The excitement levels are ramping up for Everquest Next, Massively has a less than scientific poll about how excited people are for this upcoming sandboxy MMO by Sony Online Entertainment (SoE). The game will be previewed for the first time at SOE Live at between 1-4 August. I’m rather interested in seeing how this game pans out, I missed out on the sandbox everyone always raves about, the now defunct Star Wars Galaxies. Likewise I never played Ultima Online in its heydey. So here’s the chance for me to try the full on sandbox MMO experience at launch, right?
I have quite a lot of respect for SoE’s games, both EQ2 and Vanguard are great fun in their own ways. I also like the SoE take on free to play for the most part as well. But, and it’s a dozy of a but, there’s the ever-hovering dark cloud of the Pro Sieben Sat deal for European players. In the end the forum rage over this deal was answered by a reprieve so that existing players were exempted from this attempted sell-off of a whole region’s playerbase. The small print on this reprieve was that certain games will be served through PSS for all Europeans (I don’t follow either but I think Planetside 2 and DCUO were two).
So will EQ Next be on this list of games I can only play if I setup a PSS account? Fully acknowledging I’ve said this before but I am sticking by this ‘line in the sand’. If I can only play EQ Next through PSS then I won’t touch it. So unlike most of Massively’s readers my excitement for this game is tinged rather by concern over the lingering uncertainty of accounts and PSS.