EverQuest Mac Edition now available as free download

Sony Online Entertainment has released its Macintosh edition of EverQuest as a free online download. Measuring 2GB, it’s not small, but if you’ve ever wanted to play the game, this may be your best chance. You must create an account and set up billing to play it, however.

EverQuest is the massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) that set records and created headlines for years. It’s largely credited with the popularization of the genre, though it’s been eclipsed by other major MMORPG releases, like Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft. The game is set in a persistent online world populated by monsters and other characters of myths and legend. After creating your online persona, you choose a profession, develop skills, amass treasure and fortune as you explore the world an interact with other players.

Released in 2003, the Macintosh version of EverQuest included several expansion packs like The Ruins of Kunark, The Scars of Veilous and The Shadows of Luclin. The Mac conversion of EverQuest was hotly anticipated and has created a very loyal group of players.

Mac EverQuest is segregated on Macintosh-specific servers, however — a decision that disappointed many Mac users and experienced EQ players who had hoped to interact with their Windows-using friends. Still, EverQuest for Mac has trekked on, despite occasional technical setbacks and the release of other expansion packs and a sequel on the Windows platform.

Mac gamers who bought the boxed version of EverQuest received printed documentation, maps, a trial membership and a code that could be used as a “trial” version to let other Mac gamers install and run the software. Like most MMORPG’s, EverQuest uses a subscription model — it’s priced starting at $12.95 per month, with discounts available if you purchase longer subscription plans.

“Free” is a bit of a relative term here, as you still must create a Sony Station.com account in order to download the software, and you must enroll in a billing plan before your account is activated. You won’t be charged until a 15-day trial period has expired, however, so you can grab the software and play for free for a couple of weeks to see if you like it.

Minimum system requirements for EverQuest for Mac call for a G4/700MHz or faster, 256MB RAM, Mac OS X v10.2.4 or later, ATI Radeon or Nvidia GeForce 3D graphics with at least 32MB VRAM, 28.8 Kbps or faster Internet connection and 2.1GB hard disk drive space.

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