EverQuest Turns Eighteen

The date has come again where I tell you I still have that receipt from Fry’s for a copy of EverQuest dated March 16, 1999 and reminisce for a bit about the good old days and what a revelation an open, 3D world was back in 1999 and how far the game has come and how amazing that here, eighteen years later the game is still live and viable and getting updates and expansions.  I think you will find similar posts just about every March 16th (or 17th if I was lazy) over the life of the blog.  Ten years ago today there was a post here on the blog about EverQuest turning 8.

And there is nothing wrong with that.  Why shouldn’t I celebrate something that clearly left a mark on my life?  The EverQuest team is celebrating as well.

They can now buy cigarettes and vote

There are all sorts of things going on in old Norrath, with new events, bonus experience, and the return of old anniversary favorites.

You can even get a free level 85 boosted character between now and March 31.

Being level 85 makes you heroic by default

The offer is good for any account that has ever played EverQuest or any new account that is an All Access subscriber.

There is also a new Producer’s letter up that, among other things, promises a new Progression server called Agnarr that will stop unlocking content at Lost Dungeons of Norrath and simply stay there.  There is also an explicit statement that there will be an EQ expansion this year, as though we would doubt that at this point.

All good stuff for a game that continues to defy expectations and carry on despite its age.

1999 EverQuest Trivia from 2011… the level cap is 100 now

But the anniversary also brings up some questions as well.  A lot of MMORPGs have come and gone during the game’s run, and it is purported to still be one of the most popular/highly populated games at Daybreak.  This leads me to wonder how long can EverQuest last?  How long will it keep getting updates?  What combo of critical mass and notoriety does an MMO need to hit to achieve this sort of longevity?

I have failed to answer those questions before, though not for a lack of trying from time to time, starting with a post back in 2007 when I wondered how many more expansions the game would get.  This was at the time when the EQ team moved from two expansions a year to just one.  I guessed two or three.  So very wrong.  Currently Daybreak summarizes the game’s features as:

  • Experience 18 years of continuous development including 21 expansions of amazing content
  • Build your character through 100 levels of power
  • More than 500 zones to explore
  • Choose from 16 unique races and 16 distinct classes
  • Thousands of Alternate Abilities available to further customize your character
  • More than 50,000 items to earn and collect
  • Hire and control unique mercenaries to aid you in your heroic adventures
  • A robust in-game marketplace containing potions, weapons, armor, and mounts
  • Solo, Group and Raid across continents filled with perilous dungeons, eerie crypts, floating landscapes, and underwater adventures
  • Participate in several seasonal and holiday events throughout the year

Anyway, another year passes and Norrath still seems to be going strong.  Same time next year?

My past anniversary posts, just to keep track:

6 thoughts on “EverQuest Turns Eighteen

  1. Bhagpusss

    Hmm. I wish they’d raise that 85 to 90 or even 95 on the Heroic character boost. 85 puts you pretty squarely into content from, what, seven years ago? Still, I suppose I will take a free 85 if that’s what’s on offer. In fact, reading the terms and conditions, I could take one on all seven of our accounts. I have a few days off work – I might just do that.

    More interesting to me is the bonus xp until the end of March. I was grimly grinding my Mage towards 90 (100 being just impossible to imagine) but then I swapped All Access to my other account for EQ2 reasons and that put paid to me playing EQ, at least at my highest available level, because when there were bonus xp events they tended to be only for AA members. It looks like this one is for everyone, though, so I will probably do some more grinding, even if it’s only the half-hour Lesson (which of course takes half an hour to set up). I notice they don’t say what the bonus is, though. If it’s double XP they usually say so. I hope it’s not 18% in line with the anniversary!

    The new Prog server sounds very interesting indeed. That is effectively the permanent “Classic” server people have been asking forever. I know it’s not the Original+Kunark+Velious SuperClassic but in my opinion it hits absolutely dead-on the true “Classic” period of EQ, which is basically the whole of the period when EQ was the market leader in MMORPGs and, crucially, the point just before the combination of the hideous mis-step of Gates of Discord and the arrival of WoW put an end to that period forever.

    For me, LDON was the absolute high-water mark of EQ. I loved plenty about the game after that and still do but I never had as much fun so consistently as the six months of LDoN. If I was ever going to seriously consider re-starting EQ and playing it wholeheartedly again this would be the server I’d choose to do it on. Sadly, though, life is too short for that. At least I think it is…

    Also, EQ gets a new producer. That’s interesting too.

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  2. Bhagpusss

    Murf just asked me that too. I said Magician because the first time they did this I thought about it quite a bit and that’s what I went for…and I was pleased with how it turned out. The magician is very powerful indeed in the higher levels of EQ and has hugely better survivability than back in the old days. Add a healer merc and it makes for very pleasant soloing I think.

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  3. Bhagpusss

    Hmm. It could be because gambling is an adult activity and the game just turned 18?

    Or it could be that the Secret Project we know DBG is working on (Domino even mentioned it on her blog after she left) is some kind of EQ-based collectible card game? Oh wait, they already had one of those…

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