EverQuest Next has been revealed and it’s voxel-based. Sony Online Entertainment presented information on their next-gen MMO at SOE Live in Las Vegas and they’re not just going to revamp the engine and pretty things up. They’re building a whole new MMO on technology that encourages player creation as well as destruction. Director of development David Georgeson explained to Kotaku how the voxel-based engine will enhance gameplay.
“Everything is made out of pieces. We can literally destroy anything at any time. We might not let you destroy it. For instance, a player-city we might not make player-destroyable but monster-destroyable. Otherwise, it would be a player parking lot.”
“We have a procedural system that can generate all these lost cities and ancient temples and buried areas and so on and so forth. And then we have occasional earthquakes in the world that destroy areas and reconstitute them so that players can constantly be finding new content as they explore.”
Along with terrain and structural destruction, EverQuest Next will have better NPC and monster AI. Monsters can be added to the world and dynamically decide where to set up camp or attack based on what’s around them. Georgeson said this procedural AI will help make the world feel alive instead of rigidly keeping monsters rooted to where they appear.
Before you play EverQuest Next, SOE wants you to jump into EverQuest Next Landmark and help create stuff for the main game. In Landmark, players will claim a plot of land, gather materials, and craft voxel-based items that can then be submitted to a Player Studio. Other players can purchase those creations using real-world money and the creator will collect a percentage of the sale! The best items that stay within the guidelines for Norrath’s style will be chosen for inclusion in EverQuest Next.