While I was raiding Thazeran's Tower in Shards of Dalaya with one of the guilds I'm in there, Revelation, I thought about all the folks at MangaHelpers. I'm one of their druids, named Yulanaia... yes, a female druid, and I'm a guy. Hey, I AM scanlating a gender-bender, ok (Speaking of, check it out: HERE)! Anyhow, I've been playing Shards of Dalaya for like 3 or 4 years now, and that's 2 or 3 years longer than I've stuck with any other MMO before it. If that doesn't say it all, then continue reading.
Shards of Dalaya is built on the original EverQuest client, through to Planes of Power, with zone files through to Gates of Discord. The mechanics of the game are still quite familiar to veterans of classic EQ1, however, they've changed quite a bit all the same. At the server end, everything has been custom built, based on EQemu, but heavily modified.
For example, we have some very different mechanics for trading in the game, gone is the "trader's tunnel" (the tunnel in EverQuest's East Commonlands was once a place where people gathered when they wanted to trade) and gone is the Bazaar. In their place we have something called the Listing System, what was once the shared bank (you can't share items between characters in Shards, either) is now a Listing Vault, where you can put items to be sold, you will then be prompted for an amount to list it for, and if it's your first time using the system, a brief explanation will be given about the system. More in-depth information can be found on the official forums and on the unofficial wiki.
Some more good news about Shards is that it's completely free to play! They do ask for completely optional donations (which by the way, so do we), but they use these strictly for hosting the site and the game server, any surplus is either rolled over to the next month, or if enough surplus is gained, used to upgrade the server to have more capacity. They just recently managed to complete one of these upgrades to capacity and thus are having a huge drive for new accounts. If you start now, there's a very good chance we could have a bonus exp week after the account drive concludes.
Before I conclude, I would like to share with you a gem from the Shards of Dalaya endgame: