Cast Your Eye Buffs On EverQuest Next

By Craig Pearson on August 7th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

Doors too big for those shoulder pads? Smash them with a hammer.
Until very recently, if I’d walked up to someone and asked them if they were excited about the new EverQuest game, any positive response would have seen the authorities rush in. The Pod Person would then be gassed and caged, the area evacuated and nuked, and humanity would feel just a little bit more vulnerable. Even now, when I look in the mirror and someone excited about EverQuest Next is staring back, I flinch a little bit. Am I a Pod Pearson? SOE’s work in revitalising their MMO as a world that I want to explore and smash is baffling. To be honest, I thought Adam was playing an elaborate prank, but the video of SOE’s live reveal is proof that they’re onto something.

The reveal starts 28 mins in on the first video. The intro is kind of baffling. The rest reveals the new engine, the new movement system that’s all about free-running, and all the smashy loveliness. I love the response to Landmark: the silence of people not sure how to react to something very new and very awesome is hilarious.

I watched this live on the Twitch stream, and it was fun experiencing the people in chat channel on the side of the screen being slowly won over. They went from posting ascii winkies and claiming it was a WoW rip-off to being excited and begging for access.

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51 Comments »

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  1. dE says:

    It’s curious how the mentioning of one company can completely destroy all interest in a product. European distribution will be handled by Prosieben – can’t deal with it.

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      Aerothorn says:

      How have they been handling Planetside 2? I know there was a lot of concern but I haven’t heard any complaints.

      • dE says:

        When I read they were doing the handling for the european market, I ran. Although it was possible to use the US version via Steam and I reckon you might do this in this case as well, unless they do some serious geofencing (well that and lag issues). Still, some months down the line this happened:
        http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/02/26/planetside-2-hack/

      • Gusj says:

        I don’t know how it is now, but at launch it was impossible to register and play with a European account. Prosieben’s support page looped back on itself so you couldn’t submit any complaints and SOE refused to respond to any Europe-specific complaints. I only got to play because I had an old SOE-account from another game.

        • razgon says:

          As long as you get into the beta before the launch, you were fine with a US account. SOE said so repeatedly if you followed the game. I did so, and are currently using SOE for Planetside 2 without any issues.

          Did they say in the above videos that Prosieben would be handling EQNext though? Thats the first I’ve heard of it, and frankly it surprised me, because all plans of moving people over from EQ2 and Vanguard seems to have vanished completely.

          • dE says:

            I knew I forgot something: The source.
            Taken from the FAQ over here https://www.everquestnext.com/eqn-faq

            Q: I am a European customer. How can I play EverQuest Next or EverQuest Next Landmark?
            A: Our European players will play EverQuest Next with our partner, ProSiebenSat.1 Games. You can find out more on PSG’s website and sign up for the EU beta.

            By the look of it, Beta is ProSieben too this time around.

          • Ritashi says:

            During one of the panels the everquest lead guy (don’t recall his name, he’s the one that did the intro) said that he’d received a ton of emails complaining about Prosieben and that they’d talk about it as soon as they got back to the office. So at least they’re aware of the issue.

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            Screwie says:

            I am so annoyed at finding this out after getting sucked into the exciting potential for Everquest Next and Landmark. This practise creates such a lousy experience for EU players and has failed so many times over, I’m amazed it still gets considered at all.

            If Blizzard and ArenaNet can curate their own European servers, surely SOE can afford to?

            This is a dealbreaker for me. But as Ritashi says, there is some hope yet. Fingers crossed.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Ugh, regional sharding. Standard “you realize people can have friends in other countries in this modern age of ubiquitous high-speed low-latency global communications, right?” argument goes here.

          • GettCouped says:

            Global latency isn’t low enough.

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            darkChozo says:

            If it’s like PS2, there’ll be no enforced regional sharding in terms of gameplay, just in terms of how you log-in and who manages your account. There may well be sharding in general, and that sharding is probably going to be by region for quality-of-service reasons, but that’s a genuine technical restriction (combination of latency still being a thing and a single playerbase-wide instance being both difficult and server-taxing).

