New comers to MMORPG's might find the world of Everquest
a bit strange. Online communities aren't as easy to integrate into as some might think. Plan on plenty of solid hours of gameplay before you can even leave your starting town's region. Exploring the entire world of Everquest
could take some a lifetime, and with the addition of the islands Kunark and Velios, the vastness of it all is now twice as big.
As with most RPG's, starting out requires the choosing of a race and class. There are 13 races and 14 classes to choose from, giving a huge variety of paths to take. Upon customizing your character with a name and whatever face you pick from the assortment they give, you have to pick your character's deity. Probably the most overlooked and most important decision you can make for your character, the choice you make on a deity will affect how other groups look at you. Depending on your deity, you may not be welcome in some towns, making travel very dangerous in some places, not only from NPC's, but also from other players.
Once you decide on a starting city, you're thrown into this brave new world with a few items to help you on your way. The first is a letter to report to your guild headquarters, where you will meet your guild leader. Guilds are a newbie's best friend. Run by NPC's, your guild is where you can easily get quests and money, meet other members of your guild, and receive the much needed training that will increase your skills. Much of the beginning of the game will be spent carrying out tasks bestowed upon you by people in and around your guild.
Another starting item for every character is a Tome of Order and Discord. Taking this book to a Priest of Discord will give you the status of Player Killer. This enables you to fight other player killers whenever you want. This is only recommended for very experienced players, though. If you want to fight other players without sacrificing your status forever, you can initiate a duel, which is much safer and more common than player killing.
Apart from being the occasional errand boy for some people, gaining experience comes from killing enemies. At this point, the game hits a wall. Hours upon hours of killing weak monsters are in store for the new player, and this mind numbing experience will drive off all but the most hardcore of RPG fans. Newbies are forced to spend too much effort for not enough gain. The term 'Rat Killer 3D' has been used more than a few times to describe the beginning part of the game.
Magic users will find an even longer beginning than non-magic users, due to the overall power of the magical community. However, the rewards will be much greater than that of mere mortals, and the spells look oh so cool. But becoming learned in the field of magic is not recommended for just the sweet eye candy. Parties always like to have a magic user in their group to cast those helpful spells in times of trouble.
The other most common way to gain experience is by joining a party. Parties are player-formed groups that share experience when killing monsters. Later in the game, this is about the only efficient way to gain experience. The only problem is, the people in Everqueat usually don't let inexperienced people join them, which leaves only one option: slaughtering hundreds of rats and snakes. The community can be fun and rewarding, but only if you're good enough.