EverQuest holds a special place in my memory. I was 16 when it came out. I didn't have computer but my mate Rupert did, and I'd outstay my welcome at his house playing it - hardly a sustainable arrangement and it didn't last. But it sparked in me a longing to become a proper part of a 3D online fantasy world (and on my own computer) - a plan I would carry out with Dark Age of Camelot - and it wasn't long after that Rupert (Loman) and his brother created Eurogamer.
All that seems like a lifetime ago, which is why it's weird writing about EverQuest now, 16 years later and on Eurogamer, and about how the game has launched a new expansion - its 22nd, called The Broken Mirror.
Broken Mirror is a proper $34.99 expansion with new and revamped zones, and all the new quests and loot and things that go with them. There are new spells, new alternate advancements, and there's a strange new toy called an Illusion Key Ring.
Sony Online Entertainment has announced expansions for its EverQuest MMOs at its annual Fan Faire convention in Las Vegas.
The sixth expansion for EverQuest II will have the title Sentinel's Fate. It will increase the level cap to 90, and is planned for release in February 2010.
Sentinel's Fate will allow you to play older, low-level content with a high-level character and still gain experience. SOE is also integrating various achievements into the game, such as killing 10,000 orcs or reaching level 80 with multiple characters.
Admit it. World of Warcraft created the MMORPG industry. I'm talking about the industrial component, involving hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue a year. I'm talking about the mind-blowing popularity. I'm talking about PowerPoint presentations about customer retention, and a few press releases a year telling the media that they've gained another few million subscribers.
EverQuest is ten. The Sony Online Entertainment MMO - the game that launched massively-multiplayer gaming into 3D, widely regarded as the template for Blizzard's World of Warcraft - was launched on 16th March 1999, and so celebrated its tenth anniversary of continuous operation yesterday.
Valve and Sony Online Entertainment have linked arms to bring some of the MMO operator's games to Steam.
Sony Online Entertainment has made the bold move of introducing micro-transaction item sales to its subscription-based fantasy MMOs, EverQuest and EverQuest II.
The game operator has launched StationCash, a virtual currency similar to Xbox Live's Microsoft Points or Nintendo's Wii Points. One hundred SC costs USD 1, EUR 1 or GBP 0.80. It can be used at an in-game marketplace to buy armour, potions and other benefits.
"The EQ and EQII development teams have chosen items carefully in an effort to avoid a disruption in gameplay balance," reads the StationCash FAQ.