Here I stand on May 5, 2013, 22 years old, over 13 months after the closure of EQOA. Really wanting to play then realizing I can’t made me want to share my story. Let’s face it those of us who played around release can visualize the difference between early 2003 and early 2005. The game has been dead since 2005, it’s almost painfully obvious that the game is gone for good. As all restoration efforts have vanished, which isn’t surprising due to the type of people that still played as well as the tiny population. Here’s my story though. My journey with EQOA started when I was mearly 11 years old. My father and I had a bit of trouble installing and getting the network adapter working; my hometown still has no form of available wired broadband, 4G is now just available. However, after hours of talking to sony support we had finally got it running. I noticed one server had “Recommended” beside it. After waiting in a queue of almost 2,000 I was finally able to log in. I had read the Brady Games Strategy Guide on the way home and decided on a Troll Shadowknight, I was lost in the pits of grobb for over 30 minutes and couldn’t even figure out how to log out. I recieved a reponse from a GM whose name I can’t remember within a few hours and was finally able to log out. A few days afterwords I logged back in, after that logging out problem on Diren’s Hold. I decided to switch to Ferran’s Hope. Like a lot of us it then took over my life. Which begs the question was it a blessing or curse?
I started an Erudite Mage, by the name I can’t remember, after learning High Borne in and out, around level 12, I decided to spread out with it. I found the Qeynos Prison. After looking on the list and seeing 30 or 40 people I decided to stay here. Which I did. Staying here for a few days I met the first person I won’t forget when I think about EQOA, Grimm, a level 14 Barbarian Warrior at the time with a cool sword that was only a Merchant War Blade. After a few days I was now a level 17 mage. I used a Phase Shield. Looking on the “Who” list I now see there is only 4-5 people on it during a prime time such as 8 P.M. I wondered how the place have become so deserted so quickly. I then stopped playing this Character and started my first character I managed to get to a decent level. Waldalorf, a Barbarian Warrior. After a bunch of misadventures around Halas with Lexx, a 20-something Elf Paladin, including a ton of ‘fun’ in the underground cave, around level 20. I moved on to a bunch of other places. Namely Ensigns Ghost near Wyndhaven. Boy was this guy good experience. I was managing over a level a day. People still talking about how tanks need dexterity. Running around in 17 armor, keep in mind this was before crafting. DFC having 50+ people on the who list. Just all around good times. Anyway he turned green at level 27. Around which time I met the first person that I started a guild with, a Dwarf Cleric known as Santiago, we XP’d on a no-fanction insta-spawn guard for a few all nighters straight until he turned green at level 34. This was around the time that Fishing was released. Our guild was called “Wrath of Heaven.” We actually had a good guild with over 20-30 active players all 30+. Which was still pretty decent at the time. Then around the end of March 2003, my Buddy Santiago out leveled me and being the immature 11 year old I was, I quit because I was no longer higher than him. What also was because my spring break was now over and I no longer could pull the all nighters with him.
Fast Forward to a few weeks after Frontiers was released, I finally logged back in to find Davner Marnor and High Pass were no longer the spots to hang out at. While they still had 20+ people it was a far cry from lagging out in High Pass. I was told to go to FP, so I did to find 200-300 people on the “Who” list and a chat box that was impossible to read due to text moving so fast. Apparently I still wasn’t considered to badly leveled because a guild by the name of Black Dragon Society, who were doing Plane of Sky at the time, let me join. I seen a Defender and didn’t know what the hell he was. After realizing the game has now changed I decided to make a monk, named Saelronx, where I met a few other people that come to mind when I think EQOA, Ironshock, Pympin, Gregor, Drifterr, Zgrug, Gothicwolf(who lives about an hour from me), Payneweaver(about 30 mintues from me), Pleebian, Keblur(whose account was given to me. He also lived a few hours away.), Thru, Noface, Zgrug, Manaful(also an account given to me), Missedme, Tanx(who taught me everything I know about Everquest Online Adventures today), Yoshihiro, Respal, Sunnis(thanks for letting me into Breathen of The Blade), plus many more I’m sure. Keep in mind every single one of the people I listed were between the ages of 12-19. Around this time I had descovered there was a low level dueling scene in EQOA. Mainly around the level 35 area. So with the little bit of wealth I had acculmulated I made a Wizard. She turn out wonderful. With Lion and the Dark Elf racial, I had over 3.5k HP plus 400 dexterity. Saelronx had just reached level 43. Around Feburary 2004 I quit then came back for a few months around late 2004. In september 2004, wereforms were released, the population in Freeport was instantly cut in half when the first gator strolled through Freeport. Head to end of tail reached from the well to the coach. How come so many people quit? Because it meant the developers no longer cared. Around this same time I was banned for a ungodly amount of offenses in a short period of time. Then came the best chapter and my longest steak of playing EQOA according my pay history. Which is surprising because as mentioned earlier in this essay, the game was noticeably dead in 2005, with a little life pumped into the game during and right after class balancing. Guzak, the Troll Defender.
So I then talked friend Yoshihiro into letting me level his account for him, anyone remember his post on the official forums? Yeah, that was me. He had a few million tunar plus a load of Black Saphhire jewelry. Which was worth 400-500k a pop. I had a real life friend who played at this point, Daealdore, who I used to transfer and split some of the tunar with him. I then started Guzak. Who I leveled until 22. Then quit until early 2005. The game was dying by this point and I still hadn’t seen much of the end-game content. There was no need to worry as my friend Daealdore recently reached level 59 on his Monk, I also still had the millions of tunar. Leveling went by quick on Guzak as I had enough tunar to purchase full sets of Heartsblood, Ruby Jewelry, and the best weapons per level. Such as Shocking Foil(level 34, proced 200 sometimes), Ebony Gladius(Level 38, 14 Stamita, 15 Agility, proced 250 sometimes), Dragon Eye(Level 51, some strength, agility, proced 120 Very often). Also things such as Imperial Breastplate(Level 45 around the same stats as 43 Heartsblood plus a 15 damage per hit Damage Shield), Mithril Breastplate(No stats except it proced 15 mana per hit). I also farmed a Ancient Mariners Harphoon, which had godly stats for a level 50 pre-fronts weapon. I then reached level 40-something and was given Manaful’s account. Who also had millions of tunar plus a load of Black Sapphire jewelry. By level 50 I had over 10,000,000 tunar. Between the levels 50-60 I managed to cause confusion “Who is his main?” “How is he beating me?” “He beat me fair and square.” “He knows something I don’t about the game.” “We have to get him in our guild.” My personal favorite: “I got plenty of these take one.” Which was a Spirit Maker’s Robe. The guy like me, had a main he preferred not to disclose. After playing for 6 or 7 months straight casually leveling Guzak, obtaining a Spirt Maker’s Robe, and hitting the elusive 11k HP/5k AC mark. I was now level 60 with a 40/955 CM count, I quit once again. This time I didn’t come back until 2008 where everything had changed.
I logged on in June 2008, post class-balancing, by the way to find that Ferran’s Hope now had 10 people in freeport. So I searched the forums to find out how the game was even still running. I started a new on Castle Lightwolf. I only played for a few weeks which during time I accumlated so much I don’t even remember how which included, a level 60 Alacmist with over 1,000,000 tunar, a level 35 Shadowknight by the name of Saelronx with full Heartsblood armor(by the way he also had also had almost 4k HP at 35), and a level 51 monk which will be brought up later. I guess between the ages of 14 and 18 I became so much wiser that EQOA was now easy to play. Now we fast forward to October 2010. After being in and out of jail for the past 2 years I was stronger than ever physically actually ready to grow up, I got a full time job then came across a WordPress to my surprise which was actually made to make people remember and get back into the game. Nostalgia filled after having not played for almost 5 years, I was eager to join back. As it turns out the game is now dead, I level my Shadowknight to level 60, joined Level 61, had some fun then quit due to the fact people still took this game way to serious. Plus there weren’t many options for guilds also the fact that it only had a few hunduard active players on at any given time didn’t help. As for the monk he was 54 by this time with over 500 Strength/Stamita/Dexerity, over 200 Agility/Wisdom to top it off he had almost 6k HP. He also had 250-something AR for SK’s. He was built was a pre-60 dueler and he was. It took a 60 stacked to the hilt to beat him due to my skill strategy. The day before I quit I had beaten a 60 Deathknight and was accused of Avatar. He also was switch paths. So his AC was somewhere around 2k.
In conclusion one must ask for those of us who spent 3-4 years of our teens lives playing Everquest Online Adventures was it a blessing or curse? Most of us will never forget the game nor the people we met. Would we still be walking in the same shoes or would we be lving a better life? It’s no doubt that it took over most of our lives at one point or another. I remember Stonee posting about how he wouldn’t hesitate to leave his girlfriend to see what was going on in the world of Everquest Online Adventures. Was it worth it now that the game is gone for good? Lets face it there will never be a more perfect time than the age of rising technology to release a console MMO. Let’s face it video games have just now become main stream. To be completely honest though, Everquest Online Adventures would still be the same game in 2013 as it was in 2003. I just don’t think the amazing array of different people would still play.
Favorite Grind Spots:
Bandits near BSI
Croc’s near FP
Favorite Level Range:
All the short races
Most Valued Memory Of EQOA:
– The all-night grind sessions. From the very first with Santiago to the very last with a few random people at TFG’s mass pulling gaining almost 600 CM’s that night to put Saelronx near the 1,000 CM mark. Just to think all those traditional groups back in 2004 were getting 1 CM per 4 nights of grinding(4-5 hours per night). This was around 1380 by the way.
I don’t even want to know what the future holds. All I know is even though I may forget about the game for years at a time, but there will be a time when it crosses my mind. I’ll then laugh at all the time I spent on it and all the wasted years. Seeing as how the community is now broken up. Good luck to everyone I ever met or may remember me. I just want to everybody to live a happy life and realize that you only live once. Don’t waste so much time playing video games.