EverQuest Imagination Gone Wild: Fantasy Classes

everquest-next-teaser-modelsLast month Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley teased the world with work-in-progress 3D models of what looked to be a heavily armored type class in EverQuest Next, the sweeping sandbox game that is set to shake up the world this year.

The image had our minds running wild with questions: Who is that character? What armor set is he wearing? Is he a good guy or a bad guy? How many equipment slots do characters posses? And most importantly — What class is that?

Based on the bulkiness of his armor, we think it is a Warrior-type class, maybe a Berserker based on that vicious snarl he has on his face. It would be cool to have the Berserker to make a re-appearance in EverQuest Next, but of course it would even be better to get a Berserker 2.0 class — along the lines of a Gladiator with the same bloodthirsty rage of Berserker but with access to a couple of long-range weapons like javelin spears and bola nets.

You may laugh now, but with EverQuest Next promising a fully sandbox world, that idea just might become a reality when players are allowed multi-class skilling. Here are a few fantasy hybrid classes that we wish we could create in EverQuest Next:

1. Doomsayer Bard – Most bards are often stereotyped into the support role, providing buffs and a few crowd control services to their party. But the doomsayer bard brings on the debuffs and damage over time with his ruinous tales of war and destruction.

2. Weapons Master Monk – Monks are best known for their peerless hand-to-hand combat skills, but they also train to fight with weapons and are in fact very good at using them (at least in the real world). It would be great to see a weapons-focused version of the monk, one that combines amazing acrobatic moves with intricate weapon attacks.

3. Possessed Mystic – Mystics tap into the spiritual world to provide mostly defensive benefits for their allies through protective buffs and healing. But what if the Mystic could channel the spirits in his or her body for a limited time, granting him or her heightened combat powers? That would be really cool, as well give Mystics more solo-friendly abilities.

4. Animator – Conjurors and Necromancers call upon the power of minions and the undead, respectively. The Animator goes a step further and gives temporary life to inanimate beings, like making a stone golem out of a slab of rock. A summoner whose toolkit changes based on the environment he finds himself fits in like a glove to the sandbox concept of EverQuest Next, although we realize implementing it will be quite a headache.

When should EQ Next Release?

Okay, listen up all you gamers out there. For any of you who are a fan of the EQ series of games you just might have to enjoy the ones that you go now.

Now for all of those who are familiar with the games already you will know that there is two out there. One of them being EQ and the second being EQ11. And the rumor is that there is going to be a further installment that will blow away the first two. The rumor is that this next installment will completely abolish the first two in every way possible. Now the question remains when will this new installment be released. I mean there is so much hype about it now and it’s only going to cause more pandemonium with talk of another installment being worked on.

635x360everquestnextatsoe07302013-610x339

And according to actual gaming sources the wait may not be that to far off. Apparently part of the next installment has already been released. And it was released no August 2, 2013. And that is exciting news for all of you gamers out there. Now the next installment is much better than the first two. And originally it wasn’t set to be unleashed until may 2015, 2014 at the very earliest. But due to overwhelming demand for the game they scrambled quickly and released at least part of the newest version. And according to sources out there this one is said to be taking over.

Now if this late breaking news excites you may be foaming at the mouth when the next one will be out. Well the next one will not be out for quite some time. Because of the early release of this installment they have to really take some time to hone the next one.

Will EverQuest Next Do Away With Leveling?

everquest-characterA couple more of weeks of waiting and we will get to see how EverQuest Next plans to revolutionize the mmorpg genre when Sony Online Entertainment officially unveils the game during SOE Live 2013.

But before that, there’s already speculation that one of its groundbreaking innovations will be to do away with leveling completely. Those who choose to believe this point to the promise of EverQuest Next developers that the game will be the biggest sandbox game ever. Leveling is a pretty much a gaming system that encourages linear progression — zones, armor, skills and a lot of other things depend on the level of character. If EverQuest Next does away with leveling completely, then it also frees up gamers from the mentality of racing to the endgame.

