Remembering EverQuest - Ten Years of Memories

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Ten years is a decent amount of time by anyone’s standards. Even centenarians consider a decade to be a nice little chunk of their life. So the fact that EverQuest has spanned a decade in its live time is quite the feat. And it has done so with a desire to always stay competitive, if not by leading the pack then by keeping its substantial player base satisfied.

But it’s not often the current trend that we remember most in our gaming memories; we linger upon those events early in our MMO careers that laid the groundwork for all of our subsequent endeavors. In a break away from our normal competitive routine, I’d like to present to you the most memorable moments of the Ten Ton Hammer staff.  Please sit back and wax nostalgic about some of your own favorite moments from this ground-breaking game.

I actually have two virtual memories that I fondly remember. I distinctly recall the first time I saw a female human character wearing a set of chainmail. Also, bear in mind that I was still a relatively young man ten years ago. It was probably four weeks after the release of the game, and chainmail was finally becoming a bit easier to find. Although I'd seen plenty of male avatars with the stuff on (the half-elf set was fantastic looking), I'll always remember the chainmail thong that graced my screen in Qeynos Hills.

My second memory revolves more around the social aspect of EverQuest. Thanks to the incredibly long spawn times on some of the monsters, your random pick-up group for the night had a very high chance of becoming some of your closest friends in the game. This happened to me in Blackburrow when my barbarian warrior, Lico, decided to group up with a half-elf druid, a half-elven ranger, and a human paladin. Let's just say that we were from opposite sides of the country and on completely different walks of life, but we became amazing friends in a matter of hours.

- Cody “Micajah” Bye

My first time into the Warrens, my guild group got separated by accident in the hallways. My wood elf warrior and the barbarian shaman got trapped in a room that someone had apparently cleared out before we got there. As we were going to the other side of it to continue down the tunnel, the kobolds started respawning on top of us. We managed to stay alive long enough for the bard and shadow knight to find us. We backed into a corner, forming a half circle around the shaman.

For what seemed like an eternity, we continually swapped targets, hitting, swinging, and a lot of cursing, while all the while the shaman was resting/cannibalizing and healing as fast as he could. After an amazingly long battle, we stood tall and looked upon the swarm of kobolds, all dead at our feet. After some cheering and patting ourselves on the back, we turned around to head out… just to look at a full hallway of kobolds. We fought our way out that night, clawing through those tunnels by what seemed like inch by inch, but in the end, we made it… all without a single death. It was one of the most intense video game battles I’ve ever had and definitely one of the greatest moments in my personal gaming history.

-Eric “Dalmarus” Campbell

My first "OH WOW!" moment in EQ1 was very early on in 99, I was in a party who decided to explore Castle Mistmoore. It was our first foray into the zone. We had a paladin, cleric, druid, wizard, rogue and myself the necromancer. We had pretty decent success clearing the entrance and were quite proud of ourselves. Emboldened by this new found power we thought we had, we moved deeper into the zone. It was a time before custom UI's and the like so most non group chat i completely missed, maybe if I had we wouldn't have made that climb. We started the ascent up to the castle entrance and noticed a few folks running past us, in retrospect they were fleeing for their lives lol. As we finally got up near the door out pops a HUGE mob. It was a GM playing Mayong Mistmoore and plowing down everything in his way. It was a-holes and elbows as we tried to get back out of the zone, we never made it. After all the carnage he was kind enough to rez us all with no penalty and thank everyone for their unwitting participation! I really miss this sort of interaction in current gen mmo's, GM events pushed me into joining the guide program and eventually becoming a senior guide.

I too have made some pretty amazing friends thanks to EQ. I took several breaks from EQ that usually seemed to happen at xpac time. I had come back to explore Shadows Of Luclin and rolled a beastlord, I was instantly hooked (I'm still looking for this class to come back in eq2) and leveled quickly. One day as I was two boxing in a velious zone I came across a lone paladin who asked me if I could help him on a quest, I switched to my cleric and helped TTH's own Machail finish up a quest and we have been friends ever since. While I have made a lot of friends in each MMO I have played the ones I made in EQ seem to be the longest lasting. I suppose spending years of our lives xp'ing or waiting for a rare spawn together forge strong bonds.

