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EverQuest: The Making of a Classic



  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member Common

    I just spent the past 2 weeks playing the "trial EQ".  My how the game has changed!  I started fresh new characters and can count on two hands the other players I came across in the newbie zones I was in on my server.  Luckily, the game now is pretty much soloable, like the newer MMOs of today.  I cold not believe how friendly the MOBs are now.  Very few of them ever conn'd "looks at you threateningly".  Most conn'd "indifferent" so it was pretty much a free walk through the zone.

    I do have my Titanium Edition ordered and will be seeing how Project 99 fares shortly :)

    Great memories are made from hardships and obstacles overcome, not fast travelling, overpowered characters that copy other player's strategies in zones that are "safe for their levels".  EverQuest had "big bad MOBs" roaming in every zone, starting with the newbie zones, that could one-shot you.  You actually worried when your target started to run away, wondering where it may end up!

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.

  • LaserwolfLaserwolf Oklahoma City, OKPosts: 2,383Member

    As a very early UO player I was well aware of Everquest and so of course I ultimately had to give it a try. I remember that my first experience with it was sort of magical. The fact that it was my new favorite genre in 3D just seemed so amazing. The barbarian starting area with ice, snow, and interactive water was pretty groundbreaking to me. However I'd have to say what really knocked my socks off was the boat transport from city to city. I'm pretty sure that if I could still log back into that account I'd find my first and only Everquest character still floating in the middle of a stormy sea with no land in sight.

    However, despite the wonder of it all, I don't believe that I played it for more than a few days before I was back to UO. Even then, and especially after UO, the idea of defined classes and a linear leveling system seemed far too restrictive


  • centkincentkin Asbury, NJPosts: 1,141Member Uncommon

    I remember when Kunark came out -- and the trees swayed on my brand new voodoo card.  It was about as high end as a game could be at that moment and very few people could run it maxxed out...

    I actually re-rolled iksar when kunark came out because I wanted the whole kunark experience as opposed to being an outsider invader...


  • OdyssesOdysses Anacortes, WAPosts: 581Member

    Originally posted by Litestep

    Hmm  ...  I know it's EQ day at MMORPG now ...  
    but almost sad - how in the shadow of EQ people forget Turbines  Asheron's Call, that came out the same year (1999) and IMO in many ways was superior to EQ  (world w/o zoning, etc.)



    I agree completely, AC was a much better game imo and it would have been nice had the industry focused more on the AC model then the EQ model.

  • MaelkorMaelkor Friendswood, TXPosts: 459Member Uncommon

    Something to note also..the dev team was only 25 people. Today a AAA title has a team in the hunreds. If you think in terms of measuring sucess based on total money made versus the number of people required to make the product EQ still ranks right up there in the top.

    It was a great game and the idea of challenging the player is what still sets original EQ apart from any other title to this day. Those of us who enjoyed that part of the game are still waiting for another game to come along and actually challenge us.

    For me Corpse runs/Level loss/Content that required groups/The inability of most of the classes to play the entire game solo - these are the things that while frustrating from time to time also made the most enjoyable experiences too.

  • DeolusDeolus DoncasterPosts: 392Member Uncommon

    I started on the progression server for the free days just before Rift started and had a whale of a time in Blackburrow with my barbarian shammy. Then did the run from Qeynos to Freeport so I could continue levelling in Ro (pity it was the revamped zones and not the original ones).

    After playing Rift till the level cap I couldn't help feeling that I'd had more fun playing EQ.  {mod edit}

  • VelocinoxVelocinox Old Folks Home, CAPosts: 1,010Member Uncommon

    Difficult MMOs are dead because the person that praises them in forums is the same person that cancels his account when things don't go his way.

    Why did WoW kill EQ? - Typical answer: Well kids can't handle difficult games, they don't have the attentiuon span. Wrong: Most MMO players are adults. The industry demographics puts us around 35. So that answer is an easy knee jerk reply that not only isn't true but reveals an immaturity in the poster that forces them to blame some easily demonized portion of the playerbase.

