In previous posts I have mentioned how EQOA has a drastic lack of item content. Especially in comparison to an ever-expanding game such as World of Warcraft. However, I have come to realize that this made EQOA’s rares much more exciting, diverse, and valuable.
If you have ever played WoW, you know all about the rares that are “of the” wolf, monkey, bear, etc… It’s the same item with slightly different stats. Over and over and over again you cycle through these till 85. The best rares in WoW? The ones that come from dungeons bosses. These are unique in their name and stats. And that’s how every single EQOA rare was. They were all like unique blues that are found in WoW.
Now I realize that WoW had a much larger population and all rares bound to the user but that makes EQOA’s a bit more interesting. How often do you see a centaur lance? And yet, that’s not no trade lore item. People tend to actually keep and value ultra rare items that they could easily cash out on by selling to another player.
Rares were actually rare. In the EQOA’s prime, people paid $350 to buy items. Before crafting gear came along — which I think crafting sort of dulled the demand for lesser-rares — people shelled out a ton of tunar for things such as an ancestial breastplate or a coral helm. Think about robes before crafting. Healers could only find them if they were dropped by a mob. It was pretty typical to see a level 40 or even 50 shaman or cleric wearing some cloth and leather armor that they had picked up along the way and mixed with various quest gear. Check out the second photo. That guy’s helm, weapons, and robe were all one-of-a-kind rares that didn’t have stat variations.
One last cool thing about EQOA rares compared to WoW ones… if it was a weapon, you usually could see it in the hand of the mob you were about to kill. If a gnoll is holding something you haven’t seen before, you were going to get that weapon. Now this wasn’t always the case but when it happened, it was definitely a really cool element added by SOE.