Old School Everquest Server. How Far Will It Go And Will Anyone Like It?
A great little article by Tipa over at West Karana alerted me to the fact that SOE are launching a new Everquest server in March. Coinciding with the games 12th birthday (interesting fact: EQ is now actually older than the average age of a WoW player) the new server is going old school and will be a reincarnation of the game at the time of launch in 1999. No expansions, no add-ons, no 12 years of content, just good old fashioned nostalgia in a digitally downloadable box.
Although EQ has launched progression servers before in the past (isn’t it kinda interesting how people seem more keen to play the archaic 20th century version than the current incarnation?) I’m pretty excited about this one probably because it’s hit me at a good time, right as I’m gagging for a bit of nostalgia. I was 17, a horny Star Wars obsessed boy child, when I first played Everquest yet now I’m a fully grown sexually repressed Mad Men obsessed adult who’s just champing at the bit to be whisked back to simpler times when things like mortgages, gas bills and online security were figments of my imagination.
So how far is this new server gonna go? I’m secretly hoping SOE will have the guts to make it fully retro to the point of forcing us to use the original UI, stare at the darn freaking spell book when we meditate, spam Sense Heading constantly and make standing in Western Commonlands for seven hours the only viable equivalent to an auction house. Plus who could forget the trial of playing a Human and being so blind at night time you had to whack your gamma setting all the way to 100% just so you could find your way out of Surefall Glade (tip from a pro: Firebeatle eyes are your friend).
It’s not that I’m masochist and want to put myself through the pain of all of those things again but rather I’m just curious to transport myself back to a MMO of 1999 and truly see what it was like again. Will I love the community as much as I remember? Will I roleplay and find it rewarding like I used to? Or will I just get frustrated by the lack of giant, throbbing neon exclamation marks floating above quest givers head’s?
It’s going to be fun experiment for sure and one that I’m looking forward to undertaking. Even though Everquest is available now, it’s a very different beast to how it was at launch and I think it will be incredibly interesting to see if it still stands up, in terms of gameplay, to the MMOs of today.
And I’d be curious to find out if anyone else likes it too, especially if you’ve never played it before. Whether it opens up your eyes to the old school wonders of ancient MMOs or throws you back into the loving embrace of your current MMO, I’d definitely urge you to give the new EQ server a shot. Maybe we could all start a guild and go camp some spawn points together? Nothing bonds a team of players like splitting the spawn of a bandit camp in Lesser Faydark and then camping it for four hours just to gain 10% of a level.
Oh and if you do join me, you’ll probably need this.