Category Archives: EQ

Memories of EverQuest

Brells Rest

I always wonder what it is about EverQuest that keeps making me come back for more. It’s a dated game, but I love it. There’s no real quest journal (well, there is – but not really) there’s no indication to tell you if an NPC wants to talk to you, the game is not solo friendly (although it has come a LONG way with the addition of mercenaries, and the ease of boxing) so what is it about the game that makes me want to log in day after day – even playing it over newly released games like Rift.

Of course the first thing that I think of are the memories of when I first started to play, back in 2001. The game had already been out for a few years but it was my very first MMO and I was excited. My first character was a froglok cleric named Sobana (thank you random generated name). I met some amazing people playing that first year, some of them I still know, 10 years later. One of my memories is the bazaar – and no, not the one in the East Commonlands tunnel that I hear about from the true old timers, but the first version of the bazaar. It reminded me of a stable, with wooden stages for players to stand between and show their wares. One thing that I always heard in /shout was someone advertising a gambling game. We’ve come a long way now, with places like CardsChat.com poker sites making their way into the market – but I will still always remember the person shouting “/Random 1000, role over 599 and double your money, over 799 tripples! Min. bid XXX amount of plat” – and other shouts exactly like it. In fact just the other day I heard someone shouting this in PoK.

I always wondered whether people actually made any money from these gambling games. As far as I could tell (so long as the person wasn’t completely rude refusing to pay participants) it wasn’t a hoax – or maybe I’m wrong and they used hacks and cheats to roll their “dice” – I really have no experience in the matter because I never personally participated. Even so, 10 years later, I remember these. Actually in EVE Online I see people advertising these types of gambling games more often then not.

I love the memories I’ve created and those are enough to keep me going back and creating more. Most of my EverQuest posts are over on MmoQuests.com, so if you’re interested in seeing what I’ve been up to in game, don’t hesitate to stop over there and take a peek.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

What Ever Happened To the Gigglegibber Goblin Gamblin’ Game?

Big Winner!

Remember when these friendly goblins were put into the game? The first “winner” on server won an enormous amount of platinum, over 3,000. Of course these days I hardly see anyone standing around the machines and with fast travel there’s no one waiting on any boats. The goblins could first be found at the end of various docks; Antonica, Commonlands, even Enchanted lands. Sure, it was a blatant money sink but these NPC seemed quite amusing and at the time a lot of players got excited over them.  With the addition of guild hall amenities we’ve seen a return of our green friends and it becomes easier and easier to spend 10 silver here and there as we wait for groups and form up for raids. It’s not exactly the same as a top online casino, but it’s a great way to pass the time.

My question is have you ever known anyone to actually win this game or is it just as elusive as the real life versions? I’ve gotten a match of five before and that gives you 25 gold, but it always seems like that sixth number is just slightly out of reach.

These days the “big jackpot” is a mere 323 platinum (at the time of writing this) which doesn’t seem like that much. The previous winner walked away with 361 – have the chances of winning increased and thus much less money is put into the pot before being won? I wonder what the statistics are, how many people actually play. Too bad there’s no real way to tell.

EQ1 also had a type of gambling game where you would keep trying to win a golden ticket for some fantastic prizes that you could choose. World of Warcraft has their mysterious fortune cards where players have a chance at winning an in-game cash value by “scratching” the card and once their fortunes are revealed the card can be sold to vendor for as little as 1 silver and as much as 5,000 gold.

What do you think of this type of money sink in video games, where you can at least walk away with some sort of reward?

 

House of Thule Beta Registration – LIVE

House of Thule

This will be the 17th (wow) expansion for EverQuest. I can hardly believe it. Am I excited? You bet I am. Player housing? Yes please! The expansion isn’t that far away, either. In fact, the beta registration has begun, and is already under way as of tomorrow. Here are the details:

We are now accepting sign-ups for the EverQuest® House of Thule ™ expansion beta. The beta period is expected to begin on Monday, August 9, 2010.

As with last year’s beta, the sign-up process has been made easier for you… and for us! Once you sign up, the system places you in a pool of potential beta testers. When the invite stages occur, beta testers will automatically be selected from that pool. We will, however, still be limiting the number of participants during different beta stages—the difference is that now you don’t have to wait for a window of opportunity to sign up. The beta sign-up page will remain open until the beta ends. Once you sign up, you do not need to sign up again.

Please remember that when you sign up to participate in any beta you agree to the Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) terms. In short, this means you agree not to disclose information about the expansion. You must read and accept the full NDA before you get placed in the pool.

