"dumb not to explore other options" in this kind of business.
While SOE is "not adverse" to bringing MMO EverQuest Next to PlayStation 4, they're "not going down that path yet." The new EverQuest is built using voxel technology for destruction and creation.
Environments can be destroyed by players who may also erect permanent structures in the MMO. EverQuest Next's realms will be "different to other ones."
The EverQuest team really want to champion the communities within each of the realms, encouraging them to customise their environments and to pursue events at their own pace. Georgeson believes many will stick with their own little community, but some may hop over for 'something different'.
"We're very serious about this being a PC-orientated launch," he told an audience at SOE Live event in Las Vegas.
"Now, you're dumb not to explore other options with a business of this type, but we're very serious about developing for the PC. You know the company knows a lot about the PlayStation 4 - look at DC Universe Online and Planetside 2 - so we have a lot of people becoming extraordinarily knowledgeable with that box. We're not adverse to the idea, but we're not going down that path yet." SOE gave the first real look at EverQuest Next at the Las Vegas event.
Community-driven customisation through destruction and creation is a major factor.
"Every world will be unique from the others in that players will be advancing the story in different ways at different times," Georgeson said. "And so, obviously, different worlds will be different to other ones."
"A lot of players will stick with their current community and friends, hang out that way and make it work. Some will want to flip from server to server, and we intend to make that a lot easier than it has been in the past - although we're not committed to details on that yet."
"We want to make it really easy for players to move back and forth between the worlds so they can experiment and see different things. For instance, if you roll up a new world, it might start all the way back at the beginning of the storyline."
"One other thing to mention is that Rallying Calls are very forgiving with regards to population. If half your server population is not interested in Rallying Calls, you'll still move apace."
The SOE EverQuest team are also saving instanced areas for special occasions as they want to reduce any load times - they're aiming for as seamless a world as possible. "The 'loading - please wait' days will hopefully be mostly over," he said. "We'll occasionally use an instance here and there, just because we want to do something really special. In general though, when you wander through the world, you don't encounter those walls."
While the MMO might embrace the 'freedom' that a voxel-based world can provide, SOE aren't letting gamers essentially strip mine the entire environments around them a la Minecraft.
"The idea is that while everything can be destructible, it doesn't mean we're going to let everything be destructible," said senior producer Terry Michaels.
"We're going to use permission systems and tools to make sure the game is enjoyable for everyone who's playing it. We probably wouldn't let someone come in and destroy the newbie area, that's a more protected area. But maybe NPCs, for instance, can destroy part of that area, because it's part of the content going on in there."
"Without a doubt there are lots of griefing opportunities we haven't seen in this kind of game before. There's visual griefing in Landmark, where the idea of creativity is so important. People could actually try to impede other people's ability to see your stuff. We have to think about these things and tackle these things that are unique to our game."
"We did it to EverQuest and the things people could do there, and we'll do it again in EverQuest Next and make sure players have an enjoyable experience," continued Michaels.
EverQuest Next is the mighty sequel effort to EverQuest 2, with two previous projects having failed. Everything that has been shown recently for Next is beyond just the concept phase, as each are fully functioning within the MMO.
Sony Online "very serious" about EverQuest Next's "PC-orientated launch"
12 August 2013 | By Simon Priest