GameBreaker TV's Gary Gannon and ZAM's Mike B. aka Fony got the chance to talk with the director of Skunkworks at GDC Online about many SOE games, including EverQuest Next, DC Universe Online, and The Agency.
As part of GameBreaker TV's GDC Online coverage, host Gary Gannon had the opportunity to to talk with Nathan Pearce, the director of Skunkworks at Sony Online Entertainment, about numerous topics. Pearce acts as an internal consultant that keeps information flowing between the SOE studios. They talked about all sorts of SOE games, including DC Universe Online, The Agency, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, and EverQuest Next. Yes, that's right. EverQuest Next.
While Pearce couldn't give any concrete details surrounding EverQuest Next, he did talk about a meeting he had with the game's lead designer. Pearce's comments provide an interesting look at the upcoming EQ game:
"I got the lowdown on that. I was super excited. Not the visuals, but the gameplay. ... I sat down for about an hour and 20 minutes with the lead designer on it and got the scoop on it, and I'm going to have a lot of fun in this game. He's a creative guy like me, and I hope that he and his team can pull off and keep in all of these features that he's shooting for. Granted, a lot of times things don't work out. Your grand vision may get trimmed back a bit, but I really hope it follows through. Although I can't list off the features, he got me excited."
Pearce was tight-lipped about any sort of time frame for EverQuest Next, but he did note that SOE already has access to the technology it needs for any game, and said that five years is no longer the norm for MMOs.
DC Universe Online
Pearce had this to say about DC Universe Online's delay until early 2011:
"It is sad, but it does make me happy because it shows that we're taking the time we need to make the game rock solid. It obviously wasn't ready for an early November release. The good news is the core gameplay is fun."
He mentioned that SOE hosts mandatory playtests a couple times a week where everyone in the company gets to play the game. Pearce said he enjoys the diversity found in the game; his character is a tech-based hero with guns, so he's not a copy of a normal DC hero.
Pearce also goes into detail about the customization system and explains how players can add the stats of one item to a different item.
SOE hasn't released much news about this FPS MMO, but Pearce said the team is hard at work on the game:
"They've cranked up the notches on the visual prowess and on the gameplay and on the moment-to-moment strategy around this game."
Pearce talked about the tricks that different classes will have at their disposal, such as a sonar pulse that lets you see your enemies through walls. Players will also have the ability to teleport to their friends to help them in battle. ZAM's Mike B. aka Fony asked when the beta will start, but Pearce didn't have a date handy.
You can watch the full interview below for more details on these games and more, including a very brief discussion about PlanetSide Next.