👾 The lost Atari arcade game returns with Jeff Minter's Akka Arrh


aka: EQ

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Critic Reviews 85% add missing review

Game Over Online (94 out of 100)

Despite the initial problems, which seem to have been fixed at this point, Everquest is an amazing game. I absolutely love playing Everquest and it should not be passed up by anyone. If RPGs really aren’t your thing it’s no big deal, you’re not forced to be a role player in Everquest. EQ shows off some great technology and what the Internet is capable of doing; that is, bringing thousands of people together in an online world. Everquest has an extremely long replay value simply because there is so much to explore and so many classes to play. So what the hell are you waiting for, go buy Everquest now!

Mar 25th, 1999 · Windows · read review

Game Revolution (A-)

I wear that belt with pride, and I have learned a new type of round kick, but Brother Vaugn has more for me to do in this world and has assigned me a more daunting task before I can earn my yellow sash. I pray that I am worthy.

Apr 1st, 1999 · Windows · read review

Computer Games Magazine ( )

Verant and Sony have done a good job in supporting their product, and despite the carping about unresponsive GMs and poor customer support aside that sometimes appears on the Internet, EverQuest is one of the best-run online games out there. It works, it delivers what it promises, and it looks good. It might not be your cup of tea—indeed, if you don't have three or four or more hours a day to put into it, it's probably not worth your time. If you do, though, it's a fantastic escape from the world, and a wonderful virtual reality to play in. Let's see how it stacks up to the challenges of the next six months, as Asheron's Call and others try to nose in on Sony's territory. Check back here next year and find out.

Nov 11th, 1999 · Windows

Quandary ( )

EverQuest strikes me as a great idea well executed. I found myself irrevocably attached to my character and, once I gained enough power, thoroughly enjoyed helping others advance themselves. Team-play and Player-Interaction is the absolute key to enjoyment in this game. The number of times I would have been lost had a fellow adventurer not come to my aid runs too high to count. For those who have always wanted a CRPG with more depth and play-length than ever before, and are eager to foray into almost unfathomed depths, EverQuest is an experience not to let slip by.

Jun 1999 · Windows · read review

Game.EXE (4.5 out of 5)

Идеальный убийца вашего времени. Любой Quake бледнеет по сравнению с настоящей онлайновой RPG. Берегите себя. Держите дистанцию. Высокие шансы физического привыкания.

Jun 1999 · Windows

Electric Games ( )

As it is, it is simply the best, most ambitious online role playing game available today. It is a lot more fun than both Ultima Online and Meridian 59, and far more rewarding. Everquest currently costs $9.89 per month (not a coincidence that it is published by 989 Studios) to play after the free month that is included in the purchase price of the CD. It is WELL worth the subscription cost, and is an amazing game. Verant should be very proud of their accomplishment. I'm sure the other online RPGs will be losing a lot of customers to Everquest. Bottom Line: Everquest is the "killer app" of online multiplayer games. It is diverse, balanced, and incredibly detailed. The world is enormous, and you can easily get lost in the gameplay. Some small problems still exist - a few of which are by design, but the rest are vigilantly being worked out. Everquest is the single most addictive game I have ever played.

1999 · Windows · read review

PC Action (Germany) (90 out of 100)

Obwohl EverQuest erst erschienen ist, funktioniert das Online-Rollenspiel schon ausgezeichnet. Die hervorragende 3D-Grafik, eine anfängerfreundliche Steuerung, Chat- und Party-Optionen sowie der moderate Schwierigkeitsgrad können begeistern. Auch die laufenden Kosten von knapp 20 Mark pro Monat zusätzlich zu Kaufpreis, Telefon- und Internetgebühren sind akzeptabel. Schon jetzt ist EverQuest ein Erfolg. Zu jeder Tageszeit sind auf über einem Dutzend Server 5.000 bis 20.000 Spieler online.

Apr 1999 · Windows

Gamezilla (89 out of 100)

An ambitious and mostly well-executed effort. It's fun to play and addictive as all heck. Aside from the complaints I've listed, it's not a bad game at all and is certainly better than the other games of this type that are currently out there. It's obvious that the folks at 989 listened to the complaints about the other games and made sure that those issues were fully addressed in EQ. There is, however, a very high learning curve to the game, which I guess isn't surprising considering how complex it is. The tutorial gives you only the minimum of basics and there are very few in-the-game resources for learning. You do get 30 days of free play when you sign up, but you will more than use that time getting your system tweaked in the precise way to make it run well, and figuring out simple navigation and gameplay.

Sep 20th, 1999 · Windows

Power Play (86 out of 100)

Den Test zu Everquest zu schreiben, wer nicht einfach. Unzählige Features die erwähnenswert sind, differenzierte Rassen und Klassen sowie eine riesige Welt, die mit unterschiedlichen Kreaturen, Flora und Fauna aufwartet. Es ist für uns unmöglich, Everquest in allen wichtigen Aspekten zu besprechen, daraus ließe sich ein Sonderheft machen. Weiteres Problem für uns: Was gestern noch aktuell war, kann morgen schon längst überholt sein. Erst gestern gab es einen Patch, der gewisse Verhaltensweisen bei Monstern änderte. Bis zum Erscheinen dieser Ausgabe kann noch viel passieren. Wir empfehlen Euch deshalb auch, die Internetseiten aufmerksam zu lesen! Für mich persönlich ist Everquest mein neuer Favorit gegenüber UO. Das System ist rollenspielgerechter und fördert die Zusammenarbeit der Spieler. Auch die Präsentation gefällt mir besser. Letztendlich ist es aber eine Frage des persönlichen Geschmacks. Empfehlenswert für Rollenspieler mit Internetanbindung ist es auf jeden Fall.

