Well its time to see who did (or didn't) play this red headed step child of the SOE franchise. This was the first MMO I ever played. I was a console gamer at the time and received a beta disk in the mail around July of 2002.
I played it for about 15 minutes and said "This sucks!". But I went back before I tossed the disk and gave it a serious play through. Started as a human Enchanter in Qeynos. Leveled a bit and got my first suit of armor pet. He was weak but kept the mobs off me so I could kill them. I never ventured too far from the city out of fear. There was a compass but no in game map. I was afraid to get lost. Afraid to get owned by roaming high level mobs. Eventually, I made my way to the Qeynos prison area and grouped up with some random people after I realized the mobs were too tough for me to tackle alone. That's when the addiction set in and It was a wrap from that point on. This was different than any game I had played before.
A month had passed and I was now in an area far away from Qeynos trying to find my way to Highpass Keep. Random people would cast SOW on me and try to point me in the direction I needed to go. I died several times, but I was determined to find my way to Highpass. Finally, upon reaching Highpass, I beheld a sight that literally drove me to level my Enchanter to max. A developer spawned in the middle of the keep as a max level Enchanter with the ultimate pet obtainable, Grand Animation. He was this huge suit of armor with a huge SK looking sword, a badass cape and glowing red eyes. That's when I knew what I wanted to be. That motivated me to spend countless hours grinding. I finished the beta test sad that my progress was for nothing but that fire was still lit in me to play. When it released on the PS2, I rolled on Castle Lightwolf server and the rest is history.
Upon reflecting with my rose colored glasses a few things that EQOA did well for the time that some other MMOs still don't right.
1. Ability to place your stat points - This seems like a small thing, but it truly did lead to your character being unique. You could seriously gimp your character if you placed your points in the wrong stats. The stats you needed depended on your class and the class path you chose. I wish more games allowed for this in todays market.
2. Class Paths - At various levels (20, 30, 40 etc), you had to do class path quests. These led to different abilities being granted to your character. Again, the possibility to differentiate your character and build was possible.
3. Class Mastery - Similar to AA's of EQ, these were points you used to purchase abilities that enhanced your character, with a twist. At Level 55 (max was 60), you were able to choose what class your character would be. For Enchanters you could choose Spellbinder (master charmers) or Animators (master armor summoner). You could only choose one path and the points needed to get these abilities was an investment. You didn't just ding 55 and have them. You knew someone who had their master class and abilities put in some time for them.
4. Open World Map - WoW was not the first MMO with the wide open zoneless world. EQOA did it in 2002. There was no loading. You could run from one end of the world to the other. If you chose fast travel options like the horses, you could zone, but before you could use those horses you had to run to that particular stable and sign the ledger there. No instancing at all. EQ2 was a severe step back in that regard, IMO.
5. No map - This forced you to explore and pay attention to landmarks. Even after we had a zone map available to download, you still had to know the zone to navigate it. Where towns were in the zone, landmarks etc. I liked that they made you learn.
6. No mounts - Having to hoof it everywhere made you appreciate the classes that could SOW or bards with their run speed buffs. Wizards and Druids that could port. It really helped the community aspect of the game.
7. Reputation mattered - EQOA Enchanters didn't mez like their EQ brethren. We were mana batteries. We had to keep the group/raid full of mana without the luxury of a mana bar. Like healing blind you could say. It took some skill to do it well. And that skill earned you a rep as being a great player. Same of all classes really. No dps or threat meters. You just knew who sucked, who was average and who was great at their class. If you were a tool, the server knew your name and you had to reroll or quit. I miss that about MMOs.
EQOA vets feel free to share your memories, rep your guild/server or whatever!
Last edited by Flipmode; 10-09-2013 at 07:56 AM.
These days, games are locked down so right you can't really fail or have any fun. How is that better?
Last edited by Flipmode; 10-09-2013 at 08:50 AM.
Played the shit out of this after I quit EQ and before WOW release.
Had a Rogue (Wumple) and an Enchanter (Ninikbik) on Diren Hold. Was in a guild called Ethereal Descendants and another one called Genocide at some point.Both top tier guilds on the server... whatever that meant. I was guild leader of ED at some point and I'm pretty sure we cleared Isle of Dread first on server. Was first rogue on server to max, then first to complete 'epic' weapon. . Wonderful game that really captured that early EQ feel for me. Coach paths, compass, open world... Great steps implemented well before WOW did it.
The best part about my memories of this game is how much the lore enriched my perspective of the EQ universe... Even if its all bungled up now, at one point before EQ2 it was not.
