It’s impossible to resist introducing you to the official unveiling of a post-World of Warcraft MMO without referencing the Las Vegas environment SOE has chosen for showcasing EverQuest Next. Broken dreams, disappointments, big stakes and heavy losses abound in both of these entertainment industries, after all. Admittedly there are fewer prostitutes, binge-drinking chugalugs and Dolly Parton-themed slot machines in your average fantasy MMO, but it’s certainly a metaphor with legs.
SOE is at least going all in with this new EverQuest adventure, and it’s a game that largely abandons a template still capable of drawing a convention’s worth of fans together. It’s a bold vision of what the company thinks a next-generation MMO should look like, and it begins with the world itself. Constructed using voxel technology – and layered on top of a heavily modified version of the engine powering PlanetSide 2 – the destruction and manipulation of your next home from home lies at the heart of almost every design decision.
At the personal level of combat, spellcasts and melee manoeuvres – dished out so repetitively as part of the MMO combat canon – have a tangible effect on this particular world. In a demo set in a dark forest ruins, blade flurries tear apart the crumbling walls, while spells shatter the floor and send enemies tumbling into the depths below. It’s in those depths that you’ll find another of EverQuest Next’s bolder design approaches – underground levels layered one beneath the other, where procedurally generated ruins, questing opportunities and riches lie waiting to be explored and recovered.
- This Post originally appeared on:
- Bad puns and video games since 1999.
- Originally dated as:
- 02 Aug 2013 20:00:00 +0100