      • Apocalypse says:

        Steam Accounts give you access to the us servers and soe accounts. And actually the main result was that a decent amount of people passed on the game instead of using pro sieben.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      It’s the name “Everquest” that really bothers me. I haven’t played every MMO, but whenever I see someone say something is “WoW-like” I always think of them as basically saying it’s “EQ-like” because originally that’s what everyone called WoW… EQ in the Warcraft world. I never like EQ really, though WoW was a bit of fun until the illusion was dispelled and I realized the mechanics of it.

      This all sounds very exciting. Kind of wish they’d drop the EQ name, though. Well at least the didn’t call it Everquest neXt

      • ScubaMonster says:

        Why does it matter if it’s called Everquest? It’s a name everybody recognizes, and it’s pretty clear they are going in a new direction so the name by itself shouldn’t make you worry it’s yet another same old EQ game. The last thing I care about a game is the name.

        • The Random One says:

          A dude I follow on twitter said Everquest Next is the most generic video game ever. He’s not a gamer and he has a point.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          It just carries bad connotations. That doesn’t mean the game will be bad at all, but it is reason for much surprise when you find out how innovative their ideas are.

          • frightlever says:

            What’s bad about the EQ name? I played the original for ages. It was difficult back in the early days. Tear-jerkingly hard when your serial corpse runs resulted in all your gear vanishing and you losing three levels. Original EQ was great. I would never go back. Actually I did, last year and the controls are ass and the UI needed a magnifying glass. Must check out Asherons Call again.

            EQ2 was never great.

    • Wurstwaffel says:

      Oh goddamnit. Prosieben? Really? The TV network? This can’t be good.

    • Don Reba says:

      I thought you meant SONY.

  2. cdx00 says:

    It’s an EverQuest game because it will follow the same lore and be set in the same universe as previous EverQuest titles. EverQuest was one of my first games that I ever played online and I played it (and it’s sequel — unfortunately) for several years. I am very excited to see this game go in the direction the developers have decided to take it in.

    Not to mention the art style is gorgeous. On that note, was I the only person who found the live-action sand painting remarkable? That one ocean scene when they departed from Qeynos, wow.

  3. Inu says:

    ProSabien has had a few quality control issues with Planetside 2. Banning people based on flags from reports instead of actually investigating like they should.

  4. 12inchPlasticToy says:

    That’s the second upcoming MMO that went with the “Star Wars: Clone Wars” look, that kind of caricatural 3D pastel.

    Though it’s a bit of a general statement, this seems essentially like a blend of Wildstar and Minecraft, which does not bode well for Carbine… Shame really, Wildstar did seem like it brought a lot of original stuff to the current MMO scene until this popped up a few days ago.

    Nevertheless, I wish both games and their families all the best.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Wildstar did seem like it brought a lot of original stuff to the current MMO scene

      Really? It looked like it brought some really nice pre-rendered character trailers that screamed “we want to be an animation studio” and a few glimpses of standing around playing canned attacks and farming spawnpoints for horse testicles to me.

      • 12inchPlasticToy says:

        We must wear different types of glasses then, because to me the gameplay looks fluid and the characters feel more present. I don’t know, I just get good vibes when I see it. It looks snuggly.

  5. Bork Titflopsen says:

    I wonder if with enough, time, effort and people you can cheese the AI so all of a certain type of enemy ends up in roughly the same place, creating, for example, orc internment camps…

    That said, I’m looking forward to seeing what this game becomes. As cool as the the things they’ve achieved so far are, a couple of cool ideas thrown together doesn’t necessarily mean the game will be good.

    • Sathure says:

      Ocr Internment Camps… That could possibly fit in with his description of players effecting the overall story of the game.

      “The Orcs used to be a real problem on this server.. Until we corralled them all into the camps. In a giant hole that we made them dig..”

      • Osmedirez says:

        Looks like someone’s going to have to watch out for the OLF. (Orc Liberation Front)

  6. khomotso says:

    I’m a bit puzzled about the bit where changing the core game means allowing multi-classing. Ho hum.

