In order to pass the time before Landmark comes out, a couple of friends and I decided to once again return to playing the classic/original EverQuest. It happens every year, and we always have fun. While playing these past three days I had the impression that I should take notes on all of the things I was experiencing that I can or have only experienced in EverQuest. Obviously you can find some of these things in other games, but all of them help paint the picture of the entire experience you can find only in EverQuest.
Missing the boat three times in a row. One of my friends was trying to get from Odus to Qeynos and ended up missing the boat three times. Once because he didn’t reliaze the raft was the boat, another because he alt tabbed and got stuck floating above him, and the third time because he thought the island the raft docked at was Qeynos and didn’t realize he had to get on a second boat. All we could hear was this, “GWAAAAAAAAARGH!” on vent and we all chuckled.
Pulling out a map to figure out how to get out of a city. Yep, we were lost in Qeynos for 15 minutes before I alt tabbed and brought up EQ Atlas. Even then I had to figure out where I was and how to get out of that blasted city.
Binding. Here’s a long-lost mechanic. When you die you return to the last spot you ‘bound’. Only casters can bind, and if you can’t bind yourself you ahve to get someone else to bind you. If someone else binds you, it can only be done in a city. If you bind yourself it can be done just about anywhere.
Corpse Runs. Now that you understand binding, you can see why a corpse run can be a very, very, harsh experience. Toss in missing the boat three times and needing maps, and you have the experience. Death isn’t just about losing 10% or more of your level. You leave your body with all your gear. You do not want to die in EverQuest.
Doing nothing yet feeling like your’e doing something. I had this feeling many times this week. While waiting 45 minutes in Qeynos for my friend, buffing them while they leveled up to catch up to me, exploring Qeynos, practicing my charm-and-release technique, and figuring out which spells I should use. Doing these things I made no actual progression on my character — in fact I died once and lost 10% of my level.
Trains. CHOO CHOO! I think we shouted this four times last night and laughed ourselves to tears as we felt awful knowing the guy sitting AFK at the zone line was doomed. To be fair, none of the trains were our fault (they were trained on us) but it was still an absolutely blood-chilling experience every time. Mobs in EQ do not stop following you until you kill them or zone, and if a mob passes you while chasing someone else it will probably come back and kill you. Love ‘em and hate ‘em, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
Needing to sit for a while and regain mana. I forgot what it meant to actually be good at managing one’s mana pool. This really is a skill that separates the good from the great. I realized casting one or two spells at most per fight was enough. I forgot how used to spamming abilities I was, and realized in EQ it’s more about utilizing the few actions you take to their fullest.
Trading mana regen (breeze) for a heal. I was in Unrest last night duoing with my Monk friend and ended up being at 30% HP after a huge pull where we mez’d 5 mobs and cleaned them up one at a time. I shouted to the zone that I would give mana regen for a heal. Within 30 seconds this big ogre comes lumbering over and heals me to full. My friend and I laughed and laughed at how awesome it was to see such an exchange.
Ogres sliding around on their bellies to get through doors. The ogre I just mentioned above could barely fit in the house! I was beside myself watching him crouch and squeeze around just to cast. He had to actually exit the house, open the door, and heal me through it because he couldn’t cast while crouched. Such a classic and unique feature to have characters be so big.
Only in EverQuest.