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EverQuest (Games)
EverQuest (Games)
EverQuest (Games)
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Information about EverQuest

EverQuest, often shortened to EQ, is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that was released on the 16th of March, 1999 (22 years ago). The original design is credited to Brad McQuaid, Steve Clover, and Bill Trost. It was developed by Sony's 989 Studios and its early-1999 spin-off Verant Interactive. It was published by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). Since its acquisition of Verant in late 1999 (22 years ago), SOE develops, runs and distributes EverQuest.

EverQuest has earned numerous awards, including 1999 (22 years ago) GameSpot Game of the Year and a 2008 (13 years ago) Technology & Engineering Emmy Award.

EverQuest development is ongoing, and the 16th expansion, "The Underfoot," was announced at the 2009 (12 years ago) Las Vegas Fan Faire.

EverQuest II (4 walls) was released in late 2004 (17 years ago). Set in an alternate universe similar to that of the original EverQuest, this "sequel" takes place 500 years after the awakening of The Sleeper. The game has also inspired a number of other spinoffs.


The design and concept of EverQuest is heavily indebted to text-based MUDs, in particular DikuMUD, and as such EverQuest is considered a 3D evolution of the text MUD genre like some of the MMOs that preceded it such as Meridian 59 and The Realm Online. John Smedley, Brad McQuaid, Steve Clover and Bill Trost who jointly are credited with creating the world of EverQuest have repeatedly pointed to their shared experiences playing MUDs such as DIKU and TorilMUD as the inspiration for the game. Keith Parkinson (9 walls) created much of the artwork for the game, in particular the box covers for earlier installments of EverQuest.

Development of EverQuest began in 1996 (25 years ago) when Sony Interactive Studios America (SISA) executive John Smedley secured funding for a 3D game much like text-based MUDs following the successful launch of Meridian 59 the previous year. To implement the design Smedley hired programmers Brad McQuaid and Steve Clover who had come to Smedley's attention through their work on the single player RPG Warwizard. McQuaid soon rose through the ranks to become Executive Producer for the EverQuest franchise and emerged during development of EverQuest as a popular figure among the fan community through his in-game avatar, Aradune. Other key members of the development team included Bill Trost, who created the history, lore and major characters of Norrath (including EverQuest protagonist Firiona Vie), Geoffrey "GZ" Zatkin who implemented the spell system, and artist Milo D. Cooper, who did the original character modeling in the game.

EverQuest launched with modest expectations from Sony on 16 Mar. 1999 (22 years ago) under its Verant Interactive brand and quickly became successful. By the end of the year, it had surpassed competitor Ultima Online in number of subscriptions. Numbers continued rising rapidly until mid-2001 when growth slowed. Sony's last reported subscription numbers were given as "more than 430,000 players" on 14 Jan. 2004 (17 years ago). SOE released a Mac OS X version of EverQuest in 2003 (18 years ago), incorporating all expansions through Planes of Power. Development of the OS X version has languished since then, but the server remains up and running, supporting a small but enthusiastic user community.

In anticipation of PlayStation's launch Sony Interactive Studios America had made the decision to focus primarily on console titles under the banner 989 Studios while spinning off its sole computer title, EverQuest, which was ready to launch, to a new computer game division named Redeye (renamed Verant Interactive). Executives initially had very low expectations for EverQuest but in 2000 (21 years ago), following the surprising continued success and unparalleled profits of EverQuest, Sony reorganized Verant Interactive into Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) with Smedley retaining control of the company.

Many of the original EverQuest team, including Brad McQuaid, Steve Clover and Geoffrey Zatkin had left SOE by 2002 (19 years ago).


In EverQuest, players create a character (also known as an avatar, or colloquially as char or toon) by selecting one of 16 "races" in the game, which range from elves, dwarves and ogres of fantasy, to humans, to cat-people (Vah Shir) and lizard-people (Iksar). Players also select each character's adventuring occupation (such as a wizard, ranger, or cleric - called a class--see below for particulars), and patron deity.

