EverQuest at Ten: The Devs Share Their Memories
Our post launch guild was far more diverse. We had a ranger that steadfastly led our entire group, trailing behind using auto-follow, directly over a cliff causing the death of several of our weaker members. We had our hide and seek games in Qeynos, where they unfairly proclaim my use of illusions as cheating. We had good times doing things that the designers meant for us to do. We had just as much fun doing whatever we thought a band of adventurers might do in their off hours.
At the end of last week, the Ten Ton Hammer staff
you a look
into our personal href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/38"
stories. Now we have a special treat for
Ten Ton Hammer readers; we asked the staff of style="font-style: italic;">EverQuest to write
their favorite memories from the ten year old title, and they came back
with some fantastic responses. From simple stories of excellent combat
strategies to epic guild flashbacks, make sure you check out all of
these amazing memories!
One of my favorite EQ memories is a simple one.
I managed to be the lone wizard for a plane of fear raid.
With nimble casting, a very well coordinated set of raid group leaders,
on the ball raid players, and a good connection that night to
get six groups up to fear in only a little over six minutes, with no
Seems so simple, but it was handled so precisely and efficiently that I
could take pride in it.
Adam Bell, Game Designer
While there are a lot of memorable
experiences (breaking Fear and Hate,
logging to chat to save buffs for Lady Vox), I think my favorite
encounter was finally defeating Rallos Zek in Tactics with my
guild. Some of us had done the event on open raids before,
but as a guild it was a long process. We'd go through a round
of flagging, then a round of gearing up, then take a day to try him --
each time we'd get closer and closer, and it got more and more
frustrating when we lost. Rallos and how we did on the
encounter was a measuring post for our guild over the months.
Growing in numbers, skill, and gear always seemed a bit nebulous until
we did Rallos again and could see just how much better we were against
a known target.
"A few more AAs for the healers and the DPS," we'd think, "And better
gear on our tanks and kiters, and maybe a few more people, and we've
got him." It took us a long while -- a few months at least --
until we finally broke him down. We finally had the gear to
handle the AEs and the adds, the AAs to deal the damage and keep the
tank up, and enough kiters to keep the adds away from the rest of the
raid for just barely long enough. I don't remember what items
we got from that kill any more, but I'll remember the experience of
taking him down with 27 friends for a long, long time.
Ed Hardin, Game Designer
I've had many fun moments playing
over the last ten plus
years (I was one of the folks that got into beta fairly
early). I've probably got even more stories about working on
the game for eight of those years. But for me, like probably
many people that have played the game, my favorite stories come from my
earliest days playing; playing with my guildies in fact.
It's hard to describe the exact reasons that I remember those times so
fondly. Specifics are hard to come by when you're my age
remembering ten years back. I do know that primarily it was
the people. It was my guild. Most of us "met"
through a weekly web-zine thing as contributors, editors, goofballs or
artists long before the game launched. At some point all of
us were invited to beta and were off and running with our "RP" guild of
dark elves. I, uncharacteristically, played a
cleric. I still smile at the hours I'd spend standing at the
zone line from Kithicor to Commonlands finding new ways to explain to
other dark elves that killing our own guards was foolish, though very
hateful indeed. We were constantly roleplaying in the face of
leet name calling and such, and we loved every minute of it.
Our post launch guild was far more diverse. We had a ranger
that steadfastly led our entire group, trailing behind using
auto-follow, directly over a cliff causing the death of several of our
weaker members. We had our hide and seek games in Qeynos,
where they unfairly proclaim my use of illusions as cheating.
We had good times doing things that the designers meant for us to
do. We had just as much fun doing whatever we thought a band
of adventurers might do in their off hours.
But my favorite EverQuest
memory happened in real life. In
Las Vegas, in fact. This was the first time our guild met in
real life. We came from all over the country, and from other
countries as well. This was one of the wonders of style="font-style: italic;">EverQuest,
that a dozen or more people who had never actually met would consider
themselves close enough friends to fly to Las Vegas and spend a weekend
I can only imagine what the others thought. I know that I was
thinking that it was going to be pretty awkward. I figured
that there was no way I'd like most of these people in
person. Hell, they were roleplayers, so there was a good
chance they weren't nearly as interesting in real life as they were in
game. Of course, I was wrong. Each and every one of
them was an amazing person. We genuinely liked each
other. Our friendships grew stronger, and it wasn't as weird
as I thought to have a real face to give to the game face.
That Fan Faire in Vegas was the most memorable time I've had related to
and it served me well when I start to wonder why I was
working sixty hour weeks on the game.
For most folks of the current generation this might not seem like
anything new. But this was ten years ago. Back then
most folks didn't know that you could actually make friends over the
internet. I know I didn't. That experience had a
lot of influence on me and helped me in the work I did early on
as a Community Relations Manager. And now as a
designer I try to keep it in mind as I build content for the
game. EverQuest is a game, sure, but it's also a place to
make connections and enjoy a great time with good friends.
Assistant Lead Designer
I was introduced to
for the first time in the fall of 2000 by
co-workers at a former company, who were huge fans of the game and
played it pretty regularly outside of work, even having started their
own guild. Getting into my first monthly-subscription-fee game was
difficult in those days as my wife and I had a one-year-old to take
care of, and money was kind of tight. Fortunately, one of my co-workers
was good enough to lend me his sign-on key to try the game out for
awhile. He neglected to warn me not to use the main character for the
That evening I tried out his main character, a female half-elf ranger,
and had a ball running around hunting things and catching pick-up
groups. However, guild chat soon turned ugly as one of the guildies
began telling a stream of misogynistic jokes and taunting all the
characters with female names. I felt compelled to remain quiet, since
it wasn’t my account, but after awhile I felt I could repress
the anger any longer, and told the guy to knock it off with the
girl-hate, it wasn’t becoming and no one wanted to hear it.
After awhile the guildmaster shows up, kicks the offender out of the
guild, and after asking around, decided to promote me to guild officer.
I also began getting messages from other guildies, saying how great it
was that a girl had finally gotten promoted to guild officer, and how
much better they felt knowing ‘one of them’ was
looking out for them. I was honored and flattered, and as everyone was
congratulating me I kind of failed to disabuse anyone of the notions
that a) it wasn’t my account, and b) I wasn’t
really a girl. I logged off, feeling like a bit of a hero.
The next week at work was kind of a pain, having my co-worker upset
with me for getting his main appointed to a guild officer position
under the pretense that he is actually female, and with a bunch of
admirers proud of him for things he didn’t actually say or
do. But, though he was let go from our company a few weeks later, the
power of EverQuest was rushing through my veins, and I was hopelessly
hooked, finally with my own copy of the game.
John Boomershine, Game
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