I recently tried three early MMORPGs

Specifically Everquest, Everquest II and RuneScape. I’m sure most of you have heard of these games.

Everquest was the MMO that started it all. The ORIGINAL MMO RPG, once you start playing this game it’s easy to see why so many companies used EQ and EQ2 as a base for their games. I will admit I haven’t spent as much time in EQ so far as EQ2 but it was easy for me to see why even 14 years later, the game is still going strong. At its peak, EQ was believed to have 500,000 subscribers. If course, that golden age came to an end in 2005 when a new player entered the MMO Industry: Blizzard Entertainment’s World of WarCraft. Not even EQ could hope to last for very long against an established software giant like Blizzard.

Everquest is now Free to Play (henceforth F2P). The game is nearly 15 years old and yet its 14th Expansion was recently released. Yes, I said FOURTHEENTH. In an unprecidented move, F2P accounts get full access to the game and can level to 90. The only things F2P Accounts can’t do without upgrading their account to subscription ($15 monthly) is the areas introduced in the two most recent expansions as well as level to 100. Unlike most F2P MMOs out there it’s not a “Freemium” game. Freemium means it’s free to play but in order to succeed you’re prettymuch strong-armed to use your credit card. Not with EQ and EQ2. The premium content will not give you a significant advantage though it is there for those who want to make use of it.

Anyway, I will return to the original Norrath after Anime Boston. This is a piece of gaming history, after all.

Taking place 500 years into the future, Norrath’s landmasses were shattered. Although it takes place in the same world as the original EQ it’s clear from the character creation screen this is a completely different game. It’s also clear to those who played World of WarCraft what Blizzard adopted from this game. Even so, EQ2 is still going strong. I’ve logged 8 hours into the starting area ALONE, which is four times how long I spent in Northshire Abbey (Human starting area) when I played World of WarCraft for the first time. Anyway, what I’ve seen so far has me very excited about this game.

Everquest II is now Free to Play (henceforth F2P). The game is nearly 10 years old and yet its 7th Expansion was recently released. In an unprecidented move, F2P accounts get full access to the game and can level to 90. The only things F2P Accounts can’t do without upgrading their account to subscription ($15 monthly) is the areas introduced in the two most recent expansions as well as level to 100. Unlike most F2P MMOs out there it’s not a “Freemium” game. Freemium means it’s free to play but in order to succeed you’re prettymuch strong-armed to use your credit card. Not with EQ and EQ2. The premium content will not give you a significant advantage though it is there for those who want to make use of it.

I’m going to take a break from EQ2 until after Anime Boston. I have some stuff I need to take care of so…yeah.

At the time of its initial release, RuneScape was considered a passing fad. Not anymore. Unlike Everquest, Everquest II and the subsequent MMOs that followed, RuneScape is entirely browser based. No downloads. No Subscriptions. No purchase necessary. Both of my computers are pretty decient and run the game just fine. After the first 15 minutes you’ll forget you’re playing the game using your browser. Since there’s no downloading you can prettymuch play RuneScape anywhere.

I’ve known about RuneScape since 1998 but at the time I was preoccupied with Pokemon so…yeah. RuneScape made the case it’s definitely possible to create a successful MMO without the use of a downloadable client. No other game has come close to the level of detail that was obviously put into this game. I haven’t spent alot of time playing RuneScape though I will return to it after Anime Boston.

XxX

Overall though all three games have held up quite well to time. If you haven’t played any of them yet, I reccommend trying them sometime. There’s also the fact EQ and EQ2 introduced one of the few things Blizzard never adopted: Player Housing.

 

As an aside: As a test I tried to uninstall both Everquest games from my Desktop computer earlier today. After running the uninstallers BOTH games did not uninstall completely from my computer. Not sure if it was oversight or not but I knew exactly how much free space I had before I installed the games. I have since completely removed the games from my desktop. I don’t like the idea of even a game I’m going to spend alot of time playing being THAT hard to remove from my primary machine. Sometime after Anime Boston I will install them on my old laptop.

Luckily I won’t have this particular problem with RuneScape…

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