Everquest Nostalgia

I didn’t really game at all yesterday but I did flip through random forums and I ran across this one.  If your not feeling like clicking the link to check it out, it asks the question:

I came in with the WoW crowd, so I never got to play EQ1.  I here a lot of people wishing that they could have it back, but what was some special about it?  How was if different from WoW or EQ2?

Two pages of responses came back off this question and prompted me into thinking.  A lot of the responses are the same, Corpse runs death penalty and contested dungeons seem to be very popular. 

So what was so special to me about Everquest?  I came into Everquest late into the game.  A few months before Omens of War was due out.  I stayed until shortly after Depths of Darkhollow.

Everquest was the first MMORPG I played.  When I first started playing I thought the community was awesome.  It seemed that as a lowbie people would just run by and throw out a buff or give a heal.  MGB’s…those were great.  In retrospect everything seemed fairly time consuming.

Wait to find a group, wait for some buffs, set out on a decent size run and then fight your way to a camp spot.  Then you were finally set for the fun.

Everquest itself was massive.  There are zones on top of zones.  I am fairly certain you could make as many alts as you want and level them all without duplicating zones.  Traveling was fairly a pain in a fun way.  Even with Druid Ports, Spires and the Plane of Knowledge you could still find yourself trying to run through a few high level zones to get to the place you were wanting to fight.

The other that I thought was good about Everquest was that you rarely found someone who didn’t know how to play their class or know their roll.  It was a hard game to survive if people were just mashing buttons.

I can still remember a group in the City of Mist when a guy let his son play his Wizard without telling anyone.  The kid was thought he was the puller, tank and DPS.  Needless to say we died a lot.  I think some people even de-dinged.  And at those levels, loosing a level was pretty frustrating.

Spawn rates could be fairly frustrating as well, but in a good group you didn’t mind.  It seemed there was always at least one comedian waiting to entertain.  If you didn’t have someone cracking jokes, you set macro’s and start spamming languages.  You would do that because, just like in life to learn a language you have to practice it.  A long camp meant you could possibly learn one or two full languages depending on the group you were in.

Everquest certainly had a few down sides to them.  Most people go Risk vs. Reward.  I tend to think more in terms of Time vs. Reward.  The Time v. Reward in most Everquest seemed much more lopsided on the Time side.  Epic Weapon quests could take weeks if not months depending on if raids were needed + drop rate + respawn time.  I remember getting my first Epic weapon with my Druid.  I think it took roughly a month to get it.  I think after all that work, it was replaced a week later as my main weapon for a rare drop off a Named mob.  Maybe my Epic wasn’t time well spent but for all the frustrating camps waiting for drops I still had a good time getting it.

That thread has me all nostalgic now and wishing I still had a Station Pass.  Of course, things tend to look better as time goes by and the older I get the less patience I tend to have.  So who actually knows if I still have a good time in the game.  I know I quit playing it for a reason.

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19 Responses to “Everquest Nostalgia”

  1. I started playing Everquest right after the Velious expansion was released. However, I was definitely interested when the game was first released. I rememeber picking up the box when the game was brand new and thinking, wow, you have to pay a monthly fee? No way would I play that game. And there was no way I would play that game . . . until my friends talked me into it.

    You know, I think a lot of the magic of online gaming actually started a little bit earlier than EQ for a lot of people with Ultima Online (or even MUDs for people that remember those). I remember a friend recounting how he camped out in the Ultima Online world one night and left the game for a week. When he returned a person had built their house over the top of his camp spot. He ended up cleaning this guy out of house and home literally!

    And it was that. It was that magic of someone being on the other end . . . through this magic thing called “the Internet” that most of us played on our phone lines. Oh man, my extended family was so mad they could never get through to our home phone. haha! But, the fact that there was a game where I could extend my personality to my game and the avatar came alive through my actions . . . it was amazing and incredibly fun, and still is even though the games now aren’t as unforgiving as Everquest was.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Anytime and thanks for the comment. I never had the joy of trying out UO. And, I too was much against the pay to play format. I fought my wife tooth and nail on trying EQ. I am glad I did though.

    I guess part of the mystique about EQ was online gaming was brand new. Now, those games are everywhere.

  3. I played UO for about… 15 minutes on launch day and promptly quit. I had already been pked repeatedly, and every item had been stolen/looted.

    I started playing EQ1 about a month after release, and played up til a couple months before Luclin came out. I never got a character over level 45, but even so I still look back on that time as the best I’ve ever had in any MMO since (and I’ve played just about all of the major western MMOs except SWG).

    It’s hard to express what it is that makes so many of us oldtimer EQers so nostalgic about it. It certainly wasn’t the game mechanics, they were brutal and would be seen as offensive to paying customers today. Corpse runs are nothing; when the game first launched and for the summer of 99, if you lost your corpse deep somewhere you couldn’t get again, you could /consent to have someone retrieve your goodies. Problem was, some people used this method to rip people off (even made fun of people on a web site called “EQ Idiots”). These guys were on my server, was fun to argue with them… Fortunately they eventually changed it so /consent just allowed others to “corpse-drag” your stuff. But things like corpse-dragging are so unique and hilarious and bizarre that they wrap around the spectrum from insane to awesome. And EQ1 was full of stuff like that. Bizarre quest chains and NPCs and secret areas whose meaning are not spoon-fed to you – these things became legend as people came up with various theories (and who could tell what was real? There was no Thottbot or WoWHead back then). To this day there are various mysteries that still intrigue me and I hope to find out more about (like Pyzon and Varsoon in EQHills, and the placeholder mystery… the story behind the barb and ogre pirates and their collection of artifacts… so many more).

    There were also so many fluff spells and utility spells that most games don’t have today, or if they do, they somehow aren’t as fun. My favorite character was an enchanter. Mezzing in its own right was so frustrating and yet so rewarding when your group worked with you – no other game has come close to that kind of mechanic, most consider it a broken mechanic I guess, yet I found it very fun. As an enchanter I had so many utility and fluff spells, it’s not even funny: all of the various illusions, including inanimate objects and every race; invis and invis to undead; levitate; bind sight (sparklies!); gravity flux; clarity; whirl til you hurl; the list goes on.

    The game was hard, and every game since has gone out of its way to make sure everyone can solo (and I admit, nowadays I appreciate this in my MMOs); but damn if it didn’t make people work together. I met the best people I’ve ever met in any MMO way back in EQ1. No one knew anything; there were precious few spoiler sites (and most of those were just getting going and populated with incomplete or incorrect information); and you lived and died as a group (except of course the vile necros and droods and later the quad-kiting wizards). The world was big and dangerous. My lvl 16 warrior used to get PAID by people to escort them from Freeport to Qeynos (one coast of the main continent to another) – that’s insane! No one would do that in a modern MMO. You’d just take a gryphon ride… yawn!

    Tradeskills did suck, though. I got carpal tunnel syndrome from doing jewelcrafting. And what kind of idiot thought a random 50-50 chance of losing a 500 plat recipe component, even with high enough skill, was a good thing?

    But you just can’t beat the dungeons. So insane. Blackburrow, Crushbone, Unrest, Mistmoore, these places were legendary for their trains and insanity. You had to experience them to understand. Guk – oh man. It was an entire subculture to itself. And who was the masochist who thought it would be fun to make the night-blind barbarians have a single exit from their starter zone to the rest of the world through a pitch-dark, winding, gnoll infested tunnel that then emptied you into a dungeon (Blackburrow)? That guy was either a genius or a madman. And even though I gnashed my teeth and sweat bullets at the time, I have never forgotten the first time my barbarian warrior ventured out. I look back and smile, and wonder if any game will ever capture that magic again.

  4. I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100%, but that’s just my IMHO, which could be wrong.
    p.s. You have an awesome template for your blog. Where have you got it from?

  5. interesting post, will come back here, bookmarked your site

  6. Khoram, that was a great post.

    I too started playing the summer of 99 and quit shortly after Luclin dropped so our gaming experiences heavily over lap.

    Playing as a cleric, i LIVED in Lower Guk. I loved being able to use Invisibility to Undead and other spells like Banish Undead in there. I think I pretty much went from the early 30s all the way to level 45 in there alone. And Blackburrow was like my back yard sandbox. My cleric was a human from Qeynos so i spent alot of time there and brought up several secondarys in those Gnoll infested caverns. The snake ledge, that giant pit that you jump into and land safely in water… OH and tree with the false floor?? I remember the first time I went in there I fell in and was soon attacked by much higher level Gnolls. I tried to free for my life but of course had no idea how to get out. It was absolutely terrifying. I died and never got my corpse back. My half-elf rogue was about level 9 at the time and it was devastating, I abandoned the character and almost quit the game untill I tried the PvP servers where I created my human cleric and stuck with him all the way to level 65.

    I havent seriously played any MMORPGs since because they’re too damn time consuming and slowly suck away your soul. But part of me thinks EQ truly was a magical experience that wont be matched unless I REALLY delve into a game like WoW, which im just not willing to do again.

    I could stay here and type all night about everquest but the real world beckons. Another work week starts tomorrow and its bed time : (

    Damn you EverQuest Nostalgia!!!!!

  7. I have been playing EQ since 2002, and still play to this day. I have taken a few breaks here and there (deployments) but I have to say all of you hit the nail on the head. The game today suffers from lack of players, but even with that Sony has masterfully enabled the player with a brand new concept which by the way no other MMO has remotley thought of, and that is Mercenaries (Merc for short) Mercs come in several forms IE, Dark Elves, frogloks and such. You can get two types of these Mercs. One is a Tank, and One is a cleric. Of course each real player is only allowed one or the other. So Sony has devised the ability to have a cleric and a tank in the group and they are not even real payers. Before you say what kind of crap is this hear me out. With the invention of these mercs it has made it easier for 2-3 players to form a group and contiune the grind. The AI Tanks, and Clerics are very effective, almost like a real player (buggy at times) but overall no different then a real cleric who falls asleep at the wheel at 2am in the morning. Sony has come online with the whole World drop theme. (Think of WoW) Nothing like Wow but the same randomness. However the mobs still do drop the traditional items you remember. Sony is coming out with thier 16th expansion mid december so looking forward to that. They have Tier gear now which I won’t explain but know that gear is upgradeable and quest must be done to get what is Called Tier 5 Mercenaries. T5 Mercs bar none resemble a real player. The mobs in some of the zones now hit like make trucks they can quad you upwards of 5+k a shot.

    The nostalgia is still huge, I hit up SSra Temple from time to time and remember the many many many hours i spent wiping in that place, watching that place ring many a guild to its knees in its day. I still remember raiding TIME for the first time ever, seeing that swinging pendulim thinking finally after a years worth of work I was in TIME…only to be slammed into te wall on our first attempt. i remember the guilds racing to the zone lines to claim the Raid Zone, and I remember the guilds that camped them 24/7

    Then they instanced all raid zones to make it less of a pain. Necromancers are still the Gods of EQ, but they have competition these days. Wizards with thier huge boom booms, and mages with thier virtually indestructable tank pets.

    The mecanics are exactly as you remember them, except corpse rus are gun. You still de-ding if your in a bad group, and you still have to fight to get to certain camps. One slip up from the shaman on a slow can mean instant death at times, or maybe the chanter was two slow on the mez..still the same price to pay for your mistakes.

    The community all though thinner is the same as you remember it. The MGB’s still occur. There is a plae called the Guild Lobby, and the Guild Hall. Which is great if your the type of player that does not camp at the end of the day. Your buff timers stop while in these areas.

    The Lore is still massive, and they have tons and i stress tons more content and new zones. Aye the game is alive and well. We just need you folks back. Maybe i don’t know you folks but I miss the folks like you. Some of us still live in that magical world as it is my escape from reality at the end of the day. In everquest I decide where to go what to do and how. I your thinking about coming back do this: Download the Everquest theme song (you know the one) Closer your eyes and play that song. If the hair tingles and stands on your neck and yo have visions of those other people you used to group with…..you might want to give it a go again.

  8. It’s funny you mention that… I just resubbed after 8 years away last night! Spent last night and today looking through my characters and their banks and spells, trying to remember what the heck is going on with them, heh. I wasn’t a fan of the Luclin models when they came out, but they strike me as decent nowadays (except the trolls and ogres – yuck!). I don’t see anyway to use the old models anymore anyway, so whatever. Man a lot has changed, I don’t understand half of what the tooltips are telling me, and every zone I go to is completely, utterly empty, but I think I’ll have fun running around for awhile.

    Ganhob, one small thing: actually Guild Wars had mercs first, since their Nightfall expansion (which was 2-3 years ago now). And theirs were a little more flexible, in that you could have one of any class, and up to 3 of them at a time, with full control of their equipment and spells/skills. Pretty neat! Looking forward to trying them in EQ though, should make soloing with my enchanter and SK easier.

  9. Khoram what server are you on?

  10. Prexus. I’m totally confused by the bazaar and the gear, and it appears my collected 560pp amongst all my chars is rather paltry, heh 🙂 What’s the deal with all the “defiant” gear?

  11. The defient gear has been introduced as a way to entice players bacl. Go to alla and look upSeeds of Destruction progression, and take a look at some of the gear. Also pp farming is farily simple thse days. Also with the defient gear its good starter gear until you can get back on your feet again. take some time just to explore, don’t try and overwhelm yourself with I got to do this and this and this…..it took me about a month after I got back from Iraq to get used to everything again and get focused. Underfoot the next expansin is coming out soon so just watch general chat and see if you can get yourself into a helpful guild. Ther is a lit to re-learn, but sould not take to long. By the way I am on Tunare 🙂

  12. Oh for the Bazaar you have to things you can do. Red side is to buy and Blue side is to barter, IE if your looking for tradeskill stuff you can actually out a messege out to possible seelers that you want to buythier wares at a certain price. Its a standard barter system. Works well.

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