EverQuest Next: Bring Back Flavor Spells
EverQuest franchise is nothing if not… um…
innovative. Whether it’s the controversial sale of level 85
characters for EverQuest
II (though it may just be controversial to me – in actuality
*very* popular) or going against the communities desire for specific
combinations (though I agree with their reasoning), there’s
rarely been a time
in the franchise’s history that they haven’t been
at the forefront of some new
concept or idea in the industry. This is not only one of things
I’ve come to hope
for from Sony Online Entertainment, it’s something I
expect… nay - *demand*
continue, specifically in the realm of flavor spells.
may not be as flashy and immediately understandable
as pure combat spells, but they add a needed ambience to any role
It’s the flavor spells of EverQuest that helped cement
within the hearts and minds of millions.
So what is a flavor spell? To me, it’s any spell that doesn’t have a pure combat component. A lightning bolt is clearly a combat spell, but something like Sight Graft isn’t. Sight Graft allowed a Necromancer to see through the eyes of their pet. It wasn’t the most useful spell since you couldn’t control the pet and use them as a scout, but when you eventually combined it with the higher level spell, Voice Graft, the results were beyond awesome.
used mine like a ventriloquist dummy all the time. It
drove most of my friends pretty crazy because like most budding
I was a pretty quiet and nice guy. My pet, on the other hand, was a
Whether using him in low level zones to give new players quests I would
(I gave them gold, so it’s not like they did it for nothing)
or harassing my
fellow groupmates, the spell was a blast. The best though was the day I
I could use Voice Graft to create fake emotes. Let me tell
you… when my buddy’s
girlfriend saw my pet skeleton “steal 2 platinum
pieces” from her, she snapped.
To this day, I think she still wants to kill me over that gag.
had a number of illusion spells at their
fingertips. This allowed them to not only access cities they would
slaughtered in to purchase spells or tradeskill items they may have
also allowed for some amazing role playing. How? Remember that in
there were race and class combination restrictions. An Iksar
couldn’t be an
Enchanter for example, so I was pretty shocked to discover an Iksar
one day. At the time, I didn’t even know illusion spells
existed. When I
stopped to ask how he made an Enchanter as an Iksar, he just laughed
me a piece of gold. To this day, I don’t know what his actual
There was also an illusion spell that allowed an Enchanter to turn themselves into a tree. That’s right… a tree. Seems pretty pointless and boring, doesn’t it? It was too - right up until some enterprising young soul realized that you would stay in tree form when you died. By leaving one item on their corpse, that “tree” would also persist for 7 days. Imagine my surprise when running through the Desert of Northern Ro one day when I came upon a forest where none had been the day before. Keep in mind that leveling took much longer back then, so I had been in that same general area for weeks.
moments like these that shift a game from being just
that to something genuinely special. Flavor doesn’t have to
just come in the
form of non-combat spells though. When developers have a little fun
spells they create, it not only makes them more memorable, it makes the
more endearing to the players. Take for example, an Enchanter stun
“Whirl Till You Hurl”. It was a stun that spun the
target in a circle while
they were under the effect. Not really a big deal… until a
mob casts that spell
on you. Let me confirm from personal experience that the screen spins
and the spell is very
aptly named. I
may not have blown chunks, but even thinking about the first time that
happened, I have to tell my stomach who is boss so it doesn’t
get any funny
classic was my Necromancer’s Dead Man Floating
spell. Back in the day, the developers of EverQuest had a penchant for
combining spell effects. Dead Man Floating (or DMF as it was
known) gave a player the following spell effects for a little over an
increased poison resistance, levitation, see invisible, and water
was an extremely useful (and popular) spell that any old EverQuest
remembers clearly to this day.
By creating spells such as these and more, the EverQuest team imbued the game’s spell system with more than just numbers – they instilled a sense of spirit and community. I know you hear me harp about the importance of anything that encourages community and this is no exception. It’s time for a game to take up the gauntlet and show the world how it can be done again. Here’s hoping that EverQuest Next: Landmark and EverQuest Next are the games to do it.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EverQuest Next Game Page.