EverQuests Age of Rediscovery: First Impressions (Again)
Fippy Darkpaw and Vulak'Aerr are a week old now. And while I admit I've not spent as much time playing as I would like there have been good reasons for it! All of my allotted Everquest time has been going towards reading guides and finding out information. But I'll go into that a bit more later. What have I done so far on Fippy? Well, I rolled myself up a Wood Elf which as it so happens was the first race I ever played back in the day and was easily my favorite. I've run around the newbie area and enjoyed the city in the trees. I've fallen out of the city several times. But then who doesn't? So after having played around a bit what are my first (re)impressions.
The very first thing I noticed about Everquest was the music. Epic, upbeat and appropriately fantasyish. It plays throughout the character creation process. Which, if you take any amount of time at all to create your character it can start getting a little annoying only because it repeats so often. So how does the actual character creation rate? For what it was at it's time I would give it a 10 out of 10. You get a variety of faces, you can change a character's stats. There seem to be a lot more options for customization but they were greyed out. I can only assume this is due to where we are in the progression. After the difficult process of picking a name (Is there really any game out there where picking a name isn't hard?) I hit the button to enter the world.
Before the graphics had even finished loading the music started up and I was taken back. Once I found myself standing in that wonderful city the nostalgia hit me. I can't remember how many times I saw that same sight. The brown blur of walls, the music, all that was missing was a smell and I might as well of been back in 1999. When I stepped outside of that little hut my Wood Elf started in I looked around. It was all exactly as I remember it. Only it looked more beautiful back then. Now, its outdated and blocky. Of course Everquest hasn't changed, I have. It may not look as good as some of the other games out there. But it is perfect the way it is. After I finished reminiscing I decided it was time to set out.
The first combat didn't come until after I got lost in the city looking for a lift down. And had a fall, discovered the map which to be honest I can't remember if it was there before or not. I don't remember there being a map. But it may have always been there and I just didn't know. Eventually I found my way out to the newbie area. There were far more people there than I cared for. But eventually I settled on my first target, a giant wasp. I've heard many people who never played Everquest shocked by the fact that the things you fight have such simplistic names name Rat or Giant Wasp. I enjoy it. It gives you a sense that it is a simple world. A wolf is just a wolf, a rat just a rat. Whoever wrote the combat music did a very good job. I can feel myself tense when the music starts. It makes the fight feel more frantic, more life and death. My first combat related death came while I was killing a bat. I didn't see the Orc wander up behind me. And before I knew it I was down. I kept going back for more.
I decided that my little outfit which is really nothing more than a swimsuit needed a bit more. So I decided I wanted to make a cape. I found the right person to buy the recipe from. But then there was the trouble of figuring out where to use it. Or even how to read it. Did I need to be a certain level before I could use it? The frustration just continued to build until I decided to go back to fighting.
It wasn't long before I realized that I had no idea how to track what level I was. Or even where to level up. I spent several days reading guides and other things. It makes me wonder if this would prevent a casual player from continuing onward. I never stopped before. But then I don't remember anything about levelling either. I eventually found a bar in my character screen that is tracking my level. Now the only question is if I have to find someone to go to for level two or if it just happens automatically.
It might seem like I have no idea what I'm doing. And to be honestly, I really don't. But that is all part of the process. Rediscovering what I've been away from for so long and trying to relearn how to play a game so old. There's no arrow over someone's head saying talk to me. There's no easy way to do things. You have to talk to everyone, try everything. I'm not going to give up. I'm going to keep trying, keep learning. Its been a great journey so far. And I've barely started. I can't wait to continue my exploration.