Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering Everquest

Yes, Everquest. To those who have played it back then before gaming became huge, it is the most magical, immerse and fun MMO in their lives. No MMO can replicate the same magic and feel. My friend John and I searched and searched for such an MMO with no avail. For my side, I've tried World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, Everquest 2, Dungeon And Dragons Online, Final Fantasy XI, Vanguard, a bit of Age of Conan, and many other p2p games. I've even tried f2p ones: Flyff, Guild Wars, Ragnarok Online, Ragnarok Online 2, Maple Story, 9 Dragons, 2 Moon, Granado Esparda, and a hell lot more I daren't count.

Search all we want, none could reproduce the same magical feel as Everquest did. I was still pretty young when I played MMOs, back then when 56K still existed within my house. I was only 13 or 14 when John first told me about Everquest. Back then, I think I was the rather daydreaming type, writing random fan-fiction, playing FF6 and other RPGs, etc. so the idea of an MMO really intrigued me.

I remember when we started off at Rodcet Nife server. The Magician was my first character. Ranger was my second I think. But I didn't get really far before we decided to shift to Innoruuk server where most Singaporeans play. There I believe I created Rhistel the Bard, which I later discovered to be one of the more fun and rather overpowered class. To cut short the chase, Rhistel fell off the world at Overthere, I couldn't play him, couldn't wait for GMs to respond for petition and stupidly deleted him.

Then I started Rhistel the Rogue, which I played till level 30 and stopped. After which I created Faylar the Bard. He was my main ever since. Much of what I remembered was post-Luclin. Most people who recalled Everquest have most of their good memories pre-Luclin, but I felt my experiences were irreplaceable like theirs.

I intended to type out a full list of the nostalgic things that I experienced in Everquest. In fact, I typed it out but I really had to stop. The stuff I remember is probably enough to create a short storybook. I couldn't do the same for current MMOs like World of Warcraft. In the MMOs nowadays, most of the stuff I remember are usually created by the community, not by the world contents.

We all know that one of the most important thing in an MMO is the classes. It's what draws people in. But seriously when you look at Everquest classes, they are severely lacking in depth compared to recent MMOs. Every fight, every raid, the warrior do the same 1 thing, Taunt. The rogue will do the same 1 thing, Backstab. The cleric will do the same 1 thing, Heal. The ranger will keep pressing the same 1 button, Range Attack.

Leveling in EQ was painful. For me it was less painful because bards are so overpowered in the soloing department. I bet it was unintentional too. I bet alot of things in EQ are unintentional. Accidents, rather. Anyway, EQ is based on groups. I think it's safe to say that at least 80% of the classes can't solo mobs that will actually give them decent exp. Even then, grouping is faster. Most people spend their time LFGing and idling, whether it's doing random tradeskills, helping out groups they are not even in, granting mass buffage for donations, and pre-POP/Luclin, granting teleport services.

It's all because they can afford to idle that there is actually a sense of community in Everquest. Yet another accident. I believe it's mostly because that there are so few things to do in combat for most classes that they can actually chat while fighting mobs. IDLE chat. Not "let's do this quest" kind nor the "pull that mob" kind. I'm talking about the "haha ya, anyway my son is coming home soon, I wonder what to get him" kind. I get alot of those conversations, mostly because people in EQ that time are easily more than 21 years old. Most are 30 I think. It's a little awkward for me, since I'm 14 at that time.

But that's what makes Everquest so great. Back then when there wasn't any social networks, when there weren't any other MMO to play, people will just hop onto EQ and play. They don't have to level, or gain exp. They just...exist in the virtual world, to chat, to explore to...have fun. It felt like a WORLD. Nowadays, with facebook and all that, it's not gonna happen anymore, not in my lifetime, or at least, not if social networking suddenly got banned in internationally (har har).

I still remember what my 2nd last guild was: Lords of Ancient Myth. Times with them were pretty awesome. I get to explore some old dungeons people don't visit anymore. Congh the Beastmaster will just go like "hey guys, I got the key to Plane of Torment, let's go next week!". I still remember Garlik the cleric I flushed my excess peridots to, Sofia his wife, and Sunna the druid. There was a rather noisy mage too, but I can't remember for the life of me his name. It's a small guild, but we had loads of fun.

Everquest is the place I dumped 2 years of my childhood into. I must say that I don't regret it. I have experience what few people have ever experienced and what further generations probably never will.

