EverQuest Retro Review: More Like FOREVERQuest
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
When it comes to MMORPGs, no other MMO game deserves more credit than EverQuest. EverQuest, also known as EQ, has been around for more than a decade, and despite newer and more graphically enhanced games, EverQuest is still running strong and carries a steady subscription rate. Other than the super old school graphics, EQ’s content is still up to date. Believe it or not, the game just launched its 17th expansion in October 2010. A strong indication that the game is definitely far from over and players can still enter the world of Norrath without worrying about the game’s near retirement.
Instead of reviewing this game traditionally, I would like to talk about what makes this game the grandfather of MMO gaming. I believe that there is no need to dwell in its pros and cons after 12 years of service, as this MMO relic deserves to be cherished than judged.
The Golden Years
Back then, EQ was the messiah of MMO gaming. After being bombared by a series of offline multiplayer games, gaming never felt better after EverQuest entered the scene, providing us with a nice scale of 3D MMO gaming while letting gamers go on epic adventures with their friends and loved ones. I mean, let’s face it! When was the last time those people could have an adventure with more players than their console multitap could handle? A chat interface, immersive adventures, joining guilds, crafting, grouping with friends to defeat horrible monsters and defeating enemy players, EverQuest was truly the grand-daddy of them all.
With all these quality features lined up, EverQuest transceded from a regular game to a way of life. EQ lovers are probably more familiar with MMO addiction better than WoWheads and Ragnarok champs. With 17 expansions giving them different content per release, constantly upgrading the existing world of Norrath, Veteran EQ players have embarked on numerous adventures unrivaled till today.
Not Your Everyday Characters
While World of Warcraft, Aion, and Warhammer have their own set of unique classes, I would say that most of them branched out from EQ’s array of splendid archetypes. The game’s classes actually have more depth than the majority of the up to date games. And while we level shamans, warriors, and mages, EQ lets players assume the role of a beastlord and shadow knight, which are hybrids of other classes with their own pros and cons. Don’t think that’s all though! Since some of these classes were added from expansions, players can still expect more content from this timeless classsic. Also, the game has a nice selection of races. Note that not all classes are compatible with each race, so you really have to think carefully when starting a character. There are tons of tanking, healer, and damage classes to choose from, each with their own unique tactics and playstyles, so you’ll have quite a selection when picking your virtual avatar.
What I really liked about EQ’s combat system is the skill factor involved. Just because you know your MMOs does not mean that you can play as any class in the game. Each class has its own unspoken difficulty level, which is quite rare for most MMOs (even the new ones) to possess. I personally dislike games that have characters that function the same way. Having a certain ability rotation is always fun, since pressing 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in succession gets old fast if it’s the same thing for each class. I mean what good is a game if your skill level can only take you so far?
For those who think that EverQuest II (EQ2) is just another EverQuest expansion, let me say that EQ and EQ2 are two completely different games in terms of gameplay mechanics, depth, and visuals. It’s actually amazing that despite EQ’s outdated graphics, the game still holds a lot of subscribers. Even with EQ2’s updated features and with all the new MMOs coming to light, EQ still stands as one MMO you shouldn’t miss.
Graphic Whores, Please Give It A Chance
Although the game has undergone a series of graphic enhancements and resolution changes, there’s no denying the fact that it still looks pretty old. And when I say old, I mean far worse than new games on the lowest settings. It’s still better than Blade Mistress Online though (sorry, just had to stress that out). Still, it was practically a GOD during its era. The enviromental details are brilliant though, with beautifully rendered areas that gradually changes everytime you enter a new region. There’s also a handful of face options upon starting the game, so you’ll still look semi-unique, even with the limited selections. The armor sets and weapons also play a big part in customizing your character’s looks as most of the items look different when equipped, lessening the somewhat regular cloning process. I mean, who doesn’t want to look unique in an MMO?
With tons of features that have been passed on from MMO to MMO, i think that EverQuest deserves both our thanks and respect, for the MMOs we know and love wouldn’t have turned out that well without EQ’s “genes”. Honestly, even if you’re going to play this game this 2011, I’m sure the game still has enough awesomeness to impress you. Although the graphics are extremely dated, the world of Norrath has what it takes to amaze you with its variety of dungeons and areas. With an awesome PVP system, a broad map, a superb character customization system and a world of different possibilities, EverQuest will always be one of the best MMOs in history.
-It’s one of the Alpha MMOs!
-Most of the features you love from various MMOs came from EQ
-Excellent graphics (for its time)
-Amazing engine and game world.
-A few bugs, but have been patched over time.
-Although it was responsible for some of the awesome MMOs today, some crappy ones also branched out of it. Thats not EverQuests fault really but still… You have to blame someone, right?