    Why do difficult games die? - Typical answer is bugs, or imbalance or anything other than the fact that the game was difficult. Well, guess what, a buggy/imbalanced game is difficult. Burn through it and keep paying them if you truly want a difficult game and aren't just paying the concept lip service.

    The truth is most people don't want a difficult game, or they would vote with their subscriptions.

    They want a game that appears difficult which really isn't under the hood.

    I am sure this post will get flamed, but it makes a poster look good, makes them look skilled to say they want a difficult game on the forums, but the account cancellation button can always be pressed in private, and according to the most popular MMOs that's exactly where the posters asking for difficult games are making their most valuable vote.



    'Sandbox MMO' is a PTSD trigger word for anyone who has the experience to know that anonymous players invariably use a 'sandbox' in the same manner a housecat does.

    When your head is stuck in the sand, your ass becomes the only recognizable part of you.

    No game is more fun than the one you can't play, and no game is more boring than one which you've become familiar.

    How to become a millionaire:
    Start with a billion dollars and make an MMO.

  • FinbarFinbar Peterborough, ONPosts: 193Member

    Excelent writing, and great recap of the EverQuest phenomina. 


  • shakermaker0shakermaker0 SheffieldPosts: 194Member Uncommon

    EverQuest was in no way perfect, and I dont think anybody in their right mind could argue for that case, but the fact was, as is the same with Ultima, this was one of most purest forms of MMORPG you can find. It was developed by a need to entertain its developers, it wasn't expected to even appeal to more than 75,000 buyers, and it definitley wasn't believed to be the biggest thing for PC gaming to happen. Everything in the game is there because it promotes fun, teamwork, and the genuine belief that you are a wizard of Qeynos, trying to make a few coins and live your own virtual life. Now we complain about games that cater to newer audiences, accesbility allowances, and even space for those that prefer to rush through content in a week and then complain for the next few years. This is ground zero for the genre, the point when none of those audiences existed, just those that wanted to wash away into virtual reality. A special game indeed.

  • cheyanecheyane EarthPosts: 4,364Member Rare

    I love all this timeline and very good reporting of the facts. I get so fed up when I read people making comments in other thread or discussions about how Smedley had never had anything to do with Everquest. I am so happy you laid all that out there and I am keeping this as my trip down that lane as an Everquest player myself in 1999.

  • GolarumGolarum Montreal, QCPosts: 151Member

    *tear flowing down my cheeks*

    ''2 bags full of stuff for sale at EC tunnels 2nd torch. Bronze armor at 1g per AC.''


    ''CAMP CHECK''

    ''First camp''

    ''Second camp''

    My life as an EQ newbie was the best experience I've had in a game EVER!

    MMOs today just don't come close to EQ. Everything is so easy, every game is fully soloable now, with some classes in some games, you can even solo group content. Dying doesn't even matter, let's die here and there to try out new things.

    People get to max lvl in 2-3 days now, if you could get to lvl 10 in EQ at release in 2-3 days, you were a hardcore gamer who did not sleep.

    Peace to EQ

  • mrpoepoemrpoepoe cloud city, KYPosts: 4Member

    I remember having to camp every two hours because of BT disconnect, terrorfying Qeynos Freeport runs, and invisible pirates that tried to kill you on the way to Odyus. Oh and that werewolf that roamed near Rivervale. Harsh game. Brilliant game.

  • RaventreeRaventree Yourtown, MNPosts: 456Member

    I remember the magic of EQ.  It was the first MMO I ever played.  I remember the first time I logged in and saw other players running around and a few of my real-life friends sent text messages to me.  It was amazing.

    Eventually, however, that amazement turned into the frustration of endless grinding, corpse runs, losing gear, getting horribly lost, and just generally feeling like breaking something.  Not only that, but SOE began pumping out expansions when they hadn't even fixed basic bugs such as mobs walking through buildings and attacking you when you were trying to talk to an NPC and crap like that.

    It was definitely huge, but I am glad that modern MMOs don't make you sweat blood to get anywhere.


    Currently playing:
    SWToR, Aion,EQ, Dark Age of Camelot
    World of Warcraft, AoC

  • DurrayDurray NorwichPosts: 182Member Uncommon

    Oh WoW a reference to Vodoo graphics cards. That takes me back!

