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Sony Online
Adventure & RPG
Release Date

June 24, 2003 | Chris Ritchie

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Five years ago there were only a handful of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) to be found, but today PC users can choose from a large selection of various pay to play games. EverQuest by Sony Entertainment was one of the first MMORPGs available, and still reigns supreme in the PC world. With the impending release of EverQuest for the Mac, Sony Entertainment hopes to bring the worlds of Norrath and one of the better MMORPG experiences to a Mac near you.

The lineage of the MMORPG can be traced back to the early 90s when Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs) were the closest you could get to an evolving game world based on character interaction as opposed to a pre-deteremined story. MUDs were completely text based and were accessed through telnet, a system that seems almost barbaric in our current graphic intensive gaming world. EverQuest is a direct descendent of these solely text based adventures, keeping much of the style and feel of the original MUDs while adding a complete GUI and increasing the size and scope of the game world.

As the genre suggests, EverQuest is massive. The number of items, spells, foes and quests is enormous, and to take full advantage of all these various game components a firm understanding of the game system itself is necessary. As well as a huge item database, EverQuest also sports a political system that makes for interesting tensions between races. For example, a Dark Elf will be killed on site if spotted by a member of another elf caste and will not be able to enter into a human or elven city to shop or find quests. The designers of EverQuest have done an excellent job creating a world that is always evolving, and never exactly as it seems.

You Are Not a Unique Snowflake
While most RPGs have a plot or storyline centering on you, EverQuest is truly a MMORPG. As soon as your character is created, your starting city is picked, and for the first time you come face to face with the cold hard fact that you are a nobody. The master of your guild hall will barely speak to you, and the first quests you get are menial tasks. Money, magical items, and experience are all difficult to come by in EverQuest. The game is not designed to throw gold and experience at 1st level characters, it is designed to make them work their way out of the bottom rungs of the social ladder and carve a niche for themselves in the ever-evolving world. While this can be frustrating at the beginning of the game, it can lead to a sense of accomplishment as you master the different skills and attributes that define you as a character.

Travel to Exotic Lands and Kill the Inhabitants
The worlds of EverQuest span multiple continents and areas. There are 14 separate races each with a different starting city, and 15 separate character classes that allow for numerous combinations of race/class. Even with an emphasis on role playing, the game is still built around an experience system, and the easiest way to gain experience in EverQuest is by fighting. You can fight mobs by yourself, or you can team up with a party to go kill even stronger mobs. Your character can fight with a variety of skills, such as piercing weapons, blunt instruments, or bows. Your character can also be a magic user with a spellbook full of powerful incantations to harm your enemies or help your allies. As with most RPGs, you have a set of standard ability scores that determine your characters basic existence: agility, charisma, dexterity, wisdom, intelligence, stamina and strength. There are numerous skills that determine your capability at a variety of tasks, such as swimming, hiding , using a piercing weapon, or how often you will succeed in casting a spell while in a combat situation. Each time your character levels, you can train any of your specific skills at your guild hall. Along with training, each time you use a skill there is a possibility that you will become more proficient in its use.


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