Friday, 3 June 2011

Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999...

It might be 12 years old and been overtaken by shiny modern MMOs such as World Of Warcraft and Rift, but PC classic EverQuest is currently undergoing a resurgence in popularity.

Yes, the game that introduced us to the joy of corpse runs, camp checks, trains (no, not ones that run on tracks) and Misty Thicket Picnics is thrilling EverCrack addicts all over again.

Two new timed progression servers were launched back in February, offering masochists the chance to once again experience the grind of the golden days when the land of Norrath was in its infancy.

As the months roll by, players are asked to vote as to whether new expansions should be rolled out. Currently, we’re still in vanilla EverQuest, although it looks as if The Ruins Of Kunark expansion is just around the corner.

This is great news for my fledgling bard, as I’ll soon be able to sing and dance my way over to the fabled Lake Of Ill Omen, where I learned the art of “kiting” mobs back in those halcyon days.

Experiencing the game again all these years later throws many of EverQuest’s flaws into sharp focus and some gameplay quirks are positively archaic.

But despite its rough edges – starting out is a bewildering fuddle – EverQuest delivers an experience quite unlike modern MMOs, with players having to really get under its skin to get the most out of the game.

It’s a game which plays at a slower pace, too – as you have to sit waiting for a quest mob to pop or for your mana or health to regen. Not everyone’s cup of tea, sure, but grouped with a few friends and chatting via TeamSpeak, there’s nothing quite like it.

Both servers are nice and busy, too, and during my first 10 levels, I regularly got into groups in the madness that is Clan Crushbone, while the undead-infested Estate of Unrest is currently coughing up lovely xp and lots of mental dashes to the zone line to escape Festering Hags and other nocturnal nightmares.

Getting hold of a physical copy of EverQuest is a bit of a chore these days, but luckily, you can grab a digital version from Steam. So if you are bored of Warcraft’s casual hand-holding and are looking for a deeper, more rewarding experience, come and join us on the Fippy Darkpaw server.

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