With SOE Live 2013, Sony Online Entertainment will reveal their next MMO, EverQuest Next. Specifically, at their keynote address on August 2nd, it will be streamed on twitch.tv:
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http://www.twitch.tv/EverQuestNext - Livestream, first goes live August 2nd
https://www.everquestnext.com/ - Website, updated most likely when details come out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuuRIVm3YGg - EverQuest Next Black Box Teaser Video
http://www.twitch.tv/everquestnext/b/416159876 - Previous E3 Broadcast about EverQuest, holds some information about EverQuest Next.
What EverQuest Next Is:
(shamelessly copied from massively)
- Free to Play
- Terrain Deformation
- Emergent Gameplay
- Huge Player Interaction With The World
What is EverQuest Next? While we can't see the whole picture, here are the (public!) pieces of the EQN puzzle that we have so far.
At SOE Live 2012, the upcoming game was revealed to be a sandbox by none other than SOE CEO John Smedley himself. Since then, he's talked about the how the game has tools for players to shape the living, breathing world around them. While this news isn't exactly detailed, it does lay the foundation for what players can expect.
Do tools to shape this world include crafting? Yes. At PAX East, Franchise Director Dave Georgeson described his pet theory that crafters are the glue of MMOs. He told us, "You can pretty much assume that there will be a strong backbone in EQ Next for those players." And bringing Emily "Domino" Taylor (known for her work expanding the crafting system in EverQuest II) on board as producer for EQ Next helped cement that idea that crafting would be integral.
What about the living, breathing world part? Smedley noted, "We're changing what AI is in these games to a degree that we're going to bring life to the world. That to us is the essence of the change that we're making." Earlier this year, we learned that the team behind Storybricks, a developing game with revolutionary AI that responds to individual players, is collaborating on EQN.
What else do we know? In that same PAX East interview, Georgeson said he felt that SOE was already tipping its hand somewhat with what has been added to EQ and EverQuest II. He elaborated by noting that features like Player Studio and SOEmote will be a part of the sandbox. We also have the confirmation that the sandbox will follow the rest of SOE's portfolio and be free-to-play.
Visually, we've also been treated to two bits of art to give us a glimpse of the game: the first, a texture-less and colorless character model, and the second, the official concept painting. Calm your shock about the size of the shoulderpads and such on the armor and remember that the concept paintings for the other two games were also just that -- concepts. In-game art is likely to vary just as it did for the other games.
And finally, we know that this year players will get more than just a peek at a demo at SOE Live; as Smedley has hinted, "Players will get their hands on an actual release version of what we're doing late [this] year -- and I don't mean a beta."
What EverQuest Next Isn’t:
- EverQuest 2
- MMO that you remember from years ago (nostalgia)
Although it's third in line in the EQ franchise, EverQuest Next is not a sequel. Both Smedley and Georgeson have spoken on multiple occasions about how the EQN versions that were originally turning out more like EQ 2.5 or EQ III were scrapped. Even the title itself, EverQuest Next, draws focus away from the game's being just a rehash of its predecessors. In the aforementioned PAX East interview, Georgeson teased us with the line that EverQuest Next is "an MMO you've never played before" -- that it's "a completely different critter."
In that light, will this next version sound the death knell for EQ and EQII? Even before EQN's big screenshot-blowing-up reveal at the convention, Georgeson addressed this concern by assuring that "EQN is not being designed to replace those games." And when I talked with him at SOE Live 2012, he reaffirmed that stance, pointing out that the newest sibling to the franchise is such a different game and fans are so loyal to their respective games that there is little worry of a mass migration.
EverQuest Next Analysis
To come as the game's info gets released!