EverQuest Next was announced today, and I’m anxious to share my thoughts.Â I’m not going to give you the information — you can read and watch all of that on your own.Â I’m simply going to give you my reactions to a very, very early look with almost no information at all.Â And that’s really the key: We have no information.Â We saw a tech demo if that.Â I can’t even begin to describe how little we know, so I’m hesitant to jump to any conclusions.
I’m not a fan of the way Planetside 2 looks, and EQ Next uses the same engine.Â I feel like PS2 has this high-gamma washed out look to it. The scenery and environments are pretty, but it looks muted.Â I’ve tried to explain this to others, but I’m not a designer and I may be using the wrong terminology.Â Does anyone know what I mean?
Animations in EQ Next look gorgeous.Â I was amazed at the facial expressions, character movement, spell effects, etc.Â I actually like the art style, which SoE is calling “heroic fantasy.”Â I think this re-imagining of Norrath will be quite a sight to see.
This was absolutely mind boggling.Â I’ll be honest with you, a lot of it sounds like hyperbole.Â I think the idea of breaking everything, or falling through the world anywhere to discover a second, third, fourth, fifth layer of the world isn’t realistic.Â I think it’s more likely that there will be areas of the world that can be broken, and perhaps these areas will move, but they won’t be Minecraft style of breaking through the floor.Â Maybe I’m wrong, but it sounds like more than I can imagine possible in a MMORPG.
I am EXTREMELY bothered by the wading through mobs.Â EverQuest, to me, is about fighting 1 difficult mob at a time.Â Control is the keyword I would use.Â What I saw in the videos today was Diablo style mob slaughtering.Â That’s not EverQuest.Â I think nothing but AoE attacks is a sloppy way of making combat feel interesting.Â It’s a cheap trick that lacks finesse — it always feels loose, wonky, and uncomfortable to me.Â I’m not sure what I think yet about the leaping and blinking.Â This was, by far, the biggest turn off for me.
Changing the World
This is the coolest concept yet if it’s not more hyperbole.Â The one line that gave me goosebumps was when David Georgeson was pretending to be an original EQ Next player years in the future referencing the world as it was before the civil war, before the dragon invasion, before Halas existed, etc.Â If that’s truly how they plan to make the persistence and the change… sign me up right now.Â That sounds glorious.Â They also mentioned dynamic events and procedurally generated content.Â I’m not a fan of public quests.Â They always start out as “dynamic content” but end up being scripted events on a timer.Â I’ll be a skeptic until I see this persistence, but man do I want to believe.
I’m going to be skeptical of everything.Â I think these revelations introduced way more questions and doubt, and I’m worried it’s going to be TOO different.Â I like tradition, but I’m open to change — change which improves gameplay.Â I want the destructible environments to be more than a parlor trick.Â I want the massive world to truly be molded by players and not ‘played’ through.Â I don’t want instances.Â I want what they accomplish to be done in zones like EverQuest. I fear there’s too much to
I have mixed feelings, but I also carry with me the scars from many burns, and a passion for the way EverQuest has always been.