This week marks the 16th birthday for the original EverQuest. I have so many fond memories of this game. Sixteen years ago, I had just built my first 400 MHz Pentium computer, complete with a 3dfx Voodoo graphics card, 56k modem, and 64MB of RAM. Yes, just let those stats sink in for a moment. Broadband was not even a thing yet and man did waiting for a few hours for a patch to pull down because your girlfriend kept picking up the phone and disconnecting your modem suck. However, I waited it out and fell in love with my first MMO experience!
I remember working at Electronics Boutique and my manager and assistant manager couldn’t stop talking about this game. They were sharing stories of how they were exploring the world and finding all these cool mobs. They complained about having to do corpse runs after they died and they didn’t want to lose their gear. This new “raiding” thing sounded pretty kick-ass. I listened to their tales for a few hours while I sold countless Pokémon cards to various kids. By the end of the work day, I picked up the game and raced home to install it only to find I had some patching to do. Talk about buzzkill!
Eventually, the patching finished and I logged into a strange world. I rolled a Gnome Cleric and immediately got lost in my starting city known as Ak’Anon. Within mere minutes, I fell off a bridge and couldn’t get back to dry land. Eventually, a GM (Game Master) helped me out, gave me some gold and wished me luck. I eventually found my way to the city entrance and stepped out into a big, and beautiful, world. It was the hook I needed. It was new. It was intimidating. IT WAS AWESOME!
Over time, I found a guild. I made some great friends. I quested. Hell, this game took over my life. I’d get up two hours before I’d have to leave for work just so I could do some crafting. I’d race home after work and login and play until the wee hours of the morning. I lost so much sleep, but to this day I still think it was worth it. I mean, I still remember slaying my first dragon and praying to the gaming gods I’d get something special.
As my game play hours skyrocketed into numbers that shall not be mentioned here, I would follow my guild to other games such as Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest 2, Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, and various other MMO type games. Sadly, just like the drug it was, nothing would capture that initial awe that was EverQuest. Sure, other games were fun, but after that first taste, it was nothing more than hopes and dreams to relive that high that I originally had. To this day, I still play the occasional MMO, but they all still pale in comparison that that first dip into the EverQuest pool.
EverQuest, thank you for the countless hours of fun. Thank you for making me excited to get my first broadband connection so I could play you with less lag. Thanks for making me appreciate not having to call up guildies, drag them out of bed, and force them into the game to help me recover my corpse. Thank you for the countless memories that you helped create! EverQuest, this beer is for you!