Still, removing leveling is much easier said than done. Some advocates of leveling believe that it is a great feature that gives you incremental goals during each play session, like hitting level 10 before going to sleep or spend the whole month to reach level 40 in order to ride that awesome mount. Others fear that without any leveling, EverQuest Next will be one big boring sandbox especially for goal-focused players who want to feel like their characters are getting stronger, and are not so much into role-playing. Level-less online games are also the minority in the industry, although some like EVE Online have thrived.

The chances of EverQuest Next cutting out leveling is not really high, but there is the possibility that it could de-emphasize the value of leveling. Many mmorpgs tie in many features, zones, skills and even storylines based on a player’s character level, and here is where EverQuest Next could come in and turn the status quo on its head. Opening up all the story content regardless of leveling could be a possibility, which should push players to explore every nook and cranny of the EverQuest Next world, like visiting a far-flung town without having to worry about being one-shotted by a rampaging monster on the way.

 

EverQuest Next Wishlist: Leveling Into Your Chosen Factions

everquestIn the original EverQuest, you were not shoehorned into a particular faction. Sure, creating a new character meant you started off as part of a particular race — along with the rivalry and alliances that come with belonging to that race — but the game allowed you to strike your own path. You could take on quests and perform actions that could anger your pre-set allies, and before long you will find your character aligned to a faction that previously wanted to kill you on sight.

Right now, most modern mmorpgs make it simple and easy for players to belong to a faction and remain in that faction forever. This makes for a very unexciting role-playing experience for some fans, especially for EverQuest veterans who know how wonderful it is to choose who you want to befriend and behead.

It would be great for EverQuest Next to go back to its roots and revive the faction system of the original into the upcoming next-gen sandbox game. And hopes are high, if only because EverQuest Next developers have promised that it will offer player-driven content, and nothing says player-driven content more than the freedom to level into your chosen factions. Faction fluidity fits very well into the ultimate sandbox experience that EverQuest Next wants to deliver to fans who have long been caged into choosing a faction at the start of character creation with little emotional investment.

Hopefully in EverQuest Next, we can be left to choose our own allegiances and archnemeses, and be given the questing and leveling tools to make each faction storyline a compelling arc.

My expectations for EQNext as a Player of EQ and EQII

EverQuest was Verant Interactive's breakthroug...

EverQuest was Verant Interactive’s breakthrough success and the franchise continues its popularity with Sony Online Entertainment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EverQuest Next is slated to be revealed to the public on August 2nd at Sony’s summit for EverQuest fans, SOE Live 2013. As a former EverQuest Live and EverQuest II player, I have many EverQuest Next expectations.

Much like the way the world of Norrath changed a bit from the first EverQuest (EQ) to EverQuest II (EQ II) expect to that in EverQuest Next (EQNext), we’ll see Norrath as a fragment of its former self. Continents may be destroyed, or modified, but there’s an expectation of a world that is different, yet oddly familiar. I thought this was something that Sony pulled off very well from the transition from EQ to EQ II.

There have been little hints dropped by Sony developers that they’re looking to make EQNext as a true sandbox style MMO. That is a living, breathing world that you truly can do anything that you want in. In most modern MMORPG’s, you have the basic tools to be able to interact with the world around you, but the world doesn’t react back with you. As an example, if I accept a quest to stop an goblin raiding party from sacking the city, as soon as I kill ten goblins as part of my quest, I’m done. What EQNext is intending to do is to have players agree to defend the city, and once you kill enough goblins, the goblins realize the city is protected and they storm off looking to go sack some other city. Players have in this way, modified the world as a result of their actions.