A Sand Giant engaging a group in the Oasis of Marr, a desert zonePlayers use their character to explore the fantasy world of Norrath, fight monsters and enemies for treasure and experience points, and master trade skills. As they progress, players advance in level, gaining power, prestige, spells, and abilities through actions such as looting the remains of defeated enemies and completing quests (tasks and adventures given by non-player characters (NPCs).

EverQuest also allows players to interact with other people through role-play, joining player guilds, and dueling other players (in restricted situations--EQ only allows Player versus Player (PVP) combat on the PvP-specific server).

The geography of the game universe consists of nearly four hundred zones.

Multiple instances of the world exist on various servers. In the past, game server populations were visible during log-in, and showed peaks of more than 3000 players per server.

EverQuest is loaded with features that promote, even demand, collaboration among players. Fighting alongside someone makes combat much more interesting. Chatting with that person passes the time while you recuperate, and working together, you're much less liable to perish. For instance, spells increase in potency from continuous use, so clerics are encouraged to heal any injured players they come across. Once you get to be around level seven, you'll have a much more difficult time fighting creatures on your own; healers must back up the fighters, fighters must back up the magic users, and the magic users can keep the healers safe from harm.

Tank classes

"Tank" classes are those that have a high number of "health points" for their level and can wear heavy armor. They also have the ability to taunt enemies into focusing on them, rather than other party members who may be more susceptible to damage and death.

Warrior: the prototypical tank class, able to avoid and mitigate more damage than any other class. In a way, this is offset by their inability to cast spells.
Shadow Knight: a durable tank class; this Warrior/Necromancer hybrid has vampiric and damage-over-time spells. Shadow Knights also have the unique ability to Harm Touch (do direct damage) every 72 minutes, the power of which increases in absolute terms but decreases relative to enemies' hit points as a player levels up. At higher levels, Shadow Knights are able to summon a weak pet, summon players' corpses who are in the same zone as them, and are able to feign death. The feign death ability allows the Shadow Knight to function as a "puller" for a group.
Paladin: the 'virtuous' counterpart to the Shadow Knight, a Paladin is a hybrid Warrior/Cleric. They were originally able to Lay on Hands (heal themselves or another player) once every 72 minutes (real-time); Lay Hands must now be earned through spending AA points, still with the same time delay between each use. At mid-levels, paladins also can purchase some resurrection spells. Paladins are tough in melee with some healing, protective, and stun spells. At mid-range levels, they also can purchase a "pacify" line of spells that allows them to function as a "puller" for a group.

Damage dealers

The following classes are able to deal high corporal damage to the enemy. Within the game, these classes are often referred to as 'DPS', standing for Damage Per Second. It must be noticed that there isn't a single overall "best dps" class, as depending on many factors which vary from one encounter to another (such as the enemy's armor, its positioning, and its magic resistance), one among Berserkers, Rogues, or Wizards may be the better dealer than the other two in a specific instance.

The melee damage dealers have a medium number of hit points per level, but cannot wear the heaviest armors and are less likely than a "tank" class to be able to survive direct attacks for a sustained period of time.

Beastlord: The Beastlord is a unique class which combines some powers from the Monk and Shaman classes along with a powerful pet. Beastlords can imbue their pets with powers and combat enemies with hand-to-hand skills or with weapons. They can also "de-buff" enemies with spells, and possess modest healing abilities. This diverse array of skills allows Beastlords to be effective solo adventurers at many levels as well as being handy in a group.
Berserker: A specialist form of the melee type, the Berserker is primarily a medium-armored, high-damage dealer that uses two-handed weapons and who can hurl axes and other thrown objects in the form of spells.
Monk: As masters of martial arts, Monks are the hand-to-hand fighting experts and are a powerful melee damage-dealer. Monks have the ability to feign death with a high degree of reliability and other skills that enable them to be a strong "pulling" class.
Ranger: A versatile hybrid class combining some of a Warrior's ability with a Druid's spells, Rangers are able to deal large amounts of damage both from a ranged distance and in melee. Their most unusual ability is to track unseen NPCs, for which they can be used as "pullers" in outdoor zones. Rangers also have the ability to "taunt" and can play the role of "tank" to a limited degree. They can make use of archery better than any other class, and their line of snare spells (which slows enemies' run speed) is very useful in XP groups to stop enemies from running awey when seriously injured.
Rogue: With their backstab ability, which multiplies damage done to an unguarded enemy's back, Rogues are able to inflict a very high rate of damage, if they are in a party that can keep the opponent facing away from the Rogue. Rogues also have the ability to make poisons, pick pockets, and pick locks. Their abilities early on to sneak and hide allow them to walk past both living and undead mobs without being seen.
The "caster" classes have the lowest hit points per level and can only utilize the lightest of armors.

