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This, I Believe (the Everquest Next Dream)
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This, I Believe (the Everquest Next Dream)

This, I believe should be included in the next generation of MMO's. As EQ:N stands to be our only hope of breaking the cycle in the foreseeable future, I have a series of requests for Sony. This all falls within the realm of possibility with what they have so far shown us.

Exploration.

In the truest sense of the word. I want there to be things so far out of reach that it could possibly take us years to find it. This leaves the possibility of even cross-realm rumors and posts on many forums from the famous founders of uncharted lands. Whether it be ancient ruins that must be accessed by traversing deadly, lava filled caverns, only to find that you must delve deeper through the lava into an underground sea, through gauntlets of unwelcoming subterranean aquatic life before you finally reach your discovery; or possibly crossing through impossibly treacherous terrain to a cave near a gigantic mountain's summit that leads to an archaic network of portals that go only in a loop, but first pass through a plane of unimaginable terrors. I believe that there should be some static locations, but not necessarily the same on every server, that are just relics of ancient lore. These places should be exaggerated by the NPC's of the world and spoken of only as legend or myth. This would give us all a reason to explore... endlessly.

Mystery.

I believe that many of the quests within this world should not be spoon fed to us. In fact, they shouldn't really be spoken of out loud from the NPC's without being first triggered by you. Meaning, breadcrumbs are provided, but it's up to the player to figure out what to do with it. EQ1 started with a good concept of this. Provide the casual player with enough to do, and enough spoon feeding, but leave the hardcore players more than enough to satisfy our hunger for the epic quest. Riddles, puzzles, misleading NPC's, possibly factions that do not want you to complete your task are all positive traits of a truly emergent AI, and something I believe is well within the realm of possibility. I would love to find something that I don't necessarily understand, and maybe it takes me a few months before I piece together where it is supposed to go. I'd have to ask around, the NPC's and the community, to find out what the item is and what I can do with it. Quests that are truly unique, slow to progress, and bare no obvious explanation would be incredibly welcomed... so long as the reward was equal to the struggle of completion that is.

Rarity.

I believe that the trend of "Everybody gets a trophy!" should be over. I believe that items should be hard to get, and should carry a lot of value with the player base. I believe that there should be just some impossibly rare items available. Perhaps items of legend of certain factions. Perhaps a legendary weapon from an Orc hero is possible to attain, but the chances of said item turning up are beyond incredibly rare. Maybe for the first year or two of the game, only one may be found. A number of these unique items in the game would provide a fantastic addition to the lore. The community would revere those who managed to attain such an item, even if it's just a lowly warrior who just so happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Raids.

I believe there should be true raiding. Raids that have such mechanics that would require the group of adventurers to change skills around to fit the needs of the encounter. This would allow people to all participate in the fight, but also allow specific mechanics for "boss" mobs to have, so adventurers would need to take on a certain role for the fight. Whether it be damage mitigation for the group, support, cc, or whatever it may be. I believe raids should force people to depend on one another. If one link in the chain breaks, the whole falls apart. I believe that there should be a population cap for engaging said "boss" mobs. This would prevent players from just out scaling the encounter by throwing more and more people at it, which trivializes its difficulty. I also believe that rewards for managing to pull the group together in such a manner should be reflective upon its difficulty.

Scaling.

I believe scaling is bad. I don't believe that having more people to accomplish something should increase its difficulty. I believe that the world in general should be a dangerous place, and that it should be dangerous to venture out alone. Regardless of my numbers, my enemies should be just as powerful. Perhaps the enemies response will adjust to my numbers. A single orc is always as powerful as a single orc. But... perhaps orcs report that more than one adventurer are slaying their ranks... and their reinforcements will account for the number of their opponents. Just a thought. There are places that you have been and places you know you can handle alone. But there are also places you know you dare not go. Don't adjust my opponents to me, let me adjust myself for my opponents.

Multiple Rule Sets.

I believe that multiple rule sets are a good idea. I believe that they allow for changes to the PvP system, without skewing the balance of PvE. I believe you should be able to choose to play on a server free of roving bands of players looking to assault anyone leaving the city gates. I also believe, however, that there should be a place for people wanting to do that, and for those willing to take the risk to exist in such a world.

Conclusion.

These are my opinions. Do with them what you will. SOE has somewhat earned themselves a bad wrap, but I think these components can bring the magic of what once was EverQuest back into the world. I don't think we need the trinity per se, or an ever increasing gear margin to deal with, as much as we need the mystery back in the world. I would love nothing more than to see on forums somewhere in a couple years that they found an incredibly weird portal that took them and their group to a confusing place, run by a tyrannical and insane trickster that nearly drove them mad. Fighting self illusions, rooms that bend the laws of physics, and hedge mazes leading to seemingly nowhere... The community as a whole discovering new things and discussing them is a large part of how we need each other in these games. Bring back the challenge and wonder.


Street Talk

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