A D D I C T I O N. My Everquest story/review.
Sometime in the next month I went to the mall with my dad and asked him to buy Everquest for me. Reluctantly he did so. I got back to my house, installed the game on my very crappy computer. It could barely even run the game. The installation finished and I was ready to enter the world of Norrath. Then to my surprise I get a message from the game "Please subscribe to Everquest!" I was really confused, I had been playing video games since the NES, and had never had to pay an additional fee to play. But I wanted to play SOOO bad that I ran to my mom and asked her to pay the additional $12.99 subscription fee.
She wasn't very pleased, and made me mow the yard before she would pay for it, but I had no problem doing that. I finished mowing the grass, ran back inside subscribed to the game and little did I know, I was about to enter the most addicting thing I had ever encountered in my life.
My first character was an Ogre Shadowknight. It took me like 10 minutes just to log into the game, because my internet connection and computer were so horrible, but I was patient, and to me it was worth the wait.
I started running around the city of Oggok, completely confused, I was trying to talk to NPC's thinking they were real people. I was attacking level 30 guards who would kill me in one hit. After about an hour I made my way out of the city and into the dark forest known as "The Feerrott". I tried attacking a level 2 spider and got creamed. At this point I was very aggitated and decided to try another character. If my memory serves me well my second character was a High Elf Enchanter. Things were alot easier on this character, I actually made it to level 2, and learned how to memorize and cast spells. I had trouble getting past level 2, because once again I ventured too far out and was trying to kill monsters way higher than I was. The consequences for dieing in this game were very harsh, you lost experience, and had to run back and get your corpse, if you couldn't get to your corpse in time, it would decay and you would lose all of your equipment, loot, and money.
Even though the game was extremely challenging for me at the time, I was still so amazed by it, that I couldn't put it down. Finally I ended up asking my friend Nick over to help me learn how to play.
The first thing we did was start a character on his server "Tarew Marr" which would end up being my main server. I created a Half-Elf Warrior named Almightyknight. Things were becoming much more clear now that I was having Nick explain stuff to me. Before I knew it I reached level 5, the highest level I had ever attained! I was on my way to the dungeon of Black Burrow, where the evil gnolls dwell. On my way there I was contacted by a Game Master and he forced me to change my name, because it didn't fit in with their naming policies. So I changed my name to Falmiskian. He became my main character for quite awhile, and I ended up getting him to level 35. At level 20 I attained my last name which was Thunderbound. Falmiskian Thunderbound will forever go down in history as my very first main character in any MMORPG.
After awhile I was sick of the warrior class, because I didn't like tanking at all. So one day I was watching my friend's father play. He had a level 50 necromancer, and had alot of knowledge about the game. I became very interested in the Necromancer class and immediately went home and created my next character FalmiskiOn that's right, same name, except I replaced the A with an O. I was having alot more fun with the necromancer, and ended up getting all the way to level 52. At the time Scars of Velious came out, I was very greedy, and wanted some end game items. I ended up making the dumbest move of my Everquest career.
I contacted a GM and lied to him. I told him that I had lost my corpse in Iceclad Ocean and needed my items reimbursed to me. Of course if the plan went through I was going to lie about the items I had, and would end up getting end game loot for free. But the GM checked all the game logs and found out I was lieing. He ended up suspending my account for 10 days, and that lead to it eventually getting banned permanantly. The reason was because I lied and tried to fraud a GM. I personally didn't believe I should have gotten banned for it, but I had no choice in the matter. I was devistated! I was in utter shock.
About 3 months went by and my Everquest addiction was eatting away at me, I needed to play again! So I went back to the mall and bought another copy of Everquest. I made a new account and swore that I would never try anything like that again.
During my 3 month break I had played alot of Diablo II, and liked alot of the names that were in there. So I was going to name my new character after a Diablo II boss. My first idea was Mephisto, but figured that he was too well known. So I went with my second choice 'Hephesto" the armorer who dwells in hell on the IV act of Diablo II. I modified the name a little bit and named him "Haphasto" the Dark Elf Necromancer! Yes that's right, another Necromancer! I liked the class so much I was willing to level another up.
Haphasto ended up becoming my main character, and set the path for my name for pretty much everything...even this Gamespot account if you've noticed. I'll go ahead and end the story here. I got Haphasto all the way to level 71. I own all the expansions, but no longer have an active EQ account. I've seen most of the high end game, with the exception of the newer expansions. YOU THOUGHT IT WAS OVER! BUT NO!!!! I havn't even reviewed the game. I've only told you my story, in a simplified version. I'm going to try and make it short and sweet so here we go. Going to divide it into 4 sections "GRAPHICS, GAMEPLAY, SOUND, REPLAYABILITY" I am ONLY going to review the original Everquest here, along with maybe a little bit of Kunark and Velious. Anything after Luclin though deserves it's own seperate review, because the game has changed pretty dramatically since the Scars of Velious expansion.
Not really....but I had to give it a perfect score to give this game a perfect score. The graphics are really nothing amazing, even at the time it came out, it was nothing remarkable. But that's because the world was so large that it would have been very hard to mix good graphics with the huge world in 1999 when technology was where it was. But still that doesn't mean the game wasn't attractive. There was still alot that captured the eyes, especially some of the points of interest in the world, and alot of the larger monsters such as Griffons, Giants, and Dragons.
The character models were a little bland, but had alot of charisma. All you could really do was select your characters face, out of like 6 selections. It was still easy to identify your character though, and with all of the different types and colors of armor out there, your character usually ended up looking pretty unique from the rest.
Every race had their own starting city and noob area. Each was unique and different in it's own way, and really captured the story and meaning to every race. So even though the graphics weren't very high end, they made up for it by delivering a world that depended more on imagination and expansiveness than pure whistles and shiny wrapping paper.
This is where the game shined the most! Back in 1999-2001 there weren't very many games that fell into the MMORPG category. So Everquest was pretty unique, and set the foundation for almost every MMORPG that exists today.
When you first logged on and created your character you could select from many races. The mighty Barbarians, the evil Dark Elves, the stout and brave Dwarves, the intelligent Erudites, the inventive Gnomes, the rebellious Half Elves, the curious Halflings, the proud High Elves, the power hungry Humans, the massive Ogres, the repulsive Trolls, and the forest dwelling Wood Elves. Each had their own city, their own beliefs, and their own story. Since the original game new races have been added to the game like the Iksar, Vah Shir, Froglok, and Drakkin.
Along with the 12 races you had 14 classes to pick from, each unique in their own way. Bards, clerics, druids, enchanters, magicians, monks, necromancers, paladins, rangers, rogues, shadow knights, shamans, warriors and wizards. And since the original more classes have been introduced, like the Beast Lord, and Berserker.
And from that you also could select which god you worshiped. While selecting your deity didn't have much of an effect on your character, it still opened or closed many options to you. Such as some cities wont allow certain people in depending on which god they worship.
Now to the main goal of the game. The concept doesn't sound all that great, but basically your main motive was to create a character, level him up, and explore and discover the world of Norrath.
But there was so much more to it than that. Your character was YOU. It was your own persona, you identified and adapted to your character, as others did with theirs. It was so fun going into uncharted lands, and dungeons with your party and exploring and discovering all of the beauty and dangers that surrounded Norrath. The excitement and adrenaline you got when a 30 foot Sand Giants was chasing you down in the Oasis of Marr, or the fearfullness you had running from one city to another, afraid of getting attacked by city guards that dispised your race. Or the excitement you got when hearing tales of high level dungeons like Lower Guk, and The Temple of Cazic-Thule. Another awesome thing that Everquest introduced was 'raiding'. You and your guild would all team togeather, sometimes in the hundreds to take down these massive creatures, or gods. I remember raiding the fire dragon, Lord Nagafen for my very first time. I was working side by side with 75 or so other players to take down this mighty beast, and even though I was so weak at the time that his fire breath killed me almost instantly, I still had a blast.
Everquest was also a great way to meet friends. I met plenty of interesting people through the game, and still talk to many of them to this very day. You got to know people very well when you would group with them for 8 hour sessions just exploring and trying to obtain magical items.
There are so many games of it's type now that Everquest is really no longer unique, and doesn't offer the gameplay experience that alot of the newer MMORPGS's offer, but it still is a mighty contender in the MMORPG market, and alot of people still play to this very day. They are up to their 12th or 13th expansion if my memory serves me correctly. And people are still demanding more and more. The game has changed so much, and the world has expanded probably 10 fold since the original game. But the memories that I have in the old days are probably some of the best i'll ever have gaming wise.
At the time the game came out, it was hard to get really good music into a game, but Everquest managed to do it. While it wasn't a full fledged orchestra, like they have today, it was still very catchy, and drew you into the environment. Almost all of the songs were in midi format, and sounded like they were played off of a keyboard (which they probably were) but that didn't stop it from sounding extraordinary! I still whistle and hum some of the old songs to this very day. Like the original EQ theme, or the song it played when you were running through the Southern Planes of Karana.
Today the music has evolved quite well, and they have a great orchestra who writes, and plays very good music, but the old music was still great, and I have no problem listening to it even now.
The character sounds were nothing amazing at the time, just a few grunts, and AHH's, but they didn't have much to work with. Still though I was pleased, because every creature had their own unique grunts and AHH's. Even almost every race, depending on their size had their own unique sounds.
I've spent thousands of hours playing this game, therefore I should probably give the replayability like a 100000/10 but I guess that's not mathmatically possible. But there is so much to do, especially now a days. Exploration, crafting, leveling, raiding, grouping with friends. That is just a small fractopm of what there is to do and see in Everquest. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who has never played before, because the game is so mainly focused on the high level game, that it would be extremely difficult to catch your character up with current expansions. But just know, that World of Warcraft, Everquest II, City of Heroes, Lineage....what ever you do play, wouldn't even be a flash in the pan without Everquest. It made MMORPGS what they are today, and will always hold a strong place in my heart. It's possibly the greatest game ever made, and I still await to this very day for a game to rival it. Thank you Everquest for the great memories! It deserves nothing less than a 10/10!