Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Macheads can get their hardcore on with EverQuest Macintosh Edition

Mark Crump

This one's in the "resurrect the dead category." If you find World of WarCraft a little on the light side and other fantasy-based MMOs lacking, you can still get a taste of "the good ole days" with EverQuest Macintosh Edition.

EQMac lives literally in the Forgotten Lands at SOE: the SOE staffer I originally contacted to fact-check a few things responded "You can't play EQ on a Mac." It's not her fault, really; the last patch was almost three years ago in January 2005. However, Al'Kabor, the lone Mac -based server, is still limping along. You can get a 15-day trial key here -- after that it's $14.95/month and is part of the Station All Access Pass.

Now, why would I suggest you play on a server that lives in SOE's Land That Time Forgot? A place where Dolly Parton is likely to get better support from a training bra than you are from SOE -- allegedly, there's a server GM and some CSRs, but I've heard response time a little slow, even by SOE standards. I'm throwing it out there for two reasons: it's an alternative to WoW, and there's the makings of one hell of a community there.

In my quest to find out as much about EQM as I could, I stumbled upon the community at I've missed the EverQuest community back before the balance scale got stuck on the hardcore raid content side, so this was like being home again. There seems to be a slow trickle to the server, with quite a few posts from old PC players who got Macs, and WoW player looking for something a little harder.

A few other potential words of discouragement: EverQuest Mac only has expansions up to Planes of Power, and the server population is estimated at about 200 people. Arguably, this is both good and bad. I feel after PoP, EverQuest really started spinning down a toilet bowl, and a small player base really forces everyone to get along. The server seems to be remarkably free of the "you must have this many AAs to ride our raid." Rangers seem to even be liked here.

It's definitely a throwback game. The graphics engine is ancient, with none of the zone revamps recently unleashed for the PC version. You still need to spam the "Sense heading" button to eventually get the compass to work. At least your newbie corpse spawns with your gear. Because EverQuest was a harsh environment that caused people to band together to survive, there's a strong argument that your accomplishments mean more. Hitting max level in a game with an xp debt, most likely causing you to completely redo multiple levels (I'm talking about re-earning entire levels worth of XP over the course of maxing out, not just the xp needed to re-ding after losing a level).

As I said earlier, SOE isn't patching the game and is just supplying power and network connections. While there's a certain amount caveat emptor, I'm finding myself oddly drawn to giving it a serious look-see. How about you? Are you so desperate for Mac-based MMOs you'll give it whirl? Are you an old PC player who made "the switch" and looking to get back some of those glory days, as the Boss is fond of saying?

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr