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The Original EverQuest MMORPG Going Free to Play in March

By - Source: SOE | B 30 comments

SOE's original oldie-but-goodie EverQuest MMORPG is finally going free-to-play in March.

EverQuest producer Thom Terrazas said on Monday that Sony Online Entertainment's (SOE) former flagship MMORPG is (finally) going into free-to-play mode in March -- probably March 16, exactly thirteen years after it went live for Windows-based PCs. The news arrives after Sony introduced a free-to-play model for the game's successor, EverQuest 2, in December 2011 which experienced a 40-percent increase in log-ins as a result.

"We're excited to be expanding the EverQuest experience by making the game more accessible to every type of player so that you can choose to play the game in a way that suits you best," Terrazas said in a community letter. "Anyone who wishes to start, return or continue to play one of the "Best Games of All-Time" can simply download and play EverQuest on their terms – think of it as Free to Play, Your Way. Recurring subscriptions, non-recurring subscriptions, Silver or Free memberships, item unlockers, and more. The game will now be setup to be flexible so that *you* can decide how much to pay, based on how much fun you're having."

Oh my.

As noted, EverQuest becomes an official teenager on March 16. To celebrate, Sony will host additional events within the game starting that week and leading up to the Special Birthday. New items are currently being introduced within The Plane of Knowledge to give existing members a taste of what's to come. Other changes and additions include a revamped website once the F2P model goes live, and an improved Map system.

"Also at the free-to-play launch, all players will receive a Welcome Pack containing items to add to your gameplay experience," he said. "You'll be able to summon a unique Mercenary to fight by your side and we're including some Bayle Marks to help pay for the services of your newly summoned Mercenary. A couple of Experience Potions are also included to help you increase your experience gained while adventuring. For all the collectors that like to show off all the great wares to your friends, we're giving you an item to display in your home and add to your collection. And finally, you'll be able to customize the appearance of one of your weapons with a Weapon Ornamentation - also included in the Welcome Pack. So be sure to check the claim window for your free gifts."

Terrazas added that the EverQuest development team will host a Community Webcast on Thursday February 2, 2012, covering the F2P details. Until then, it's easy to assume the classic MMORPG may feature a three-tier structure similar to EverQuest 2, offering a basic free account, a silver account providing extra perks once players spend $5, and a full-blown monthly subscription granting access to everything EverQuest has to offer.

Since its launch just before Y2K, EverQuest has seen eighteen expansions in its lifetime, ranging from The Ruins of Kunark in April 2000 to Veil of Alaris in November 2011. The franchise has also produced a large number of spinoffs including Champions of Norrath for the PlayStation 2, Lord of EverQuest for the PC, and EverQuest Hero's Call for Pocket PC.

Seriously, how long has it been since you've played the original EverQuest?

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  • 6 Hide
    azathoth , February 1, 2012 5:48 AM
    Seriously, how long has it been since you've played the original EverQuest?

    I actually have the disk neatly tucked away inside my desk, there's not even a scratch on it either.
  • 3 Hide
    a4mula , February 1, 2012 5:53 AM
    Wow, that's kinda cool. I might check it out just for nostalgia sake. While there's little doubt that my idealistic reflection of the game is naive it'd still be cool just to go back and look at some of the great spots that amazed you the first time around. See if you could still find your way around Qeynos or Kelethin. Heh, yeah no doubt I'll be checking this out.
  • 5 Hide
    anort3 , February 1, 2012 5:55 AM
    Wow, I actually was a beta tester for this back in 1998. If I remember right it was not long after updating the firmware in my modem to the new V90 56K standard. Come to think of it I really don't miss the "good old days" very much.
  • Display all 30 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    neosporinme , February 1, 2012 6:07 AM
    I played EverQuest for about 9 years, until they banned all my accounts. I wonder if it goes Free to Play they will un-ban them......maybe?
  • 8 Hide
    vexun11 , February 1, 2012 8:26 AM
    Wow, I spent so much time playing this game, I remember back in 98 or 99 after I quit playing Ultima Online switching to everquest and my computer could barely run it, my friend had a Falcon Northwest computer with this cambridge soundwork 5.1 surround sound and what was a way nice 17 inch monitor and 56k I remember watching him kill orcs in Greater Faydark (spelling?) and it was the coolest game I had ever seen! lol.. Memories, they don't make games like that anymore.
  • 1 Hide
    neon871 , February 1, 2012 10:09 AM
    I played EverQuest on my PDA on Windows CE.....oh them PDA days are about as old too. Now we have touch pads!
  • 2 Hide
    Darkerson , February 1, 2012 10:15 AM
    I remember playing on a couple friends accounts way back when it 1st came out. Was so jealous back then, considering I didnt have a computer worth crap then. Anyway, Ill be checking this out when it makes it's transition.
  • 0 Hide
    Jazzmain , February 1, 2012 10:38 AM
    Maybe DAoC will be F2P soon now..... one can hope because there are no good pvp games out anyways or since DAoC
  • -2 Hide
    southernshark , February 1, 2012 11:13 AM
    EQ FTP? Seems about 5 years late on that move.
  • 3 Hide
    jonpaul37 , February 1, 2012 12:08 PM
    I still play EQ on the Progressive Fippy Darkpaw server and it's better than WOW IMHO.

