EverQuest Next to Allow All Race/Class Combos

Members of the dev team discuss their recent Round Table poll.


EverQuest Next team members Jeff Butler, Terry Michaels, and Omeed Dariani recently sat down to discuss a Round Table poll question: "Should all races have access to play all classes?"

The community's response was surprising, favoring a design with limitations. Less surprisingly, the EQ Next team expressed that it wants to avoid these restrictions, giving players as much freedom and versatility as possible. It's a practical choice, as laid out by Creative Director Jeff Butler:

"When we started developing the game, we realized we wanted to create a situation where our players were never forced to make a decision that they would later regret based on knowledge that they didn't have at that stage in their careers." (1:25 - 1:39)

In the video, Butler provides a pertinent example using an Orc Ogre Warrior. (3:31 - 4:26) It's rather compelling, so take a look at the full response below and decide if you agree with their choice.


Colt "ShdwFlm" Casey
Deputy Editor 

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wha?
# Sep 24 2013 at 9:42 AM Rating: Decent
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"When we started developing the game, we realized we wanted to create a situation where our players were never forced to make a decision that they would later regret based on knowledge that they didn't have at that stage in their careers." (1:25 - 1:39)

I don't see how limiting or expanding choice in any way avoids the above.

Edited, Sep 24th 2013 11:46am by area212
EQ next race/class combo decision roundtable
# Sep 23 2013 at 3:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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EQII is basically all/all hidden behind the evil/good naming of the classes no? --so this is not surprising. The vote was swayed by purist EQ fans (I'm partly there, but didn't vote) who want next to be more like EQ than EQII. I'll give these devs the benefit of basically saying "next works different, so we made a different design choice"

The part they don't explain at this point, which matters far more than a Dark elf being a paladin, is that lore-wise there is no way that there should be a paladin trainer in Neriak, nor should a paladin have good faction with Neriak without doing a ton of faction work. EQ 1 could go all/all in-lore (with some new lore to fill in gaps... ie halflings move to halas and go primal) as long as the "odd" combos had logical home cities.

All/all works for Freeport. Necromancers in Kelethin? no...

as an aside, there is a slight typo in the article: Butler gives the example of an ogre warrior, not an orc. Orcs as a player race... that's a tease I hope is true :)
Waxing Philosophical
# Sep 24 2013 at 5:36 AM Rating: Decent
21 posts
I've always had a problem with the 'good' only paladins. Lore-wise, if you can justify clerics in Neriak, you can justify pallies. Philosophically, suppose there's a dark elf pally. This pally feels that that Innorruk is the end all, be all of everything holy. Thats the justification for your dark elf guild trainer. From that dark elf's perspective, he's follwing a holy cause and it's that high elf's problem if a high elf defines that as 'evil.' Necromancy in Kelethin IS a harder lore stretch. However, it still can be done with panache through a little elven ancestor worship cultism.

Going back to original EQ comparisons, it took me about a year, but in 2002 I did manage to get my Iksar monk ally in Qeynos and Freeport for the sash and headband quests. I managed to get my iksar shammy ally in halas in 2008 just for the **** of it.
EQ next race/class combo decision roundtable
# Sep 23 2013 at 8:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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EQ2 is close to being all/all. There's still a few restrictions (for instance, SK is evil only, Pally is good only), but most of those barriers were dropped a couple of years ago when the game went F2P.

The traditional cities we expect from EQ/EQ2 don't exist in EQN. During the lore panel at SOE Live we were told that where the timeline for EQN begins (post Dragon War, the "Age of Heroes") the Combine Accord (the alliance formed during the Dragon War, composed of Feir'Dal, ogres, dwarves, kerrans, etc) will establish a foothold, which is the city of Qeynos. They called it a "frontier town" and the "Mos Eisley of Norrath."

I think the only thing we can expect with EQN is the unexpected. Smiley: nod

snailish wrote:
EQII is basically all/all hidden behind the evil/good naming of the classes no? --so this is not surprising. The vote was swayed by purist EQ fans (I'm partly there, but didn't vote) who want next to be more like EQ than EQII. I'll give these devs the benefit of basically saying "next works different, so we made a different design choice"

The part they don't explain at this point, which matters far more than a Dark elf being a paladin, is that lore-wise there is no way that there should be a paladin trainer in Neriak, nor should a paladin have good faction with Neriak without doing a ton of faction work. EQ 1 could go all/all in-lore (with some new lore to fill in gaps... ie halflings move to halas and go primal) as long as the "odd" combos had logical home cities.

All/all works for Freeport. Necromancers in Kelethin? no...

EQ next race/class combo decision roundtable
# Sep 23 2013 at 5:19 PM Rating: Good
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Unfortunately, I'm not quite familiar enough with EQ lore to respond well to that — but I get what you're saying, it'll be quite interesting to see if they can reconcile the odd combinations that'll inevitably show up.

The reason for the Orc/Ogre mix-up is because I was concurrently writing about Orcs in Elder Scrolls Online. I'll be extra-vigilant for details like that in the future. =) Thanks for the lengthy reply, snailish! Hope to see more comments from you on future articles.

Edited, Sep 23rd 2013 7:23pm by ShdwFlm
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