15 Years of MMO Memories

Updated Tue, Nov 17, 2009 by Ethec

With EverQuest 2 and World of Warcraft celebrating their fifth anniversaries this month, we asked our team and members of our community to share some of tales they've accumulated during their playing careers. Most our humorous, some are touching, but all of them highlight the best part of the massively multiplayer experience: the community.

Our first story comes from the dawn of the 3D MMORPG. Though not much more than a trivia answer for most MMO gamers, Meridian 59 maintains a small but active subscriber playerbase in the US and Germany - including many originals from its inception over 15 years ago - to this day. Ten Ton Hammer member sourpuss is one of these originals, and his story dates from the very beginning:

Outside a Meridian 59 Inn.

My favorite MMOG memories happened in Meridian59...  [The game dialog] used to say "You can't spell while resting," so I would type nonsense words while I was at the inn resting. They finally changed the message to, "You can't cast spells while resting." 

Another one I enjoyed was driving [my friend] Gravedigger nuts with the profanity filter. My toon was named Sourpuss, and whenever I would advertise "Meow Meow, Sourpuss mends Meow Meow," the filter displayed Sourpuss as something like @#$%!&. Gravedigger turned the filter off, but I replace the word Sourpuss with the filtered version in my broadcast. He spent 20 minutes trying to figure out why his computer was stuck with the profanity filter on. Someone finally told him it was appearing that way to everyone. 

Ah, the memories of early beta Meridian59. 

The best online gaming communities are the ones that move from game to game together, and Ten Ton Hammer Executive Editor Ben "Machail" de la Durantaye tells a good Samaritan story of the kind common among many EverQuest gamers. His story, however, has an especially happy ending.

Having started the MMO scene early, my most fond experiences come from EverQuest. I had ventured into Kedge Keep as a paladin, trying to get bone chips from the bottom of Phinny's Lair to complete the Holy Might quest. It's undetermined if that was bravery or stupidity on my part. I had managed to make it in pretty deep when I suddenly faced more sirens than I could handle. Fighting (literally) to my last breath, I died and my body floated to the bottom.

Now in EverQuest at that time, when you died, you went back to your bind spot, which was several zones away. You didn't get to bring your equipment with you, and being the astute pally I was, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to retrieve my corpse naked. However, it was late, no guildmates were on, and I wasn't going to leave my corpse decomposing at the bottom of the watery caves. So I headed back.

At the entrance was a fellow named Rule. I had never met him before, but he saw me and asked why I was swimming about naked. I explained the story, and he offered to help me get my corpse.

Well, it took us several hours. We died a few more times, but with Rule's cunning, he was always able to get our corpses. After about three hours we finally made it to my original corpse, and I was able to retrieve my equipment. I was incredibly relieved and thankful for his help. Then, in response to my thanks, he simply responded: "Now let's get your quest piece."

Kedge Keep, an underwater dungeon in Dagnor's Cauldron, claimed many a corpse in its day.

And we did. We fought even longer and harder and finally made it to Phinny's lair to get my quest item. I was ecstatic!

But it was short lived. Shortly after, Rule died, followed by a LD. I waited as long as I could, but after 30 minutes or so, my EB was about to run out, so I had to get out of there.

I was wracked with guilt for many days after that. Day after day I kept typing /who all Rule to see if he got back, and if he needed help getting his corpse. But I never did see him again.

That is, until 7 years later in Vanguard. Our guild had formed up and we were storming Telon, and I got a tell from one of my old buds, Zolzimar. Happy to see him, I quickly invited him to the guild. A few weeks later, Zolz told me he had an old friend he would like to invite to the guild, back from the EQ days. I, of course, accepted the request, and sent a guild invite to his friend, Cinister. We got to talking in guild chat about EQ, and how we all played on Tunare. Then, Cin sends me a tell: "You don't remember me? I helped you out in Kedge." It was Rule.

I had thought about this mysterious hero who helped me out all those years ago, and had often wondered where he went, and if he ever did get out of Kedge. I had never imagined I'd run into him again, but sure enough, our paths did cross once again. We've been gaming together ever since.

And yes, Rule did get his corpse.

Machail mentioned Rule going LD, or Link Dead, and Starhawk hearkens back to the days when perhaps the biggest danger to your raid wasn't a tactical failure or a distracted healer, but a family member or roommate wanting to phone a friend.

My first true MMORPGs were Ultima Online and EverQuest. When I am playing WoW and I hear people complain of how slow and laggy their Internet connections are, I laugh to myself as I relive a flashback to the old [dial-up] days when every time you had a phone call you got knocked offline, or you had to log off because someone else in the house had to make a call…not to mention trying to run a raid where you had multiple members going link dead at the same time constantly. 

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