|–||–PUBLISHER: Sony Online | DEVELOPER: Sony Online | GENRE: MMORPG
–THEME: Fantasy | PLATFORM: Download | STATUS: Canceled Mar 16
EverQuest Next is a free-to-play game (or better, two) and one of the boldest MMORPGs ever, not only due to its revolutionary features but also because it’s a reboot, a full reimagining of the EverQuest universe, of the characters, lore and environments. During the first semester of 2014 SOE will release EverQuest Next Landmark, a social MMO that is the first of the two EverQuest Next releases. EverQuest Next will finally launch late 2014 or 2015.
EverQuest Next is still set in Norrath and some popular regions are part of the game: Lavastorm, Feerrott and more. Visually, the game seems to mix the standard fantasy look seen in other games such as Guild Wars 2 with cartoonish characters, but these two parts blend incredibly well and the result is astonishing, colorful enough but never to the point of looking childish.
EverQuest Next features multi-classing, with over 40 distinct classes to progressively unlock, with unique abilities and weapon skills to master, along with the option to mix and match abilities from each class, resulting in truly unique characters. There’s even a clever way of distinguishing the characters classes from subtle hints, things such as the way a character stands or how he holds his weapon.
Thanks to the use of voxels, EverQuest Next offers a previously unseen level of destructibility in any MMORPG. Things like razing a huge castle or using some combat abilities to make holes in the ground, collapsing bridges to stop enemies from approaching and so on.
EverQuest Next includes emergent AI. It’s an AI that isn’t scripted and that gives the creatures of Norrath desires and motivations that shape their behavior in realistic and unpredictable ways. Here’s one example: Orcs that decide to attack you because they’re motivated by taking your gold, not just because you happen to wander into their attack radius. In battle, creatures are supposed to combine their efforts and adapt to our fighting strategy.
The sandbox world of EverQuest Next is in constant and permanent change, with all characters seeking out adventure in an ever-changing world that remembers your choices and actions. With everything that is going on, all the destruction, players that come late to the party may not even see how Norrath looked like at first – each server evolves in a different way and will be in a different state; unless Sony decides to launch a new server with a clean and brand new Norrath, you may be experiencing a very different world, something that sounds very appealing.