At the Sony Online Entertainment booth, EverQuest II was being shown:
EverQuest II is being developed with an eye on the veterans who spent months upon months building their characters and another eye on making the game accessible to new users. The opening tutorial sequence will be story driven. For traditional online games, this involves putting you on mundane tasks but in EverQuest II, the developers have promised to open up with a bang.
The other thing EverQuest II will feature is a sort of familiarity. Freeport and Qeynos are being portrayed as opposite forces of evil and good. Each city will also feature what the developers call ‘ecology’; the flora, fauna and indigenous creatures that will give more life to the EverQuest world. That said, old watering holes will not look the same as before. Hundreds of years have passed and some new lands have arisen. Old lands have decayed or evolved.
Combat is something EverQuest has always had a good reputation for. The animation for the combat in EverQuest II is being improved so the action and reaction shots will synchronize with each other. A monster striking down will cause people to fall over. EverQuest is also introducing a plethora of new monsters, including gargantuan ones like dragons. This should provide a good challenge to the veterans of EverQuest.
There will be quite a bit of variety in EverQuest. Over a hundred hours of speech will be recorded to provide plenty of interactive stories to the game. And this speech will be continuously updated as the game develops.
When's the release date? This is EverQuest. It will be done when it's done.