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Comparing EverQuest and EverQuest Next in Two Pictures August 3, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest, EverQuest Next.
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Well, the big EverQuest Next reveal has come and gone.  If you missed them, replays up are in a number of locations including YouTube. (There is a part 1 and a part 2, but I think you could safely just watch maybe the last 10 minutes of part one along with part 2.)

The official site is up.  I signed up for beta like everybody else.

I am working on my own post on the subject, with a primary focus of trying to summarize what we know so far about key features and what they mean to me.  I expect that will be posted on Monday. (Here)

In the short term, I think one of the wallpapers that SOE has for EQN is really great, as it attempts to harken back to the original EverQuest launch poster.  Here it is.

Firiona Vie makes it to 2013

Firiona Vie makes it to 2013

So I went to find a similar sized scan of the original poster… which wasn’t as easy as it sounds.  We had small monitors back then and were content with things being just 800×600.  Poor us.  But I found one that I think will do.

Firiona and friends at launch, 1999

Firiona and friends at launch, 1999

Firiona seems much more sensibly dressed in the new version, though skimpy female outfits still seem the order of the day.  In the new vision, everybody appears to have been working out and looks like they bought their armor at a Blizzard garage sale.  No halflings or Erudin in the new vision, no cat or rat people in the old.  And in the new vision, the group seems to have turned upon itself rather than facing external foes.  Hrm…

So what do those two pictures say to you?

Comments»

1. bhagpuss - August 3, 2013

They say concept art bears almost no resemblance to what you get in game, although I’d guess the new one is closer than the old one was.

I just posted my thoughts but I really don’t think we’ve seen much to go on yet. The “combat” looked entirely staged to me, for a start. Generally, though, I liked what I saw.

As for the beta, as a UK resident I can’t sign up on any of my SOE accounts, subscription or free. It re-directs me to the EU site where I’m required to make a new PSS1 account. It won’t allow me to use my SOE account information at PSS1, nor even to use my existing Allaplaya account that I made to play Argo.

I made a new PSS1 account for now so I am registered, as is Mrs Bhagpuss. There is literally nothing required beyond an account name, password and email address so if I had the patience I could presumably make as many applications as I could make email addresses. I might well make several.

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2. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 3, 2013

@Bhagpuss – This isn’t even concept art, but image projection. This is the “feel” they want you to get from the game. Certainly the 1999 picture looked nothing at all like what you saw in game.

So each is an attempt to send a message. I am wondering how the message differs. Certainly the new one is trying to invoke the spirit of the old.

And yes, doing this is just a mental exercise that may tell us nothing concrete.

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3. bhagpuss - August 3, 2013

Sorry – I was being a bit glib there! I must have spent hours staring at that original EQ picture and I never could work out what was going on. Firiona seems to be breaking the fourth wall and flirting directly with the observer, the Erudite is eying her up none to subtly, which seems entirely out of culture, the bard looks like she just stubbed her toe, the dark elf appears to be having a fit, the unfeasibly-dressed Barbarian is the only one who seems to have noticed there’s a ginormous dragon sitting quietly in the middle of the party minding it’s own business.

Everyone else is goggling at the huge troll and that other thing I of which I have never been sure – is it supposed to be an ogre? A very, very large goblin? No-one is actually fighting anything. And what’s that in the deep background? Is that some blue undead? And what’s the cart? Some kind of siege device? ANd of course there’s that sweeping, gorgeous landscape that stretches all the way to the mountains.

I take it back – it is like the gameplay. It represents the complete bewilderment I had for the first few weeks of play, wrapped in the utter wonderment of a fascinating, gripping imaginary world.

The new one has a lot less casual sexism and leeriness, a much tighter focus on the characters, with the world they inhabit a barely sketched-in afterthought, Firiona looks utterly different to any incarnation ever, not just dressed for a change but with alien features and blocky, masculine hands. All the figures are coarse compared to the original, more aggressive, harsher. The only characters in shot that aren’t PCs are the orc (who replaces the troll) and that bloody dragon again. Why is that dragon there? It’s surely not Nagafen?

But of course the best thing about the new one is … no halfling!

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4. spinks - August 3, 2013

The dragon is way better in the 2013 one! I wish you could play that!

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5. spinks - August 3, 2013

Oops, forgot to add. The callback to the original IS pretty cool, except that WoW did pretty much exactly the same thing in the preview video for MoP last year (callback to Warcraft 2 packaging)

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6. flosch - August 3, 2013

@bhagpuss: it’s actually possible to sign up with SOE as a European, but it’s a bit tricky. The trick is to use a direct link to the signup page behind the region check, which I thankfully got from someone who could sign up by virtue of not living in Europe. Since I guess other people (like you) might also want to do that, I just made a short post about it over at my place.

Concerning the pictures… I think both are pretty poor. I never figured out why EQ went with that picture for promotional reasons. It’s just a bunch of people randomly strewn around the scenery. Even a “everybody say cheese” group photo would feel less contrived. ;)

Other than that, I’ve tried to keep away from most of the EQN reveals, and will just pick them up later, after the first hype/anti-hype wave.

