For those not in the know, we are having a fun contest called Gaming Nostalgia going on. I am hosting it as such this post is unofficial and just me having some fun. I won’t even use the contest tag as not wanting to take away from those posting wonderful things! While I’ve enjoyed leaving some comments this has also lead me into wanting to expand out some of the conversion I’ve had into my own story.
At first, I did not think much would remain of my past in my memoirs. It has been quite a number of years since I’ve even played Everquest. None of those for what seemed forever friendship lasted this long either. Drama killed each and every one of them and some of those people I could not run away faster from when they realized I was no longer “going keep playing to keep playing. “Still the memoirs of the great times I had are still there.
Back In My Day
Times back then were amazing as I knew very little about the trouble the world was in or the situations around me. I was rather young and still bright-eyed just looking for something to play. One day I heard about this game called Everquest and the very idea of an MMO just interested me. We just had moved across the country and I did not even have my two best friends anymore to game with. So being able to meet other gamers and just go on adventures online sounded amazing. I was lonely.
I don’t think we had a dial-up 56k but it was still slow in my first year or so playing Everquest. It would take an eternity to zone and I often would get lost so a twenty-minute trip was now an hour due to all the extra zones I had to go back though. I use to just rage every time I zoned “DLSLLSSALD” I knew eventually I was going the wrong way. After a while, I just met people who loved to lead the way and I no longer had to learn how to get anywhere. I was the Cleric after all and no one wanted to lose sight of the healer. Even when we did get lost or party members got separated on our long trips to a zone to grind experience in they all just hope they were stuck with me. At least then I would be there to heal them and they would tank the damage of whatever we wander into.
Kill That Giant!
My first month or so of playing the game I was totally alone. I had become fascinating over trying to solo some kind of giant. They could kill the guard towers even sometimes so they were not easy to take down even more so since Clerics never had much damage output but I never let anyone tell me – Battle Cleric FTW!!!
It was not like today where everything is instant kill this, instant kill that, use all the spells you want at no cost. Every time I used my mana pool I would have to sit down and regen it back up to full. With my poor gear, it was most of my days just sitting and getting back mana. It would be years later before I went back and murder that troll but in the end, I even farmed them for a while for some drop.
After a while, I ran into some nice people who just invited me into their family guild. It was just a bunch of casuals and they never cared I was just a young kid. That opened up the world of Ventrilo and having to get a microphone to talk with people over the internet. Back then that was your only option and everyone had it.
Often times I could not wait to get home from school to get my homework out of the way and log back in. Since I was a healer and those were always in short supply I never found myself waiting more than a few minutes before getting a group. It even got to the point where people were trying to find an excess to get rid of the healer they had just so they could have me at the party.
I would find out just how horrible things were after some people left that group and I replaced them. The tank died a few dozen times. Maybe the group wiped and spent more time trying to get back to their camp then they spent grinding. Quite a few times I would show up and there just be a pile of corpse waiting to be resurrected. The healer flat just went offline on them in the middle of a pull and never came back.
It has been a long time in my life since I felt needed and I thought I was “decent” at healing. While I heard of raiding guilds I always thought I’m not that good. Once every couple of weeks the guild I was in would try and do some lower level raiding. It involved like a dozen or so people and that was just about everyone in that guild. We just have fun clearing up to some boss (group size named mostly) out in the world and most times failing to get any loot. Anything that drops more times than not were not amazing upgrades but it was at least something.
The worst part of these raids was always wiping as a group. This was the kind of game where you had to go and get your corpse full of your items. Which meant trying to run back and get them with no gear or having people go out and get one corpse at a time. People would be spamming if I recall “corpse summon name” hotkey and just drag everyone’s corpse one a time back to the healer. I would then have to resurrect everyone so they would get some of their experience back and most were too lazy to run back so I brought them back into the zone with a revival.
Can You Heal?
I had really horrible gear and back then no one cared after a few pulls. It was simple “can you keep the tank alive?” Yes, good you are now our replacement healer for someone who is leaving in 5 minutes. It’s not like today where everyone is some elite’s slob of having the best 1% of everything and not wanting to group with people of the lower class. Once in a while, I would run into one of those kinds of people back then and they would first promote openly to the group “Cleric has bad gear.” Most of the time it was the DPS and if they did not catch on I was more than the just rusty gear they were given the boot. DPS has always been easy to replace and everyone would prefer a healer who knew his stuff and a tank.
I was somewhat of a troll back then as well. By that I mean I loved to “purple” the tank. Oh boy did I have fun doing that. That was trying to heal the tank right before death where he goes face down on the ground and then pops back up. You could put points into something that allowed you to go negative life somewhat and hence the “purple” part.
