Like the little engine that could, Daybreak Games keeps churning out new expansion content for the old guard of MMOs, Everquest, along with its heir Everquest II. It’s been a long thirteen years since the sequel released and like clockwork, the 14th expansion is upon us. I can usually count on Wilhelm over at The Ancient Gaming Noob to report on these sorts of things, and can get more in depth looks at what’s going on in Norrath from Bhagpuss over at Inventory Full. Their writing piqued my interest to say the least.
Reading up on the new expansion and seeing that there is in fact a level cap increase and some other interesting features (plus the return of more Planes, which I never got to experience in the original EQ, though I’ve been to those present in the sequel to this point) got me thinking about a return to my MMO home of sorts. It was EQ2 that had me addicted to the genre, and as Bhagpuss points out, “After all these years I still can’t find an MMO to compete with EQ2 when it comes to settling down in a virtual world” — a sentiment I can certainly relate to. When I do come back around after a year or two break (and have invariably done so since 2006) it still feels like home and I miss being as addicted to it as I once was. I’ll never be that same addict and the game will never be the way it was in its hey day, but it’s still the one game I can’t seem to stay away from for long.
It seems that the last time I wrote about it was a little over two years ago. I remember having the itch and going back to do some leveling while on a free account, taking my Brigand from level 90 to 94 while clearing out a couple of the expansions between where I had left off the time before, and the current expansion of the day, Altar of Malice. I know that I was in Tears of Veeshan at that time, and shortly thereafter I wrote a post about the announcement of Terrors of Thalumbra, and then my EQ2 stretch was over again for a while. That expansion would have released a couple of months after I stopped playing again, and since then there was also another expansion in 2016 and now the Planes of Prophecy. It seems that it was probably a good time to leave the game, if for no other reason than they didn’t really do much to add to the leveling content of the game. Two expansions in a row and no cap increases, only new zones and other bits and bobs.
Planes of Prophecy changes that. The cap has increased to 110. There is a level 100 boost you can use right out of the gate. My thoughts intensified. I could theoretically boost a brand new or low level alt and immediately experience the new content without the slog of catching up. Granted, my level 94 Brigand and my level 90 Paladin would need to be shown some love, but I imagine that wouldn’t be too bad give the fact that I would still have a couple of expansions worth of content to explore anyway, but could actually check out the new expansion “while it’s hot” rather than years after release.
Turns out my Father has resubscribed and is already in the new expansion (he tends to stay more current with the game than I do). It also seems that members of his guild are returning and there’s a real chance at being able to experience the end game again, which is something I haven’t done since the cap was 90 and we’re talking 5 years ago probably, if not more. He’s also offered to purchase the expansion for me for Christmas, one of the higher priced packages to boot, because apparently some of the add-on loot is highly desirable.
So here I am, two years removed from the game (again) and very much considering a return to the game. As I said, a level 100 boost on one of my existing alts or a new character could be a blast, and would put me right at the beginning of the new content. Then I could take my time with my mains and grind them through some of the older content that would still be new. It would be an interesting experiment one way or the other and at this point I think I’m going to go for it.
I reinstalled last night. I’m thinking I might log in and see where I left off. Maybe tinker around a bit before Christmas comes. The itch has been there and every other MMO I try just doesn’t hold my interest. This one has its ups and downs too, and I’m sure I’ll break away from it again in the future but right now I really feel like going back.
Hello Norrath. It’s been a while.