Updated Fri, Nov 30, 2012 by jeffprime
While Ultima Online led the way, EverQuest brought MMO gaming closer to the mainstream. Released in 1999, EverQuest is notable for building upon the success of UO (reaching over 450,000 subscriptions) and for nurturing raiding as we know it today. EverQuest is still renowned for the size and difficulty of its raids, with some raids requiring 72 players. However, the raiding in EverQuest was dominated by guilds who usually operated on a set schedule of raiding times. If you weren't a member of one of the big boys, then you were usually out of luck.
EverQuest also became notoriously known for how many people became addicted to the game. Dubbed EverCrack by fans and press alike, news stories abounded of players losing jobs and marriages over the game. One such reason lay in the game's open world system. A player needed a rare spawn, but that rare spawn could pop at any point during a specific window. Certain spawns could occur somewhere within an 80 hour period. Since the player or group dishing out the most damage owned the drop, it wasn't uncommon for groups of players to camp a spawn point for days. My griefing friend was also heavily into EverQuest, and I'm still riveted by his tales of spending days staring at the monitor waiting for the spawn to appear.