There are not many MMORPGs that have the well of 20 years of experience to draw from, which makes a game like EverQuest pretty special. A panel held at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference provided fans of the classic title a few behind-the-scenes looks from the game’s early years while musing on where it stands today in comparison.
As one would likely expect, a lot of those looks backward involved the advancement of online gaming tech from circa 1999; one story shared during the event explained that the cost of the game’s servers was $250,000 at launch. Naturally, those servers have since been replaced, but one still exists in the office as a keg.
Some things never change, however. The systems inherent in the game to entice co-operation are still in play, naturally, and Technical Director Jennifer Chan stated that the game still functions just as it did in 1999. That adherence to nostalgia, according to Assistant Lead Designer Alan VanCouvering, is the thing that keeps most people around. “It was designed with a specific vision in mind and we’ve stuck to that vision,” he noted.