During SOE Live, this weekend, Sony Online Entertainment officially announced its new MMO, EverQuest Next.
Running on the ForgeLight Engine- the same engine used for PlanetSide 2-EverQuest Next (EQN) is set to be SOE’s new vision for the future of online games.
“With EverQuest Next, we’re going back to our roots — a space we defined with the EverQuestlegacy — and ushering in a new era of MMOs: The Emergent Era,” said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment. “Today, many MMOs fail because players consume content faster than developers can create it. With EverQuest Next, we’re creating a living world that players are part of and empowering them to produce new content alongside the development team. What does the future hold for EverQuest Next and Sony Online Entertainment? It’s in the players’ hands, and we like it that way.”
EQN has been in development since 2009, but nearly two years ago, SOE decided to rethink core creative and technical aspects of the design and start from the ground up. SOE promises that EverQuest Next is different from all of the MMOs that have been made before.
Let’s take a look at some of the features:
Multi-Classing: There will be no levels in EQN, but over 40 classes (or professions) will be available at launch. The game will feature multi-tiered abilities and specialised weapon skills to collect and master. Moreover, players will be able to mix and match abilities from each class, bringing a massive amount of customisation to each character.
Destructible Environments: Every piece of the world will be fully destructible and players will have the ability to manipulate almost all of it. Players will be able to venture into deep bedrock beneath the surface and use power combat abilities to blow “gaping” holes in the ground.
Permanent Change: In EverQuest Next, players will have the ability to cause permanent change to the world around them, in dramatic ways. With the help of players, creatures and non-player characters, city walls will be built and destroyed, large-scale battles will be fought and won, and epic stories will unfold over months or years.
Emergent AI: EverQuest Next features a nuanced and unpredictable AI. Players will find themselves in a world where NPC decisions are based on core values, not static spawn points. For example, Orcs may attack adventurers because they want an adventurer’s gold, not just because a hero wanders into its attack radius.
A Life of Consequence: Each character in EQN will have a unique story that does not follow a predetermined path. Instead, players will seek out adventure, fame and fortune in a sandbox world that is constantly changing. The game will be able to remember every choice and action that players make and, from this, will organically deliver increasing opportunities to do more of the things players like to do.
Furthermore, this winter (Northern hemisphere), EverQuest Next Landmark will be introduced. Landmark will combine the building tools SOE is using to create the world of EQN with all of the social functionality expected from a modern MMO.
Landmark, which is a separate game to EverQuest Next, will feature huge persistent worlds that each support thousands of other players and varied terrain inspired by the environments of EQN. Landmark will provide anyone who wants to participate with the opportunity to build structures, and eventually create other types of content, to be considered for inclusion in EQN.
Landmark will allow players to build together and collaborate with SOE to build things SOE specifically want in EQN.
Landmark will launch this winter as a Free-To-Play game and offer the first step in a multi-phase release strategy. Landmark will serve as the gateway to EverQuest Next. However, no formal date has been set for the launch of EverQuest Next.