(A continuation of Bolinks past and how he came to be a World of Warcraft Druid)
After yesterdays post all the old EQ quirks and issues came flooding back. A couple other main points, that in comparison to World of Warcraft today, seem just crazy. Three major examples that popped into my head last night were quests, drop rates and, worst of all, “Your attempt has failed”…(shudder)…
The name is, after all, Everquest and after playing for a while you figured out why. The quests in this game were insane in the beginning. Simply huge. Beyond anything, by a factor of a thousand, in WoW today that I’ve seen. There could be 6 or 7 “mini” quests to complete just a small part of a larger quest. Even the mini quests could take hours each to complete as drop rates for even mildly special items could be miniscule. You could end up killing dozens and dozens or hundreds of a certain kind of spider waiting for one certain body part to drop. And you may need several of those parts!
Just finding quests could be a full time occupation. There were no big yellow question marks back in those days. Just hundreds of NPC’s wandering around anyone of which might, or might not, have a quest for you. And when you did happen upon a quest giver very often the first part was “Go speak with the candle maker.” Eh? What candle maker? Where? Which one? Who makes candles? It was insane. Most of the quest directions were nothing more than abstract comments or seemingly random remarks. The quest giver may give you the name or a description of another NPC in a far away town you had never heard of let alone been to.
In the very early days all there was to go by was rumors, random comments in chat and luck. Someone might have happened to come across a tiny part of a quest and share it with someone else. Another guy might mention that he came across a candle maker three weeks back that was wandering in a wide open plain “somewhere east of Gfay.” Other times you might get lucky and complete two or maybe three parts in a quest and then hit a brick wall. No idea where to go next, no concept of what might be the way to go. We called them “broken quests” and that was all there was to it.
Along the way very often you would need to gather materials and items along the way in an effort to make something else to make something else to then turn into some NPC who, hopefully, gives you a nonsensical random quip that may or may not lead you to the next step in the quest. The system is very similar to professions in the World of Warcraft today (gather thread, skins, gems and other things to make a leather armour piece for example) with one notable, and incredibly frustrating, exception. You could fail at your attempt at making an item and LOSE ALL THE MATERIALS. Good God. You might spend hours and hours gathering materials (with drop rates in the single digits), sit down to put them all together and get the most dreaded of notes “Your attempt has failed.” Poof. Everything gone. And you’d get up, after swearing profusely, and head back out into the wild to go at it again.
In the end, when you did actually manage to complete even the smallest of tasks, the sense of accomplishment was very real. It was really something to manage to put together a full set of armor back in those days. It was really wacky but a great deal of fun.