EQOA and EQOA Frontiers

Everquest Online Adventures or EQOA was not my first mmo. Growing up, I played console games and eventually got tied into Age of Empires II along with Runescape. That was freshman year of high school. In 2002, my sophomore year of high school, I was introduced by a friend to EQOA. It was the first mmo that I could play in my room, on my own time, and get away with staying up till 3am.

I played almost nonstop until I graduated high school and haven’t truly returned since. I went to the University of Michigan, graduated, and am now employed with a national health care firm. 

Over the last 5-6 years, I have taken time to read through forums and look up Youtube videos of EQOA. One fact remains: there are still people who think about this game and honestly treasure this game as the defining mmo in their life. Sounds nerdy? Of course it is.

I played on Hodstock and was active on the server forums called Hodstock.com, run by the legendary Kono. Never met Kono, nor played with him, but he was more of a legend in the game not because of his characters but because he modded and created hodstock.com. If you go to the waybackmachine website and type in hodstock.com, you can go through all the old posts throughout the years. In 2008, maybe 2009, the site was officially shut down.

From what I have gathered via forum posts, EQOA only has maybe 1,000 remaining subscribers. I would imagine that less than 20% of those players started in the last 18 months.

From articles dating back to 2002, Sony had hoped this game would bring in over 100,000 subscribers. All-in-all, it brought in maybe 20,000. So what went wrong? And what eventually killed EQOA? Several reasons of course. Yet, the obvious sore thumb in the entire business model of EQOA was raising monthly fees while not providing new content or even user support. User fees jumped from $9.99, to $12.99, to $14.99. The first and only expansion was the Frontiers edition which came out in the Fall of 2003; just months after the initial release. Sure there was content added, but not worth $180 a year while games like World of Warcraft, EQII, and FFXI were doing much, much more.

Let’s not jump the gun on incriminating Sony. We can all admit that they dropped the ball for us. Not to say they didn’t consider their returns and made a command decision to cut their losses. But those remaining fans and former players who reminisce of the times in Halas, Qeynos, or Fayspires are still amongst the mmo communities. This blog is for you. Feel free to openly comment and email me at any time if you have anything you want posted. Eventually, I would like to get a handful of people to resubscribe together and attempt a resurrection of one of the servers. We’ll get to all that jazz later on… Welcome to the blog and let’s make something happen.

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About Stonee

EQOA blogger
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18 Responses to EQOA and EQOA Frontiers

  1. Great stuff Stoney, would love to help in any way I could. EQOA was my first MMO and still my most nostalgic home. If you are looking for a reunion tour, I’d be happy to join you.

    • Stoney says:

      Thanks man… let’s see what we can work up as far as people to join us. The one part I’m hesitant about in returning is knowing that my money is going towards Sony. Then again, if there’s an increase in returning subscriptions, maybe SOE will take note? Highly optimistic thinking…

      I personally work 8-5 EST and could only play on nights and weekends, which is much different than I used to play in high school. Not sure if you fall into the full time workers group, or if you’re 21+, but if not, no worries.

  2. Moory says:

    Great post. Brings back a lot of memories when I played this in high school as well.

    Hodstock was the server I played on during my EQOA career as well. If you need any writers, as you posted on my old blog, let me know.

    Moory

  3. Moory says:

    Moory was my primary character name in EQ2. My primary character name in EQOA was Yesp and was in AoK during my time.

    I have been tempted to start up EQOA just to look around.

  4. Roxy says:

    It’s hard to say whether I could ever return to EQOA.

    Having been there in beta, then racing to 50 on Castle Lightwolf, then beta for Frontiers and again, capping in the expansion – seems nothing was left to do. Little bits and pieces of events/content/updates have come and gone in the subsequent seven years, but not enough to make one want to stick around.

    I suppose the lack of changes(whether significant or not) make it easier to get back into things. Nothing says ;yawn; like having to download gigabytes worth of updates and go through all your characters to see what gear or abilities are nerfed, which items are no longer worthwhile, how do the ability changes affect your ‘talent’s, does anyone you used to play with still hang around… the ‘check list’ for returning MMO members is tiresome. Maybe since EQOA hasn’t evolved, and is straight-forward, then it encourages people to return more often.

    The real stick in the mud is that they can’t do anything with the game – and I mean literally. At one of the more recent conventions, they admitted that there’s no one around who will code for even simple things like a server merge so they could consolidate. You would think that even players would gladly do it for free, but for whatever reasons, that’s yet to happen – if it ever will. And that makes the possibility of a free to play system grim as well. Free to play would work great for a product like this in theory. With how small the player base, they can make drastic swooping changes if necessary, and not have to face such much hostility – such as adding a bunch of items that people want – you know the type, anything that makes them look or seem cooler in a virtual world, because that’s what carebears like… but the point remains that these fluff items are just the tip of the iceberg.

    The reason it isn’t practical, is because like the server merging, there’s no one to code and /or implement a free to play system and any content therein.

    If they were to overhaul to to free to play, and take on player/member based programmers to help out, then we may see EQOA better itself.

    It’s amazing to think that a game with such a small player base is still going but what would be a really great start is if these two things happened:

    A) They set it up so that anyone who had an account dating back beyond some arbitrary point (say 2005 for example) gets their first month back free.
    A lot of persons would dust off their PS2 and jump right in. A few minutes worth of memory card patching and voila, back they are, possibly reunited with others.

    B) If someone were to actually come out with on how to emulate this on the computer. Obviously it’s been done, but it’s not exactly straight forward and the people who have done it talk about it, yet never seem to actually provide anything remotely like a guide – even for persons who own both a Playstation 2 AND a copy of EQOA or Frontiers.

    Being able to play it on the computer would perk some interest.

    All in all, it’s safe to say that EQ Next might be the end of EQOA should it come to light.

    Roxy

  5. Pingback: Happy Anniversary! | Everquest Online Adventures

  6. Steve Thompson says:

    Ferrans hope
    Djice 60 bard

    Here is my thoughts to the game that gave me the most fun I’ve ever had playing games.

    I was young and in a bad marriage I started playing ps2 after the days of ps1 games like grand turismo and the final fantasy game that was 7 disks long. The beer and cigs made these games more enjoyable and helped me maintain my sanity in my failing marriage. After I got my first dial up connection and a ps2 network adapter I suddenly had access to those online games so I started playing frequency the demo online remixing songs all nite chating and drinking the nite away fun times. Then I seen it on the shelf it almost glowed EQOA. I bought a 12v pack of natty ice a pack of cigs and a dime bag and went home it was the weekend I had over two days to indulge myself. Before I logged in I shut the blinds smoked a bowl drank my beer and when I was fInnaly in the game i became lost wondering where the hell to go thinking to myself finnaly something new to explore. I was sitting there in Halas stoned on my barbarian shammy and then the music of Halas took my breath away and I never looked back it became my reality all I needed was my Job beer cigs eqoa and no sunlight. I’m glad it was my life back then but then it faded away. I then started playing wow and that feeling came back of something new but after the burning crusade and the nerf to twinks along with instant portals made the game suck. When I realized Eqoa was better it was too late to return. Djice 60 bard I was there were you?

  7. Pingback: Happy Anniversary! 4 days late… | Everquest Online Adventures

  8. KushMinded says:

    I wanna play this game soooo badly

  9. Timothy says:

    Yes I was there I played on Hodstock server As Ranger Foxfoot and later as his Sister Foxcharm Those were good times I hit lv 60 wife went nuts and somtime in 2008 it was over good 5 year run and yes I miss it and would go back there if ever possible

  10. samsmoke69 says:

    I still talk with Salem, Lacky, and Short lost contact with Vokal and Juiceman over the years but I miss you all even the guilds and players that hated The Unnamed, I would still play today same exact content on the ps4 and love it. I think back about my time on hodstock and how I acted on my 1st mmo, I hope I helped and gave loot to more people then I pissed off on the game and I wonder how hated my character was… Cinork-Knuckle-Achilles my war’s so many mages and necro and rog and shm alts…..Blingky-Harrypotthed-Yukmouth-Jackmove-Sadistika-Roothless-Toothless-Makavelli….. Someone needs to contact ex mlb star Curt Schilling he’s invested into making his own mmo games get him in on it a fellow gamer!

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