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Revisiting Old Friends

Ok, so I haven't touched this blog for close on a year now - blame Twitter; I can mini-vent there and never have anything longer to say any more...

Anyway, on something of a whim I reinstalled Everquest a couple of days ago, just to have a poke around and see how the old place looks. It's an odd experience; EQ might have seemed leading edge in 1999, but today it's embarassingly ugly with a level of graphics that would make a Wii look embarassed, and a UI that's slightly more braindead than Windows 2.

I wanted to go back to the beginning; poor old Ahnlak might be level 65 but he was badly kitted out 5 years ago and besides, part of the draw is getting back to the bits of the game I know. At the same time, I don't have the heart to delete any of my toons, so I've had to jump servers - rerolling Ahnlak and the others over on AB. Maybe once I've got the old world itch out of my system I can go back to Prexus and dust the old guys off!

The controls are clunky and, after five years, forgotten. The quest system is as primitive as ever. The tutorial is actively unhelpful. And yet, and yet...

I'm back in love again. I ran through Ak'Anon (a city I always struggled with even when I was playing) and knew exactly where I was and how to get there. I headed straight out to my skeleton hunting grounds, and got jumped by the same high level skeleton that killed my first gnome almost a decade ago.

I walked out of Qeynos (again, not getting lost once...) to hear Fippy Darkpaw moaning about us ruining his lands. I'm already planning on where I'll go after Blackburrow and how soon I can go and visit Grimfeather. I'm digging through eqtraders trying to remember how this whole 'making stuff' thing works. And I'm looking at all these new layers of complexity that have grown up since I've been gone, and I can't wait to figure out what it all means.

I've drifted through other MMOs since I heartlessly abandoned EQ and they've always lacked that certain special quality. I'd always put it down to the old problem that EQ was my first and it was a feeling I'd never recapture. Turns out that feeling is still there waiting for me; I just had to bite the bullet and log back in...