EverQuest has become a recent addiction of mine and a few of my friends...we've always played games together, but this simply has taken over our lives. It is hard to explain what a void this game fills surrounding the "frag fest" typical of DeathMatch. For some of us, DeathMatch holds no interest as it seems pointless to just go around killing everyone. Yes, there are modules and such, but nothing on the order of an entire game built to force people to work with each other. EverQuest gameplay is play-balanced so you literally have to group with other people if you really want to succeed. Yes, you can still "solo", but it takes forever and with some classes it really is next to impossible.
All of this leads to the great community EverQuest fosters. Sure the graphics are a bit dated (that will change later this year when Luclin, the next big EQ add-on, ships), but so many people I've talked to simply stopped there. Almost anyone who has played DND or MUDded or MOOed will tell you the same thing: This game is an incredibly experience. DND was about comradiere...getting together with a group of friends and going on wild crazy adventures. The drawback was you really had to work at it to visualize what was there, to see the fights unfold, and to formulate plans and strategies. EQ gives you the means for that visualization and the community for gathering your friends, making those plans and strategies, and then attempting the quest. Dated graphics? Sure, they are similar to Quake 2, but you can easily get past that...and for Quake 2 graphics, EQ really shines well.
So you can meet some people and group together, but it's difficult to keep those groups going given timezones, real life, etc. There is also a problem with so much stuff being in the game. You can't throw a rock on the web without hitting an EQ website. But in game, that doesn't help you with the quick questions. So, enter the sub-communities of EverQuest: Guilds. The guild is a special group of people who band together. Usually with common goals, some totally in roleplay style, some complete out of character (non- roleplay), but most a mixture. The idea is can now belong to a "family" of on-line players. There's always someone to group with, someone to answer questions, someone to help you out of a jam. It's a great addition, especially when you find the right one. For me, I got lucky on the first try. Clan Ice Claw is an exceptional group of players. We all strive to do good, help others, and generally kick the crap out of anything evil. It's a heckuva lot of fun.
At any rate, I've blathered on long enough. If you haven't tried EQ, go get the Kunark package ($35) and try it for your free month (every month after is $10). Don't just try one night. It's big. It's not a sit down, click a few things, and you know how to do everything. It's a complex beast and while you can get in easy, figuring out what to do and how things work can be a bit tricky. The tutorial is good. And the best thing is you can always ask someone (do a /who and then /tell). You may not find someone who has the time right off the bat, but don't be discouraged. Most people will have a few minutes to help out a new person (newbie) and after you talk to a few people (by all means, don't limit yourself to one person) you'll get the hang of it. There I've done it again...
I've taken quite a few pics along the way...some more than others and I try to continue to remember to snap some shots on ocassion. It's fun to play around and it's fun to look back.