    What ever happened to vodoo anyway?

  • jmsgallajmsgalla Steubenville, OHPosts: 271Member Uncommon

    Excellent write up!  I enjoye reading about the creation of these large scale projects especially those so close to my heart. 

    I'll never forget playing EQ for the first time.  The demo disk that came with the Vaio was the best thing about that computer I purhased.

  • SephrosSephros Somewhere, CAPosts: 402Member Uncommon
    When my wife and I began playing eq we didn't understand starting areas. I started in neriak and she in qeynos. Once we understood what was going on I made a bard in qeynos to run her over to freeport so we could group together. Upon entering kithikor forest at night....we were promptly slaughtered and lost everything. Lol. Good times.

    Error: No Keyboard Detected!
    Press F1 to continue......

  • RednecksithRednecksith Madison heights, MIPosts: 1,238Member

    My copy of EQ would crash every 15-30 minutes, and Verant tech support was about as useful as tits on a bull. So yeah, the only memories I have of EQ are of frustration and high phone bills. Oh and wasted money, can't forget that one.


  • inmysightsinmysights Houston, TXPosts: 365Member Uncommon

    EQ will always live in my heart as the best MMO ever, long live EQ!

    I am so good, I backstabbed your face!

  • JayFiveAliveJayFiveAlive Arvada, COPosts: 571Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Durray

    Oh WoW a reference to Vodoo graphics cards. That takes me back!

    What ever happened to vodoo anyway?

    Loved loved EQ and always will.. too many good memories.


    Also loved 3dfx and their voodoo cards hehe. Sadly they went backrupt and Nvidia bought them out. There probably wasn't room for 3 different major graphics card companies anyhow though I suppose.

  • EverQuest will always have a place in my gaming heart as one of the best gaming eras I've ever experienced.  I remember many o' nights camping in Highhold Keep below the bank. Trading in East Commons Tunnel, weighed down so heavy I literally had to slow walk to Freeport bank in North Freeport.  

    At that time, camping was fun..the monsters had tons of HP so strategy HAD to be used..each toon had a specific role to play..and comraderie..and I stand by this...has still NEVER BEEN as close in any other MMO (current 800lb Gorilla included) is was in EQ.

    Kael runs fighting Vindicator...feeling useful being able to feign death pull with my monk in places where mobs couldn't be lulled to sleep..the game was special.  

    I raise my glass to you, EQ.  

    You were the best.



  • lalartulalartu SeoulPosts: 445Member Uncommon

    still can't get over the fact that your parents let you play an online computer game at 8 years old....that must be like...the worst parenting ever hehe


    Join me on Twitter @WhatDaMath
    I review lots of indie games and MMORPGs

  • asyndetonasyndeton Victorville, CAPosts: 87Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by lalartu

    still can't get over the fact that your parents let you play an online computer game at 8 years old....that must be like...the worst parenting ever hehe



    Lol, well, I was seven at the time when EQ came out and my parents let me play. They watched me and monitored the time, of course, but I loved it. And actually, I had developed a very wide range of vocabulary because of playing EQ, which I believe helped me in many ways later in schooling. 

    I dont rememebr being exposed to the horrid behaviors back then that are so much more prevalent today.


  • bilbonbonbilbonbon ParisPosts: 10Member

    EQ1 is one of my first PC game

    I remember well because it was my first year of university and also because my parents bought us our first family PC, and some months later, it was internet .

    i played for 4 years, it is a great game. I spent many marvellous hours with friends and guildies on it.

    But as many place we left in life, we like to talk about it but we don't want to come back.

    However it still has a special place in my heart of gamer.


  • red_cruiserred_cruiser Milwaukee, WIPosts: 475Member Uncommon

    Everquest is still the definitive MMORPG to me.

    I spent the night in SWTOR talking about corpse runs, losing XP on death and training mobs and not a lot of people were catching on.

  • bambookbambook Calgary, ABPosts: 180Member
    This article makes me cry . No sarcasm. Ah the
    Good old magical days. Life felt as a fairy tale . Eq is amazing
This discussion has been closed.