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[Column] General: Sandboxes and Storybricks

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,581MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Sony Online Entertainment recently announced that EverQuest Next would be reworked into a true sandbox environment thanks to a new partnership with StoryBricks. In today's Devil's Advocate, we offer a few thoughts about that before asking you to head to the comments to continue the discussion.

Fast forward six or so months, and the latest announcement for Everquest Next came from the team at Namaste Entertainment. They sent out an announcement saying Namaste was going to collaborate on Everquest Next. Nothing else was really said, but there was enough in that teaser to get everyone speculating, because the running idea seems to be that Everquest Next will find a way to implement the Storybricks system. It's an interesting step, and one that I think deserves some attention.

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: Sandboxes and Storybricks.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member
    All this hush hush is because the PS4 is about to hit and dramatically change console and pc gaming with the possibility of leaving the next xbox in the dust or needing to play catchup right outof the gate.
  • WellzyCWellzyC Stillwater, MNPosts: 557Member Uncommon

     

    sink or swim..  im just glad its not another story mmo.. so over done and lack luster.

    The way mmo's were: Community, Exploration, Character Development, Conquest.

    The way mmo's are now : Cut-Scenes,Cut-Scenes, solo Questing, Cut-Scenes...


    www.CeaselessGuild.com

  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member
    Whole lot of speculation right there, but your theories are sound and I think they'd be great.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    My biggest concern is that with all these features. Will SOE be able to deliver on the polish? Their vision is always sound but they sacrifice heavily on basic polish when implementing these concepts.

    image
  • GameByNightGameByNight Columnist / Podcast Host Rochester, NYPosts: 122Member Uncommon
    Great write-up, Victor. For those that are interested, we had Storybrick's lead designer, Brian Green, on the official podcast a few episodes back. He explains the toolset very well and what it could mean for upcoming MMOs. Due to contractual obligations he couldn't comment on EQNext specifically but he does go into detail on MMO scenarios where Storybricks is applied.

    Writer of the RPG Files
    Official Podcast Host
    Blogger at GameByNight.com

  • shavashava Somerville, MAPosts: 282Member Uncommon
    How do you know Smedley is BSing?  He's talking to the press...
  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,853Member Uncommon

    Great peice and although I'd like to see specific details about EQN before August 1st I doubt we will.  Maybe more teaser articles in July but just a little leg if you will.

    This announcement was one of a handful that hint at what EQN could be.  If you see the tech that SoE already has for games like EQ2, PS2 , ect. and add in the "tease" features (spell weaving with SoEMote and terrain destruction) I have no doubt EQN could be an MMO we haven't seen before.

    We'll have to wait and see.

  • HedeonHedeon GraestedPosts: 954Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Fendel84M
    My biggest concern is that with all these features. Will SOE be able to deliver on the polish? Their vision is always sound but they sacrifice heavily on basic polish when implementing these concepts.

    SOE never were about polish....

  • SandricSandric Austin, TXPosts: 103Member Uncommon

    I really want to Love SOE.  I really do.  The games have always almost been there.

    PS - really was before its time.  Not fast or stable enough lines, hard on computers.  Weak keeping power for people over all.  Still it was fun.

    SW:G - IT WAS ALMOST THERE.  Then nerfing to the branches that were 'over powered'.  Not really, it was branches combined with very specific other branches that caused problems, then they got rid of the awesome branch/tree progression for level based onces later.  Won't  even touch 'Jedi are in the game, no one has found it yet'... sure.

    SW:TOR - I beta'd it.  Had potential like all SOE games.  Well nuff said.

    PS2 - Other than F2P with limited P2K (pay to kill 'better') and was released with only about half the guns and several vehicles not even externally live tested... a decent product.

    Dragon Prophet - In beta.  I take NDA's seriously so... won't go into any details.  Has potential like all SOE games.

    Never really played either EQ's so can't comment on them.

    Major or Current Characters
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  • LaromussLaromuss vancouver, BCPosts: 324Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sandric

    I really want to Love SOE.  I really do.  The games have always almost been there.

    PS - really was before its time.  Not fast or stable enough lines, hard on computers.  Weak keeping power for people over all.  Still it was fun.

    SW:G - IT WAS ALMOST THERE.  Then nerfing to the branches that were 'over powered'.  Not really, it was branches combined with very specific other branches that caused problems, then they got rid of the awesome branch/tree progression for level based onces later.  Won't  even touch 'Jedi are in the game, no one has found it yet'... sure.

    SW:TOR - I beta'd it.  Had potential like all SOE games.  Well nuff said.

    PS2 - Other than F2P with limited P2K (pay to kill 'better') and was released with only about half the guns and several vehicles not even externally live tested... a decent product.

