Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Short EQ history

So, I'm an amateur game historian who likes to go around and do write-ups about video-games I enjoyed. I also like informing people about the history of a game or development studio they may not have known about. Between EverQuest & StarCraft, you basically have both games that molded my childhood experience and made me the gamer I am today - it wasn't until I would reach adulthood that I'd start looking behind how these games were created, by who, and what inspired them.
Released on March 16th, 1999—nobody expected EverQuest to make history—but it did, thanks in part to the passion and enormous efforts of the team responsible for its creation; John Smedley, Brad McQuaid, Steve Clover & Bill Trost.

In 1993, two virtually unknown developers, Brad McQuaid and Steve Clover, released their first game; WarWizard.

WarWizard was a fantasy based roleplaying game created in their spare time—and although it never found mainstream appeal, their experience creating the game would be a vital stepping stone towards future projects.
2 years after the release of WarWizard, they previewed a demo for a sequel to their game, WarWizard 2, and caught the attention of John Smedley, now in charge of Sony Interactive Studios America.

John Smedley had been tasked with the creation of an online roleplaying game, John—a huge fan of table-top RPGs, like Dungeons & Dragons—wanted this new game to have the same feel as Dungeons & Dragons, but didn’t exactly know where he wanted to go with it. He recognized the creative talents of Brad McQuaid and Steve Clover and formally invited them to join the team. John hired Bill Trost shortly after, and around this time they formed Verant Interactive.
Over the next few years the team of Verant Interactive refined the concepts John Smedley began with and started to create the robust world of what would later be called EverQuest. Bill Trost and his friend, Tony Garcia, would frame the world's history based on their Dungeons & Dragons campaigns--altering them to form the foundation for the world that would eventually be named Norrath.

In 1997 Ultima Online took the MMO world by storm. Emboldened by Ultima Online’s success, Verant Interactive pushed forward with their project, attempting to create a 3D version of text based MUDs, which they were all very fond of playing. The project proved to be enormous; Bill Trost is largely created for developing the history and lore of the world. Programmers Steve Clover and Brad McQuaid continued development, eventually hiring on Geoffrey Zatkin, who made the spell system of the game & artist Milo Cooper, who made the original character models. Brad McQuaid moved from lead developer to producer and then to lead designer over the entire project.

EverQuest released on March 16th, 1999—by the end of that same year, subscription numbers soared past Ultima Online and it became the most popular MMO in the world. EverQuest gained quite a bit of main-steam attention after that, most of it incredibly negative about how addictive video-games could be, but none could deny how great a game it was.

PC Gamer named Brad McQuaid one of the “Next Game Gods” in its November 2000 issue, boasting that he would become one of the biggest giants in the video-game industry. Sony Online Entertainment acquired Verant Interactive shortly after that and Brad McQuaid was promoted to Vice President of Premium Games and Chief Creative Officer. In 2001, he left Sony to create Sigil Games, taking many of the EverQuest developers with him in the process.

On April 24th, 2000 - the Ruins of Kunark expansion released, quickly followed by the Scars of Velious that same year—which added an impressive depth of content to an already, enormous game. EverQuest faced a lot of competitors after release, but subscriber numbers stayed strong up until around 2004—when Blizzard’s popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft, came onto the market. Subscriber numbers for EverQuest tanked, quickly. In an effort to keep remaining players connected with one another Sony Online Entertainment made two big changes: the first, they encouraged players to start in the new HUB city of Crescent Reach. Previously, all the races would start in their home cities and then have to meet up for dungeons, but they didn’t have the subscriber numbers to effectively allow existing players to group. Second, they introduced the NPC controlled “mercenaries,” to make leveling easier for existing players. The NPC mercenary would allow you to group up and effectively duo enemies, making sure you had someone close to your level range to form a party with.

In 2012 EverQuest went free-to-play, under enormous pressure from the MMORPG market, including long-time-competitor World of Warcraft. EverQuest 2, created as a direct-sequel to EverQuest in 2004, also went free to play.