    The emergent AI stuff has been promised forever, with little result. The spinning out of ‘maybe’ scenarios of reactive wildlife and environments is a long-standing marketing gimmick, and little more. I think we’ve heard this all before, and haven’t seen it pan out.

    Which leaves destructibility and permanent change, which seem cool enough, as far as they go. Also the minecrafty experimentation.

    But it still looks all pretty half-baked. Concepts in the abstract. Not quite following the excitement, and I don’t yet see a game.

    • Hyomoto says:

      That’s how I feel about the whole thing. Even assuming all this is pulled off flawlessly, I still wonder how it will weight beneath a thousand players.

      I think if they REALLY want to revolutionize this, as they certainly have an ambitious base, they have to curb the ‘lv40 lfg’ mentality. Make a game we want to spend time in. Adventuring is boring when it’s all you ever do, always gives rewards and has no inherent setbacks or dangers. I may have missed it in the video but beyond some pretty tech it seems like the CORE GAMEPLAY is still get better gear, whack more trolls.

      Especially when they talk about the aegis boots. That would be really cool if there was but a single set in the game. What about when everyone can go get them? Not so much. My question is simple, what are they doing about the grind?

      • LionsPhil says:

        What is an MMO without grind? If people could “finish” it, they would have no reason to keep paying a subscription, or keep buying boosts in the F2P store.

        • crinkles esq. says:

          I think that’s a pretty dim view of what MMOs could be. I played several MUSHes and MOOs in university (more sophisticated, roleplaying-centric versions of MUDs) and had a grand time with machinations between factions, skill-based combat, building rooms and functional devices — all without grinding at all. You equate grinding with an MMO because that’s what you’ve been force-fed. To me, EverQuest Next is the closest thing I’ve seen to those old days of interacting with other players in a compelling way as being the primary goal. I would pay for that experience, if the tapestry EverQuest Next ends up as is as beautiful as the yarn they weave.

          Whether they can pull it off is an entirely different matter.

        • Hyomoto says:

          I agree with crinkles, that is a dim view. I guess it depends on what you consider grinding to be. Granted, anything repetitive you do is essentially a grind. However, I speak of the constant march over respawning enemies. Sure they move, so you might have to do more exploration in this one to get that steady stream, but methinks the Wiki will break the game just as so many before it. However, that constant march of hammers and swords is boring when nothing happens in between.

          I’d like to see health potions that are in the economy because of players that gather herbs and and produce them. Swords and shields that come off player forges. How can anyone expect a ‘balanced’ economy when gold literally falls out of the pockets of enemies! Now, if that gold belonged to another player who happened to be robbed by the enemies I’d understand. If we had to dig in the mines for the iron for our swords, and enemies that infested the caverns made that hard so we organized bands to route them, well NOW you are talking.

          To me THOSE would be revolutionary features, destructible environments and reactive mobs are just decoration.

  7. dontnormally says:

    The emergent AI and procedural level generation stuff both sound really promising and groundbreaking.

  8. crinkles esq. says:

    Craig, I think you’re being a bit uncritical about what they’ve announced. It sounds great in theory, but everything is a big if. I’m not seeing much in the way of actual gameplay examples of the concepts they’ve laid out. This is Molyneux territory right now.

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      Craig Pearson says:

      A bit, but there’s not much to go on, and I’m happy to encourage early cool designs. Funnily, I was talking to someone when the stream was on and mentioned that it reminded me of Fable.

  9. bstard says:

    I’m not sure, wont we end up killing 10 boars for a quest again?

    • frightlever says:

      What a boring question. People always rabbit on about the critter quests.

  10. Everyone says:

    They went from posting ascii winkies and claiming it was a WoW rip-off

    It’s always amusing when people don’t realise that WoW is an EQ “rip off”; the Blizzard D2 devs were playing in the EQ beta!

  11. Delph says:

    If anyone is interested it’s using the tech build by one guy over many years, which you can see over here. Thing is from reading that blog I’m not sure the engine is really production ready yet, perhaps they’ll be able to accelerate it’s development.

    I’m ambivient in the hope they manage to rein in their simulation dream enough to make something fun, it would be good for games, but not for my free time.

  12. Calabi says:

    Its interesting how western developers are never very imaginative with their lore or designs. Asian developers seem to come up with wierd interesting stuff all the time.

    • tnzk says:

      No, Asian developers aren’t anymore original. You’re an outsider looking into a different culture.

  13. aircool says:

    Wow! Those videos are worth watching. Ok, so everything presented seemed like the logical next step (ie, modern mmo plus minecraft), but pulling it off… Hopefully :)

    • Osmedirez says:

      It’s a fascinating turn of events. Minecraft and the many spin-offs and inspired-by nuances, have almost all been multiplayer on some level. Virtual worlds abound.

      What makes this particularly interesting is that they really seem to want to find a way to merge a pure Virtual World (think: Second Life) with a Virtual Game (any MMO), using the latest giant leap forward in virtual scarcity tech. It’s super ambitious, and I’m 100% positive that it will be very interesting if not engaging.

      What’s even more exciting is that, like the original Ultima Online, this is just the first step down the path that will probably by the actual begging of what will actually be the dawn of Third Generation MMOs (1st being text/MUD, second being graphic MMOs). Every other MMO out today is, on it’s very basic level, more or less an extension of the current formula for making MMOs rather than something entirely new, whereas this feels like it will be something different– if they pull it off.

      If they end up with a gimmicky overhaul on the current formula, it’ll be just another one of those. But if they can do what they say they want to do right now, they’ll have pushed the genre forward for the first time in years. Bravo for making the attempt. I’m curious to see who will one-up this game in the future though.

  14. Lemming says:

    Soo…what’s with the boob window?

    • Shodex says:

      It looks good and appeals to the male audience. Which is you know… the significantly larger audience in MMOs. There is nothing wrong with making characters like sexually attractive beyond a realistic sense, not all men are well built, cleft chinned, hunks either.

      Saying “a woman with cleavage in a game is sexist” is almost as silly as saying “a movie where the villain is coloured is racist”, the woman in the video is very modestly dressed in comparison to characters in other MMOs and even many women in real life dress more revealing on a day to day basis.

      Making a fantasy world look sexy is not bad, it’s good. Sexy is nice. It’s not realistic, but neither is slaying dragons.

  15. KirbyEvan says:

    Ehh, I kinda went cold turkey on MMO’s ever since WoW and with Guild Wars 2 didn’t really get my fill.

    The game looks beautiful but in the end it will still be about retreading content over and over until you finally reach max level and restart the process but with more challenge.

    Guild Wars 2 promised a great combat system but it just felt like a giant button masher with no strategy to me.

    I’ll have to see when it comes out but due to it being an MMO it also comes with the same baggage every MMO gets, repetitiveness, artificial lengthening, and quite usually a mean playerbase.

    • Drumstick42 says:

      I feel the same way. I enjoy MMOs, but I can’t find one that I can stick with, simply because no one is moving the genre forward. I suppose I’m just burnt out.

      As for combat systems, Tera managed to produce an deep, skill based system. Unfortunately, leveling is an complete slog because the quests are of the generic “kill five boars and gather their spleens” variety. It’s a shame because, as with GW2, it has a wonderful art style (perhaps with the exception of the over-the-top sexualization) and really is a beautiful game. It sometimes feels like an MMO that’s really good on a few fronts has to be bad on the others.

    • aliksy says:

      I’m pretty sure GW2 isn’t a giant button masher unless you’re standing in a swarm of players. Try sPvP, skirmishes in WvW, or some (rare) parts of PvE that are challenging alone or in a small group.

      People gravitate towards forming huge zergs to get the most xp/drops per hour, but that’s a different design flaw.

  16. garys21 says:

    Stop worrying about Rage It’s a good game and bring on the sequels and DLC’s