When Everquest becomes more than just a game to someone, I have often wondered how they manage to still find it as fun as it was before.
I have argued, stewed and scoffed at powergamers and l33t d00ds alike face-to-face often enough to have some really interesting and exciting conversations with them. Id like to take this chance to share them with you. I hope you find these excerpts as exciting as I do. One of my favorite things to do seems to be falling for powergamers in Everquest. I mean, trying to develop a relationship with someone online is hard enough as it is! Then throw in a dose of fanaticism about pixels, and it goes crazy!
“Baby, come spend some time with me!”
“Sorry, cant, doing Chardok tonight…”
“Awww *whines* You did Chardok last night!”
“I wish I could come, but THE GUILD needs me here.”
“What do you mean needs you? -I- neeeeeeed you!”
“Listen, Im the best mage/wizard/enchanter/cleric here. If I leave, the whole raid will crash and burn. And it would be my fault. I cant do that to them.”
“Come on, Im a real girl, and these people are all fighting over pixel prizes.”
“Bottom line, if I leave, they die. Im not doing that.”
“Sweetie, you do realize that this is just a game, right? That they arent dieing in real life? That they will…respawn?
The infamous “…” is usually a good sign a conversation is over. *grins*
*sings in tune to Disneys(copyright) Pinochios(copyright) “No Strings”(copyright) song*
“Ive….got no guild
To tie me down,
To make me work,
To make me frown!
Ive got no guild,
As you can see,
Theres no guild tag on me!
An old friend of mine had joined an uber guild. I was talking with her new guildleader about how she was doing.
“So, how is Newlyuberclericgirl01 doing?”
“Shes doing very good since she joined L33t Godz of the Server, actually.”
“Sure, she has shown us she really performs well under pressure…”
From here, our conversation dissolved into a real fight. I failed to understand the importance of “performing under pressure” in a Game!
“The guild will be depending on her! She has to show us she can handle that!”
“But is she having fun??”
“Yes, because she likes her role of cleric in the guild, where she is needed on almost every single raid.”
“Needed, yes, but she used to roleplay! Is she having fun doing that still?”
Uberleetloser01 tells you(out of the blue, mind you, completely unsolicited), “when r u ever going to lvl?”
You tell loser, “Pardon? Do I know ye, lad?”
Loser tells you, “i mean, uve been in this game since i was lvl(4, 22, 30), and now im lvl(46, 50, 60).”
You tell loser, “…and?”
Loser tells you, “so whats ur problem? like, wtf?”
You tell loser, “Um, Im confused.”
Loser tells you, “even my (twinked) alts have passed ur lvl. like, cant u play the game or what??”
You tell loser, “Heres a good question for ya! If you are so much better than me…why are you paying attention to me? I dont even know you, and yet you have kept track of my levels? Are you stalking me??? *mock panic inserted here*”
Loser tells you, “u sux0rz!! u cant even play this game?!?!?”
You tell loser, “Who sucks more, the person having fun goofing around, or the person who watched them, doesnt know them, but took it upon themselves to send a tell to a stranger, JUST to say they suck?”
Loser tells you, “…”
I was sure Everquest fell into the “adventure/roleplaying” category. Yet if you try to roleplay in the situations these guilds and l33t folk put themselves into, you will find yourself sorely disappointed. Most of the people I have known that left Everquest were people who had a hard time fulfilling their goals in the game roleplay-wise, and just gave it up for a better roleplay-oriented game.
“Greetings, young one. How may I serve thee?”
“You called me to this place. What do you require?”
“o r u the guy selling the really-big-sword-for-really-cheap?”
“I am the girl selling such, yes.”
“yah, girl, sure, d00d, whatever!”
“Do I not look like a female to your young eyes?”
“Y R U TALKING SO WEIRD???”
“ooc – its called roleplay, friend.”
Most regular EQ gamers will be familiar with this annoying and so very out-of-character scenario:
“sum1 give me some money!”
“j00 suxorz! gimme some money, d00d!”
“Im sorry, do I know you?”
“cmon, i just started this game an hour ago.”
“Im not sure, but I think its clear in the manual that if you kill things, you have a chance to collect their loot, and then sell it to vendors for money, which you can save up and use to purchase armor, food, etc.”
“i need money for spells and bandaids”
“I can give you a gold or four, if you wish.”
“i need ten plat, man.”
“??? Whatever for??? You are only level 2!!!”
“Your spells cost a gold a piece for quite a few levels yet!”
“oh yah, this from sum1 whos got nice stuff like u do!”
For some of us, it is oddly hard to say no to people who are lower level. But after giving away weapons and armor that a lvl 5 or 6 should not see to someone you dont know, then watching as they immediately /auction what you found rather valuable in a personal sense, it gets easier.
“I only give to friends, sorry.”
“we can be friends. ill be ur friend.”
/peer *peers at you up and down*
“No, my friends dont beg.”
“every1 begged in the beginning, d00d.”
“That would be my lady to a commoner such as yourself. And Im afraid I find you a waste of time, excuse me while I depart to more amiable climes. Good journeys, commoner.”
I know that most of my articles portray Everquest in a very negative light. I have friends, real ones, that wonder why I even bother to play this killing game anymore, when it sounds like it is killing me.
A few reasons for that.
One, Im addicted, and not ready to let that go just yet. EQ doesnt replace life, but it sure makes for good filler when nothing else is going on!
Two, I too am a victim to being “needed” in the game. I feel a strong pull to obligations ingame, and I am still trying to find ways to sever the ties that bind.
“Greetings, great Lady of the Dark…It has been some time since I set eyes on thee.”
“Ah, my enlighted ogre friend! You are a sight for sore eyes indeed! Pray tell, what brings you here to this blighted desert I find myself in?”
“Likely, I came to look at the same thing you did, my lady.”
*ogre points and nods*
“This is the most beautiful spot in the world of Norrath to watch the sky as it turns from the bright blue of the day to the intoxicating liquid colors of the night!”
“Indeed! And to share this with a good friend such as you, my day is complete.”
That is why I come. No, not to figure out how someone can roleplay an ogre as educated and well-spoken as that one. I gave up stereo-typed roleplay long ago and am quite open to anything anyone can roleplay “successfully”. I come to Norrath, to EQ, to be with roleplaying friends I have met over the last two years, who appreciate the land as *anonymous and now forgotten game designers* meant them to…
“And when the Moon is rising, and She is surrounded by the red clouds of the coming evening, those are the souls of the victims of the battles of the day! And She will pull them to her, and together they will dance circles through the sky, until the dawn, when the Sun will rise, and draw the souls from the Moon and from the nocturnal battlefields, to be His comrades and council all the day long…That is the story of the colored clouds of morning and evening…the story of battle, and the story of the Dead…”*as told to a young Teir`Dal warrior by an Avatar of the Gods while they studied the evening sky*