    Everquest is probably the main reason i am an Engineer today. Needed to build a decent PC in order to play EQ, learned i was good with computering, stuck with it and still with it.
  • 1 Hide
    alidan , February 1, 2012 12:42 PM
    that pic is from the hive, a serpant spine zone, i forget if the name is something else, because there are 2 zones with hive in it. that whole zone is bees btw

    on another note, you are completey useless in the higher end of the game if you are ftp

    1-60, my favroite levels, those are doable with the 250 aa limit, any higher than that and you are almost useless to the party you would be in,

    5$ a month gets you to level 75

    15$ a month and you are set for everything...

    they also dont give you the most soloable classes (shadow knight, and mage) for free.

    but that level 1-60... best levels in the game, i always hated the higher levels because its no longer about levels and gear, its about how much aa you have, and to be relevant at a high level, be prepared to grind for 6 or so months, not leveling at all... they need to fix the aa system to award you with some aa points every time you level through to level 80 or 85, it wouldnt break the game, but it would speed crap up to get people to the higher levels without the insane grind requirements.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 1, 2012 1:02 PM
    I can't wait to re-visit the good old days. I beta tested from late 98 and I was there at early launch. I played until the 10th anniversary. I remember having a lot of fun, meeting a lot of nice people and making good friends. Some of my striking memories are running from Freeport to Qeynos, just after two days from launch to meet up with a friend who decided to start in the other city. Running and avoiding mobs that can smear you for almost 45 minutes with no SoW. As I get to the newbie area of Qeynos, I die to a newbie bear. Ultimate fail but it was ultimate fun. Some other memories are running 72 man raids, and on some occassions involved in two full 72 man raids against content that was deemed undefeatable by Verant/SoE and defeating it. EQ is not a forgiving MMO; levelling is not as easy as SWTOR or WoW, and some content takes a large number of groups fighting in waves to defeat it. Basically, EQ is not for the impulsive yet it offers a very challenging game for those who seek to take it on.
  • 0 Hide
    PrimalGecko , February 1, 2012 1:28 PM
    I actually considered contacting SOE to see if I can recover my account (I think I still have the disks somewhere at home), but then I thought better of it and will not. I would like to log my characters in again, but the nostalgia is just that... and the memories are better left as memories.
  • 3 Hide
    guzami77 , February 1, 2012 2:00 PM
    Seriously, how long has it been since you've played the original EverQuest?

    Quit about 9? mo. ago.. but I never let go of the possibility of returning.

    Dont hate.. plug inc

    For those of you who are going to try this ftp EQ out... Travelers of Norrath on the Saryrn server is currently a casual/family guild recuiting all levels/classes. If anyone is looking for a guild just for chat and people to group with, contact Draysa.

    ^^ dont lie you miss this type of spam 0.o

  • 3 Hide
    cybneo , February 1, 2012 2:07 PM
    i even founded my company name based on my EQ last name... LOL
  • 3 Hide
    web11 , February 1, 2012 2:30 PM
    Best MMO ever made until Sony bought it and turned it into a cash cow ruining the best aspects of the game. I miss the old Velious days...
  • 3 Hide
    rantoc , February 1, 2012 3:04 PM
    EQ always been the grand daddy of the mmorpg's in my book. Would love to see it upgraded to todays gfx standards ect, nothing like a 72 peeps raid!
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , February 1, 2012 3:45 PM
    rantocEQ always been the grand daddy of the mmorpg's in my book. Would love to see it upgraded to todays gfx standards ect, nothing like a 72 peeps raid!

    than finding out that there is a top player who boxes 6 characters and has saved up enough dkp to buy everything in the raid for the next year. yea, thats how a few of the guilds i was in that raided worked, would rather /ran 100 for the loot...

    but that's what everquest next is suppose to be, a reboot of eq1 with the things that made eq great in there already... hoping to hear more about it at e3... if the project wasn't canned, though i doubt that would happen.
  • 0 Hide
    LongLiveRock1974 , February 1, 2012 6:11 PM
    Sadly, I was deployed in the mid-late 90's so I missed out on a great deal of PC life. I think my first MMO was City of Heroes...which I just installed because that went ftp. It's always fun to be able to go back and reminisce about good times you had in a game and the friends you made.
  • 3 Hide
    ben850 , February 1, 2012 6:21 PM
    Not sure which F2P I'll be participating in. Either EQ or SW:TOR
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