Norrath is the fictional world of the EverQuest franchise.
When Daybreak announced last year that it was cancelling the highly anticipated EverQuest Next project, the series’ forward momentum lurched to a halt. This wasn’t helped by other EverQuest entities that have been retired over the past few years, leaving only the two aging flagship MMOs to carry on the legacy of the franchise.
For franchise it is. It might be fuzzy in people’s memories (or simply absent from them), but there was an era where EverQuest was the MMORPG at the top of everything, and Sony Online Entertainment wasted no time in capitalizing on its popularity. Spin-offs, sequels, and alternative versions spawned into being, creating a library of EverQuest games.
In fact, there are more than enough to fill up a full list of 10 titles — and then some! So today let’s look at some of the lesser-known entries in EverQuest’s ever-expanding franchise and muse about what might come to this series in the future.
Ahh… smell that? Smells like a new batch of EverQuest nostalgia, served up to us as a fresh progression server. For some of the faithful, the chance to get a hit of that nostalgia is absolutely irresistible.
“I love EverQuest,” blogger Stargrace writes. “I love the excitement that comes with playing on a progression server. I love how busy they are, and watching chat channels fly by. I love the community and the fuzzy feelings I get when I think about that time in my life.”
Kaozz explained why this server was in such high demand: “My son was baffled how many people want to play on this type of server. I’ve been waiting on one for years and keep up with the requests in the forums I have seen for so many years.”
And The Ancient Gaming Noob finds it baffling that Blizzard isn’t cashing in on these kinds of servers with World of Warcraft. “Nostalgia sells, these servers are popular, they offer something people want and, more importantly, something people are willing to pay for,” he said.
One of EverQuest’s progression servers stands at the threshold of a major step into a larger world. The population of the Lockjaw shard is currently voting on whether or not to unlock the Planes of Power expansion for the entire server. If a majority votes yea, then this content will open up next Monday, June 12th. If not, voting will recommence every two weeks until it passes.
This past May, EverQuest opened up a new type of legacy server named Agnarr that will only feature content up through the Lost Dungeons of Norrath expansion. Agnarr had a rough launch but has settled down since then. The game is currently holding a sweepstakes for players on this server to win a time-locked server adventure pack.
When it comes to EverQuest, it turns out you can go back again — over and over again, in fact. This fantasy MMO has earned a reputation for launching and operating progression servers, and a new one is unlocking for the populace today: Agnarr.
So why a new progression server? What sets Agnarr apart from EQ’s other time-locked shards is that Agnarr will only progress through content to a certain point and then stop then and forevermore, giving the community a “classic” server that is forever arrested at 2003. This means that by the middle of next year, the core game through Lost Dungeons of Norrath will be released and then nothing more. This is obviously aimed at players who want a more old-school experience without all of the later additions.
As we all well know, MMORPGs are a Serious Business indeed. We must treat them reverently and with our utmost due diligence as we perform tasks vital to saving the world. No frivolity and mirth-making is allowed within these virtual worlds; we toil, we strive, we forge the future in sharp lines of progress.
Oh what am I kidding: We’re totally goofballs. If you can’t cut loose in an MMO and have fun with your friends, what’s the point? I feel that Kenji Takeda has it right with this week’s headlining picture from Final Fantasy XIV, as you can sense the high spirits and laughter that were driving this moment.
Next week, we’ll get totally serious again. Probably. Maybe. Possibly. Well, there’s an outside chance, you never know.
Did you participate in EverQuest II’s Beast’r Egg hunt live event this past week? If not, I’m sorry to say you missed your chance; it ended a few hours ago at 2:59 a.m. EDT. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve totally missed out! And that’s the beauty of this particular live event. Today’s musing are less a guide and more a love letter to a live event done oh so right.
While the event unfolded as I participated, it struck me how practically perfect the event was. So kudos to Daybreak for this one. EQII really knocked it out of the park with this Easter-themed event. Hopefully, we can see more like this in the future, both here and — if other studios take notice — in other titles. What’s so great about it? I am glad you asked! (Though honestly, I was going to tell you anyway!) Here are the winning elements:
The next EverQuest progression server is on its way on May 24th, but it’s a little different than previous progression servers because this one won’t ever catch up to the live game. It’s not supposed to. No, this server is meant to be locked into the era of Planes of Power; after six total expansions have been released (The Ruins of Kunark, The Scars of Velious, The Shadows of Luclin, The Planes of Power, The Legacy of Ykesha, Lost Dungeons of Norrath), the server will stop there. No more progression.
Of course, this is a good thing if that’s exactly your favorite era of the game and when you’d want to stop anyway, so the game’s 12-week schedule for each expansion might be just perfect for you. The server is also a true box server, meaning that multiboxing isn’t allowed, so you’ve got to play the game with everyone else as the developers intended. You can hop on to the new server on May 24th, and all of your questions about raid lockouts and the like have already received helpful answers in anticipation.
Holy smokes! EverQuest is old enough to vote! The world of Norrath just turned 18 years old on March 16th. In the US, that is old enough to cast a ballot in elections, and in some countries it is old enough to legally start bar hopping. Of course, in Norrath, age doesn’t matter when it comes to a good pub crawl, but level can; players can participate in the 16th anniversary Pub Crawl only if level 75.
Of course, as you might expect when a major birthday comes around, there is plenty of partying to be had. EverQuest has a number of events to help players celebrate as well as gifts to procure. One of the highlights this year is a free level 85 heroic character for everyone who has ever played EQ! This character has to be claimed by the end of the month (before 2:59 a.m EDT on Saturday, April 1st to be exact). It will come in handy for participating in anniversary events that are level locked at 75.
Speaking of anniversary events, this year boasts both new and returning quests for folks to take part in until all the way until May 11th at 2 am EDT. Additionally, bonus XP is available from now until the end of the March (so jump on that fast if you want to take part!).
Read on for all the details on that and our chat with Executive Producer Holly Longdale and Producer Lauren McLemore!
Last time, Massively OP’s MJ had to cut her EverQuest anniversary bar-hopping short when she didn’t have the right booze. Luckily, the anniversary events are still in full swing, so she’s able to restart the infamous Pub Crawl. Will she be able to complete the quest this time, or will she be too tipsy and get turned around and end up somewhere completely different? (Our bet is she stumbles into a dungeon!) Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ tries to slosh and stumble her way through Norrath.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
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
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.
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.
A long time ago, in a spring far, far away (2016 feels that way already), I noted that there is simply too much to do in EverQuest II. So much so, in fact, that it took more than one EverQuesting to try and list them! It’s mind-blowing the amount of stuff you can get involved in, from collections to crafting, decorating to dungeoning. And that fact is exactly what has placed me in my current conundrum.
You see, there are many things I still want to do in EQII. So many things. Normally I just play whatever I feel like playing in games, but that doesn’t seem to work in this case. I have to admit that when I log into Norrath I sometimes shut down when faced with the sheer volume of what I want to/can delve into. It is honestly too much for me at times. For that reason, I’ve decided to break with my usual traditions and try a new one: goals. Like with The Secret World, I think that setting some concrete goals will actually help me negate if not avoid the paralysis I often feel when I log in. And by writing them down, I have a handy place to reference them! I think that will be extra useful when I sit staring at my screen unsure of where to start. Even better, I can hopefully finally cross some accomplishments off my to-do list. As the clock ticks down 2017, I’ll be working on these goals.