All the roleplaying elements of Quake and all the combat excitement of Furcadia, wrapped up in one Ultima Online-killing package!

Oh man did I want Everquest to kick ass. I typed nasty messages with caps lock to my friends who were in beta phases II and III demanding their account information. I watched, mesmerized, as Constrictor played beta III and ran around in a field looking for snakes to kill, thinking that looked better than Ultima Online. I waited, waited, waited for my beta phase IV CD to arrive. I carefully loaded the software. I played it. I yawned. I submitted bug reports. I never heard back. I exited and loaded UO, cursing the world for sucking so much.

Whereas Ultima Online gives you tedium in the forms of mercantile drudgery to raise cash and macroing drudgery to raise your skills, Everquest gives you tedium in the form of its primary mode of play. Actually, it seems to be its only mode of play. Run around, find stuff to kill, get the loot, run back, sell it, go out again. If you are lucky enough to know people in Everquest (usually because you met them in another game), you can group up to go kill stuff, loot it, and bring the stuff back to sell. I wouldn’t know much about this, though, since I only played a few times with Kagero, and other times I would log in, start typing messages in the horrible, awful, FUCKING TERRIBLE chat window to someone just in time to see them disappear over a hill a mile away. So much for interaction.

But at least you can fight. Well, that’s all you can do. Fighting is thrilling! The tactical subtleties of running up to a monster, double clicking it, and watching your avatar fight the monster while doing nothing, can only be compared in thrill value to watching some other guy vulture your kill with a quick spell. It sure would be nice to get back at those jerks, eh? Too bad there’s a PvP switch, a historical reproduction of the dark ages PvP switch which prevented people from hitting each other.

At least Everquest is serving an important function, as the number of people who buy into online roleplaying games dwindles as people leave their Ultima Online accounts in stasis to go play Everquest, play Everquest like mad for about 3-5 months, get bored with it and realize that UO was more fun, then realize what losers they are for playing both games and jump off a bridge somewhere. Maybe then we can get back to storylines and plot.

Mu Rating: 4/10. Nice try, but I could just as easily play a single player CRPG and then call my friends to tell them about it. The phone, at least, wouldn’t be lagged. Also, if my friend pissed me off, I could slug him one without fear of a PvP switch.

UPDATE 3/29/2001: I have to revise my initial rating. An MMORPG is an ongoing and evolving thing, and Everquest never got any better. In fact, as the problems associated with high level play and content became more obvious, it got even worse. I cannot possibly imagine why so many people are still playing this piece of shit. For more details please see the AC article from 5/1/2000. I can’t bear to write about it again. Mu Rating: 1/10. The one is for their clever idea of embedding subliminal messages into their video refreshes to keep people subscribing.

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