Apr 1999 · Windows

GameStar (Germany) (85 out of 100)

Doch solchen Nervigkeiten zum Trotz ist Everquest eines der aufregendsten und einnehmendsten Programme, die mir in den letzten Jahren begegnet sind. Es ist verführerisch, verschiedene Charaktere in den unterschiedlichen Regionen zu hegen. Die Masse an Rassen, Städten und Berufswegen erlaubt virtuelle Selbstverwirklichung für jeden Geschmack. Schon solo auf Monsterjagd zu gehen, bringt reichlich Spaß. Und im Teamwork mit anderen Spielern beschert Everquest endgültig Hochstimmung und Dauermotivation.

May 1999 · Windows

PC Joker (85 out of 100)

Auch der Sound überzeugt mit atmosphärischen Umgebungsgeräuschen wie Schritten, Wind oder heulenden Schakalen. Die Steuerung via Maus und Keyboard bietet zwar frei belegbare Tastenkombinationen und sogenannte Hotbuttons, verlangt jedoch Einarbeitung. Ärgerlicher sind die oft minutenlangen Ladezeiten bei Gebietswechseln. Unter dem Strich ist Everquest also das modernere „UItima Online“: trotz einer Fülle an Möglichkeiten gut spielbar, dank 3D-Grafik todschick. Und auch bei den Kosten orientiert man sich am großen Vorbild, denn nach einem Gratismonat werden alle vier Wochen 10 Dollar fällig - eine Unsitte bei Programmen, für die bereits im Laden rund 100 Mark zu bezahlen sind.

May 1999 · Windows

IGN (8.4 out of 10)

Even with all of its problems, EverQuest is still a lot of fun and its extremely addictive. Just be prepared to be patient with EverQuest in its infancy because you will invariably get frustrated, fed-up and pissed-off at the game ... but I can guarantee that you'll be back on the server within two days going at it again.

Mar 26th, 1999 · Windows · read review

PC Player (Germany) (84 out of 100)

Ich erfreue mich an der flüssigen, farbenprächtigen 3D-Grafik, der ausgeprägten Charakterentwicklung, den vielfältigen Möglichkeiten in riesigen Welten. Kommt dann die geplante musikalische Untermalung hinzu, bietet Everquest ein Rollenspielvergnügen, das nicht nur Fans für lange Zeit vor den Bildschirm bannen wird. Herz, was willst du mehr?!

Apr 7th, 1999 · Windows · read review

RealGamer (Benelux) (8.4 out of 10)

Pluspunten: De wereld is ENORM, met grote diversiteit in terrein. Makkelijk combat systeem, 1 knop en klaar. Veel keuze uit rassen en classes. Erg, heel erg mooie graphics voor een online game. Hakke! Meer hakke! En nog meer Hakke! Weinig Lag. Minpunten: De kosten zijn erg vervelend, namelijk 10 Dollar per maand, en dit kan erg oplopen.De wereld is ENORM. Dat kan namelijk frustratie opleveren doordat lage level spelers alles moeten lopen, en dit lang kan duren. Everquest is eigenlijk kabel only, dit komt doordat wij in Nederland voor elke telefoontik moeten dokken, en een goed potje Everquest al snel twee/drie uur duurt.

Jun 2000 · Windows

GameSpot (8.4 out of 10)

Although it might have been better in almost every respect, it is, like any good online RPG, a work in progress. And there's no question that it's the best game of its kind.

Apr 2nd, 1999 · Windows · read review

Edge (8 out of 10)

One critical fact of EverQuest is that it can be very tough at the start, when even a measly rat can kill you. Even after you’ve gained a few levels, the game remains very unforgiving. The system emphasises combat very heavily – although there are many quests to complete, the rewards are normally meagre – which can become a little repetitive. It requires a lot of time and dedication to build a decent character, which easily translates into huge phone bills if you’re not careful. Nonetheless, EverQuest is the best online roleplaying game yet, and offers months of enjoyment while pointing the way towards multiplayer gaming’s future.

Jun 16th, 1999 · Windows · read review

Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( )

Is it worth the $9.89 per month? That depends on three things: (1) you don’t mind the pure hack-and-slash gameplay, (2) you can find some like-minded adventurers to quest with, and (3) you’re willing to put up with the minor annoyances that pop up every now and then, If you meet these criteria, you’ll find EVERQUEST a very fun and rewarding online RPG.

Jul 1999 · Windows

Gameplay (Benelux) (78 out of 100)

Everquest biedt een schitterende online ervaring, zelfs voor de naaisters onder ons!