In 2010, they attempted to reboot the EverQuest franchise in the title for EverQuest: Next, and EverQuest Next: Landmark. EverQuest: Next was going to follow along the same lines of EverQuest, set in Norrath, but in an alternate timeline. EverQuest Next: Landmark, was the game’s world-building tool, which would also be accessible to players! The top maps and builds would be implemented into the game. Unfortunately, despite fan excitement for both projects, they were scrapped in 2016. Music composer of Elder Scrolls fame, was slated to be the game’s composer. EverQuest Next was also supposed to be released for the PS4. The official release for the statement came directly from Daybreak Games president, Russell Shanks, “As we put together the pieces, we found that it wasn’t fun.”

In 2015 Sony Online Entertainment sold the license for EverQuest to private equity group, Columbus Nova, who would later become Daybreak Games. Daybreak Games still runs the server to this day and development on new expansions is always ongoing—although the game hasn’t seen a true graphics update since Shadows of Luclin in 2001.
When will EverQuest finally close the doors of Norrath for good? That’s hard to say at this point—I can’t imagine a world without EverQuest, same for a lot of other players. I was 10 years old when I first began my journey in Norrath and I’ve loved this game ever since.
Though I stopped playing in 2004, EverQuest was the game that I compared every other MMO to. It had so many incredibly, unique features and memorable worlds that I was sure I’d be playing the EverQuest franchise for years to come

Though Daybreak Games owns the license for the official EverQuest game, a small, fan community has arisen around the game, titled: Project 1999. Project 1999 is a classic EverQuest emulation server that evokes a time when the game was still at the height of its popularity--it's worth checking out if you've not read up on it or played it before.
Thank you for indulging me!

Nickadimoose Reddit Nov 2018

Sunday, June 10, 2018

EQ Memories June 2018 (EQ Forums Part 2)

-Back before shared banking, running into houses in South Qeynos and dropping items in a corner hidden from sight, logging out and logging into another character to pick it up. Praying you don’t ha e connection issues and disconnect and lose said items

-I started right before Luclin cane out. Didn’t get the expansion right away so was stuck in original, Kunark, and Velious. Had a druid, think that was my fondest memories. Root/dot killing hill giants for plat. Quad kiting in Eastern Wastes. The game seemed so huge then.

Fast forward to GoD era, my guild was attempting to break into elementals, but we had skipped VT. This of course was very difficult to pull off. RZtW was our thorn. When we finally beat it people were yelling and cheering. Had same experience when we finally beat Coirnav. Had about 120 people in zone, and I was on dial up. I crashed at some point but interestingly the chat channels didn’t lag, so I could see people saying we beat it, meanwhile I was still fighting mobs and had died at some point. Regularly I would die but only know because someone would say it in chat, while on my screen I was 5 minutes behind, then disconnect.

As far as a specific event, I remember my first time in Crushbone. Another druid in the group, probably realizing my newbie ways, cast invis on the entire group except for me. I ran around looking for everyone and was very confused. They laughed and told me about invisibility. I had no idea that was a thing.

-I think the first time I saw a giant around the plains of Karana - Froon or Choon? I forget which but I'm pretty sure I died. I have a lot of fond memories from EQ back then. That is one of the reasons I am back on the forums as I am now toying with the idea of creating an account again. I might just read the forums and live through you guys though

-I remember my first toon being a Human Bard, outside Freeport, with absolutely no clue, in the very early days of Everquest. I started playing at 7:29 PM, and when I looked up, it was 2:30 AM, and I had to be at work by 9. Fortunately, I was the lead tech in a computer store, and they understood, when I told them I may be "less than optimum today". I went to bed at level 11. I got addicted to the <DING> sound!

-Barely an hour old, my first ever mmorpg, no idea what I was doing, my baby bard zooted into...East Commonlands? Hey, no one told me the difference between pc and npc...I hailed Dragoon Zytl. Not quite a one-shot but close.

-One of my favorite memories was when I was working on the eyepatch of plunder quest waiting for Lodizal to pop. Been after him for quite some time and id just hang out on the beach fishing. Some of my guildees came and hung out for the heck of it. Couple days of this and one night Lodi actually pops. Me being SK and leader o this mess i grab aggro and tanked away. We killed it and they all grats'd me, then they all started ribbing me cuz I was tanking the turtle with my fishing pole in hand the whole time.

-I think my best memory was from when Kunark came along and it was so much harder than classic so it became very serious to do dungeons like Sebilis when you were still wearing group gear from classic. Some of the battles I had in there were amazing because my class was amazing, and I got into a group that had great people and we pushed it to see how much we could do. Nearly wiping is fun when you can turn it around at the last second.

My other favorite memories are of classic at release in 1999. I remember exploring in G Fay and not knowing much about anything. I saw a beautiful blonde Elf lady chilling on a hill and I walked up to her and asked, "Are you a real person?" It took me a while to figure out what was a mob, what was an NPC, and what was a player.

I also made some friends and went on an adventure for a Mino Axe and we did some exploring of various other zones that was terrifying and funny. I also remember when duel messages were broadcast on the entire server and after a particularly bad few days of server crashing and whatnot, there were a lot of: Commonsense has defeated Verantsupport in a duel to the death!

Also my other favorite memory was playing on one of the PVP servers. I think it was a FFA server and I had some great moments on there. I didn't play it for that long because I was already burned out with the game but it was really fun.

-Running from Rivervale to East Commons at night as a wee halfling.........Alwasy scared me to death and usually how it ended with the zone line in sight.

-during beta someone playing a bard had tree stuck a group of sand giants in oasis and that caused them to release summoning from mobs giving it to Cazel to stop that sort of easy experiencing and money gain

the first time fear didnt work on my necro while trying to quad fear kite with my necro fun time nerfs

giving away over 100 druid 1.0s when you could give loot to mobs and watching level 1 druids and toons in misty freak out over it

EQ memories June 2018 (EQ Forums)

-Running through the South Karana in 1999-2000 and finding the aviok camp. Started a group and we all died. Doing the CR to there from Rivervale was rough lol.

-Went into Blightfire for the first time, right after it became available. I just zoomed around, look the place over. No map then, so I wanted to check the layout.

Decided I would just sit my character down by a tree and watch the mobs and other player characters go by.

The tree moved ! I jumped in my chair. It was a Treant sapling. I had accidently turned off monster names and hadn't realized it.

I started sweating and left the zone.

-our first raid in plane of fear , we wiped at zone in( there was no lobby summon corpse at that time ) and we had to run back naked since the armors were all on the 1st corpse we had .... zone in had mobs attacking us while we were zoning back in.....

well it took us 16 hours to get our corpses back with many deaths, we had to ask another guild to help us to get our corpses back

-Finally making it through blackburrow to get to qeynos with my barb shaman. Selling binds to raise money at the entrance (good money then). Still have a screenie somewhere. Second is putting my crappy armor in the bank and running nekid to freeport for spells lol. Lots of tries on that one.

-I don't have any specific moments of doing something, but I still fondly remember all the amazing and nice people I met playing EQ. Occasionally resubbing back to EQ only to realize that nothing has changed. The community is still very friendly.

-First time I had to run from Qeynos to Freeport with my Barbarian Shaman in 2000. Got chased by a Hill Giant in West Karana, got lost in Highpass, then got destroyed by Undead in Kithicor at night.
I wasn't as smart as McDougal - I was wearing the crappy gear I had. CR's were an experience considering I had to run back from Qeynos the first few times.

-As a bored level 50, it was always fun to train the noobie log in Nek. The other fun activity was to train specs to the CT zone(before it was remade) and then train CT. (grin)

-Also camping Trissa Whistlesong in Freeport with my DE Wiz, dodging freeport guards, and making continual trips across OOT doing the Tumpy Tonic Quest for experience. For awhile Tumpy Tonic turn-ins gave a LOT of experience. Spending half the day making them and then trying to do a transfer by dropping them under the docks and logging in another character. One time a half-day's worth of tumpy tonics just vanished and I just about lost my mind. I'm not sure Tumpy Irontoe is still in Kaladim anymore - but I'm pretty sure they got rid of the Tumpy Tonic quest.