A few weeks ago, I became aware through my Technical Vizier of a project called EQEmu. Not a strange, flightless bird, but rather a reverse-engineered emulator of the popular MMORPG EverQuest.
I have to admit, on hearing this and then visiting the EQEmu site, it was love. Why? Let me delve a bit into the past.
Back in 1999, I was a fresh-faced office drone, just out of college and looking for the kind of distraction we’ve come to know as massive multiplayer online roleplaying games. A friend had been playing this new game called EverQuest and talked me into giving it a try. And I was hooked! Not in a “forget the outside world” kind of way, but I enjoyed the game very, very much. After Masters of Orion 2, this was only the second time I’d every gone head over heels for a video game.
I loved the interaction with other people, the ability to do quests, the social aspects that existed before most of the social web did, the fact that it was like Rogue but with graphics and many, many other people. Some of my best gaming experiences were had in this game. Sadly, I got a bit burned out, especially when expansion after expansion started coming out and gave the game up for good around 2001.
Now my friend and I stood up our own EQEmu server, and after digging out our old EverQuest Titanium installs, were able to get up and running! Everything was there again! There it was! The world of EQ as we remembered it… almost. What was missing was the interaction.
That’s when we discovered Project 1999 – the largest EQEmu servers available to the public, with the mission to keep things as they were in Everquest classic. This really hit our sweet spot -back in the game we loved as it was when we loved it most, and doing this with a thousand other folks at the same time. Surely not as busy as the EQ servers were back in ’99 but still more than enough to have people in every zone, characters of every level and class.
I’m loving it! For the first time in a long time, I eagerly await the time I’ve been able to set aside to play video games. In fact, I’m now eagerly setting aside time rather than doing something else. Everything that I enjoyed about the original game is right here, in all it’s 1999 glory.
The folks at Project 1999 have a great getting started guide that’s very easy to follow. Probably the hardest thing you’ll have to do is dig up an older copy of the client software from somewhere. Once you’ve gotten that though, the rest is a breeze. I was up and running on Project1999 in 20 minutes, and that’s including the 10 minutes it took to install the client software.
If you’re even slightly nostalgic for the experience that was Everquest in its early glory, I can’t recommend doing this highly enough! I’ve started several characters so far and am still fairly low level, due to the limited time I can play. I can tell you that everyone I’ve bumped into in the game has been very friendly and helpful! If you get yourself into this, keep a lookout for my Druid, Toetagger and my buddy’s Monk, Elthar.
Special thanks to Slave – it’s never easy being the one who knows all the right words.