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Everquest Online Adventures

The Game Archaeologist's top MMO stories of 2012

World of Warcraft, Anarchy Online, Asheron's Call, City of Heroes, EverQuest, Final Fantasy XI, Meridian 59, Culture, MMO Industry, Ultima Online, Vanguard, Shadowbane, Everquest Online Adventures, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

The Game Archaeologist seals up 2012
As another gaming year spins to a close, we here at the Institute for Digital Interactive Entertainment have been holding our archaeological department hostage with a trained buffy-tufted marmoset until it delivered a final report. After hours of begging and infected monkey bites, the head of that department, Prof. Justin Olivetti, Ph.D., handed us a scrap of urine-soaked paper with the following article inscribed.

While the Institute strongly suggests that you ignore this report and instead work on your button-mashing exercises, the board of directors stated that all such papers must be posted for the public to see.

This report is presented in the Yetbari typeface and contains a sequential series of items that number between 11 and 13.

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The Game Archaeologist: Bio break!

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, EverQuest, PlanetSide, MMO Industry, News Items, Vanguard, Free-to-Play, Everquest Online Adventures, The Game Archaeologist

Anarchy Online
Man oh man, why couldn't I just take a month or so off of this column without getting sucked back into it? Why must classic MMOs be so compelling and newsworthy these days?

I planned to take some time off of TGA while I went through Dark Age of Camelot in Choose My Adventure (which you're all reading, yes?), but there was so much to talk about regarding older MMOs that I couldn't sit back and stay mum. Ergo, I've dashed off this special "break" column devoted to commenting on recent news about classic games. Hopefully this will help tide you over until I get back into the full swing of things in April.

On the docket for today's discussion is Vanguard's forthcoming F2P change, EverQuest's recent conversion, Anarchy Online's stunning graphic engine video, and more!

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Massively Speaking Episode 195: Jokeception

Podcasts, Anarchy Online, Guild Wars, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Massively Meta, Everquest Online Adventures, Humor, Warhammer 40k, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

Massively Speaking Episode 195 wonders if you were actually fooled by any of the pranks that MMO studios put out there, or barring that, if some of the pranks sounded so cool that you wish they were real. For Massively's part, we brought back One Shots as a joke, and then we brought it back for real just because that was the best laugh of them all.

Have a comment for the podcasters? Shoot an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to Massively Speaking directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
Listen here on the page:

Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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EverQuest Online Adventures slays its final dragon

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Everquest Online Adventures, Consoles

EverQuest Online Adventures, the console spinoff of SOE's EverQuest franchise, is counting down the hours until the server is switched off at midnight tonight. In addition to EQOA, SOE is shuttering three other underperforming titles today: Cosmic Rift, Infantry, and Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga.

Instead of spending its final days in sorrow, the EQOA community joined the dev team for a series of epic battles against marauding dragons this past week. Players have filled the forums with posts about their favorite in-game memories over the past nine years of gameplay. To compensate players for the loss of their game world, SOE gave EQOA subscribers three months of gold-level status in EverQuest and EverQuest II.

EQOA came out in 2003 on the PlayStation 2 and was one of the first generation of console MMOs. For those Massively readers feeling nostalgic or curious about it, definitely check out our series on the game: part 1, part 2, and part 3.

EverQuest Online Adventures sunsetting March 29th

Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, MMO Industry, Everquest Online Adventures, Consoles

It appears that Leap Day 2012 is not destined to be kind to the MMO industry. On top of layoffs and struggling studios, we've received word that Sony Online Entertainment has delivered a pink slip to EverQuest Online Adventures. According to the company, EQOA will be sunsetted on March 29th.

No specific reason was given for the move, but a farewell letter posted on the site attempts to soften the blow: "This is not an easy decision, but there comes a time when it's best for our developers to move on to the next adventure, and that day has come." In the closure FAQ, SOE also promises a celebration at the end of the game's run.

To appease its remaining EQOA customers, SOE is offering three months of gold membership in both EverQuest and EverQuest II for current subscribers. This consolation prize will become effective on March 16th. SOE will also not be charging current players during March.

EQOA has always been the smallest member of the EverQuest franchise since its release in 2003 on the PlayStation 2. We covered it in our Game Archaeologist column late last year and were impressed by the passion and memories that the game's fans shared.

[Thanks to Omali for the tip!]

The Game Archaeologist seals up 2011

A Tale in the Desert, Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, Lineage, Meridian 59, PlanetSide, Shadowbane, Everquest Online Adventures, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

Guild Wars 2
You know what I love about the end of each year? The lists. Man, but I'm a sucker for lists, especially when they come in "best of" varieties. In the lull between Christmas and New Year's, there typically isn't a lot happening in the world of entertainment, so it's a good time to look back before we head forward.

And so it is for The Game Archaeologist. 2011 marks the second year I've been doing this column, and it's been one of my personal favorite series to write. Every week I'm learning more and more about the history of the MMO genre, and I'm encouraged to see just how much passion and interest there are for the titles that started it all and got us to where we are today.