Additionally, I’m expecting a return to gameplay more akin to EQ than EQ II. Anyone who’s played both quite extensively can tell you that in EQ you paid dearly for mistakes. Death penalties and the possibility of corpse rot were enough of a deterrent in EQ to make players learn how to play their classes better. Because of these challenges, victories in EQ felt sweeter, and in turn people grew to love the game more as they developed a deeper emotional attachment to their characters. That sense of identity with a person’s character, diminished a bit in EQ II as there is no corpse runs on death, or lost levels from dying.

Finally, I’m expecting EQNext to be using the Free to Play model. It’s been said many times by folks over at Sony, that they feel that the Free to Play (F2P) model for online gaming works best. If we use the examples given to us by EQ and EQ II, I’m expecting that the store will be extremely robust, with hundreds, if not thousands of offerings for players to spend their money on. I think EQNext will take this idea an additional step forward, and give players the ability to create and sell their own items in the cash shop. This seems like the next evolution in F2P gaming, which would give players a way to imprint their own style on the world, while adding items to Sony’s cash shop. Sounds like a win-win scenario.

There are many other possibilities for EQNext, and I would love to hear some of your EQNext thoughts. Feel free to comment on this blog post.

Enhanced by Zemanta

EverQuest Next – What We Know So Far

English: The headquarters of Sony Online Enter...

The headquarters of Sony Online Entertainment in San Diego. Photographed by user Coolcaesar on February 17, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EverQuest was one of the first MMORPG games ever developed, and while it hasn’t dominated the MMO scene in the past few years, developers plan to release the fourth installment of the series that may bring quite a bit of attention to the game. Although the EverQuest Next beta hasn’t even been opened up yet, making this title unavailable for a long time, there are plenty of rumors surrounding the game which we can explore.

E3 Revelations

EverQuest Next was only revealed to a very select few amount of attendees at the E3 conference this year, and it still managed to pull in a lot of attention. SOE allowed outside gamers to view the new upcoming title through their TwitchTv livestream, which displayed the unveiling. Not a whole lot was given away at this time. However, there were hints that the game might be available on the PlayStation 4, branching off of just being a PC game and going into the console world.

The World

Developers decided on taking a unique route when designing the world that EverQuest Next will take place in. With other titles, they have created a whole new map for the story to take place in. Instead, developers plan on having the game take place in a “parallel world” very similar to the last title, but changes will be made in the lore and characters. They are going to try and intertwine all of the worlds into this one map, making it the general area that all the stories mix up into. Of course, it won’t be the exact same map that players are used to, that would be boring. However, you can expect to have a lot of similarities with slight differences that mix up the different worlds.

Sony Online Entertainment‘s Big Changes

SOE has made some big changes with this game. First of all, they aren’t going to be using the same gaming engine as before, as they will be moving to something that is more efficient. Sony recently developed ForgeLight, which is their most upgraded gaming engine, which they will be hosting EverQuest Next on. This gaming engine was used for the game “PlanetSide 2,” so you may have already saw it in action if you played this title.

EverQuest Next is also going to be a free to play game. Sony plans to make money off of micro-transactions that are completely optional to the player, so you only have to spend money if you want additional items or small features.

What’s Next for EverQuest Next?

EverQuest Next wasn’t officially released to the public yet, as they kept it pretty vague at E3. However, they plan on doing the official EverQuest Next reveal on SOE Live, which will take place on August 2nd. This will be the date that EverQuest Next fans can look forward to if they want to learn more about the upcoming title. Don’t expect a EQNext launch date quite yet, but you should be able to look forward about getting into the EverQuest Next beta.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Take a Closer Look to EverQuest Next

Everquest Next, produced by Sony Online Entertainment, is the third of the series of a huge multiplayer game available online. This fun free to play sandbox game is powered by a newly developed ForgeLight Engine. This gives the game lightning speed and makes slightly more realistic characters. There is definitely amazing clarity and stylized graphics that can even show facial expressions.

