Foreverquest: EverQuest Will Never Stop Expanding

By Nathan Grayson on September 8th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

There's not enough skeleton imagery in this picture.

I remember when I first played Everquest. I was younger then - naive, optimistic, and completely unable to grasp the concept that a PVP server meant idly tapping the attack button around other people could cause an international incident. Still though, it was my first MMO, and what a magical experience it was. I’ll never forget my first death by Sand Giant or related, nearly naked corpse run through Terror Country. I tried it out again recently, though, and it’s, uh, really different. But I suppose that makes sense, seeing as there have been 18 expansion sets. And now it’s about to get even more different with a 19th. Also, EverQuest II’s hitting number nine, because… jeez, really? Nine? Where did the time go, everyone? What were we doing?

Let’s start with old-school EQ, though. The new expansion – titled Rain of Fear – picks up the story from the 17th expansion (maybe everyone just hung out for a while during the 18th?), ups the level cap to 100, adds nine zones, 13 raids, 110 quests, and 1800 new spells. There’s also an official aggro meter and a semi-intriguing-sounding “collection” system.

EverQuest II, meanwhile, is going to the afterlife. In the game, I mean. I just like to alarm you with outlandish statements to see how you’ll react. Really, it’s my only great satisfaction in this cruel, nonsensical world. At any rate, EQ II’s actually headed for Norrath’s version of the afterlife – namely, “Ethernere” – in “Chains of Eternity.” Apparently, things aren’t going so well over there (videogames rarely seem to have particularly pleasant afterlives, I’ve found), and it’ll be up to you to “save the immortal and mortal realms from collapse.” You’ll achieve this by way of a newly minted 95 level cap, prestige abilities, and – prior to all that – some robust pre-launch content, which SOE’s calling the “Prelude.” Here’s the rundown:

“At the same time as we’re focusing on the expansion, we are still offering live content prior to the expansion. We are releasing the first areas of Sleeper’s Tomb in mid-September which we refer to as the ‘Prelude.’  This advances the world story as players find entry into the tomb. We have another event that we’re keeping under wraps that releases closer to the expansion…  We’re even releasing additional free content at the same time that the expansion launches.  Players will discover that avatars are once again making an appearance in Norrath. These avatars are different from those who appeared in the past.”

Both expansions launch in November, so prance around proudly in your epic shoes that you slew 452 genocides’ worth of orcs to earn while you still can. Well, I mean, if you still play EverQuest in any way, shape, or form, anyway. Do you? Also, have they started any new Time Lock Progression servers? I want to go back to the beginning. All the way back.

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40 Comments »

  1. f1x says:

    That must mean the game actually still makes good money, or that SOE is using sun-powered computers to automatically generate random content without expending any money

    Anyone playing still that can share some experiences?

    • loki_racer says:

      The server I’m active on still has a lot of gamers. Thousands of people on generally all hours of the day.

    • f1x says:

      Thats awesome
      Usually gaming websites and gaming news would make you think that there only exists WoW and the rest are failures because of not having 10 million users

  2. razgon says:

    I was until I got shafted by SOE and sold out to Prosieben like all Europeans.

    EDIT: To reiterate what I wrote earlier:
    Oh, and Prosieben is the company that advertises on their site for volunteer help to handle forum issues and CREDIT CARD issues…yes, volunteer people found through the net will handle your credit card information.

    To explain further – Prosieben cant handle the DCUO playerbase’s subscription right now- if you look at their forums (Which US people are prohibited by IP block to do) you’ll notice that the largest amount of posts is in the Account issues area. Its been a farce so far and thats why I’d be pretty wary of signing up with SOE only to have my information handed over to Proseiben soon

    EDITEDIT: I sound like an angry internet person with a chip on his shoulder – Sorry. I really enjoy SOE’s games, in spite of their reputation. I’m one of the biggest proponents of Vanguard for hecks sake, but this move and the name Prosieben have made for themselves in regards to the worst possible costumer service and now how poorly things are going with DCOU makes me very sad.

    • Ezhar says:

      I feel for you. As a former German I wouldn’t go near anything that has ProSieben/SAT 1 as publisher (nor Gamigo, for that matter). Which is why I probably won’t be playing Planetside 2 either.

    • orcane says:

      No need to be sorry. I used to play EQ2 and went back to it occasionally. I played a little bit of DCUO and with CoH closing, might have played it more regularly. I really wanted to play Planetside 2. But because I refuse to play under PSS1, that means I can’t play any of those games.

      Foreverquest might get expansions, but I wonder how many Europeans will be left to play them.

    • f1x says:

      Well there is a long history of those in Europe,
      part of the failure of Warhammer online : Thanks to GOA
      or more recently how Aion managed by Gameforge in europe has turned into a laggy piece of crap

  3. Nevard says:

    This is why I don’t really see a “WoW Killer” ever actually happening
    WoW was the Everquest Killer but here it is still alive

    • PleasingFungus says:

      And yet, well, WoW is a cultural phenomenon! And Everquest… isn’t, any more.

      That’s what a “WoW killer” would mean. No one expects a game with 9 million subscribers to vanish overnight! But slowly dwindling into irrelevance? Sure, that could happen.

      • ScubaMonster says:

        I think the only thing that will come close to “killing” WoW will be Blizzard’s own next mmo. I am extremely skeptical about that one though, it will most likely be extremely casual and I’m not convinced Blizz has what it takes anymore.

  4. Njordsk says:

    I want EQ III sony. And a good one while we’re at it.

    • BruceFnLee says:

      Smedly admitted in the Reddit AMA that the new Sony MMOs will be F2P.

      GG, this *will* ruin what made Everquest great. You’ll never see something as awesome and community driven and pure as the markets in the caves of the Commonlands in a free to play MMO.

      I’m extremely disappointed by this news because Forgelight is looking to be a great engine for Everquest Next. Too bad the community will be F2P trash.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        You’ll never see something as awesome and community driven and pure as the markets in the caves of the Commonlands in a free to play MMO.

        Why?

        Also “F2P trash” – nice!

      • Grygus says:

        World of Warcraft isn’t free, and it has one of the worst communities I’ve ever seen in an MMO. Atlantica Online is free-to-play, and has one of the friendliest, most helpful communities around. Your assumption appears to be based in ignorance.

  5. Neurotic says:

    Well I’m in. I’ve been EQ since as long as I can remember, and I only want MMOOOOAARRRRR! /pipeandslippers

  6. malkav11 says:

    I hated the original Everquest and although it’s gotten better, it hasn’t addressed most of my issues with its design (which, to be fair, would be unwise given that presumably people who actually play the game enjoy that design). I spent a very pleasant year and a bit with EQII, though, right up through Sentinel’s Fate. Doubt I’ll go back. The group I was playing with pretty much disbanded.

  7. Torgen says:

    Was in EQ beta (where I came up with this character name) but burned out before the lizardman expansion.

  8. yabonn says:

    SOW plz !

    • ain says:

      Oh the times when everyone didnt have a newbie mount with a gazillion % of movespeed.
      I will miss them.

      • iniudan says:

        Or the time before everyone and their mother had a quick way to travel, thus how PoP killed my cash cow (was a wizard =p).

        I also miss the pre-bazard trading, on Xegony it was Faymart.

        Toward the end (left the game when Omen of War came out), I missed my earlier day in the game so mostly went around in what were then mostly abandonned zone (mostly Kunark and Velious zones) and soloed in them (when possible), just for the heck of it, the one that always felt the oddest to see abandonned was Sebilis.

        But when I feel nostalgic, I just start the original game midi soundtrack that I kept around, always found the music that played at North Karana spire to be relaxing, so I had tendecy to just teleport there when I just wanted to relax.

  9. Fazer says:

    Offtopic, about the number nine… Technically, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is the 9th version in the series, too.

    Now you know why they hide the real number.

  10. PostieDoc says:

    I couldn’t get into EQ at all when it came out. I found Ultima Online to be much more to my liking.
    I didn’t need to worry about fighting anything and could just concentrate on stocking my shop and going about my virtual life peacefully, talking to friends.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Tanidar says:

    There’s Project 1999, a 3rd party server that recreates EQ as it was during the first 2 expansions, Kunark and Velious (seems they’re currently still on Kunark). I last checked it out a couple years ago, but there were a good amount of people playing back then. I didn’t stick around for too long, as i doubt I’d be able to tolerate grindy hell levels again, but it was definitely nostalgic!

  12. frogbeard says:

    Any enjoyment to be had in either EQ or EQ2 for a primarily solo player? I know, I know… I’m an atypical MMOer… I tend to play until I reach level cap and then stop, or start a new character.

  13. remoteDefecator says:

    I’ll never stop being nostalgic for EQ1. It will always be my first MMO love. Unfortunately, as is the case with most MMOs years later, the game I’m nostalgic for doesn’t really exist anymore. EQ is now pretty much fugeddaboudit unless you three-box, which is fun, but it basically means it’s a solo game unless you’re raiding. And it takes 30-60 days of grinding several hours a day to reach raid viability.

    They haven’t launched a new Timelocked Progression Server; the current ones are about 18 months old. The TLPs were a modest success IMO, but the problem is once an expansion opens, everything before it becomes a ghost town, just like regular servers. It’s clear to me that there is a sizable population of ex- and current EQ players that really just want a perpetual classic experience, and I would not be surprised to see a new form of server that caters to this desire. However from what I understand, coding the TLPs was a serious undertaking, and the EQ development team is not very large. So coding is an issue.

    Project1999 is well past its prime. Ghost town until level 50, then it’s classic interguild drama at its finest, with GM favoritism to boot. EQClassic (.org) looks promising but has been in development for four years, and release is not imminent.

    • iniudan says:

      Also it is impossible to have certain thing exactly how they were at a certain point in time (if I remember what they wrote when they release the first progression server), mostly zone status that were related to certain event, if I remember right the code for the original Kithicor Forest was completely lost.

  14. Enko says:

    Is EQ PvP really more hardcore than EvE?

    • BruceFnLee says:

      I can’t speak on EQ1 PVP, but when EQ2 PVP came out it was hands down the best PVP I had ever played in an MMO. Then they added PVP gear and EQ2 now has some of the worst PVP in any mmo I have ever played. Separating PVP and PVE gear in EQ2 was asinine and ruined something truly great.

    • TormDK says:

      Back in the day it was possible to lose all your gear.

      When you got killed your corpse would be at your spot of death, with all your gear on it. So you’d have to run naked back to it. This could pose a problem if you were killed in a dungeon (Which wasn’t instanced) or if whoever killed you stayed behind and corpse camped you.

      If you were online for 24 hours total, or didn’t pick up your corpse within 7 days (And being online lowered the time your corpse would exist in the world, so it was either 24 hours online, 7 days offline or a combination) your corpse went *poof*.

      Now in EVE you have insurance, so while your ship and avatar goes *poof* as well when you get blown up (I assume your pod will be killed as well) you do have insurance options.

      Not so much in the old EQ.

      They since added a graveyard where you can always pick up your corpse as far as I’ve understood. But I had the time of my life on EQ’s Sullon Zek server, where only one rule was set – No cursing in public channels.

      Everything else went, and the player base were often described as the penal colony since griefing, exploiting (Bards and Charm for instance) and so on were rife.

  15. deadcatt says:

    Man, how I miss this game. Nothing ever came close to recreating the feeling of logging in, listening to the intro music while it loaded.
    Waiting for the boat, running everywhere. Everything took time, and that made you feel attached to your character.
    Levels took forever, which meant you really got to know the community, the people that you grouped with, and your adversaries ( Tallon Zek. How I hated Pandemonium )
    Every other game was like chasing the dragon. You were searching for that euphoria you got from playing and being a part of something new and exciting.
    No instances.
    How I loved no instances.
    You wanted a mob boss, you FOUGHT for it, didn’t wait your turn and ask nicely.
    The MMO world is so lame now, I quit WoW the day Battlegrounds came out and destroyed open world PVP.
    I tell all the younger guys at work, the WoW players how corpse runs used to be.
    Wiping on a boss, and spending hours just getting your corpse back with a monk that could /corpse
    *sigh*

    • BruceFnLee says:

      “The player must always be having huge amounts of fun without any hassle” – Modern MMO development.

      The most memorable parts of EQ were the ones you suffered through.

      • Grygus says:

        We all say that. But when we got an easier alternative in WoW, we all chose not to suffer anymore. So… whatever that means.

  16. gritz says:

    I think it’s cool to see this, Asheron’s Call and Ultima Online still going after all these years.

  17. Jenks says:

    Still playing Everquest, on the Al’Kabor (Mac) server. You can play on it from a PC if you look hard enough.

    It’s true free to play (not f2p), and time locked, PoP era. MMO bliss.

  18. kaloth says:

    Its been years since I’ve played EQ. I’d almost forgotten about it.

    Has it been made any easier over the years? I recall it taking an obscene amount of time to gain levels early last decade.