May 31st, 2000 · Windows

RPGFan (65 out of 100)

The world of Norrath is huge and even I did not explore every inch of it. Unfortunately I stopped playing due to excessive boredom. The combination of poor gameplay and poor graphics really dealt a killer blow to the game. I was looking forward to something good, but a simple online addiction quickly wore off, showing the game's true colors.

Sep 26th, 2001 · Windows · read review

Player Reviews

Reflections, 1999-2011
by Michael St. Augustine (5)

The Good
It is now impossible to write a solid, comprehensive review about Everquest. The game has changed by so much that it's unrecognizable from when it launched, with radical differences morphing the product all along the way. Write a review for the state of the game now, and those that played only five years ago would have no idea that they're reading about the same game. Write a review five years ago, and the people before and after your time will question if your review is even in the right section.

Most MMORPG games evolve to a degree, but most of that evolvement comes in the form of altering character functions. To the contrary, Everquest has largely evolved around the player classes, with their roles and functions remaining mostly the same since launch. These changes have been seen in the form of new zones, new quests, new item drops, new interface features, and even a new graphical engine and models at times.

What has eventually driven me away from most MMORPGs is that they end up changing the abilities of the class I play to the point where I don't want to be that class anymore. With EQ, they changed the game itself so much that one could revisit it every couple of years and aside from the aforementioned class functions, feel like they're playing a new game, relatively speaking.

Enough of the generalizations for now, as I'll try to focus on specific positive and negative aspects of this game. Bear in mind this will be a hodgepodge of reflections, some relevant to the launch in 1999, some relevant to today's game as it is in 2011. There is just no other way to faithfully examine this monster of a game at this point in time.

And a monster it is, with 17 expansions, Everquest bills itself as having the "most content of any MMO". This, taken at face value, is absolutely true. No other game can hold a candle to this one which has had active and ongoing development for the past 12 years! But if we look a little deeper, we start to see that this is largely an irrelevant notion. The reason I say this is because much of the "new" content invalidates the old.

Before we go down that road, let me point out however that Everquest is (or was) a very difficult game. As a matter of fact, it is probably the most difficult game I have ever played; online or off. To be successful is even more difficult. Whereas with most MMO games it comes down to how much time one puts in, EQ requires that and so much more. There is a need for a high level of skill in playing one's class with maximum efficiency and effectiveness, whilst being surrounding by others doing the same, to get things done. The game was difficult in every aspect whether it's taking down worthy opponents or building one's skills, to group management, merchant interactions, and the like. The game was difficult in every possible way.

Take for instance, deaths. At one point if you died not only would you lose experience gained towards the next level, but you also had to go and retrieve your corpse. Your, "corpse" contained all of your items and any money not in the bank (btw, money has weight to it and you cannot carry around large sums or you will be encumbered and lose movement speed). So after death, you come back to the world completely naked and devoid of any gear. Now you've got to go where your corpse is located and loot your items, perhaps fighting monsters along the way, all without your gear. Die again, lose more experience. This is no minor penalty. At some point the amount of experience lost could be an amount that literally took days to acquire. If you fail to retrieve your corpse, in a certain amount of time it would, "rot". Your corpse would be gone, along with all of your gear. You are now destitute.

This concept of dying makes the player extremely careful in where they go, what they do, and the risks they take. Dying in other games (such as Rift) is largely inconsequential. This means one can freely experiment and when they fail, it's really no big deal. Not the case with EQ.

Now extrapolate that kind of gameplay to every other aspect of the game be it tradeskills, leveling up, even the language which you speak. Anything you want to do is extremely arduous and ridiculously time consuming. But this is both good and bad. When you meet players in the game displaying their accomplishments, or when you have some of your own to show, there is a certain amount of respect that goes along with that. Anyone with a mount, or an epic weapon, or some bling, or a craftsman of two or three trades that speaks several languages has painstakingly bothered to develop each of these skills, and put in an insane amount of time doing so. This isn't like other MMO games where someone has a mount at level 20 or a nice weapon that they ran one instance to get. Far from it.

In light of this, let's go back to the content. As the game has evolved, it has become more user friendly. In many regards, this was needed. Accidentally selling your best weapon to a vendor means that it was completely gone with no way to retrieve. This is a hardship that we could all do without. However, beyond the technical annoyances such as these, the rest of the game as it stands today is much easier in every regard. Leveling up is fast and easy. To reach level 60 today may take a few days or a couple of weeks, whereas in times past it was on the order of months or even years, real time. The type of items that people may devote a full time job to acquiring on the order of hundreds of hours, have been invalidated by common drops that can be found anywhere that have triple the benefit of the old items. As such, much of the content has been rendered obsolete by new expansions. So, while it might have the most content of any MMO, the amount of relevant content has largely stayed the same over the years.

One thing I have found in Everquest that I've not seen anywhere else are quests which are simply epic in scale. Take World of Warcraft in comparison by example. Most of the quests are quick and simple fetch and kill missions that award the player with a bit of cash and xp. Do this, move on to the next quest. Rinse, repeat. There is very little with regard to questing which goes beyond this concept. On the other hand, Everquest has quests that can take weeks or even months to complete. A quest may require a combination of tradeskills, rare spawns, groups or even raids, and lots of patience to complete. If quests in other MMOS are like using Windows 7, quests in EQ are like building an operating system from scratch using assembly code. One is simply used, whereas the other is a grand project which must be studied and nurtured. In addition to this, there is nothing guiding you along the way in EQ quests. In World of Warcraft, the little quests kind of steered you in the direction you needed to be, the zones you needed to visit, the people you needed to talk to. In EQ on the other hand, there is nothing guiding you along and only experience or friendly advice can lead to you making the best use of your time.

