EQ – an Old Surprise

Old EQ has some new buz around it lately with the a new “progression” server opening in March. People are considering this server as an opportunity to enjoy the almost endless content the game has to offer – all together – starting from scratch. I found the idea too appealing to let go on. Lets admit – many of us thought about rejoining for ages. Just that our collective memories were mostly bitter sweet. And with years passing the bitter has slowly been forgotten, while nostalgic memories glorifying the sweet.

So I resubed to EQ two days ago. Took me 8 years to do it. And already I can tell you – this was a real surprise. A pleasant one.

EQ is NOT the game you remember. In many many ways its superior nowadays. EQ had two prominent characteristics back in March 1999. It was HARD to progress compared to the WoW fluf that you know today. And it was cruel – as it did almost everything it could to make your life hard *before* and *after* you have potentially failed with your progress. Which is usually just a matter of time before you do. So it was very nice to see that the direction that the game has taken over the past decade was to keep the first facet – meaning its just as *hard* today and require just as much planning and thought about what you are doing. But at the same time – the game became relatively less cruel. Corpse summoning, travel and other solutions have been incorporated into the expansions over the years, making the overall experience much more complete  – and regrettably unique in today’s MMO landscape.

The community is also live and kicking. I get answers to my n00b questions usually within minutes on the newbie official forum. And in game most people dropped me an answer or two as well. You can also add to it that at least on my server it was amazing to see so many people logged even in very odd hours. Naturally, most if not all of them are level 80 and above. But then again the Fippy Darkpaw progression server is going to address that issue for us old-n00bs.

I will keep posting about my adventures in EQ, in between RIFT beta and other games that I am currently playing. But for now – this has been an *old surprise* for me. Definitely something I may want to keep on exploring. Fun fun fun. There must be elements from current EQ that other games can take … more on that in the future!

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4 Responses to EQ – an Old Surprise

  1. Miffy says:

    I hate how it’s become less “cruel”, what ruined it for me are things like making the game easier, instances, fast travel and lots of other things. I hate how there is a tutorial now, loved how it would just throw you into the game and made you figure things out. It was like SWG when that launched, old players had to meet and greet new players There was no hand holding borung tutorial to guide anyone to make it a solo game. It forces group play and causes the community to be closer.

    All these things you like about the game now is what I hate about it. I don’t expect things to change because it’s the way every MMO has gone these days since WoW. The problem is the MMO genre has been opened up to the masses with WoW. Once this happens developers try to appeal to the lowest common denominator so they can get the most amount of people playing. No one wants to make a niche game anymore because it doesn’t please investors. The only Devs that are doing these things are private like CCP or Valve.

    Just makes me sad because when EQ launched you didn’t need much money to make a game. Now you apparently need 100 million for an MMO made from a developer who is sufficient enough to make a polished and fun game. So we’ll never have an MMO for the hardcore again, it’ll all be for the soloer who likes WoW.

    Why I haven’t played an MMO since the CU ruined SWG. Nothing good has come out since 2003 and the last great MMO was ruined in 2005. Now what have we had since? WoW clones that are worse than WoW, so why bother playing them?

  2. werewood says:

    All good points.
    What makes it tick for one can surely disappoint another.
    Still maybe we can agree that the game itself requires much more thought from players than the current wow like fluf.

  3. Opally says:

    A thoughtful article, interesting to read the comparison between EQ and Rift.

    If you’re interested in an intelligent, fun, mature, well-organized, raiding-yet-casual guild on the (future) Fippy Darkpaw time-locked progression server, visit “Ferocity” on Guild Portal, previously known as “Exile” (which was unfortunately unavailable as a guild name.) Many of us are hanging out on Firiona Vie server as “Exile of FV”, relearning the game.

  4. mortos says:

    Progression servers, regardless of being a progression’ server, do not classically emulate true classic EQ. plain and simple. only two projects complete that task – one is Project1999 which is running the Ruins of Kunark ONLY And it is HARD. just like old EQ.. Altho I feel the shard is a cess pool of nerd ragers and RMT-aholics, but also the most debugged and populated (300-800 players on at all times) of the emulated everquests. It is classic – every step of the way (except total server population), the exp is slower then anything out now, it took me 7 months of a few hours a day to reach level 50. I spent a great deal of time here, and again just like in classic EQ – made a group of in game friends and we ripped through classic content, had fun, but ultimately – super nerds ruin the end game when theres only 1 shard, and no uber guild competition, and players who answer bat phones at 3am to ensure dragons die before a euro time guild can log in, and a GM staff of people who probably lost spouses to playing EQ – this list could go on and on about how the Devs and GM have a very different idea as to what ‘classic’ means and how it should be emulated. Either way, it’s free – and I’d rather play P99 then sony’s paid ‘progression’ which is sadly still the easy mode revamped EQ exp tables, etc..for those interested, check out P99 @ (www.project1999.org)

    the second server is http://www.epicemu.com/ – this is the bread and butter for me when it comes to EQ gaming and I have been playing the closed beta off and on. Right now i’d say about 15-20 people are playing the beta at all times/hours, but it’s a good group of people, and they want more players, more players on, more players get helped, leveled, and brought right into raiding and group gameplay. I actually found my experience here much more enjoyable then P99 simply because it was not about greed, RMT, loot whoring, being a diva, etc. it was about seeing what boss mobs we could kill with only 2 groups, or how quickly can we power level a toon from 1-60 using 6 people. And I am astonished what has been accomplished. The game stopped being a grind and turned back into a community, this is why I like the Sleeper’s EpicEMU server better then Project1999. This is all tactics – the loot that existed back then was not the same as what is out now, but the skills obtained to go kill Trakanon with 12 people who don’t have 100AA’s, NTOV gear, etc is pretty impressive in my opinion. or any of the other bosses. Either way, when this server goes public – it will be the best of the emulated everquests as it addresses all of the shady problems of Project1999 and endorses FUN while still being classic in terms of leveling, items, and progression.

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