Friday, October 11, 2019

P1999



Around the turn of the century, Robin and I began playing a new revolutionary computer game called Everquest. This was one of the first massive multiplayer online role playing games, and became a massive success that is still in existence twenty years later. We found it incredibly fun and played it for over three years. Robin and I had many adventures and eventually joined a guild that for a time we ran together while the guild leader was away with real-life issues.

While playing I began writing stories about the adventures and misadventures of the guild members. Believing these led to an increase in membership, I was made an officer in the guild. I then went on to write a fictional serial story using members of the game server (mostly members of our guild). The story was so well-received that I seriously began thinking about writing again after a near ten year hiatus. The result was a book about two thieves, and some of the first readers of Riyria were members of our Everquest guild. Theft of Swords is partially dedicated to them: Dragonchow.

Everquest then went on to deviate from the game creator’s original vision as Sony began tacking on expansions that broke much of the game’s original foundations. In short, they made the game easier in order to attract a wider audience. Robin and I lost interest in the early to mid-2000s. Today Everquest bears little resemblance to the original.

Why am I telling you all this? Because it is all starting over again on October 25th.

A group of volunteers with a vision created a classic version of EQ as it was when it released in the spring of 1999. They opened the server in October 2009. This server, called Blue, followed the same expansion and update track as the original game up to the point where the original development team stopped. Daybreak Games, the owners of Everquest, blessed the project that became known as P1999, (Project 1999) so long as they did not make money off the game, or allow it to advance beyond the 2001 expansions.

Now ten years later, P1999 is opening a new server called Green.

Blue was considered the 10-year beta test. Green is expected to be the most accurate re-envisioning of the original game.

P99 (as it is called) is free, but the wonderful volunteers do accept donations to help pay for the maintenance.

I thought I would mention it because I wish I had known about the opening of Blue back in 2009. So I am passing on the info to you. If you have no idea what Everquest is, allow me to quote Foghat_Vender 9 from a Reddit post he made that I feel sums up much of the game’s appeal.

“No modern conveniences at all. No group finder, no map, no minimap, when you die your shit stays on your body for a week and you lose xp and have to run to your corpse naked, no loot distribution system, money has weight and doesn't auto convert into higher denominations. The graphics are garbage, and there are zones. Mobs follow you until you zone and training players is a thing that the community has informal rules and standards about. Spells cost money and you need to memorize the spells you want to use in battle beforehand (or during if you're not under attack). Mana users spend most fights sitting to regain Mana. Etc, etc, etc”

In addition, a few of the etcs that Foghat neglects to mention is that the game is designed to cause people to group up and play together, so soloing is hard, and multi-boxing is not allowed (and they police this.) The game is slow, at times tedious, and tough. Originally it took Robin and I a year to reach level 50, and another year to reach level 60. 

It is also the most fun I’ve ever had in a computer game.

Robin and I returned to p99 Blue about two years ago and played it off an on. We reinvented our original characters and leveled to 50. Then we heard about Green. 

We’ll be playing on the 25th. I hope the names “Royce” or “Hadrian” or “Esrahaddon” will be available.

For more information: 
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZQqFRstN9Y
Official sight: https://www.project1999.com

Perhaps we will see you in Norrath.

6 comments:

  1. I started playing the day EQ was released on Veeshan. I played for many years and loved it. There aren't many games that allow you to read between fights. I mostly played a necro so was able to solo but also played a cleric to 60. The guys who made EQ are working on a new game that has the same tough grind. It's called Pantheon, rise of the fallen.

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    1. Nice! And yeah, we are anxiously awaiting Pantheon. In the meantime our druid/enchanter pair have made it to the ripe age of 10. No great accomplishment considering several on the server have already reached the top level of 50.

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  2. I might just have to log in buddy =)

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    1. I hope you do. If so, look for Riyria (enchanter) and Surri (druid) who are the characters we are currently playing.

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  3. Hope the names you had wanted were available! Are you finding your prior knowledge of the game useful in leveling or finding the RNG just as punishing? My husband has recently introduced me to the joy and sorrow that Norrath has to offer. Painfully learning how to "consider" which crocodiles like to bite and which will let you run by.

    Incredibly thankful to this game that inspired you to write again. Life would not be as full without Royce and Hadrian. Very excited to read Age of Death!

    Happy hunting to you and Robin!

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  4. So, we were able to get some of our names, but not many. Prior knowledge of the game has been helpful, but we play for fun and aren't trying to level quickly. And, yes, we need to "con" everything we get near. Robin has been wacked dead a few times by evil NPC's that wander Qeynos Hills late at night.

    I hope you have more joy than sorrow in Norrath. And I'm thrilled you are excited about Age of Death!

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