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News & Features Discussion  » EverQuest: The Making of a Classic

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Advanced Member

Joined: 5/19/04
Posts: 880
Be my friend!

1/05/12 1:03:18 PM#61

Originally posted by mrpoepoe

Trains in Blackburrow...dying at the bottom of the sea, EverQuest wasn't a game it was a way of life. No MMO has ever come close to it - great article, very interesting stuff.



    I agree 100%.... People today don't understand how EQ felt more of living in a second world than just playing a video game.. Nothing has ever come close to what EQ felt like to me..  In a way, that's a good thing.. If there was a true successor to EQ, I probably would be without a job and homeless right now, lol..  I was so addicted to EQ, I'd normally play for 15 hours straight on average..  In the summer when school was out, there were times I played for more than 24 hours straight,, only stopping to relieve myself and grab something to eat/drink, lol...

I'm sad but also kind of relieved there has never been a game released quite like it.. In my opinion, MMO's are not even close of what they used to be and used to mean to the person.. They are now shallow quick themeparks with no character whatsoever..

Rallithon Oakthornn
(Retired Heirophant of the 60th season)


Novice Member

Joined: 9/26/11
Posts: 55

1/05/12 2:12:12 PM#62

Everquest was the first MMO I ever played and I will never forget the time I spent with it.  It took my conception of what an "RPG" is and expanded it ten-fold, never before had I gotten to explore such a vast world that felt as alive as it was dangerous.

I won't miss all of the corpse runs, levels lost from dying, and load times between zones, but I will miss that sense of wonder and awe I experienced during my first few months of playing.  Everquest did so much more for me than introduce me to the MMO genre; it offered an outlet for me to fuel my creativity, it helped me bond with my brothers (I managed to get them hooked too) as well as new friends I made at school, and it taught me that sometimes the best adventures are the ones you didn't even expect to have.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/01/10
Posts: 940

I tend to get discontent when I run out of content.

1/05/12 3:24:49 PM#63

Yes corpse runs stank -- and they always stank...  People argued over that from day one.

But losing levels and heck levels were a completely different story.

Having levels NOT progress linearly changed your strategies... 

IE you are 39th in a normal level -- you fight in X way.

Now you are 40th in a level that lasts 2.5 times as long...  This does affect your play.

You ding 41st ... Now you are in the most interesting old level type of all of them...  The DEATH PENALTY in the level after one of those long levels was HUGE because it was based off the exp in the prior level.

If you died in level 41 you lost like 2 full bars of exp, very often dropping you right back into level 40.  The levels after the long levels were the levels where you had to really carefully plan your play.  You did NOT want to die in a level after a x5 or x0 level.


Levels having themes could be a good addition to games...


Novice Member

Joined: 6/10/11
Posts: 625

1/05/12 3:35:01 PM#64

Originally posted by xDayx

Originally posted by Aarinak

Great article... well-researched and well-written. EQ is the shit.

 Lemme correct that for you.... EQ was the shit.(Until Luclin).


People always talk about Luclin being the expansion that ended old school EQ.  I completely disagree and feel that it was actually PoP that ended old school EQ.  Luclin still very much had the feel of the first two expansions, despite the fact that people didn't like fighting snakes and aliens.  PoP was responsible for:

1) Taking exploration out of the game by adding portal stones.

2) Making a very centralized, linear game by having a central hub zone (Plane of Tranquility) and tiered zones.

3) Taking a lot of the danger out of the game by having a graveyard in every PoP zone.

4) Began the shift towards and entirely raid focused end game (you couldn't even access the best zones for grouping unless you raided to unlock them).

Not to mention PoP flagging was one of the worst things ever in an MMO.  Worse than VT keying by a long shot in my opinion.  PoP was actually responsible for my qutting EQ for the first time.  Granted I ended up coming back and playing for a long time, finally quitting for good about a year ago, but I've never really understood the hatred people have for Luclin when really I see PoP as the expansion that changed the game.

Also don't forget the completely abysmal method for acquiring spells in PoP.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 28

1/05/12 4:32:42 PM#65
Originally posted by Velocinox

Difficult MMOs are dead because the person that praises them in forums is the same person that cancels his account when things don't go his way.