Also, WTS CEremonial Vestements PST!
Last edited by Quaid; 10-09-2013 at 09:26 AM.
I think I was the 2nd max level enc on my server and I ended up making a second enc on my 2nd acct. She was an erudite scholar enc. I believe I was the first one on any server. No one on the forums thought it was viable but the scholar mana buff was too good for raids to pass up.
Another note... I played this game so much I burned out my launch day PS2 lol
I loved it. It had a lot of flaws, but it was way ahead of it's time in some areas, and I fucking loved the open world. And it really was an open world, not open in the sense that 'we remove the zone barriers but still have each zone as a tiny little square surrounded by mountains with two or three entrances in a giant patchwork continent,' but open in that you had deserts which bordered on giant grass planes, which bordered on forests, you could walk across most of the continent in an almost straight line, except for dodging the mountains and shit, you could wander along the beach for hours and end up halfway down the continent in a completely different city, you could just explore and find all these random cool places etc, etc. No MMO has really matched that yet in my experience.
Really wish it was still running, or possible to emulate or something. Fun game. Still have the box on the shelf next to my desk.
" I wonder if you are destined to be forgotten. Will your life fade in the shadow of greater beings?"
Ya, EQOA probably had the best world of any MMO I have ever played....but it's a close tie with Vanguard.
Most of the flaws were technical limitations of the PS2, IMO. I would love to see that game redone on the PS4 instead of this EQ Next crap we seemed destined to get.
We had some good times grinding Eyes of Xrags for CMs. Spellbinders charming raging rhinos on Odus. I even learned to get IOD pets off and too Freeport as a spellbinder. Was really good shit.
Last edited by Flipmode; 10-09-2013 at 10:07 AM.
" I wonder if you are destined to be forgotten. Will your life fade in the shadow of greater beings?"
I'd give the world design edge to vanguard in looks and size. But for being such an early MMO, EQOA was no slouch!
I never played it as I viewed it as the gimpy console version of EQ. The graphics were really bad even compared to EQ PC's somewhat pathetic graphics. Reading stuff like this, though, makes me wish I checked it out.
I wish this game was still around, I always get that urge to go back and play it once every year or two haha.. It's a damn shame.
I never got high level in the game, but I thoroughly enjoyed the time i put into it. It felt more close to EQ1 than any other MMO i've played. I also actually really liked the graphic models, much like i still like the original EQ models heh
someone was looking into emulating this awhile back. i think they decided it would be too difficult to do a fully accurate version since there was no resource like Allakhazam's for EQOA. too many of the details lost in time now that the official servers aren't up. =/
I played for the free month that came with it when I bought it. The open world was pretty awesome and in all honesty when I played the WoW beta it felt really similar to EQOA in a lot of ways. One of the things I remember from EQOA was swimming around high level zones so I could avoid aggro though if I recall there was some crazy sea beast that got me one time. The levelling pace was pretty brisk as I remember getting into the 40s the first month. I definitely could see how it would be fun but I just remember the population being awful low (maybe it was just my server) and sort of hitting wall on character progression. That and I still played EQ1 pretty heavily so I never gave it my full attention. It's too bad SoE could have done a PC port and kept a server or two online.
I got into the beta for this based on both playing real EQ as well as having a PS2 at the time.
I only ended up playing for like a week or two before I stopped due to not having a keyboard on my PS2. It made it a REAL pain in the ass having any sort of interaction with other gamers. I'd rather play regular EQ in that situation, so I did.
EQ's graphics were top of the line when it was released. Don't understand why some people criticise it. There were a few weak elements but mostly it was better than anything I had seen before, and I played everything. Look up Quake on youtube and compare.
Not only that but you got the points regularly, even multiple times within a level, so you always felt like you were progressing.
I played the shit out of beta for this and a very little after release, think I made it to like mid 30s or something?
I don't remember why I quit.. I remember it being amazing for being on PS2. Probably got dragged back into DAoC or something not sure.
I just remember having it for a few weeks, but it had some serious lag on my end and I couldn't get very far with it.
Was the Playstation 2's online function popular? I didn't even know it had an ethernet port until after I sold mine.
i can't even think of any other games that used it
It wasn't popular at first but with the smaller versions of the PS2 they came with built in Ethernet ports around the time SOCOM was coming out.
IT"S TIME TO SLAY THE DRAGON!
