Hands-on with EverQuest Next Landmark
Recently I sat down with SOE Director of Development Dave Georgeson and his dev team for a hands-on experience with EverQuest Next Landmark, the building-based prequel to the more directed MMORPG experience of EverQuest Next. And what I saw was something I have been waiting for a very long time: a revolutionary leap in the MMO gaming genre.
You see, MMO games have been caught in horrible rut since the time they clawed their way out of the primordial sludge of text-based MUD adventures over fifteen years ago. Ultima Online and EverQuest set the standard of gameplay in the late 1990s. Immensely popular at the time, their heavy influence from Dungeons & Dragons translated into immersive, compelling gameplay, but also set the rules of MMOs on rails: quest, loot, upgrade, rinse and repeat.
Many copied and improved upon the blueprint for success of these early MMOs, notably Blizzard’s World of Warcraft which hit the ground running to become the 800-lb gorilla we know today.
Make no mistake, WoW is brilliantly crafted, but it did little in terms of originality. It took the best from previous MMOs and polished those features until they shined. Gameplay was smooth and mostly lacked the massive bugs and broken features of its competitors. Unfortunately, the mammoth success of the title also cemented the future of MMO gameplay as many companies rushed in to try to do what Blizzard did, exactly how they did it: quest, loot, upgrade, rinse and repeat.
Now, I believe the real revolution for MMOs has finally arrived and EverQuest Next is leading the charge. That sounds like a lot of hype, I know. Allow me to explain.