Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Obligatory EQNext Reveal Post

Let's make it quick, I got dailies to do...

Looks - Fantastic! I like cartoons, always have. I like flat, bright colors, too. Animations looked phenomenal, detail looked intense. I loved that we saw Combine Spires in the background. It really is Norrath. On Haribo!

Destructability - That's not a word. A lot of what we got was roughly what I expected but not this. Contrary to what Dave Georgeson seems to believe, a desire to wreck one's environment is not a universal constant of human nature. I wouldn't have asked for this nor even thought of asking for it, but since we're getting it, wahoo!. The idea of  sieges where entire castles are destroyed is very attractive indeed. There better be some darn good checks and balances, though, or we'll be lucky to see a building left standing anywhere.

Emergent AI - Ah, that's what you wanted Storybricks for. Possibly the most interesting idea in the whole cart-load. Not that it's new - off the top of my head UO and Ryzom both use something of the sort. I don't think anyone's ever done it very effectively or consistently, though. If this works we could have something much nearer to a virtual world than we've had for a while. A long while.

Movement - Bouncy bouncy bouncy bouncy bouncy bouncy... Who doesn't like to bounce? Looked like a whole lotta fun. I hope there's climbing as well as bouncing. And flying.

Dynamic Popular Quest Events  - Horizons called - they want their USP back. Not that they ever did much with it. This is going to be an interesting one. Will they hold their nerve and do the one thing no-one else has managed so far, namely allow players to miss out on Really Good Stuff as a matter of course? ArenaNet threw in the towel at the end of round one. Let's hope SOE can go the distance because I really, really want to play a "you had to be there" MMO and both Rift and GW2 have been deeply disappointing on that front.

Collectable Classes - Weird. I get the "your weapon is your class" - that's FFXIV. I get the "your weapon is your skills" - that's GW2. I get the "gotta find 'em all" - that's Pokemon WoW Pet Battles original Guild Wars. I don't quite get how they fit together. Have to see it in action I guess. I just hope it doesn't make alting less attractive.

Fighting - We saw nothing! Half the mobs just stood there waiting to be whirled at by Snagglepuss. I didn't see them move or react, other than to be knocked up in the air. The set-pieces were more like firework displays than fights. Couldn't tell anything from it at all. I did spot the depressing red circles on the ground so I am guessing we dodge somehow. Bleh.

Landmark - This is the big surprise, obviously. As someone who has never tried Minecraft because of a total and complete absence of nostalgia for anything 8-bit, this looks like the world-builder I've been waiting for. The combination of these tools with the real-money royalty system could be literally life-changing. Not sure yet how Landmark links into EQNext other than in the competitions mentioned - I'm guessing either the final game will incorporate the tools or there'll be an import function. It must mean housing, too, of course, possibly on a scale not yet seen in MMOs.

There's plenty more but that'll do for now. Overall I was more impressed once I'd slept on it than immediately after the presentation. I went to sleep thinking about it, woke up thinking about it, thought about it all day at work and came home and started writing about it. Not had that feeling about an MMO I've not played  for a very long while, if ever.

I'm in.


  1. Destructability = everything in that game world is temporally...

  2. Offhand, it looks like Landmark will function as beta for some of Next -- free art assets dev for the main product.

    Build Your Own Dungeon and Player Studio were early tests for turning the market's desire for customization (MUDs?) into more cost-effective game development. Cash shops aren't the sole solution for the costs and profits puzzle. Landmark may be another solution. hmmm

    -- 7rlsy

    1. The part where Smokejumper gave the "I make a tower, I sell a tower, you buy the tower, you make a castle with my tower, I get royalties" sequence was the only point in the entire presentation when I was genuinely taken aback. That's moving into Second Life territory.

      No mention of adventure/quest/dungeon-building tools in the vein of Dungeon Maker or Neverwinter, though.

    2. I was thinking how they want make a F2P and a sandbox game at same time. Now I know how...

      Playes will create structures and items other players want put at their plot land. Towers, plottery, tapestry, doors, capes, that "evil destroyer worlds" look for a greatword, a simple glob of jewelred gold. They will sell them at the general market and SOE gain a share.

  3. "Contrary to what Dave Georgeson seems to believe, a desire to wreck one's environment is not a universal constant of human nature."

    That was my first thought too. I don't normally wander into a virtual world and think 'how can I destroy this', it's not a shooter. I suppose if you read 'destructibility' as 'changeability' it reads differently.

    Also am certain no one would want to buy anything I (or the majority of people) build :) It'll be nice for the artier types I guess.

    1. No-one's going to be buying anything I make either, I'm pretty sure of that! Should EQNext go big enough to create the market to support it, though, Mrs Bhagpuss and the people in the various "decorator" channels she frequents could make a significant amount of money. It's my understanding that currently you need 3D modelling and/or programming skills to take advantage of things like Player Studio or Second Life but this should open it up to the kind of people who make the spectacular houses in EQ2 and Dimensions in Rift.

  4. Ah, that's what you wanted Storybricks for.



Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide