One of the nice things about moving… and at this moment I feel that there are relatively few nice things about moving… is that you get to discover hidden treasures as you box up your life.
Just a few weeks ago I ran across a receipt dated March 16, 1999. A Fry’s receipt, naturally enough. 8 years ago today I left work early (a little before 4pm), hit Fry’s on my way home, picked up a copy of a game that had just been released, brought it home, and loaded it up.
The game was, of course, EverQuest.
The first night was rough. Servers were up and down. Logging on and staying connected was a challenge even when the servers were up. And zoning… that was an invitation to disconnection.
And yet in the small amount of time I got to play that night, I was hooked.
The game was hard. There was no tutorial, you were just handed a weapon and pointed towards the world. The few quests there were had to be remembered or written down, because there was no in-game way to track them. And the UI left quite a bit to be desired. And still I was hooked.
Not because of anything surprising. Nothing shocked me about the game.
I was hooked because, despite the hurdles in the way of playing, it just seemed so right. It was some sort of magical mixing of just the right elements. There was no question in my mind that I would put up with the flaws in the game to keep playing it. I could see what the game… what the genre… could be, and I wanted to be a part of it.
And a lot of people felt the same way. A lot of people I know played it. Some still do.
EverQuest was, and still is, a success.
Now that receipt, along with the original EverQuest manual, CD, and cloth map, are packed away in a box in the garage.
These days I poke my nose into EverQuest on occasion, but I do not play. The game seems rough and primitive compared to more recent titles. And yet I still remember it fondly. It was one of those games that comes along every so often that changes how I look at gaming.
Congratulations EverQuest on 8 years of success! May your lore never fade!
Now I’ll knock back a few Halas Heaters, go watch “Sayonara Norrath,” and get all misty eyed again. I’ll probably end up in front of Qeynos telling Fippy, “I love you man!”