This started as a comment and seems to have materialized into a post.
EverQuest gave meaning to the word ‘dedication.’ It wasn’t a game for the casual player, and probably still isn’t. It was almost like a job, requiring shifts of 8+ hours to make even just a little progress.
There would be days when players could spend that entire 8 hours grinding, and lose it all over something stupid, like typing the letter ‘a’ in front of an NPC before bringing up a chat window. There were days when I really should have not have even logged in, losing entire days of progress over a couple of stupid circumstances, and thankful that I at least recovered my corpse.
There was a curious mix of anticipation and self-loathing that washed over me each time I loaded the game and was greeted with its timeless loading screen and music:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKj36GJj_i8]
Yet I still continued to pay and log in faithfully for nearly 3 years – committing myself to the game so much that my academic performance suffered. I essentially lost about 4 semesters of college to EQ, yet here I am, relentlessly tempted to go back to it or try out another MMOG such as World of Warcraft.
I must be a glutton for punishment – finding myself irrationally drawn back to a game that wielded terrible, destructive power over my life when coupled with my obsessive personality. And some would say I got off lucky. There are stories circulating of players who lost their jobs, families, and even their own lives over EQ addiction and frustration.
I’ve even tried several single player RPG games in an attempt to find something that might resemble a single-player EverQuest. Anything to fill the void. Morrowind even came close, but it still left me wanting.
I suppose I’m never going to find a comparable experience to EQ in a non-MMOG. Even as I insisted on being a solo player, it’s apparent to me now that I thrived on the player interaction that the game fostered.
Perhaps I should just stop searching for a replacement and swear off MMOGs until I have a CS degree in my hand and a steady job. At this point, it seems like it’s for the best.