EverQuest Next: What We Know So Far

EverQuest has two predecessors. The first one was more successful than the second and hopefully this next step up will be the best. The information we have on EverQuest Next is so minimal that we practically only have a teaser still; many different trailers at that.

There are many differences that stand out from the EverQuest Next compared to the EverQuest games of the past. There are some fans of the previous EverQuest games that find some areas of the new one unappealing, but minds can be changed. There is also a subcategory on Reddit that some people are posting suggestions in hopes the EverQuest Next team will view some of the suggestions.

Gameplay/Combat

There is a very low amount of information on the gameplay. What we know is the general control of the combat system allows for real time dodging and reaction mechanics. There is some advanced work being done on the artificial intelligence of enemies that players may face and some individuals are questioning whether or not this will be a waste of time.

My personal opinion is that the time being spent on this A.I. won’t go to waste, because there will always be some ‘trash’ enemies in games which won’t require an advanced AI but the enemies that have a more focused A.I. will not be simple enemies that only need few hits. Although there isn’t very much about the gameplay and combat, from the teasers and previews, people can take that the animations are fluid and some of the spells and actions are refreshing and enjoyable. There are also some previews of some possibly new mechanics that are rarely seen in many MMOs.

Multi-classing

This is one of the features that players are most excited for and most skeptical about. At the worldwide debut, the presenter stated some very key points to this multi-classing system. As a low level character starting out in the EverQuest Next world, there are a total of 8 classes to choose from, each with a handful of weapons to choose from and a few abilities to compliment those weapons. As players begin to complete quests and further their adventure into EverQuest, players will be able to find and obtain classes from different instances; possibly from some hidden quests or from a series of events.

The presenter also stated that “there are more than 40 or so classes out there in the world for you to explore and find.” Adding to this, he states that players can play any of them at any time; it can be assumed that there will be similar style of job changing to that of Rift where there isn’t much of a consequence when players want to try something different. In EverQuest, players define their main class by the weapon that they use rather than the class. Weapons will change skills to match the weapon’s gameplay style.

Crafting

Crafting is touched on a very miniscule level. There will be a very in-depth crafting system that will allow players to craft very particular items. For example, certain pieces on weapons that can be changed to alter what the weapon does. This will bring in a form of crafting that hasn’t really been touched by many MMOs.

I think this is one of the features I look forward to the most. In the image shown on the presentation, it almost looked like there were multiple parts of weapons that could be taken apart and changed to distinguish the effects and functions of one weapon from another. These changes will also be visual rather than just on a crafting window.

Destructibility

This is what they called their interactive environment. Players can use their environment to their advantage. There are skills that allow players to break some bridges in which allow the other players to leap over that gap to engage in battle while the previous player stays in the back line offense. There was some general information announced about this destructibility; with this feature, there is a possibility for some interesting events.

These can be added, which include events where players may have to protect a town from an invading island or possibly a PvP environment where players may need to break into another group’s castle. This goes further in-depth because monsters can also use this feature by breaking the floor under players and knocking them deeper underground. Don’t worry; most of this destruction will heal on its own over time.

A Life of Consequence

This is another feature some players are afraid of. This is a system where players will be judged by the game on the choices that they make. This system basically allows players to make choices that may be potentially good or potentially bad. There is a possibility that a player will fight off an orc that they see as a passer-by and before the player is able to kill the orc, the orc may run off and launch an counter-attack in the area it was attacked.

This is a system where the players create scenarios by their actions and there can be some unexpected consequences. There was not much further information in this but there is also a possibility that favorable interactions with certain NPCs will allow players to obtain certain things or possible unfavorable actions will have those NPCs reject the players. I’m in favor for a system like this because it is a system that is not done quite often enough and I enjoy the idea of being responsible for my own actions.

Permanent Change

Aside from the changes to the environment that can heal, there are also permanent changes that players can participate in. One of them is a ‘Rallying Call’ event that may take up to a few months. Players will be directed to help build a city by accomplishing quests or gathering materials for the base of a city. The finished accomplishments cannot be viewed by players, which allows a mystery of how a place is progressing.

There are different actions that players can take without the use of quests as well. Players can choose to walk off alone without quests and clear out an area to help pacify an area for the city to expand. As certain landmarks of city building are reached, buildings will begin to form and more events will start, such as villages being attacked, NPCs carrying out more actions, and enemies may attack more frequently as more places unlock. These changes are determined by the actions of players, because of that, players on different servers may see different events in these permanent change event areas.

EverQuest Next: Landmark

EverQuest Next: Landmark is a huge collection of persistent worlds, but they are procedurally generated and the landmasses are completely different from any other worlds. Players will receive claim flags which can be set for in certain areas with the required items. Once a claim has been set, players can build anything they want on it.

As players explore, they can collect materials and items that allow them to build bigger and better stuff for their claims. Players can craft statues, doors, furniture, and so on. When players go into their build mode, they are able to build things on a very detailed level that allows a player to create the wildest things from their imagination. Other than creating buildings, players can create any structures they want to, such as an area that might look like ruins or a statue out of the materials they have gathered.

Creativity Promotion

This will also be part of the EverQuest Next: Landmark system. There will be areas within EverQuest that players will be able to bring their art to life. There will be areas where players will be the ones that are going to create something on a grand scale for usage rather than the graphics team making it. The idea is to get the players involved in creating the world with the developers rather than the typical developer-only game creation.

This is a big step towards involving players to get involved with creating a game with the developers and allows nearly full control for players. There will be contests to be held for players to vote for what others players have made to become part of the game. I have seen other games add items and small cash shop items to their games by players but this is a new feature I have never seen in games. Aside from this, players can also create assets and then put them on a marketplace system called ‘Player Studio’, in which other players can purchase these assets with real money. This also helps boost the creativity of players because they gain something out of it.

Personal Note

Before today, I only briefly knew about the ideas behind EverQuest Next. I feel that I only touched on the surface of the game and I don’t think I covered everything. From what I can see so far, the progress is coming along great and I’m looking forward to the release of EverQuest Next. I’d really like to see what can be done with the crafting, claims, and the rallying call events. I really like the aspect of players having so much involvement and control with the creation of the environment and there are a lot of great features that can make EverQuest Next a great game.

There’s another thing I didn’t mention. Individuals can take a look at the general development progress on the main EverQuest Next site under “round table”, which brings up some questions that individuals can vote on and the team can take these votes into consideration. I am surprised that EverQuest Next has given players such a large board for side-by-side development and I would really like to see what will be the overall final draft.

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