March 16, 1999 was a day that changed video games forever. EverQuest revealed the land of Norrah in all its glory and sparked the imaginations of many future game players and developers. Without EverQuest, there may have never been a RuneScape or World of Warcraft. Final Fantasy XI and XIV might have turned out to be single player games as well. Fifteen years later, EverQuest is still going strong, with EverQuest Next Landmark in development. To celebrate this monumentous occasion, Sony Online Entertainment is asking fans to skip the cake and presents. Instead, they're the ones giving presents.
When EverQuest launched in 1999, there were around 70 zones to explore with a total NPC population of approximately 13,000. After fifteen years and twenty expansions, those numbers reach over 1,500 and 400,000. Even though World of Warcraft may be the most popular subscription-based MMO, EverQuest wins the award for having the most content. SOE doesn't have any plans of slowing down, either. Throughout the next few months, the game will see player designed missions, a new Plane of War zone that has been in development for over ten years, and more.
Content isn't the only present up the developer's sleeve, though. Players can enjoy a free heroic character until March 26. The character can be created or upgraded as long as it's within the promotion's two week window. To fruther jump start the heroic character, there's also a bonus XP weekend going on until the 16th. The amount of the bonus will vary if additional XP modifying items are used at the same time, but most players should see double experience gains. After sufficiently leveled, players can also take advantage of reduced lockouts. Until March 20, lockouts will be much shorter and rare mobs will be spawning more frequently. Who doesn't love more loot?
SOE also released an infographic and nostalgia video to commemorate the game's 15-year history. The infographic compares EverQuest between 1999 and 2014, while the video pays homage to the gamers that made such a long run possible. Happy Birthday, EverQuest! May your gifts to the community over the next weeks make many an adventurer happy, and may you continue on for another 15 years.