EverQuest at 21

The days are long, but the years are short.

Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

Here we are again at mid-March and another EverQuest anniversary.

Classic EverQuest

I’ve taken it upon myself to mention the anniversary almost every year since the first March 16th of the blog rolled around back in 2007.  I think there was still a bit of a sense or hope that the company would get EverQuest II on track as the rightful successor game it was expected to be and that EverQuest might fade away.  But at ten, twelve, thirteen, fifteen, nineteen, and twenty years it was still around and still looking like the anchor of the Norrath franchise.  It has launched new servers, embraced nostalgia, rolled out new expansions, added new features, and generally kept on rolling and printing money as younger games launched, peaked, and shut down.

And so the date has rolled around again and I wonder once more if there is anything I have yet said about the game.  We’re in the fifth year of the Daybreak era of the game where, unlike some of its stable mates, it has seemingly thrived.

We are also at the start of the Darkpaw Games era, as Daybreak organized three studios under its umbrella. (An umbrella which still shelters H1Z1 apart from those three so far as we can tell.)  That put EverQuest and EverQuest II together under the Darkpaw banner.

Darkpaw Gamed for Norrath

What that means, if it really means anything, is not clear.  There are plenty of theories but few facts.

At this anniversary we are also facing a change of leadership.  Holly “Windstalker” Longdale announced her departure from Daybreak and Darkpaw just about a week back, with the reigns being handed over to Jennifer Chan.  Again, while both games got a note from the new executive producer, it is unclear what that means in the long term.

And now we have the anniversary with the traditional in-game events, which will run out into May.

plenty of time

There are also a few give away according to the current release notes.

What we get

All Access members who log in between now and May 10th will get a free heroic character boost.  This will let you bring any character up to level 85.

Heroic for Free – Unchanged since 2014

I will, as always, grouse a bit about the fact that the level cap has now gone to 115, but they are still giving away… and selling when they aren’t simply handing them out… boosts to just level 85.

Ah well.  They will update that some day I hope.

For now though all you get is level 85.  But they have to give you one because it unlocks the new Overseer feature, which requires you to be level 85 to play.

If you’ve read my post about the Overseer in EverQuest II, you can mostly disregard that.  Darkpaw has take that feature, added some depth and visible… dare I say even comprehensible… graphics and plunked it down into EverQuest.  This version has levels and stats and classes and bonuses and a few other things that at least give the illusion of depth to the whole thing.  And, of course, the ability to spend some Daybreak Cash.

Want to finish early? We can sell you that!

That last bit isn’t active yet, but I am sure it will be soon.

The whole thing is still wrapped in the UI conventions of EverQuest, which date from 1999 and can feel very clunky if you’ve recently been playing WoW… or even WoW Classic… but once you find the Overseer option in the myriad of menu items and move it to your hot bar, it is at least easy to access.

Bhagpuss has a write up about the EverQuest version of Overseer if you are interested.  I do not know what this portends for the EQII version of the feature, but for now EverQuest has the richer, deeper option.

There we are though, a new feature for the 21st anniversary of the game.

The word is that we will also be getting a special server or two at some point here in year twenty-one.  But first Darkpaw needs to clean up and merge some of the aging special servers that are still hanging about.  I suspect that the Fippy Darkpaw server, launched back on February 15, 2011, will be on the list of those to be merged.

What does it even mean when your game has retro-nostalgia servers that are over nine years old?  At least I will be able to write that promised final post about the server.

Congrats to the EverQuest team for making it into another decade!

3 thoughts on “EverQuest at 21

  1. Redbeard

    I know what Everquest at 21 means…. EQ is going drinking!!

    Seriously, I’m just glad it’s still around, even though EQ has long been eclipsed by WoW and some other MMOs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mailvaltar

    I’m actually a bit sad that I missed out on experiencing this game. Must have been something really special at the time.

    I don’t think I’d be able to enjoy it now though, so I’m keeping my hands off it. Nevertheless I’m glad it’s still going, happy anniversary!

    Like

  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Redbeard – It turns 21 just as the county orders all bars and restaurants closed.

    @Mailvaltar – Today even the new expansion stuff looks awkward graphically. The UI is clunky (it grudgingly moved to WASD at some point), the pacing can be comically slow, the game play oddly simplistic at times (warrior skills are minimal) and over complicated at others (you need the wiki to know where to even buy your spells as a caster), and the whole thing has about a twice as many features than you think it could ever need. But the world is huge and sprawling and at times unforgiving. My attempt last year to get to the Scarlet Desert was a sample of travel that I think only EVE Online can match.

    But at launch it was unlike anything else and grabbed a core audience that sustains it through to today. It will always be at least a little bit special to me.

    Liked by 2 people

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