EverQuest Next announced

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has unvealed its new vision for the future of online games announcing the worldwide debut of EverQuest Next.

This innovative project boosts a plethora of interesting features: It will do without levels, offering more than 40 distinct classes/ professions at launch, with multi-tiered abilities and specialized weapon skills to collect and master. Players will even be able to mix and match abilities from each class, creating truly distinct and powerful characters.

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They will also have the ability to cause the world to permanently change in dramatic ways. Epic stories will unfold over months and years, player characters, creatures, and NPCs will build and destroy city walls and fight and win large-scale wars. There will also be destructible environments that stretch across an entire seamless game world, allowing players to manipulate almost all of it.

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Moreover, characters  in EQN won't  follow a predetermined path but will have a unique story instead, seeking 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.

And finally, NPCs will have specific motivations and preferences that direct behavior in nuanced and unpredictable ways. Their decisions are based on core values, not dictated by static spawn points. This means, Orcs may attack opportunistically because they want an adventurer’s gold, not simply because a careless hero wanders into an attack radius.

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"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, President, Sony Online Entertainment. "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."

EverQuest Next Landmark is scheduled for launch this winter as free-to-play offering. The first step in a multi-phase release strategy, Landmark will combine social functionality with the powerful and intuitive building tools SOE is using to create the fully destructible world of EQN.

Featuring huge persistent worlds with thousands of other players, the game will provide the opportunity to build highly detailed structures and create other types of content, to be considered for inclusion in EQN. Players may collaborate and share their imagination with friends, lay claim to and control specific areas of huge persistent worlds. Not only will Landmark give players access to these world building tools, SOE will provide specific guidance on what they want help building.

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Source of information: SOE press release.

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