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I feel it every day Woody. To me Everquest was the god of all games. I was amazed by the world, the story, the environment, and the community. It was the first time a game felt like more than just a simple game. Even WoW in it's best days (Vanilla WoW imo) didn't quite totally capture that eternal desire to explore on an endless quest.
To me, MMO's nowadays feel like rehashed money churning monstrosities that lack the nostalgic feeling of a brand new universe. With all players not wanting to find a goal of "Lets explore to the ends of the earth!(or wherever the heck we are....)" but a "I wanna be uber, 1eet dewd" I want a game where the gear slowly progresses, and wether you're casual or hardcore it has TONS to explore. Unfortunatly, with walkthroughs, data sites, etc there's no way to explore...everyone has a youtube vid on the best way to (Insert thing here). *sigh* I miss EQ. I mean hell, even though am divorced now, I met my first wife through EQ, and we still get along as friends. That's saying something!
edit: Oh yeah....I did try to go back. Even joined back in my old FV guild. It just wasn't the same. *sigh more*
Everquest-8+ yrs Retired, EQ2-1 yr Retired, WoW-5+ yrs Retired, Aion 6 months Retired. FFXIV-Kashuan: 5 months Retired, D3-6months Retired
Currently: SWTOR with a side of The Secret World.
good lord the though takes me back.. I remember my first boat ride in EQ, my friend having to tell me not to jump off repeatedly. seeing my first shark... Falling off and getting eaten by said shark. the good old days. thi was apart of my Cleric's epic trip from Felwithe to Qeynos WAY before ports were freely available. (I was poor anyway) I loved every minuet of it, including the sheer terror Kithacor forest caused when TRYING to cross at night (thank god for the kind soul who rezed me at Rivervale tunnel).
I haven't found anything that can bring that feeling back.
all typos are intentional
Sarriss Songtail level 90 Troubadour of Oasis (EQ2)
Daelen Forginglight level ?? of Test (EQ1, retired)
the first MMO I played was Asheron's Call in April of 2001. Quite some time after I chose a server to call Home my first newb event happened. A guy opened a portal in front of me and me being the true newb took it and ended up in a high level zone. I looked at my map and saw there was a town near by and like the newb I was not knowing that at lvl 1 I would not survive the run attempted to do so anyway. My only other really bad newbie mistake I made in that game was dying 12 times in one dungeon because I refused to ask for help in getting my bodies.
Is it weapons that are the cause of all this fighting or does the real cause lie within the human heart?
Very long time lurker, I played Everquest for almost 11 years and I miss every bit of it. Not one game has ever gotten close to the feeling EQ provided me. I Primarily played on Xegony with Japanese players, and they made a wonderful video that makes me tear up.
Memory Box ( Originally flash, then uploaded to youtube )
Wow, I was just talking with a friend about this recently. I loved Crushbone, hung out there until I maxed levels out usually, before heading off anywhere else. I had an Ogre Shaman that I played, with an Ogre Shadowknight. We weren't on an RP server, but we'd log in and start talking like Ogres in OOC. I was the High Priest of Rallos Zek, and he was a Paladin of Rallos Zek. I think before we left, the only one in Kelathin that didn't like us, was the Druid Guild Master.
<i>Sighs at the memories, and seriously thinks about picking EQ up again for awhile.</i>
Oh boy , old memories flowing again, damn you Woody! Now I feel nostalgic, even more so after watching that flash the previous guy linked, since I was on Xegony too and remember most of those guilds names. (Jarox , Machin Shin for the most part here).
My top 2 most nostalgic moments were both on my first toon , an Ogre Warrior. I remember while exploring the starting zone, I went across the river and got 1-shot by lvl 45+ lizardmen. I got so scared I actually left my body to rot there. The second was my first encounter with good ol' Lockjaw at the Oasis Docks. I was sitting on my butt fishing and minding my own business when that mofo appeared and started eating me from under the dock, I panicked and trained a dozen people. I still died tho. Good old times.
