Friendship & Guilds
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...
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.
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
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!