What also may be responsible for the older crowd is EverQuest’s similarity to the classic role-playing game “Dungeons & Dragons”. Verant & 989 Studios pulled off what TSR should have done. I tend to classify Dungeons & Dragons as a board game. The problem with D&D is the same problem with Monopoly. In Monopoly, who wants to be the banker and In D&D who wants to be Dungeon Master?
EverQuest eliminates all the tedious actions associated with conventional RPGs. There’s no rolling dice, there’s no figuring out armor class, there’s no worn out pencil erasers, and there’s no arguing over the rules. With EverQuest I can team up with my friends online… or I can make new friends and go exploring with them.
EverQuest goes to extremes…
There’s some truly revolutionary features and some serious flaws. It furthers the gap between the casual and hardcore gamers.
- Online World – EverQuest is a fantastical escape from reality. It’s a place where your imagination can play, but it has serious ties to reality. The players are real, the interaction is real, and the time it consumes is real. If you’re not careful, it can destroy your life just as badly as any other addiction. (To hardcore gamers… this sounds like a plus.)
- D&D The Next Generation – While many hardcore RPG fans may argue this with me, I feel EverQuest surpasses traditional role-playing games. There’s no bickering over what armor class should be or how many dice should be rolled for a two-handed magical sword. All of the tedious math and the rules of conventional RPGs are figured out automatically. You don’t have to worry about absurd words like “Thaco”. You just click attack. Plus, I never had a game of D&D where I played with thousands of other people.
- Horrible Load Times – The load time and installation time is atrocious. It’s reminiscent of the Commodore 64 days. Just on downtime alone, EverQuest will consume more time than most other video games. I’ve been known to play Crazy Taxi while waiting for EverQuest to start up. Keep in mind, my computer is no slouch either!
- Average Graphics – The graphics are ok… but they’re not cutting edge. Multiplayer games like Quake and Unreal have more impressive eye-candy than EverQuest. Although, it’s a different type of game. Traditionally, the in-game graphics for RPG games have never been cutting edge. Rarely, you’ll get an impressive game like Phantasy Star II or Final Fantasy VII… but generally RPGs lag behind the visuals of action or racer type games.
- Monthly Fee – Personally, I think it’s bad news to release a game that requires monthly payments to be played. You cannot play EverQuest anywhere else but online. $10 a month will add up over time. Casual gamers will probably not invest in something like that. Games like Myth, Quake, and Unreal can all be played online, at no additional charge.
The Bottom Line: Realize that purchasing EverQuest is not something that should be decided upon lightly. There are monthly charges, serious load times, and it’s a long way to level 60. Unless you have more free time then you know what to do with, EverQuest may not be a journey you’ll want to take… but if you’re a hardcore player and an RPG fan… welcome to your nirvana. Casual gamers should avoid this like the plague. EverQuest could be considered a game without an end.