Aaaah my first real MMO was Dark Age of Camelot. To me it was simply amazing. For the first time I could explore the whole game. I would literally look for every single nook I could find, and (by the time I left) I knew the zones like the back of my hand.. For the first time I wasn't restricted to follow a set pattern of where I could go/walk or be. I could literally do anything I wanted! (and yes.. you *could* play that game on dial-up if you had to.. I did when I traveled hehehe)
What made it great was that I didn't play to level, nor did I play to get gear.. I played because it was FUN. I had never played a game like that before and it was wonderful. My first introduction to playing RvR (Realm vs. Realm) was in that game, and no game since has even come close to matching the intensity of the battles fought there, nor the incredible stamina it took -- in the early days of the game, it would sometimes take literally hours to capture a keep and all its' towers -- and keep them! We actually had to strategize and think and work together.. WoW PvP doesn't even hold a candle, with its' "capture the flag" crap.
It was a wonderful time for me, and sadly no other game has recaptured that same experience. I totally understand where you're coming from -- my DAoC is your EQ.
I loved EQ as well. I loved that it was tough and when you accomplished something you really felt it. I also loved seeing the barbarians on corpse runs trying to get through the caves with no night vision but that's just my dark side.
As far as the query about a game speaking to me in the same fashion as EQ did when I first started . . . um, no. I do not believe, for an instant, that any MMO will ever hold the same power for me personally that EQ did. I cut my MMO teeth on that game. I became a fan of MMO's due to my time spent playing it. I developed my tank skills playing that game. I developed lasting friendships - and a 5 year intimate relationship - because of it. It is, and shall forever be, my favorite. I wish that I still had the ability to play it, but I cannot afford - financially or otherwise - to return to it (full time college student, graduating with 2 degrees at the end of this school year). Besides, most of the people I played with have either moved on or quit MMO's completely. I would essentially be returning to a lifeless world.
As far as the other elements are concerned; Man, I remember how much of a PITA it was being an Iksar back in Velious. I literally swam from OT to Freeport because that was "the safe way". The torture that was the Epic 1.0 for me (I HT zerged the final boss, dying 26 times and losing 2.5 lvls just to get that goddamned sword and there are screenshots around here somewhere to prove it). Or how, when I applied to the guild that would become my home until I retired and set foot in PoTime for the first time and asked another SK what I should do, the only instruction I ever got was "Rookie. Shut up, do as you're told, and try like hell not to die."
Funny, I just got yelled at by my son's mom (she's away on a trip) because he was playing a Panda Priest on the new Isle. He can't read yet, so it was kind of funny, and he's not that good at driving without a mouse (trackpad and keyboard turning).
My first MMO was Shadowbane, and I really miss the sense of ownership that the villages had - patrolling 24x7 to watch for enemies, and farming the local monsters to build it up. But running across continents was really epic as well. WOW has gotten very small.
EQ was my first MMO, and I don't think you can ever fully recapture those moments of awe you get from your first delve into such a world. SWG certainly had some awe inspiring moments of wanderlust though. I spent hours searching the wilderness of Corellia looking for a secluded place to put my first house. I finally found a nice place on a hill with a small lake and I called it home. I miss that kind of exploration.
With all of that said, I don't miss somethings, spawn camping never appealed to me, grinding the same thing over and over again (still in most games) doesn't appeal to me. That sense of wanderlust was possible not because of the need to grind or camp, but because there were things to do all over the worlds of games like EQ or SWG. They weren't as linear as games of today, the term themepark is applied to them, but I don't go to six flags and ride the same ride over and over and then move on to the next, I try to hit each ride I like once and then if there is time come back to the other rides. "Zones" or even instances in MMO's need to be like this, I shouldn't just go in once and then never need to come back. One of the reasons to explore is to find out where things are so you can come back to them later.
I do miss the Kunark boat. The original boats were cool but nothing beats the size and grandeur of the boat to Firiona Vie, with those fishfin-style sails that flared out when it sailed off. That and the thrill of running through Kithicor at night. Or anywhere at night. In EQ night was actually dark, and not a pallet swap from yellow to blue. No lightstone, no view. I'd often resort to watching the stars to map my route at night, like in the olden days.