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style="">EverQuest Next
is in full production and EverQuest
is right around the
corner. What kind of stats can we expect to
see on gear or player buffs? There’s certainly enough
anecdotal evidence to be
found in Sony Online Entertainment’s other titles to suggest
they intend to
follow the same stat-loaded gear system modern players are familiar
Personally, I think that would be detrimental to the health of the
title and
here are a few reasons why.


a number of years now, it has not been uncommon to
hop into a new MMORPG, start a character, and have enough gear to add
+25 to
all your character’s stats (or attributes if you prefer the
term) within the
first few levels. This process normally takes anywhere from ten minutes
to a
few hours. While I can see the appeal of this on the surface, I think
it causes
more harm than good.


that has ever spent a decent amount of time
playing Dungeons & Dragons (the pen and paper version) will
recognize this
pitfall. It’s a seductive trap we’ve all fallen
into, whether it be as players
or as Dungeon Masters (DM). It’s also one of the most
destructive things a DM
can do to a campaign if they’re not prepared to deal with the
consequences. What am I talking about? Giving the players loads of
items with
tons of power. To counteract this, the monsters and NPCs of the world
also need
such items and thus begins a downward spiral of making the most
powerful items
in the game feel like common trash. It removes the sense of pride in



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the original EverQuest, magic items were very rare,
especially before you hit level 20. Keep in mind that getting to that
could take months of playing. I realize the idea of playing a game
today for
two weeks without ever seeing an item drop with a single stat boost
incomprehensible, but that’s the way it was back in the day
and there were
reasons for it. When I was level 14, I saw someone selling a set of
(Charred Greaves, or something of the sort) in the East Commons tunnel.
I don’t
remember the exact amount they were asking, but it was somewhere in the
of 100 platinum pieces. At this point in the game, that amount was a
fortune for a low level character. I wanted those leggings though, so I
went to
West Commons and spent almost 3 weeks killing Will O’ Wisps
to get the light globes
and greater light globes off their corpses. At the time, it was the
efficient way I knew of to make any money.


nearly 3 weeks of continually grinding on these
mobs, I finally had enough money and went back to the East Commons
tunnel. Now
obviously, the person I had originally seen selling the leggings was
long gone,
but I found someone else selling a similar set. I bought them on the
spot and
was ecstatic!
I had just bought my
first set of magic leggings. Do you know what the stat boost on them
was? +2 to
strength and +1 to stamina. That’s it.


today’s standards, this is a completely crazy concept,
but it shouldn’t be. The reason I was so excited about those
leggings was the
fact that stat boosts of any kind were rare and even though it was
“only” a +2
and +1 boost, those stat changes genuinely mattered. Unlike today where
I can
add 10 points in strength to any current character and barely tell.
Right now,
my EverQuest character is level 47 and has already maxed out style="">all
their attribute stats. It’s


other part of this argument goes back once again to
community building. After I had spent weeks grinding and saving enough
to purchase a piece of magic gear, I was randomly approached by a
warrior (of much higher level than myself). After a brief conversation,
I was given
a breastplate with a +5 strength on it. I nearly passed out from the
shock. He
had finally gotten a better chest piece during his travels and just
wanted to
pass on this one on to someone that would use it. That was my
introduction to
the Citizens of Halas guild (Morelle Thule represent!) and the
beginning of a
great time for me in EverQuest.



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has all of this got to do with the cost of Batwing
Crunchies at your local Norrathian grocery store? As usual, everything.
I was
level 14 or so when I got that breastplate. I kept it and
didn’t find a better
piece of gear until I was nearly level 30. Again, that was months down
road. When I finally had no more use for it, I went back to the North
Desert of
Ro where Sabal (the warrior) had originally given me the breastplate.
talking with a few likely candidates, I gave the chest piece away to an
up and
coming warrior that was out adventuring with a passion.


the fact that nearly every piece of gear players
have now are either BOP or BOE (Bind on Pick-up/Bind on Equip), the
stats on
today’s gear is so over the top that nearly everything I
have, I consider
vendor trash when I replace it. With very few exceptions, I
wouldn’t even
bother to save a piece of gear to give away because I know that within
a day of
someone getting it, they’d be replacing it themselves. It
wouldn’t mean
anything. And yet, I can remember the moment I got that breastplate
from Sabal
and the day that I finally passed it on very clearly.


in the end, which matters more? The piece of gear that
you’re going to replace in a day or two with its +100 stats
or that item you
spent weeks working for that only has a +2? Personally, I think
it’s high time
we see a return to the days of when gear actually meant something to


me next week when I talk about the importance of
zone lines and how they’re addition or removal could affect
EverQuest Next.
While you wait for next week’s piece, catch up on any href="">previous
style="font-family: "Calibri","sans-serif";">EverQuest

articles you may
have missed! If you’ve got questions, old-school aspects
you’d like me to cover,
or anything in between, href="mailto:[email protected]">shoot me an
email or href="">hit me up on


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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016