But it goes beyond the questing. Consider using weapons; you cannot simply switch types of weapons and have the same level of efficiency for each. If at level 30 you've never used a piercing weapon and suddenly acquire one, you must build your skill with that weapon. Every weapon has an associated level of skill that can only be raised by using the weapon, or paying a trainer to raise your skill, the latter of which is cost prohibitive. One hand slashing and two hand slashing, one hand blunt and two hand blunt, piercing, archery... these are all skills independent of one another and each require days or weeks to develop.

Casters are not immune from this either as different spells have different schools of magic. If you never cast divination spells and haven't developed that skill, you won't be able to use your invisibility spell when you get it. Even your ability to dodge an attack or swim are based upon this same system and only by repeated use can one slowly develop any ability.

And while we're on the subject of casters, consider this; you have a finite amount of mana and replenishing it was at one time a lengthy process itself. One only regenerates mana by sitting down, and to fill up your mana to maximum capacity may take sitting and doing nothing but staring at the screen for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. The way EQ is now, mana and health regenerate very quickly. This translates into speedier leveling making the game easier, but has also unbalanced the game in that caster classes can now crank out an insane amount of damage compared to other classes, but in times past people were weary to expend an entire bar of mana on a fight they weren't sure they could win. Again, we see caution and the requirement of planning play a big part in gaming decisions where this isn't the case in other MMOs.

Another aspect of the game's slowness is with that of loot drops. Loot used to be very sparsely distributed. But what offset this was the fact that most (not all) items were not bound to a character. So for example, I could use a weapon for awhile, and when I was done with it I could pass it off to someone else or sell it. This was sorely needed to keep enough items in the game for everyone, especially considering that few to no zones were instanced. That's right, kill a named boss in a dungeon that's on a 72 hour timer and the entire server has to wait 72 hours for it to come back up. This is largely changed now however as there are many instances, but also most items are now bound to characters. Want to raid Karnor's Castle but there is already a raid group there? Well, you'll have to wait until they're done and the monsters respawn. None of this multiple instancing where you could have an entire zone or dungeon to yourself whenever you were ready for it.

At the beginning, I played on a PvP server. Some servers allowed for when you killed another player, that you could loot their corpse and get any money they had on them. Another server allowed you to loot one of their items. In any case, without instancing and on a PvP server, there were often grand battles over important zones within the game for the right to get the better loot. On my server, one large and well equipped guild firmly secured a high level zone and as a result, were able to get the best equipment in the game and prevent their opponents from doing the same. As a matter of fact, this large guild worked in shifts and would protect the zone from anyone coming in. Sometimes people could sneak through, or at others there would be large offensives manned for the purpose of unseating the controlling guild. While this may be a turn off to some as they are effectively barred from some of the game, it created a serverwide dynamic that you cannot find in any other MMO today.

After having stopped playing around 2002, I decided to return in 2010 to relive this game. I've played just about every MMO since and they all lacked real difficulty and failed to challenge or inspire me. But when I returned, the game had been changed so drastically that it resembled other modern MMOs. As mentioned, loot drops were common and powerful. Leveling was much faster, and much of the content that I became familiar with was now a waste of time to go back and explore. I was let down that these experiences were now dead.

That is until, I discovered the Macintosh server. The Mac server has not been updated since 2002 and the game is almost identical to the way it was when I left it. I spent $900 buying second hands macs for no other purpose than to play this game. Maybe I'm different but the fact that I was willing to purchase new equipment should be a testament to what this game has to offer those that want a real challenge or a unique MMO experience.

If you were to consider getting into EQ today, you have the choice of going to the PC side or the Mac side. The PC side has been so overdeveloped that it resembles an unremarkable modern MMO. In my opinion, it's a decent MMO but doesn't really stand out.

But if you go to the Mac side, you've got one of the toughest games around that you can spend thousands of hours with and that's only the tip of the iceberg. I've tried to relive these experiences in other games. But getting a critical heal to save the raid, resurrecting in the middle of a zone while the enemy is hot on our tail, or the drama that plays out as people spend hours on end in competition for one item of trivial value cannot be experienced anywhere else. It's only happening here.

Give the old EQ a try (if you want to play old EQ on the PC, there are emulation servers that have limited content for the purpose of revisiting the old world). You will either drop it like a hot potato, or you will embrace it wholeheartedly for the experiences you cannot find anywhere else.

The Bad
See above

The Bottom Line
12 years of off and on play and thousands of hours. I can't say that about any other game I've ever played. Can you?

May 19th, 2011 · Windows

Pretty good, if you're an addictive personality.
by Rick Jones (111)

The Good
"EverQuest" is quite an experience. A standard sword-and-sorcery hackfest, it delivers 3D mages-and-maces goodness over a huge, twice-expanded world. Exploration of the entire Everquest universe would take weeks; the selection of monsters, spells, weapons, armor and magical items is immense.