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7. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 3, 2013

@Bhagpuss – I too have stared at that scene many times. It was sort of a surprise to me that I didn’t have a decent sized copy of it somewhere on my hard drive. It is probably buried somewhere.

Personally, I could never figure out which was the half-elf and which was the wood elf. And what race is the paladin? That, and I could never divine exactly what that gnomish contraption (at the far right, coming out of the woods) was intended to do. It looks like some sort of solar powered cataplut-o-omnibus thing.

Oh, and no gnomes in the new pic either.

And I always liked that there was a new picture done for each expansion… at least for the first few. I remember them up through Luclin at least.

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8. Shintar - August 3, 2013

I was going to comment that as someone who’s never played either incarnation of Everquest, I didn’t have the foggiest idea of what’s going on in either picture – then I read Bhagpuss’s comment and laughed.

One of the most noticeable things to me was that in the old picture, at least the bard and the dark elf are dressed somewhat sensibly. In the newer one, all the ladies are unnecessarily exposing flesh all over. Sigh, “progress”…

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9. whorhay - August 4, 2013

Other than the Dragon and the Erudite I much prefer the old art style to the new cartoon one. And what’s with Virona Vie wearing a thong which she hiked up six inches above the waistline of her pants?

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10. flosch - August 4, 2013

I also notice that I can’t keep my eyes off Firiona Vie in the new drawing. Not because of the exposed flesh, but because “holy crap what happened to her face?”. It’s as if plastic surgery went horribly wrong. But like in the proverbial car accident, I can’t stop looking.

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11. Jenks - August 4, 2013

RIP Keith Parkinson, my favorite fantasy artist of all time.

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12. whorhay - August 4, 2013

Anyone else notice that every female in the new art, except the dark elf, has a seriously bad case of “man hands”? Also there isn’t a weapon sheath in sight. Is Vironia Vie going to use her bow to launch that absurd sword/cleaver at someone or something? And is she a half breed giant or something? She seriously towers over the dark elf and barbarian who are at the same depth of field.

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13. Chocoholic - August 5, 2013

Well, the pictures seem nice. For the rest I can’t really say anything because I’ve never played Everquest….
At first it seemed I wouldn’t be able to Everquest Next either, cause when I tried to register for an account at the Everquest Next site, it turned out they’ve completely forgotten all about European countries people can come from. I’m from the Netherlands, which isn’t in the list. I thought, okay, you can forget 1 small country (really not good, but okay), but then it turns out they forgot about Belgium, Germany, UK, France, …. Well, I can go on, but I guess you get the picture lol

I’ve reported it on their Twitter account, but if it will do any good?

So, just to be sure, I decided to contact them at help.station.sony.com. When I registered there, I could register with the Netherlands…. I guess I’ll submit a support ticket about the EverQuest Next lack of of countries……

Anyway, looking forward to hearing more about EQN :)

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14. GV - August 7, 2013

Looks like you can’t play as a Troll or Ogre…that was one of the best things about EQ classic – that you could play these evil (and huge) monster races. Looks like EQN will have the standard boring races like every other WoW-Clone.

I am not impressed by EQN at all. Looks like a COMPLETE WoW rip-off.

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15. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 7, 2013

@GV – “I am not impressed by EQN at all. Looks like a COMPLETE WoW rip-off.”

So you are saying, stylized character models aside, EQN does nothing that WoW does not already do? I mean, “COMPLETE” is a pretty strong degree of rip-off.

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16. GV - August 7, 2013

@Wilhelm

“So you are saying, stylized character models aside, EQN does nothing that WoW does not already do?”

So you’ve played EQN? It’s already out and released? So you can say as a 100% matter-of-fact that this is not going to be just like WoW?

Yeah…didn’t think so.

Come on, are you really buying into this Bullshit hype? That’s what they all say, “Our MMO will be different and FIX everything!”. And suckers like you buy into it every time. EVERY DAMN TIME.

This is pure hype, they’re going to spoon-feed everyone all these amazing features in the beginning to put everyone into a fanboy frenzy, then ever-so-slowly they’ll start to dial it down, “well the world is not REALLY a sandbox, just parts of it are…etc…etc”.

They did this for Guild Wars 2. “All events will change the world permanently!” is what they said. Everyone knew that wouldn’t work – and we were right. So the events are not truly world changing or permanent at all. They simply reset every hour back to square one. And the “Living Story”? What a load of crap. Just a monthly checklist of mini-games to complete to get some rewards. Living Story my ass.

So go ahead, believe that -this time- things will be really, TRULY different. “Because last time they were just lying and these guys are really telling the truth at last”. I remember the same hype happened with Vanguard – look at how that turned out. The game got nerfed and changed into a WoW-clone.

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17. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 7, 2013

@GV – “So you’ve played EQN? It’s already out and released? So you can say as a 100% matter-of-fact that this is not going to be just like WoW?”

Yeah, because that is EXACTLY what I said.

I could have stopped right there. Anybody whose argument is that you cannot prove a negative has an axe to grind. You have already made up your mind despite the fact that you can’t answer your own questions either.

I questioned the use of “COMPLETE” in your statement, and you flew off the handle.

Did you read my other, long post on the EQN reveal? Do you see my buying into hype or being cautiously optimistic in the absence of any real detail. That seems to be a distinctly different point of view to me.

Anyway, you have made your position clear. EQN is a “COMPLETE WoW rip-off” based on a position of equal ignorance.

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18. GV - August 7, 2013

MMOs today (GW2 as a prime example) have become nothing more than slot machines for kiddies. All these so-called “dynamic” features are nothing but phony mirages in a desert of min-max loot farms. Everything in the game is rewarded with treasure chests and sparkly, experience rewards that fill up your bar like the rattling of coins in a casino.

None of these games provide real virtual worlds where game-play actually matter – no it’s all simply about the Skinner Box to hook you into a rat treadmill of rewards. This is what I mean when I say WoW-clone.

You think EQN will get away from this model? Uh uh…right…

All of these “sandbox” features are just bullet-points to get you into the treadmill once again, like all the others. And the slobbering, brain-dead, addicted masses will jump on board as fast as they can.

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19. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 7, 2013

@GV “And the slobbering, brain-dead, addicted masses will jump on board as fast as they can.”

And I would suggest that, if they jumped on board and stayed there in large numbers, we would define that as success.

When it comes down to it, if I don’t like it, I won’t play it. I find it harder and harder these days to play any new WoW-clone or derivative. Or WoW in its current state.

But I don’t see much margin in declaring EQN a failure on what I know at this point, since details are scant at best. I signed up for Beta because I agree with Bhagpuss that the most interesting version of the game… if there is one… will likely be one that doesn’t get shipped.

But if you are going to go to the “skinner box/treadmill” argument, then I am not sure how you distinguish UO, EQ at launch, WoW today, or Candy Crush Saga. The “game” aspect of these always end up in some sort of reinforcement cycle and the world can never really change in any meaningful way because others have to be able to play in it as well.

So let me flip this around if I can, since I like talking about games, and ask you what MMO-ish game, if any, you are positive about? EVE Online? Camelot Unchained? Star Citizen? Wurm Online? Is there anything out there?

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20. GV - August 7, 2013

When I look at these early EQN videos and screenshots all I see is the same crap that every other MMO has done since the beginning of time: cartoon characters jumping around with completely unrealistic armor spamming “powers” that turn the screen into a kaleidescope of colors to “ooh and awe” crowds of gawking fans.

Now you can break (temporarily) parts of the world. Big deal. The core game is still the same – kill monsters for loot over and over and over again.

When will someone make an MMO where the characters act realistic? When my character jumps over a rock, or runs down a hill I’d like him to trip and fall and break an ankle. I’d like to see my character fall off a 10 story building and end up with every bone in his body broken and paralyzed for life. When my character puts on 300 lbs of armor and a 15 foot long sword, I want him to act like its’ actually heavy. When I stab a monster with my sword, how-come it does nothing? That should kill something in one hit.

That’s just the beginning. Why doesn’t my character need rest or sleep or ever need a break from monster killing?

I want to play an MMO where my character is mortal, a person barely better than the common folk. Not an invincible superhero. I want to fear going into a dark cave, even if it only contains no monsters at all – just the fear that my torch might go out. I want a claustrophobic or schizophrenic character.

And for those saying that would be boring, I’ll tell you what’s boring: standing side-by-side with a bunch of immortal beings who never fear death or pain, twinked-out with endless “Flaming Swords of Biting Catastrophe of the Seven Winds of Horrible Doom”. That’s boring. That’s unrelatable.

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21. GV - August 7, 2013

“So let me flip this around if I can, since I like talking about games, and ask you what MMO-ish game, if any, you are positive about? EVE Online? Camelot Unchained? Star Citizen? Wurm Online? Is there anything out there?”

They all suck. They’re all loot-grinders, every one. In Wurm you’re just grinding for more pieces of wood to grind for more wood to grind for a table or a bow or whatever.

People have lost the concept of story as the center-piece in online games (or perhaps it never existed?). In the Hobbit, Bard’s bow wasn’t important because it was magical or powerful, it was important because it had a story behind it.

Story. That’s the key. When story is the central character, your character is less important. Then it doesn’t matter if your character’s experience is good or bad – because no matter what happens, it adds to the story. When developers are able to harness the same feeling from a great fantasy novel (with all it’s good and bad) into a game, and still make players feel okay with their characters sucking, they’ll have succeeded.

When a game makes me feel great playing as a peasant who is only skilled in cooking and nothing else while others get to do the monster fighting, that will be an awesome game. Just because character/loot-based games are signing up lots of players doesn’t mean the content is good. It just means they’ve trained people to like crap. Mindsets need to change for MMOs to take the next step, people need to let go of characters and embrace stories.

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22. Solf - August 12, 2013

@GV – it looks like your posts need a serious dose of ‘IMO’ and ‘for me’. It looks like you like/want (actually — you think you want, but it’s not a fact you’ll play it) a certain type of game and begrudge others their kind of fun because it’s not your fun.

I’m not sure there’s enough audience to play farmer long term. So ‘your’ type of game may never be made. That doesn’t automatically make everything else rubbish.

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