- It was less than a week ago that I was talking about how excited I was (or not) for the upcoming reveal of EverQuest Next. And, amazingly, SOE delivered on the announcement thrills. So here are the top five things that interested me about EQNext.
- Character Models - I give most MMOs a lot of leeway when it comes to their character models. As long as they aren't hideously ugly, I'm happy to play just about anything. (I even like the LOTRO models, believe it or not.) The models in EQNext are very attractive. Something about the human models reminds me of Bioshock Infinite. I'd much rather they go in this highly stylized direction that try for a realistic style and fail (see: EQ2).
- Multiclassing? - So, SOE decided that they needed to one-up Rift and Guild Wars 2. I know that I'm weird when I say that I like a strong class identity when playing an RPG. And the last thing we want is a world populated by tank-mages.
- Heroic Movement - I know it's silly to put much stock in something this simple, but I like what it represents. MMOs have tried to make combat more action oriented. By they haven't yet made traversal as fun as an Assassin's Creed or Prince Of Persia. I'm not saying that EQNext aspires to such heights, but at least it's aspiring to something.
- Storybricks, er, Emergent AI - Flashback to 1997. Richard Garriott discusses the ecosystem of Ultima Online and how it reacts to player action. Some months later, the system if ripped out of the game because it can't stand up to hundreds of murderers depopulating the world. Now in 2013, SOE makes similar grandiose statements. I understand why the designers want it to work so badly. It could be amazingly cool if it works. But they had better prepare to rain down Armageddon on their servers. Otherwise the players will push them into a constant win state with no way for the enemy to fight back effectively.
- Voxels! - As soon as I saw this, I thought of the Procedural Worlds blog. It turns out that was for good reason. Adding genuine construction and destruction to the world might be the most interesting part of the announcement.
- And since EQNext is the most interesting thing to happen to MMOs in over a year, opinions are already thick in the air. No matter what comes of that game, it's not to have something to talk about.
© 2013 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.