The first two EverQuest games were beyond great, but this next one is much better. Enjoy a MMORPG of fantasy and worlds that you can’t even imagine. EverQuest Next is actually a parallel world (Norath) from the other EverQuest game worlds, although many of the characters and locations are very familiar.

everquest next update

This EverQuest game is different also because of “Landmark” which gives you almost total control over building your game with easy to use tools. One of the biggest features is that you can actually build ANYTHING. Landmark gives you complete reign over everything. The second greatest feature is that you can destroy ANYTHING. This makes getting rid of the enemy a very interesting feat as you can do things like bury them in an avalanche. But have no fear, things will regenerate after about five minutes.

Because this is a massive online game played with others all over the world, each day might reveal something new – it all depends on the players. You never know when a king might die or the world might be destroyed.

Choose between eight different “classes” then become armed with two weapons and up to six abilities. Later in the game, you will be able to pick others and change them as you explore the other “classes”. This should be very intriguing game play as SOE was going for something almost completely new for the role-playing gamers. With the FogeLight engine, Landmark, and the greatest worlds combined to give you constant entertainment.

EverQuest Next to be the Biggest Sandbox MMO Ever?

The next installment in the EverQuest franchise, accurately titled EverQuest Next, is reportedly the biggest sandbox MMO ever made. Attempting to clean the disappointing EverQuest II smudge from their record, which had nothing but linear gameplay, Sony Online Entertainment is making an epic open-ended world where you can choose to do what ever you want. That’s right, you are no longer required to grind your levels in the same boring old sewers that everyone else is fighting for creeps in. In fact, there aren’t even levels. You will be able to choose from 40 different classes. You will have the option to customize your character anyway you like with the variety of skills that you can mix and mash up.

EverQuest Next Image

EverQuest Next Image

EverQuest Next is offering gamer’s destruction on a large scale. The engine is not just massive, but its world is ever changing due to buildings and landscapes that are able to be destroyed. So, if you want to take that big, beautiful rolling plain with livestock grazing in it into a crater and a mushroom cloud, you will have the option! If destruction isn’t your thing, you can also use a program called EverQuest Landmark which will allow you to create objects and buildings within the game the same way the developers did the first time around.

The game is also boasting some heightened NPC intelligence, which I’m sure we have all seen hyped in games in the past and never quite meets expectations. We can only hope that the developers of EverQuest Next have taken that into consideration and have made what little grind there may be in this game a little more interesting than in its predecessors.

The developers at SOE are striving to make a game that changed the world the same way the first EverQuest did.

22 Online Teaching Programs for the Blended or Flipped Classroom

Blended and flipped classrooms allow learning to occur beyond classroom walls. Students can take ownership of their education by learning online on their own time.

Below are 22 recommended programs that will engage students and help teachers to be more effective.

Moodle

logoA free Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle is fully customizable and allows teachers to publish instructional materials and learning units; they can also post and track assignments and discussion threads.

CourseSites by Blackboard

Screenshot from 2014-07-15 14:39:43Another free LMS, CourseSites by Blackboard allows teachers to set up learning modules, a discussion forum, and an assignment calendar. Students can track their progress through the course and their grades.

Canvas by Instructure

logo_instructureCanvas, another free LMS, has engaging mobile apps and several assessment features. A teacher can provide audio and video feedback on student projects and assignments. Highly-developed grading rubrics and analytical features help teachers and students assess learning needs.

Desire2Learn

Screenshot from 2014-07-15 15:02:11As a free LMS, Desire2Learn is particularly good for data-driven instruction. Teachers can import standards, analyze student benchmark test data, and set up remediation. Teachers can also utilize a drop box for assignments, design quizzes for formative assessment, set up ePortfolios for students, and provide feedback using well-developed rubrics.

Claroline

5342524eb16f8Claroline is also a free LMS software that strives for simplicity and flexibility in its learning environment. Teachers can publish course content and homework, and they can track attendance and completion of work. Teachers can also set up learning pathways and wikis.

