It doesn’t matter if you’re an old school MMO player or the newer generation players that popped up around the start of World Of Warcraft’s iron grip on the MMO market. You probably know the name of SOE’s largest title game “EverQuest “, matched in popularity only by the late Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) which went offline shortly after the launch of Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic (SWTOR). EverQuest has run for over 13 years now and across 19 expansions(soon to be 20) and even a sequel in the form of EverQuest 2!
EverQuest and EverQuest 2 are available in a free to play model as well as a subscription plan if you want access to the full features. EQ1 is a bit dated in graphics but if you want a taste of what MMOs used to be like in the past before everything became a lot easier (I’m looking at you Warcraft), it might bring you some enjoyment. However, if you want to experience the land of Norrath and enjoy upgraded graphics and a not so dated gameplay element you will want to look at EQ2. Great ways to get you warmed up for the next incarnation of the EverQuest series.
EverQuest Next is going to be a sandbox style MMO. Meaning the world should be near seamless(without loading screens or a lot of instancing) and player’s will be able to build and destroy things within the games persistent world. Using the in-house designed forge light engine the game was developed on (Which is also used for PlanetSide2 btw) and the land mark dev tools, the EQN team seem to want players to have a great deal of control within the games world. Which I find to be a great design path, with games like Minecraft making people build ridiculous things within the game you can only imagine what will pop up or get destroyed in the world if they do give players a lot of freedom and destruction.
So probably a lot of dicks, troll faces, and 8-bit mega-structures for castles.
Thankfully, you can destroy buildings and terrain in EverQuest Next which makes me wonder, just how many things will survive after they’re built. MMO’s are known for the mass amount of griefers that love to ruin other people’s hard work but it makes you wonder, what structure will stand for years to come? It seems if you are a good enough builder you could have your structure become a permanent addition to the game world via ingame crafting contest I assume. A statue or a building made by some renown player that becomes the spot to meet maybe to roleplay or to just sell items like a market place for years to come is pretty enticing.
Another highlight for Ever Quest Next is that you will be able to mix and match class abilities, something that is becoming quite popular lately within the realm of MMORPGs. Which is great for PVE experiences, it allows you the freedom to build a character to your play style and even for your roleplaying. This however could become a major balancing issue when it comes to PVP, so I hope they have 2 systems set up. one for PVE and for PVP. The problem with making class balances across both PVP and PVE is the nerfs can really hurt both sides.
As a PVPer, you go out of your way usually to maximize your damage/survivability, even if it means being a cheesy bastard. And a nerf to a skill that is too great in PVE or PVP but niche in the other, could ruin your skill set completely. Something that happened a lot in SOE’s Vanguard Saga of Heroes game. IF everything is done right however it should make for some very interesting class builds. I will immediately be rolling around as a ShadowKnight Ranger when I get into this game.
You can signup for the beta over here – https://www.everquestnext.com/beta-registration and join me as I impatiently wait for an invite to EverQuest Next. The release date isn’t until sometime in 2014 so let the waiting begin. That gives me time to get in shape with BodyBeast and think of a sweet EverQuest cosplay.