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A Brief History of EverQuest

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November 19 2011

EverQuest marked a major milestone in the history of MMORPGs and was the first fully 3D game of its kind. Development on the game began in 1996 when John Smedley, an executive at Sony Online Entertainment, hired programmers Brad McQuaid and Steve Clover to work on a 3D graphical implementation of a text-based MUD. EverQuest launched on March 16, 1999 and was very successful with a subscriber base that quickly outgrew its closest competitor in the North American market, Ultima Online.

Now over ten years old, EverQuest has had an unprecedented 18 expansion packs. Here is a list of those expansions and their major features.

  1. The Ruins of Kunark
    Released: April 24, 2000
    The first expansion introduced the continent of Kunark and increased the level cap from 50 to 60. It also added the Iksar, a new playable race of lizard people.

  2. The Scars of Velious
    Released: December 5, 2000
    The icy continent of Velious is added along with new content for high-level players. The Sleeper's Tomb is the first zone in the game that players can unlock.

  3. The Shadows of Luclin
    Released: December 4, 2001
    Brings the moon of Luclin into the game, as well as a cat-like playable race called the Vah Shir. This expansion included a major revision of the game's graphics engine and interface.

  4. The Planes of Power
    Released: October 29, 2002
    The Planes of Power consist of a collection of otherworldly planes with challenges for high-level players. This expansion raised the level cap from 60 to 65.

  5. The Legacy of Ykesha
    Released: February 23, 2003
    This expansion made the Froglok a playable race and brought a variety of improvements to guild management and the overhead mapping system.

  6. Lost Dungeons of Norrath
    Released: September 9, 2003
    The Lost Dungeons of Norrath introduced instanced dungeons and raids to EverQuest. Another addition was the augmentation system for items.

  7. Gates of Discord
    Released: February 10, 2004
    Opened up the new continent of Taelosia, consisting of about 18 new zones as well as new instanced dungeons and raids. The playable Berserker class was also added to the game.

  8. Omens of War
    Released: September 14, 2004
    Adds another 8 high-level zones and numerous new instances to the game, including the notorious Citadel of Anguish. The level cap gets increased from 65 to 70.

  9. Dragons of Norrath
    Released: February 15, 2005
    This expansion included new mid-level content and instances, as well as new raid targets. Some of the instances are also made available in public versions players can explore without the quests.

  10. Depths of Darkhollow
    Released: September 13, 2005
    Along with the usual content additions, Depths of Darkhollow introduced monster missions and spirit shrouds to EverQuest, allowing players to take on the role of monsters.

  11. Prophecy of Ro
    Released: February 21, 2006
    7 new zones and 6 new instances are added to EverQuest. Players are able to deceive opponents with new player-set traps, and the first destructible objects are introduced.

  12. The Serpent's Spine
    Released: September 19, 2006
    This expansion made soloing more viable in EverQuest and raised the level cap from 70 to 75. The Drakkin playable race and a rest feature for regenerating health and mana is also added.

  13. The Buried Sea
    Released: February 13, 2007
    Ship-to-ship combat is introduced to the game, along with 60 new missions that scale based on popularity. Mini-guilds called fellowships are added.

  14. Secrets of Faydwer
    Released: November 13, 2007
    Adds Heroic Statistics to the game and raised the level cap from 75 to 80. Includes four tiers of group content and 15 new zones.

  15. Seeds of Destruction
    Released: October 21, 2008
    Re-imagines 20 ofthe game's classic zones and raises the level cap from 80 to 85. Mercenaries, NPCs that can be hired by players to aid on adventures, are added to the game.

  16. Underfoot
    Released: December 15, 2009
    New zones throughout the realm of Brell Serilis are introduced and an achievement system is added. This expansion was packaged with all of the earlier game content and expansions.

  17. House of Thule
    Released: October 12, 2010
    Level cap is increased from 85 to 90 and the game gets a playing housing system. The expansion has 18 new raids and 13 new zones.

  18. Veil of Alaris
    Released: November 15, 2011
    The continent of Alaris is unveiled and level cap goes from 90 to 95. Hotbars are revamped to include 12 buttons per bar and other major UI improvements are made.

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