I interviewed him as well for Vanguard for PC Gamer. He was a visionary and changed gaming, for sure.
Sad day, his impact on online gaming and MMOs in particular was huge. RIP Brad.
This is so very sad. Only 51, far too young and with a family left behind as well. RIP Brad McQuaid.
My first ever MMO was Meridian 59, which was really cool but fairly simplistic. From there I got into the beta of Ultima Online, and I really liked that game, but quit shortly after it went live because I’d burned out in beta. Then along came Everquest. The first person perspective, the huge world, the myriad of race and class choices, the amazing (for the time) graphics…it was like a dream come to life on screen. I rolled up a Dark Elf Shadowknight, immediately got hopelessly lost in Neriak, then in the forest outside the city, then had to shout to the zone for help because everything was SO DARK (someone helpfully informed me to turn the contrast and brightness on my monitor up higher than usual, as in the very early days of EQ it could be nearly impossible to see anything onscreen if you were in a dark zone or it was nighttime in game. I fell in with a group of other newbies exploring the forest and we started looking for one another each night when we logged in to group up…and I was hooked.
I then spent several years and an ungodly amount of hours of my life thoroughly enjoying Everquest. It remains one of my Top 10 Games of All Time, and I basically spent years afterwards chasing the same experience among dozens of other MMOs. The only one to even come close was Lord of the Rings Online (another of my Top 10 Games of All Time), and I gave up playing new MMOs years ago when I realized it just wasn’t ever going to be the same. Perhaps one day, if they ever develop fully immersive VR and create an MMO around it, that would recapture the same magic I felt playing Everquest all those years ago.
Thank you Brad for giving me (and thousands of other gamers) an experience unlike any other. You will be missed.
I was very late to the MMO game and WoW was the only one I really got into, but obviously EQ’s influence on WoW was immense (including but not limited to the fact that without EQ there would have been no WoW at all). RIP.
Everquest is a top 5 game for me. I saw it at a friend’s house and was just blown away. Large world, classes, races. I got hooked. I started in Gfay, kept getting lost, and rolled a Gnone Necro because we got locate corpse early. I remember camping static spawns across the world. It cracked me up that for a game hinting at unlimited questing, there really wasn’t much of that at all. Kunark and Vellious were my favorite expansions.
Given the tech at the time, that they pulled this off was amazing.
Every time I see a boat in a game, I want to /s BOAT!
Gosh damn it :(
UO and Everquest were the proverbial ‘lightning in a jar’ that for many has never been reproduced. While it is true that WoW iterated and polished it to be bright gleam those two truly innovated and there were nothing like them at the time. I rubbed elbows w/ Brad once or twice as well like a few others here, it is sad news no matter your stance on the guy. (He was sometimes controversial)
The only other person I can think of that would bring the same amount of shock would be Richard Garriott for similar reasons although of course his pedigree extends farther into the past.
I hope Pantheon gets made and incorporates “The Vision” which was a McQuadism that was never truly realized unfortunately especially after the complete dumbing down and theme park motifs that WoW brought onto the entire scene. His idea of a sort of completely open world sandbox that also had theme park elements as well as player driven world changes, it hasn’t been done properly once.
I was more an Asheron’s Call guy, but Brad McQuaid is certainly a famous name.
I’d be curious if drugs were the cause. That is definitely a dark side to gaming for many that doesn’t get discussed much.
I’ve actually been playing Project 1999 Green which is a fan-run Classic EverQuest server that is releasing thimgs and patching things using the official patchnotes and timeline of EQ in '99. Just launched in late October. Needless to say, this news hits a bit closer to home now because of this. Gotta say, the love in the P99 commumity since his death was reported has been amazing and heartbreaking. Everyone is sharing their memories of the game, and any and all specific interactions with him.
The rumor was he was addicted to opiates, and was largely absent from Vanguard’s development because of it. I don’t know if we’ll find out the cause of death, but considering his age and no disclosure of illness I’m inclined to think drugs were involved.
I disagreed with Brad’s philosophy of MMO design. He was in favor of forced grouping and contention for spawns, and against instancing. That said, he must have done something right because I played the hell out of Everquest.
Like many here, EQ was my first MMO and his vision did a lot to make it not only fun but still going to this day (long since minus his direction and influence. )
It wasn’t until Vanguard days that I saw the flaws in Brad’s ‘Vision’ and heard the stories as well. He reminds me of Garriott a lot, and for similar reasons.
I didn’t know about the current project or his family, Heres hoping both are okay. That’s way too young to pass.
Rest in peace, Brad.
I spent six years of my life playing EverQuest. Thanks for those good times.
EQ was, is, and probably will be the best gaming experience I’ve ever had. Talking to people from all over the world, in real time, in a huge 3D environment that was terrifying, difficult, and required cooperation. I always “got” what Brad was trying to do, and why he was trying to do it, and agreed with it.
Such a sad passing, and certainly far too early. Condolences to friends and family. The world needs people with strong vision, and his will be sorely missed.
RIP Brad and condolences to his friends and family.
I met my wife in EQ. I completed both the Mage and Monk Epic quests. EQ was a milestone of gaming achievement.
It was that, however, in spite of Brad, not because of him or his fucking Vision™.
The game wouldn’t let you alt-tab. Alt. Tab. You had to use a 3rd party program called EQWindows to restore this basic Windows functionality. Alt-tabbing was a bannable offense!
EQ was terrible. We all knew it. Yet we kept playing because there was nothing else. We spent time in CoH, but it was ultimately too grindy and repetitive. We were just waiting for the release of WoW, and when it did, we uninstalled EQ and never, ever looked back.
My SIL was really looking forward to Pantheon. I told her to have fun with that.
Not counted: my alts on that account. My 56 ranger on the Euro server rolled a few years ago. About a year or so playing someone elses ranger during PoP. No one elses game has spent this much time on my monitor.
Still remember running around clueless with a bunch of other players at launch trying to kill skeletons and dying allot. So new to it we didn’t even know the basics of how to group.
Me too! Well, on Teal which was already up when I started. They both have a pretty solid population (yesterday afternoon like 860 and 680).
I started EQ with absolutely zero knowledge of what was going on. I first started on Veeshan one of the first days it was launched, perhaps on day one, and made a dwarf warrior. I remember making it to the crossroads and feeling safe as long as I knew how to get back there. Once in a while we would brave it and make a run to the chessboard, but it would never take long and we would have to run away. On more than one occasion I would randomly run the wrong way and die in the middle of nowhere. I believe I had some nice people help me get my stuff back most of the time.
One day Veeshan was a part of a group of servers that were down one day and I rolled on Povar and made a wood elf ranger that would be my go to guy for many years. Like @playingwithknives at one point after a couple years my Ranger had well into 200 days played. At one point I ran some calculations and realized that I had been playing EQ for 35-40% of my total time alive over a 18 month or so stretch. I suppose that is probably unhealthy, but I was always hanging out with friends and staying out of trouble in real life, and actually saving a crap load of money because I wasn’t always going out or spending money on hobbies. In a weird way it helped me save money to buy my first house, heh.
You know it is one thing to be a filthy casual, it is quite another to proudly trumpet it from the rooftop. You are a large part of why WoW is the ‘gold standard’ for MMOs today and why the industry died. May want to dial down the ‘I require easy mode’ rhetoric. Just a thought…
Strong words from the King of Sting, the Count of Montefisto, the Master of Disaster…