It's now official. Sony has finally acknowledged the release of Everquest 2. Here's the press release: SAN DIEGO, CA – May 2, 2002 – Continuing on the success of the original EverQuest® and in line with its tradition of consistently providing new and exciting content, Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming, today announced it is developing EverQuest® II. Scheduled to launch in Winter 2003, EverQuest II adds significant improvements over the first, widely popular, iteration. EverQuest II uses a completely new, cutting-edge 3D engine developed in-house with a host of technological features allowing the development team to generate an unparalleled visually stunning 3D world. Other features include the ability to own real estate, ride horses, command ships, and experience all-new enhanced spells, quests and events. EverQuest II returns to the culturally diverse world of Norrath in the future of the original EverQuest, with the sheer size and graphical detail greater than ever seen before. “It’s no secret that we have seen phenomenal success with EverQuest,” said John Smedley, sr. vice president and COO, Sony Online Entertainment. “With these improvements to an already great game, we are not only investing in our growing online community, but also pushing the boundaries of what the next generation of role-playing games aspire to be. EverQuest II is the successful embodiment of better technology, player feedback and our desire to build an online global community.” Larger in scope than its predecessor, EverQuest II will be able to host hundreds of thousands of simultaneous users from all over the world. And, due to increased localization features including real-time translation in English, French, German, Japanese and Korean, as well as localized servers in select countries, players from every corner of the earth will be able to explore familiar areas and new, undiscovered territories of Norrath. With innovative in-game creatures, weapons and items EverQuest II promises something new for all subscribers. “EverQuest II is truly an amazing experience,” said Andrew Sites, producer, Sony Online Entertainment. “The vastness of the world, the increasingly deep storyline and the continuity of the online community make EverQuest II an unparalleled game.” Key features and improvements include:
A brand new 3D engine which takes full advantage of a wide variety of recent technological advances in 3D hardware/software such as per pixel lighting, dynamic environment mapping, and a fully programmable surface shader system·
More intuitive gameplay features appeal to both new and seasoned players
New branching class structure that players define as they advance through the game
Vast world of Norrath revisits familiar locations and introduces a variety of newly discovered areas in the Age of Destiny, a time period in the future of the original EverQuest.
Increased character customization capabilities allow players to customize characters’ faces, hair, and body types to create truly unique avatars
Deeper character development offering pacing options that cater to game players new to the role-playing genre as well as experienced role-players
Non-confrontational means of character advancement that including a completely new tradesman character class
Rideable mounts and vehicles to own and control, including horses and boats, make traversing the massive world of Norrath faster than before
Norrathian real estate for players to call their own
All-new tradeskill/crafting system
Completely new and tactically rich combat, spell and skill systems
A completely revised and enhanced quest system
Dynamic world environment shaped by player events
EverQuest II is due to ship Winter 2003. For more information please visit www.everquest.com.
Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), the online gaming division of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, is a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming that creates, develops and provides online entertainment for the personal computer, console, wireless, and online markets. With more than 13 million registered users, SOE’s award-winning website, The Station ® (www.station.com) hosts a variety of entertaining games and player communities spanning numerous genres. In addition to blockbuster hits EverQuest® and Jeopardy! Online, SOE has an array of cutting-edge online games in development such as PlanetSide™, Star Wars® Galaxies™, EverQuest® II, and the world’s premier online-only console game for the PlayStation®2, EverQuest® Online Adventures™.
They included some screen shots, so here they are: