Remembering EverQuest Next

Is it too soon -- or perhaps too pointless -- to wool-gather about EverQuest Next? After all, that MMO project is deader than dead, so dead in fact that it killed off Landmark just to be thorough.

YouTuber Daily Quests assembled a short video remembering the brief, hopeful, and ultimately disappointing saga that was EverQuest Next. It's good as a refresher course if you forgot how this all went down or perhaps as a method to roil up the blood if you have achieved a state of perfect calm.

If you can stomach the pain, check out the video below!

Source: YouTube
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59 Comments on "Remembering EverQuest Next"

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socontrariwise

Ridiculously uninformed video.
What happened is that Landmark as the world building spin off (think minecraft but without cubes) was rather soon showing, that the voxel engine that they had chosen, was not up to quite a few things they needed for a MMO that had a fully destructive world. Worst was that there was no working water besides water that had been placed as blocks. It could not flow or search its path. Imagine you have an engine all about interactivity and modification of the world and a solution to a quest could be that you block off a river by a landslide or you cut a dam ... but nothing happens ...
There were quite severe performance problems when you had the quest tracker open and attempted to terraform/mine.
The building tools turned out to be way more powerful than anticipated with micro-voxels and empty voxel discovered by players - but that soon meant that the complexity of the world builds at least by player became much higher for buildings and that could bring even good PC to its knees. Plus it was quite tediuous for quite a while to use the building tools. In the end they were working pretty well and intuitive in my opinion. But it drove away a lot of people early on. And the barebone systems for combat and spelunking they put in were really weak, making this no feasible product and questionable what the actual pre-made MMO EQN would look like. But Daybreak had so few people left at this point and bled money for such a while that they soon decided to cut their loses and focus on Landmark as the easier to release (not tons of premade content in Minecraft either). They either did misjudge or intentionally ran it into the wall at this point, as Landmark as laid out was way too weak, working water never came from Voxelfarm, barely any work was - visibly at least - done on it. So the motivation to log in or build as pretty much only gameplay element was not exactly high for the majority.

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Armsman

Just curious...what is there to remember about a game that never launched in any form?

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Reginald Atkins

I was looking forward to it, but I had a nagging doubt that they had bitten off more than they could chew... then came the dead silence, after such a hype train to have absolutely nothing on a game rarely bodes well and in the end it didn't. Oh well.. disappointing but hardly the first, nor likely to be the last, time.

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Armsbend

"-- or perhaps too pointless --"

ding ding we have a winner!

capt_north
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capt_north

In every ending lies the seeds of a new beginning... and if Daybreak is supremely uninterested in those seeds, there are others who are not.

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Blood Ravens Gaming

I will shed a single tear for EQNever and then move on. Honestly it was so early in development it was mostly a large wishlist. Landmark never excited me and lacked solid performance to play much.

I miss and reminisce about David Gorgenson more than I will about EQN or Landmark.

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Melissa McDonald

I guess I can't resist lol. but I really need to Let It Go

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Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

This seems to be what happens to any big game which is announced early in development, yet publishes highly polished finished artwork. I hate to say that I'm not surprised.

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SeedEve

There is nothing to remember.

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Loopy

Not sure why people are so salty about this article. For EQ fans it was one of the most expected MMOs to (never) come. I am definitely interested to find out more about why it failed, and i'm not even that invested in EQ universe.

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Melissa McDonald

Lots of warning signs, like when the community absolutely schooled the Sony/Daybreak game designers in voxel building within the first 30 days, displaying weird things like negative voxels, transparent voxels, stuff the game designers didn't even know could exist. In a perfect world that's a job interview, Landmark, show your skills, get hired. But bottom line is Daybreak pulled the plug, without bucks, no Buck Rogers. Why'd they lose faith? I think combat was too clunky. What existed in Landmark was probably the prototype of what EQN's combat was going to be, and it did indeed sucketh.

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pepperzine

You nailed it before completing the first sentence, too pointless

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Wanda Clamshuckr

I don't even understand the point of the article. An in memoriam for something that never came to be? Hasn't this dead horse been beaten to death in countless other discussions?

I mean, there's a slow news day and there is a sloooowwww news day where you invent click bait.

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Chosenxeno .

EQNext was never going to work. I've never played it but the Base is very similar to WoW. Forcing traditional EQ players to switch to Action Combat was never going to happen. It just seemed to me that it was just another "me too" action combat MMO. Tab is still the king. I dunno why people seem to be trying to force it out. They should have stuck with a traditional gameplay style. Do you see Blizzard trying to make action MMORPGs? Blizz knows the real deal.

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Arktouros

We don't see them trying to make any MMOs. They've made a MOBA and a Lobby Shooter (which was born out of their cancelled MMO title).

The one MMO they do have, WOW, in the most recent expansion a common criticism I've heard is that they vastly oversimplified the combat so each class only actually uses 4-5 abilities in most scenarios so it seems like they're a fan of bringing things in as well.

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pepperzine

Yeah blizz does know the real deal, that a sucker is born every minute. Why innovate when you can just hash out the same stuff you've been doing for ten plus years. Just completely butcher and abandon the new systems you put in with each expansion (as they see them as temporary), shake up the class balance so people have to relearn their moves, and people will come in droves for a few months until they leave and wait for the next expansion which will be more of the same.

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Chosenxeno .

You can complain all you want but it obviously works. I'm not going to whine about them refreshing people's favorite thing.

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pepperzine

Oh it definitely does work, like I said, a sucker born every minute. As long as people keep buying their next expansions they'll continue exactly as they have been since Catalysm, and the MMO market will continue to be dominated by a game that lacks any consistent innovation. The content of this expansion will be lost in obscurity just like that of MoP and WoD. I'd be willing to bet systems like the artifact system and class halls will last as long as Garrisons or the Tillers did.

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Blood Ravens Gaming

Seems like the level scaling to everyone's individual level and allowing everyone of any level to fight and party together with them receiving their applicable rewards is a bit of an innovation. I know other games have used this type of scaling, but Blizzard kicked it up a few notches and made it quite useful beyond similar features in other MMOs.

They make choices I don't like or agree with, but to say they have sucker over 10s of millions of players is just silly. In the gaming world if players aren't happy they leave and move on.

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Arktouros

What bugs me about EverQuest Next disappearing is that it was the only game that was proposing a truly dynamic content system. PvE content in MMOs is absurdly stale. First we had grinding (UO, EQ, AC, DAoC), then we started to get into questing (AO, WOW, etc) and we're still doing the same thing in these games a decade later. GW2 came close to something new by ditching the quest and grind formula in favor of it's world completion system but ultimately fell short of being capable of having any kind of impact on the world as we see it.

I dream of the day where I can follow the same path, in the same locations, in the same areas while advancing a character start to finish with two characters and end up with two entirely different experiences because the world was not the same when I leveled each character.

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Chosenxeno .

What EQN was doing would onl be good for the people who are there on Day 1. Also, it's extremely difficult to have any real connection to a ever changing Virtual World. All you need to do is remember how people reacted to changes in Azeroth durng Cataclysm., Blizz actually came the closest to "world" altering with Phasing.

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Crow

All you need to do is remember how people reacted to changes in Azeroth durng Cataclysm., Blizz actually came the closest to "world" altering with Phasing.

That's pretty much the polar opposite of the kind of thing EQN (Storybricks) was hailed as being. Cata's instancing was poorly received in part because it was disruptive and in part because it was wholly top-down and static. You simply went through the stories, followed their path and the world changed around you in a predictable and static way. There was no dynamic response or creation of dynamic content involved, just heavily, heavily scripted encountered and instanced-stories.

Storybricks (EQN) was designed to be wholly different. The concept (which we saw in basic form during the Storybricks demos) was that the world would react in a myriad of ways based on player interaction, avoiding the idea of the "top down" change. A pre-scripted, endpoint-known world change is worthless compared to the kind of on-their-feet, dynamic system that Storybricks was going to become.

But at the end of the day, Storybricks couldn't work it out and actually function correctly. So we're back in this place where the themeparks cannot possibly create content fast enough to satisfy players who consume it, reinforcing the necessity of grinds (likely while the devs do everything possible to call it anything but a big grind.) It is the themepark Catch-22.

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Arktouros

I mean if the content is truly dynamic it would be good regardless of when you started. Day 1 or Day 365 it'd be a new experience because the world would dynamically change around you as players interact with the environment.

Personally I find the complete opposite is true regarding connection. There's no way I could be connected to a static, unchanging world. It's absurd that years have passed but the same mobs are in the same locations and are still the same threat they always were.

People reacted poorly to Catalclysm for a multitude of reasons. For one people were stuck on static story lines that often times required to wait in line (omg that underwater area) to continue due to story line bottlenecks. More over all the content revision did nothing for the millions of players already at the level cap. WOW is arguably the worst example to compare to as well it being the literal opposite of a dynamic system.

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Jeremy

How can one remember something which never existed?

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Bruno Brito

What are we even remembering?

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rafael12104

Well, I choose not to forget, but I'm tired of the burials. It's like we unearth the dead horse just so we can bury it again.

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wratts

I really don't understand what CN wanted with SOE at this point. They've pushed out H1Z1, and there was some fat that needed trimming, but if they have any ideas that would justify entering the gaming market they're keeping it very quiet

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Sally Bowls

Money.

Buy the studio, cut costs/fire people, keep cutting costs to make sure the revenue is greater than costs. The difference in the costs and revenue is the profit, which I bet was their motivation, not "entering the gaming market." If you can buy a failing game studio or newspaper or grocery store or whatever, you can make money in its final days. Some VC don't really care what industry it is in, just the financial numbers.

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wratts

Not sure I believe they were buying in for the operating revenue on aging products. The dominant VC/PE model is to build for the exit, execute a ~5 year growth strategy and sell or spin off the company to the public market. Unless they got an incredible discount, it doesn't make sense to buy in for a declining revenue stream on a company you won't be able to exit profitably later.
Of course, PE (which this is more similar to than VC, SOE was hardly a startup) as a whole doesn't target much more than a 20% hit rate on their deals. My guess is DBG will be one of the failures and will close shop in the next 3 years or so. Some properties may get sold off, hopefully EQ can find a real home.

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Dean Greenhoe

I had high hopes.. but I do not know exactly for what. A modernized version of the older game, I guess. More in line with current technology. More player created aspects of the world. More destructible world elements. I am not totally sure what I expected.

All I know is they failed somehow and someone else will have to pick up the mantle and try again in the future.

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Nordavind

Oh for crying out loud... What's with this dead game obsession among gamers, streamers and journalists?

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Yeah! What is with this dead people/country/language/culture obsession among historians, anthropologists, and linguists?!

Insert favorite George Santayana quote here.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

...

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CMDR Maric

What is there to remember? Honestly, I'd rather forget Daybreak and EQN. Just makes me pissed off and bitter.

cakeandbake12
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cakeandbake12

EQN is what i wanted in an MMO... no story, just shit happening around the world you gotta resolve.. get abilities through adventures and destructable enviornments.. is that so much to ask??

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Mr_Fester

Really, you wanted those cut and paste avatars like they had in Everquest Next/Landmark that looked like some Junior college student class done them?

cakeandbake12
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cakeandbake12

how did they look like cut and paste? fiona looked amazing

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mcsleaz

Is news so slow that we are resorting to memorials for things That Never Existed?

smh.

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McGuffn

The only thing to come out of Everquest Next:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlczD8lO2KQ

Remember the hype!

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camelotcrusade

One of the things that drew me to EQ2 in the first place was its art style in contrast to WoW. To me, EQ2 more gritty and less cartoony. I'd really hoped that was a direction they'd continue to go in, so I'd forgotten how much the EQN previews disappointed me. Uggggggh.

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Melissa McDonald

I think its art style was heavily influenced by the strategic closing of FreeRealms. EQN was supposed to be a new game for the FreeRealms players who were now 4 or 5 years older, tweens, and also Teen/Adult crowd who were already EQ fans. It also should have stolen base from Minecraft as those gamers got older. It should have been win-win for Sony, but they lost faith in their gaming studio

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Slaasher

To answer your question:
Completely pointless

styopa
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styopa

"Is it too soon -- or perhaps too pointless -- to wool-gather about EverQuest Next? "
Yes, yes it is (the latter).

Your "pain" is in direct proportion to rather ridiculous over-expectations and buying into hype.

Hint: a little more skepticism might serve you well.

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Jeff

This whole fiasco which actually started with SOE buying Vanguard has made me loathe SOE/Daybreak and anyone associated with the company. EQ, EQ 2 DCUO I avoid them all these days and don't believe a word any past or present developer says.

There is hope in the MMO industry, but it sure as hell isn't Daybreak

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Shiro Madoushi

Who needs the hope that a game like EQN gave us with all these invest2win mmos from the west and pay2win imports from the east? Sign me up for some bitter disappointment.

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Greaterdivinity

Something has to exist for it to be remembered : /

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Swifty

The entire thing was a train wreck from day one.

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RJB

Too pointless

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Rheem Octuris

I disagree with a lot of the points made by the creator of the video. Like Daybreak ever having a chance and making EQN into anything but a failure. The project was more or less doomed from the start. Yes, there was gross mismanagement, but I think its the voxel world and destructible environment that made this game just not able to work as is. That technology was too new to be ready to be applied to an actual game. Landmark framerates and server lag were horrible, and that was when it was an empty world still.

Waiting until 4 years into the project to add combat was a HORRIBLE decision. They should of been working on that LONG before they started on world building. That's an MMO basic, and they failed, completely and totally. Get your combat down, get it fun, before you do anything else.

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deekay_plus

i think we assumed that they had combat already worked out based on the soelive reveal, but we found out the hard way that that demo was all bullshit.

and the combat was just so damn bad it was incredible.

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deekay_plus

eqn was telling us what we wanted to hear vapourware and landmark was development hell feature creep fest that progressively redacted it's feature roadmap while becoming increasingly less enjoyable to play with what actual development it got.

the company and team became increasingly less interested in communicating with customers to the point game relevant threads asking what was going on on the forums were being deleted while spam bot threads were left untouched.

what SOE/DBG did produce out of the whole thing was a generic run of the mill eternal access voxel buildign game much like the thousand other similar games on steam right now, with a twist! it has a cash shop and required you to rely on DBG's servers to access and play the game you bought so when they cba to provide the paid for product and services anymore, you lost what you paid for.

not that the vast majority of us cared much at that point anyway given what we were sold vs what were provided for the price of admission.

and ofc for those of us who bought $100 founders packs, the pack contents of 4 basic acccess keys were revoked effectively, even if the keys had already been used and said accounts had spent money on the game.

great company, would patronize their store front again! 11/10.

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Rheem Octuris

Actually I'd argue that Landmark was only one of two even close to being actual voxel based games (that I know of,) the other being oddly enough No Man's Sky, though a little harder to tell as not a lot of the landscape was destructible. Other games, claiming to be voxel based are just filled with cubes, which is not at all the same thing, and use regular polygon engine, and are just being lazy and cheap.

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Melissa McDonald

Landmark was on the precipice of being something great. It just needed another couple years to add in the MMO bits.

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