EverQuest Next is a free-to-play sandbox MMO. Players explore the World of Norrath discovering its vast history while creating its future. This isn’t another world where you play as the humble observer and passive adventurer. Norrath is your world and everything you do makes an impact. As Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) states on their home page, “There has never been before a game like this.”

During an interview with David Georgeson— Creative Director of the EverQuest franchise, he stated, “The world of EverQuest Next will act a GM in a tabletop roleplaying game.” The player controls the world and in turn the world controls the events undergone by the player.

Permanent spawn points for all monsters are being tossed in the trash. Instead, the monsters will be programmed with specific Artificial Intelligence (AI) characteristics and then—as Georgeson put it—“released into the void.” To quote an example used by Greg Tito, “Orcs like gold, but they dislike areas which are patrolled by guards because hey, that means death.” If Orcs were created and then “released into the void”, they would have a tendency to congregate in certain areas of Norrath. If the place they inhabit becomes unsuitable for them, they might migrate. If you, the player, told guards to patrol the woods where the Orcs lived, the Orcs would move to another place in Norrath, which would then become a problem for a whole other set of adventurers.

The world has an endless potential for adventures even without travelling to the ends of the map. SOE drags you deeper into the fantasy world with their use of AI technology. Every action has consequences. In a world like that, change will be constant, and the fantasy will be a closer parallel to the instability and chaos of reality.

SOE did not stop with just utilizing AI to make EQN’s gaming experience unequivocal. Unlike in many other MMOs, everything within the realm of Norrath is destructible. If a rogue mage wanders through and blasts a hole through the wall, the hole will remain. This concept is due to SOE’s use of Voxels, which is similar to the structural backbone of Minecraft—except the graphics in EQN will not be the block-like landscapes familiar in the world of Minecraft. Damage in Narrath will leave permanent destruction in the landscape that will heal with time.

In case you didn’t catch that, “heal with time”.  Even though damage does not disappear, with time the landscape will repair itself in order to prevent from permanent griefing. The world is a living thing. It’s wounds fade into scars. The use of Voxels only intensifies the truth in the statement “Every action has consequences”

EQN is still in Beta. A release date has not been set yet, but I for one am waiting eagerly for the official arrival of SOE’s EverQuest Next.

Apply to play EverQuest Next in Beta








EverQuest Next, Where the World is Alive