What is a MMORPG? A Massive Multiplayer Online Role Play Game.
Writing a full review of Everquest would be very tricky, and it is even more tricky from a 'movie website' point of view but here goes.
Firstly, from a gaming point of view ; I have been playing EQ for four years now, and have stuck to the same character through-out. The game is presented to the viewer as a 3-D virtual fantasy world of dragons and goblins. You start life as a new level one adventurer and work your way up to level 70 at which point you will be fighting minions of the gods themselves! I myself am still only level 68, mainly because like so many other players I have taken the 'scenic route'. There are many things to do in the game besides leveling your character. Working on your tradeskills (e.g. Baking, Smithing, Brewing), or 'factioning' - i.e. completing quests or killing the enemies of one faction to gain you favour in the eyes of another. e.g. Killing orcs to gain favour with the elves.
For me, the main lure of EQ and indeed any game like this, is the social aspect. In its heyday EQ could boast half a million subscribers, but I think there are less now. The game is separated into 30(ish) servers - separate instances of the game all running at the same time and typically there will be 2000 people playing on any given server at any given time. I play on the only European server - Antonious Bayle.
Players organise themselves into Guilds and the guild I am a member (and officer in) has a very friendly Euro feel to it. We have also organised real life meetings - Amsterdam, London. Brussels and Copenhagen so far!
So, to the game itself.
The original continents of the world of Norrath are Antonica - home to men, orcs, dark elves and halflings. (Halfling are non-union Hobbits :P ). Faydwer - home of dwarfs and elves. Odus - home to a dark skinned race of men called the Erudites.
EQ has run for so long it now has 10 expansion packs! Which surely must be a record. To give you an idea of the size of the game I will list them here.
The Ruins of Kanark : Introduced a new continent, inhabited by a xenophobic race of lizardmen.
The Scars of Velious : Introduced another continent, an icy area inhabited by giants, dwarfs and dragons.
The Shadows of Luclin : Luclin is the moon of Luclin. Inhabited by all manner of weirdos.
The Planes of Power : Introduced the planes of the gods. For many players (and myself) the game changed a lot from here on in. It became much more or a game, rather than a virtual world.
The Legacy of Ykesha : An island full of troll pirates. One of my favourites!
The Lost Dungeons of Norrath : New dungeons on the original continents. New gaming ideas.
Gates of Discord : A new continent. Telosia. (or something like that! :P )
Omens of War : A new area , The Planes of Discord. Pretty tough areas.
Dragons of Norrath : More lands are accessible on the continent of Antonica - inhabited by dragons!
Dungeons of Darkhollow : Underground dungeons beneath the Nektulous Forest of Antonica.
So, wow! This virtual world is massive! When you die - you are reborn at either a safe place or wherever you last chose as your safe point. You loose 'experience points' but these can be regained later by varied means.
Currently the game is so heavy with stuff that has been added with each expansion that it is in danger of becoming totally inaccessible to new players, but the design team have recognised this and have redone the user interface among other things.
If you have never tried a MMORPG before, this would be as good a one to try as any, but there are newer ones around - such as Everquest 2 (never but much smaller) and World of Warcraft.
Anyway - in terms of 'movie' like stuff there isn't much. In Everquest 2 - there are well known voice actors such as Christopher Lee. In the original game there are small examples of voice acting but I should think it was all done in-house. The tutorials all have this guy with a thick American accent!
I love Everquest, despite its many flaws, and I think it will be around for a long time because it has a certain type of magic about it. The newer games of this genre are faster paced, but loose something for doing this. EQ2 and WoW I would compare to ripping and readable yarns - Harry Potter or something. Everquest is like War and Peace - a huge beast of a game, but untimely worth getting to grips with :)
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