EverQuest is also a well-balanced game, offering relatively steady progression through various levels of nasty monsters, and is extremely player-friendly; no cherry-picking PKers will ruin your game here (unless you want them to.) An imaginative and very effective addition is the EQ "party" system whereby players are encouraged, and derive significant benefits from, acting as a team. Parties are easily set up and disbanded as needs dictate, and the resulting cooperation enhances the game experience and play balance a hundredfold.

The Bad
It's soooooooo slooooooooooowww.

Progression through each level, assuming you play more or less by the rules, takes hours, hours, hours and more hours. This is especially frustrating because the game lacks a substantial number of really interesting quests for characters under level 20. So if you want to advance to the point where you'll be doing really cool things, you're looking at literally days of gameplay fighting the same monsters over and over again.

Like it or not, most EQ gameplay is essentially a math contest; you engage a monster in combat and if your (average damage inflicted per minute/monster HP) is higher than (average damage taken/your HP) you will win; if not, you'll lose. Defeating a superior monster is essentially impossible, and tricks that allow it to be done are usually removed from the game by its makers. Consequently, the monsters you can fight at any given time are limited; anything more than 2-3 levels higher will kill you with ease, and anything 2-3 levels below will give no experience. Since any level advancement after the first few levels requires you kill SCORES of monsters, you'll find much of your gaming experience consists of fighting a predictable battle, resting, fighting the same battle, resting, ad nauseum. Group play allows for killing slightly higher-level monsters but doesn't change the overall pattern of play.

In short; if you want to get something out of EQ, you need a lot of time.

The Bottom Line
The best online RPG out there, but awfully time-intensive and not as deep as some would like.

Jan 29th, 2001 · Windows

An oustanding gaming experience, but often criticized by those who don't understand the concept of "game balance".
by Afterburner (495)

The Good
The social interaction between players is one of the biggest draws of the game. Everquest was designed from the ground up to be a cooperative game which, in almost all cases, requires you to cooperate with other players in order to advance in levels (and, therefore, in power and ability). And this forced cooperation leads to online friendships, which gives you a reason to return to the land of Norrath again and again. I know many people for whom the game itself is secondary to the social aspects of simply hanging out with their friends and chatting.

The Bad
The thing that I disliked most about Everquest was the incessant whining and groaning and pissing and moaning that occurred in the online message forums and newsgroups. If you read the posts made in these groups and on these websites, you'd come away with the impression that people were being forced to play Everquest at gunpoint. Some people simply never seemed to grasp the concept that the game wasn't obligated to be all things to all people. Whenever Verant would adjust the game parameters to counter cheezy tactics or exploits, the cries of "NERF!" would begin, and whiners would come out in droves. It was demoralizing.

However, to be fair, it is also true that Everquest's biggest problem is Verant themselves. Somewhere in the development of Everquest, the design team got it into their heads that (A) the game should have "mystery," and (B) players were morons. This attitude continues largely unchanged to the present day, over two years after the original commercial release of Everquest. There have been many instances over the two years of Everquest's existence where the players themselves discovered bugs or game imbalances, but which would not be acknowledged (much less fixed) by Verant. Verant simply took the attitude of "You're wrong, and there's no way you could know nearly as much about the game as we do, so shut up about it already." On many occasions, however, it turned out that Verant was wrong and the players were right. Sometimes this would be fixed with a nod to the players. Most of the time it would be fixed quietly, without explanation, and Verant would claim that there had never been a problem in the first place. Occasionally, they'd fix it and claim that they discovered the problem independently of the players, and really, they'd never heard anything about it at all from the players (despite countless messages into the newsgroups and web-based message boards).

The Bottom Line
Everquest is a highly addictive experience for those who prefer to socialize via the Internet. It's also a powergamer's dream. But don't bother reading the message boards or the newsgroups. You'll just drive yourself mad and ruin the game for yourself.

Mar 19th, 2001 · Windows

An amazing "experience"..but only an ok "game"
by Bastion (20)

The Good
When I first entered Norrath(the name of the land you are in), I was overwhelmed by its scope and immersiveness. The game was awe-inspiring. Being in a world with hundreds of other people is like no other experience. You actually build friendships and make enemies.

The spell system seems enormous at first, but after awhile you will realize that most spells are just upgrades to old ones, with a name change.

The graphics, while not top of the line, are very good. They were down-scaled to make the game play better since it is an online game. The intro theme song will be running through your head for months, but other than that, there isn't a lot of in-game music.

There is also a "naming" filter built into the game. It will only allow "roleplaying" type names. I thought this was a god send. Nothing ruined my Ultima Online experience, or Diablo II experience more than to have "L33tMasta'PimpDaddy" the warrior enter the game and help me slay a fantasy dragon.

As a game, I do not think it is a very good one, but as a "gaming experience" it is the best out there, in my opinion. I was in a guild for most of the entire year I played the game, and I made friends that I actually care about, and some that I have met, and that I now talk to on the phone. People from California, to Canada, to New York, to Australia. It is truly amazing in that aspect. This game has set the current standard for the massive-multiplayer-persistant world, and I believe that it only scratched the surface of what is to come.

