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EverQuest Next

Norrathian Notebook: Five reasons to support EQ Next and Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

I like Landmark and am looking forward to EverQuest Next. There, I said it. It should be no surprise. And as such, I certainly have a vested interest in how these games fare throughout their development and launch. I want to see them succeed. But the thing is, so should you -- whether or not you actually want to play them.

Unfortunately, it seems all too fashionable lately for folks to tear something down instead of build it up. So often when I'm following the discussions about EQ Next and Landmark, I hear plenty of reasons why folks don't like the games, and the reasons frequently have nothing to do with the games themselves. Detractors are going on about longstanding gripes and grudges instead of judging the games on their own merits (a practice that the whole world could certainly do without). Amid all the scathing comments I've heard directed at SOE for slights real and imagined, one recently gave me pause and made me reflect on the reasons that supporting these two MMO endeavors is worthwhile.

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Norrathian Notebook: Frostfells of EverQuests past, present, and Next

Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (In-Game), Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Norrathian Notebook

It's the end of that magical time of year: When gigglegibber goblins wrap up their gift-giving and the tinsel, lights, and even the holiday quests get packed up for the year. It's the end of Frostfell 2014 for the EverQuest Franchise; EverQuest's celebration ended yesterday and EverQuest II's ends today. Players will have to wait another 12 months to dive back into the festivities. If we're really lucky, we'll also experience the holiday anew in EverQuest Next come December!

As Frostfell comes to a close, I am left thinking about the holiday and all its trimmings. It's truly a great one. Perhaps one of the most wonderful. What makes it so special each year? And what might it be like in the coming years, especially in EQN? Let's take a look at the history of Frostfell, check out this year's additions, and speculate about the holiday's presence in Next.

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The holidays have arrived in SOE's MMORPGs

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Business Models, Culture, Events (In-Game), Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Dragon's Prophet, Landmark

EQ2
If you're a fan of SOE's MMOs and also a fan of Christmas, good news! SOE's MMOs also have Christmas! The studio posted a roundup of its holiday festivities earlier today:
  • EverQuest II: The Frostfell Wonderland Village returns this year along with a brand-new quest called The Great Candy (Cane) Chase.
  • DC Universe Online: Players will confront Larfleeze's Orange Lantern Corp. Old feats and rewards are back, as are "new base items, styles, a feat, and collection."
  • PlanetSide 2: It's Auraximas, which means it's time to murder snowmen. Special camo will also be on sale in the in-game store because of course it will be
  • EverQuest: Frostfell in this classic MMO brings Santug Cluagg and a host of new quests rolled out in phases.
  • Dragon's Prophet: Celebrate the The Silver Dragon Festival through January 15th.
A moment of silence, of course, for the SOE games no longer with us after this year's purge. Ahem.

If you're more the type to moon after Landmark and its futurespawn, EverQuest Next, check out MJ's hands-on with Landmark's PvE content update, which launches today. And peek back early next week for Massively's traditional MMO holiday event roundup for all the big games across the genre.

Perfect Ten: Mobile apps to enhance your MMO lifestyle

World of Warcraft, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Fallen Earth, Opinion, RuneScape, Mobile, Wizard101, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, DUST 514, Guides, EverQuest Next, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Landmark

We're living in the age of smart phones, when there are more cell phones than there are people on this planet. I can't go anywhere without seeing people constantly whipping out their little rectangular companions for the constant stream of information, social connection, and Candy Crush interludes.

While MMOs aren't making great headway on these devices, in part due to the limited input scheme, several wise studios have made good use of the mobile market to give players a way to keep in touch with their games even while AFK. Today we're going to count down, count up, and count sideways 10 official mobile apps that will enhance your MMO lifestyle.

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The Think Tank: Fixing the Landmark-EQ Next perception problem

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, The Think Tank, Landmark

Not a Landmark post on Massively goes by without at least one commenter essentially telling SOE to talk about EverQuest Next or shut up. Massively's MJ Guthrie, who writes our EverQuest franchise column, has herself explained until she's blue in the face that Landmark is EQ Next's foundation, and SOE has talked plenty about EQ Next independently too, but for some reason, the explanations aren't sticking with the MMO populace, so the same complaints are voiced in every thread.

So what gives? Has SOE been too confusing with the Landmark/EQ Next co-branding? How can SOE dig itself out of this persistent perception problem? That's what I asked Massively's writers in today's Think Tank.

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EverQuest Next video talks about Ogres and Dwarves

Fantasy, Video, Previews, News Items, Races, EverQuest Next, Sandbox

Because you dearly want to play a dwarf again.
When you talk about basic fantasy races, Dwarves and Ogres are up there as the classics. But which do you find more interesting to learn about in EverQuest Next? The latest episode of the game's Workshop Show is available now; art director Rosie Rappaport and creative director Jeff Butler are joined by lead content designer Steve Danuser to show off the style and lore of both races while players vote over which one should be the next workshop focus.

Dwarves, for their part, are fairly familiar to anyone who has played EverQuest or EverQuest II (or pretty much any fantasy game from 1967 to the present): short, stocky, bearded, ancestral, and traditional. Ogres, meanwhile, have changed a lot, with a renewed developer emphasis on making the race more appealing to players in general whilst offering a wider range of available style options for players. You can watch the full show past the break, but be forewarned: It's a long one.

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The history of EverQuest Next, Cliffs Notes version

Fantasy, Lore, New Titles, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next

If there was ever a world with a deep, rich history behind it, it's Norrath. But EverQuest Next is giving its own spin to the lore. If you're tired of feeling left out and clueless in conversations about the Dragon War because you haven't had time to read through the 11 lore e-books that have been published, you've got a chance to get in the know! EQHammer offers a handy Cliffs Notes-style overview that gives fans a foundation of the story, from the formation of the world up though the Combine Era. Go ahead and read through it to grab the major highlights, then you can delve into the full story in the e-books when you find larger chunks of spare time.

Norrathian Notebook: EQ Next's 'workshop collaborations'

Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Races, EverQuest Next, Norrathian Notebook

Last month we embarked on the journey of corralling the remainder of the EverQuest Next Round Tables for you, adding the fifth installment to the previous four. But that last roundup did not quite bring us up to date. Why? It wasn't just a matter of space: There was a fundamental shift in the round table discussions that I felt warranted a separate Norrathian Notebook.

The next section of round tables were focused on the collaborative efforts of the devs and the community in building and shaping EverQuest Next. While there is a smattering of other topics sprinkled in, the bulk is dedicated specifically to the Norrathian races and building collaboration. As such, many of the polls were more time-sensitive; some have closed, and some were just more relevant to determining design direction during the specific The Workshop Show series. However, the information is still valuable, and opinions can still be shared on a number of the proposed questions. If you have an opinion on coloring, racial mounts, and architectural styles, this is the collection of inquiries for you.

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Norrathian Notebook: Seven things EverQuest Next and Landmark really need

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Norrathian Notebook: Six things I really want to see in EverQuest Next and Landmark
What do I want to see in EverQuest Next and Landmark? I know that is a question that all of us have asked ourselves and each other. Heck, even the developers ask us this! It's a key component in the open development process; it is the discussion of these answers that lead to some great ideas. So in the hopes of sparking another meaningful conversation (and hopefully giving the devs a few ideas!), I'm going to detail five things that I desperately want to see in these upcoming titles. While most of these items are a wish list for both games, there are a couple that are title-specific. I am not going to dwell on those desires I have brought up in the past or things I have already talked at length on, such as player-written books, theme-enforced Islands, and larger landmasses of multiple islands for more seamless experience. Instead I hope to present seven more morsels of food for thought, and hopefully you'll add your ideas in as well.

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Your worship of EverQuest Next's deities will shape the world

Betas, Fantasy, EverQuest, Lore, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox

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The gods of Norrath are slated to return for EverQuest Next, and who players choose to worship will have a profound effect on the game itself.

Lead Content Designer Steve Danuser penned a lore blog to introduce Veeshan and the Nor'I for the upcoming fantasy MMO. He said that the team is striving to stick to the "thematic core" of Veeshan for her reimagining: "Veeshan looms large in our story. It wouldn't be an EverQuest game without her!" And while Veeshan is well known by fans, the Nor'l is a new figure, the world spirit of Norrath. The Nor'l gives birth to mortals and flows through the entire world, communicating only through song.

"Your actions in the world determine who controls territory and resources, and one of those key resources is the belief of Norrath's inhabitants," Danuser said. "How strong will Veeshan's influence grow after the Combine return to Antonica? Will the Nor'I be protected or exploited? These are questions that you'll get to decide through the choices you make in game."

SOE devs on EverQuest Next's 'life of consequence'

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, EverQuest Next, Sandbox

We've known for a while that SOE is cooking up some sort of emergent AI concoction for EverQuest Next. The company famously partnered with Storybricks last year to bring its fantasy NPCs to life, and a newly released video sheds a bit more light on what exactly that means.

The clip stems from a panel that was originally conducted at this year's SOE Live, which has now been distilled to a more manageable five-minute running time. Click past the cut to find out about EQN's lack of traditional quest hubs and how to make NPCs bow before your mighty axe of authority.

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Why Omeed Dariani left EverQuest Next

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Landmark

Don't fall in love with videogames, they'll just break your heart.
When SOE Brand Manager Omeed Dariani left the EverQuest Next team suddenly, there was no small amount of curiosity and speculation over his reasoning. Obviously he knew something that fans didn't, but what was it? He recently appeared on Reddit to briefly explain his departure, stating that it was the result of an ideological difference that could not be corrected. Dariani states that his immediate supervisors did not support the community-first structures that have been established for both Landmark and EverQuest Next, so he ultimately felt that he had no options beyond resigning in protest.

No personal issues were involved, contrary to some fan speculation, and Dariani was quite clear that his departure was entirely voluntary and he was in no way given an ultimatum. He maintains that he has the utmost respect for the teams still working on the games and that neither of them caused his departure. It might not be the happy news of another job just waiting in the wings that fans would like, but it at least explains why he left.

Norrathian Notebook: EverQuest Next round table roundup V

Betas, Fantasy, Polls, Video, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Norrathian Notebook:  EverQuest Next round table roundup V
Combat, combat, PvP. That can pretty well sum up a lot of Landmark's chatter recently. That's understandable, since it is the newest feature to hit the sandbox. But that is certainly not all there is to talk about. There are plenty of topics of interest that cover both EverQuest Next and Landmark, and a number of these are touched on in the regular roundtable discussions.

It's been quite a while since we've gathered these all up into one concise spot for you to peruse (so long that Landmark lost part of its name in the interim!), so here's the fifth installment of the roundtable roundup. Poke through this collection and check out what other players and devs are saying about various issues. You can even participate in many of the polls if you haven't yet and add your voice to the mix! Even if some topics seem old, remember that none is irrelevant; the games are both still under development, and player input is always a good thing.

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SOE Live 2014: Discussing EQN and Landmark music with Jeremy Soule

Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Music, Landmark

Who wouldn't want to talk with Jeremy Soule? This composer has brought to life myriad games through his music, both single-players and MMOs alike (even a number of zombie games!). Luckily for Norrathian fans, his attention is now focused solely on EverQuest Next and Landmark, where the worlds are shaping his music while his music, in turn, helps shape those worlds. I had the opportunity to sit down with Soule at SOE Live to discuss the new combat piece revealed during the keynote and delve into his inspirations for the upcoming games' musical scores. He also shared a bit about the composition method he is developing.

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SOE Live 2014: The revolutionary intelligence of Storybricks' AI in EQ Next and Landmark

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

SOE Live 2014 The revolutionary intelligence of Storybricks' AI in EQ Next and Landmark
The most exciting part of EverQuest Next and Landmark for me is the living, intelligent AI brought to the games courtesy of Storybricks. Thanks to a tech demonstration at SOE Live, we got to see that AI in action, and can I tell you I am even more excited having seen it! This technology really will revolutionize the game, creating a living, breathing world in EQ Next that players help shape as it develops as well as give players the power to make their world come alive in Landmark. And to add icing to the cake, the panel also delved into the background of the new Norrath a bit, revealing the world map complete with familiar areas (like Kithicor).

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