A quick final memory - finishing my first full bronze set on my warrior and watching him spin around the login screen "sweeeeeet"

- Jason “Medawky” Bolton

My first and favorite character was my barbarian shaman.  I had played Ultima Online for a couple of years so I figured it'd be cake learning the ropes...until I made my first trip into Blackburrow.

Like the young and brash newb I was, I ran around with my tank and helped clear everything in sight before we jumped down into the water and swam to the ladder.  I could not get up that ladder for anything.  The first time I drowned and was revived it was funny.  The second time I was getting a little concerned.  The third time my friend brought his character down to see what was taking me so long and he joyfully stood on the edge laughing and yelling "Look up and climb!  Look up and climb!" while I drowned again.

Finally, I got stuck in some rocks and while waiting for the GM to come rescue me, my friend called me on the phone to troubleshoot the problem.

"Are you looking up before you climb?"
"Well, what do you mean by looking up?  I can see my character flopping around like a fish trying to get up there!"
 "Jamie?  Are you playing in 3rd person?"
"Umm, maybe.  Why?"
-audiable sigh- "Scroll into first person, then LOOK UP AND CLIMB!"

I recall a grumble regarding "those stupid UO players" just before he hung up.

- Savanja

I have lots of EQ moments that are priceless, at least to me. I'll share a couple.
After playing a couple of characters to around level 10, I found myself with a newly-minted wood elf in Kelethin. Unlike Qeynos, my first starting city, Kelethin was completely confusing to me. I never once fell off a ramp or bridge (I learned very quickly to navigate them carefully), but I did have a bit of trouble with the lifts.
I was around level 2 or so when I found myself laden with junk I needed to sell in the city. So I headed over to the lift and waited for it to come down. I waited, and waited...and finally the lift appeared. A couple folks hopped off, and I hopped on. Then I waited for the lift to go back up. And I waited, and waited, and waited....

Finally I sent out a frustrated /OOC message saying, "Why the hell do these lifts take so long to go up and down?"
The reply came back: "Ya gotta love newbs! Use the lever, darlin'!"
Much later in my EQ career, when I was nearing the level cap, I was a confident, adventure-loving druid. My friend (a fellow druid) and I practically owned Maiden's Eye, and late at night we used to run around the empty zone laughing hysterically and dragging huge trains of bats and Garangas and wolves and the odd Xi Vius (had to watch out for those guys--they had spells!) just for kicks. Pity the poor wretch who happened to zone into ME unaware and stumble across one of our training parties.
My husband, who played a mage, wasn't nearly as confident or adventurous as either I or my friend. His trips to ME required me to escort him to our hunting spots. I often found him running for his life and sending me frantic /tells: "Heal pls! Heal pls!" I have to admit that my friend and I--cocky druids, we!--took a sort of perverse delight in keeping him quaking in his magely slippers.
So, one night my husband had had quite enough of my friend's antics, and just a few too many near-death experiences with the multiple-mob pulls he was bringing to our camp. The next time my friend went out to pull, I saw my husband quickly sit down to, I assumed, memorize a spell.
My friend sent the group a message: "Incoming...a whole sh*tload!"
The next thing I knew my befuddled friend was standing back at our camp, with not a single mob in tow. The new spell my husband had memorized? Call of the Hero.
"I can't believe it," said my friend, "He SUMMONED my ass!"
Mages may be squishy, but let no one say they're stupid.

- Karen “Shayalyn” Hertzberg

Like Shay I have lots of EQ moments, but there are three that for very different reasons stand out:

1) 1) I sat for hours, so many that they all blurred together with Phil “Ralph” Comeau and two other gents from work camping "The Preacher". Our victim was on a 30 minute timer, but we could kill everything in the room in about 20 seconds. That meant that we had to find other ways to amuse ourselves. Our night consisted of listening to Phil's jokes and watching our bard dance on "the stage" where the Preacher spawned. It was one of the most memorable nights of EQ not because we actually accomplished anything amazing, but because four friends sat around in an office, drinking beer and enjoying the downtime in a MMOG. I still believe that the downtime in EQ was one of the biggest reasons that people played it as long as they did.

