Am I Over EverQuest?

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.

10 Years of EverQuest

A small part of my 10 years with EverQuest

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.

14 thoughts on “Am I Over EverQuest?

  1. Randolph

    Very well put, sir. I wish I would have cut my MMO teeth on EQ. I’ve heard so many wonderful stories when people are waxing nostalgic about the glory days of Norrath. When EQ launched I was right in the middle of playing MSSMEMA (MY Soul Sucking Marriage Is Eating Me Alive!) and really didn’t have it in me to play anything else. For me, I’d say my gamer’s youth ended with WoW. I’m sure I will never recapture that sense of wonder and excitement I got from my early days in Azeroth, but for some reason I keep trying. I keep thinking that next game is going to bring it all back. Oh well, thanks for sharing this. You’ve now put me in a rather nostalgic mood. I think I’ll go fire up Adventure on the 2600 and try and slay the red, green and yellow ducks before that infernal bat gets to me.

    RC

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  2. Darraxus

    I remember when I first got EQ. I enjoyed it a bit, but quickly got tired of it. The map interface was terrible and you pretty much had to just memorize where to go. I got to about level 8 before I quit for good. I have played many of the MMOS, but WoW was the only one that has held my interest.

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  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Randolph – Ah, Adventure on the 2600… I have a post about that brewing somewhere in the back of my head.

    @Darraxus – Map interface? That came much later, at a time when there were direct Diku-derived competitors to the game. Day one maps were non-existent. You moved by landmarks, an unreliable “sense direction” skill (no compass), and anything you might scribble down on the notepad you had to keep with you, because there was no quest log either. Up hill, both ways, in the snow!

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  4. syncaine

    Wait so you could not hit L for the quest log? How did you ever manage! :) (remember, the smily makes it ok)

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  5. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I’ve been on EQ for not supporting WASD out of the box on several occasions, so don’t think you can play the “you’re being unfair to WAR” card.

    And once there was a quest log in EQ, you could map the key to open up to “L.” Superior interface choices in action.

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  6. Holy Ghost

    EQ was my first MMO. Starting out in the human city and some people ran us to the ELF city in the tree’s (sorry it’s been too many years since i played to remember names) and i was just blown away by how huge that game was.

    EQ sucked up a good many years of my life. Tallon Zek PvP Pandemonium Ranger. Left when the hacking was so bad PvP was useless. Now playing at that level is too much of a time sink and everyone warps/ runs to instance to hide anyways. Ahhhh the good old days…

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  7. Beau

    To me, it’s like playing cops and robbers. Fun as a kid, but not so much as an adult. I’m not making fun, but different things hold your play at different times. I actually find myself enjoying eq more now than then, back in ’99-03.

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  8. syncaine

    The “unfair to WAR” card is actually very flexible like that. The gift that keeps on giving.

    How did one get around in EQ1 before WASD? Arrow keys?

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  9. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Arrow keys… or the 10-key pad, if I recall right. I always remap when I go back to play.

    You had to be very careful with the “A” key, because it turned on auto-attack by default and, back in the early days, you could attack any NPC. So you would start to say something to an NPC for a quest (the details of which you had to note down yourself in your real life quest journal that needed NO KEY AT ALL to bring up) and if you forgot to get the prompt up, you would get to the first “a” and find yourself being pummeled by some vendor or quest mob.

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  10. dorgol

    I laughed at the thought of playing EQ. What in the WORLD are people thinking, I wondered, to pay a monthly fee for a GAME!?!

    Oh, and I bought WoW on release and have had an active subscription since (minus a 4 month hiatus).

    Irony, she’s an evil mistress.

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  11. Grimjakk

    Ah, yes. WASD. (We called that the “Thresh” control scheme back then.)

    I remember quite clearly the results of failing to remap:
    — target an NPC
    — start to type ‘hail’
    — get your skull slapped all the way into the next zone as you hit the ‘a’uto-attack key and realize that you hadn’t hit ‘enter’ to activate the chat line…

    (To this day, in any game that allows it, I map auto-attack to the ~ (tilde) key. )

    Discovering the full-screen checkbox was also a big moment. =)

    One thing they DID do with the control keys that I’ve missed ever since… the Tab key toggling between self and previous target.

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  12. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Heh, yes, a mouse was required to play the game. Mouse actions had their own odd quirks. When I go back to play it takes me forever to get used to moving things in bags because you click once on an item to pick it up, then you move it, then you click again to drop it at its destination. Simple click and drag is so ingrained in me as a mouse action that it very difficult to do anything different.

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  13. pheerie

    two words: progression server.

    Sony is starting a new official one in a month or 2. Starts with vanilla eq, and expansions are opened by player tasks, at a clip of 1 every month or 2. DHS is recruiting for the new server:

    dhsguild.org

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