A new video from Everquest: Next developers SOE has opened up new details regarding how the studio plans to separate the gameplay found in EQN from that of its predecessors through a complex dance of dynamic NPC drives and player interaction.
According to the video, EQN will differ from other more standard MMORPGs by having no traditional quest hubs. Instead, events will unfold throughout Norath, with players able to join and affect which direction those events take. This is all made that much more dynamic by the inclusion of NPC’s who all act -and interact- differently with one another and players depending on what roles have been assigned to them.
Unlike events in other MMO’s, which may only appear at set times and with little opportunity to affect the outcome beyond failing or succeeding, SOE says Everquest Next events can take upwards of months to complete, with players offered different types of quests depending on what local NPCs are currently in need of.
Overtime, other NPC factions may become involved in the events, spawning new opportunities for players to influence the current story if they choose. Sometimes, players will need to pick sides, as certain NPC factions may ask you to ally with them creating conflicting drives between NPC factions and player groups. All of this is meant to drive the point home that EQN presents players with permanent consequences based on their choices which will have lasting effects on the world of Norath.
Of course, we’ve heard similar talk from other developers before and while SOE certainly seems to have their ducks in a row, we’ll remain cautiously optimistic for the time being. Players interested in learning more about SOE’s drive-oriented NPC’s and how they might interact with them can check out the full 30 minute Dev talk here.