They say every dog has its day, but for EverQuest’s Fippy Darkpaw it turns out it’s a whole year. The Year of Darkpaw celebration kicked off this month with promotional events, collectibles, and bonus dungeons for tenacious adventurers still playing EverQuest to sink their gnoll fangs into. The fun will continue with new time-locked servers midyear and an expansion for both games this winter.
EverQuest turns 25 this year, and considering how many of my formative years I spent sitting on my butt meditating to get mana back, it warms my heart to see the game I love still kicking all these years later. EverQuest’s head of studio Jenn Chan tells me 2024 is all about having a big, yearlong party.
“We want people to celebrate 25 years of EverQuest, 20 years of EQ2, get in touch with old friends again, make new friends, and experience a nice blend of nostalgia and new things,” Chan said. Among all the MMOs I’ve played, EverQuest remains the top of the heap when it comes to getting people smooshed together to work on stuff. Instead of spending hundreds of hours working through solo quests or MSQs, in EQ you can start grouping right away.
I knew that lots of people still played, partially because for a few years recently I was one of them. I spent most of lockdown playing the holy heck out of Project 1999 Green, but it’s not just the private servers that have folks hanging out.
I spent a little time last week on one of the live servers, and not only was it way easier to start out with quality of life improvements like a tutorial dungeon and a free mercenary pal that I didn’t have back in the day (no more running for my life from a single bat at level 1), but there were lots of players to chat with in case I had any burning questions.
EverQuest’s 25th anniversary roadmap
Darkpaw Games sent over a roadmap for both games in 2024, and it’s full of stuff to check out. Here are some of the highlights:
- Special events like the Anniversary Tower and Heroic Dungeons
- Event exclusive mounts and clickies like the Argent Clockwork Bear Saddle and the Orc Warrior metamorph wand
- New TLPs in May (rulesets to be announced)
- New expansion release in December
EverQuest 2’s 20th anniversary roadmap
EverQuest 2, not to be outdone, is also having a banner year. EQ’s baby brother isn’t quite old enough to go to the bars, but at 20 is still an elder statesman of the MMO world. The year-long celebration for this game is a little darker in tone, as agents of the gods are up to some kind of mischief and it’s up to the players to stop them. I’m always a fan of killing gods—they have the best loot. My boy Innoruuk coughed up the earth staff so I could get the server-first magician epic on Green, even!
Heading up the studio named after the illustrious Fippy Darkpaw can’t be easy, but Chan has taken Fippy’s ‘Never Give Up’ motto to heart. I asked what it was like helming a project with so much history. “It’s a whole lot of emotions, the first one that comes to mind is that it’s humbling. It’s humbling to be a part of something that has touched so many different people over the course of their lives.”
It’s certainly touched mine—some of my best friends I met playing the game, and reconnecting with people playing EQ really helped me stay centered especially in the first months of lockdown.
I asked for some hints about the expansions set to arrive in November (EQ2’s 21st) and December (EQ1’s 31st), but Chan wouldn’t say a word—we’ll just have to wait until later this year to find out more about them. I’ll for sure be checking out some of EverQuest’s anniversary events in the meantime, maybe knock another epic quest off my bucket list. And speaking of epics, EverQuest’s developers sent over this sweet splash art for the Year of Darkpaw celebration with a bunch of characters from EQ and EQ2 throwing up epics in excitement. I’m told there’s an easter egg in the graphic, but I haven’t been able to find it yet. Maybe you can help.