Before clicking the link below, make sure you update your email address on your account. If you do not update your email address the emails sent by the system will not reach you.

You can update your email address by clicking under the My Account option. Got that? Update your account Before signing up for beta! For your convenience, the beta page has an option to update your email address.

Note to Fan Faire Attendees: 2010 Vegas Fan Faire Attendees will be included in the early stages of beta. If you officially* attended the 2010 Fan Faire, you will still need to sign up for beta in order to get flagged correctly. Be sure to use the account that you used for Fan Faire.

*Officially attended means that you registered and provided your correct station account and email address. There is no need to contact Customer Service regarding your access until you see an announcement on EQ Players stating that the flagging of Fan Faire attendees has been completed. We will provide instructions for anyone who might have been missed.

Now you’re ready to Sign Up for the EQ Expansion Beta.

See you in Beta!

I signed up, and hopefully I’ll get in so when the NDA drops I can start posting some information on the expansion. Whether I will or not we’ll just have to see. It was also announced at Fan Faire that there will be a new locked progression server opening – but not until after HoT goes live (less competition with a new expansion that way). I’m also excited about this, and can’t wait for it to open up so I can roll a new character. Anyone else planning on signing up? Let me know in comments!

What does an MMO mean to you?

What does an MMO mean to you?

If you’re reading this, you know what an MMO is. You’re a current, ex, or prospective gamer of some sort. Everyone knows what an MMO is. The question I pose to you, dear reader, is: what does an MMO mean to you?

There are dozens upon dozens of MMO’s of various genres which have had varying successes and failures on the market. The market is extremely competitive and undeniably ruthless. One mistake and the company can be unfairly branded a failure with a terrible product, and regardless whether they fix it or not, the damage is done. Launch is probably the biggest test of any product for a company. Vanguard being the prime example in this case: An amazing game that had a terrible launch and was branded a buggy, unfinished piece of trash.

Vanguard never managed to recover from the damage reviewers and gamers did to its reputation. I remember I was playing EQ1 rather heavily at the time of Vanguards release, and having not really cared to keep up with other MMO news I didn’t know much about it. My friends and guild mates had an ongoing joke, however, whenever one of our raids or groups wiped and we were trying to recover or make a second attempt. ‘This could turn it around for Vanguard!’ we’d say, in mock enthusiasm. MMO humor is always dumb, but it was just in fun. Only later on, when I actually played Vanguard and learned a lot more about it myself did I fully understand what the sarcasm was all about. I personally fell in love with the game the first time I tried it and thought it was a huge tragedy that Vanguard got shit on so harshly at launch as to never recover.

It may seem like I got sidetracked from my original question, but I assure you in my jumbled mess of a mind it all makes sense – I’m trying to make sense of what an MMO means to me. Yes, if you want to be clinical and sterile an MMO is nothing more than a game. Yes, it’s a fact that it’s a game, and games shouldn’t be taken seriously as they’re just a means to enjoy oneself and/or the company of others. However, MMO’s aren’t just a game. They are a means of communication and expression for millions of people, and since the birth of the internet they have drastically changed the way the online world and business model works and have had a profound effect on the younger generation they cater to.

For some people an MMO is a means to escape reality and live out their fantasies of role-playing whatever they want in whatever genre and setting they find attractive. For others MMO’s have become an unhealthy addiction that has ruined lives, arguably caused murders and suicides and countless relationship woes and divorces. Some do in fact just play them casually and they are nothing more than a means to have fun and relax after a stressful day. Others still find solace in the anonymous, yet meaningful bonding that can take place online when put in situations forcing strangers to work together cooperatively or competitively. People have made lifelong friends they otherwise would have never known existed thanks to MMO’s. Marriages and relationships have blossomed and flourished, families brought together and people connect on a deeply personal level.

Now when I talk about MMO’s I’m not specifically talking about the RPG variety, as the type doesn’t really matter. There are hundreds of MMO’s of different types and styles (RTS, FPS, RPG, etc.) and they all strive to do the same thing. Massive Multi-player means exactly that. Put dozens, hundreds, thousands, possibly millions of people from all over the planet, all in the same environment with a set of rules (strict or loose) and boundaries to obey, and people seem to thrive. Even given little guidance or no obvious goal, people still manage to thrive. Eve is a good example of this, as is Second Life.

