Lots of additional information coming in from the SoE Fan Faire about EverQuest ‘Next’!
These EQ fans are astonishing! They’re amazing! I might actually have to go to the next SoE Fan Faire if it’s going to be attended by players like these. The questions they asked steered the developers to speak directly to the following points.
- Next Generation
- EQ players to feel at home
- Original EverQuest flavor and charm for art direction
- Want our feedback on what we liked from EQ1 and EQ2 (and you shall get it)
- Developer agrees that individual character strengths can not overshadow the “You’re in our world now” sense that the world is more powerful than you and you need to rely on others.
- EQ Next is a “re-imagining” of EQ and not taking place before or after.
- More engaging combat, more immersive, more cinematic, and story emphasis.
- Classes representative of what they’re doing in look, effect, what they do, animations
- Less classes. Closer to the original EverQuest (HECK YES). Smedley acknowledges issues with the classes. “What is a Dirge?”
- Realized they got way ahead of themselves announcing EQ2 when they did. Better planning this time + continued support of EQ’s 1 and 2.
- Better transitioning from other EQ’s to ‘Next’ for players. Not trying to migrate players to this new title.
- EQNext more scalable with technology whereas EQ2 wasn’t. Want everything from lower-end
- “People think that because we made Free Realms that this game is somehow going to be like Free Realms — going to be for kids. It’s not. This game is in no way being made for kids…” – John Smedley
- Devs want there to be the same fond memories for ‘Next’ that people reminisce about over the old EQ.
- After mentioning that a lot of people talked about corpse runs and other memories of EQ1, a dev mentioned that they want memories of ‘Next’ to be fond memories. (Some concern here for me that there won’t be any of the more ‘hardcore’ aka oldschool mechanics. We’ll see).
Pretty fantastic questions that allowed the developers to divulge at least a lot of general theory and thinking behind where they’re going with the game. I was quite pleased to hear a lot about what they’re planning to do different with ‘Next’ where they may have errored with EQ2.
I’m getting the sense that this really will be a ‘AAA’ title with the intentions of being a real modernization of what worked well in EQ1. I was really, really concerned that SoE would botch the whole idea of a new EQ game and make it a Free Realms style game. I’m happy to be re leaved of that fear. I’m also very pleased with this sense of respect and acknowledgement toward the EQ1 community. In my opinion, you will not find a group of players that better understands MMORPG’s than the original EverQuest community.
The developers seem to understand this and I got the sense, from watching the panel videos, that they’re not going to jerk us around and change what worked. It almost feels like something tangible to hold onto and helps further alleviate that fear that SoE will screw things up again. I’m hoping praying at this point that SoE learned and that they know their core MMORPG players — theirs and the ones have strayed far and are ready to return — will back them and their new game.
SoE has a chance to lure in their original audience again and to expand that original audience to include this newer generation. It’s definitely time for another solid AAA title that attempts to do what Vanguard did… but not be a completely unpolished and unfinished mess.
Nothing would give me greater joy than to be a loyal SoE customer again supporting the EverQuest franchise . I want EQ ‘Next’ to work and I want to champion this idea of it being a game that returns MMO’s to their former glory while still keeping things modern. I’m on board and EQ ‘Next’ is on the top of my list until I hear that SoE is going to mess it up.