Saturday, August 22, 2015

#Blaugust Day 22 -- My Top Memorable Locations in #EQ

Everquest, Everquest, Everquest . . . where to even begin with Everquest? It was my first MMO. I remember walking past the Boxed version of the original game, thinking "YES!" . . . then looking at the monthly subscription rate and thinking, "NO!" (All these years later, and now it's free to play! Imagine that!)

I've dipped my toes back in the world before for the progression server, but it hasn't been my main game since many of the kids who read my blog were born. I was playing this on dialup. My extended family would get mad at me that my phone was always busy. Zoning from one area to the next took ten minutes!

Ben Conrad, who used to work at KingsIsle, left us for a time to work for Everquest (he's jumped to a different game company now), and he helped put together this (you can see him at the 32 second mark)

Instead of a first 10, Everquest deserves a first 50, but I don't have time for a first 50, so here it is . . . these are the first 10 zones that I thought about when I sat down all these years later, and just thought about them.


- Befallen!  More than just a hole in the wall . . .

I do believe Befallen is a perfect dungeon. Traps, keyed doors, necromancers, shadowknights, false floors . . . dead dwarves on hooks . . .

Befallen is legendary! I don't know many people who played Everquest and haven't stepped foot inside here. So popular it's even been translated to a pen and paper RPG, and even my buddy, Tipa, recreated this dungeon in Neverwinter!

Just look at those skeletal excavators digging new tunnels! (you'd think by now they'd have made a new wing)

I have a pretty great story myself about getting a temporary horse bridle through a quest here one night with an old friend (who I haven't talked to in years) . . . but that's another story for another time. (If you're reading this somehow years later, I miss you Makalani!!)


- Plane of Fire (Doomfire, the Burning Lands)

Uh, yup, I think I've said enough. ;)


- Plane of Disease bone wall. And the entrance to the land of creepy giant hair follicles is done by jumping into a sewer pipe . . . ALRIGHT!

This used to be the spot where groups would sit and soak in the glorious experience all night long. Pulls were easy. Experience was decent. and the scenery was GORGEOUS.

Well . . . it was the plane of disease . . . rats, goos, giant centipedes, mosquitoes, decrepit pus filled magicians, and did I mention giant hair follicles?

There were a couple times I journeyed even deeper into the castle in the Plane of Disease where a raid group would take down the ever-so-good-looking, Grummus. Good times. I remember it fondly.


- Crypt of Nadox

There's a big part of me that just loves to solo in these big social MMO games. I don't know what it is . . . maybe it's just that my schedule just usually doesn't line up with my friends' schedules.  Anyway, this particular spot at the entrance of Nadox was where I had my Cleric parked for a long time.

Sometimes I'd just log her on and down these three fire elementals near the front and log back off.  It was a 10 minute or so endeavor that could result in some good loot and decent experience. I don't think I could ever forget this spot.

It also was a stop off right before Hate's Fury. The coolest pirate ship around!

There was some pet-procc'ing weapon I wanted from here that I never got. There's a sense of "Grrrrr" when I think about this place and not getting that weapon.


- Felwithe. Starting area of the majestic high-elves!

Felwithe has the honor of being the center-piece of the sole fan fiction I penned about Everquest. It's super cheesy . . . I'm not going to link you to it.

Anyway, I spent a lot of time here with my high-elf cleric as her starting town, and I spent a lot of time here with my beastlord farming the guards for money.  Good times!  Finding the false wall that allowed you to go up on to the walkway above the town is definitely a highlight for me!


- Karnor's Castle Wall in the Dreadlands.  SO MANY PEOPLE! JUST PACKED WITH COMPUTER NERDS!

Well it used to be at least.

Yup, it's not much to look at no matter which direction you're facing, but this used to be PACKED with groups believe it or not.  The Dreadlands was a haven for exp groups, and if your puller somehow overwhelmed the group with too many mobs, the zone to Karnor's Castle was just right around the corner. TRAIN TO KC!

I loved these drachids btw . . . (they used to be a lot uglier btw -- this is the improved model)


- Butcherblock Mountains -- the chessboard.

Butcherblock is a big zone mostly known to be the starting area for Dwarves, like this fine lady

Gotta love the beard on her.

Most of my cleric's young life was spent hanging out at the Chessboard! If you killed enough skeletal pawns, eventually higher-ranked boss skeletons would appear . . . even an UNDEAD KING!

I wish I could remember the name of the Dwarf I used to hang out here with . . . I liked that dude . . . come to think of it, I like most people that played dwarves.


- Golra Island in Timorous Deep

If it sounds like an esoteric memory, it is.  I highly doubt many EQ players made it out to this remote island in Everquest. Maybe a few tradeskiller people who were looking for chunks of ice to craft rootbeer floats, but not many others.

These Golras look hilarious when they're chasing you.

Stingite spent a lot of time hunting these down for fun. It was a super quiet spot for soloing . . . but let's be honest . . . dying out here and getting your corpse back would be a pain in the keester . . . and that's probably why it was so unpopular. I can't remember if that ever happened to me. If it did, I'm sure I was ranting about it for days.

I guess Golra island is kind of like the antarctic of Everquest . . . remote, vacant, and hard to convince a cleric to come res you there.


. . . that's all.


Tenebrous Mountains, on the way to Katta Castellum.

So, there was a big +20 wisdom shield that I got for my Cleric back in the day--the Shield of Bane Warding, in fact. I had to spend a long time in this particular zone hunting down Vah Shir skeletons for the quest.

It's kind of a cool zone . . . up on Luclin, the moon of Everquest! Here's a view from in front of a vampire tower looking down on Norrath.

The nearby town of Katta Castellum was a pretty great place too. I used to take a rag tag group of friends there to hunt down Lcea Katta, who was a raid boss that held a piece you needed to get into another raid dungeon (A scary place called Vex Thal -- which strangely didn't make it on to my top ten)

Too many memories on Luclin.


And finally (speaking of Luclin) . . . The Ssraeshza Temple in the Grey.

Ahh, the Grey. It's a very barren zone that is devoid of oxygen. You had to have some kind of water-breathing device attached to survive here for too long; although you could usually sprint and make it across to the Ssraeshaza Temple in the middle.

Once inside it was full of SNEEPLE! (Snake people reference for the Crystal Gem fans out there.)

This was mainly a raid zone, and I spent several nights here with my guild killing a metric ton of Sneeple. It was pretty much the last zone you needed to visit before you went to Vex Thal. Later on it became a fun soloing zone for Stingite. I had fun destroying the entire thing the other night.

Those sneeple didn't stand a chance!


Whew . . . that was exhausting to write and take screenshots for, but I hope not too exhausting to read. If you know the zones, you'll relate and probably have tons of stories of your own. If you don't know the zones, you'll probably be reading mostly gibberish there. You know it's a good game if it sounds like mostly gibberish when people are talking about it. :)

Again, logging in and wandering around made me think of a ton of other zones that were amazing. It's pretty easy to see most of my memories center around the first few expansions of Everquest . . . Strange that I didn't think about any of the Omens of War, Depths of Darkhallow, Gates of Discord, or (insert the name of any of the past 20 expansions I missed).

I did have the thought that it would be very very strange to have this be your main game now and be in a raid guild . . . how weird would that be? I wonder what end content is like now?

Happy Dueling!


This post is part of the Blaugust challenge -- Thanks to Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut for hosting. 


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! I'm a big EQ fan as well (and played a long time ago). This post wasn't just memory lane for you!!!

Stingite said...

@Anon: Glad you enjoyed it. :) It's definitely worth logging on again just to run around and explore the past.