Fifteen years ago, a game launched that set the gaming world on fire. On March 16th, 2014, EverQuest celebrates its 15th birthday. Actually, I should say that WE ALL celebrate its 15th birthday because EverQuest is as much about our players as it is about the rich stories within Norrath.
I can remember 1999. I was a game test that had just moved over to become a Game Master for the launch of this new game, EverQuest. Game Master? Me? I soon realized I was no master of a game that had so many different facets to learn. But I learned quickly. EverQuest launched and I was helping players in the tech support chat rooms all day and all night long. The toughest thing about working on EverQuest back then was how much I wanted to be playing! When my shift was done I was playing from my desk at work for hours before going home (just like everyone that worked with me). Oh boy, how that got me in trouble so many nights. I think I made a macro back then that said: “I have to leave the group guys and get home before the wife thinks I have a girlfriend.”
I remember when I got my very own EverQuest game. I opened it up, excited to read everything that came in the box. I read through the storylines of the Gods: how the Veeshan carved up Norrath, how we were in the Age of Scale… and then I came across the system requirements. I soon realized that my computer at home wouldn’t run EverQuest very well. So I started volunteering for more overtime shifts to save money.
When I finally logged into game for the first time from home, I pondered for a long time about which character I wanted to create. I wanted to be powerful. I wanted everyone to know my character as the baddest dude on the server so I created… an ogre warrior!!! He was strong and full of pride. He didn’t care about anyone else ‘cause he would smash anything that got in his way. Man, he was awesome! I zoned into Feerrott and started looking for things to kill. I was smashing this and that and walked a little further and then… I DIED. And I couldn’t find my corpse! :(
I would see other ogres running by, one after another. I would ask: “Cud you help me find meh corpse?” But no one offered to help. Everyone was too excited, too busy discovering the world or looking for their own corpse.
Nobody at home was up that late at night so I logged out while I figured out how to correct this. I went to the refrigerator and got a snack and the largest Coke I could find. I just knew I was going to be in Norrath for a while. I took a deep breath. Then I logged back into EverQuest and created a human paladin. And the rest is history.
All right, here we are and we have some great things for you for this huge birthday milestone. Here are things we are kicking off for the month of March and a little sampling of April. I hope you enjoy!
On March 12, Level 85 Heroic Characters launched! Until March 26, you can log in and create a Level 85 Heroic Character FREE of charge. We are also giving you the opportunity to upgrade a current character if you prefer that option. In order to get your free Heroic Character, you must log in during this two week period and either create or upgrade your character. This is a great way for everyone to log in and play some of the amazing content that we have created over the past few years. Heroic Characters have a great set of equipment, plus a Raptor Mount, two large bags, thousands of AAs that are appropriate for a level 85. Login today to get your Heroic Character! Check out more details on Heroic Characters at www.everquest.com/heroic
New Race/Class Combinations
Also on March 12, we launched these two new race/class combinations. The development team picked the first one, Froglok Monk, and the second was a combination chosen by the players, Wood Elf Beastlord. Both of these combinations have never existed before, so you can be the first to play them! You can even try them out on a Heroic Character if you want to get a head start and race to level 100!
Bonus XP Weekend!
Starting on Friday, March 14, we will have a Bonus XP weekend that runs through Sunday, March 16. Remember that Bonus XP will vary for some players with all the XP modifiers in game and with XP Potions available. While we call it bonus, it will be double XP for most players.
Lockout Timers Reduced!
Also starting Friday March 14, Lockout timers will be significantly reduced through March 20th! More loot for everyone! Stay tuned for messaging about rare mobs spawning more often in the next week.
Shamrocks are coming!
Look out for some shamrock-themed items in game on the 17th. Pull out your green Hero’s Forge Shamrock hats next week and celebrate!
Remainder of March
Player Designed Missions will be released over the next couple of weeks. These are missions that attendees at SOE Live designed with our team over the past couple years.
Plane of War!
On or around April 2, we will be releasing the Plane of War zone. This zone was created originally for the Planes of Power expansion nearly ten years ago, but was never completed. We recently took the zone, dusted it off and put in content that was relevant to our current players and added some very nice rewards. You should be able to obtain some items that are better than what you are using now. :)
Also for April…
For the month of April, we have many more things planned for players. This includes something for April Fool’s Day, Bristlebane Celebration, Scavenger Hunts and more Player Designed Missions from this past SOE Live.
Call of the Forsaken Content
We are planning our next set of content that ties into the Call of the Forsaken expansion for May. That is our current plan - It shouldn’t change but if it does, we will keep you posted.
EverQuest is alive and well! We are seeing way more players in game this month compared to this time last year. Thank you for all the support over the years. We’re grateful for the support of everyone that has been involved with EverQuest going all the way back to its original concept from Mr. John Smedley. Thank you John!
It’s been fifteen years and we are still celebrating. We wouldn’t be here without all of your love and support!
On behalf of the entire EverQuest team,