Last edited by Unidin; 10-10-2013 at 03:03 AM. Reason: Added video
I only ever saw those commercials online. SOE marketing was pretty poor. And they scrapped a 3rd expansion when it was 90% complete. I really do wonder what goes on in those company discussions sometimes. It's like they try to fail.
Uhm, you know what EQ's expansions looked like when they were "100% complete". 90% complete was probably still a long way from actually fully functioning.
I wish I had a chance to play EqOA, frankly their marketing was so poor that I didn't even know it existed.
I played this a LOT, I was a main tank in a guild called Blood.
Played with some people who eventually went to WoW and joined Fires of Heaven. Jepepe, Jayson, Burke and a couple others.
That game had an awesome community.
I signed up here just so I could post on this thread.
EQoA was one of the best games ever made. I wish we could still play it but am pretty sure that it is gone forever. What a shame.
Im glad they cancelled the expansion, i was able to snag the original painting for it.
I think the emulator for this game died. They would need each person to have a disk and have to emulate SOE's DLNA severs. Oh well. Would have been nice to play this again.
I've been looking across the internet high and low for pics of the pets in EQOA. Anyone have some stored away somewhere? Was hard to screen capture back in day lol.
Since this is a nostalgia thread, I ran across this. Gotta say the guy put alot of effort into it.
I had a halfling warr for quite awhile untill the POV, repair costs, and only 4 to a group drove me away. Will say the quests were some of the best I've seen in a mmo, especially the different class quests that all merged together. Thought that would be picked up by other games.
Damn so many places in that video create instant nostalgia. Idk about the end of it but thumbs up!
EQOA was fucking trash. Can't believe anyone liked that game...
Coming from EQ, then playing that abortion on the Playstation network add on was almost as bad as playing Everquest 2 when it launched.
Had to wonder did these guys play EQ at all.., and if so that's what you make to proceed it???
For an online world that no longer exists, this has to be the most comprehensive catalog of content. It there are no emulators, it is pretty cool that it lives on in this fashion.
You're looking at the game through a modern lens. If you had all the settings maximized, it looked pretty damn good and similar to its contemporaries. Barring superhuman foresight, I can guarantee no one thought the graphics were shitty.
No, I'm looking through my computer in 1998 when I bought Unreal and then when I had EQ in 1999 and thinking, I wish this shit looked better. Hey, I loved EQ, but I know for a fact how my brother and I thought of the graphics back then. Pathetic may have been a bit hyperbolic on my part, but it was most definitely not that great looking compared to the first-person shooters, etc.
Yeah I remember they would make cartoons making fun of how blocky EQ's graphics were.
I guess cause the consoles had pretty decent graphics at that time such as Shen Mue etc
Donjohnson, Diren Hold circa 2003
Some interesting news on EQOA.
The Return of EQOA? - YouTube Video of guy running around EQOA in "offline" mode.
EQOA :: View Forum - EQOA: Project Rebirth EQOA Revival
This guy has the game running in an offline state. He can run around Tunaria but there are no mobs or NPCs. My guess is that he loaded up a save state in his PS2 emulator. I'm not sure if anything else is happening with this but its very interesting news nonetheless.
No one has the server side info,so,it will never happen
I hope these cats can pull this off. I'd play it.
We were able to create our own "patching" server to get to this login screen. The client connects to our makeshift server but we're not exactly where to proceed from here. It looks like the client connects, server acknowledges, receives the login/registration data but doesn't know what to do with it.
This project is being run by amateurs so if anyone with skillz wants to hop aboard, anyone that can program or knows a good deal about creating databases/login servers, please send me a PM.
Sweet! Keep it up. I'd play the hell out if this!
I'll take a look at it when I have time. I have a Frontiers CD.
As far as I know the packets are unencrypted ingame, so it shouldn't be too hard.
Due to lack of packet captures it's likely going to have to be made from scratch, though.
Thanks for taking a look Secrets, I really appreciate it. We do have one packet log actually with maybe 30 thousand packets or so. I wish we had more but this log does have the login procedure and a lot of game play in it.
I played the shit out of this game too. It was my first MMO as well.
You didn't server hop, there were no instances, your reputation mattered.. all great things that I liked about this game. Sure it was a bit mundane, but putting an MMO on a console that didn't even natively ship with a hard drive or a network connection was a ballsy move. They did their best with it and the result wasn't that bad.
I can tell you one thing, I'd rather play EQOA than any of the newer MMOs.
Right now most of our work is being done with the original vanilla version of the game. The idea is that once we have this client up and running that perhaps we could follow a classic timeline and release Frontiers the 7 or 8 months after.
