EQ Next: Three Games, One IP

Well, looks like I was wrong to assume that another MMO based on Everquest wasn’t going to emerge (in the light of SOEs recent redundancies). SOE announced that very thing this weekend at Fanfest, their user convention.

Non-fans now have every reason to be confused. Between EQLive (aka EQ1), EQ Extended/ EQ2 and now EQ Next/ EQ3, there will eventually be three MMOs based on the same lore and background.

We don’t know a great deal yet about the new game, such as at what type of user it is aimed. Just a couple of pretty screenshots, and some comments (picked from the liveblog):

  • Harkening back to EQ1 but more stylized.
  • More interesting combat. More engaging.
  • designed from ground up with pvp in mind.
  • fewer classes (than EQ2)
  • the world should change around you
  • We haven’t announced the game because it’s still early in development. We haven’t even decided on raid and group sizes.

Notably, the original Everquest is cited as a greater influence here than EQ2. Perhaps EQ2 is now seen as an evolutionary dead end by SOE, leaving the new F2P servers to pick up any current gen gamers looking for a new world to explore, but with no intentions of following Blizzard in trying to evolve their game into anything too different.

Everquest is the marmite of MMOs. People either love it, hate it, or don’t understand the fuss at all. Me, I fall into the “don’t really get the fuss” category. I loved my first MMO (DaoC) and if Mythic announced an updated version then I’d be all over it, but EQ?  Meh. I played EQ2 for a few months and liked it, but there was nothing special or engaging about any of the lore I saw in game. I don’t think those old communities can be replicated any more with a modern audience.

However hearing that SOE wants to go back to their roots could be great news if you fall into the love faction. At least, depending on which parts of EQ they decide to focus on updating.

But for everyone else, they’ll have to come up with something more convincing because the farrow of “let’s make something inspired by EQ but more accessible” has already been quite thoroughly ploughed. Hopefully not involving semi naked elvish paladins.