WhatEverQuest: Next?

I am incredibly proud of that title pun. It took me all day to come up with. It subtly implies both my complete ennui towards the new EverQuest game being released soon (“whatever…”), and my incredulous despair at the ideas presented (“whatever next?!”).

I am a literary genius!

Oh, wait, hang on….that isn’t what I think about this announcement at all. I’m actually thinking that the announcement for Everquest: Next sounds really cool, and has some excellent ideas for the direction of the MMO genre.

Damn. Maybe next time, perfect title pun? Maybe next time…

So, there’s to be a new Everquest game. This announcement comes not long after SOE celebrated the fifteen year anniversary of the original, the game lauded as the template for all current MMORPGs. That sounds like some mighty big boots to fill, but the team seem to have some excellent ideas on how to go about it. Here’s the announcement video where the developers can tell you all about it:

Destructible voxel-based terrain and parkour-style movement? In an MMORPG? What is this beautiful madness? They seem to be taking a leaf from the successes of other recent games too, with the inclusion of multi-class systems and things of that ilk.

The idea of dynamic, world-influenced quests and events appeals to me the most though. The idea that the ‘question-mark-over-head, fetch-me-10-scalps’ questing might be over has a huge appeal for me. In EverQuest Next, it seems like the players will directly influence the adventures available to them – finding a suitable settlement site and protecting it as it grows into a town might yield hugely different event arcs than failing to protect the settlers. It all sounds very natural and intuitive, which I like.

I don’t suffer from MMO-fatigue like most people, it seems – I’m playing both The Secret World and Guild Wars 2 right now, and dabbling in Neverwinter when I remember. However, I’m always on the lookout for something that will make MMOs better, the next step in their evolution. It seems to me that EverQuest Next might be that next step.

More information, in more depth, can be found here. I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on this one, and will write up a bigger post on it’s features and potential when I get the chance.

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