RCampus

rcampus_logo_2011Another free LMS, RCampus is a one-stop-shop for educators. Teachers can post course content and moderate discussion forums, and they can also create websites and ePortoflios. Teachers can maintain their grade books while posting, collecting, and grading assignments.

Aplia

aplia_logoAnother popular college-level LMS, Aplia lets teachers set up online assessments, which generate automatic grades and feedback when taken by students. Standards are easy to import, and the platform is integrated with several college-level textbooks.

Schoology

Screenshot from 2014-07-15 15:25:32Schoology’s mission as an LMS is for teachers to spend less time on paperwork and more time interacting with students. Students can take tests directly in the program, the grades are instantly recorded. The ability to video chat is particularly useful in tutoring students. Also, teachers can connect their classroom with another classroom.

Digital Chalk

digitalchalk-online-training-software-logoTeachers can create interactive multimedia lessons using the Digital Chalk LMS. They can also create tests and assignments, upload files and SCORM materials, and embed course content from other websites.

Personalized Learning System by School Pathways

Screenshot from 2014-07-15 15:30:24This web-based software allows teachers to create course content for each individual student in each of their classes. With over 5,000 prebuilt frameworks, teachers can load the objectives, assignments, and assessments that each student may need to master a concept or skill. For details, visit: http://www.schoolpathways.com/bluemousePLS.html.

Collaborize Classroom

download (1)Based on a question-answer-result design, Collaborize Classroom is designed to enrich classroom discussions, provide opportunities for project work, and help students to collaborate and share resources. Collaboarize has a huge topic library, allowing teachers to share engaging, relevant learning questions.

Edmodo

download (2)Edmodo offers several options for social interaction. Teachers can conduct polls and establish discussion groups. Students can role play historical figures, follow current events using RSS feeds, engage with Science Prob, or participate in an online book discussion. Through Edmodo groups, it is relatively easy to link classrooms.

Udemy

Screenshot from 2014-07-15 15:41:41Udemy is a course publishing software. Udemy allows teachers to host live online sessions. Teachers can also create slide-show and video mashups.

eLecta Live Virtual Classroom

logo201008The Live Virtual Classroom offers everything needed for live sessions from interactive whiteboards, polls and surveys, guided web tours, breakout rooms, file sharing, text chat, and session recording and playback.

Verso

images (2)Verso allows students to engage in enriching activity-based learning. Students can comment and like one other’s work. Anonymous comments help students to take risks and develop their thinking at a deeper level without peer pressure.

Socrative

logo (1)Teachers can host online sessions at Socrative, or this software can be used in the classroom to take polls during a lesson or conduct quick pre- or post-learning quizzes.

Google Applications for Education

google_logo_41Google Sites allows an educator to create instructional sites, which can also be used for student portfolios. Google Drive offers a lot of flexibility for students to submit assignments to the teacher. Google Classroom integrates Google Docs, Drive, and Gmail.

Kaizena

Screenshot from 2014-07-15 15:59:31Kaizena can be synced with Google Drive, and it helps teachers give better feedback to students. Using this software, teachers can add voice commentary, resources links, and text comments to student assignments.

Edublogs

download (3)Helping students to develop writing skills and to build content knowledge, Edublogs is an academic blogging platform.

 WikiSpaces

images (3)

 

WikiSpaces helps students and teachers to collaborate in creating webpages. Students can strengthen their writing through peer and teacher review. As the moderator, teachers can track student participation on any page.

Quizlets

Screenshot from 2014-07-15 16:13:59Designed by a high school student, Quizlets is particularly good for foreign language or vocabulary study. The site uses customizable flashcards and student-friendly games.

Memrise

head.v1Memrise uses memes, a combination of images and humor, to help students memorize information. Students can earn points and compete against friends.

Blended learning and flipped classrooms definitely increase student engagement and improve learning outcomes. Through online platforms and software, teachers can make sure that every student is learning all the time, not just for a few minutes in the classroom.