EDIT: Actually I decided to just put the list in. It can really go on forever: (!WARNING, HUGE LIST!):
- I remember starting out at Kelethin (Wood Elf) and falling down just to respawn at somewhere less confusing.
- I remember many elfs randomly falling down to do the same
- I remember the 3 lifts and their unofficial names: newbie lift, PoD lift and orc lift.
- I believe I still remember the way to the bank from PoD lift. You have to pass by a forge.
- I believe I still remember the way to Rogue guild; the nearest lift is newbie lift.
- I remember drinking alcohol at Kelethin is great fun most of the time when a fall can kill you.
- I remember following the roads, and asking directions from a high elf, who actually pointed me the wrong direction.
- I remember binding 'W' to the 'Sense Direction' skill.
- I remember the glorious camping days of Crushbone. Trainer hill, slavers, outside the castle and inside.
- I remember 'an orc trainer' drops that shield that gives light
- I remember Ambassador DVinn, the stupid outleveled mob that tore apart groups in the castle.
- I remember he drops Dragoon Dirk, a +2 (i think) Dex weapon that can be equipped at ranged slot for whatever reason.
- I remember cooking the 'Dark Elf Meat' he dropped into something edible.
- I remember camping the stupid Orc Scoutsman just to get his fibula for my newbie quest.
- I remember wondering why other orcs don't have fibulas.
- I remember the chessboard at Butcherblock Mountains.
- I remember killing random ogres patrolling around Butcherblock.
- I remember the buggy ass ship that's supposed to bring me to Freeport.
- I remember camping deathfist orcs for their belts for the great exp. I also remember dying to Hill Giants, though not as much as most people do (yay bard)
- I remember people without special sight need to really turn up their monitor's gamma just to see Commonlands in the night.
- I remember the stupid rogue poison vendor hidden behind some illusion wall.
- I remember you can go from outside South Freeport to outside North Freeport via a path behind an illusion wall, because North Freeport is governed by paladins who kill evil people.
- I remember Paludal Caverns, and the stupid exp they give from level 15-25.
- I remember those stupid monsters that inflict this long lasting DoT.
- I remember how monks love to train the entrance at Paludal.
- Speaking of monks, Fungus Covered Scale Tunic :)
- I remember swimming at Paludal is deadly: there are piranas.
- I remember running down Kithicor Forest (I think), only to be harm touched by a mob.
- I remember how Kithicor Forest is unsafe during the night as high level undeads will spawn.
- I believe I still remember how to navigate around Highhold Pass. The key locations are still in my head.
- I remember always accidentally heading towards the bandits at Highhold Pass.
- I remember South Karana is a nice place to farm spider silks.
- I remember that the Karanas are really huge zones.
- I remember getting lost at Qeynos, and I went there just to get one of my songs.
- I remember killing goblins at High Keep. There are 4 camp spots. I only remember warrior room and...seer room?
- I remember an ogre can block the rooms.
- I remember Captain Borsec being the only guard that doesn't carry Fine Steel Short Sword; he was carrying some dumb Rusty Longsword.
- I remember hiding one of my friend's corpses behind an illusion wall at High Keep before logging.
- I remember Lockjaw at the desert of Ro. Can't remember north or south though.
- I remember seeing the spectre tower at Ro. It was quite intriging.
- I remember Iceclad Ocean, the wierd looking gnome ship and the invisible pumas there.
- I remember the gigantic bridge leading to Eastern Wastes which was 'guarded' by 2 giants, who are actually damn small compared to the bridge.
- I remember Ry'gorr fort and the only way to find it is to follow the smoke the fort emits.
- I remember killing those geostones at Crystal Caverns I think hoping to get money.
- I remember Thurgadin hidden behind some waterfall that lags my computer.
- I remember the ice bridge there and all the dwarfs at the side pointing crossbows at it.
- I remember falling off the bridge without dying. Had to beg for a mage to CoH me.
- I remember kiting the wyverns at Cobalt Scar.
- I remember at level 30, I was queuing up for the Mask of Deception at Lower Guk.
- I remember all the people that helped me from Lunar's Light guild. I also remember all the attempts to help me obtain it. The attempt where John and one other Singaporean did resulted in server maintenance shutdown.
- I remember Eoie the bard and Beegfoots the shadowknight at the attempt that finally gives me the mask. Eoie soloed the BBEG at Lower Guk that time and was spamming about how awesome he is in guild chat.
- I remember all that took me a couple of weeks. 2 weeks for a mask that don't even give stats. But hey, it turns me into a Dark Elf.
- I remember John camping Stormfeather for days just to get the Eyepatch of Plunder. He got it when he skipped school.
- I remember hunting frost giants in Great Divide and cooking their toes for +2 STR/STA or something.
- I remember falling off a at the side of Kael Drakkel, because seriously in first person mode, I can't tell if it's a 90 degree angle at the other end.
- I remember being very accomplished when I can survive the fall in Kelethin.
- I remember falling off the spiral stairs at SolA, ended up in lava and dying like 2 mins later while trying to swim my way out. I have to ask for necro rez.
- I remember the stupid necro rez cost me 100pp just for the coffin reagent.
- I remember Brass Instruments were a real bitch to train because they are all harmful songs.
- KEI, the most powerful mindcrack ever and all mana users love it. Why the heck doesn't it work for bards?
- I discovered /gems and was actually addicted to it since level 29, when I got my first charm spell.
- ...

1 comment: