Yesterday Sony Online Entertainment finally lifted the veil on the long-awaited return of the Sandbox with EverQuest Next at their annual SOE Live convention in Vegas. You can say that we were pretty blown away by what was shown, as EQ Next stands to be just as revolutionary to the MMO genre that the original EverQuest was back in 1999. What they showed at the unveil made our jaws drop more than once by really delivering some welcome surprises.
Here are ten reasons why you should be very excited about EQ Next:
Just making the next EQ game a sandbox is a huge change away from the gameplay type that the first EverQuest made the standard for MMOs. EQ setup the “themepark” model that WoW and every other MMO tried to copy for years, and now the new EQ is tossing that aside for the sandbox style of gameplay that Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies used. This alone is a huge reason to look forward to the game.
In addition to EQ Next, we’re also getting EQ Next Landmark and this should be out by the end of the year. Basically Minecraft, but with good graphics, Landmark will allow you to craft nearly anything in the game world and give people their first taste of the voxel-based world EQ Next will be set in. Even cooler is that SOE will be using Landmark to get player-made items into EQ Next when it releases. So something tells me there’s going to be some really cool things created with this.
Rebooting the Lore
The original EverQuest still has the best game world of any MMO ever. Players of the original EQ, those who spent a lot of time with it, have a strong emotional connection to the original Norrath. Perhaps that’s why EQII never grabbed me as much. The zones had similar names, and were based on EQ zones, but they always felt alien. EQ Next is doing a reboot of the lore. This isn’t a sequel set 1,000 years after EQ2. It’s more of a remake of the original EQ. The concept art of the world they showed looked very promising to retain the look of the original EQ but update it to new tech.
Who ever thought they’d see this feature in a MMO? I seems as if the entire world is built around the ability to affect the environment, which is really cool. People worried about how this will work in a MMO can rest a bit easier when they said many objects will respawn over time, which means griefers will need to find another way for this feature to benefit them. There will be some things, such as player cities, that may be immune to total destruction.
EQ Next’s class system sounds really cool. At the start of the game there are eight classes to choose from, and you can be any of those classes at any time. And you can pick and choose abilities from each class to customize your character. Even cooler, there are something like 40 additional classes scattered around the world that you can hunt down and collect, and then use abilities from those classes to flesh out your perfect character even more.
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