Wednesday, March 18, 2009

EverQuest, WoW and Gaming Addiction (Part 3 of 3)

Part one and part two.

Friendship & Guilds
When I played EQ, I already had a friend-base. I had several in-game buddies, but none I would call or email regularly (shout-out to Sutton, Dita, Josefa, Jaxxem, Genka, Damastas, Daymondd and Aegies!) When I started playing World of Warcraft in 2004, it was different. All of my current real-life friends weren't gamers. Soonafter, voicechat (TeamSpeak then Ventrilo) became a part of the game for group raiding, so that intimate act made me closer than I will ever be to any EQ player.

However, EverQuest was still a very social and populated game. I knew a person who had an EQ monthly account just so they could chat. So, both games can be equally addictive for their chatting aspects.

Mithaniel Marr was a great great server. I had no idea when I joined the realm, and would have regretted picking another server. For one, all my college buddies were on it, and secondly, we had Afterlife Guild. You may have heard of the legendary Thott (Aftathott) or Hobben the Strategist. This guild was badass, and set the bar for past and present gaming clans. It was even said that Verant/Sony had an open dialog with the guild, to suggest harder and more compelling end-game content...

There were a few other hardcore guilds on the server, but nothing really touched the daily raiding regimen and DKP system (which they invented) of Afterlife until further expansions (the guild eventually transplanted to WoW). Near the end of my experience, I was able to join Deadly Virtues, which at the time was fairly uber. I once saw a member and was in awe of their spectacular armor, so I kept camping their forums until they wanted a rogue. It was fun, but it was kind of like a job. I had friends to help me out with all sorts of wishlist quests that were too hard for the average party. It was my first taste of real raiding (dragons, Ring War, Luclin) until I joined my first (and only) guild on WoW. Unfortunately, I left EQ only 3 months after I joined that guild.

The Council of the Dedicated may be the oldest active WoW guild on Garona realm. I joined only a month into the game launch, and I never left. At the time, they weren't thinking about raids, and in fact it was a family guild. The guild master's 9-year-old son befriended me and his dad recruited me for casual play. About a year or so later, the guild was booming and we started thinking seriously about "keying up" and hitting the 40-man raid areas like Molten Core. We formed an alliance with and started working our way towards the big leagues. Cowbell Open Raid was a huge success in 2006, and it eventually got us the numbers to go on our own. It was a great time to be in CotD. We even managed to have a guild convention in Minnesota (where most people were). I took off a week from work and flew up there. It was a blast, and the first time I met people from a virtual world. We went to Hooters.

Holidays
Now Blizzard completely trumps SOE when it comes to rewarding their players. I can only remember a few GM Events (as they called them) on EverQuest. One was a week of Halloween spawns in East Karana, which after the fact I was obsessed with (some spectre dropped the best agility ring or earring ever). The sky also turned blood-red in several zones. I think also in Karana there were plague events where bugs would fly around, but I don't recall. It was a gigantic zone. Rathe Mountains had some stuff going on, too.

Occasionally you would ceremonies in town with a ton of decked-out GM's (who had unlimited power, unlike Guides in WoW). And sometimes there would be a wedding (you could get an admin to tie the knot for you). Does anyone remember the time they added a feature to where you could be a random mob? Yes, they actually let you for a short time run around as a cool monster! I do remember logging on as a goblin once and running around. I ran to the nearest player to try and freak him out... I think I died. Someone also told me they spawned as a godlike dragon, but I dunno about that. Now for the big section...

DEATH
There was a certain survival instinct that came with EQ. It was like you were a caveman and everything was out to eat you. You did what you needed to survive, even if it meant trampling others in the way.

Aggro
One stupid thing was distance aggro. EverQuest players learned to avoid this fairly quickly, but I saw this shit happen all the time in WoW. If you're an EQ player, you know how to hug a wall like a champ. World of Warcraft players are clueless about proximity aggro, for the most part. This is because it wasn't as bad as EQ. In EverQuest, aggroing a mob when a party was regenerating mana was a guaranteed death. Most everyone in the game could know exactly how many feet away a mob was, and avoid it. I loved being a rogue because stealth was such a safety net. But, I couldn't avoid everything...

Trains
Before Leeroy Jenkins became a household name through WoW, EverQuest was the innovator for "mob trains". It was a natural thing: When a party became overwhelmed, they jumped ship and headed for the safety of a zone-line, carting behind them sometimes 50 enemies. Because the mobs in EQ never broke off from their pursuit, it was usually a memorable experience if you saw "/ooc TRAIN" and lived. And, any player from the Kunark era knows about trains in Sebilis and Karnor's Castle. Monks could feign death and avoid this, but for all the other classes it was a common threat.

Corpse runs

A corpse run on EverQuest was... ridiculous. From a World of Warcraft perspective, pretend that you died in some lava. In WoW, you're a ghost in a nearby graveyard. You run to the general area of your former body, and simply click "Resurrect" and run away without dealing with the lava. Now, here's EQ: you spawn at a bind point, not a graveyard (usually several, several zones away), you run with minimal health, naked (no items) to where you think your corpse may be and start looking. You realize it is in the lava, and you have to /loot the corpse just like a dead mob. You figure you can use the /corpse command to drag it out of the lava. It barely works (sometimes you were totally fucked), and now you must loot all of your armor and bags and coins. Did I mention you lost a ton of experience, and probably lost your level? So, you must now find a resurrect-casting player to gain back some of that experience, or you're hosed. Next time, remember to die in a good spot...

Probably the most memorable corpse run occurred in a 2 AM Chardok raid. It was in Warslik's Woods, and my home bind point was far away. Our whole late-night dungeon raid died about 2 hours into the zone, which had by then fully respawned. Therefore, we're all naked and can't handle a single mob. Eventually the raid leader called in a necromancer to "casket rez" the whole raid at the entrance. It was so late, and I remember getting up the next morning and barely staying awake.

Dying was a big, big deal in EQ. Not only did you lose valuable experience, and had to run back and get the corpse, but players had to re-equip and re-learn their spells, all while regenerating mana and HP. Mind you, there are no hearthstones to speak of! It was so easy to die in that game.

Hmm, I could play it right now...


The Final Solution: Quitting EQ and WoW
I quit EverQuest cold turkey. My college workload was too much, and I decided that the upcoming expansion (Planes of Power) was going to suck the life out of me. To realize this is the first step to recovery.

I did this liquidating my platinum pieces (pp) and posting 130,000 pp on PlayerAuctions. There weren't really gold farmers on EQ, and money was slow to collect. World of Warcraft players wipe their butts with gold in comparison. Virtual money was an emerging market, and still lucrative for the regular player. The auction didn't last long, and I soon had a buyer who PayPal'ed me the cash. Believe it or not, I sold the money for $500.00! Today, that amount is going for less than $15.00.

I disbanded from my guild on the day that PoP released. I gave away my username/password to an in-game friend. I had little gear, but my bank account in-game was full. To this day, I don't know what came of little Amalgamax. I was told a few years ago that the person who took it over kind of abused the name, and I told my friends it wasn't my doing. I tried to not let it bother me. If you are thinking of giving away your account, beware... there may be some guilt.

I quit WoW differently. I moved to another country, and I knew the internet access and time-change was going to kill my experience. I gave all my remaining funds to my guild's bank, and gave the account over to a coworker at the time. He did the right thing by changing the character name and moving him to another realm. To my knowledge, he still plays and hopefully he is putting my gear to good use. I still miss it.

Epilogue
Well, I hope my blathering and rambling provided an ounce of insight into MMO addiction. EverQuest is over 10 years old, and I just downloaded EverQuest Titanium Edition to try and play offline (using EQEmulator). I am excited that it may work, and for free.

I would love to hear (and link to) several other EverQuest memories and great stories. So, shoot me an email (or write a comment below).

External Links
Remarkably, someone wrote a tune about Link Deaths, trains, corpse runs, downtime: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1cUoSjO7uM

Check Wikipedia's References for lots of interesting reads!

http://webslingers.awardspace.com/eqwayfarer/wayfareri.html

http://www.jdw.ca/eq.html

http://blog.weflyspitfires.com/2010/06/02/good-riddance-to-these-game-mechanics-of-yesterday/

http://laundrybox.net/grandeur/history.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J03uinOhI1g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S75f-G_G5A

6 comments:

  1. Good Stuff Max ! I posted a link to this post on my most recent WoW-related post.

    Regards,

    Matt "Eloi" B4rd

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Almalgamax,

    I was using google and deadly virtue key word and i found this post.

    I dont know if u remimber me, this is Loeil. I was playing a ranger in Deadly virtues. I took a break when PoP came up and when DV crashed 3 months later, I decided that it was time for me to get a ride of my account.
    So,i was looking on google to see if I can find some old friend from EQ. I still have Email of few of them like Knight, cheb or Failbhe but i didnt contact them for years.

    I didnt replay online game during 3 years after I left EQ, i needed to change mind a little ... EQ ate my social life during 3 years ish.

    In 2005, i tryed Guildwars ... it was a online game, very basic and where u dont need to invest big amount of time. But become boring after a while so in 2007, i discover EQemulator. A place where u can play EQ on private server. So im still on it in 2010 :) What is nice is when i started there, the only stuff available was PoP and earlier expansion. So it was like i never left hehe
    I also tryed WoW in 2008 but i didnt like it, so i stoped after 2 months.

    On EQemulator there is many server, all different .. Some are legit and try to be like the real EQ was and some other are not legit, so not really interesting.
    Im playing on the server named PEQ the grand creation. If u want take a look, here is the link: http://www.projecteq.net/phpBB2/
    I created a toon named Loeil on this server too but he is wizard. (You can find me as Loeil, maidikament, Groscon, Lepine) there are my mains toons on this server :)

    Gime news :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Loeil, I'm on P99 as Amax. Have a 65 Rogue on PEQ named Amalgamax... email me (link on steveprutz.com).

    ReplyDelete
  4. I made a shout out! Was googling names of EQ character names I remebered for a little nostalgia and found ya. Can't believe the baddest ads rogue in EQ rolled Alliance! I played WoW on and off for a couple years as Sutton a Belf pally on Shu'Halo with a friend from work but haven't played since about the 2nd week of the deathwing expansion.

    Sutton
    Ranger

    ReplyDelete
  5. Alliance tops Premier League Season 5

    After the 7 rounds’ fierce competition of The Premier League(TPL) for almost 2 months, the last four teams which will advance to the Super Cup are finally revealed, and they are Alliance, VP, Mouz and EG. In the finals, Alliance defeats Mouz with 3:0 and gets the championship of TPL. They have been the championship for three rounds, congratulations!

    from gameguzy

    ReplyDelete

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