The Bad
I found that while the game seemed huge at first, it really wasn't as large as it seemed. With the recent release of the expansion pack "Ruins of Kunark" the game world has gotten bigger.

After your character reaches level 20 or so, you will find that you spend more time doing nothing but sitting and resting, than actually playing a game. You will fight one or two creatures, than sit for 3-5 minutes to regain health and mana to do it again. It gets extremely repetitive. In fact, I found I had time to read a book, or even play another game on a second computer, while waiting to get back to full health, or waiting for the monster I had just killed to "respawn" so I could kill him again.

Obviously in a massive, persistent game world, you do not want permanent character death, as I have known people with over 100 DAYS of online time invested in a single character. To make up for this, you will lose experience everytime you die. This is the penalty for death, and it truly serves its purpose, as you will do anything not to die, as you can lose 6-8 hours of "progress" in a single death. This can be brutal and very discouraging.

One nickname for EverQuest, is "EverCamp." It is rightfully named. Due to the difficulty of monsters swarming you in dungeons, I found that it is nearly impossible to do a traditional "dungeon spelunk" in EQ. You tend to pick a single spot in a dungeon and kill the monsters, then await their return to do it again. In this manner, you get the most "experience gain" with the least risk of death, and sometimes you can get a "rare" magic of some sort if you go at it long enough. While some monsters would show up every 20 minutes or so, and have a magic item once every 1 or 2 hours, there were some monsters that would only show once or twice a week(yes I said a week) and even then, they didn't always have that rare item you were after.

I also feel the "Quest" in "EverQuest" was never fulfilled. Many of the in-game quests we not working for the majority of my life in Norrath, while others are still not working. Many quests just do not reward you with anything of value once you are actually strong enough to do them, while the ones that do, require the efforts of sometimes 10-20 players working together to get one player that quest item they were after. This just isn't something that is feasable for the casual gamer. To enjoy EQ, you have to really "live" it.

The Bottom Line
If you do not want to keep that "significant other" in your life, buy them this game. It can totally ruin your life. I had several friends I met in game who were in college when they started...and aren't any longer. Friends who were married, who aren't any longer. Not that it is the games fault, but it can do that to some people. It is truely immersive, if you do not mind a slow-paced, repetitive game. Think of it as a "Yahoo Chat-room" with eye-candy and something to do.

Jul 13th, 2000 · Windows

A wonderful concept brought to life in a 3D world tainted by its juvenile inhabitants.
by kbmb (435)

The Good
(I should point out that I haven't played Everquest in over a year now, and since then there've been a few expansions and a much needed graphics overhaul. So some parts of my review might be slightly off)

Once upon a time elves were nothing more than E's on a screen cluttered with ASCII, and dragons would be four D's, indicating how very large they were. The E's and the H's and the D's would team together and combine their powers to take down the evil dragon and save their little world.

We've taken many steps forward in the evolution of computer games, and Everquest is a landmark on the online RPG timeline. Ten years from now you won't be able to read about the latest online RPG without seeing references to Everquest. But does being a landmark mean the game is good? Not necesarilly. In fact, Everquest being a landmark may be the only reason it's bringing in new business, because people want to know what all the fuss is about.

People flock to Everquest because of its popularity. After all, if something is popular it's good, right? We're shelling out ten bucks a month to play with other people, so the more people, the better, right? Yes and no. I'll point out the reasons why not in the "The Bad" section.

But first, "The Good".

Everquest combines many elements into one glorious package. From the classic dungeon crawler to the Internet chatroom, Everquest covers its bases very well. Join with a pack of adventuerers and charge into the dungeon with swords swinging and spells flying. Collect your loot and head back to town to sell it, or auction it off to people willing to buy. And while you're in town, talk to a woman and get a quest to go on. To say this game has "replay value" is misleading, since the game is in a constant state of change, there is no replaying since the game will always be new when you next log on.

The entire game world is large enough to keep you occupied for quite a while. Certain areas will be off limits to you (you'll be killed on sight) depending on your race. Not all races are welcome in all towns, and a dark elf wandering into a human town will be seen as a threat and disposed of quickly. Need something in the town? Gain enough levels and take down the guards yourself, or try and sneak in. If you use your brain, many things are possible in the game.

Most cities are quite vast and appropriate for the racial population. The elves live high up in the tree tops, the ogres come from primitive rock buildings, the trolls from murky swamps. They really give a feel for where you are in the game.

If you die, you lose everything you have. You can get it all back by getting to your corpse, of course, but if you died somewhere out in the middle of the desert, an area surrounded by ugly sand creatures, and all you have is a set of boxers and a stick...well, either you find someone to help you out or you'll just have to start all over. This element makes for some very strategic thinking. You also have to keep yourself fed and watered.

The Bad
That's about all I can find good about the game. Looking at the game at a generalistic point of view, the game is quite good. If I were able to play the game without having to pay ten dollars a month and log on to the 'net with my wimpy 56k modem, I think this game would be all that much better.

My biggest problem with the game is the people who play it. It's hard to say that a game is bad because of the people who play it, but it is an MMORPG. The people who play it basically make up the game. Granted, the last time I played was over a year ago, but I doubt the people have grown up much since then. But I'll get to the people later.

