everquest

Official Site: EverQuest
Studio: SOE, now Daybreak Game Company
Launch Date: March 16, 1999
Genre: Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: Hybrid F2P (Cash Shop, Optional Sub)
Platform: PC

Jukebox Heroes: Your favorite MMO themes, #18-13

Last week we were off to a great start as we listened to the first batch of player-voted favorite MMO themes. As I said then, the results of the voting, in which I asked players to nominate up to 10 of their favorite main themes from online games, were both predictable and surprising. Nostalgia and familiarity obviously play a strong role in many of these votes, but no one was asking for objectivity here!

Today we're going to continue our countdown to the top spot by looking at numbers 18 through 13 of your favorite MMO themes. I think there's a good mix here, perhaps with tunes that I would have placed a little higher, but overall it's gratifying to see each one of these make the list.

Enough jibber-jabber, let's get to it!

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The Stream Team: Hopping back into EverQuest II Heritage Quests

EverQuest II-sday is back! As if Massively OP's MJ could ever stay away. She's back in Norrath to continue with her mission to complete all of the Heritage Quests. She's got The Teachings of Yoru to finish up before moving on to the level 45 tier of HQs. It the stars are aligned correctly, she might even try that last leg of The Journey is Half the Fun in Feerrott again! Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. as MJ knocks out more HQs.

What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 109: We are all Dragonborn

Roll for initiative! Bree and Justin are getting all kinds of nerdy with this week's show, in which they talk about Dragon-people, the return of a long-abandoned sci-fi game, a momentous anniversary, and the viability of sandbox MMOs.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Remembering EverQuest Next

Is it too soon -- or perhaps too pointless -- to wool-gather about EverQuest Next? After all, that MMO project is deader than dead, so dead in fact that it killed off Landmark just to be thorough.

YouTuber Daily Quests assembled a short video remembering the brief, hopeful, and ultimately disappointing saga that was EverQuest Next. It's good as a refresher course if you forgot how this all went down or perhaps as a method to roil up the blood if you have achieved a state of perfect calm.

If you can stomach the pain, check out the video below!

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The Stream Team: EverQuest celebrates 18 years!

Last night's stream was aborted thanks to Twitch's issues, so we're giving it another go tonight at 9 p.m. EDT!

It's happened: EverQuest has left childhood behind. The fantasy MMO turned 18 years old today and finally enters adulthood. And what do you do as an adult? Well you party, of course! There are plenty of anniversary activities to partake in -- including pub crawls and drunken gnome racing - and Massively OP's MJ is diving right into the thick of things. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to take part in the celebration with her.

What: EverQuest
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 16th, Friday, March 17th, 2017

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EverQuest turns 18 years old, throws birthday bash with free heroic characters for everyone

One of the most famous and longest-lived MMORPGs is celebrating its 18th birthday today. Back on this date in 1999, EverQuest released to a much different gaming world than what we have today. Since then, it has released 23 expansions, switched to a free-to-play business model, and endured when many of its contemporaries have sunsetted.

Daybreak is cranking up the anniversary festivities with loads of activities, starting with the completion of two player-designed missions that were drafted up back at SOE Live in 2014. There are new rewards and marketplace items, as well as the return of all of the anniversary content from previous years. Gotta get your gnome race on!

Even better, the studio is handing out free heroic toons. "All players who have ever played the game will be granted a heroic character if they log in between March 16th and March 31st," Daybreak says.

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Global Chat: Fare thee well, Landmark

Believe it or not, there were actually people who played and enjoyed Landmark -- and were saddened to see it taken offline. To kick off this week's roundup of interesting MMO blog posts, we turn to those who knew and remembered Landmark with their words.

"The game, once just a bullet point on the EverQuest Next announcement at SOE Live, has been shut down," The Ancient Gaming Noob said. "The web site and forums have been hidden away and the domain resolves to the Daybreak main page. The few remaining fans have had their final look at the lands of… erm… <does Google search>… Lumeria! That was the name of the place."

Superior Realities took a tour on its last day: "That, really, is what was special about Landmark. You could go to any map, walk in any direction, and in no time flat you’d be sure to find something beautiful, fascinating, or awe-inspiring. The traditional wisdom is that if you give players the tools to make their own content, the vast majority of it will be utter crap, but Landmark was stunning refutation of that notion."

Continue our roundup as bloggers dissect problems with The Secret World's combat system, share tips on how to grind LOTRO points, mull over why it's hard to go back to the "olden days," deliver an early access review of Revelation Online, and pontificate on why theme park MMOs simply work.

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The Daily Grind: How often do you play outside your comfort zone in MMORPGs?

