Website : https://www.everquestnext.com
Key Features as listed by the FAQ:
Full Destructibility — Everything in EverQuest Next can be destroyed. Destroy the ground beneath your enemy’s feet — or crush him under an avalanche you created. The possibilities are endless!
Permanent Change — The land of Norrath changes every day, based on the actions of all players… including you. Cities rise and fall, kings live and die, even the gods may change. You won’t want to miss a moment of it!
A Life of Consequence — Your choices will rule your destiny. Do you save a villager’s burning farm or choose to do nothing? Do you clear orc camps away from Qeynos or help them destroy the city? You will make your own story — and shape the story for those who follow you.
A Class Revolution — Our character classes are streamlined and designed to be mixed. Want to be a teleporting rogue or a backstabbing barbarian? The choice is yours!
So, this game has me excited. It’s a Next Generation Sandbox with a few novel features, such as the destructibility, which in it’self is pretty cool, I’ll go through the main features and describe them as best I can with the current revealed knowledge, which, admittedly, isn’t THAT much.
In Everquest Next, there’s not just the land you’re walking on, underneath that land will be more places, more dungeons and caves, full of ruins and secret places, and of course monsters, so there’s lots to explore and plenty of new places to find, not just moving around the world, but under your feet too! Even more exciting, these places can be accessed and left via destructibility!
Another cool feature is the ability to break stuff. So when you use some earth shattering ability, it can be LITERALLY earth shattering. But not just you, monsters can do it too.
So you can create avalanches, destroy bridges and outcroppings, dig tunnels, all in the world, as far as we’ve been told, that’s not instances or phases, but actually in the permanent world, so you’ll know when a battle has been around!
Finally! A world not based on a static places, but a changing one! This plays out in several ways:
NPC Spawns: The example they used was Orcs. Orcs like to ambush people for their gold, so they like to tackle lightly defended targets without guards or guard patrols. So if there’s a road that gets some traffic, but no guards are patrolling it, that’s a place orcs are likely to set up a camp. If someone tells the guards to start patrolling down that road and they do, or some adventurers wipe out the camp, that’s it, the orcs will move on to somewhere else, no more orcs at that location.
It also plays out in the rest of the world. There are these things called Rallies, which are sort of like public quests, except you don’t really know the objectives or triggers and they could take months to complete, but when they do, something will happen in world. Permanently.
So if you help build a palisade wall around a new village, there WILL be a palisade wall around the village. If you clear out all the goblins in the surrounding forest, there might be no more goblins, or the goblins might get some allies, so have a BIGGER goblin problem, or maybe they’ll get some orc and ogre allies and siege the town. OR they could leave the area, the villagers could expand and start a mine to build some stone walls instead, but when they get deep enough… they hit one of those underground places and monsters pour out, so you have to defend the village, explore the cave… or you could always help that orc invasion to destroy the town.
Once the town is gone, it’s gone. Destroyed. It doesn’t come back. The world has changed forever. Lucky new ones will be built, right?
They wanted characters to feel heroic, and to be customisable, they want you to play how you want to play. We’ve been told that if you want a chainmail bikini, you can have one, if you want full plate, you can have it. The hair and cloth moves in the wind, it looks quite nice. The characters are a bit cartoony, but that is partially to get the expressiveness of the faces using emotes and SOEmote.
To add to the heroic feel of the characters, the move in a fairly acrobatic style through the world, doing a sort of parkour, leaping low obstacles, sliding down slopes, double jumps, as shown here.
As for the classes, well we’re told there are 40, and you can collect them in game, they don’t say how, just that you collect them, then you can add their abilities to your character. Each class is levelled individually, so you could be a level 8 warrior and a level 2 wizard, and apply your points or whatever (I don’t yet know how levelling works) to whatever class you like to use abilities from there.
Your characters are constructed with a class, which determines what armor you wear (you only get one choice of armor type) and 2 weapon types, which play differently. Your class determines your weapon types (eg longsword and 2 handed sword) and your weapon abilities. Different classes will look and stand differently even if they’re using the same weapon, so they have different fighting stances and have their own unique feel.
On top of weapon abilities, you then have your ability slots, which are divided up into categories. Offensive, Defensive and Movement. Different classes will have different combinations. For example, a wizard might have 2 offensive slots, a defensive slot and a movement slot, where a rogue might have 2 movement slots and 2 offensive slots. These are not locked to your class however, if you have the abilities of another class, you can use any of those abilities in your slots, so you migth be a warrior, but you could have a wizard’s ability in your movement slot, a ranger’s ability in your offensive slot etc, giving you some unique templates, which you can then save and switch between whenever you like (out of combat). I assume you can also switch classes to suit your mood and style.
There is no trinity, there are no dedicated healers and no dedicated tanks, they want anyone to be able to fill whatever need and not be waiting for your specialist friends all the time to play.
There will also be items that will help with your templates, such as a ring that reduces the ability cost of movement abilities, or the boots of the zephyr shown in the video. Equipment, we are told, is not just a stat modifier, but a strategic choice, there will be differences between different types of longsword.
The combat is fast paced, dynamic and movement based, which fits in with the breakable world nicely.
Everquest Next Landmark
Landmark is coming out at the end of the year apparently, and is Everquest Minecraft essentially, with a procedural world where you can stake a claim, harvest resources and build anything you like, but better, if you build something that fits into the world of Norrath, you can import the plan of your design into Everquest Next, you can even sell your plan for real money, and if someone used your plan as part of one they’re selling, you get royalties based on the amount. So there will be custom buildings.
Best of all, Both of these games are free to play, so you have nothing to lose by trying it when it comes out if your interest has been piqued.
Beta Signups are currently open from the website.