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Most Memorable Experience

The Trek

While most of the achievements listed so far revolve around combat and killing mobs, there was one particular non-combat achievement that several players described. This involved the long cross-continent run that many EQ players did. The scenario is worth documenting because it doesn't primarily involve killing mobs or gaining quest items and because players who described it did so in great detail (which is impressive given how long it has been since they did the run). It also highlights how pervasively dangerous the world of EQ was compared with some of the more recent MMOs, and how that constant danger helped many relationships to form. Also worth pointing out is that no other trek in any other game was mentioned in the player responses. Due to the length of these narratives, I'm only going to present one.

Back when I first started playing EverQuest, I really wanted to play a barbarian shaman, but my friend had just bought the game and made a high elf paladin. Geographically, the two races couldn't have started much further apart. Seeing as I had a bit more experience with the game, though, I volunteered to make the very long, dangerous run from Halas (the barbarian starting city) to Felwithe, the high elves' starting city.

When you died, you went back to your bind point. At the time, the only classes that could cast the bind spell were, if I remember correctly, mages and wizards. And EverQuest was very mercenary in its day; if you wanted a bind, you had to pay someone, and while it wasn't exactly millions of platinum, even a single bind was way beyond the financial means of a newbie. Plus (again, if I remember correctly), you could only bind in city zones. Further complicating matters was that players always moved slower than mobs, and mobs never gave up the chase (unless you zoned). Given my low level and the speed of most mobs, basically, during this run (two hours, I think), if I aggroed anything, and wasn't either near one of a few guard posts or a zone line, I was dead.

So, I printed out some maps from EQatlas, and planned out the trip. I still remember it. Start in Halas, go south through the mountains into Blackburrow (a lowbie dungeon), then to the Qeynos hills, which would be the easiest part of the trip. From Qeynos Hills, you had to go to West Karana, an absolutely massive zone (the largest in the game, at the time), trying to keep an eye out for the werewolf spawn at the zone line that would be instant death (as would most of the mobs during this trip). Then, after getting across West Karana, North Karana, the most dangerous overland area I'd be going through. The griffons there were fast and tough enough to wipe out the guards, if they attacked it. From North Karana, I'd go to East Karana, a still dangerous (but substantially less so) area, up to High Hold Pass, a quasi-dungeon crawling with orcs and gnolls. Thankfully, it was usually so heavily camped that getting through wouldn't be much of a problem. From there, I had to travel through Kithicor Forest, a lowbie area by day that spawned with some of the nastiest undead in the game at night, and they didn't necessarily despawn at daybreak. So, my plan was to hug the northern zone wall the whole way through, and hope for the best. From Kithicor, I'd go to the Western Commonlands, a not-so-dangerous area. The mobs there could still kill me, but at least not as fast, and because the zone had a wizard spire, it was always full of high-level characters. I could probably get some help. Then, I'd go to the Eastern Commonlands, a lowbie zone that would be pretty easy to get across, then to Freeport, and - hopefully - a bind. From Freeport, I'd get on the boat to the Butcherblock mountains, an area roughly equivelent to the Western Commonlands, then to Greater Faydark, a lowbie area, and finally, Felwithe. Quite a trip.

To improve my chance of surviving, I found a few other lowbies that wanted to make the trip. I figured we'd caravan it. If we got aggroed, at least some of us would make it. And it worked, for a while. Somewhere in West Karana, we got aggroed, I believe it was by a lion, and it wiped out the whole group except for two of us. The other that survived, a higher-level wizard, managed to use Gate and teleport back to hit bindpoint. I was left running. But, just before the mob could catch be, something nuked it, and nuked it HARD. I looked around and saw a level 50 druid named Shider (who had presumably just blasted the crap out of that lion with Starfire). Shider asked me if I needed any help, and I told him I was trying to make the run to Felwithe to meet a friend. He buffed me, and just said to follow. Long story short, he made the trip for me; teleporting us both to the druid ring closest, then running us back, with Spirit of the Wolf (a run speed buff far more significant than anything WoW's got). He even took me right up to the gates of Freeport, and got a Bind for me. I said thanks, and he disappeared.

A few weeks later, I was around level 25-30, and came across a ranger camping the ruins. We chatted a bit, I'd buff him up for the tougher fights, and over a few days, we kept bumping into each other and talking some more. Eventually, he asked me to join his guild. They were called the Freeport Tavern Drunks, so I accepted out of curiosity. After saying my hellos, I did a /who guild, and ... Shider! Over time, I found out Shider was played by a woman named Bobbie, who was a graphic arts student from Ohio. Not that anyone knew at the time, but she was dating (actually, not online) another guildmate. Eventually, I met her boyfriend, Jim (also from Ohio), and he and I got to be pretty good friends. These days, none of us play EverQuest anymore, but Jim and I talk online most days of the week, and I still talk to Bobbie on a somewhat infrequent basis. I generally don't make friends online, but Jim and Bobbie have been the exception. They're the only 'online' friends I've ever made. [WoW, M, 25]


 
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