EverQuest is an MMORPG created by Sony Online Entertainment. Originally released in 1999, it has since had 14 expansions, and is presently on an annual release schedule. The game has as been called "EverCrack" due to its addictive qualities. As of Spring, 2008, there are some 270 zones or distinct areas of play, not counting various instanced (individual) versions of static (shared) zones.
Gameplay takes place in a high fantasy setting on the six continents and moon of the world of Norrath, as well as dozens of other planes of existence. Characters are created prior to world entry by selecting a race and class (See table, below), as well as a sex and deity.
After one selects a race and class, with relevant starting ability scores, there are 30 ability points to distribute. This assignment of starting points can have a big impact on the early game, but by the higher levels the benefits from equipment will render those few starting points meaningless. However, for the beginner, one should endeavor to have no ability below 75 to avoid penalties.
Strength determines how much weight one can carry, and affects how much damage one does in melee.
Stamina affects how many hit points one gains per level.
Agility affects one's ability to avoid melee damage.
Dexterity affects one's chance to hit a target with a ranged weapon, as well as to get critical (exceptional) hits or generate a proc (short for Predetermined Random OCcurrence) effect with a melee weapon.
Wisdom affects the amount of spell casting a Priest (Cleric, Druid, Shaman) or Priest Hybrid (Beastlord, Paladin, Ranger) can do.
Intelligence affects the amount of spell casting a Caster (Enchanter, Magician, Necromancer, Wizard) or Caster Hybrid (Bard, Shadowknight) can do.
Charisma affects the prices offered by vendors, as well as the outcome of some Charm and Pacify abilities.
Races and Classes
The races and classes are as follows:
|Races||Classes||Archetypes of Classes|
Note on Races: All races are humanoid. Barbarians are large, with a Viking/Celtic culture; Drakkin are Dragon-Human hybrids with special abilities; Erudites are dark-skinned and larged-brained; Frogloks are small frog-people; Iksar are lizard-people; Vah Shir are cat-people. Other races are in keeping with high fantasy expectations.
Note on Classes: Warriors, Paladins and Shadowknights could alternately be characterized as "defensive melee", better suited to taking damage than giving it, and able to keep the attention of the opponent focused on themselves; Berserkers, Monks and Rogues could alternately be characterized as "offensive melee", better suited to giving damage than taking it; Clerics (and to a lesser extent Druids, Enchanters and Shaman) could alternately be characterized as "defensive casters", better suited to healing/offsetting the damage incoming on another character via spells; and Magicians, Necromancers and Wizards could alternately be characterized as "offensive casters", better suited to giving damage via spells. Also note that Bards (and to a lesser extent Shaman) can often cover more than one role, and are often desired to enhance the contributions of others at least as much as for their own direct contributions of damage or healing. Bards,Shadowknights and Monks also make the best pullers (bringing desired prey to camp without undesired attention from other opponents), although other classes can fill this role as well.
Race and Class Matrix
The following table shows (circa Spring, 2008) which races may be which classes:
|Classes as of Spring, 2008|
- Archetype: Melee, Priest, Caster, Hybrid
- Primary Role: Tank, DPS, Healer, Utility
- Armor Type: Plate, Chain, Leather, Silk
Chronology of Expansions
EverQuest has moved from generally one expansion per year (1999–2002) to two per year (2003–2007) back to an announced schedule of one expansion per year. Below is a list of release dates and highlights.
|Abbr.||Release Name||Release Date||Level Cap||Region||Zones|
|EQ||Original EQ Release||March 16, 1999||50||Antonica, Faydwer, Odus||72|
|ROK||Ruins of Kunark||April 24, 2000||60||Kunark||28|
|SOV||Scars of Velious||December 5, 2000||60||Velious||18|
|SOL||Shadows of Luclin||December 3, 2001||60||Luclin||28|
|POP||Planes of Power||October 28, 2002||65||Planes||29|
|LOY||Legacy of Ykesha||February 24, 2003||65||Ykesha||5|
|LDN||Lost Dungeons of Norrath||September 9, 2003||65||Antonica, Faydwer||10 (~30)|
|GOD||Gates of Discord||February 10, 2004||65||Taelosia||20|
|OOW||Omens of War||September 14, 2004||70||Discord||9|
|DON||Dragons of Norrath||February 15, 2005||70||Antonica||7|
|DOD||Depths of Darkhollow||September 13, 2005||70||Antonica||7 (~30)|
|POR||Prophecy of Ro||February 21, 2006||70||Antonica||9|
|TSS||The Serpent's Spine||September 17, 2006||75||Antonica||13|
|TBS||The Buried Sea||February 13, 2007||75||Odus||9 (~9)|
|SOF||Secrets of Faydwer||November 13, 2007||80||Faydwer||14|
|SOD||Seeds of Destruction||October 21, 2008||85||Antonica||20|
Note: Zones A (~B) indicates A, number of regular zones (static or instanced), and ~B, approximate number of instanced (dynamic for your party) mini-zones or alternate versions of "regular" zones.
EverQuest is a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game, or MMORPG, and while there is some solo content (and classes which solo well), it is designed around player cooperation to achieve goals. Few players commit entirely to one type of play. The general playstyle archetypes are as follows:
This means what it sounds like - taking one character and "going it alone". Some classes, particularly the Necromancer, are well suited to solo play.
The primary unit of player cooperation is the group. A group consist of up to six characters, and will usually include one Tank to absorb the attacks of the Mob (the computer controlled Mobile OBject), one Healer, and sometimes one Puller or Crowd Control character (to control how many adversaries the group is fighting at once); the remainder will be expected to contribute to killing the mob and provide extra utility, like Evac (teleporting the group to safety).
The biggest challenges with the greatest rewards require up to 48 characters (formerly up to 72) working together, and is called a Raid. While there are opportunities for "pickup raids", where characters get together regardless of guild membership, most raiding is done by single guilds, which are affiliations of characters.
Some would argue that Duo (two character) and Trio (three character) playing is another style, but they are essentially just very small groups.
Some players run multiple accounts, giving them the ability to "2-box", "3-box", or in some cases even "6-box" an entire group (or more than one group); this is a variant of grouping (or raiding), where the one player gives most attention to one or two characters (tank, healer), and the rest are primarily operated through the use of hotkeys or autoattack, where they contribute to dealing damage with little direct supervision. Examples would include socials (in-game macros), like:
There are several avenues to advancement, which can be engaged in concurrently.
As one gains experience (from killing mobs or completing quests), one gains levels. With each level increase comes increased sturdiness and prowess, and often one or more new spells or disciplines (special melee abilities).
There is also a system of Alternate Advancement, whereby one designates part of the incoming experience toward a second pool (upon reaching level 51), earning "AA" points, which are used to acquire extra abilities not based on levels. Some of which can only be purchase once a certain level has been attained.
The never-ending quest to upgrade to better and better equipment, granting more and more offensive, defensive, utility and/or fun potential is an integral part of the game to most players.
There are two competing character profile systems, each of which has some unique features.
Magelo is a 3rd-party (non-SOE) system which has been around since 2001. It offers free manual profiles, or a paid service which includes an automatic character update client, dynamic lists of gear upgrades, serverwide and gamewide rankings, guild profiles and item searches by slot/class/etc.
EQPlayers is an offering by SOE which does primarily the same thing as magelo. It has been buggy since inception, but it does show some things like which flags and keys a character has, which Magelo does not. Some features are restricted to those who pay an additional fee (basic features are included with one's EverQuest account).