The collective fan gasp didn't completely wreck Las Vegas when SOE unveiled EverQuest Next (working title) at its recent Fan Faire event, but the fact that the publisher couldn't manage to do what Obsidian is planning to do in the next Fallout title shouldn't discount what SOE did: it unveiled a brand new game based in the EQ universe.
At a panel dedicated to the game, SOE president John Smedley was careful not to divulge any critical details. But EQ2 Wire (via Massively) did manage to catch the boss laying out a few central ideas. Smedley suggested that EQ next is "harkening back" to the original EQ. It will not be, however, a direct sequel to either. Smedley called it a "re-imagining," some sort of creative bridge between the two that is being built with PVP in mind and narrative sans text boxes.
Two bits of concept art were passed around to the crowd in attendance, one of which you can see above. SOE is calling the images "in-game art," and refuting the claim that they are "concept art." With that in mind, I guess it's possible EQ Next will feature hand-drawn art throughout. But that makes you wonder what this successor to the series will actually play like. I'll note that no platforms or release dates were mentioned.
== TEASER ==Here's the other bit of art, which is definitely hand-drawn. Again, what will this game be?