Why Everquest is evil.
EverQuest is an immensely popular game that has been in existence for well over a year now. It is played every single day by thousands of players who pay Sony ~$10/month for the privilege of wasting their time.
It has been called the crack of computer gaming, and that is a very good term. EverQuest gives you a rush and a good time, but it is a hollow experience that isn't real and won't last. It's an expensive waste of time that does nothing but bring out the worst in people. EverQuest is evil, and here's why.
I've played every major online game, and many minor ones, so I have some knowledge of what I'm talking about. I'll begin with EverQuest's first fault...
To understand EverQuest's approach to PvP gaming, we have to look back to Ultima Online. UO is considered by the layman to be the first game of the genre and was known for its lag and rampant player killing. The creators of EverQuest were not laymen, they took some very good ideas from earlier, less popular games and incorporated them into their own. They also learned from the apparent failure of UO, and based many of their philosophies on that.
I will admit that the player killing (PKing) in UO was bad, really bad. PKers would pounce on newbies as soon as they left the sight of the guards, and this turned many people off to the game. The reason it was so bad was not because of the ability to fight other players, but because the world that UO took place in was so large. Nobody knew who the PKers were, and the few vain attempts to hunt them usually ended in failure. The player community in UO wanted to police itself, but was not given the chance because of the size of the world and the number of players in it.
The creators of EQ probably saw this as well, but the only solution to it would have been to decrease the size of their world and the number of people in it. They could not do this because of overwhelming demand and the idea that bigger is better. UO boasted 1500 players per server, EQ would have to beat that to succeed.
So they decided to eliminate PvP altogether, well mostly. Their "perfect" solution was the PvP switch and PvP only servers. These failed because of Sony's refusal to balance the PvP aspect, and the predominating idea amongst PvP players that if they could kill players, that's what they were supposed to do.
EQ is now a game that is 99% Player vs. Monster. Pure cooperation, zero conflict.
How good can cooperation be, if there is no conflict? I don't condone random player killing, and have never participated in it myself in all my years of online gaming, but I have seen the role it plays in games past. Cooperation is so much more fulfilling if you are in conflict with a real opponent. Without PvP, you are just playing a single player game with 1999 other people.
The Root of All Evil
The only goal in EverQuest is the accumulation of wealth. You can gain levels to get better stuff, or you can get better stuff to gain levels. Either way, players are always seeking items that are better than what they have and what everyone else has. It is not about their character. It is not about their friendships. It isn't even about killing things. It's about greed.
(\heavily biased, passion-filled statment)
I hate EverQuest. I was looking forward to this game for over a year before it came out, but now I wish it had never been created. EQ promotes greed, and that is the cause of everything bad in human nature - lying, treachery, betrayal, obsession. I've seen all those in EQ, and more. It's happened to strangers, and it's happened to friends. I've seen people in real-life fights over imaginary items in an electronic fantasy world. My guild was torn apart by these feelings, and this is a group of people that have been together for 4 years without any major problems. Because of EQ they are a shadow of what they once were, and I have serious doubts that they will survive EQ at all.
It's sick what a game can do to people. People who say they love the game itself...
EverQuest, and most RPGs in general, requires zero skill. There's nothing to get good at, there's no improvement. The level 5 newbie who just got past the learning curve is as good as the level 60 guy who has two other level 60 characters on his account. The second guy has just invested more time into the game. Games like EQ require no skill, just time and patience. That's why they are such financial successes - people are willing to put in hundreds of hours to obtain a false sense of betterment.
A perfect exapmle of this is camping. There are only two things to actually do in EQ: kill things and wait in line to kill things. Camping is the art of waiting in line.
You may be the only one standing in the line to kill that special monster that drops that special item, and spawns once every 21 hours. But you can be sure there are other people who will take your spot if you were to leave. Some monsters are so coveted that there are actually lists made of those who want to kill it. You have to stand there and wait your turn for the right to kill and loot a monster the second it spawns. The day I was first put on a list was the day I quit EverQuest.
I know nobody actually enjoys camping, they talk about it like they're at work: If they work hard now and spend hours camping they will have more fun later.
Sounds like a job, doesn't it?
Who plays a game and spends time working at it? I don't want to hear the word work when I play a game. Games are where you are supposed to let go and have fun, not invest countless hours for fun you might have later on.
In conclusion, EverQuest is a game that is addictive to many people. It is made to be that way, to get you hooked and playing so you will pay them money every month. Yet addictive doesn't always mean fun, and in the case of EQ, it can often be the exact opposite of a good time.
EverQuest-free for almost a year now...