Everquest looks like the type of game you can really immerse yourself in. To be that adventurer who battles the odds, to wander from place to place in search of more adventure. The hero, who goes home with a giant back of gold over his shoulder. Everquest looks like that type of game. But it isn't. At all.

Unlike Asheron's Call (once upon a time it was Everquest's lead competitor), Everquest's landscapes aren't vast at all. In fact, they're all very flat and dull, save for the dungeons or canyons. Throughout the game, you'll get this feeling of being "boxed in", since you're not playing in a giant world. You're playing in a single zone, that may have one or two exits to other zones. The zones aren't particularly large, either. And monsters can't follow you into zones, so a particular "strategy" that was quite common was to pick a fight with a beast near a zone, so that in case you feel you're losing the battle, you can take a few steps back and viola! be free of him. The entire Everquest game world isn't that large. Compared to Asheron's Call, anyway. In Asheron's Call, to run from one side of the island to the other would take an entire day. In Everquest, you might do it in a few hours, provided you aren't attacked along the way.

The dungeons in Everquest are fairly unique, and they may have little quests for you to do. Just hope there isn't a line. Everquest is so overpopulated that to do just about any quest that involves a spawning monster, you'll have to wait your turn, and even then someone will probably cut in line.

Everquest is set up so that you CANNOT fight the game alone. Somewhere along level 20, you are REQUIRED to join with a group of people to fight monsters, since any type of monster you can fight solo will no longer give you experience, and any monster that will give you experience is going to kick your ass. This is Everquest's worst feature. I wanted to play with people if I wanted to, I didn't want to be forced into joining a bunch of people I probably don't particularly like anyway.

Another way Everquest isn't immersive is the fact that while you're in a zone, you're subject to "yells", "out of characters" and "auctions" being broadcasted by anyone in the zone. It really gives the feeling that you're playing in a 3D chatroom, not an RPG. There is an option to mute it, but then you'd be muting ALL incoming texts. (Note: this feature has most likely been updated since I played) And then where would you be? Your options are to either fight alone (which as I pointed out you can't do for long) or to play in a chat room.

The people who play Everquest are...well, to say the least, they're immature juvenile idiots. Of course I can't say they ALL are. I myself came across a few who were very good people, but that was quite rare. Throughout your journey in Everquest, you'll be hearing Everquesters calling each other "gay" every other line. "This is gay." "You're so gay." "That town is gay." "Elves are gay." and the like. Of course, they don't spell it as well. It's insulting, and it's annoying.

There is an option to set your status to "role playing", which a lot of people thought was neat, except role playing seems to be illegal in Everquest. I once dueled a man in a fair battle and proceeded to sell his belongings after I'd won. Because I'd done this (note: he was a human paladin, and me being a dark elf shadow knight - we were quite opposite and destined to be enemies anyway), and though we were both set to "roleplay", I was ORDERED by the Everquest cops to get back his items or be banned for a day. And since I'd already sold his belongings, I'd been banned. I was banned because this kid whined to the Everquest cops after I'd beaten him.

It seemed that I was the only one in the Everquest world who actually earned what I was fighting with. It's quite popular to just get hand-me-downs from higher level characters. Though it seemed that once upon a time this was considered unpopular, since those who do it are called "twinks". I doubt the people who call them that know what a "twink" is, since themselves have done no different. People in Everquest got a kick out of mocking me for not having an unearned level 30 weapon at level 2. It was gay.

The Bottom Line
So. You're not allowed to roleplay. You're not allowed to fight by yourself. You'll be mocked for earning your items. Your entire game world consists of tiny flat zones that link together in an unconvincing manner.

This game is potentially good. If the Everquest cops would stop listening to the whiny kids who lose their "hard earned" items and instead police them for being boneheads, the game would be a lot better.

The game itself isn't too bad. There are improvements that could be made, of course. But do something about the people who play it. Make it more enjoyable for the people who've passed the sixth grade.

Oct 23rd, 2002 · Windows

It's 2012 and I still haven't played another game as rich and compelling as this one
by Chris Wright (102)

The Good
Where to begin? EverQuest was such an immersive, expansive experience -- it's essentially like a whole other world that players would routinely sink themselves into for three, six, ten, perhaps even twenty hours at a time. Of course it isn't nearly the phenomenon today as it was in for its first few years (1999-2002), in fact you might even call it irrelevant, but the fact that we've seen a dozen or more expansions demonstrates the enduring popularity of the game.

First and foremost, EverQuest was a grand social experiment. It was a compelling game that, when facing a horde of strong enemies, demanded cohesive teamwork, constant communication, and a deep understanding of your chosen class. You could muddle through if you don't know quite what you're doing, but experience will not flow in smoothly, and you will be going on plenty of corpse runs -- a sobering experience when your body is at the bottom of dungeon.

The game world of Norrath, and its associated moon and alternate elemental planes, are, in a word, vast.. It boasts over four hundred zones, and most of them take a player at least a couple of minutes to run across. This is profoundly large game world, and yet there is no lack of rich detail. You can tell that the creators of EQ really knew their fantasy inside out, from the creatures that populate Norrath to the massive array of magical spells to the 'phat lewts' that dominate the focus of the game for a lot of players.

