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I got back from vacation and finally got around to watching the full SOE Live reveal for EQN. Well, in the process of watching... but had to stop and comment on this.
Note - the grail is "destructibility" not "voxel engine". According to Georgeson, it's about being able to destroy anything, anywhere, any time.
The first example he gave was a PVP scenario with catapults blowing player castles apart.
From an interview with Terry Michaels, Senior Producer:
"Biggest question I've heard so far: What's the deal for PvP?"
"So, we haven't announced anything about PvP. We are going to have PvP. It will absolutely be in our game. We aren't talking about the details yet. We will be announcing that in the near future."
"Er. No chance you could at least tell me if there'd be open world PvP?"
"Uh." A furtive pause "I can say that there'll be all kinds of PvP?"
So why aren't they ready to say anything? I see two possibilities...
1.) They haven't figured it out yet. Highly unlikely. You don't plan for one of the 4 holy grails of your game being "destruction" for more than a year without thinking about the implications. PVP comes hand-in-hand with being able to destroy "anything, anywhere, any time". And whether you want PVP in your game or not, you need to think through the implications of how players will mess with each other in a voxel-based sandbox.
2.) The PVP reveal will rock many players to the core. Highly likely. SOE wanted to generate some hype about the 4 grails first as lots of people just shut down when they hear the term "open-world PVP" and refuse to reconsider. SOE Live was not the venue to announce this, as a lot of the legacy players have been burned bad by griefing in the past and don't want to ever be subjected to it again. BUT someone who is really looking forward to the full package could be enticed to try something new. After all, it's free. I can't speak for everyone here, obviously, but some of you have said you would try it and there will definitely be systems in place to limit griefing.
So yeah. Still predicting open-world PVP. I bet much of Norrath will come with lots of security, like hi sec in EVE. With the other continents being completely free for anyone to build on and govern how they see fit.
Does anyone else have newer information/dev quotes to discuss?