EverQuest Next is an upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), the successor to EverQuest, EverQuest Online Adventures and EverQuest II. Daybreak Game Company, the developer and publisher, released further details in August 2010, at which point development was still in its earliest stages and feedback was being solicited from existing EverQuest, EverQuest Online Adventures Frontiers and EverQuest 2 players.
The game will also not be a sequel or prequel to any of the games in the EverQuest franchise; it is planned to present to players a "parallel world" of Norrath, one in which some of the locations and characters may be familiar, but specific relationships and events can diverge from the official storylines of the other games. The developers have stated an intention to return to a style of gameplay more like the original EverQuest, while retaining the advances in MMORPG design that have developed in the years since that game first launched. Daybreak Game Company will be using their game engine called Forgelight for EverQuest Next, making this the second game to use this engine. Forgelight focuses on lighting effects and making game characters more realistic. This engine is being used for Next Generation consoles and has been discussed as amazingly intuitive.
The first indication that a new game was in development appeared in a chapter written by EverQuest creative director Rich Waters in the EverQuest 10th Anniversary Book (2009).
At PAX East 2013, game developer Dave Georgeson confirmed a full reveal of EverQuest Next on August 2 at SOE Live. EverQuest Next will be subdivided into two segments: a standard, quest-based MMORPG, and a world-building tool called Landmark. Applications for Landmark beta-testing are already being accepted, and John Smedley has said that the best of Landmark's player-made worlds will be brought into the MMORPG.
At the Sony Online Entertaintment Live 2012 event, John Smedley stated that EverQuest Next has been completely redeveloped, stating "What we are building is something that we will be very proud to call EverQuest. It will be the largest sandbox style MMO ever designed... We are remaking Norrath unlike anything you’ve ever seen, but you'll recognize it." During Sony Online Entertainment Live, John Smedley mentioned that EverQuest Next will attempt to keep the free-to-play model for as long as possible. This means that once a player has purchased the game, they will not be required to pay a subscription fee in order to continue to play.
On January 31, 2014, EverQuest Next's counterpart "Landmark" began its official "Alpha" testing phase. Purchasers of the $99.99 Founders Pack or the $59.99 Explorers Pack were allowed into this Alpha testing as part of the game developers goal of "making development a collaborative process". Landmark began its closed-beta testing on March 26, 2014.
In August 2014, at SOE Live, the EverQuest Next team revealed three new classes: the Tempest, the Cleric and the Elementalist. Brand new combat videos showing off how players work together was also shown at the event.
In June 2015, it was announced that Daybreak shifted the main development focus of the team from Landmark to EverQuest Next.
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