The Bad
It's clearly past its prime. I haven't seriously played EverQuest since 2002, and that's a good thing. It used to be on the leading edge of social gaming, but then we had the banal, dumbed-down World of Warcraft to supercede it in 2004.

The Bottom Line
A majestic and very fun experience that has possibly entertained more people for a greater length of time than any other game in history.

Aug 24th, 2013 · Windows

If you like to spend most of your time watching your character sit down, then this is the game for you
by xTSx (14)

The Good
I liked the good graphics and the mediocre spell casting. I also liked the fact that the CD makes a very nice coaster.

The Bad
I hated the downtime. THere was no such thing as logging on for just an hour..you had to log on, walk a great distance to fight a monster, spend more time gaining levels, and then there is the added fact that you are likely to die while fighting. When you die, you start off where you last binded your self too..and you have a limited amount of time to recover your things before they become lootable by all..so all in all, you are looking at spending about 2 hours on doing something that is very simple.

The Bottom Line
If you want to impress friends at a party, bring a bunch of EQ CDs and use them as coasters..that is about the most fun you will have with this game

Jun 3rd, 2001 · Windows

The End Of the Gaming Industry
by Sean Johanson (15)

The Good
In 1999 the concept of an MMO was still brand new. This was the first widely released game that incorporated the "ability" to play with thousands of other players in a huge gaming world. The "potential" for player to player interaction in this game was immense. In addition, for the day, the graphics were unbelievable, considering the scope of the game.

The Bad
Instead of leading the gaming industry into a new renaissance, this game literally destroyed the entire industry.

Why? It's complicated, but I will try to break it down.

1) The development team of this game released an absurdly unfinished product. Yet people played it anyway. I tried it in April of 1999, and dropped it by May 1999 because of how bad it was. Unfortunately I was in the vast minority.

This gave developers the green light to release games that were essentially still in BETA and have players actually fund their development. This problem still persists today!

2) While this game gave players the "ability" to play with other people, it was designed to be played by SINGLE player. Thus it was one of the first SINGLE PLAYER ONLINE GAMES. Why on earth would you pay a monthly fee for a game, when comparative single player games exist that do not require a monthly fee? Developers noticed how players didn't seem to care! Quite frankly it goes to show you just how stupid many of us are. :(

This gave developers the green light to build massive SINGLE player games, and yet charge a monthly fee for them.

3) The game itself is utterly dull and vapid. Even in 1999 people lamented that in Everquest all you could do was kill brown rats, to move onto white rats, to move onto black rats. After black rats you moved onto big brown spiders, then big red spiders, and then the cycle repeats.

I knew people who played this game while watching TV. One of my friends actually would watch TV, eat food, and play ANOTHER GAME, yet still play Everquest because it was so simple!

Not only that, but people would play these games for 12+ hours a day! Why would you do that to yourself?!

The game developers noticed how quite a few people responded to this completely boring design and thus started making every other MMO in exactly the same manner. Innovation was scrapped for blatant copying of an older boring design.

4) Everquest made huge amounts of money, and that is the single element of this game that killed the gaming industry as a whole. Previous to the release of Everquest MMO type games had existed (IE UO did well, just not this well). But this is the first one to REALLY cash in. At its peak this game was bringing in tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars a month, in addition to the CD sales! Compared to most games that relied entirely off of someone just buying a CD.

In the years previous to 1999 a new gaming genre was released just about every 3-4 years. These new genres were almost always a breath of fresh air. Just to name a few: side scrollers, 4x strategy, real time strategy, first person shooter, online first person shooter, clicking role playing games, etc, etc, etc...

But after 1999 there hasn't been a major new genre created. Realize the impact of that statement! In almost 13 years we haven't seen a new video game genre. That would be as if in 1999 we were all still playing ONLY side scrollers like Super Mario Bros!

Why did this game kill innovation in the gaming industry? Because everyone saw how much more money the subscription based online games were making and everyone in the industry dropped what they were doing to make them. So many flooded the market that the asking price for a subscription dropped to ZERO. Countless studios shutdown simply due to their greed and inability to manage programs of this scope. And countless more shutdown because they released "cookie cutter" MMOs that bored the tears out of the people who played them.

Instead of innovating, these companies simply copied a very expensive genre and it killed the entire industry.

Most of the companies left in the gaming industry do not make new games, they simply re-create games made AT LEAST 13 years ago.

The Bottom Line
Everquest was a blatant slot machine game that was easiest played by yourself. Players would kill red creatures until they leveled, then they would kill black creatures, then white, then purple. Once completed they would kill another creature in the red color and start the cycle all over again. This pattern would repeat for possibly 300-400 hours (or more in some cases). Some of us hated this type of game, but millions apparently loved this style of game.

This game made so much money that it killed the video gaming industry in the later 90's and early 2000's. Just about everyone in the industry dropped their innovative projects (because of greed) and tried to copy it's design. The vast majority failed miserably. And because of it we haven't seen a new gaming genre released in almost 13 years.

Welcome to the Dark Ages of gaming.

Jul 28th, 2011 · Windows

Plus 34 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Scaryfun, Cantillon, Jeanne, Virgil, Patrick Bregger, Wizo, Caliner, vedder, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy).