If the above image invokes some distant nostalgia, then we’re on the exact same wavelength. I remember wandering through those large, empty spaces, clubbing bats for hours. Chessboard (above) was the centerpiece of some high-end action in the starter Butcherblock Mountains zone before you wandered off to parts unknown. EverQuest, thirteen years after its original release, at a time that I was still going on monthly Boy Scout campouts, is going free to play. While much of the high-end content, higher rungs on the tech tree, and many zones will be locked away for subscribers, but I don’t think Sony Online Entertainment can deny me another trip through Butcherblock and Freeport. The game had an incredible eighteen expansions over that time, but only Ruins of Kunark was out when I played back in 2000.
It’s hard to believe, but this was the first major MMO. Yeah, sure Ultima Online had its time in the sun, but EverQuest brought the genre into full 3D and into incredible popularity. It was a handful of EverQuest players with some clever ideas that worked for a small company called Blizzard that wound up with indie darling World of Warcraft. EverQuest goes free in March 2012 and I’m pretty excited to visit that world again, if only briefly.
Source: The Verge