    Dragon Prophet - In beta.  I take NDA's seriously so... won't go into any details.  Has potential like all SOE games.

    Never really played either EQ's so can't comment on them.

    I'm very sure one of your six, i'm gonna let you figure out which one is wrong, It was created and published by another big company, actually by two, tecnically.

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    Storybricks, the storytelling online RP

    storybricks

    The video is still working. Actually thought it was a very cool idea.

    That said, have little time for SOE's hype marketing*. It's bad for the genre even if it's good for SOE's pockets.

    *Press release of the press release...

  • AwDiddumsAwDiddums Great YarmouthPosts: 394Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Laross
    Originally posted by Sandric

    I really want to Love SOE.  I really do.  The games have always almost been there.

    PS - really was before its time.  Not fast or stable enough lines, hard on computers.  Weak keeping power for people over all.  Still it was fun.

    SW:G - IT WAS ALMOST THERE.  Then nerfing to the branches that were 'over powered'.  Not really, it was branches combined with very specific other branches that caused problems, then they got rid of the awesome branch/tree progression for level based onces later.  Won't  even touch 'Jedi are in the game, no one has found it yet'... sure.

    SW:TOR - I beta'd it.  Had potential like all SOE games.  Well nuff said.

    PS2 - Other than F2P with limited P2K (pay to kill 'better') and was released with only about half the guns and several vehicles not even externally live tested... a decent product.

    Dragon Prophet - In beta.  I take NDA's seriously so... won't go into any details.  Has potential like all SOE games.

    Never really played either EQ's so can't comment on them.

    I'm very sure one of your six, i'm gonna let you figure out which one is wrong, It was created and published by another big company, actually by two, tecnically.

    Aye I raised an eyebrow reading through his list of SoE games when I came across the obvious odd one out.

    Regarding Storybricks though I feel this has so much potential in an EQ universe, August seems too far away to wait for any real news of further developments with this ever growing franchise.

     

  • TelondarielTelondariel Ottawa, ONPosts: 1,001Member

    Its all still wait and see, with annoying non-informative teasers from Smed and Dave.

     

    Yes, I am now chewing at the bit to see the big reveal in Aug.  Yes, I am also leery of what the product will end up being.  I just wish Dave Georgeson wasn't a driving force in its creation..

     

    The thing about creating another EQ is you have the hopes and expectations of people that have been loyal to the franchise for over a decade.  I think everyone has a vision in their head of what they'd like EQN to be, and what would make them buy it.  Given that, the Big Reveal at SOE Live in Vegas in Aug. is either going to be a monumental success with the fans, or a massive disappointment.  I am maintaining cautious optimism.

     

     

    image
  • Laughing-manLaughing-man Dublin, OHPosts: 3,415Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by KingofHartz
    All this hush hush is because the PS4 is about to hit and dramatically change console and pc gaming with the possibility of leaving the next xbox in the dust or needing to play catchup right outof the gate.

    New Xbox being announced this month.

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,428Member Uncommon

    SOE houses some of the most creative minds but someone or a few always hold them back from making an in depth creative game.

    The team i am talking about is the Naughty Dog team that showed incredible creative thinking in their very old SEGA rpg called Rings of Power.I have not seen that type of thinking outside the box since that game.They have created other games of course the well known ....Crash Bandicoot,Jax and Dexter,Unchartered series.This is a talented bunch of game designers.

    SOE seems to be holding on to their old school guys that imo are just not creative at all,they just keeping turning out the same old same old.

    I do not see this Storybricks as changing anything or making a MMORPG anymore fun to play.I have already seen great stories and custscenes in FFXI.Having NPC's actually become more than static trigger pieces is great omn paper but in reality,i am quite sure it will be a very small imporvement,not much more than say SWTOR voice overs with 3 choices in dialogue.

    I already saw better NPC interaction in very old games like MnMagic and Wizardry Gold[crusaders of dark Savant].I would be extremely surprised to see anything better than what those games already did 15 years ago.


    Samoan Diamond

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,938Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by shava

    How do you know Smedley is BSing?  He's talking to the press...

     

    I thought it was when his lips were moving....
  • HedeonHedeon GraestedPosts: 954Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Telondariel

    Its all still wait and see, with annoying non-informative teasers from Smed and Dave.

     

    Yes, I am now chewing at the bit to see the big reveal in Aug.  Yes, I am also leery of what the product will end up being.  I just wish Dave Georgeson wasn't a driving force in its creation..

     

    The thing about creating another EQ is you have the hopes and expectations of people that have been loyal to the franchise for over a decade.  I think everyone has a vision in their head of what they'd like EQN to be, and what would make them buy it.  Given that, the Big Reveal at SOE Live in Vegas in Aug. is either going to be a monumental success with the fans, or a massive disappointment.  I am maintaining cautious optimism.