My entire point being that I believe MMO’s have had a dramatic affect on the world since their creation, and they mean something different and possibly very meaningful to everyone. Some people may very truly be able to state the best times of their life have been in an MMO playing with their friends, and I think that’s perfectly fine. If you’re one so inclined to believe gaming is a waste of time and a waste of life, I’d ask you to consider professional sports, or recreational fishing, or virtually any hobby anyone can possibly think of. By definition a hobby is just something you do in your spare time and generally isn’t for profit.

Many people say the best times of their life were their youth, hunting or fishing or working on projects with their friends, in bands, doing drugs and partying. I’m not going to judge what people do for enjoyment, but that’s also my point; what makes it better to do any of those things than to stay at home gaming with your friends, when you honestly get just as much satisfaction out of it?

You have no life!

You have no real friends!

I disagree. I think people can have the best, most trusted friends they’ve ever known without ever meeting them in person. And I believe everyone is entitled to live their life as they see fit as long as it does no harm to others. So who’s to tell me that I have no life? I believe that people can have the best experiences of their life while gaming. And I don’t think that’s pathetic, as others might be so inclined to think. I believe that’s just the way the world works now, and having grown up in it, I for one am used to the idea.

So tell me, dear reader, after all that: what does an MMO mean to you?

Ding, 57

Killing in Broodlands

I moved two of my characters from my 2nd EQ1 account over to my main account. This included my 80 enchanter Kameeko, and my 56 beastlord, Tikia. My main reason behind this was that I no longer want to keep both accounts active, and I didn’t want to just forget about the characters either. Kameeko is my crafter, and I’ve worked really hard on obtaining her levels. The beastlord isn’t exactly something amazing, but it was still 56 levels that I didn’t want to start over with.

I spent most of the evening organizing hotkeys, cleaning out banks (setting up a new trader for the bazaar because my previous one was level 1 and deleted in the mass wipe that came) and then decided to attempt to gain a level on the beastlord. She’s not exactly the best geared character, sporting defiant stuff for the most part, but she’s not half bad. I picked up a healer mercenary and spoke with the npc outside in PoK to figure out what the hot zones were for my level.

Level 50 was broodlands, 55 was bloodfields. I didn’t think my beastlord would be able to tank bloodfields very well by herself, so I went to zam.com to search for how to get to broodlands, because it’s been forever. I remembered the zone vaguely from my adventures not that long ago, but still wanted to confirm the location.

Turns out Broodlands: PoK -> Neriak Stone -> Nektulos Forest -> Lavastorm -> Broodlands

Not too complicated. I have maps installed, and made my way there. Even with the recent server merges I was the only person in the zone. I’m guessing a lot of people are already 80+ since the level cap didn’t go up last expansion, and that a lot of them are doing (what I believe are) monster missions because I constantly see people looking for mm. Or being requested for a ‘task add’ and the like.

I popped my lesson of the devoted (bonus experience for an hour) found a comfortable wall to pull to, and then hung out with my mercenary and proceeded to take part in a good old fashioned level grind. Ah, how I had missed them. General channel was pretty busy considering it was 2am (EST) on a Wednesday night, and I had a great time. Before too long I found that my little beastlord had reached level 57, and a message popped up saying I had gotten mail. Every level or so Sony sends characters who have leveled a little message with a suggestion on ‘where to level next’ – for a minute or two I contemplated doing a weekly article about these zone suggestions and attempting to level my character through them – however – I also realized what a huge disadvantage I’d be at. Basically with the inclusion of hot zones it makes all other zones of less value to level in (unless you’re trying to quest, or looking for a particular piece of gear). Hot zones were added to push players together into a local area, to make grouping easier. Sadly, aside from soloists and those who have static groups a lot of ‘regular’ zones now go unused until they’ve got the lucky chance to become a hot zone.

It was still a really fun night, and I remembered all of the reasons why I love EQ. The game has changed, but none of the reasons on why I love it have. I started talking to a friend about all of the things we used to do in game together and I was just hit by wave after wave of nostalgia. No game I have played has ever come close to the feeling I get when I’m playing EQ (be it 7 years ago, or today for that matter).

I’m looking forward to seeing what other trouble I can get into. If you happen to be on the Drinal server let me know – my characters are:

  • Ellithia – 81 necromancer
  • Pumpkiins – 73 Druid
  • Invis – 73 Rogue
  • Seduisant – 61 Cleric
  • Lysthia – 31 Monk
  • Tikia – 57 Beastlord
  • Silverstep – 47 Shadowknight
  • Kameeko – 80 Enchanter

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!