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Everquest goes dynamic

Not quite so pointless, but a lot more expensive

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

It's only a few weeks since we were bemoaning the lack of innovation and dynamic content in the massively multiplayer role-playing genre, but today Sony Online have announced a new EverQuest Legends service which seeks to address some of these problems. Unfortunately, in true Verant style, it appears to be something of a brute force bodge job, using a hefty (and rather expensive) sledgehammer to force a square peg into a round hole. The main goal of the service is apparently to make players feel like they are an important part of the world rather than just another microscopic cog with little or no influence over their surroundings. Players will have individual websites for all of their characters so that they can show off their progress to their friends, while a novel interactive map will allow you to follow your character's movements around Norrath and keep track of which zones you have visited. Players will also be able to boast of their exploits in fictional form by submitting stories to a new "Tales of Adventure" website, and organise allies via an online Guild Hall. Most importantly though, Verant are promising a more dynamic server for Legends subscribers, with a dedicated support team constantly adding new content and quests to the game world. This will include "Historical Quests" which give you the chance to "interact with key personalities in the world Norrath and participate in truly momentous events", as well as a flow of unique new items for players to discover. And that's where things break down. The sheer scope of the world and the vast amount of new content required means that a sizeable staff is required to keep things running, resulting in an extravagant $40 a month subscription fee. Although this may appeal to the real hardcore EverQuest players, at more than three times the going rate for persistent online worlds most people are likely to find it a little excessive. It's certainly a great idea, but because EverQuest can't generate any dynamic content of its own it requires everything to be added in by hand, resulting in massive overheads and a lack of scalability - the initial server will be strictly limited to 8,000 players on a first come, first served basis. How many people will be willing to shell out $40 a month for a more immersive experience remains to be seen, but it's fairly clear that throwing more staff at the problem isn't the way to make your world more dynamic. Related Feature - Mostly Pointless

Source - EverQuest Legends website

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