Summary of EverQuest Next News on Feb 2015

There are a lot of surprising news in SOE this month, all pertaining to separations or breaking away. Read on.

SOE headquarters

Sony Sells Off Sony Online Entertainment, Renames it Daybreak Game Company February 2, 2015 – SOE has announced today that Sony has sold the developer of EverQuest, PlanetSide, DC Universe Online and the recently released H1Z1 to investment firm Columbus Nova. The developer, Sony Online Entertainment, will now operate under a new name, Daybreak Game Company, as an independent game studio.

The studio will continue to develop game projects started by SOE such as EverQuest Landmark, EverQuest Next and H1Z1. It will also develop titles for Xbox and mobile platforms, in addition to PlayStation and PC, now that it has become independent of Sony.

According to John Smedley, president of Daybreak Game Company, “We are excited to join Columbus Nova’s impressive roster of companies. They have a proven track record in similar and related industries and we are eager to move forward to see how we can push the boundaries of online gaming. We will continue to focus on delivering exceptional games to players around the world, as well as bringing our portfolio to new platforms, fully embracing the multi-platform world in which we all live.”

“Our games and players are the heart and soul of our organization, and we are committed to maintaining our portfolio of online games and pushing the limits of where we can take online gaming together.” the developer said in a post on Reddit.

John Smedley also said on Twitter that, “Can’t wait to make Xbox games.” Where he also later offered assurance to fans that, “All of our games are still here and will continue to be.”

David Georgeson

David Georgeson and Others Laid Off at Daybreak Game Company Today February 11, 2015 – David Georgeson, the man who has served as the face of EverQuest for so many years, is only one among many who is being laid off at Daybreak studio today.

There is no knowing how many people will be let go, since as of press time, staffs are still being informed who will remain employed and who will be not.

Daybreak Game Company, previously known as Sony Online Entertainment for almost two decades, is an independent gaming company and which has changed its name and ownership last week after Sony sold it to Columbus Nova, a management firm based in New York.

A statement from PR representatives at Daybreak says, “As part of a strategic decision to rationalize the business, Daybreak Game Company announced today that it will eliminate positions in both its San Diego and Austin studios. This alignment of resources better positions the newly independent studio for future growth opportunities and developments, including delivering on its legacy of making top online games and establishing a solid foundation for future multi-platform success. These reductions will not affect the operation of current games and the company will continue on its mission to partner with its player community to drive the future and push the boundaries of online gaming.”

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.

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.

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