EverQuest Next Reveal: Did it live up to the hype?
So EverQuest Next was announced yesterday. You probably already heard the news given the scope of the project from Sony Online Entertainment: "A living world that players are part of" which empowers you, the player, "to produce new content alongside the development team." It's a grand vision, one that SOE says solves the problem that causes most MMOs to fail: players consuming content faster than developers can create it.
It's an interesting concept, to say the least, but how does the GameZone staff feel about the early preview?
Matt Liebl Follow on Twitter
It's certainly a unique idea. There's no doubt the MMO genre needs some revitalizing. I'm not quite sure if the addition of a Minecraft-like creation tool and destructible environments are the answers, but at least it's an attempt to breathe life into a genre quickly growing stale with clones.
For me, though, the fun of an MMO comes from more than the environment. It comes from the gameplay. Can EverQuest Next avoid the tiresome grind? A level-less system is definitely a start, but will I still have to grind each weapon? More importantly, will it seem like a grind? The key to a successful MMO is to make me feel like I'm playing with purpose. This means an intriguing story, entertaining mechanics (which the destructible environment seems to provide), and a good amount of unique content (which is made possible through EverQuest Next Landmark).
The unveil of EverQuest Next set the stage, but I still need to see more from SOE. I've been promised these grand ideas before, only to be let down. I won't be so easily swayed again.
Verdict: A unique idea, but it comes down to the gameplay for me.
Mike Splechta Follow on Twitter
I was never into EverQuest. Not even into its sequel, EverQuest 2, which was substantially better. EverQuest Next, however, piqued my interest, largely thanks to the two MMO sites thatsecretly saw it at E3 2013. After the unveil, I was left impressed with what SOE is doing, but I the hype was definitely exaggerated.
The biggest surprise was that EverQuest Next is looking to be a marriage of a fully fledged, action-oriented MMO, with Minecraft. That's quite a pairing. Since the entire game is built out of Voxel graphics (the same engine used by Minecraft) we'll be able to destroy and shape the terrain to our hearts content.
It does seem to borrow some various gameplay elements from different games. Multiple classes were already seen in the original Guild Wars, dynamic events and quests were in RIFT, and weapon dependent skills were in Guild Wars 2. I do have to give credit to SOE for taking various successful mechanics from other MMOs and games and meshing them into EQ Next.
EQ Next does seem like an exciting premise, something that I'll certainly want to be a part of when it inevitably launches, but is it the MMO to end all MMOs? Time will tell, but right now I can't help but look at it with a bit of skepticism.
Verdict: An exciting premise that seems a bit over-hyped.
Andrew Clouther Follow on Twitter
At first glance, EverQuest Next looks like a true fan service to the longtime fans as well as something enjoyable for someone new to the franchise. This new EverQuest is truly attempting to shake up the whole MMO genre; destructible environments, 40 classes, a return to a world fans love… that’s huge. With that said, this makes the game a huge gamble.
A new MMO always tries to add something newish to the genre. Pure clones never really do better than the original. EverQuest is going big though; this sort of risk will either play out extremely positively or be a monumental disaster. The edge EQ has in this specific instance is their fans know EverQuest – however good or not good the game is, it will have a dedicated fan base.
I’m intrigued. I look forward to hearing more about it. I like this high gamble approach, MMO seems to all mesh into a solid blend with one another. Go big or go home. Some change would be nice to the genre. From what I saw from the announcement today, it looks like EQ could be just the game to do it.
Verdict: Intrigued with the high gamble approach.
Tatiana Morris Follow on Twitter
Unique and ambitious. The ability to build your character class by mixing whatever you like may be similar to the way Rift allowed players to build their classes, but at least they are adding a twist (like weapon dependent skills (similar to RaiderZ and Guild Wars 2). EverQuest Next Landmark gives you the tools to create and build whatever you like, similar to Minecraft. The prospect of building immediately brought up a fear, the fear of my building suffering from the fine art of griefing.
Notice a trend so far? EverQuest Next isn't the EverQuest you grew up with. Rather, it is a mix of awesome and ambitious ideas that make it entirely unique. I haven't even touched the ability to fall to another level due to a monsters attack and weak ground, or the emergent AI, or the parkour (there's so much to talk about). I sincerely hope that they can pull through with everything they promised. There is so much more going on in this game that makes me almost too excited.
This is an MMO I would like to be a part of (in theory, I haven't played it yet so I can really decide). I'm looking for something to fill the void the World of Warcraft left, maybe this will do it.
Verdict: Hopefully it can fill the void in my heart left by World of Warcraft.
Lance Liebl Follow on Twitter
EverQuest Next looks different. I'm not entirely sure that mainstream MMO players will gravitate towards it, mostly due to the scope and ambitiousness of it, but it'll have a nice core crowd. The main draw for me, oddly enough, is not the Minecraft-esque building and environmental shaping of the game; it's the classes. I really like that I can create a hybrid class from any combination of classes. It adds a lot more variety and will allow me to play a unique character.
That's all I can really comment on thus far. I need to read and learn more about it, as well as learn how big of a role a cash shop will play, but I like that SOE isn't afraid to try something unique.
Verdict: It certainly looks different.
Are you excited for EverQuest Next? What are your thoughts on the grand unveiling? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter: @GameZoneOnline.