Why did WoW kill EQ? - Typical answer: Well kids can't handle difficult games, they don't have the attentiuon span. Wrong: Most MMO players are adults. The industry demographics puts us around 35. So that answer is an easy knee jerk reply that not only isn't true but reveals an immaturity in the poster that forces them to blame some easily demonized portion of the playerbase.

Why do difficult games die? - Typical answer is bugs, or imbalance or anything other than the fact that the game was difficult. Well, guess what, a buggy/imbalanced game is difficult. Burn through it and keep paying them if you truly want a difficult game and aren't just paying the concept lip service.

The truth is most people don't want a difficult game, or they would vote with their subscriptions.

They want a game that appears difficult which really isn't under the hood.

I am sure this post will get flamed, but it makes a poster look good, makes them look skilled to say they want a difficult game on the forums, but the account cancellation button can always be pressed in private, and according to the most popular MMOs that's exactly where the posters asking for difficult games are making their most valuable vote.



WoW killed EQ?  That's news to me.  If anything I would have made the argument that EQ2 killed EQ.  The truth is, WOW had such success because of name recognition, Google, broadband, Gameing Sites and an audience that found paying for online content acceptable.  I had to learn of EQ the old fashioned way, word of mouth from a kid on a bus back in 1999.  Back then the internet was still a monotonous beast, but with crappy search engines and metasearch engines - good ol Hotbot - and it tied up my phone line. I'm not even sure what kind of gameing sites were around then.  If EQ waited 4 more years to release, everyone would be playing EQ and in 4 more years WOW would be suffering the same fate as every other MMO since then.  I'll bet the majority of people playing WOW had never heard of EQ back in the late 90's.  Even if they did, you have to understand that playing EQ back then meant also adding a new phone line or if you were lucky, testing out early broadband.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/27/10
Posts: 10

1/05/12 9:22:43 PM#66
Lucking did change eq for the worse. I hated portals too. Liked having to beg or buy ports from players. Best game ever till they screwed it. I remember gm events where the whole zone would try to slay some rampaging mob. Eq2 wa a crap pile. Evercrack was extremely emersive. So much so that I found myself getting scared in rl if looking like I was gonna bite the big one. Hard to explain why it was good it just was till some screwed it up. Every game some touches goes to shit. New eq2 is so poor it is not eve worth playing. Meaningfully death/rewards and realistic travel. Basically all the things the now gen bitches about are what made it good.

Novice Member

Joined: 12/27/10
Posts: 10

1/05/12 9:24:27 PM#67
Meant to say till Sony screwed it but the iPad editing gods bit me again.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5731

1/06/12 3:48:16 AM#68

We have gone from a death penalty that meant something to one that means nothing. In SWtOR I dont think you have a penalty and can rez near by or back at a base (as often as you want I think). Every player can rez someone out of combat. For me that makes death of no consequence. Solo RPG'S were the seed that planted the idea of a MMO in game designers minds, now we are heading back, giving MMO's the death penalty of a solo RPG, i.e. none.

For me only certain classes should be able to rez, you should get a xp penalty that you can recover with play and a not too severe but stackable debuff. The old death penalty was too harsh, the modern death penalty is non exsistant. 


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/19/04
Posts: 528

I was once Tailrot, Uproar, Bandage, Thus(tin) Hammered, Rock, and so many more. Aye gamerest.

1/06/12 12:17:52 PM#69

Originally posted by Superman0X

I agree that M59 and UO came first, and that they set the groundwork... but the reality is that EQ is the game that launched the industry. Just like Doom was the game that launched the FPS genre (despite other games coming first), EQ launched the MMORPG genre. It is the game that really changed everything, as it put the pieces together for a graphical 3d enviornment and online world.

I remember those days fondly. There was a lot of excitment in both the game, as well as in the gaming industry. Everyone realized that something had changed, and that we were seeing something new and innovative. You dont get that in todays games. They lack the excitement (but have plenty of hype).



I tried EQ and UO in the same week.  Having been a long time Ultima player on Apple II I loaded UO up first. I still clearlly remember logging into UO.  It had a lot of that familiar feel except for truely horrendous amounts of lag.  I walked around for maybe 2 hours.  I got bored.  I recall the people being rather nasty and rude.  Couple of days later I booted Everquest-- within moments my jaw litterally dropped.  I honestly got choked up and tears in my eyes. 

It was amazing.  So, so much more then anything I had ever seen or even expected to see at that time.  It started the genre. No doubts of that for me.

I lost UO disk.  I never logged in again.  I played EQ for 5-6 years.  Met and married a long time group mate. It was a dream that continues to shine and is the comparison I judge all games by to this day.  Played many, many other MMOS since then and even while still playing EQ.  EQ is the source of magic.  It just needs a modern repolish it will capture the genre again. 

I'm only waiting for that day to log in again.  The tears will be there I am sure!


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/24/07
Posts: 2199

MMO sandbox games are as exciting as watching paint dry.

1/07/12 2:41:16 AM#70
Originally posted by ropenice

Originally posted by adam_nox

Appreciation of it's success aside, the EQ model has been a scourge on mmo gaming that still hurts the genre through WoW and now SWTOR, with almost every other major release following that mold over AC, SWG, UO, CoH, and other much more creative and less treadmilly mmo's.


Nothing about EQ "hurt" the genre. It was one of several that came out at the same time with different philosophies. It became the most popular because people liked it's design better than the others. It only "hurts" those that like a different design that's not as popular. Blame the developers and companies for rushing out buggy, dumbed-down games trying to cash in on the WoW money train. Don't blame EQ for doing something original and innovative for it's time. And bringing recognition and popularity to the genre.

Great post.


EQ introduced a number of us to MMOs, and everything else paled in comparison.


Fuck Owen play, and fuck FFA PVP. It appeals to a very minute segment of MMO gamers, and even before they went mainstream with WOW, EQ was towering above all.


I wish they would relaunch EQ, and make it with a lot less brutal of systems. "Grind" is not challenge, it is simply a time sink. Which is one thing EQ had plenty of, to go with a metric shit ton of PVE content.

To me, it seems rather ignorant to place anything above the importance of PVE content. That is the meat and potatoes of MMOs....everything else is simply side dishes. Throw in the choice of PVP for desert, and you got a pretty damn good meal.

Asking Devs to make AAA sandbox titles is like trying to get fine dining on a McDonalds dollar menu budget.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/03
Posts: 79

1/07/12 2:02:24 PM#71

This was a great article.  It provides background info that I never knew about EQ.  It reminds me about an article I read about DAOC's development and launch on another site.

I bet most of these early MMORPGs have great stories to tell about how they came to be.  I agree with other posts, if more articles like this are written about other earlier games -- UO, DAOC, AC, I'd really enjoy reading about them -- even if I didn't spend time in the game.  I'm not sure recent games' development and launches can match the stories these older games can tell.  While the goal of these earier games was still to make money, it was also gamers making games and developing great ideas, not just money-making scams.  Today its about business models and stuffed shirts in corporate sucking the souls out of games.

(I never got an opportunity to play EQ.  I bought the game but my poor internet connection at the time couldn't handle it.... after days of trying to connect and reconnect with just minutes of game time in between, I gave up.  I'm sure this article meant more to you if you spent a lot of time in EQ, but I can tell you that it was a fun read even though I didn't play it.)


Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/09
Posts: 10

1/07/12 10:18:29 PM#72

My first character became my main for the rest of my time in EQ (several years).  In fact it is my user name on  =) , and I have used it in several MMO's since.

No game since has given me the same challenge and thrill.  The server community was like a family.

I recently subbed for a free trial and went to BB for old time's sake..those nasty Gnolls were still there making trouble - thank goodness I remembered not to go into the hollow tree  =D


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5731

1/08/12 3:18:27 PM#73

No way did EQ 'hurt the genre', this website would not exsist if it had not broken new ground and been a huge success.


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Joined: 10/01/10
Posts: 940

I tend to get discontent when I run out of content.

1/08/12 3:35:53 PM#74

Actually -- I don't know...

Lets say Everquest never existed...

In the early days of MMORPGs it would have been Asheron's Call vs Ultima Online.

Yes some themepark might have come along, but something tells me without Everquest (no matter how good and addictive a game it was) there would have been far more sandboxes made.

DAOC would certainly have been different and a lot more innovative.

Sometimes removing a good thing from the tapestry of time can end up improving things overall.  And sometimes some of the worst possibilities could have been necessary...  IE sometimes you need one thing to cause another thing and that second thing is really bad but the first thing may have been the best at the time.  But without the former you have a much better latter.


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/25/09
Posts: 199

1/08/12 8:03:12 PM#75

I think you are wrong. EverQuest's success hinged upon two things 1) it was 3D and 2) it was simple. A lot of Ultima's lack of success beyond EQ's was simply that it was very daunting to get into, for instance until Reinassance it didn't come with a new player manual, or experience. Asheron's Call again, was a great idea, but possibly too complex to take into the mainstream. With Ultima, which reached 250,000 subs, and Asheron's Call which was about the same, the genre probably wouldn't have developed into the levels of popularity we see now, and may have been an oddity of the late 90's, rather than the massive industry pusher it is now. Would that have created more innovative, sandbox worlds? Possibly, but would it have given the genre the space to develop any further beyond two slightly succesful titles? Maybe not. 

What you are saying is a little like, if Ultima Online didn't come out, Meridian 59 and Never Winter Nights Online would have directed the genre - it doesn't really come into contention because without UO, without EQ, without WoW, we wouldn't see the type of money rolled into making new games. 


Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/05
Posts: 1038

1/09/12 8:29:56 AM#76

"In 1999, I was just 8 years old."

This statement made me feel old :(


I've never played an MMO that was as enjoyable as EQ back before Sony screwed it up. Its the only MMO that made me feel like part of a world and not like a character in a game.

I wish more games these days made your choice of race affect how you would play your class like EQ did. There seems to be this belief in modern MMOs these days that all player races have to be equal in most every way or that their advantages/disadvantages can't be significant. I loved my chainmail tank Iksar ShadowKnight.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/05/03
Posts: 40

1/10/12 4:54:49 PM#77

While EQ eventually just became too painful for me to continue playing I still have not found a game that stirs the same feelings in me as EQ.  I joined EQ and quickly made friends that I still have to this day.  I have yet to find a game that allowed these types of friendships to occur on such a scale.  Most of my fondest MMO memories are with EQ (followed by UO).  I can remember getting my first SoW and getting lost in Greater Faydark, corpse runs to crushbone and the first trip to Freeport, finding my way to North Ro where I stopped to gape.  Oh and those maps by Muse, a sight to behold.

I've played just about every MMO that gets releases for awhile there and I think this drive was an attempt to recapture that lost "EQ brotherhood".


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/22/12
Posts: 372

1/22/12 5:36:38 PM#78

Excellent article. I had forgotten voodoo cards altogether until reading this.

Some of my best MMO memories are because of this game. I actually laugh when I now watch my nephews play "suspense" games in the horror genre. I just think to myself "You should play an EQ Enchanter that needs "Charm" to kill something..." I don't think I even had fingernails left after those sessions.

Regardless, no other game has brought out the type of emotion that EQ did. What I remember most however was that amazing sense of community. I have to keep reminding myself that people once had manners online and were more than happy to help each other out. Here's hoping the next-gen MMO developers will look back at something besides the code when moving forward.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/05/11
Posts: 1593

1/28/12 11:18:49 PM#79

I've never felt such a feeling of wide spectrum of love and hate since EQ.  It was the game that got me hooked on MMO's.  Admittedly I'm still looking for the same sense of virtual world, thrill, depth and community.  Unfortunately, I don't think we will ever see another MMO with this kind of depth and especially this kind of sense of danger just walking around the world.  Each zone had it's own feel and with rare spawns there were mobs to farm that were actually unique and enjoyable.


Here's hoping that some of the MMO's in the future take a look to the past and consider the reasons why it had a lasting effect on the MMO community. 


Advanced Member

Joined: 11/17/09
Posts: 37

2/07/12 6:04:33 AM#80

Great article! I couldn't agree more with Mardukk. The sense of depth, adventure, and especially danger are missing from all MMO's that I've tried since EQ. I doubt it will ever be captured in quite the same way again. In all my years of gaming nothing can come close to the awe-inspiring experience that I had with EQ. 

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