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EverQuest Next: destructible environments, voxels

Friday, 2 August 2013 20:27 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Sony Online Entertainment has announced its vision for the “future of online games” with EverQuest Next.

In development since 2009, SOE has been rethinking the core “creative and technical aspects” of the design and started from the ground up to build a new kind of MMO, different from all the others out there.

“With EverQuest Next, we’re going back to our roots — a space we defined with the EverQuest legacy — and ushering in a new era of MMOs: The Emergent Era,” said John Smedley, SOE president.

“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.”

Here is how EverQuest Next will differ from previous iterations in the series, as well as other MMOs, according to the press release:

Multi-Classing - EQN will offer players the ability to explore and interact with the world according to their individual style of play. There are no levels in EQN, but there will be more than 40 distinct classes (or professions) at launch, with multi-tiered abilities and specialized weapon skills to collect and master. Players will even mix and match abilities from each class, creating truly custom characters that feel distinct and powerful.

Destructible Environments – No modern MMO has successfully implemented destructible environments that stretch across an entire seamless game world — this changes forever with EQN. Every piece of the world is fully destructible and players will have the ability to manipulate almost all of it. They will interact with and explore the world in amazing ways; venturing down into the deep bedrock beneath the surface and using powerful combat abilities to blow gaping holes into the ground. The EQN world will extend far into the heavens and deep into the procedurally-generated earth through 10,000 years of known lore and history.

Permanent Change – Players will also have the ability to cause the world to change around them, permanently, in dramatic ways. Through the concerted effort of the world’s inhabitants, including players, creatures, and non-player characters (NPCs), city walls will be built and destroyed, large-scale wars will be fought and won, and epic stories will unfold over months and years.

Emergent AI – In EQN, NPCs will have specific motivations and preferences that direct behavior in nuanced and unpredictable ways. Players will find themselves in a world where NPC decisions are based on core values, not dictated by static spawn points. For example, Orcs may attack opportunistically because they want an adventurer’s gold, not simply because a careless hero wanders into an attack radius.

A Life of Consequence – Finally, each character in EQN will have a unique story; they will not follow a predetermined path. Instead, they will seek out adventure, fame and fortune in a constantly changing sandbox world. The game will remember every choice and action that players make and will organically deliver increasing opportunities to do more of the things players like to do … from crafting armor and exploring the wilderness to purging goblins from the forests.

“EverQuest Next is not the continuation of a familiar story,” said Dave Georgeson, director of development. “It represents the fundamental reimagining of the characters, lore and environments of the EverQuest universe.

“Make no mistake; while great care has been taken to respect the extraordinary influence that EverQuest has had in this industry and with our player community over the years, this is a boldly different game unlike anything that has come before.”

Hard to believe that EverQuest is 14 years old isn’t it?

No formal date is set for the launch of EQN, but additional information will be announced soon and you can sign up for the eventual beta here.

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41 Comments

  1. NocturnalB

    And just when I was regaining a normal life after laying the World of Warcrack pipe down…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    Basically a WoW killer – 100%

    The world that is built in Voxels an Absolute REVOLUTION in Gaming.

    No more Polygons! this is an absolute next generation of gaming! Funny thing though is that John Carmack said long time ago that id Tech 6 will be built around voxels, but these guys did it before them!

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Hcw87

    Well, the game needs to have real solid, smooth animations for this to work perfectly. No microlag between ability activations etc.

    Basically, copy the hell out of WoW’s animation system, because that game has the smoothest gameplay of any MMO.

    Really impressed, but i doubt this will release until late 2014 at the earliest. Just in time for Maxwell cards.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    Yeah, the tech is impressive.

    I don’t think we’re realistically looking at WoW killers anymore, WoW is slowly killing itself.

    The real question is who will be next to break 8 million paying customers.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Hcw87

    @4
    I really doubt there will be another sub based MMO. Even blizzard is moving away from it with their next project.

    What i really don’t want is pay to win/pay to unlock crap though, either copy GW2 or Rift’s model and everyone will be happy.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    They are saying that they are looking at the low-spec machine that can run this. dual-core processors. So you don’t need amazing card for it.

    and art style is from WoW and it looks FUCKING GOOD!

    The game is incredible. So far it is the next generation of MMO’s or Gaming. Whatever. Voxels are the future of gaming.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Erthazus

    and btw they are looking for subs with this game.

    So 15$ a month.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Stephany Nunneley

    All six videos are in there now.

    I may have just found my next MMO.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Hcw87

    Well, sub is better than a pay to win system by far, so i have no problem with that.

    I just doubt it can support 40+ players on screen at once, without any slowdowns. I’m on a dualcore/HD4870 atm, and can play any current MMO fine until there are big events with ~20+ people around.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. DSB

    @5 I really hope that you’re wrong. But I fear that you’re right.

    I think the truth right now is that it’s a lot easier to rely on micro-transactions than it is to make people commit, but I also think that’s largely because the games aren’t good enough to ask for a sub.

    I wouldn’t pay a sub for Rift. I wouldn’t pay a sub for GW2. They’re too generic and if I don’t feel like investing time in them, then I also don’t feel like investing money in them.

    I hope the future isn’t F2P. I don’t want to be playing around some companies elaborate storefront, I want a game I can really get into.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Erthazus

    I watched again and everything is amazing except for DOUBLE JUMPING thing. Double jump – overrated thing in games. when they are going to release Landmark or whatever I will vote against that feature.

    But yeah, voxels. Freakin’ incredible. I imagine RAIDS with this feature can be extremely amazing. You can make MULTI-LEVEL Boss fights!

    I think Bobby Kotick just had an heart attack with Morhaime together.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Erthazus

    “”"”At any one time, players will have access to, at most, eight abilities, four from their class, four from their weapons. (Yes, those eight abilities would seemingly map really, really well to the d-pad and face buttons of a game controller, but Georgeson says that that wasn’t the motivation; there’s no announcement for a console version. Both are announced initially for PC. Hey, shades of what Blizzard had said about Diablo III!) (c) Kotaku”"”

    so basically a disapointment. eight abilities. So PS4 version is coming in the future… But that is disturbing to say the least.

    eight bars only. =/ 4 for abilities and 4 for the weapons. With each weapon there will be different abilities. Interesting idea (guild Wars 2 idea) and at the same time that is a step back for the gameplay mechanics.

    It’s like Diablo III all over again.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Hcw87

    Yes, when it comes to MMO’s, more buttons=more longevity. You’re supposed to play your character hundreds of hours, you need some skill/animation variety.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. TheWulf

    They can talk the talk and that lion is beautiful. This is the kind of talk I want to hear, too, and if they don’t try to whore themselves out to basement-dwelling vertical progression addicts, then they might actually have something truly amazing on their hands, here.

    The biggest yes of the lot is allowing for user created content. This is because often the people playing a game can be more creatively inclined than those making it, and they can be willing to push the envelope more with interesting stories, as is often the case.

    So you’ve got my attention, SOE. More than other, recent failures (Wildstar and Elder Scrolls Online et al) could ever hope to. I’ll be watching with interest.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Erthazus

    Jeremy Soule is on board. That is freakin’ amazing.

    Eq Next is a WoW killer or it is going to sink like a bitch. There is no other way.

    BLIZZARD, your Move!

    #15 2 years ago
  16. TheWulf

    @3

    What?

    You want me to think that this is superior to this? Um. No.

    I’m all for liking something, but let’s not copy an ancient game that looks like shit and plays even worse, please?

    I mean, I can understand giving the accolade of brilliant animations and fantastic gameplay to TERA as a fantasy MMO, but there are non-fantasy MMOs out there which are even more enjoyable to play than that. WoW is a relic. What’s happening with WoW is like digging up a corpse every few years to slap some make-up on it so that its cultists can undergo the ritual fornication. How about we just let it die a dignified death, instead?

    No more fornicating with relics! Bad!

    There are clearly better examples out there that new MMOs should be trying to ape, if anything. More clones of ancient relics we do not need.

    @4

    “The real question is who will be next to break 8 million paying customers.”

    For you, not for me. I’d actually rather see good games, rather than trying to tap into the lowest common denominator by appealing to everyone. Even if Everquest Next doesn’t break a million players, if it’s a good game, I’ll be happy.

