Today marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of EverQuest.
Happy Birthday EverQuest!
I have chosen to celebrate the day by piling up random EverQuest related items from the shelves in my office, including the original disk and manual.
There is more buried in boxes in my office, but I did not feel like doing the digging required to ferret all that out.
Today also marks the 10th anniversary of my own involvement with the game. I have a receipt from Fry’s that shows I ran down there on my lunch and picked up a copy of the game on launch day.
And that night, and for many many nights after, I could not get enough of Norrath, the land of EverQuest.
Eventually I did tire of the game. I stopped playing regularly at about the time The Planes of Power came out. My youth was over, and with it went the seemingly endless hours to do things like play games. (At least they seem endless in retrospect.) I still played games, but tended, for a while, towards games that required less time in a play session.
Still, though, nostalgia for those early, glorious days in the game brought my mind back into pre-cataclysm Norrath on a fairly regular cycle. There seemed to be something about autumn, with the coming of shorter days, rainy weather, and the inevitable EverQuest expansion that would peak my interest. I wouldn’t necessarily resubscribe, but I would chat with people I knew who still played to hear about how things were going in the game.
The coming of EverQuest II both hindered and stimulated this yearly nostalgic pilgrimage. The reminders of the old game in the new were a spark, as was the fact that a number of people with whom I had played EverQuest showed up. Though most of those people were gone within two months, either back to EverQuest or onward to World of Warcraft. A few stayed longer, but not many.
And then there was the advent of Station Access, SOE’s plan that let you play any of their subscription games at a single, flat rate. (A rate that used to be less expensive that two concurrent subscriptions.) The combination of that with the parsimonious character slot allowance in EQ2 (4 characters), which could only be increased by subscribing to Station Access, opened the door to regular Fall returns to EverQuest.
And so it went for several more years. Until last Fall.
The last EverQuest expansion to come out, the Seeds of Destruction, actually had a number of items that interested me, the top of the list being the “hire a minion” system. You could rent a healer, an incredible boon to somebody who often ends up solo. I bought the expansion. I even had Station Access going so I could dive in there as well as into EQ2.
But I never quite made it into the game.
The spark just wasn’t there.
Now, maybe the fact that I played some during the Living Legacy promotion earlier in the year meant that my quota was up by the time Fall came. But I am not so sure.
I just didn’t get that wistful feeling, that longing to revisit the spots that had such meaning at one time. It isn’t that I have recently given up on recapturing that feeling that EverQuest gave so many people in the early days. I let go of that long ago.
I think I might simply be over EverQuest. It now seems a romance that has faded over time until it is no longer a passion, but just a fond memory.