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The Mac Side of Massive

Whoever has chosen to embrace the Mac as his desktop platform of choice but uses to rely on other platforms for his gaming needs, may feel the lack of some native massive online gaming titles sooner or later. This is my decayed observation post.

Author: macpete

EverQuest pre-PoP in the "SOE's Forgotten Lands" (*)

Posted by macpete Tuesday January 22 2008 at 10:06AM
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(English is not my native Language so, please, be patient and point out any gross mistake in your comments ... thank you)

 
It seems that among the PC EQ community there are lots of veteran players that ask for some classic gameplay ... they all miss the pre-Planes of Power era. 


Odd, everytime I attend one of the many sections of  this BBS that are dedicated to the most ancient MMOs, I end up by reading all these melancholy threads where vets talk about the old times ... it has happened to all classic MMOs, hasn't it? From UO to SWG.

As the years pass by, old players end up realizing that when the mechanics of a MMO have worked well for years, changing them too deeply (and too often) sometimes doesn't pay.

I’m not a veteran MMO player by any means (I’m trying to face EverQuest Mac Edition these days but I’m so noob and so accustomed to the current MMO mechanics that even the Sense Heading skill is a challenge for me) but I feel nonetheless attracted by EQ’s old-school gameplay. Maybe it’s because I love online games where the community are small, placid and supportive.

A web writer (Mark Crump) recently has described Al'kabor - the one and only official EverQuest Mac server – as “SOE's Land That Time Forgot”. Here are the facts: there are roughly 200 real players (someone on the EQMac community says there should be about  800-1000 active accounts), the last patch was released three years ago in January 2005, the Mac client has expansions up to Planes of Power, there are no devs (only a server GM and some CSRs).

After reading through some posts in the EQMac BBS, I’ve discovered that A LOT of ex-PCEQ players has joined Al’kabor over the past years … and they all seem to be rather happy with this server.


So, I don't care if you love or hate the Mac platform (I've never been a Mac-evangelist) ... but if own a Mac that has less than 4-5 years (and has at least 512 Mb of RAM) and are desperately seeking for  a pre-PoP esperience, you should really try EverQuest Mac Edition:

 

SOE's free 15 day trial

Station.com EverQuest Mac Ed. forum (a rather desolate place)

Welcome to EQMac and Al`Kabor! (information for new players)

It's $14.95/month and is part of the Station All Access Pass.

The community is incredibly warm so for every other detail ... just post in their Everquest General Discussion forum and say hello.

 

The Mac client, unfortunately, is PPC only so you will need Rosetta (the Mac OS X program that enables applications compiled for the PowerPC family of processors to run on Macs that use Intel processors) to run it on a current Intel Mac but it runs pretty well on every setup. You can play the game at maxed settings on a G5 or Intel-based Mac and ( if your GPU has enough VRAM and can rely on the necessary throughput) even force FSAA and anisotropic filtering through the Ati Displays preference panel's override settings ...



EverQuest Mac Ed. on an old G5/9600

EverQuest Mac Ed. on a current Intel iMac/x1600

Watch for some Al'kabor stories and screenshots



[EDITED] Back in 2005, all EQ servers were upgraded to newer blade servers. There's a picture of one of the Al'Kabor blades used as a coffee holder somewhere on the EQMac BBS ... it's only a joke.

 

Good luck.

 

Pietro

 

(*) A definition of EverQuest Mac Edition coined by Mark Crump. I know he doesn't write for mmorpg.com but he has actually done a pretty good job of covering EQMac on Massively weblog

grimfall writes:

Makes me wish I had a Mac. 

Wed Jan 23 2008 4:01AM Report
macpete writes:

These days, owning a Mac laptop is pretty handy thanks to Boot Camp ... they're affordable (given the specs and the all-round value) and fast.

The cost/benefit ratio of the Apple consumer desktops may be a bit worse (the iMacs de-luxe engineering is expensive and the Minis aren't really suitable for gaming) but I have to say that both XP and Vista 32 run wonderfully on all the current Apple machines.

So you could have two options (buying and old, inexpensive PPC Mac only for EQMac or a new Intel Mac where you can also run Windows natively) and they're both less traumatic than people might expect.

But I have to aknowledge that you shouldn't buy a Mac for these reasons ... the major benefit of owning a Mac is the tight integration between the hardware and the OS so ... IMHO, if you don't love the OS you shouldn't buy a Mac.

Anyway, if you know someone that can lend you a crappy PPC for a few days ...

Wed Jan 23 2008 5:27AM Report
macpete writes: Just an update ... it seems that my feelings about the state of EQMac were righ. This forgotten server is in perfect health, indeed. During the last two weeks I've read at least a couple of dozens of "Hi, I'm new" posts on the EQMac forum ... mainly ex-PCEQ players. I really don't know how long SOE is going to keep Al'kabor server up and running but I'm pretty sure that the coming months will be great for this small community. I hope I will find some spare time for this game one of these days (I've just received my new MacBook Pro this week but I will be busy for at leas 10 days). Thu Feb 07 2008 12:10PM Report

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