    @8

    I know, right?

    User created content is a big deal for me. And with added elements like a classless system and destructible scenery? I’ll admit, I’m intrigued, and I want to know more.

    I’m just begging them internally right now not to listen to the relic fetishists — the majority is tired of the grind, and a game that isn’t focused around vertical progression would be much more preferable. Vertical progression is 99% of the reason why most MMOs fail. Plus, without vertical progression, it’s much easier to slot player-created content into things.

    Please, please, please don’t let them be stupid…

    If I hear that they’re not going down the route of excessive vertical progression with this, I might actually get excited.

    @9

    Eh. Pay-to-win or a skinner-box system of endless grind to brainwash weak-willed sycophants into paying for ‘just another month,’ kissing their godly provider’s feet with every passing day? I’m not exactly the biggest fan of micro-transactions, but I see them as the lesser evil, here.

    At least pay-to-win doesn’t negatively impact a person’s life to the point where they or their children die.

    @11

    Oh, shush. Rule of fun. Double-jumping is fun. Stop making a fetish of everything being hyper-real and let games actually be fun, occasionally. It’s nice to see a developer embrace fun, rather than ultra-realism.

    @13

    “[...] more buttons=more longevity [...]”

    That explains why I’ve played good single-player RPGs which have only had a handful of abilities, like Fallout: New Vegas. Oh, wait. No, I rather think that that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve read thus far, and that’s saying something. Again: Stop fornicating with relics!

    More Content = More Longevity, obv.

    I mean, if three-hundred buttons were added to the Portal gun in Portal 1, do you honestly think it would last longer than three hours?

    Do people just not think any more? Do they not reflect, meditate, and consider? Is that just something that the rare few, like myself, actually bother to do? Is that it?

    Sigh.

    More buttons leads to more longevity my arse. Good grief.

    To the contrary, more buttons would dilute and obfuscate an experience like Portal and make it unplayable. That’s why they’re game designers, and you aren’t.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Erthazus

    @16, There must be a limit. Then why just limit everything to double jump? They should make you fly then.
    I just want to feel like i’m playing an elf or a human that has realistic moves in it.
    I’m not asking for ultra realism in mmorpg such as this, but I want to feel that i’m a character that’s not shooting lazer beams from it’s eyes.

    Things like boots that has levitation in them (they showed in the demo) that was nice and more or less real for the fantasy world.

    double-Jumping is overrated IMO.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Hcw87

    @16 Has no clue how MMO’s work, and i’m so fucking glad you don’t work in the gaming industry.

    No vertical progression, lack of abilities, stiff animations, lack of endgame = your game will tank a few weeks after people have started playing it. Those are the 4 most important things in an MMO.

    Also stop with your senseless generalization, it makes you look more and more retarded after every wall of text you post.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Lengendaryboss

    @18
    Do what i do: don’t attempt you usually just ask yourself why afterwards.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Hcw87

    @19
    Nah, i’m just giving him something to do for the next 30-40 mins.

    First he’ll need to find his dictionary though. Because everything MUST BE PERFECTLY WORDED IN HIS WALL.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Lengendaryboss

    @20
    :D

    #21 2 years ago
  22. loci

    First week of this should be fun. Everyone will completely smash the environment to pieces. There will be holes everywhere.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Hcw87

    ”Eh. Pay-to-win or a skinner-box system of endless grind to brainwash weak-willed sycophants into paying for ‘just another month,’ kissing their godly provider’s feet with every passing day? I’m not exactly the biggest fan of micro-transactions, but I see them as the lesser evil, here.

    At least pay-to-win doesn’t negatively impact a person’s life to the point where they or their children die.”

    Seriously, who says this? Who are you as a person?

    It’s so funny, but at the same time, so fucking sad.

    Protip: Female MMO players go apeshit when there are microtransaction involving clothing/cosmetic items for their characters. They spend WAY more money doing that than the 10 dollar monthly fee.

    By your logic, those female player’s kids should then die, because they would go broke buying all those ingame-cosmetic items, leaving them no money to feed their kids, right?

