On Everquest Next?

Almost a year ago, Sony Online Entertainment revealed their grand voxel-based, user-generated-content-driven, trinity-abolishing new MMO, going by the name of EverQuest Next. The reception was mixed, mostly because it looked to repeat problems in things I mentioned earlier. Also, people who liked the lore of Norrath weren’t exactly in favor of a reboot. They also announced their builder for EQ Next, called EQ Next Landmark at the same time.

Since then, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. Less than a month after SOE Live, layoffs were announced. EverQuest Next Landmark was supposed to enter alpha in December but was delayed until February. Shortly after that, it was stripped of its EverQuest Next branding entirely, and is now just Landmark. So what happened to EverQuest Next?

Missing: Presumed Lost

I have a very strong suspicion that EverQuest Next in the previously demonstrated form is vaporware. E3 and PAX East have both come and gone with hardly a word. It’s scheduled to be talked about at this year’s SOE live in about a month, but more time is being given to Planetside 2 and Landmark than EQ Next. The Social Media accounts are still active, but I haven’t seen anything that comes close to “Gameplay” since last SOE Live.

What I hope is that they went back to the drawing board on some things. Roles (defined by class or not) are important, and I hope they don’t abandon them. Going with a Guild Wars 1-like ability system is a good thing in my opinion, but lessons should be taken to avoid the mistakes made by other games tweaking the formula. User Generated content is cool (and as seen in Neverwinter and Little Big Planet, can be quite impressive) but having professionally designed content is necessary to get people interested. A destructible world is cool, but not if it results in everyone but the first wave playing in rubble.

EverQuest Next looked like a potentially cool game with a lot of issues. I hope when it resurfaces it’s something I’m interested in, but it might just end up being a game that’s not for me.
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3 thoughts on “On Everquest Next?”

  1. Yes, the whole Landmark thing appears to have eaten EQN’s lunch. At SOE Live it was, “HERE IS EVERQUEST NEXT! Oh, and some tool we’ll call ‘EverQuest Next Landmark.’ But seriously, EVERQUEST NEXT is In Da House!”

    Since then it has been, “LANDMARK! LANDMARK! LANDMARK! Oh, and here is a quick poll on some trivial side-issue we have already decided on regarding EQN.”

    Now, some of that is for good reason. Landmark is clearly part of the foundation of whatever is going to become EQN, and Landmark is a long way from being done. But it is still pretty quiet on the EQN front. It has even been quiet on the Landmark front of late, with H1Z1 hogging the spotlight.

    So, maybe some day.

    I will be interested to see how they spin this at this year’s SOE Live, which is just a month away, running August 14-17. A lot of people who were excited last year will likely be skeptical this time around.

  2. As soon as I heard that upcoming Landmark patches were going to add monsters, combat, health, death, etc., I knew that EQNext had been significantly delayed. At best. Maybe gone back to the drawing board or even largely trashed and restarted,

    Very disappointing.. I was really looking forward to what was described for EQNext, and while it was cool to see Landmark released as a sort of technology demo, I’d really rather see EQNext progress than see Landmark get fattened up into a full game.

  3. I liked the looks of EQ:Next. So much so that I’m in Landmark. And what I see of Landmark, and where they think they’re heading , how far they have to go, and at the rate they’re going, it worries me greatly.

    Unless they pull a rabbit out of the hat, and proceed to slay it with crafted swords and arcane magic, at SOE Live, EQ:Next probably is vaporware.

    For some reason people keep talking that Landmark will be it’s own game. Why? Transporting us to Norrath would many people happy. Resigning us to play in some player created sci-fi strip mall set in some player created scenario against some player scripted zombies sounds totally unappealing.

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