Secrets, if you need the vanilla game iso, the packet log from when the game was live, or a detailed write up of how we got to where we are already please let me know!
I beta tested this game and played quite a bit of live. If you pull this off i'll cancel my Wildstar sub. Good luck and thanks for working on it!
This game was such a basic feeling MMO that the only fun parts to me were exploring, leveling, socializing, and taking in the lore. Which I've already experienced so there isn't much point in doing it again. Some of the raids were ok, but again, they were very basic, and it basically consisted of me sitting in 1 spot the entire fight spamming heals. So easy.
Btw, I was Hafner on Ferran's Hope.
I am hoping this comes to fruition I will be head over heels. I never got to play EQOA back in the day much - only got to play it for a few hours at a friends once.
I would donate for something like this to help with bandwidth and such if it's ran with competence.
Wouldn't mind playing this if you got a server going.
Ironic how EQ helped finally kill my waning interest in consoles. Always wanted to try it out but never wanted to bother with getting a PS2 to try it.
Always sounded to me as if this should have what EQ2 was as a sequel, novel ideas melded with a deep appreciate and attention to EQ lore.
Last edited by Beastro; 06-15-2014 at 03:38 AM.
This has probably been asked and answered, but.. can you guys give any sort of time frame on when you think just Alpha will be ready to be rolled out?
I am so amped to finally play EQOA, something I wanted to do very badly years ago, that I would literally give my left nut to be able to test things out for hours each day just to start playing this in some form finally.
i doubt they have any idea when an alpha might happen.
I just wanna rock Grand Animation one more time!
Haha, I just wanna finally get my CV!
But yeah, I don't see this happening anytime soon, if ever. Totally applaud the effort though. Would love to play around with this again.
once they do get a world server up i'd imagine that alpha would happen soon after, but figuring out how to run a world server for this is a pretty big hurdle. (probably the biggest hurdle for the whole project)
Yeah we're having a hell of a time with the world server part. We've been able to dink and dunk and redirect our way to this point but have kind of hit a snag that we don't really know how to get around now. It is to the point where we are reaching out and trying to find help but finding competent devs that
A) know about mmo emulation
B) have a ton of free time
C) willing to work for free
D) like EQOA
...are kind of difficult to find. Secrets is working on EQMac and John Adams at EQ2emu/VGemu has his hands full too. So it might be a while before we proceed here. If nothing else, there are a lot of people willing to donate for a server and likely for a dev to create the world and get it going.
The last screenshot I posted is what I've been thinking about. It says "connecting for server list", that is it's goal at that point in time obviously, so it connects to one of my ips that I put in the eqahost.txt on the memory card (192.168.0.100:10070). The client tries to connect to that IP and disconnects right away then purges all connections and tries to do it again. What is it looking for? What is the server list?
Well it just wouldn't be the Everquest name is there wasn't some neckbeard drama right?
The "developers" in the project had a freakout after one of them started collecting donations for a product that isn't even produced yet. We have literally nothing but a few smoke and mirror ways to get to a dead server select screen. This person was claiming to have the way to get the game up and running in 6 months to a year so everyone kind of just bought in. Without getting too much in to it, shit is pretty messed up and I don't think we are going to see a revival.
Our we can pray that Secrets can lead us to the promised land and figure out the networking (login server/world server/database). There are several programmers in the group that have done game coding before but no one who can do the networking part.
Everything can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/445149928880146/
We've been able to populate the server list and have the client choose our customer server. Need to work on a few more packets to get to character select stuff.
The issue was that the CRC on our packets from the client and server were wrong and thus the client wouldn't trust the server. Now that we know how the client and server communicate, we should be able to make faster progress.
Still could use some guidance from the pros here though!
Not much going on here though. There are only three people on the team who have been able to do anything and we're not really sure what to do now. Part of the problem is real life and not having the time to test things.
We have been able to get past the log in screen by sending a packet found in one of our packet captures. We can then select our own custom server (named Corsten) but haven't done anything from there. I'd like to figure out a way to not have to bypass the login using the packet sending method and actually create a way to register/login via the game client. Can this be done with some kind of http api or php? Clearly we are over our heads here.
i was looking around at some of the other stuff you guys have done with hacking the save states. i know without getting the client and the server to cooperate it is useless, but still really cool that you guys are able to at least run around EQOA's Norrath.
