Sony Online Entertainment reveals EverQuest Next
posted on 08.02.13 at 05:33 PM EDT by (@admeady)
World-building game EverQuest Landmark to launch this winter.

Sony Online Entertainment has lifted the lid on EverQuest Next, the properly-titled next entry in its popular EverQuest MMO series.

EverQuest Next‘s development began in 2009, but the team decided in 2011 to “rethink core creative and technical aspects of the design and start from the ground up.”

Described as a “boldly different game” by the game’s director of development Dave Georgeson, he claims EverQuest Next “represents the fundamental re-imagining of the characters, lore and environments of the EverQuest universe.”

“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,” said Sony Online president John Smedley. “What does the future hold for EverQuest Next and Sony Online Entertainment? It’s in the players’ hands, and we like it that way.”

This “new type of game” will have a number of features that differentiate it from other MMOs. Courtesy of Sony Online, these include:

  • Multi-ClassingEverQuest Next will offer players the ability to explore and interact with the world according to their individual style of play. There are no levels in EverQuest Next, 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 EverQuest Next. 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 EverQuest Next 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 EverQuest Next, 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 EverQuest Next 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.

Sony Online also announced EverQuest Landmark as part of a multi-phase release. A free-to-play game, Landmark will also give players access to the game’s building tools in order to “build structures, and eventually create other types of content,” which will be considered for inclusion in EverQuest Next.

Its features, as described by Sony Online, include:

  • Create Amazing Things
    • Build highly detailed structures with powerful and intuitive tools.
    • Quickly design complex projects or collaborate with friends to undertake massive shared builds.
    • Lay claim to and control specific areas of huge persistent worlds.
  • Share your Imagination with Friends
    • Landmark’s persistent servers will enable players to interact with and experience the collective imagination of thousands of players in a unique shared world.
    • Players will have compelling reasons to explore and interact with others. They will congregate at crafting hubs, build design templates to share and trade, and journey across the world to collect the resources required to build and craft.
  • Build EverQuest Next with SOE — Using the Same Tools
    • Landmark players will gain increasing access to many of the same tools that SOE is using to construct the game world of EQN.
    • Not only will Landmark give players access to these world building tools, SOE will provide specific guidance on what we want help building.
    • Through this collaborative approach, EverQuest Next may eventually represent the largest overall collaborative development effort in the history of online games. For anyone who has ever thought about becoming a game developer, here is your chance. Together we will build extraordinary things!

EverQuest Next Landmark will launch first this winter and “serve as the gateway” to EverQuest Next‘s eventual release and “as the collaborative building hub where SOE will guide the development of selected structures and environments” for use in the final game. A release date for EverQuest Next was not announced.

For those wondering about a PlayStation 4 release, EverQuest franchise director Dave Georgeson told Shacknews, “We need to make sure that it’s a kickass game on PC before we do anything else. We’re going to nail down all our questions and design and everything like that so that it’s a really good game. Then we’ll talk about other platforms.”

View the first screenshots of at the gallery. Watch a number of videos below.

Combat Earth Elemental

Combat Void

Ashfang Flyover

Feerott Flyover

Large-Scale Destruction

Time Lapse

Landmark: Timelapse

Landmark: Building 1

Landmark: Building 2

Play-Asia
  • bloodiOS

    Rather odd that it isn’t available for the PS4…

    • Pyrofrost

      I’m really not that surprised. The PS2 proved capable of handling an MMO and they passed on that for EQ. The PS3 is capable of handling an MMO and they passed on that too.

      While I would like it on the PS4, I can’t exactly say I’m surprised by this.

      • Elvick

        Plenty of other SOE games have come to PS3 and are coming to PS4.

        No reason to think it won’t eventually come to PS4.

        • Pyrofrost

          I didn’t say that it wouldn’t come. I’m just not surprised they are using loose language when talking about other platforms, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they passed.

          They used loose language in regards to EQ and the PS3, which spawned rumors of that being brought to the PS3; then of course, it never happened. I’m just not bothering to get my hopes up for it in regards to the next EQ hitting the PS4.

          In other words, I’m simply in ‘wait and see’ mode.

          • Elvick

            But PS3 was more complicated to develop for… PS4 isn’t complicated.

            It’ll be far easier for them to put it on PS4 than PS3.

            And I don’t consider it “loose language”, I consider it valid strategy. Why put any time into a port, when you need to iron out the game’s design?

            Once the game is up and running, then I expect a PS4 announcement sometime after that.

            Plus, Sony and SOE seem more focused/unified on PS4 as well.

            • Pyrofrost

              Don’t get me wrong, I do hope that it comes to the PS4. That would be great news if it did. I want the game to come to the PS4. All I’m saying is that I’m not surprised by the lack of an announcement, and I won’t be surprised if it isn’t announced.

              I’m just not going to bother getting my hopes up or being hyped about a PS4 release, until there is more solid wording.

      • Shirayuri

        Uhh dude.. The PS2 DID have EQ MMO games for it.

        • Pyrofrost

          Ummm…I was talking about actual EQ. I was under the impression that we were all talking about legit EQ here. Please forgive me for not considering EQ’s bastard children.

          Seriously, I would hardly compare EQ Online Adventures and Champions to actual EQ. There is really no comparison, whatsoever.

          It isn’t like FFXI or FFXIV, where you are getting the same exact game no matter where you play it.

          It’s like if someone empties a bottle of your favorite Cola; then for a prank, fills it with a diet version of the shittiest, cheapest off-brand Cola they can find.

  • DarthBrian

    I hope it comes out eventually for PS4.

  • Elvick

    I also hope it comes to PS4 sometime in the future.

  • Pyrofrost

    Yet another worthy MMO for me to keep my eyes on.

  • Locksus

    Looks pretty decent, but I’m more excited for Wildstar, personally.

  • Invisbin

    What.

    The trees didn’t fall or anything…they just..”popped”

    • Warboss Aohd

      Alpha iz Alpha as TB would say.

  • Zackasaur

    I generally don’t care for MMOs, nor do I really like to game on PC…

    But I’ll be the first to admit that this is pretty amazing.

  • Learii

    PS4 game since is create by sony

  • Al Buns

    This better come to PS4.

  • Willgaea

    This game sounds like it would kill my computer. :[ I also hope it comes out on ps4 so I don’t have to buy a new comp .

  • Niyari

    looks nice. i really hope it’ll shake things up enough for Blizzard to reconsider some of the awful changes they’ve brought to the genre. it’d suck if Titan ended up being another casualfest with no sense of satisfaction outside of raiding.

  • Kobracon

    I’ve heard alot of those promises before…..will have to wait and see if they keep them.

    • Pyrofrost

      And someone here understands. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one, lol.

  • Carlos Luis Ayala

    No PS4 WTF?

    • HassanJamal

      Patience. Let them iron it all out on PC then the PS4 will get it. Remember, it will come. Planetside 2 is coming out on PS4 so obviously, this will come eventually.

  • MogCakes

    Wow, that’s some features it’s boasting. If implemented correctly it could become a huge player in the MMO genre.

  • Budgiecat

    I don’t like MMO’s