The next EverQuest is officially named: EverQuest Next. Shocked? Nope, me either. EverQuest 3 has a nice ring to it, though.. EQ3… it just sounds nice. Anyway, I was driving to work this morning thinking about EverQuest like I always do (
kidding no I’m not) and I started to think about what EQ Next would need in order to really exceed my expectations. We know it’s going to be a sandbox because Smed can’t stop talking about how EverQuest Next will be the next big step forward for sandbox games. So delivering on that would be a great first step.
Next (no pun intended), I need to get the feeling that I’m simply too small to matter in the grand scheme of things, and no matter how hard anyone else tries they need to appear insignificant too. I want Norrath to always be the center of attention, not Bob the Gnome and his guild of 200 sycophants. I want to be overwhelmed. I want to be scared. I want Norrath to be so grand in scope that I can’t possibly comprehend the breadth of what’s out there.
I would be really impressed by a skill-based system. I think even a skill-based archetype system like SWG used would be fine too. I want to swing a sword and become better at using swords, then utilize my experience in that weapon to purchase skill upgrades and work my way up a tree towards more advanced sword moves. Each character should have 250 skill points they can spend toward unlocking abilities. Utilizing points unlocks more abilities. I can spend experience and use up those points anywhere I want to create my personalized character.
Combat can’t be the main focus of the game. The quickest way to my heart is equal emphasis across all playstyles. Crafters, socializers, and combatants should all have equal representation in the design document. I want other things to do besides log in and think of different ways to kill monsters and obtain loot. I want to be able to find a place for myself in a big world, set up a house, meet new people, and swap stories about getting lost. I want people to be able to spend their entire day crafting and make just as much progress or feel just as satisfied as the people who spend their day hunting.
Make the game difficult. I don’t mean hard raid bosses to challenge large groups of people. I don’t mean a harsh death penalty, item loss, or forced grouping. I just want to feel afraid in MMORPGs again. I want to huddle together under the glow of a tavern lantern while I wait for daylight. I want to seriously consider every monster who crosses my path. I don’t want to fight 10 mobs at a time, or constantly be killing.
Knowing I could write a book on the subject, I’ll stop there for now. Please note what wasn’t on my list — namely PvP. I’m tired of settling on my expectations and thinking, “as long as the game doesn’t have instancing, themepark raids, or meaningless pvp I’ll be okay.” This is EverQuest. EQ was the first real MMORPG to start the trends we see today; it started a generation, and essentially began the MMORPG name. I want EQ to be the first MMORPG we’ve had in a long while to put us back on the right track.