Everquest Journal One
In the beginning, I had a pretty steady group of me playing my cleric, a bard named Linako, and a necromancer named Kharza. The three of us at first spent time trying to kill asps in East Commons. That wasn't the most successful endeavor. Either the inevitable poison from an asp would kill someone off or more likely the level 36 Griffon roaming the zone would do it. The Griffon was the bane of everyone in East Commons, it probably still is today, but back then no one could kill it, and if it aggro'd on you, meaning if it targeted you and attacked, the beast would send you to LOADING...PLEASE WAIT faster than you could say 'ZONE!'. The griffon was the first taste I had of "The Vision". Verant's doctrine for how to piss player's off the most. Basically I thought it was the suckiest thing in the game, who would have known that in comparison to EQs other flaws the high level mob in the low level zone would just be a drop in the bucket.
Eventually my friends and I migrated to Northern Ro. The fighting there was much better. Though there was an occasional Sand Giant spawn, it was rare and even when he was up his roaming patterns did not make him a big threat. The thing to note about Northern Ro was that it was the first zone many players encountered camp checks. The Dervish camps were always camped, and when you zoned in, you had to do an OOC(out of character) or Shout message to see if any spots were open. The dervish npcs or MOBS (mobiles) dropped magic rings that added +1 AC and + 2 dex. They were extremely easy to get, but still sold for like 5 gold because no one knew where they came from and good equipment was hard to get so something with a magical bonus was considered a king's treasure. The joke was on everyone though, a couple years later we'd find out stats had minute effects on character performance, and even then it would take huge increases. The Cutthroats also dropped bronze weapons, though not as good as my summoned hammer, they sold for a pretty penny, they helped line my pockets with gold.
Northern Ro also gave me a taste of what life as a cleric would be like. You see, NRO was full of mummies, and mummies disease a player, and a diseased player can't regenerate HPs (Hit Points). So here I am a level 14 cleric whose level and class are shown for all the world, which meant I was constantly being asked to cure disease. At the time, I didn't really feel burdened by the requests for healing, but many players took it for granted that the person they asked for help would give it to them. You can cure disease on ten players but if you don't cast it on the eleventh player who asks he'll bad mouth you in every zone he enters. You will get requests from people at Dervish Camp 1 to come cure disease, even if you are all the way over at dervish camp 3, and if you turn them down you are suddenly the bad guy in the situation. Its why many clerics, wizards, and druids are always anonymous. Common courtesy has never had a big prescence in MMORPGs, but it was even less so in the early days of EQ. I found the new players in EQ to be more selfish than it was in my early days in UO. Maybe it was because many came from UO where the gameplay basically cenetered around one's own character, whereas in EQ the idea was that people form groups on rely on each other. The latter would prove to be a very good check and balance, because as time went on people with bad reputations had hard time getting groups and thus advancing. Everquest became a more polite place over the years, at least till the advent of the 'uberguild'.
Lower the Plank and Hoist the Sails
Once my friends and I had gathered up a number of cutthroat rings, we decided to try and sell them on the continent of Faydwer. At the time it was my suggestion, I had no idea how hard it would be for dark elves to navigate the elf island. I did figure that the players in Faydark didn't have cutthroat rings, and that we could make alot of money off our share. The others agreed and we picked up a couple new friends a high elf cleric named Morganna and a dark elf warrior named Solstice. Morganna as a high-elf had started in Greater Faydark and would know the way around the island. Its also interesting to note that later we'd end up in the same guild together despite the fact we wouldn't see each other again for over a year. The first step of our journey was navigating Freeport. At the time I wasn't sure what NPCs would attack me on sight and which wouldn't, so I tried using the tunnels. The tunnels are a complete joke for anyone who wants to ride the boat though, as you still have to run along the docks where guards patrol. The god of hate was smiling on me that day though because I was not kill on sight (KOS) to anyone along the path to the boat including the guards.
I had tried using the boat at the end of beta, the dark elf god was leading the evil races to Faydwer to attack the elves and dwarves. There were so many people trying to ride the boat, the server puked and kept disconnecting people. My last beta experience was being disconnected from the boat while attempting to zone and then relogging into the water, at which point I simply let my doomed beta character perish in the murky depths of the Freeport harbor.
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