A Hopeful Promise: My First MMO Part
2


by Moghedan Carns



Summary
of Part 1:
In part 1, Moghedan talked about his introduction
to EverQuest, what he labeled his "little cardboard box of hope."
Tired of playing games that seemed to exploit the player, he turned to
EQ, only to find that first of all his current computer wouldn't handle
EQ. He upgraded and started creation of a character, which was a breeze.
"I sped through the account creation process, which was lengthy and
detailed, but very simple. In the six years since, I have never found
another out-of-game interface easier to use than of the original Everquest.."

As soon as he started play, however, he ran into trouble. With a framerate
of about 2 fps, he tore his hair out, then invested in a 3D-capable video
card, and two weeks from the day of purchase he was ready to plunge into
EverQuest. He spent much time at the character creation screen, armed
with some magazine articles to help him through the process. He then braved
the wilds off Freeport's front door, with hilarious results. Go here to read Part 1.



In Freeport for about a week, I slowly discovered little things…like
the rest of Freeport and vendors. I managed to find my trainer listed
in the note I had received on creation! I was even able to accidentally
get inside the floating castle, where I discovered I could buy new spells.
By this time, I had found my spell book and was able to use my spells
again after death. Minor Shielding gave me one of those squares, so I
used it all the time. Tishan gave me a wolf head square. Sadly, it never
turned me into a werewolf.

I was told to go to Butcherblock and fight things at the crossroads. I started
every day by going to the docks in East Freeport and getting on the boat.
From the Butcherblock dock, I ran to the crossroads (asked enough questions
that someone led me there from the docks the first time) and fought goblins
and beetles. I stuck mostly to goblins-those beetles were mean. I met
a young dwarf paladin named Ezikial, and we fought together every day
with a dwarven cleric named Bakin.

While fighting without Bakin or Ezikial one day, I encountered three
elves trying to form a guild. It sounded a lot like the clans of my league-playing
days, so I joined them. The guild was very strict roleplay, and everything
had to be spoken in character. We could not speak to or group with evil
characters. This was odd because I was beginning to think Everquest was
not so much a roleplaying game as it was a kill-monsters-and-get-stuff
game. Two of the elves I had encountered were wood elves playing sisters,
even though they were guys. They were online all the time and very popular
with the guild. The third was a high elf. He was the guild leader and
not online very much. When he was online, he seemed mentally unbalanced.

In
MechCommander, I had been an excellent player, occasionally winning a
tournament but usually falling in the final or semifinal round. I was
third in command of the Clan, having risen up the ranks instead of being
there from the start, and I had spent most of my time arguing the cases
of my clanmates against the league admins. In Everquest, as you can tell
from above, I was not a good player, and I was rather enjoying being a
peon. Thus, a large amount of things happened-I had no idea what they
were, but most involved the fact that the guild leader was mentally unstable.
Some people began leaving; others attempted a coup in favor of the twin
wood elf sisters. The wood elves declined leadership, and the high elf
refused to relinquish it. The League of the Scroll died in this fashion.

I was tired of the enchanter at this point, having achieved the great
level 16 and being totally unable to solo anywhere. School had started
back for Ezikial, and he had little time to play. Without him, I failed
to get into many groups. I began making new characters. They have their
own stories of success and heartbreak, but none are as amusing as those
of the first few months as my enchanter.

When
a new game comes out, some people want to feel like a newbie again. They
believe that the feeling of being a newbie will bring back the magic that
was the first time they saw Everquest. Others believe that the feeling
is caused by it being their first time seeing a game like this. I can
tell you, I hope and pray to every deity that can hear that I NEVER want
to feel like that newbie again. That was not the source of magic; it was
something I cannot imagine why I submitted myself to. Mainly, I think
it was the credit card bill and the disapproving glare of my wife. It
made me keep at it till I made a successful go of it. It was also not
the first time I had seen a game of its type. Change the movement to square-based,
and ancient games like Bard's Tale and Eye of the Beholder are extremely
similar.

The magic was something infused into Norrath's landscape. No other game
has bothered to include the likes of the Academy of Arcane Sciences, the
Temple of Marr, Kelethin, the statue in Everfrost. None have tried for
the spires in Greater Faydark, the deep feeling of Guk, the doors of Najena.
None show Highpass Hold. None have Kaladim, Felwithe, or Steamfont. None
have anything like the Plane of Fear. None have the feeling of Kunark,
or Velious, years later. Games released afterward do not feel like a fantasy
realm. They feel more like the real world. Everything is functional, not
magic. The races do not feel different. Ogres, trolls, and dark elves
are portrayed more as comical evil, cruel rather than as out for self
gain. Elves and dwarves are humans who are short or have long ears. They
do not have Levitation, or Illusion, or Find Corpse, or a dozen other
fun spells.

Everquest
was a kill-things-and-get-stuff game, but it did not want to be. It fought
against it at every turn, desperately clinging to the roleplaying portion
of its genre title. Other games seem to have gone quietly in the night
and embraced the nature of killing things and getting stuff. That is why
they do not have the magic. I do not remember Aradune as the Saint Brad
that some now portray him. I do remember the soulless expansions that
occurred after his group left. For the game to have that soul again is
my desperate hope for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes' future. And just maybe
that miracle does make him Saint Brad after all.

Note: Screenshots courtesy
of Raya and used by permission.





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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.

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