Everquest Progression Server Impressions

EQ Progression Server

My milkshake brings all the boys to yard. It's better than yours. Damn right, it's better than yours.

It’s been a busy week in which we’ve seen the kick off of not one, but two appealing MMO ventures. RIFT hit open beta on Tuesday, the exact same day as the new Everquest progression server launched which, considering I was very excited about playing both (imagine a small child jumping up and down shouting “I want, I want” and you’ll have an accurate picture of how I was), presented me with a huge dilemma: which to play? Well the easy answer was to play both. So that’s what I did.

Again, being busy ‘n all, I haven’t been able to pump in a huge amount of hours into Everquest (note: you don’t play EQ, you “pump in” hours like coins into a slot machine) but I’ve maybe amassed a good three or four over the coures of this weekend which I reckon is still enough to give me a reasonable first impression of the game. And I say first, but it’s more like “returning” as I was a die hard EQ boy back in the day and must’ve lost a good five or six years of my life to it.

Of course the progression server (Fippy Darkpaw is the one I rolled on) isn’t exactly a reflection of the current incarnation of Everquest as it’s a rollback to it’s original 1999 version. More or less. Some things they just couldn’t necromance so you still get the new UI, “new” character models, updated original zones, and don’t expect to have to stare at a book to meditate. Still, unless you enroll in Project 1999, it’s about as close as you’re going to get to a 20th century flashback.

Anyway, here are my thoughts, in no particular order:

  • I love the loading music
  • The (lack of decent) mouse controls make me want to smash something
  • Someone spoke to me! WTF?!
  • I have a 50/50 survial rate fighting a ‘yellow’ mob
  • I can’t find any quests to do
  • You can choose a religion which is awesome (even though it doesn’t do a lot)
  • I had to kill 50 Kobold Runts to get to level 2
  • If I killed 50 Kobold Runts in WoW, I’d be level 50
  • I’m really excited about being able to play a Beastlord eventually
  • Combat is painfully, painfully slow
  • I get a lot of reading done when I’m leveling up
  • There are no NPCs with big glowing icons above their heads to tell me what to do next
  • I’m really scared of dying
  • Cracked staves are money goodness
  • Forsooth, I can roleplay again!
  • Everyone seems so much more relaxed than in other games
  • Makes me really look forward to Everquest 3
  • I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time
  • Am I going to re-sub to play more? Yes

-Gordon

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25 Comments

  1. Was all the hyperbolic, anti-WoW nonsense really necessary? :/

  2. Bhagpuss says:

    You can select the original character models on login. Hang on, I’ll actually log in and get the details….

    Okay, it’s when you get to the Launch Pad screen that allows you to click the “Game Options” button, click “Next” and get the “Model Selsction” screen. Every model you DON’T select is the original version so make sure they are all unchecked.

    When we get Luclin and mounts you will have to have Luclin models selected if you want to ride a mount. Until then you can avoid the horrible Luclin models. I haven’t seen any Luclin models other than Gnomes since 2002. My gnome cleric had to have a horse, what can I tell you?

  3. Lycanthrope says:

    Tempting. But I am already overloaded on MMOs as it is, with diminishing time. Although a friend once famously said “you can always find time for a new MMO,” it does not work that way for me. Given a choice I am most likely going with RIFT(tm) for my change of pace; but I still have a lot I want to accomplish in WoW: maxing professions, guild accomplishments, new faction reps. So many quests, so little time….

  4. SlothBear says:

    I would love to see a more detailed post from you about this. Having never played everquest I would very much like to read a retrospective from someone going back to it after playing modern games.

  5. amcl says:

    “Someone spoke to me! WTF?!”

    Maybe that’ll happen in WoW or Rift some day too.

  6. Kal Torn says:

    Everquest was my first love (in the MMO sense) and I remember fondly cutting my teeth against grass snakes and gnoll pups, and the terror of a corpse run into the bowels of Blackburrow at lvl 8. A human monk, blind in the dark (it took me months to figure out I could alter the gamma and actually “see” at night) bouncing off walls, clicking sense direction every time it refreshed like it would help in the pitch black, stumbling from torch to torch.

    Or there was the time I was badly mauled by a lioness, and while resting at the guard tower in West Karana (it was night again, and hence blind – except for the glow of a fire beetle eye), practising my Bind Wound on myself and Beg skill on the guard – at least until he turned round and whacked me – cue the corpse run from Qeynos – upon which I met a werewolf on the road back to the tower – cue the corpse run from Qeynos…

    Everquest was a harsh mistress, but for all her faults she was something else, and something special.

    Whats this about an Everquest 3?

    • Shadow-war says:

      They’re calling it “Everquest Next” (which seems to be a theme at SoE – e.g. Planetside Next). I think I’ve seen one screenshot, and it looks like a painting.

      I’ll say this – the free weekend on Fippy gave me an itch to resub to continue on my Shadowknight there, but also to jump back into EQ2. Damn you SoE! Damn you!

    • Gordon says:

      Indeed. She treated us mean and kept us keen.

      EQ3 was announced last year and will be called Everquest Next. I hope it’s decent…

  7. Shadow-war says:

    I slighted Rift, and wrapped myself deeply in the embrace of my old mistress Everquest. She’s had some work done, but is mostly how I remember her, and the ride was still a lot of fun, and I got lost in the time we spent together, and the old nickname “Evercrack” was brought to the front of my mind rather quickly after the weekend.

    • Gordon says:

      The two big things that are bugging me are the mouse controls and camera. I can’t get the camera to move up for something reason and the mouse is very awkward.

      • Shadow-war says:

        Yeah, I had to fiddle with my key bindings to get a favorable key/mouse movement combo going on. I tend to swap back and forth between driving with my mouse and “wasdqe” keys, and when transfering from one the mouse to keys in EQ, your character stops and you have to “reinitiate” movement with whatever method is next.

  8. Dril says:

    I really, really, really wish they would do an official classic server for WoW. The one thing I would love, more than anything, is to be FORCED to run my Night Elf hunter from Teldrassil to Stormwind because ye olde Teldrassil’s quests were so damn awful.

    Only to then go back again at level 10 to train my hunter pet. Ahhh the memories.

    On-topic: glad to hear you’re having fun, but how far do you think you’ll take the progression server stuff? WIll it just be a one month fling or could EQ win you over again?

  9. [...] We Fly Spitfires — EverQuest progression server impressions “Forsooth, I can roleplay again!” [...]

  10. Garin says:

    Religion did play a role in old school EQ, not sure about what it does now. If you were a worshiper of a good god, and then changed shape via illusion to enter an evil city, you could still be killed by NPC’s that worshiped evil gods. Your religion DID have a faction associated with it.

    This was the reason that many Enchanters were Agnostic so that they could more freely enter and roam the depths of the evil or good races cities.

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