So before we head into 2012, let's take one last glimpse back at the road we've traveled. If you've missed out on any of these columns or want to revisit your favorite classic MMO, I've compiled a huge list of everything I talked about this year, from histories to interviews to player stories. There's also a special request for you (yes, you) at the end of this column, so do me a favor and hit that jump!

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The Game Archaeologist's excellent EverQuest Online Adventures: The memories

Fantasy, Culture, Interviews, Everquest Online Adventures, Consoles, The Game Archaeologist

It's been a good month looking back at EverQuest Online Adventures, wouldn't you agree? Educational, almost. While this title is just about as far from the mainstream MMO eye as can be these days, it's heartening to know it's still out there, still running, and still capable of evoking fond memories from current and former players.

While we did attempt to contact SOE for an interview to see if we could find out anything new -- or even old -- about EQOA, it failed to materialize. As a wonderful consolation prize, however, this week we'll hear from three players who have extensive experience in the game. So let's hit this column running and equip our +2 Ears of Paying Attention!

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The Game Archaeologist's excellent EverQuest Online Adventures: The blogger

Fantasy, Interviews, Everquest Online Adventures, Consoles, The Game Archaeologist

To tell you all the truth, the comments from last week's initial foray into EverQuest Online Adventures bowled me over -- I truly was not expecting so many players to be so passionate about the game! How cool is that? I hope that some of you send me in your EQOA stories to justin@massively.com so we can include them in next week's column.

Today I want to welcome Rick "Stoney" Stonebrook to our neck of the Massively woods. I remember finding Stoney's EQOA blog over a year ago and being so impressed that there was someone out there regularly updating a blog about this low-profile MMO. Stoney agreed to an interview about the game from a player's and blogger's perspective, so here goes!

The Game Archaeologist: Please introduce yourself and your blog! Why did you start blogging about EQOA?

Stoney: Well, I'm 24 and have lived in a lot of places in the past few years. I adopted the name Stoney when I started the blog, eqoa.wordpress.com, in October 2010. The purpose for the blog was simple: compile as much information about the game as I could find using various search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and YouTube. I hadn't played since 2005 and wasn't familiar with any new content. I had always wanted to return to the game. Thus the blog's goal evolved from a collection of memories to an effort to get people to return.

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The Game Archaeologist's excellent EverQuest Online Adventures: The highlights

Fantasy, Video, Launches, MMO Industry, Everquest Online Adventures, Consoles, The Game Archaeologist

In the pantheon of Sony Online Entertainment's flagship EverQuest franchise, there is a whole family of MMOs gathered around the table every evening. There's Papa EverQuest, looking a little wrinkled and worn but also radiating fame and authority. Next to him is Mama EverQuest II, a powerful matron of entertainment if there ever was one. They look proudly down the table at a bassinet where Baby EverQuest Next lies, cooing as it grows into the future generation of this family.

Then, in the next room over is a cabinet. The cabinet is locked. Inside that cabinet is a weird abnormality that certainly looks like a member of the family, but he hasn't seen the light of day in quite some time. He subsists on the scraps of an aging console and the fading loyalty of fans, hoping against odds that one day he'll be allowed out for a stroll or something. His name is Cousin EverQuest Online Adventures, the EQ MMO nobody mentions.

EQOA is a strange abnormality in SOE's lineup. While it was one of the very first console MMOs and heir to the EverQuest name, it was quickly eclipsed in both areas by other games and left alone. Yet, against all odds, it continues to operate on the PlayStation 2, eight years and counting since its debut.

This month the Game Archaeologist will crack open that cabinet and give this interesting MMO a few weeks of attention and care. I think it's about time, don't you?

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The Perfect Ten: Sequelitis

EverQuest II, Lineage 2, Neocron 2, Sword of the New World, Guild Wars 2, Everquest Online Adventures, Humor, Final Fantasy XIV, DUST 514, Vindictus, EverQuest Next, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

As a long-time movie buff, I've always been fascinated by sequels. I know, they have a terrible reputation and everyone gets this face like he's digesting a porcupine when discussing them, but there's something fun about them as well. I think we always want a good story to continue, to see what happens next, and to answer the question, "What would the first film be like if it were put in the hands of a complete boob?" It would be an entertaining trainwreck, that's what.

Even though the MMORPG genre is in its toddler stage, it's seen a number of sequels, prequels and spin-offs, just the same as other types of entertainment. Video game sequels for hit titles are safer financial investments than striking out into new territory, so it makes sense that MMO studios would follow this pattern as well.

Right now there are loads of MMO sequels and spin-offs in the works -- including EverQuest Next, PlanetSide Next, Guild Wars 2, Mabinogi 2, MapleStory 2, Phantasy Star Online 2, Dust 514, and even a possible Ultima Online sequel -- so it's safe to say that the trend won't be dying down anytime soon. However, today I want to look at 10 sequels that already made it to release and briefly examine how they stacked up to their predecessors. Oh yes, there will be blood after the jump -- and I will drink your milkshake!

