Someone that may or may not work for SOE, said EQ Next, Dragons and Shit, not to be confused with that other Dragons and Shit game at SOE (Dragon’s Prophet). Yes, Everquest has dragons, it’s the shit part we care about, and in this case, it’s anything but. Everquest Next is not more of the same, but something really quite amazing. The biggest thing is that EQN is made up of voxels, you know, like Minecraft. This allows the entire world to be destroyed or created. Mine yourself a tunnel if you want. Unlike Minecraft, this is an MMO, so the world will rebuild itself over time. Also unlike Minecraft, or any other voxel based game, its not blocky, but smooth and attractive. They built technology into it so that you can change the size of the voxels, smooth them, and a whole lot of other stuff too. Yeah, this is kind of a big deal.
Then there is the multi-classing and lack of traditional leveling. There are over 40 different classes in EQN, 8 of which are available to choose from the beginning, leaving over 30 only able to be acquired from playing the game throughout the world, as well as the other 7 classes you didn’t show during character creation. Each class has certain weapons it can use, and each weapon type has it’s only abilities. Every class also has character abilities, which can be swapped out with character abilities from other classes you find. There also isn’t really leveling in the game, instead there are tiers, which are advanced by collecting items throughout the world. If you are a warrior attempting to go from tier 2 to 3, you may have to collect armor from that tier before you can advanced, and the higher the tier, the harder it will be to accomplish. This allows there to be vertical progression in the game, but the main focus is on horizontal progression and collecting different classes to meet the different challenges.
Public Quests? They have a different take on that too. They call them Rallying Calls, and they permanently change the game. A Rallying Call might be to set up a town, so it would start out as a tent city, and you might have to build a wooden wall, or clear the forest of goblins. These are huge quests, that will last for a couple months, and once completed, well, now there is a town where there wasn’t one before.
Oh, and they made it so the game remembers everything you do, and have it react to you. When you clear out a forest of goblins, a couple things could happen. They could leave the area, because you know, they don’t like dieing, or the goblin king could get mad and send war bands to clear you out. They do this by assigning what creatures like and don’t like, then releasing them onto the world to find out where that is. The example they gave about Orcs, is that they like lonely roads where they can ambush travelers, but don’t like guards. So they will find a road that’s not traveled very much, and set up camp. Should guards be alerted to start patrolling it, you go and drive them off by killing them, or the road starts becoming more frequented, then they’ll pick up camp and move to a place they like better.
The world is also set up in tiers, so with multiple subterranean levels that you can discover and explore. The fact that the game is fully destructible allows you to dig down to find these, or discover them through traditional means. The way they are creating the world makes exploring something you want to do, not just something for 15 xp.
So on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being extremely excited, and 10 being If I give you my kidney, CAN I HAVE IT NOW?