Seven years ago Shawn and I beta tested a little game called Everquest 2. Years before that, Shawn had beta tested a game called Everquest and said to me, “I liked it–but at the time I felt like the game and what it was trying to do was limited by technology at that time, and thought that in a couple of years it would really shine.”
Well. Then they made EQ2. And we were hooked.
When we played, we were crafters by heart. Without a group, there was very little content that could be soloed for some of the classes–Of course, I was a Templar and he a conjurer. He had better luck at it than I would, so gathering and crafting called to us much stronger. We played before there was imbuing, gems, and during the time that any crafting station–the stove, forge, engravers table and so on could kill you if you screwed up. Crafters were entirely dependent on one another too. A carpenter couldn’t make certain things without nails and metal parts. These were made by armor or weapon smiths. Nobody could make anything without the help of an Alchemist–which is what my husband was.
Then EQ II changed that. For a while there, being an alchemist was worthless. Everyone could now make all the parts they needed for themselves and no longer did they need to depend on one another. They were phasing out the being-ship-wrecked-on-an-island-everyone starting as either warrior-mage-priest thing, and it was painful for us. We stopped for a while.
Then, of course, with age? Things, in my humble opinion, got better. Yes, even moving to F2P seemed like an improvement–for even though general chat was always a lot like Barrens chat–there are still people everywhere in that game, seven years later.
And that’s how long we’ve been playing, off and on, too. Though EQ II sweetened the deal for me by handing me an entire Mistmoore Estate for my 7 year anniversary. Let me tell you, there is nothing better to bribe me into coming back, or playing a game forever, than giving me something I can decorate myself, make unique. Housing, mounts, clothing, decorations….this is the way to worm money out of me. Pay attention games! I logged in, looked at my vet rewards, squealed like I’d just been given a unicorn and ran to claim it. Now I have a huge estate with nothing in it. Now I have to run around the game trying to find the just right things I want in it. Some of it I will craft myself (being a carpenter), others I will have to level in order to get it from certain quests and or as drops from dungeons.
See what u did thar, EQ II.
And, it worked.
I think that EQ2 finally found the perfect balance for all kinds of gamers finally. Do you want to craft? Great, go for it. Do you want to craft and solo adventure? No problem, there’s a quest for that. You want to ignore crafting and power level and just get All The Things? No problem. You want to do all of this, at any given time, and just spend a day collecting shiny things to play the market? Go for it. And now–you want to design your own in game object and earn real life cash money money dollar bills from it? Yep. Do that too.
So–I’ve been having fun with my Dirge, Ssinjin, and her guild since ’04 (Queens Guard, hoooo!) exploring new regions I never got around to, quests that are fun and frustrating. Gathering shinies and resources. And it’s funny, because, I have also had my time eaten up by searching for my own home. In real life. Yes–the husbanator 2000 (That’s Shawn, or bariguy, by the way) and I have finally decided that no better time than now to take advantage of things and try for a home. It is both awesome and frightening. Wish us luck.
P.S. If you know any epic quest lines that will help us furnish it….