What I’ve learned from Everquest


It may be just a game, but one can learn many things from playing alone and with others. This series explores some of the more popular games and what I have learned from them. We invite you to share what you have learned from these games and ideas for future, What I’ve learned from, articles.

Setting the scene matters

kelethin Everquest
kelethin Everquest

When I first played Everquest it was only a few weeks after release. I made a wood-elf and started in Kelethin. By today’s standards the area was not much, but back then it was a masterpiece.

The tall trees that you needed to take a lift to get to, the lighting from the homes and store fronts in the city. When I first saw the sky turn black and it rained with real sound effects I admit I sat for several moments just listening to the rain. I really felt like I was in the world and part of something fluid, alive.

I’m still afraid of the dark

willow wisp Everquest
willow wisp Everquest

Before a willow ‘o wisp and without infravision, Everquest could get pretty dark. If you ventured to far from your city or a source of light, you would find yourself in complete darkness. It was scary, because you did fear dying in that game. It wasn’t just about losing experience points or looking for your body (though that did suck big time), but you felt lost and scared.

Most of the early world zones were devoid of light. When you went in a dungeon the beings inside did not light a path for you. Even worse was in the early levels when someone would invite you to a camp and it was across the world and you had to travel, by foot in the dark praying you didn’t get killed.

There will never be another East Commons

East Commonlands tunnel Everquest
East Commonlands tunnel Everquest

It was not just a hang out zone, on my original server (Tarew Marr) the East Commons tunnel was the sales bazaar for the server. Beyond that it was the first place for characters that started in Freeport to venture out and fight camps of mobs. It was also the first place that had a roaming mob whose only job was to one shot noobs.

The griffin was the Freddy Kruger of East Commons. You were told of its existence and warned when he was around and if you saw him chances are you were dead. You would be fighting an Orc or a bear having a grand old time then someone would shout, “Griffin near Orc Camp 1” and in the second it took you to realize you were at Orc Camp 1 was all it took for it to swoop down and kill you.

In the East Common tunnel you could find pretty much any droppable loot for a price sold by players. There were very few scams or tricks as name recognition mattered in EQ and many would not purchase from an ALT.

One of my fondest and funniest memories was off a female dark elf shouting that her boyfriend cheated on her and she was selling all of his loot for revenge. I was able to deck out my character in gear that would have taken me months to earn otherwise. There were events such as that all the time.

One day someone pulled the griffin to the East Common tunnel. It was a massacre, but we were able to kill it after about thirty minutes. It was quite an achievement, but seeing the dreaded griffin dead at my feet did lesson the fear and lore of it that was until it one shotted me later that day.

What have you learned?

In the next installment I will talk about a few more things EQ taught me. In the meantime, for those of you who played what did you learn during your time in the world of Everquest? In the meantime enjoy this old crappy video I made of my time in EQ.

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J.A. Laraque

J.A. Laraque is a freelance writer and novelist. His passion for writing mixed with a comedic style and intelligent commentary has brought him success in his various endeavors. Whatever the subject, J.A. has an opinion on it and will present it in writing with an insight and flair that is both refreshing and informative.

2 thoughts on “What I’ve learned from Everquest

  • LOL! Thanks for the memories. The griffin and the inevitable huge orc train were always good for a laugh. When I first started playing, one of the developers decided to interview me and another player. …..well, the developer tells me he wants to get a couple of screenshots of us attacking various creatures. Cool. We kill some skeletons and snakes and such….and then he wants us to attack a bear. well..that was a bit out of our league… I had just started the game, so I think I was only level 6 or so..but he assures me it will be fine. so we go out a start attacking a bear…and the bear takes two swipes at me and….dead…and other guy dead…and developer dead. this isn’t looking good. I get a message to hang on…and in a minute or two the developer shows up and apologizes…he should have hit some other button that would have insta-killed the bear, but, well, he didn’t. anyways, he ports us back to the area and asks us if we have been to Befallen yet. Well, no, of course not. So he says follow me. So we go along the dunes and I’m seeing all these giants which is freaking me out, but we make it through there to befallen…then the guy leaves us there. He did ask us a few more questions and any suggestions that we might have……I suggested a follow function, which, to my surprise was implemented several weeks later. before he left he gave us some paltry exp points (maybe enough for 20% of a level), then stated that we would be mentioned in the next version of the EQ manual in the credits. Never got a chance to verify that, but it was cool, anyways.

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