The allure of EQ and Minecraft

I go through phases where I start craving certain games.  Right now I’m craving Minecraft and some classic 1999-2001 EverQuest.  As you guys well know, I get the itch for some old fashion EQ a lot.  I keep trying to figure out why.  “Because you like those games, Keen.”  Yes, very astute; you are correct.  What makes them fun games to RETURN to, not just to play.  Why can I RETURN to them so easily?


This one is really obvious.  I get to make whatever I want, and what I make can actually do stuff.  Even the people who play 24/7 can’t seem to make everything.  There’s always a new way of making a farm, a new way to breed cows, some new machine that does something, etc.  I’m limited by my imagination and knowing that something is possible, not in my ability to do it.  The nature of get-in-get-out play of Minecraft is second to none.  I can jump into a single-player or a multiplayer game and play for 20 minutes or 10 hours.


I have a level 25ish Enchanter that I’ve been nurturing for months.  For some reason, every few months I start itching to play.  Returning to EQ isn’t easy.  Grouping is mandatory.  Death means you lose hours of work.  Leveling and advancing a character takes a VERY long time.  Why then do I feel the urge?  Maybe it’s knowing that even 10 minutes of progress is literal progress.   For some reason I just want to get into a group and mez monsters.

Depth?  Thought?  Danger?  I hate writing about a seemingly inexplicable topic, but this has been bugging me lately and writing about it seems to be helping.  In both games I do not play -through- something.  In both games I can truly stop and think about what, where, when, and how — and those things are entirely up to me. As usual you guys  will probably express in words what I seem to only ramble about as ‘feelings’.

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Evalissa - May 6, 2014

how about boredom? lol
simply being nothing new that’s good you revert to what’s old and favourite

Keen - May 6, 2014

Maybe. That can certainly be why I would stop playing current games. But why go back to EQ and Minecraft over any other game? Something about those two.

Damage (a friend of mine) said last night, “it’s because you can do whatever you want in both games.” To a certain degree that is correct.

Gankatron - May 6, 2014

It’s like hooking up with an ex from time to time. Its familiar, they know what you like, and the time you’ve been apart is just enough to forget all the things that annoyed you on a daily basis.

Minecraft is your gaming booty call equivalent; instant gratification with no strings attached.

Zyler - May 6, 2014

Personally I think its because, the minecraft model (used to?) give a unique experience and let your imagination run wild like a box of lego stones.

The EQ thing is a longing to how mmorpg’s used to be epic in scale, progression and hardship (danger?)
If something is easy to obtain, then why obtain it at all?

Just like in Ultima Online we used to stall our greatest finds of items with great pride. Showing off to others, a place in the world to call our own.

Personally I liked it better back in UO when there was no global chat function. you only had a balloon of text above your head. you ran into a stranger at an interesting spot you could meet and decide to explore together.

I even made friends with people who helped me with something simple as a dyed shirt for free. Visiting their home at the days after hoping they where home to socialize and maybe go on adventure. yes i brought beer and something to eat. I dunno…. it was a living world.

General chat and group finders are immersion breakers and do not promote meeting new people and making friends.
In themepark mmorpg’s people are at best a short term tool to get the loot you want in any dungeon of your choice never to see them again or have the need to talk with them. You could just as well play with 4 bots in that dungeon for the same experience.


Lokked - May 6, 2014

For me, it’s the guarantee of explorative fun. I can psych myself up while not playing EQ to play EQ far easier than any other game. Using WoW as my first case, while not playing WoW, I don’t think about WoW. There is no need to plan out, to any degree, my next play session. For any given level pre-cap, there are perhaps 3 different zones I could grind in and 2 dungeons I could group in, and there is always a best decision depending on my class/faction. The game is VERY linear.

With EQ, between the levels of just 15 – 20 there are around 15 (not exaggerated) different areas a person could level in, each for different reasons. Those reasons could be: How safe/risky is the area? How far away is it? How populated is it? How far away is the nearest Bind area? How far away are the merchants? Do I care about Faction? Is there a turn in quest available for whatever drops? Do I care about drops? Do I need a group? Do I have to be active all the time, or can I do something else while I wait for respawns? Am I bored, and just want to hang out around Orc 1 buffing noobs and watched them destroy the camp? Or kill Seargent Slate and the Griffen because they’re assholes, and by doing so I’m contributing to the society?

So many options to consider. There may not be as many goals to ascertain to in EQ (basically, the primary goal is get to cap, and then explore high level areas, and obtain the gear required to do so), but the variety of considerations you can make along that journey is far greater than any other game, as far as I’m concerned.

Second (all that crap above was just Firstly), the amount of twinking you can do makes the game better than a game with a level req on everything. EQ2 did it better (best imo) with dimished stats below the recommended level, but being able to save all your pennies to outfit your character with something that could last 30 or 40 levels is a great addition to a game’s economy and society. It gives me mini goals that are more within reach than the goal of reaching cap, and I can think about what piece of gear will get me the most for my money. When I get it, I want to use it, and kick some ass!

Sorry for going off. I could talk all day about EQ.

Whorhay - May 6, 2014

EQ was just F’ing magic for it’s time. I don’t think the game play holds up as well for me now that I’m a matured adult with kids and stuff. But I can still remember all kinds of great (mis)adventures to talk about. One that I can’t even imagine finding in another more modern game is when I fell into The Pit just outside Paniel.

I was playing my Ogre Shaman and wanted to farm faction I think in the Warrens. Because Ogres were huge I always ran around with a shrink or double shrink buff so that I could fit through doors, and being a tiny ogre is kind of funny. So I was zooming through the entrance tunnel while typing a tell to a friend. I got distracted just long enough for my character to get caught on a step that was too tall and instead of going over it my character slide along it into The Pit. Falling in wasn’t a huge disaster but it was a huge PITA. If I died, which was incredibly likely, I would have to get a Necromancer friend to come to the regular zone entrance and summon my corpse. Then I’d have to find and bribe a Cleric to come and resurrect my corpse. All of this was going through my head while my computer loaded the zone. So as soon as my computer finished loading I made the fastest spell swap I’ve ever seen. While my character was falling, I managed to open the spell book, find the Gate spell, drag it to my spell bar and get it memorized before hitting bottom. At the time the fall damage from that height wasn’t quite fatal. I mashed the button to cast gate and held my breathe while a couple mobs came running up and started to hit my character. In EQ getting hit could actually cancel your spell, either immediately or cause it to just not go off once the cast had finished. On top of that they had a good chance of just killing my character before he finished casting the spell. Luck was with me though and I managed to finish the cast and gate out with less than one attack’s worth of HP left. I’ve still got screen shots of the combat log somewhere on an old broke hard drive that I can’t bring myself to throw away.

New games just don’t have half the systems in place to make a repeat of that kind of experience. I think my closest similar experience in WoW was my guilds only Hakkar kill, we finished him with a tenth of a second left on his enrage timer. Even then it just wasn’t the same kind of thing.

Jenks - May 7, 2014

I miss EQ so much. Losing the Al’Kabor server is really starting to hit home.

Lokked - May 8, 2014

Jenks, join us on P99. We are all (mostly) low level. See the P99 thread on the forums. Join us on Vent.

John - August 15, 2014

Well since it is regarding minecraft i might as well say that, i found this site about minecraft tips and tricks and other games check it out! Minecraft cool tips and tricks!

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