EverQuest Platinum: Five Years and Counting
Written by Roger Cox
Originally Published on October 18, 2004
The Evolution of Online RPG’s
Hi, I am going to tell you a little about my experience with Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) prior to playing EverQuest Platinum. My first MMORPG I ever played was the original Dark Age of Camelot (DAOC). I was immediately drawn into this game because of its huge environments, real-time weather/day and night, cool enemies, and how easy it was to play/communicate with other individuals. DAOC is a beautiful game with many cool spell effect and oddball creatures roaming the landscapes. The thing that keeps you playing DAOC is your loyalty to the guild you join and the realms (land) that you protect. There are 3 civilizations all fighting for control over land and relics (special items that affect everyone’s power in the 3 realms). Everyone that plays DAOC feels loyal to a specific realm and you hate (and want to kill) the other realm. It feels like being patriotic and wanting to defend your country against an enemy. DAOC is based on Arthurian legends, Viking mythology, and Celtic lore (the 3 realms). I felt at home while playing this game and have logged over 2 weeks of gameplay (336 hours). It took me 15-20 hours to understand the games concept, goals, and controls.
My second MMORPG was Ultima Online (UO). This game was the pioneer for MMORPGS and I felt like I owed it to myself to check it out. With its simple 2D graphics and overhead view it felt very outdated. Sure it had a lot of things to do, but where was I to start? UO didn’t give me a good enough grasp initially to go out and explore on my own. After asking countless people and logging 12+ hours of gameplay I finally had an idea of how to play in UO’s world. The problem with UO isn’t so much itself as it is with me. Going from a beautifully crafted 3D MMORP in DAOC to a fully 2D world in UO was a downgrade of massive proportion. While in DAOC you are engulfed and feel as though you have entered a new world. With its gorgeous 3D animations and endless features DAOC left little for the imagination to fill in. UO is a simple 2D (now slightly 3D game) with an overhead perspective that doesn’t draw you into its world as easily as most modern 3D MMORPG’s.
The third MMORPG world I jumped into was Final Fantasy XI (FFXI). Here is a game that expands on top of all the previous MMORPG’s. FFXI has a vibrant 3D world with many unique creatures, non player characters (NPCs) and environments to explore. This was the easiest to master MMORPG I have ever played. However I feel that my opinion may be skued by the fact that I had pervious experience with MMORPG’s. In any case FFXI has the best default control scheme of any MMORPG bar none. You can play the game using only a keyboard and it’s simple to learn. I felt comfortable playing this game after approximately 8 hours. FFXI has the best in game item trading system I have seen. There is an auction house where everyone goes to sell there things (much like eBay). It’s simple, effective, and everyone uses it which makes obtaining items easy. You can easily loose your self in this game and I did for 48+ hours. That isn’t a lot of playing time, but I had to quit because it was consuming my life.
After experiencing those 3 MMORPG’s I just mentioned I was handed EverQuest Platinum. In this latest version of the most successful online fantasy game you get the original EverQuest game and the first seven expansions. It retails for $30 which is a steal because if you tried purchasing them individually it would cost a small fortune. EQP is the last compilation of expansions before EverQuest II comes out this fall.
Five Years and Counting
On March 16, 1999 EverQuest set the standard for today’s MMORPG’s much like Mario 64 did for platform games. The reason I say that EQ set the standard is because the newer MMORPG’s take everything EQ did and they tried to improve upon it. For the most part they succeeded, creating more visually pleasing environments, easier user interfaces, and updated graphics/animation. It’s amazing how familiar EQ is in relation to the new MMORPG’s like Dark Age of Camelot and Final Fantasy XI.
After playing EQ now for over 30 hours I now know why it’s the largest and most successful MMORPG ever. Simply put, it’s still a great game and just as much fun as the latest MMORPGs available today. The only thing that it really lacks is an updated graphics engine which will be coming out in the near future.
However my biggest complaint about EQ is the graphics. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is for me. I love to enter a world with lush visuals that draws me into it just as quickly I can log in. Playing EQ after playing games like Dark Age of Camelot and FFXI was like taking a huge step back graphically. I’m sure that if I played EQ first and then those games then I’d be able to deal with the lack of graphical detail. My point being is that I wasn’t as drawn into EQP as much as I was pervious MMORPG’s that I’ve played.
Nonetheless, this is a great bargain for first time MMORPG players. I would highly recommend this game as a stepping-stone to the newer MMORPGs like EverQuest II. This is because of EQ’s great tutorial. It’s the best one of any MMORPG on the market today. The tutorial in full lasts 50-60mins and covers everything you need to know in order to get started. On top of that it’s completely audible and it leads you through it step by step rewarding you as you go. All the new MMORPG’s coming out will hopefully copy EQP tutorial format and expand upon it.
In conclusion, EQP is just slightly behind the times after being on the market for 5 years. That’s very impressive and it explains why Everquest has been so successful. With 7 expansions in 5 years EQ is an ever-changing and expanding world. Don’t expect EQ to die off silently after EverQuest II is released, it’s not going down without a fight!
EverQuest Platinum Features:
- 250 Zones to explore
- Over 350 square miles of virtual environments
- 40,000 Unique Items
- Character progression
- Collectable loot
- Play in a living breathing world
- Fully Customizable Control Scheme
- Over a million None player characters to encounter
- Choose from 16 different races and 16 unique classes including the new Berserker
- Hundreds of thousands of active players (over 400,000)
- The Largest Massively Multiplayer Online RPG in North America
- First 30 Days subscription free to new subscribers only
- Includes EverQuest Classic and the first seven expansion packs:
- The Ruins of Kunark
- The Scars of Velious
- The Shadows of Luclin
- The Planes of Power
- The Legacy of Ykesha
- Lost Dungeons of Norrath
- Gates of Discord
Look for more in-depth review coverage of EverQuest and the upcoming EverQuest II in our game reviews section.