Wizard: The primary nuking class; these casters are able to deal catastrophic damage to enemies over a very short time from a distance, particularly with their Manaburn skill, although the length of encounters often makes manaburn too inefficient to use. Wizards also have transportation spells that facilitate group travel to particular locations.
Magician: Usually referred to as Mages, Magicians are similar to the Wizard class but with noticeably less direct-damage spell power. They are able to summon strong elemental pets, viz. Earth, Water, Air, and Fire, each with unique strengths and weaknesses. They also have the capability to conjure pet armor and weapons, food, drink, and mod rods, which allow players to convert their health into mana. Magicians can also summon party members to different parts of a zone with the Call of the Hero spell, which can be helpful in raid zones.
Necromancer: These "masters of death" are able to summon, buff, and heal powerful undead pets and use poison, magic, fire, corruption and disease damage-over-time spells. Necromancers are able to feign death, snare enemies, and summon players' corpses in-zone. They have a combination of skills and abilities, most notably the ability to snare (make a target run/walk slowly), fear (make the target run directly away from the caster) and lifetap (heal the caster and damage the target) that allows them to function as an effective solo class.
All caster classes have the ability to 'Research', an activity where all players can make spells for use by other players. These are made using assortments of different pieces of quest material found in the game.

Crowd control / utility

These classes share the ability to restrain multiple enemies from attacking the party and also have the ability to increase party members' ability to regenerate mana at a faster rate.

Enchanter: A caster class that has few hit points per level and can wear only the lightest forms of armor, Enchanters are crowd control experts and are the most proficient class at Charming, Stunning, and Mesmerizing enemies. They have the ability to Memory Blur an opponent (causing them to forget they were being attacked) or Pacify an opponent (making them oblivious to antagonists in the area), both of which may be extremely useful in avoiding unwanted skirmishes. Enchanters also have a wide range of utility spells, including the Clarity (AKA "crack") line of spells, which when cast on a player allows them to regenerate mana at an improved rate. In addition to being able to both increase players' rate of attack (with the Haste line of spells), and Slowing that of enemies, Enchanters may also cast Illusions on themselves and others, which may have no real benefit (other than conferring a new look) or may grant tangible benefits such as underwater breathing, flight, or a vampiric touch. Lastly, Enchanters possess the unique Rune line of spells, which creates a magical protective buffer against all forms of damage until it is has worn down. This class is also uniquely suited for the jewelcraft trade, because it is the only class able to enchant metals. It is also one of the four classes able to make spells using the spell research trade skill.
Bard: a jack-of-all-trades class with fair melee ability, good armor, and the ability to play songs that benefit all nearby comrades, such as "crowd control" effects as well as mana and health regeneration. Bards do possess the unique ability to 'fade' from their enemies memories. This makes the bard an excellent pulling class. Bards possess lesser versions of many of the special abilities of other classes. They are known for their ability early on to increase the movement speed of their party faster than any mount or movement buff. Bards can weave the effects of up to four songs at once to confer the greatest advantage to their group. Bards themselves often do not receive the full benefit of their songs, but they can still be an effective solo class at many levels, especially with their strong "kiting" proficiency.


The "priest" classes have medium level of hit points per level and have access to healing and "buff" spells.