     

     

    am certain people who wish for a copy of EQ1 with new graphics will get disappointed, ofc depending what one would like about EQ1.... but for myself am quite certain I ll play EQN, if my old guild step up for it atleast.....otherwise will be a wait and see what it is all about, and if I have time to help build a guild for raiding and what else could be there....do love the Norrathian world though.

  • KhayotixKhayotix Somewhere, FLPosts: 220Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sandric

    I really want to Love SOE.  I really do.  The games have always almost been there.

    PS - really was before its time.  Not fast or stable enough lines, hard on computers.  Weak keeping power for people over all.  Still it was fun.

    SW:G - IT WAS ALMOST THERE.  Then nerfing to the branches that were 'over powered'.  Not really, it was branches combined with very specific other branches that caused problems, then they got rid of the awesome branch/tree progression for level based onces later.  Won't  even touch 'Jedi are in the game, no one has found it yet'... sure.

    SW:TOR - I beta'd it.  Had potential like all SOE games.  Well nuff said.

    PS2 - Other than F2P with limited P2K (pay to kill 'better') and was released with only about half the guns and several vehicles not even externally live tested... a decent product.

    Dragon Prophet - In beta.  I take NDA's seriously so... won't go into any details.  Has potential like all SOE games.

    Never really played either EQ's so can't comment on them.

    SW:TOR and Dragons Prophet are both NOT SOE Games. SW:TOR was Bioware and EA. and Dragons Prophet is made by Runewaker (the same folks that make runes of magic) it is only Published by SOE.

    image
  • RaventreeRaventree Yourtown, MNPosts: 456Member
    Is it just me or have they been working on EQ Next for about 17 years?  I like the idea of an epic fantasy sandbox in theory, but in execution they often turn out to be bug ridden griefer paradises with little actual reason to play if you aren't into harassing other players.  I am still waiting for Eve meets DAoC.

    Currently playing:
    Rift
    Played:
    SWToR, Aion,EQ, Dark Age of Camelot
    World of Warcraft, AoC

  • victorbjrvictorbjr Quezon CityPosts: 185Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MumboJumbo

    Storybricks, the storytelling online RP

    storybricks

    The video is still working. Actually thought it was a very cool idea.

    That said, have little time for SOE's hype marketing*. It's bad for the genre even if it's good for SOE's pockets.

    *Press release of the press release...

     

    OH GOSH! I was looking for that sort of screenshot. That's how I remember storybricks' system.

    A writer and gamer from the Philippines. Loves his mom dearly. :)

    Can also be found on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com

  • HedeonHedeon GraestedPosts: 954Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Raventree
    Is it just me or have they been working on EQ Next for about 17 years?  I like the idea of an epic fantasy sandbox in theory, but in execution they often turn out to be bug ridden griefer paradises with little actual reason to play if you aren't into harassing other players.  I am still waiting for Eve meets DAoC.

    it is about 4 years ago, cant remember exactly, that it got announced they were working on a new version of Everquest, with a couple of art direction pictures, then the next year they suddenly refused to even talk about it the next 2 years at their fan fair.

    anyway it certainly werent in the works, before EQ2 or even EQ1 were live...  ; )

  • WraithoneWraithone Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 3,592Member Uncommon

    Oh lord, an SOE "sand box" game...<face palm>

    Now depending on how this works out, it could go any number of ways.  One of them is a FFA full loot gankfest. But knowing what a narrow niche market that is, I doubt even SOE is going to make that mistake.

    But dear old Smed being in charge of it, doesn't make me too hopeful.  Remember that Smed also brought us the NGE, that ultimately resulted in the demise of SWG.  So he is more than capable of making glaring, EPIC mistakes.

    We will have to wait and see how this turns out.

  • yorkforceyorkforce DoncasterPosts: 160Member
    Originally posted by shava
    How do you know Smedley is BSing?  He's talking.

    Fixed that for you.

  • koboldfodderkoboldfodder Danbury, DEPosts: 390Member Uncommon

    They had two different versions of EQ Next that they were working on for the past several years.   They were both just updated versions of EQ2.  Same basic gameplay, same vision, same everything just newer games in a different era of Norrath.  Smedley decided that while both were decent enough games the people have been clamoring for something different or new and that was neither of these two games.

     

    So he axed both versions and started from scratch on a third version of EQ Next, only this would be a total sandbox game.  Those are his words.

     

     

     

     

  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon
    I never did like how silent SOE was on games. Even on patches and expansions or just bigupdates, it was nothing for months then BAM here it is. I would think it's better to get some feedback from your minions prior to beeing too far down the rabbit hole.
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