For VGOEmu, we discovered early on that there was no "Login" box at all like there is with many other MMO clients I've worked with. What we did notice was the VGClient.exe launching with a parameter for a sessionId. I figured out the way to tie that sessionId to a player account was to create the sessionId in a custom Launcher app (because I couldn't get SOE's launcher to talk to anyone but SOE servers). Our launcher passes the users creds through web requests to services I built on the back-end and if valid, a sessionId is generated and passed back to the launcher. This Id is then used as the client parameter during launch and when the connection arrives at the LoginServer, Login looks up the sessionId in the database and if there's a match, it can trust that the account tied to it must be that player (for this Session), and the player may now enter the game world. This appears to emulate the VG:SOH authentication process.
None of this is possible though if you cannot tell your authentication page "where" to point to (ie., your login or web service). I do not know the EQOA authentication process, so this is as far as I can advise. I wish I could offer more, but I'm fully engaged in getting Vanguard back on it's feet.
I wish you guys luck. Stick with it, don't give up. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing people from all over the (real) world connecting to a (virtual) world you created from nothing
Hey John thanks for the response. We are big fans of your work and have actually used the EQ2 wiki and VG wiki to get ideas for what we are doing.
Right now we're skipping login by sending a packet to the client that passes us along. The idea is to get into the game world first and see what we have on our hands there then work on getting it all correct. We figured out the CRC32 protection and the client connects with our server at the server select screen. We can send the client a server list when it requests one. But this is about the extent of it so far. We need to figure out a heartbeat system to keep us alive (times out) and then write the process of loading the game. We only have two packet captures from when the servers were live. We are sorting out the OP codes and figuring out how to formulate responses to get us into the game world. That's the biggest goal right now but our team is small and we all have jobs and families and school so little progress is being made.
Thank you again John! We really appreciate the feedback!
Ah, EQ:OA. Now here's an MMO. It's a shame so many people missed this great gem of a game because of bad marketing and it being on a console. Did you like Everquest? Did you like World of Warcraft? Than you would have liked EQOA. It was a hybrid of the best traits of the two. Fantastic world building.
Let me give you an example of something that happened. You head off in a random direction from an outpost town, wandering through a giant forest and swamp for the better part of an hour completely lost, when you come across a cave leading into the ground. You go in with a few of your friends and fight your way down through rooms and tunnels full of Frogloks, and you realize, holy shit, this is Guk. You make your way down down into the depths and kill the Froglok King if you're hard enough, who dropped some sort of ring I think. All of this is done without any loading screens, not even the dungeons. It was one giant contiguous world.
Reputation was important. I can say with no conceit that I was one of the most well-regarded clerics on the Castle Lightwolf server. I remember waking up early in the morning, gathering whoever was online, and hitting up all the named giants in Permafrost that had spawned during the night. I recall the first Isle of Dread raids, and getting our asses handed to us by some life-draining jester thing that never seemed to die. I remember leveling in groups in Blackburrow, Crushbone, Cazic Thule, and all the other famous old world EQ hot spots, although the best xp in EQ:OA was probably those skeletons near the igloos. I remember 2 characters, Drizzt and Belial, who were good guys, but became famous on the server for their legendary acts of stupidity. It was always an adventure and laughs grouping with those 2.
If I were Daybreak Studios, I would cancel their Minecraft MMO crap and set to work on EQ:OA2 for the Xbox One. I mean, my god, even a mediocre MMO like Neverwinter Online seems to be doing well on consoles. And it would be so much easierto develop than all these "next-gen" MMOs, with a tangible path to completion.
Explaining EQ:OA is like explaining EQ to people. You kind of had to be there.
I'd rank EQOA as my third favorite MMO experience behind WoW and FFXI.
I loved Necromancer up to lvl51
I was often the main healer and/or crowd control and/or puller and it was a blast. I loved draining and transfering life.
The pet was icing. The class was great and then it became a kind of stale dps. The big numbers were fun as was kiting, but lvls 8-48 played so vastly different from the higher game it was disappointing.
Lich upgrades were always awesome because when you first get them, you have to race to keep hp up and then as you get used to it, boom! Upgrade time. But then upgrades flattened out and weren't as drastic.
When I think of Necromancers, I think of ruling armies of undead and that certainly wasn't the case here. EQ Necromancers felt like something different altogether, like a Blood Mage (never played one if a game has one, just making up names). I rank it in contention as the most fun class out of all games I've played.
I'm in the minority here, but I loved LDoN, it was my favorite expansion after Kunark.
I lived pet grouping in Temple of Xrag with 1-2 necros or mages and my enchanter. Good times.
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