Cleric: The most powerful healer in the game, and for the first few years of EverQuest the only class capable of resurrection with experience regained, and the only class with the spell Complete Heal. As the game has changed, Complete Heal has become less effective compared to other lines of more powerful and quicker (albeit more mana-intensive) heals. Clerics can wear the heaviest plate-mail type armors. Clerics are great solo classes due to the introduction of the "Vow of Valor" line of spells, which provides the cleric with increased melee damage and a high rate of self regeneration, at the cost of halving their direct heals' power.
Druid: A priest class that can cast healing spells, teleport, snare (to slow down enemies), and moderately-powerful nuking and damage-over-time spells. The range of abilities allows druids to play multiple roles in a group or to solo effectively. Druids may only wear "leather class" armors. Druids also have a number of transportation spells that allow speedy movement throughout much of the gaming world. Their combined tracking and foraging skills make them excellent trade-skillers, in terms of finding various components necessary for baking, tailoring, brewing and the like.
Shaman: As a priest class, they have access to healing and many lines of "buff" spells. Shaman possess strong damage-over-time spells, and are able to slow an enemy's rate of attack. Shamans, or "Shammies" may cannibalize their health to restore mana and may wear "chain mail" levels of armor. Because of the range of Shaman's spells, they are sometimes considered a "utility" class. Shamans are the only class able to make potions with the Alchemy skill.


From John Smedley's initial concept in 1996 (25 years ago), throughout various corporate restructurings, Sony has directly or indirectly been responsible for, and John Smedley has guided, the development of EverQuest.

Subscription history

Verant from 1999 (22 years ago) to 2001 (20 years ago) and SOE from 2001 (20 years ago) to 14 Jan. 2004 (17 years ago) issued formal statements giving some indications of the number of EQ subscriptions and peak numbers of players online at any given moment. However, most of these announcements have been archived and are available only by seeking historical copies through online "internet archives" or other sources.

Accepting both Sony's press releases and the internet archives available today as accurate, these records show a rapid rise in subscriptions to "...more than 225,000..." on 1 Nov. 1999 (22 years ago). Sony announced the achievement of 300,000 subscriptions on 30 Oct. 2000 (21 years ago). By 2 Oct. 2001 (20 years ago), Sony stated that there were "...over 410,000...". On 29 Jul. 2002 (19 years ago), Sony announced that there were "...over 430,000..." and that for the 1st time 100,000 had played simultaneously. In preparation for the Fan Faire of 2003 (18 years ago), Sony announced on 25 sep. 2003 (18 years ago), that there were "... more than 450,000..." subscriptions.

With that single exception, from 13 Mar. 2003 (18 years ago) until the final reference on 14 Jan. 2004 (17 years ago), Sony releases that contained numbers referred only to more than 430,000 subscriptions, and/or more than 118,000 simultaneous logins. This leaves the peak and current number of subscriptions for EQ to secondary sources.


The game runs on multiple "game servers", each with a unique name for identification. These names were originally the deities of the world of Norrath. In technical terms, each "game server" is actually a cluster of server machines.

Once a character is created, it can only be played on that server unless the character is transferred to a new server by the customer service staff, generally for a fee.

Each server often has a unique community and people often include the server name when identifying their character outside of the game.


Sony pictures (wallpaper) and former Marvel (19 walls) Comics chief creative officer Avi Arad plan to adapt the game to the big screen with potential release in 2009 (12 years ago) or 2010 (11 years ago). Sony has verified that they are uncertain of when the movie will be released and that 300 writer Michael Gordon was hired to write the script.


The Ruins of Kunark (March 2000 (21 years ago))
The Scars of Velious (December 2000 (21 years ago))
The Shadows of Luclin (December 2001 (20 years ago))
The Planes of Power (October 2002 (19 years ago))
The Legacy of Ykesha (February 2003 (18 years ago))
Lost Dungeons of Norrath (September 2003 (18 years ago))
Gates of Discord (February 2004 (17 years ago))
Omens of War (September 2004 (17 years ago))
Dragons of Norrath (February 2005 (16 years ago))
Depths of Darkhollow (September 2005 (16 years ago))
Prophecy of Ro (February 2006 (15 years ago))
The Serpent's Spine (September 2006 (15 years ago))
The Buried Sea (February 2007 (14 years ago))
Secrets of Faydwer (November 2007 (14 years ago))
Seeds of Destruction (October 2008 (13 years ago))
Announced:Underfoot (November 2009 (12 years ago))


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