From SOE Live in Las Vegas on August 16th, Jeff Butler, Mike Mann, Darrin McPherson, and Terry Micheals held a panel about the extensive multiclassing system in EverQuest Next. They also talked about the game’s unique keyword feature which will be used in multiclassing and throughout all areas of the game, allowing players to easily customize their builds and itemization without losing the uniqueness of their character.
Below is a summary of the newest information revealed. The replay can also be seen here on Twitch.
- Multiclassing, as we know, will be a big part of EQN. One of the ways the game allows this to be easily handled is the game’s keyword system that will be featured on all tooltips. Keywords are what tie different classes together via abilities but also give each character a unique theme. Some abilities will work best with abilities found in different classes. You’ll know which abilities work well in multiclassing by looking at the keywords.
- Keywords are divided into two types: Origin and damage. Origin keywords are the power source for a given class. There are 6 total origin keywords: Martial (non magical, weapon users), Nature (plants, outdoors, weather), Divine (holy, unholy, good, evil), Psionic (mental, telepath, emphatic, telekinetic), Elemental (4 elements, primordial), and Arcane (intellectual, knowledge, and magical).
- Damage keywords provide an expression or power and are a little more mechanical and specific in nature. There are 7 damage keywords (there may be more): Lightning, physical, shadow, water, fire, affliction, and radiance.
- Classes aren’t the only things that will feature keywords. Items and other abilities will have origin keywords as well. Each class will generally make use of one origin keyword and 1-2 damage keywords. In the example provided below, a Cleric, for example, can make use of divine fire abilities as well as divine radiance.
- Most items will look a certain way specific to their keywords/appropriate elements. Class abilities, naturally, will also have a certain aesthetic quality based on keywords. This should give the class system a lot of individual flavor.
- This will also make items extremely valuable to certain classes/multiclass setups. Some items will have special bonuses for players using specific keywords. These bonuses can stack with class bonuses and other passive abilities that can be obtained out in the world through achievements. Lot of room for customization.
- The game will launch with 40+ classes total. This is aside from the multiclass system. Not all classes will be available from character creation. Most will be unlocked doing certain quests or require faction reputation, etc. At character creation, around 8 will be available.
- Any racial class restrictions will only be during character creation. Those races can still unlock that particular class questing/reputation grinding.
- Players will be able to multiclass and choose abilities from secondary classes to mix with their primary class. Abilities will be separated into two categories– primary and secondary– to make this easier. Secondary abilities can be used on a multiclassed character while primary abilities cannot (and therefore will be unique).
- Some abilities will have a natural affinity (i.e. fire will do more damage to ice creatures), but will not have a drawback (fire will do normal damage against fire creatures).
- Using the multiclass system, players will be able to make unique combinations like supportive rogues, tanking sorcerers, etc. Support seems to be a completely viable part of the game.
- You can own all of the classes on one character. You can’t play them all at the same time, of course, and will have to choose. As you gain class points you’ll be able to choose what class to place your points in (even if you aren’t playing that class at the given moment).
- Enemy NPCs will also use the same keyword/damage/origin ability setup that will easily allow players to help design content. “Easy to learn, difficult to master” is the goal.
- Each class will have around 12 abilities. This slight limitation in abilities will allow for a greater focus for each of the classes and encourage each class to be unique.
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