During the first couple of years I played MMORPGs, I was a pretty timid gamer in terms of my comfort zone for actual content. It took me a good while (and a lot of pressure from guildies) to mentally gear up to kill people and cut off their heads for my collection in Ultima Online. In EverQuest, I picked an alt to force myself to practice pulling (pulling was more of a skilled thing back then). In Camelot, my puller was my main. And by World of Warcraft, I was main tanking for my guild. (She's up in the screenie above, circa 2004. D'awww.)

It seems like a silly progression now, I'm sure, but I had to force myself to play out of my comfort zone to get good at new things -- and to appreciate them. Now, in my two main MMOs, I'm playing up-close-and-personal tanky melee as a matter of habit, when as a teenager I would have made a beeline for the nearest healer class to hide. (Although I still like healers too!)

How about you? How often do you play outside your comfort zone in MMORPGs?

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EverQuest II activates 14 expert dungeons and raids

EverQuest II is pouring a dollop of danger in the cups of its players this week, thanks to the activation of expert modes for Kunark Ascending's instances.

A dozen dungeons have received the expert mode treatment, along with two raids. These include Arcanna'se Spire, Kaesora, the Ruins of Cabilis, Crypt of Dalnir, and the Lost City of Torsis. There's also a small patch that came out alongside all of this, so check out the notes to see what might be interesting.

Naturally, with greater challenge comes greater opportunities to do an epic faceplant in front of your team. But if you get past that, there's also better loot as incentive, so step up your game and see what you can do!

Source: EverQuest II

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EverQuesting: The Domino effect on Daybreak and EverQuest II

Yup, it's true. It was a sad day when Emily Taylor confirmed that she was indeed leaving Daybreak. When John Smedley's tweet popped up outing Taylor's move to Canada, I was in the middle of chatting with friends and fellow EverQuest II players. We were stunned. We know that the industry can be fickle, but Taylor had been a staple on the EQII scene. Known as "Domino," she'd been in integral part of the Norrath crafting scene; she was responsible for penning many of the crafting signature quest lines as well as developing other parts of crafting, events, and housing. She was also well admired and appreciated by the community. Her loss would really be felt.

When we first read that tweet, our thoughts went to, oh no, what happened? followed very quickly by what's going to happen? After the rough time Daybreak has had since the split from Sony (multiple layoffs, game closures galore, and clandestine management changes along with staff resignations), we understandably wondered if we were witnessing a step toward impeding disaster -- a sentiment shared by other fans of the franchise. The uncertainty of the news was laid to rest when Taylor herself announced that yes, she was leaving. She informed players that her move was of a personal nature (she wants to shovel more snow?!) instead of any thing related to the studio. She also assured us that there were plenty of devs at Daybreak still working on the games -- moreso, in fact, than when the name changed.

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Crucible gets Westwood co-founder as its new boss

Hands up: Any Massively OP readers play the crap out of Command & Conquer back in the day? In the '90s, Westwood Studios was a legend for that series (and how awesome was Red Alert? Here's the Hell March theme for your Thursday listening pleasure) before the studio was purchased by EA and shuttered.

Well, one of the co-founders of Westwood, Louis Castle, is being given another chance at widespread glory. Castle was recently hired by Amazon Game Studios Seattle to head up the company's sci-fi multiplayer title Crucible.

Castle told Games Industry that he's thrilled to get to work on a brand-new IP: "I don't know too many game developers who would prefer to pursue licensed IP over the chance to create something. The new IP problem space is wide open and the possibilities are endless. I've personally had about equal amounts of success in both adapting and building IP."

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best religious system?

Not every MMO includes deities, religions, and faith in their universes, but some do to varying degrees. I've seen games that weave such institutions into the lore, while other MMOs go even further by allowing your character to pledge allegiance to a certain god or goddess and enjoy special bonuses and quests from them.

If you had to pick -- and you do, oh you do -- which MMORPG has the best religious system and why? The Guild Wars series always impressed me with its detailed and diverse pantheon of deities, although I would probably have to tip my hat to EverQuest II for allowing your character to discover and convert to a certain religion over the course of his or her journey.

Pray tell, have you got the old time MMO religion?

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EverQuest II kicks off a Brewday celebration

Is the world of Norrath awash in problems in EverQuest II? Do you see destruction and demise at all corners with no obvious solutions? The game's newest event gives you a solution to all of the problems which ail you: get drunk. Really drunk. Get completely plastered and pass out in the front lawn with this year's Brewday. That may or may not fix all of the problems, but it will ensure that they no longer trouble you. Drink enough and pants will also no longer trouble you.

Of course, in the real world a lengthy bender tends to mostly reward you with cirrhosis. Brewday rewards you with a new recipe book, 12 new crafted recipes, a new quest, and all of the familiar Brewday staples. So you won't only be getting so drunk that you conveniently forget what month it is, you'll be rewarded for it! It's a win-win situation. Just make sure to get your drinking in early, as the event is being pumped from the game's stomach on March 17th.

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