One of the grand daddies of MMO's, Everquest went free to play. It was the first video game I heard tethered to the idea of video game addiction. It was also the first game that, according to rumor caused the end to many relationships as one partner spent so much time playing Everquest the relationship flew apart at the seams. Whereas I had no known proof of this, the stories seemed real enough. It was also coupled with a new concept to me that people could spend "too much" time playing video games. I sort of dismiss that sort of notion now as digital life is all encompassing and one can spend the same if not more time simply reading news articles, looking at Facebook or a Smartphone.

That said, my first throws with this game was largely from a negative "this game will suck your life from your bones" perspective. Needless to say, I totally wanted to lose my life to it, I just never got the opportunity. One reason for that was at the time my wife and I were quite poor and we had no money for the subscription. I was able to flirt with disaster a few times though and I loved every second of it.

I was able to play it a bit over at a friends house that played religiously. He let me create a character and I picked an Elf Necromancer. I remember summoning my pet from bones I collected from killing Skeletons and then hoarding more bones to sell to other players in a stack. Doing those simple things in the game were so awesome and I badly wanted to join the ranks of Everquest players, but it wasn't meant to be. I took out my Everquest angst on Telnet MUD's and spent many an hour huddled around my screen slaying creatures and leveling up in a text based world.

The last few years I have hoped Sony would release Everquest as a Free to Play game and recently noticed my wish came true. The details of how that works are on the Everquest site.

I created a Gnome Wizard and eagerly started the game. Right away I noticed a few things I hadn't before. Early on, there was a bit of BBS / Internet drama about Everquest stealing from MUDs. Some people accused Sony of stealing code from MUDs to make Everquest. I never really understood the argument, Everquest is a 3D game and MUDs are all text. As I played the game now I notice Everquest does draw heavily from MUD's and as such requires much more typing than any new MMO. A staple of modern RPG's / MMO's is to click a NPC to initiate dialog. In Everquest you must type "Hail" and click. Then you have to read the dialog and parse out words you can use to continue the conversation. As I realized these mechanics were central to the game, I remembered the old calls of Everquest "borrowing" from MUD's and the argument made more sense to me.... 13 years later... Not saying Sony actually stole anything, but I understand the argument better now.

That all said, if you have never played Everquest or wanted to come back to it after being years apart now is a great time to do that. It is available from download from the Everquest site and is a new entry in Steam under Free to Play.

Gary_Butterfield wrote on 12/15/2012 at 12:47am

You know what's free? Frog Fractions. You know what's fucking rad? Frog Fractions.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/15/2012 at 12:54am

Wow, Frog Fractions kicks Number Munchers right in the feels.

Gary_Butterfield wrote on 12/16/2012 at 02:04am

Frog Fractions: GOTY.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/16/2012 at 04:49am

Hopefully they wrap up all the DLC and package it up for a re-release.

Gary_Butterfield wrote on 12/16/2012 at 12:54pm

By the way, that board game store I was talking about is called "Unplugged Games" not "Brick and Mortar Games." Not sure what I was thinking.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/16/2012 at 02:39pm

Thanks for the clarification. This time I will let it slide... But next time? Horrible consequences.

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