After a while, I started wanting to do some harder content. I can’t quite recall what it was other than some kind of instance where you had to dungeon crawl (move from one end to another.) I’m not quite sure why more games are not into that kind of gameplay these days. It was amazing. Instead of just sitting in one camp for hours or for days you where endlessly moving. Most times due to my bad gear I was sitting down in between pulls. I really had to heal quite a fair amount to just keep a tank alive in these kinds of things.
I had a few times where people noticed I had to sit right away to start regening mana and they made some snide remark about how this was going be a long run while waiting on the noob. Soon they learned, unlike other clerics or healing classes they had done this with before I did not have to request a mana break. Every time the cleric needed a mana to break everyone would go afk for 10-30 mins and go to the bathroom, get water, and whatever else they did. Soon people found themselves having to ask for a break and the joke was then on them since the Cleric was not holding them back.
This one group, in particular, started to want to group with me every day I got off from school to grind out whatever these dungeons where. If I recall we needed points to buy items from some vendor. These guys always had amazing gear which made my job of healing easy. We get to talking and I got to hear about last night’s raid. How they hope to be server number one day some day and the epic adventures they went on.
One night like always, the tank that required me to join them every night did so and he had some new people from his guild I had yet to meet. They inspected my gear after the second pull as I was sitting down to regen mana after every time. The tank just started to laugh in group chat they had said some stuff he shared with me in a private message. They were trashing me in Ventrilo and it was time to have some fun with them. He over pulled a room and instead of the group wiping like it should have been. We not only survived I did not even ask for a mana break. That was when he made some snide remark back to them in group chat.
That went on for a couple of nights if I recall. It turns out this guild really needed some healer and they were known for being a hard place to get into. Another MMO had hit the market and everyone was leaving in droves. Well, the thing about slums in markets is I’m always happy to be there to pick up and make something out of myself when it happens. Even years later when those l33t people came back begging to get back in. They were replaced and the few that were accepted back only lasted a couple of weeks at most before just leaving as they could not believe they were replaced.
This opportunity not only allowed me to skip the year-long waiting list many other classes were to get in. During my first interview with them, one of their officers heard me speak and cut me off saying “sorry we are an 18+ guild” The guild leader was not having any of that and pulled the guy and some others into another channel for a few moments and after that thing where sorted.
My first raid ever I went into massive negative DKP (dragon kill points) I was a good thousand or so down. They were running Plane of Time and everything that was dropping that I could wear was now mine. I was getting upgrades on upgrades that night. People would even ask me while they were trying to bid off the gear if I was any kind of upgrade at all they would pass on it.
Loot went from members with positive DKP who had the highest. Members who had negative DKP but it was like a 15% increase in stats. Then off to Applicants who were all negative DKP. After that, it went off to alts or was sold at a discount if it was also a 15% increase in stats. This really made me feel special in a way. I was never used to people being so kind to me.
Not even two weeks into my application period I was promoted to full member. This was unheard of as people had to be voted in by the members of that guild and if you did not get enough votes when your sponsor called for a vote you were kicked out. On top of that, they rather understanding that I had to go afk to eat dinner with my parents, that some nights I could not raid due to needing to get homework done and some other pitfalls. To this day I still never quite understood why they were so accommodating.
Within my first year in that guild, we became number one on the server. Every kill we got was something new for everyone and I was no longer playing catch up trying to learn something everyone else already knew and beaten dozens of times. Back then you did not have people raging and quitting the raid because someone did not watch some YouTube video on how to defeat something on day one of a release. You had to learn the fights as a team and we would spend hours weekly just talking about encounters and changes to be made to try and beat it next time. Sometimes even killing something for the first time did not mean it would be easy the next time around. Sometimes we die even more as something was just not clicking.
Back then raids where such a struggle they would break a guild and just cause people to quit because they could not stand failing for weeks or longer on end to down a raid target. It is shocking just how many raiding guilds would rise and then fell.
I also was known for switching guilds from time to time. I just liked meeting new people and I enjoyed that fresh new feeling of things. People where decently understanding more times than not as they would just joke “you will be back those guys suck.” Then a few months later I would get a message asking if I could help get them in. It turned out me and a couple of people who stayed together as a group had an act for either joining the future top guild for that server or played some kind of role in making it happen.
What an amazing trip down memory lane and story that was. It was not all happy times and go lucky as this makes it sound to be. Quite a lot of struggle but with rose tinted glasses on it was an amazing time in my life!
written by @enjar recounting some of the good times I had playing EverQuest as young kid.
Have your own gaming nostalgia story? We would love to hear it--Gaming Nostalgia.