changes.
The game is largely player-driven. I’m intrigued by this idea. Another change I’m looking forward to is the excellent character movements. For example, they’ll slide down hills rather than just walking down or falling, making movement a little more interesting. If you have your webcam on, every expression you make, your character will also make. And you can even cross classes to create more unique characters for yourself! You choose your class in the beginning, as always, but rather than leveling up like in other MMOs, you unlock new classes along the way.
SOE shared two new characters they’ve developed in a live stream last Friday. One is a wizard female name Jalena and the other is a lion hunter named Keeshar (above), who is AWESOME. Their movements are fluid, the fight scenes look great, and they have some amazing abilities. I can’t sell it in words. Check out the video.
The game is a couple of years away from release, but in December, SOE will be unveiling EverQuest Next Landmark, a free-to-play sandbox game that allows you to create and build worlds and structures that could potentially be used in the game. Like Minecraft. Only better. Rather than giant boxes, they use tiny boxes called voxels which are too small to be seen individually, but can be made into pretty much anything.
Cool, huh? You can see what it looks like in action in the following video.
Keep your eyes open for that. I’m excited about it. You can also sign up to be part of a Beta here.
Overall, the promises of the game sound fantastic and I’m uber excited about the potential, but talk is cheap, and as the natural pessimist that I am, I’m skeptical about promises, so I’ll wait to see what they actually present us with when the game comes out.