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Choose My Adventure: Riding into the sunset in EverQuest

MJ Guthrie

No matter how much I want to hang on, no one can manage to forever; this wild Choose My Adventure bronc is just about to buck me right off, freeing the saddle for yet another rider. But woooeee, what a ride we've had together! From the jailbreak of Gloomingdeep Mine to the infamous Battle of Big Badgers, we've gotten a taste of gaming on the EverQuest frontier. And thanks to ya'll, it's been an adventure worth having.

But the show ain't over quite yet! Before I grab my ten-gallon hat and ride off into the sunset, we've got some unfinished business to attend to. Ya'll told me to go out and poke through the native EQ dwellings, which I surely did. I even got me my own little spread. So come on in to my home on the Norrathian range and sit a spell while we chew the fat and I share the impressions of the run I've wrangled up just for ya'll.

Gallery: Choose My Adventure: EverQuest | 108 Photos

Where no buffalo roam (but bears and panthers do)

I'll letcha in on a little secret: You couldn't have gone wrong with that last vote. I actually love all the choices! And I'll get to experiencing them all on my own time. But for CMA, you spoke and I listened; although RP gave it a run for its money, housing beat it by a narrow margin, so that's where I headed.

Now housing is the one thing I have always wanted to check out in EverQuest, even after my negative first experience with the game. I am, after all, a complete housing nut. So it was with great glee that I delved into this feature. At this point, I am really glad you voted me into a guild because it was a guildmate who really helped me get started by helping me find the neighborhood and getting situated with a house and whatnot. (Here's a shoutout to the great folks in Warmachine!)

Although housing is not out in the static world, I still loved how it's is in an instanced -- yet expansive -- neighborhood. Even better, unlike in Lord of the Rings Online, in EQ your location does not dictate your dwelling. In EQ you buy the lot and you buy the house to place on it separately. And you've got a variety of structures to choose from. We selected one of the least expensive plots right next to the portals, and I was suddenly a landowner.

Shortly afterward, I found a plot with a view of a mountain pass that I totally fell in love with for the same price, but since my plot already had upkeep paid, I didn't dare even try to move for fear of losing all of that coin! But the fact remains that you can actually move (and all your items will be packed up for you) or even transfer the ownership of the dwelling to someone else. A genuine real estate market! That's pretty darn cool. I haven't yet learned whether you can transfer all the decorations as well so that you can deal in furnished houses akin to the new Player Studio ability in EverQuest II, but that's on my to-do list. I was a bit too lost in my own decorating to think about it before.

Land of the lost in decorating

Those who know me will nod with understanding when I say I became totally lost in decorating. After all, I took five full months out of adventuring in EQII to decorate a guild hall there. So once you chose this option, there was little chance I'd resume leveling any time soon. (Also why I left this choice until last!) All my hours were now focused on kitting out my new Froglok pad.

Before you can begin decorating, you need stuff to decorate with. To get that, I hopped the orange portal pad outside my door and went to see the NPC merchants that sell the houses and furniture. For those unfamiliar with EQ housing, there is a round disk with a number of blue portal pads and one orange portal pad on the ground in every neighborhood. The orange takes you to the merchants, while the blue one corresponding with your symbol (mine is the triangle) takes you back home. So off I traveled to stock up on a few decorations.

Once I realized that all the NPCs were merchants, I spent longer than you can imaging just perusing the furnishings. You can actually preview every single item using the preview button on the merchant window, so you never have to buy anything blind. There are actual furnishings as well as building blocks, fences -- even pets. Sadly, everything has a price, and fledgling Frogloks haven't earned a whole lot. Luckily for me, my guildmate also slipped me a bit of a decorating fund, so I didn't have to live in an empty place! I was able to selects some pieces to get started.

Now as much as I love decorating no matter where I am, I have to say that EQ really sits at the head of the class when it comes to decorating mechanics. Once you figure out that drag-and-dropping an item will place it (instead of deleting like so many other games), decorating becomes really simple. You are instantly put in a cursor decorating mode with all the instructions on how to manipulate the objects right on the screen for easy reference. And resizing, pitch and roll, and the like are simply a matter of pressing a command button and moving your mouse. Never has shifting an item around been easier! And you should just see how some people use these mechanics to create unique dwellings. In fact, you can during our CMA Live! tour on Massively TV today at 3:00 p.m. EST.

There's one thing I wish I could change about EQ housing: There is no player crafting class to manufacture housing items. Personally, I love love love my carpenter in EQII precisely because I can build items for my house. Maybe in expansion 25? Now, if you need me, I'll be in my house toiling away at new ideas and hanging my veteran reward paintings just so.

Choose My Adventure: Riding into the sunset in EverQuest
Impressions of EverQuest

Going into this CMA run, I was upfront with the fact that I had briefly tried the game in the past and just couldn't get into it all all. Now, thanks to your support and guidance, I've been able to delve deeper and see some of the game's unique charms. And the experience has definitely been worth it!

While EQ won't be replacing my main games, I will definitely pop back in here and there to check things out and mosey along the leveling path a little farther. There's more I want to see, even though I am no hurry to get there. Obviously, I will also be spending a fair amount of time decorating! I know many original fans mope about how the game isn't as hardcore as it once was, but those who've grown up on only the most recent MMOs will find that if they can get past the graphics, there is definitely still a challenge to be had. Actually, I think all MMO fans should give it a spin if for no other reason than to experience one of the games that launched this genre. And with a reasonable price of nothing, what have you got to lose?

That concludes this Choose My Adventure rodeo. Though it's my turn to leave the ring, we've roped in the infamous Shawn Schuster himself to start next week's adventure, so you know it will be worth the ride! Join him next week right here, and join my little Shadow Knight Emy any time you see her in game.

Strap yourself in for the ride of (six weeks of) your life! Where are you going? Well, that's entirely up to you, the Massively readers, to decide -- the where, the what, and the how are all directed by you. The who is MJ Guthrie! For the duration of Choose My Adventure, her virtual life is in your hands! Join MJ in-game, on-site, and live on Massively TV to be a part of the adventure and watch the story unfold.

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