I was not going to post much about Everquest turning 20. I have written a few “Happy Birthday EQ” posts to EQ over the years, about one every 5 or so years. There isn’t much point in writing one every year because my personal story with the game hasn’t changed much.
The gist, is this: I beta tested it, was in the Guide program as a Lieutenant Guide, played on EQ test primarily (and through the wipe) met my first guild there, had epic stories and faced epic drama. Both created by the people who participated and built Norrath. It was EQ afterall.
I still post on my old guild forums – a handful of us do – and that in itself is pretty crazy as it is also going on 20 years. It is nice to see people writing articles and blog posts about it. When some games can’t eke through tough times (RIP WildStar, etc.) EQ’s record is even more impressive.
I have run the gamut in EQ – beta, launch, server mergers, time locked progression servers and even emulators. And that is the part of the EQ Magic I want to share today.
P1999 is a Daybreak approved emulator stuck at a point in time in EQ that many consider it’s peak – the Velious expansion. What is “pure” about it is that it’s the original UI, graphics and none of the current day quality of life changes you get on the TLP.
It works really well. It definitely takes an adjustment but it just works. With off-peak of 600ish and upwards of 1600 daily there is a healthy population there. All stuck in time, playing a 20 year old game as it was 20 (well 18 if you count the expansion date) years ago.
You can probably guess the best parts. I spent three hours this morning on my 7 Enchanter at Orc hill. I was the first there. Within 45 minutes we had a full group. Lots of pulls, chatting, manually sharing loot (belts, mostly, for an XP quest). By the end I had barely dinged 9 (I was only one bubble away from 8 when I started). First thing that should come to mind – yes, three hours of gameplay for a full level and a bit. Imagine if WoW took that long. The second, sadder thing about that is that I had more conversations in any game I play in that three hours – with complete strangers – than I had in the last three years of WoW. Also, no toxicity. We all knew that this journey was long and hard, and that we would need allies and friends to achieve anything well in this world.
Bonus points is that I lost my level 8 on a bad pull (yellow con orc, mezz resisted too many times).
Now excuse me, I have an incredibly non efficient trip I have to make to High Keep (from Gfay) – my level 8 pet spell is only sold there. I can’t remember how long of trip it is but if memory serves it’s something like 4 or 5 zones plus a boat trip.
I’m having fun on a non-optimized journey. That sounds a lot like Everquest’s 20 year journey to me.