View Full Version : BFF Report - EVERQUEST!

03-11-2011, 11:58 AM

Click here for more episodes of the BFF Report! (http://www.zam.com/bffreport)
Follow Zam (http://twitter.com/zamofficial) and me (http://twitter.com/akamikeb) on Twitter!

03-11-2011, 01:31 PM
There is something to be said about the design of vanilla EQ, even though by modern standards it would be a flop. It really did bring the "MMO" in MMORPG. People would camp certain locations to grind EXP and gear and there were a limited number of mobs to sustain a limited number of groups. Meaning, if location A had enough mobs to sustain 3 groups, and you weren't in one of those groups, you waited your turn to get into one if you wanted to level at that location. You had to message each party and let them know you were interested in joining, then the party leader would put you on a list [yes, an actual list with paper] and when someone left, you most likely got in, unless you couldn't fill the role that left.

This also meant that you gained a REAL reputation with other players. Leveling was slow in EQ vanilla, so if you weren't very good, purposefully screwed up the party, were an ass to people, afk'd, or any other such nonsense, you were kicked from the group and your name went on another paper list... the one that meant that you didn't get invited to any more groups. People who were around the same level, leveling in the same area shared that name and that person, essentially, became a pariah for leveling in that area. It was MMO in the purest sense. So said knucklehead would either have to solo, which was generally slower leveling, or trudge across the world, literally, to find a place where he wasn't known.

There was also swift competition for competency in these leveling groups, and more that just "DPS, HPS, Tank." You had pulling specialists that make the EXP flow easy and smooth. You had CC specialists that made "breaking" a camp possible and stemmed certain TPK [total party kill] on a bad pull. Buffers that took actual manual and mental dexterity to be "good" [bard].


Now, do I wish WoW was EQ vanilla? No, not at all. Its a completely different design for a different generation of gamer. I also understand that EQ vanilla will never be the same after, what, 15+ years? Everyone was new to MMOs and made up their own rules. Heck, server communities made "bazaar" days and hours where people would gather at a specific location to trade, sell, & buy stuff before any marketplace system was provided. I mean, that's cool to me and really expresses what "MMO" means.

This, of course, would be different now, with nearly everyone having experienced some other game design. The AH is a helluva lot more convenient than meeting in a cavern in Elwynn Forest on every Tues. from 12noon-8pm server, and I doubt anyone would actively choose the latter anymore, nor do I blame them.

EQ vanilla should be saluted for what it is. The granddaddy of MMOs [nitpicks on timelines asside] that spawned a generation of MMO lovers that built the framework of the old salt player base for WoW.

03-11-2011, 01:51 PM
Grinding reminded me of Ultima Online... I hope Fony takes a look on that in the future.

03-11-2011, 03:03 PM
Put me in the camp that also missed the community aspect of the old-school MMOs. Once upon a time the people outside of your guild mattered, even in vanilla wow I still kept a list of names of people who were good for 5 mans whenever I would want to run one. A faceless AH, a faceless dungeon Queue system, and nearly a faceless server experience (basically everything outside of raids) has certainly lost something. If there was ever an angle to compete with WoW it would be find a way to harness the community aspect that it is lacking AND wrap it in an intuitive and easy to use interface. I dunno if it can ever happen (there's probably more people who prefer anonymity than those that prefer an actual e-community), but I feel like the opportunity is there.

03-11-2011, 09:38 PM
If anything the more casual geared World of Warcraft is something new MMO's need to be able to take into account. After WoTLK a lot of people just couldn't jump into the tedious grindy styles of Aion or Final Fantasy (lol)

03-11-2011, 11:03 PM
If anything the more casual geared World of Warcraft is something new MMO's need to be able to take into account. After WoTLK a lot of people just couldn't jump into the tedious grindy styles of Aion or Final Fantasy (lol)

Sadly FFXI has taken a more relaxed Approach level 30-90(yes 90!) in a single day is more the norm then Some glitch. However I never really got into eq, it really kinda reminded me of MUD v2.0 perhaps I'm just getting old.

03-12-2011, 12:44 PM
If there was ever an angle to compete with WoW it would be find a way to harness the community aspect that it is lacking AND wrap it in an intuitive and easy to use interface. I dunno if it can ever happen (there's probably more people who prefer anonymity than those that prefer an actual e-community), but I feel like the opportunity is there.

The "actual e-community," as you know it or put it, is dead, unfortunately. The random chatroom/ICQ convos, talking to strangers in sandbox mmos, and other such methods of "constructed community" are relics of a bygone internet era. They have been replaced with facebook "friends," "like or dislike," twitter, achievement points [we use to call these stories, a form of communication], and the mostly faceless [guilds aside] interaction in WoW.

Now, I have my personal feelings on the whole thing, but it isn't like most people don't want this. There is a new generation of gamer that cannot remember a time before the PC and the Internet. The first Internet generation built work and play online to mirror what we always wanted in real life: an anonymous community where people would be judged on the basis of their words and ideas, not any personal attribute, and give us a place to transcend our lives, like a really immersive movie, except all it took was a few folks with a modem. Now, that doesn't mean you don't have idiots, smart people, and asshats, it just means you are judged base on what you say, rather than who you are. The new generation of gamer, however, rejected the anonymous community phantasm and replaced it with a digital replica of real life. People now think they know exactly who you are by staring at your profile for 10sec. There are online prejudices based on a variety of different things because people wish to track and display all their worldly and digital accomplishments [or lack their of].

Dreamweaver76 in chatroom 14 could have been anyone, but man he know's his stuff about "cool subject X" or perhaps he's real funny. Now he's Trevor Grothchild, 52, lives in Duluth, MN has three kids, 4 grandkids, and a wife of 25 years. He retired early from creating a successful entrepreneurial business: a local paint store chain. He likes golfing when the weather is good and enjoys ice fishing during the winter. Now, Trevor is not the kinda guy a teenager or twentysomething would seek out to hang around to talk about "cool subject X" or trade funny stories. The "old" internet made Dreamweaver76 possible. In the "new" internet, Trevor Grothchild will most likely only really communicate online with friends, family, and others generally his age and with similar interest.

This is the same occurance in WoW, but its even more bizzare. You have your life, then your "online" life, which attempts to imitate your life, and your "WoW" life, which attempts to imitate the framework of your "online" life, which is based on your life, and places it on a digital avatar you control. So, for those of you that are living [I hope all of you], have a "social networking" life, and a WoW life, you have three separate ways upon which people can look at you and make judgments and assumptions.

Old EQ was to Dreamweaver76 as WoW is to Trevor Grothchild. You had few assumptions to make about an individual behind the toon, which meant that you really didn't know a guy until you talked to em. Pretty soon there will be MMOs where you can click on a digital avatar and up pops the player's facebook. A newsflash for those out there who didn't know, the big backlash that came out over the "RealID" controversy wasn't the new gen, it literally was the last stand of the old guard. However, we'll dwindle in numbers as we start putting down our keyboards and controllers for other pursuits and the new generation of gamers and internet dwellers will eventually integrate all facets of communication online in a web so tightly knit that our "escapes" will no longer be "escapes." Then the next generation will be all like "wouldn't it be cool if we could play a game where people knew very little about you or your character and, like, had to talk and stuff to find things out about you?"

03-12-2011, 12:56 PM
Pretty much everything Spiritus said.

I miss a lot about old EQ. I had a ton of really great memories and I still keep in touch with some of the people I met back then, though purely in a "character" sense where we still talk games and whatnot, but we're not looking to meet for coffee and talk about the kids. =D

I know it's basically not possible anymore, but I'd love to see a game with some of WoW's polish and EQ's open-world, tight-community approach. But oh well, times have changed, can't move back to the past.

03-12-2011, 03:08 PM
that looked painful

03-13-2011, 10:59 AM
Yes - throw in a old school bff everyone once and a while this was a neat and fun look back into old school mmo's


03-13-2011, 10:22 PM
I agree with everything Spiritus said. I would have said the exact same thing, only it wouldn't have been so well worded. lol

As I stand right now I have both a WoW account and a Rift account. Both pending cancellation when the next billing period comes around. It's not because they are bad games. Honestly I enjoy Rift a bit more than WoW, mostly because it's a slight change of pace after 6 years. But, the reason I'm letting my subscriptions expire (on both games), is total lack of community.

Everyone treats everyone like garbage, and spams trade chat with immature [anal] jokes, 24/7. If I found an MMO with a community similar to vanilla WoW or EQ I would probably be hooked for another 6 years. I mean a community where, if you act like a jackass you are shunned from the entire realm (and it wasn't just a $15 name change to wipe the slate clean), and a place where you /wave when you see people you ran a 5-man with a few days ago.

Now, you're lucky if you get a "thanks for the group" after a random pug.

03-13-2011, 11:21 PM
I totally agree. I played EQ for over 2 years. I enjoyed that game SO much more than WoW mostly for the community. There were about 4-6 top end guilds on my server (bertox) and it was a huge deal if someone left the guild and joined one of the others. There wasn't a LFD tool. You had to speak to people to get into a group and you had to be nice or you wouldn't get in and you certainly wouldn't get invited back. IMO gameplay kills WoW. There are obviously things that are better in WoW, namely the graphics, but EQ is where it was at. The content started coming too fast at the end and the game definitely doesnt make it easy for a player to pick up now and get to a high end raiding scene.

Grinding wasnt bad at all. Grinding AA's with a group is so much better than soloing quests all day IMO. So many good memories from EQ I would go on for hours. I only log in to raid anymore. Why do I need another pug dungeon? there is zippo I need from anything in that game other than from raids. Bah..Im so done with WoW as soon as SWTOR comes out im switching to that. I PRAY that there is a more mature player base there.

03-14-2011, 02:52 PM
Original Textures vs Luclin --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF_MSJtmt5g

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v644/Duxa2/th_DuxaUIv0p2.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v644/Duxa2/DuxaUIv0p2.jpg) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v644/Duxa2/th_EQ000020.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v644/Duxa2/EQ000020.jpg) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v644/Duxa2/th_EQ000021.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v644/Duxa2/EQ000021.jpg)

Original Tutorial:


If you want to play it the way it was back in 1999 check out project1999.org :)

you can use this installer to set up your copy to run in a few clicks --> http://www.project1999.org/forums/showthread.php?t=28335

03-14-2011, 03:57 PM
EQ was my first mmo. I started before there was a tutorial or even PoK books at every turn and I had no clue how to play. My friends played it on playstation and I started on my computer (thinking that I would be able to play with them... they're all online afterall right?). I was dumb, but anyway I started on a high elf mage. I ran around the starting city for 3 hours trying to figure out what to do. I tried leaving the city only to find myself face planting from a red leveled orc in the forest. I didn't leave the city again until I came across someone else running through that same town! I sent a tell to them and asked them what to do, and of all the things that I expected to hear, this was the farthest from it as I can imagine... "kill rats to level up." I looked at my screen dumbfounded, not knowing how to respond. I took his advice, though, and started to kill rats. Next thing I knew, I was level 3 and able to leave the city with the orcs finally being white to me! They still worked me hard, but I was able to kill them slowly.............
That is my EQ starting story. That was before the mess that I totally miss began. That was back when I was a complete noob, wandered the world wondering what the hell this chess board near the dwarves was supposed to be (only to find myself face to face with a gigantic skeleton... that didn't last long), and almost quitting the game from frustration with the first skeleton invasion (some anniversary, I don't remember but there were skeletons EVERYWHERE!). Eventually, I made a paladin because I heard that they do great damage to undead folks, and eventually made my way to my Necromancer, my first true love of that game. From then, I was hooked.

I have so many stories about the good days of sitting in a group in Paludal Caverns or MPG/RS and just grinding away at the mobs, levels, and aa's while looking for gear. I made many friends in that game and I even met one of them in person. I got a few of my real life friends into the game and they got even more serious than I was about it. I miss the game so much that I even tried to get back into it recently. Sony was offering all the expansions and a trial 30 day thing for like $15 or something, so I did it. I didn't want to activate my old account, considering I'm 6 years behind on any expansions, but I got to talking to some of the old friends who still played it and I just couldn't get back into the EQ playstyle. Yeah, they added quests and stuff now, but it's not the same as it was before. I think I'm one of the guys who just got too used to the new generation of questing and faster leveling that the EQ playstyle just doesn't mesh with me anymore. It's unfortunate.
But, on the other hand, EQ is no longer the same either. From my time in that game recently, I've noticed a lot more of the "WoW trade elitism" and bad mouthing that weren't there before. I noticed that not many people want to talk or socialize anymore. It's about who can race to the top and become the best the fastest.

03-14-2011, 06:01 PM
I started playing EQ while it was in Kunark, and continued to play for seven years. I was in a number of guilds over that time, lead a few, and worked with the developers extensively during the last 5 betas before I quit playing, and when I say worked, I mean via in a IRC chat and Sending IMs to various developers over various issues. For a time, I served as a Class Rep between the Sony and the Druid Playerbase. I seriously loved that game.

The game had a problem however in the raiding scene, and it was evident to me several years ago this can't continue, at least not at it's current state. Raids then were 54 person. They required in most cases the previous tier(s) raid content to complete. Starting a guild and jumping right into semi-current gear was impossible.

So for the longest time we as a guild progressed, but it was in years old content. Despite being one of the most advanced guilds on the server I played on, we were raiding content 2 to 3 years old (which is what happens when you release a new expansion every six months, weather it's ready or not).

The game didn't just require 54 people (very hard to maintain that size roster) but it requires specific people. You didn't raid without a Warrior. Knights couldn't take that amount of punishment due to lack of Defensive Stance. I've heard that's gotten better recently, but Knights are still in most cases Dedicated Off-tanks. If your Warriors walked, quit, or just sucked - you couldn't really progress.

You also needed Clerics for healing and rezzing. Exp loss was a factor and at the time, Clerics restored six percent more exp per death then another class (which I believe is still the case) while not an issue once an while, wiping duing an entire evening to a event (not uncommon) could force your players to spend the next evening restoring their exp bar or risk losing a level.

Lastly They kept developing more CC-Centric encounters, and that meant you needed Enchanters. No other class could come close. Bards could handle 2 maybe 3 mobs, but you really needed two or three enchanters for some content, and enchanters as a CC-centric class, where not exactly common.

The player base decline meant staffing was difficult, it's hard to get new players when new players are not there to get. My guild eventually reached a point where we had 2, maybe 3 clerics, no enchanters, and two questionable warriors when we hit a point in progression where we needed 3 enchanters for any encounter we would work on.

So we had worked six months to unlock an end zone (Demi-plane of Blood) and couldn't advance past the first 4 bosses not to anything except lack of class ratios within the raid comp.

After six years of raid leading at that point, I was just tired of rebuilding, and quit. EQ was an awesome game, my time there was well spent. I met some amazing people (including someone I dated for five years), but WoW is not EQ, not could EQ ever really become WoW without losing most of what made it special (not to say it couldn't really be improved, but Sony will never invest that much money in it).

Sadly all the Devs I talked to have moved on (other companies, other games) and they've had 2 sets of server mergers. Not sure how much longer EQ will be 'in development' vs 'bug fixes only mode'. Sad end for a great game.