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15 Years of EverQuest


Fifteen years ago my friend asked if I would be interested in seeing something no one has ever seen before.  “I am a tester for this game that’s not really a game… it’s like a world that I live in.  I’m a Paladin of Freeport and I’ve met other real people who also live here.  It’s like The Realm but in first person.  It’s like I’m in the game!”  That was the first and only time I have ever experienced a paradigm shift in real-time.  Everything I knew about video games felt like a grain of sand compared to what was unfolding in front of my eyes.

Suffice it to say, you all know the rest.  EverQuest changed the world.  It changed my world.  I was 14 years old when EverQuest launched.  I think I ditched half of high school to level my Dark Elf Necromancer.  I’ve shared #MyEQStory and many other fond memories over the years of my in-game adventures.  I’ve compared games to EverQuest and used it as the benchmark for just about everything since.

EverQuest 15 Year InfographicThis infographic brings back some intense memories of EverQuest beyond just the game.

I remember standing in the East Commonlands tunnel on New Year’s Eve.  We were all wondering what would happen with the Y2K bug.  Most of us were kids.  I remember the same question was asked in OOC chat 100 times: “Does anyone think we’ll lose our characters at midnight?”

Back in 1999 almost no one at my high school had a computer of their own.  A few had computers in their home.  Maybe half of the kids had the internet.  My family was always online from the moment it was able to be in a home for personal use.  I think my dad’s work got it for him.  In fact, I remember when our internet company contacted us threatening to shut us down for using our connection with them to run our own ISP.  They told us no one could use the internet this much.  My dad had to tell them, “You don’t understand.  My son plays this online game called EverQuest.”

I remember having to beg for a graphics card to play on our home computer.  My dad took me out to Babbages in the Mall and we picked up some Voodoo 3D extreme card or something.  I clutched it to my chest the whole ride home, knowing only  how precious the magic inside this box was — it would unlock the gates to EverQuest.

I may not have been an adult at the time and found my wife or gotten a job from EverQuest, but I was part of that group of kids just old enough to realize what was happening.  I’m almost 30 years old now. I grew up on EverQuest.  To this very day I am still testing EverQuest.  I’m still playing EverQuest. I’m still planning on playing EverQuest.  That really is pretty cool.

Rain, Pokemon, and stuff

We’re finally settling back in after having our roof leak in the big rain storm Socal had this past weekend.  You see, we normally do not get rain here so when even a little bit lands on our roofs they seem to leak profusely.  Having to vacate our game room, we were left with no other recourse than to watch copious amounts of Netflix.

We finished up binge watching Eureka and started Warehouse 13, but the star of the weekend has to be Pokemon.  Netflix now has the original season (which has like 50 something episodes), a few of the movies, and some later seasons.  We used to watch Pokemon every morning before going to school.  We’ve played them all.  Sorta.

I have this really bad habit of playing all the Pokemon games with the best of intentions of beating them, but I always get lost somewhere around the halfway point.  I’ll eventually finish up Pokemon X/Y.

Anyway, the series is awesome.  Watch it.  The first episode always gives me goosebumps as Ash stands up and defends Pikachu from the Spearows.  Graev always says, “What valor…”

Okay so enough of Pokemon.  Tomorrow morning our review of South Park: The Stick of Truth will go up so look for that.  I’ll be playing Grim Dawn (sort of a Titan Quest spiritual successor) to give you my thoughts, and the rest of the week should pan out from there.

Merry Christmas to Our Readers

Nintendo Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas to all of our readers around the world!

Our Nintendo Tree is once again bathing our gaming room in delightful holiday colors as the sound of gaming fills the air.  We have a lot planned for you to read over the next few days including our favorite games of the year, biggest regrets, and New Year’s resolutions as we end 2013 strong! We hope to see you all back here soon.

Best Wishes,

Keen and Graev


P.S. If you get anything cool be sure to let us know!

Happy Halloween 2013

FFXIV Halloween

There’s a tradition here at Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog to use Halloween as an opportunity to look back at years past and see where we were in MMORPGs.

In 2007, when we first started the tradition, we were playing EQ2 on Antonia Bayle,  2008 was spent in Warhammer Online,  2009 we were grinding in Aion, 2010 was spent in World of Warcraft,  2011 we were waiting on SWTOR and likely also flying brooms in WoW, and  2012 was in Guild Wars 2.  This Halloween I’m enjoying the spooktacular ambiance of All Saints’ Wake in FFXIV while Graev celebrates his evening playing Hearthstone.

Square did a nice job with their first major holiday event.  All of the major cities have very traditional ghoulish decor, and the storyline they let you walk through is cute.  The best part of all, however, are the costumes.

FFXIV Ghost Costume

FFXIV White Pumpkin

Toys R Us: Our Video Game Store

Toys R Us CouponAfter going back to Toys R Us for the 4th time in two weeks, I realized that I haven’t gone to a big box or even small brick and mortar store this much in… maybe forever.

Someone at TRU corporate is making all the right choices.  As a gamer who buys a lot — A LOT — of games, the store with top of mind awareness for me is now Toys R Us.  If you asked me five years ago, I may have laughed and even questioned if I would ever go back to a Toys R Us.  In fact, I seem to remember them having financial problems.

Now, I check their ads every week.  That’s one of their biggest selling points: They provide the deals.  Tonight we found the deal on the right, printed the coupon, and sped over because we had a $15 gift card already from buying Lego Marvel there two days ago. Seems like there’s always a way to save 40%, get $X off, or buy 1 get 1 free.

20 years ago we went to Toys R Us to buy action figures.  Now we’re going for our video games.  The fact that they are managing to follow us throughout our lives and continue to be our store is really quite neat.

Last but not least, our TRU has awesome employees in the video game department.  Usually I can’t stand the kids they have working these stores (Gamestop, anyone?), but the guys working in our TRU are knowledgeable, helpful, and consistent.  It’s almost like I have ‘a guy’ I go to now because it’s the same employee every time I go in.

You’re probably thinking Toys R Us is paying me for the praise (I wish), but in reality I’m just grateful that there’s a store making me feel like I come first.

Maybe I’m in a sentimental mood tonight, but this crap matters to me.  In a day and age where customer service has gone the way of the dodo and so many stores put the customer dead last, I feel the need to say something nice when it’s deserved.

In case anyone from corporate wants to reward these guys, it’s store #6622.