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Wishing on an SOE Live Star

Victor Barreiro Jr. Posted:
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Just so we’re clear, I’m writing this just as the doors open for registration on SOE Live, and by the time you read this, Sony Online Entertainment will likely have started its Landmark or Everquest Next keynote, which happen from 9:00 am to 11:00 am in Ballroom 4, according to the information on the SOE Live website.

What I’m hoping will come out in SOE Live is partly a rehash of my earlier E3 wishlist. While MMORPG.com has a contingent at SOE Live, I’m kind of stuck halfway around the world, so I’m also going to be as surprised as you guys with whatever they’ll be showing off.

With slightly more information available now, this SOE LIve wishlist is going to get some validation very shortly after publication. The question is, will anything in my wishlist actually come true?

Wish 1: COMBAT!

This is likely the big thing everyone’s hoping for when it comes to Landmark and Everquest Next both, though I’m not sure which livestream will get more information.

Right now, Landmark is a builder’s paradise, which means a lot of other player types – such as people who like stabbing things with pointy death-thingies – aren’t properly served by it.

Some have said that an update pertaining to combat will be coming on August 20, though Dave Georgeson, Director for Development of the Everquest franchise, mentioned in a tweet that it’s slated for August 27 now.

I’m really hoping it’s Combat 1.0 and Mobs 1.0 and Killing for Resources 1.0 for Landmark, though I’d settle for killing rats nonsensically for copper if the animations are satisfying.

Wish 2: Make Everquest Next more tangible

With an entire hour-long keynote at their disposal, SOE has the ability to choose how they want to ramp up Everquest Next. While combat is one thing, I’m still hoping we get more details on how Storybricks is being implemented for Everquest Next.

For those who haven’t heard of Storybricks, it’s basically what you’d call an artificial intelligence system for non-player characters (NPCs). Each NPC has its own coded motivation or fear, and thus responds differently depending on the situation or characters interacting with it.

This becomes the impetus for questing in a sandboxy world, as if you can only use the inn when the rats are dead because they piss off the innkeep, then you have a quietly unannounced quest available for you to gain favor and maybe a free night’s rest at the inn.

There are other ways to make Everquest Next more tangible though. For instance, they can show off other systems that are in the pipeline for implementation in their various stages, such as weapons, or food and resting, or mounts, or even….

Wish 3: Show me some Sarnak!

Yep, I had to go there. I’m an unabashed Sarnak fan, and I really want to see Sarnak in EQ Next badly.

I get the feeling that if they promised X races would be a part of the development cycle aside from what we already know – dark elves, kerrans, and dwarves – some people would jump and holler.

More than just a passing fancy, however, one thing that a different racial type of the evil alignment would do would be to showcase Storybricks more. Would a human innkeeper, going by earlier examples, trust a Sarnak warrior implicitly? It may take more than 10 dead rodents – non-Ratonga, of course –  to sway an innkeeper to give a Sarnak a break in this case.

This may not be part of the first keynote, but there is actually a Classes of Everquest Next panel that will be part of the Friday evening stream schedule, so we may get some additional racial stuff then as a teaser.

In any event, we’ll learn more in a day or so. Don’t forget to check out SOE’s Twitch Stream when it goes live. Cheers!



Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains The Devil’s Advocate and The Secret World columns for MMORPG.com. He also writes for news website Rappler as a technology reporter. You can find more of his writings on Games and Geekery and on Twitter at @vbarreirojr.