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SOE announces dates for Fan Faire 2010

EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide, Events (Real-World), The Agency, News Items, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard, Everquest Online Adventures, Free Realms, DC Universe Online, PoxNora

For fans of Sony Online Entertainment's stable of MMO titles, the time has come once again to start making plans for Fan Faire. It looks like we'll all be heading back to Bally's Hotel in Las Vegas from August 5-8 for a weekend chock-full of all manner of crazy gaming fun with MMO friends.

This year, they're offering everything from day passes at $35 on up to a Platinum badge which -- for $135 -- will net you access to all events, plus an additional in-game item, a special swag bag boasting more than just regular Fan Faire goodies, access to a VIP lounge, and even private VIP events. Add to that the room discounts starting at $65 a night for a swanky hotel right on the main Vegas strip, and this could well be a great vacation that just happens to include the awesome fun of this year's SOE Fan Faire.

For now, there's no details on the schedule of events, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Alan "Brenlo" Crosby wedging people into t-shirts three sizes too small, as well as an appearance by of one of our favorite Dwarves. If previous years are any indication, this is a should-not-miss event for any serious SOE fan.

Everquest accepting signups for expansion beta

Betas, Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Everquest Online Adventures

Sony Online Entertainment's long running MMO Everquest is preparing to launch its sixteenth expansion, Underfoot. Fans who have been looking forward to this expansion since its reveal at Fan Faire in June now have something more to look forward to. SOE announced today that they are accepting signups for the beta, which is expected to run from October 20th until December 1st.

SOE made an effort last year to streamline the signup process and make it easier on everyone involved, so you only need to sign up once. Your original signup will place you in the beta pool for every invite stage. The beta signup page will remain open until the end of beta testing as well, meaning you have plenty of time to join the beta pool.

2009 Fan Faire attendees still need to sign up, but will be included in the beta, as well as receiving a free copy of the expansion. 2009 Dragon*Con EQ Panel attendees who filled in the sign-up sheet will also be included in the early beta.

SOE's 3rd annual Community Address to be broadcast live this Friday night

Video, EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, The Agency, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard, Everquest Online Adventures, Free Realms, DC Universe Online

Not being able to attend this year's SOE Fan Faire doesn't mean that you'll miss out entirely. Aside from the biggest news that we'll undoubtedly bring to your attention right here on Massively, you will actually be able to watch SOE CEO John Smedley's community address streaming live on Friday the 26th of June, at 7:00PM PDT. Although visiting the link for the event right now seems to prompt us to register, Amnerys' post on the EverQuest forums says that this isn't necessary: "You don't need to register or have a password! Just visit the page and view!"

This will be the third year of SOE's annual community addresses. To get an idea of what to expect this Friday, you can check out the presentation from Fan Faire 2007 on Youtube. The link to keep bookmarked for the live event is this one right here.

The Daily Grind: Do you think EverQuest 3 will be announced at E3?

Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Expansions, New Titles, Everquest Online Adventures, The Daily Grind

It's June once more and E3 is again upon us. Several members of the Massively team have jetted off to cover the event and there's bound to be some fantastic announcement and this also includes MMOs. For the last couple of weeks the interweb has been abuzz with speculation that SOE might actually get around to announcing EverQuest 3.

This is something we've talked about before and if you're going to announce any big new game, E3 is one of the biggest events to do it at. So, constant readers, what do you think? Is now the right time to expand Norrath? Do you think EQ3 will remain on PC or include other platforms like the PS3, a la Free Realms? Would you rather just stick with EQ2 for the time being or are you eager to see another incarnation of this classic franchise?

SOE launches 2009 Player of the Year contest

EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide, Contests, The Matrix Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard, Everquest Online Adventures

SOE is searching for their two biggest fans, and plans to reward their loyalty with a trip to the SOE Fan Faire in Las Vegas later this year. It would be pretty difficult to work out who the biggest fanboys or girls are without any input from the community, so it's up to the players to nominate suitable candidates -- and yes, you can nominate yourself. What qualities should you be looking for in potential Players of the Year? From SOE:

"Do you know someone who is the poster child for your favorite SOE title? So dedicated to the game, he or she walks around with bloodshot eyes, sleep deprived, wearing his or her favorite wrinkled SOE T-shirt? Does this player stand out as the first person to go beyond the call of duty to help fellow community gamers in and out of the game? If so, you may have the perfect candidate, and we want to know more!"

To submit a nomination, send an email to SOEContests AT soe.sony.com with a 300 word letter or role-playing story explaining the worthiness of the player in question; a link to a screenshot, video or artwork can be included. The contest is already underway and closes at midnight PST on the 10th of May, and the nominee must be a US resident and 21 years of age or older. Full competition details can be found here.

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