    Again, funny and sad at the same time.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Kabby

    TheWulf gives EQN his seal of approval. Game is doomed.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. DSB

    @23 He’s referring to an internet shock story where a mentally unstable woman and her husband starved their kid to death over the course of a year. Since she had been playing WoW the same day the kid died, tabloids chose to focus on that.

    Rather than wonder what kind of catastrophic collapse might lead a mother to slowly kill her child, TheWulf blames WoW.

    Him and the Daily Mail.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Erthazus

    https://www.everquestnext.com/about-eqn

    “”"Everquest is a FREE TO PLAY, Next-Generation Sandbox MMO built on the Forgelight Engine. There has never before been a game like this”"”

    gosh. Goodbye Wow Killer and welcome to reality.

    Oh why SOE? WHY? Planetside 2 F2P element is fucking shit and F2P element in these mmo’s are just so bad. SOE should stop this before they will destroy it’s mmo.

    Planetside 2 shop offers members shit for 15$ that should be free from the start. On top of that they sell item packs for 35$ or 50$ …

    Oh man, I guess SOE will use microtransactions so hard… I imagine they will do something with multi classes.. oh dear. The future is so bad right now.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. hitnrun

    What’s funny is that there’s damn near nothing *new* in here; MMO developers used to promise each and every one of these for their vaporware titles. Anyone remember Horizons? Shadowbane?

    But WoW basically reformatted the MMO industry suddenly and overnight, so the practice of making these kinds of promises to stoke player imagination – an entire PR industry unto itself – died.

    Reading some of this stuff really brings back memories of when I used to spend entirely too much time on the forums of as-yet-unreleased MMOs. The future as the past, indeed.

    Unfortunately, the F2P immediately kills all interest and possibility of success. It may be true, as others posit above, that there will never be another subscriber based MMO; however, it’s much more true that there will never be a good free F2P game.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. sebastien rivas

    The game looks great, the mechanics and gameplay look good.

    I am interrested, though only if I can go back on a dark knight or necromancer.

    Anyway, paying sub yes sure, why not. But sub of 14 to 18$ a month makes my teeth grind like crazy meaning just like for Rift, I want to assume right now that I would not pass 2+ months on it unless the game, its content, mechanics etc.. are so great to my eyes that I would be willing to continue, but I am sceptic. So let’s see for more.

    In any case, it looks like Voxel is a great way to go. I did not know about it until 20 minutes ago when I wiki’ed it.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. Phoenixblight

    Yes it has potential to be good but lets get real SOE has yet to make a good MMO since Ever Quest and Star Wars before NGE. I wouldn’t hold my breathe for this game. Worst case scenario it gives an idea to a developer down the road.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. sebastien rivas

    @ 29
    I completely agree, I can’t wait to see Voxel in action :)

    #30 2 years ago
  31. MCTJim

    now, i just wonder if this is a “always online” game?

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Phoenixblight

    @31

    Joking right?

    #32 2 years ago
  33. MCTJim

    @32…indeed

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Phoenixblight

    @33

    Don’t see the humor. It is a MMO so doi it would be always on.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. MCTJim

    @34 look you made a funny

    #35 2 years ago
  36. polygem

    looks interesting…

    #36 2 years ago
  37. NocturnalB

    Ok, I was really excited for this announcement yesterday; but having seen that it is going to be a F2P…. I’m now skeptically reserved. I haven’t played a F2P yet that I didn’t quit in 2 months or less. I am completely willing and able to pay a sub just give me the quality of game I want!

    #37 2 years ago
  38. deathm00n

    Voxels! If I had the time I would make a college study based on randomly generated terrain with voxels. There’s so much potential for it, but developers simply don’t care…

    #38 2 years ago
  39. sebastien rivas

    @ 38

    Wowwww, if this can be done then Random can be so useful to several game genres.
    It would be a waste not to venture into it unless of course the degree at which to accomplish it is too massive in cost and/or length development .

    #39 2 years ago
  40. deathm00n

    @39 There’s this guy doing it http://procworld.blogspot.com.br/

    #40 2 years ago
  41. deathm00n

    Oh, reading the procworld blogspot I now see that they used that guy engine! It’s a technical masterpiece this engine he created, I didn’t test it (don’t think he makes it avaible for everyone), but reading how he developed it, you can see how it works.

    #41 2 years ago

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