More Clues about the Future of the EverQuest Franchise

In my last article, I discussed recent news about two top Daybreak Games developers named Holly Longdale and Luke Sigmund. Executive Producer of the EverQuest franchise Holly has been involved at SOE and DBG off and on for about 17 years. Since Luke who is the Creative Director of the EverQuest Franchise was a complete mystery to me, I decided to learn more about him.

While searching for more information about Luke on Twitter, I found an interesting series of related tweets coming up from Brian R. James. Brian is an award-winning Dungeons & Dragons game designer with an extensive history of contributing modules to the D&D world. Brian creates fantasy lore for a living.

Not only is Brian an well-respected icon in the D&D community, turns out he’s a massive EQ fan.

The Plot Thickens

The first tweet of interest comes from a private meeting he had with Holly and Luke at Daybreak Games studio in metro San Diego in September of 2018. To my knowledge, the following seemingly innocuous tweet is the only public evidence of this meeting.

After reading this tweet, it’s obvious that DBG plans on announcing something of great importance in 2019. I wonder what it could be? My best guess is it will be a new EverQuest MMORPG.

When an award-winning lore D&D lore creator has a secret meeting with both the Creative Director and the Executive Producer of the EverQuest franchise you can safely bet it’s about a new EverQuest video game.

Before a MMORPG goes into pre-production you need to have the geography and the lore of the world fleshed out. I believe this is where Brian’s notable talents come into the equation. Holly Longdale mentioned in a recent interview that for the past few years, she and others at DBG have been busy retconning the lore for EQ in preparation for the future.

Now if you are creating a fantasy world, you most certainly need a map. Since the days of J.R.R. Tolkien, maps of fantasy worlds are integral part of creating a sense of immersion for the audience. Brian’s next tweet sheds more light on this mystery:

There have been many maps made of Norrath over the years by fans. But Brian is no mere fan. A fan would not hire a professional cartographer to make a map since many maps already exist of Norrath in its EQ and EQ 2 incarnations. Clearly, Brian looks to be creating the official map for an upcoming new EverQuest title.

Finally, Brian posted an interesting tweet about maps of Norrath he’s been creating with an incredible web-based fantasy map and world creator service called Inkarnate. Here’s a tweet from this company that represents what it can do for the aspiring fantasy world builder.

That tweet pretty much seals the deal for me. When an award-winning lore guy is tweeting a map he created of Norrath from one age to another you know something serious is going on behind the scenes. I believe that Brain is currently collaborating with Daybreak Games. Even Brian wearing a Daybreak Games t-shirt on his Twitter profile is a bit of a giveaway. Combine that tweet with the previous two tweets and it’s a no-brainer about what is coming in 2019 for EverQuest fans.

It doesn’t stop there. If you read the tweets from the official EverQuest and the Holly Longdale Twitter accounts — too many to mention here — you will see that they are full of cryptic clues about some big announcements coming in 2019. I believe the biggest announcement from Daybreak Games will be a video game that is a successor to the venerable legacy of EverQuest and EverQuest 2 later this year. You heard it here first.

Conclusion

My greatest fear is that EverQuest will be morphed into some kind of battle royal game. Or it will be resurrected in mobile form. I urge DBG not to go that route and not make the mistake of incorporating the battle royal fad into the new EverQuest like Intrepid Studios has so foolishly done with alpha versions of Ashes of Creation.

One thing is for certain, any new EverQuest will absolutely have the support and approval of loyal fans if it is to have any chance of success. If it does not, it will crash and burn. In my conversations with hardcore EQ players about the future of EQ, many still feel letdown from the EQ Next debacle and are rightfully skeptical. DBG will have to pull out all the stops if it plans to regain their trust and win them over.

While there are other MMORPGs out there that claim to be the spiritual successor to EverQuest, I believe that only DBG has the best chance to accomplish this as they have the talent and the resources to pull it off. They also have the a tremendous body of lore and class abilities to draw from in a potential EQ reboot.

Just as the Ford Model-T with an engine, 4 wheels, brakes, a steering wheel and a chassis is the basis for automobiles created since likewise, EverQuest is a perfect starting point for any new high fantasy MMORPG. Blizzard took EQ and turned it into a billion dollar franchise with 13 million subscribers. DBG could easily do the same if they play their cards right and use the fundamentals of EQ and take it to the next level with enhancements and polish.

A new EverQuest may be our last best hope for a high fantasy MMORPG. This is DGB’s last chance to get it right. Failure is simply not an option.

In the coming months, I intend to focus on the future of EverQuest. I’m going to try to ascertain more of the magic behind this MMORPG classic. I will discuss what went right with EQ and EQ2 and what went wrong. Years have passed since my article about EverQuest 3 and I believe it’s time for a new look at the future of the EverQuest franchise. Stay tuned.

-Wolfshead

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