So EverQuest turned 20 years old last month. I know a lot of games have been having their 20, 25, and 30th anniversaries recently, but the EQ one kind of felt like a little bit of a punch. I think because unlike Mario or Zelda, EverQuest was a game I associated with my adulthood rather than my childhood. I picked it up and had a new PC built for it a couple months after I graduated college when I had saved a few dollars from my glamorous position as a sales assistant. It was definitely a game changer for me. I was pretty damn well addicted to it in a way that I hadn't been before with video games, and had it not been for Harvest Moon 64's release I might not have been able to pry myself away from the PC and back to consoles. Granted it would only be a few months later that I'd go back to EQ and ultimately for the next couple years it would be an off-again/on-again kind of situation for me until my PC was no longer able to run it at a good rate.

But it was a marvelous experience all the same, and I thought I'd record a few of the more memorable and ridiculous experiences before I'm too old and feeble to remember them any longer.

Posted by robio Wed, 10 Apr 2019 01:45:17 (comments: 16)
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Wed, 10 Apr 2019 02:17:53

1. The Lil' Honeybugger Quest

When I started playing EverQuest the first character I seriously played as was a Dark Elf Rogue. General rule of thumb, if I am given a class choice in a game, I usually choose a Rogue (and now you know something new about me). Technically it wasn't the first character I played as I screwed around with the ridiculous enchanter class, but once I had the basics down and got serious, I went for the rogue. That wasn't a terrible idea, but choosing the Dark Elf Rogue was. FIrst of all Dark Elves are more or less hated everywhere and just walking too close to certain NPCs are all you need to do to get an ass whooping.

The bigger problem though was the lack of starting quests. Some race/class combos have great quests in place that offer newbies good gear and good experience as they begin their journey. Not the fucking DE Rogues though. There was one decent one that gave you a shield and then after that you were shit out of luck. As a new player I really didn't know what to do other than just grind and slowly build my levels and save my coins. Eventually I did find another quest for around level 8 or 9. It was to assasinate a halfing aka hobbit (Sony didn't pay for the use of the name) named Lil Honeybugger. According to the guy who offered up the quest, it was an instruction from the dark elf king himself and there would be a great reward for it. FUCK YEAH!!! No more rusty weapons for me!!!

The problem with this is, it's a pretty hard fucking quest for a couple reasons.

1. It was fairly far for this stage of the game and as I mentioned earlier Dark Elves have some difficulty getting around if you're not careful.

2. You had to travel through Kithcor Woods, kind of a nexus zone that connected three important travel destinations. During the day, Kithcor really isn't a big deal, but at night some extremely high level undead creatures roam around it. So ultimately what you would see is during the evening hours, most adventurers would just sit at the entrance and wait for day because the skeletons in there could kill a young adventurer in one punch. But even sitting wasn't safe because usually some dumbass would wander through the woods, get chased by one of these giant skeletons and then try to outrun him to the exit. He'd most likely live, but the people who were sitting down and unaware that a horde of monsters was approaching usually wouldn't.

3. The real issue of course was getting into the Halfling territory unscathed, approaching Honeybugger's hut, hoping her older brother wasn't there, and then managing to kill her before her cries drew the attention of the guards who could make very short work of a low level rogue. Keep in mind this is the early era of MMO's and even though this assasination was taking place inside of a hut, the walls wouldn't actually hinder the perception of the guards. So basically you had a very slowly sneak around an entire zone, pray you landed an early backstab (the Rogue's speciality attack from behind), and then didn't miss the next couple hits.

Compared to the other quests for adventurers of this level, this was significantly harder than a lot of the standard fetch quests that fucking human warriors were doing. Anyway, I'll spare you any further description, but I did get lucky and managed to pull it off. I killed Honey Bugger and looted her head as the reward. That always weirded me out a bit.... normally when you loot a corpse you find coins, maybe a weapon, but this time....a bloody halfing head.

