The next time you visit Google Maps, you’re probably going to see a little Google advertisement asking you if you’d like to check out the new Google Maps.
I recommend that you do so – it is flat out amazing. I also recommend taking “the tour” and follow the instructions. Normally I ignore such things (Instructions? Don’t need em!), but today, I’m glad I didn’t.
A guest post by Beiffon, Karvanu, Loosey or whatever other weirdo name he’s running around with these days!
By now you have all heard about the Artificial Intelligence that is going to be a key feature of EQN. If not let me take you on a journey, picture this…
I am sure you all remember walking through West Karana minding your own business with a burning desire to should RANGER DOWN and a coin purse overflowing with sweet plats, Only to see near the crossroads a marauding band of brigands. Normally you would just skirt past these vagabonds without a care in world, turning around once or twice to make sure you were not being followed.
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I’ve found two programs recently – one that I know is awesome and one that looks awesome, but I haven’t had a chance to try yet.
I’m not a big hardware geek – never have been. It’s always been easier to buy the 2nd or 3rd best graphics card on the market, along with the 2nd or 3rd best CPU available. And because I’m not a big hardware geek, I’m also not a big hardware settings geek. Which makes these two programs look pretty damn sweet.
Yes, we finally have an official one!
I was going to write a massive wall o text about all this and distill it all down so anyone can easily get their head around just how awesome Everquest Next is probably going to be.
Fail. Total fail. There are simply too many things to even consider covering. I cannot do this justice.
So instead, the cliff notes with a bundle of links to get you started and as much as I can write before I have to ‘take a moment’ to clear off the impending multiple nerdgasms.
Everything is dynamic (for real), heaps of different player generated stuff, responsive NPCs with likes, dislikes, habits, desires and memories. Great graphics a little more on the cartoony side (but still realistic mostly), excellent lighting and graphics, extremely flexible multiclassing.
Oh yes, you can sign up for beta here – with your Sony account.
Now skip to the bottom of this post and start clicking on some links if you don’t like reading more than a few sentences at a time It’s stressful, I know.
Usually “it’s new” or “it’s different” is all bollox, but this time – I doubt it. Everquest Next is probably going to be the MMO we’ve never seen before. Many of the features appear in other games – sure. But the synergy here of how it could all play out is…staggering. So forget what you think you know.
Yes, really. Environment. NPCs. Cities, towns and settlements. Spawns. Hell, even the DIRT in Everquest Next can be excavated, with programming in place to ad-hoc create instances/areas that can be discovered underground. Archeological finds on the fly. Check the vid on two players falling into such a subterranean area and being confronted with a boss pretty quickly.
Quick note: the EQN site specifically states that there is “10,000 years of explorable hitsory buried beneath it’s surface”. Holy crap dude. That’s a lot.
Additionally, they are doing something similar to Rift’s massive zone events to launch an expansion – a Rallying Call goes out and players cooperate to defend a new settlement and build it into something huge. Yeah, we get to participate directly in building the next Freeport or chilling out with a beer while orcs beat the living piss out of the settlers. I’m so torn.
Oh yes, destructible environments of course (yep, that’s a player built house getting smashed). But let’s not stop there: destructible environments as a part of battle.
And yes, many of these changes are permanent.
Sony has about 15 years or so of data on what us MMO gamers like and don’t like. Theoretically, they know more about MMO usage and direction than any other company. Yet they are still interactive, still seeking development input – check out the Everquest Next Round Table.
Also: check out their initiative “Tweet the Devs”.
It’s almost like they’ve revived Asheron’s Call, added in some Secret World and finished up witha dash of GW2. There aren’t classes as far as I can tell – it’s more “weapon skills” (based on what you’re holding) and whatever skills you’ve worked up. To quote EQN: “Want to be a teleporting rogue or a backstabbing barbarian? The choice is yours”. Like Rift souls. On crack.
There’s also no levels apparently and therefore, no need for mentoring mates to play together. You just level up different skills.
This is where it gets really cool – there’s no static spawns like derv camp 1, nor even random spawns within an area such as Gustfeather (bastard). Mobs have likes & dislikes. Orcs like gold, don’t like busy roads where adventures beat them stupid daily. Guess where they spawn?
But when players start building out such an area, the orcs will attack the settlement and if they can’t win, they bugger off and spawn elsewhere – according to the needs and desires of their race.
“Landmark” is the game that will likely be released this year to make good on Smed’s promise of “something in [your] hands this year and I don’t mean a beta”. An EQ game where you can build anything, very similarly to a dev would.
Watch this video on YouTube
Personally, I suspect this is a stroke of genius – they release Landmark, everyone gets right into it and loves it (EQ + Minecraft man!). They get beta testing (of course), but they also get assets being created by the players. Talk about effective content generation for when EQN launches!
Regardless, it bodes well – build almost anything. When you add this to the concept of Player Studio which is already alive and kicking.
Bugger all has been said. But given the nature of Player Studio (the ultimate crafting if you think about it) and the fact that Georgeson is all about crafting (freak), it should be good.
Yes, there’s a bit of it. Do it anyway and stop being one of the 75%+ of people who bounce away from info-rich websites as soon as there is more text than glossy pics.
I’m fairly fkn excited. Not because of the images or the videos – whatever – but because of the concepts at play and the intent behind the words of the developers over the last few months.
This is pure speculation, but from everything I’ve seen, it’s going to have to be huge. Here’s why (stick with it!):
All in all, this reminds me of content management systems on the web such as Joomla, WordPress or ModX. They aren’t just programs – they’re platforms to create stuff with. Sure, the delivered product works and is good, but it starts to rock when you build with it.
My best guess is that Sony aren’t building “a game” as we know it. They’re building a complete platform and toolset that does 3 very distinct things:
Why do I think this? The MMO model is broken. Everyone knows it. The churn rate is huge and 2 years in a given title is a long time for many people these days (sadly). So how do you produce content to “fix” the model?
There’s only a few sources for that content to come from: Development, players interacting, user-generated/created and dynamic from the world responding to player involvement.
Sony have covered all of them. They have quite literally ensured that every possible source of content is going to be a provider to players. Why build something if you can build a factory that builds it for you?
Well played Smed & Georgeson. Well played.
Just stumbled onto a great article by IGN – Why Core Gamers Hate Free-To-Play. Strangely, a lot of his points mirror my views on loot distribution – the reality and/or integrity isn’t the issue, it’s the perception of the player that’s crucial. Even when it’s 100% above board, if it can be perceived negatively, it will be – and then it’s a morale and/or political issue within the game/guild.
Both are about player trust. Personally, I prefer pay to play games – every time. It’s my perception of quality and the idea that what I have is what I’ve earned, like those around me. I never doubt that my gear, or my mate’s gear is purchased – it is earned with skill and bloody fingers and late night wipes. Is this accurate? Probably not, but it’s my perception and that’s what dictates my personal views.
Similarly with DKP (without class restrictions) – what I wear is what I raided for. And there’s no questions to the contrary, because it’s transparent. But with loot council (which I still personally prefer), there’s always that doubt – was it favouritism? Is that ho banging the guild/raid/class leader? Why do these guys shaft me on loot? It’s easy to get the perception of bias, favouritism and inequity. Personally, I’ve never had those issues, but I’ve seen it many times from many other players.
Anyways, enough dribbling – check out: Why Core Gamers Hate Free-to-Play by Justin Davis.
To be 100% honest with you, I must have missed the first one, but then, I’ve never been much of one for in-game thematic stuff.
But Summerfest is “back” with Rift’s usual bundle of fluff-stuff for the in game collector…
Breaking news today – Everquest Next have released the concept art and model for paladins!
It’s not huge, granted – but it’s all that’s out there that I could verify was real. Sometimes, fan art is just painful to wade through…
Not really sure what to do with these – just random chunks of info and links… So screw it, brand new post – take it or leave it.
SOE observed what was happening with Rift, SWTOR, Secret World and other really well delivered MMOs. Quality didn’t matter – people love the games, churn through the content and leave. So clearly, something about the genre needs to be done differently.
Get the rest of the Smed discussions...
Most of the videos I’ve seen are reminiscing, or montages, or perhaps just fan vids that are only tangentially related to Everquest Next.
Here’s some real ones.
Check out the real EQ Next videos
The ones that actually matter for shit!
Hokay – the bundle of quotes by developers and others directly involved in (and with knowledge of) Everquest Next.
get the dev quotes
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