This Game Hates You

So I’ve disappeared off the face of the earth for a while, and stopped updating my backlog.  This usually means that I’ve gone back to mainlining heroin.

Well, I’d say “back to playing Everquest”, but the heroin thing is more socially acceptable, I think.

Anyway.  So yeah, I’ve been sucked back into Everquest, but with a bit of a twist.

See, back in 2002 or so, before World of Warcraft came out and took over the MMORPG world by being, well, just a little LESS abusive than its predecessors, Everquest was really popular.  Popular enough, even, to get a Macintosh release, which represented the original game and the first four expansions.

The Mac version wasn’t popular enough to get expansions past that point – I think they’re up to at least 16 expansions for the Windows version, by the way – but it wasn’t really expensive to run either, so they’ve kept it up and running.

The last time they did anything to the servers, apart from a weekly reboot to clear stuff out, was January of 2005.  They weren’t adding anything – as far as I can tell, they never added anything to the Mac version after setting it up in 2002 – they were just fixing a few bugs.

So, Everquest in 2009 is a pretty different animal from Everquest in 2002.  It’s a lot more friendly in most ways, a lot quicker to level and many more things to see and do.

Everquest circa 2002, to get back to this post’s title, hates its players.  It is a fiendishly unforgiving game.  It’s full of time sinks, unfair deaths, and everything I normally hate in a video game.  It’s HARD, and playing on a server with a very low population – like the Mac server – makes it even more hard.

Put it this way: On a regular PC server, back in 2002, your character started out with nothing but a rusty weapon and a cloth shirt, but if you were diligent with saving money, you’d probably be able to, by level 20 or so, pay another person to make you some armor to replace the bits and pieces you’d been slowly looting off whatever few monsters you could find that were weak enough for you to kill.

On the Mac server, this isn’t an option.  Well, maybe it’s an option, but I wasn’t able to FIND anyone who’d make me armor, and I wound up having to acquire the skill myself before I could get dressed properly.

And yet, it’s more fun than the PC version.

For certain values of “fun.”

For values of “fun” that usually involve having a safeword.

But still, more fun.


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