Now why is this little quest so memorable? Well, it's not because of the loot that was promised by the king's emissary who commissioned the quest. You see, it was bullshit. When you bring the head back to him he just laughs at you and says something to the extent of, "YOU FOOL!!!  The king didn't request this. I did. She was carrying my child and I needed to have her killed!!!"  He then laughs at you some more, and gives you some utter crap for the quest. Stuff that you could have picked up in 10 minutes of grinding. But yeah, pretty dark shit. A year or so later they ended up censoring the quest to something other than killing a pregnant halfing in order to cover up an unlawful fornication.  Apparently killing characters in EverQuest is just fine, so long as you don't ask for a motive.

Wed, 10 Apr 2019 22:36:25

Nice to know that the collateral damage suffered by people who AFK at dungeon entrances goes way back in MMORPG history. LOL

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 00:34:28
It's a tradition as old as time itself. And by time itself, I mean 20 years ago.
Thu, 11 Apr 2019 01:21:32

This is going to be a fun thread.

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 02:50:27

#2. The Rat Furrier

My most obnoxious moment in EverQuest history was probably when it came to some of the worst armor in the game.In every starting city it's not hard to find rats to kill. They're pretty much the entry level monsters and in no short supply. They don't give anything of value. Just some fur, whiskers and maybe a tooth or claw. Really the stuff is barely worth the trouble of taking to a local merchant. However in one of the starting cities there was an NPC, whose name I now forget, who would give take your deceased rat rewards along with some gold for his trouble and turn it into armor. Sexy, powerful rat fur armor.

Rat Fur Armor pieces were slightly more powerful than the cloth starting armor you had, and since the pieces weren't hard to come by it wasn't actually the worst thing in the world if you didn't want to work an extra 15 minutes for something better. The real issue was that each piece carried a negative charm attribute and a full suit lowered your charm by around 12 points. And that's fair if you think about it. I know that if I saw a guy dressed in rat furs, I'd probably want him to get away from me as quickly as possible.

Anyway I took my rat fur armor as an opportunity for some community role playing (it was an MMORPG after all), and started walking around the starting gates bragging about all the rats I had killed. Robio the Ratslayer, keeping the townsfolk safe from rat infestations. Sure those other warriors are out questing and trying to defeat kobolds miles and miles away, but I'm the one keeping everyone safe from the rats. And so on and so on. I got a few chuckles, but mostly replies of "what are you talking about" or the slightly more vulgar "shut the fuck up." But for an hour one day I was a master rat killer, and I was sure to let everyone know it.

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 08:44:00

Top stories.  yes  Having never dabbled in MMO's I tend to not get much in terms of tedious quests or human interactions.

I do have a history of getting strange looks in Monster Hunter though...  When my mate and me were playing Tri on Wii, we'd often find that other high level players would chose not to play with us as my level was usually lagging behind a bit on that of my mate, who had oodles more free time.  The fact that my gear usually was a mash up of different parts, most notabel a potbelly rhenoplos chestpiece with ace wind res, probably didin't help much.  Whenever anyone'd make a remark about it I'd answer it was a fashion statement.  That usually broke the ice.  yes

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 18:02:08
I played EQ for a couple months. I don't recall any fun memories of it, though. Just a lot of exploring and grinding and getting hopelessly lost a lot.
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 00:29:15

3. Fantasy Racism

My favorite time when it came to EQ was during the tail end of its second year. I "hung it up" six months earlier vowing never to play again (as I often did), but this time I seemingly meant it. However my best friend who had previously mocked the idea of games with monthly fees had just gotten hooked on it by another friend and he managed to drag me back in. It actually was different because he was playing on a specialized PVP server. When EQ launched they had one PVP server that was all-out chaos. It wasn't much more than just a bunch of low level characters running around killing each other. But in my absense they created a few new team PVP servers, one of which was racial PVP. It broke down into 4 teams:

  • Humans Team: Regular humans, barbarians (big strong humans), and Erudites (smart humans)
  • Elf Team: Wood Elves (regular elves), High Elves (fancy lord of the ring elves), half elves (bastards)
  • Short Team: Dwarves, Gnomes, Halflings (off-brand Hobbits)
  • Evil Team: Dark Elves, Ogres, Trolls, Iksaur (lizard men from the first expansion)

The original intention of those four teams didn't last long though. The main evil characters of Dark Elves, Trolls, and Ogres were always the most popular character of the game so they were always the biggest team. Once the Iksaur were added though the balance got thrown way the fuck off, as Ikkys were very popular characters and in some people's mind highly overpowered characters. Anyway it was never particularly well balanced but the dark characters outnumbered the other three times once the Iksaur were added, so the community adapted itself and it basically became Evil vs. Good (all other races).

At any rate the server was PVP done right in my mind. You were usually safe so long as you stayed in your own territory, but if you had to venture into enemy controlled lands you were facing almost certain death. Your only options were to be stronger than everyone else around or play during off-peak hours. Even being stealthy wasn't really helpful. There was always some jackass player who would do a "whois" search on which players were in the zone, and the second they spotted an opposing race, they'd yell out to everyone that there was an intruder and sudddenly you were public enemy number one.

The only real issue was when of the old school players screwed up the fun. Some people didn't like the idea of the server becoming good vs. evil, and preferred the four separate teams. For instance one time I had assembled a team of humans, halflings, elves, and gnomes for some nice mid-level hunting in an area that we didn't have any real business being in. However, it was a perfectly balanced team and everyone was pretty skilled so collectively we were punching higher than our weight class..... until a fucking gnomish necromancer showed up. This bastard insisted on racial purity and short team supremacy, and starting attacking the human and elf in our group. As we'd just  gotten out of a difficult battle, they were pretty easy pickings. And because he and I were on the same team I couldn't even defend them. To make matters slightly better he brought over two other short race characters to take their place, but at that point the rest of the team was too pissed off to keep playing and we all logged off to do something more useful with our lives.

Fucking racist necromancers.....

Sun, 28 Apr 2019 19:05:36

4. All This Green Shit

At some point in 2001 I took an extended break, but popped in again briefly towards the end of 2002 to see what was new. I started a character in Qeynos, my starting city of choice (stupid fact: Qeynos spelled backwards is Sony EQ), and noticed something was strange. There wasn't any bread for sale anywhere in town. Food was required to keep your character going, and bread was the cheapest option. Instead I had to settle for rations which were about 3 times the price. Weird, but I'd manage.

After gaining a few levels I traveled towards the Karana Plains, which where an expansive area outside of the newbie zones of Qeynos. It was basically farmlands with some bandits, creepy scarecrows with glowing eyes, and giants that would wander around killing pretty much anything in their path. A side story to the giants is one time I saw one get into a fight with two guards. It was close battle, with the giant slightly stronger than the combined strength of the two guards. I thought I could maybe swoop in and kill him after he beat the guards and get some loot that was beyond my level. Not a great idea. Even at under 10% health he throttled my ass and it was off to do another corpse retrieval.  But I digress...

This trip to the Karana Plains was immediately very strange. The air was covered in a green mist/fog. Fog wasn't uncommon in some zones, but it was unheard of here. And why green? And most of the NPCs I talked to in the area would cought before talking. After a few minutes a voice was heard across the level that said something like, "what a wonderful day for a plague." I approached another player about it, and apparently a new on-going story was taking place where a necromancer had created a plague in the area, and this was the results. Loss of health in the zone, green mist, and since this area was supposed to be a farmland..... they couldn't grow wheat to make bread. This in-game story that had logical reprecussions and even effect the local merchants and economy. It certainly wasn't as dramatic as what World of Warcraft would later do with Cataclysm, but this was pretty cool.

I have no idea how the whole thing ended, as I quit playing shortly afterwards, but I always impressed how far they were willing to carry a storyline.

Sun, 28 Apr 2019 23:14:45

Ah, fantasy racism. Made WoW a bit more boring than it might have otherwise have been. The actual anti-Brazilian xenophobia the private Ragnarok Online server I played made things more amusing, though. Nyaa

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