2) Being the first monk on my server to get the sparkly epic fists.   

3) Soloing Vox - I had been in so many raids of 40+ people who wiped that when at 52, tricked out in the best gear that the game could provide and loaded to the teeth in buffs and potions, I stepped into her lair and showed her what a monk could do.  Good times.

- John “Boomjack” Hoskin

My first EQ moment didn't come 10 years ago. It came two years ago when a bunch of my EQ2 group decided that we'd try out the Progression servers they were launching. I had Station Access for my EQ2 acct and decided I should see what the origin of all these "Oh man, remember in EQ1..." stories came from, so I bought the Platinum Edition and joined in.

It was a few weeks in, AFTER I got lost in the sewers, AFTER I couldn't get to my 10 corpses in the waterway, AFTER I couldn't figure out how to get a trade skill, AFTER I had learned that this wasn't your mother's Blackburrow, and AFTER I figured out why people in EQ2 hated Holly Windstalker so much.

Now, at this point you should know that none of my friends had told me much about the differences between EQ and EQ2.

I was playing a Shadow Knight, had just gotten my "summon undead" spell at level 8, and decided that I was going to explore Karana. It was a brilliant idea and I was gaining experience pretty quick, and I was across the zone when I triggered some heavy duty aggro. Leaving my pet to fight the monster, I high tailed it out of there. I ran until I couldn't see the monster anymore, then I decided to be safe and ran to the zone line. That was all the way across the zone, easily more than enough for me to lose aggro, so I should be safe enough to do some chatting (just like in EQ2).

I turned around in time to see the monster I left behind almost 3 minutes ago come running down the valley to the Qeynos Hills zone in point. ".... Oh no way. No *&^%ing way!!" Before I could turn around to zone, he was beating on me and I couldn't click fast enough I was in such a panic. I wound up missing the zone and clicking on everything else right before I died.

/tell Savanja: I think the fraggin' game is bugged! I just died from something that followed me across almost the entire zone!

/Savanja: oh yeah. Aggro will follow you across the entire zone here. I thought you knew that? lol.

/tell Savanja: ....

- Brock “Brokain” Ferguson

Oh I have a good one. My very first day in EQ I made a little lowbie mage. I went exploring a little too far out of Freeport and found myself in the Western Commonlands. At the tender level of 4 I saw my first Hill Giant and he was coming right for me. I sent my little water pet at him to take one for the team as I tried to make my getaway. The next thing I saw was that overhead view of my corpse (corpse wasn't there mind you) and the Hill Giant steam-rolling by. I assumed my little mage stuck to his boot. I rerolled right after that. Some people say that if you listen closely in the Western Commonlands the screams of that poor mage can still be heard when the Hill Giant takes a step.
- Stacy “Martuk” Jones

What do you say about your first real MMO game (I played UO too, but it's not the same) that does it justice?  Is it the bronze armor which took me forever to get a full set of that I wore so proudly? The 30 minute boat rides which made me many friends?  My most memorable was probably the epic journey to obtain Soulfire, which was this kick ass flaming sword and the first step of the Paladin epic.  It was disjointed, hard to

follow and one of the most awesome things I have ever done. The final step required me to go into the back of the Freeport Militia guardhouse and kill a half dozen guards and Lucan D'Lere himself thus ruining my faction and requiring me to use the sewer system for a very long time.
The other that strikes me as most memorable was during a guild meeting in the same sewers (we had a lot of Paladins) and a fellow guildmate stumbling in late intoxicated.  He kept having trouble distinguishing between the open channel and tells.  It was great.

- Tony “RadarX” Jones

My first encounter with being one-shotted happen in EverQuest. It was General V'Deres and he ran up to me before I could move.
No loading screen, no "Please...wait..." nothing. Just me, back at bind.

I had NO clue what hit me and I remember clear as a bell my amusement at the fact that a mob had just teleported me to bind.
Me: /gu DUDE WTF? A mob that ports you? That's weak!
Guildie: He ported you? Like back to him?
Me: /gu lol..no. Like back to bind!
Me: And he took all of my gear.

Me: ...and…
Me: ...nevermind.
I never lived that down.

- Coyote
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