With the EverQuest server merge in full swing, SOE has offered free server merges for everyone for a limited time. My twisty EverQuest career has taken me from Erollisi Marr to Fennin Ro, back to Erollisi Marr, then Stromm, then back to Erollisi Marr, then Luclin, then back to Erollisi Marr…. EMarr always brings me back.
Now, thanks to the server merges — and by the way, those are working out well, Bazaar is more full than ever, Guild Lobby is positively stuffed. I didn’t get spammed with group invites as I was logging in all these characters, but I bet i could have found one.
Anyway. This is a totally self indulgent post, but there ya go.
My absolute first character, Mehve the Erudite Wizard, was deleted long ago. I totally regret that, because she was the one who made that epic days-long journey from Qeynos to Freeport that still remains one of my favorite EverQuest memories.
I made my second character, Etha Tanglewood (bottom right) when I camped Mehve in Rivervale after an exciting and nearly deadly run through the Beholder Maze and Runnyeye, into Misty Thicket and finally to safety beyond The Wall. That made such an impression that I decided I wanted to play one of those brave but isolated halflings, and Etha became my main.
It was with Etha that I joined my first EQ guild, the United Norrath Coalition, with whom I stayed until the guild leader dissolved it years later. It was with Etha and in UNC that I met Noffin, Lorika and Faedor, with whom I went on many adventures. While in UNC, I went on a few pickup raids to Hate, Fear and Old Sebilis and I couldn’t see any reason why UNC (and its close ally, Legion of Fate) couldn’t raid as well. Everyone seemed up for it, so we started raiding the planes. Back then, someone was rating the guilds of Erollisi Marr week by week based on their accomplishments. We made it up to #17. I think Etha’s druid epic — the weapon she still wields today — was the second UNC epic. The first was Jalanea’s shaman spear. In Etha’s offhand, by the way, is the Tanglewood Shield off of Wuoshi, given to me by Divine Grace. I’d known SOE had totally ripped off the Tanglewood name for its shield in Velious for some time, but never thought I would OWN one. Now that anyone can solo Wuoshi, it’s more common and not valuable at all.
Somewhere along the way, I made an alt, Nina (middle left), a warrior. I think I originally made her in order to have a character who could wear all the Small Bronze armor I was winning somewhere, perhaps Sol B. Anyway, I eventually tried leading raids as Nina instead of Etha. A horrifically failed Fear break ending in an eight hour CR ended her career as a raider. After that, I stuck with characters who could teleport.
Tsuki (lower left), the gnome mage, I made because I’d won a Robe of the Oracle from the Oracle in the Ocean of Tears, and halflings couldn’t wear robes (Mehve by this point deleted). I had this impression that mages could just park their pets someplace, go AFK, and come back a day later having gained a dozen levels. This was, of course, absolutely correct, and led to SOE nerfing pet aggro. All this did was get mages to go AFK closer to the action, which led to their occasional deaths, especially since a favorite sport for monks was training AFK mages and watching them die.
After UNC dissolved, I joined Divine Grace, one of the top EMarr raiding guilds and THE top Eurasian raiding guild on the server, with Etha. DG was great, but I felt that, as a druid, I couldn’t contribute great healing or great DPS. This was somewhat before SOE pumped up both these things for druids. I felt the only real attributes I brought to raids was porting people TO the raid, and buffing/debuffing elemental resistances. Once those were done, the guild leaders really didn’t care what I did. Well, they cared when I evaced my group to the Ssra Temple zone by accident as we were downing the Arch Lich. So that was that.
My boundless admiration for the UNC rogues — Noffin, Anavrin, and Kelvan — got me wanting to make one myself. Plus, as a rogue, I could get groups in all SORTS of places which never invited druids. This led to Tipa (top left). Her name fit with the theme — Etha and Nina being my other halflings — and it was more than a year later that I found out there was an NPC in Misty Thicket with that name, Tipa Lighten. I must have had the name somewhere in the back of my mind when I created her. Bored with Etha, I leveled Tipa up very quickly and left Divine Grace to join Noffin and Kelvan in A Twist of Fate. I think Lorika and Faedor had joined as well; not sure if maybe Lorika had quit by that point.
A Twist of Fate — led by the near-psychotic Tormentcia and her endless real life drama — was an up-and-coming hardcore raiding guild which, if you could wade through the guild drama, was pretty good at getting together and getting things done. I got my second epic, the rogue epic, with them. The drama, though, was getting out of hand, and I switched guilds one last time to Crimson Eternity, which remains my guild on Erollisi Marr to this day.
Crimson Eternity, led by a rogue (Westleey), loved its rogues. We had a huge rogue team, complete with sekrit chat channels and passwords. I’ve never been in a guild before nor since that gave rogues so much to do. Nonetheless, as we started getting deeper into the Gates of Discord expansion, the need for other classes outweighed the need for rogues. Being a Pacific time player in an Eastern time guild, by the time I got home from work, the raid would often be filled with enough rogues and I’d be left sitting out.
I’d made a cleric, Dera (top middle), on the Stromm server when it opened in 2003. Stromm was the last normal rules, no transfer server EverQuest has opened and the only one to be named after a player. Being at the top of the leveling curve was fun. During this time I lost my job and, unemployed, could raid with Dera in the morning (in Lost Sock Patrol and later, Viking Alliance) and raid with Tipa in the evening. This was amazingly fun, but it led to an overdose of EQ that I couldn’t sustain — it’s like I wasn’t doing anything with my life but playing EverQuest. Nonetheless, I kept it up as long as I could until I eventually found another job. Since I could no longer play both characters, and since Stromm by this time allowed people to transfer out, I moved Dera to Erollisi Marr, bought all the OoW spell runes I could find, and re-applied to CE as a cleric. I changed her name to Brita during the move, Dera’s name having been used.
There I stayed and played until I moved to WoW and then EverQuest 2. I returned to EQ a couple of times, but after the marathon thing when I played Tipa and Dera on different servers, my self respect would never let me play any game that intently ever again. EverQuest itself had inoculated me against EverQuest and all EverQuest-like games.
A bunch of us old EQ vets were chatting one day on this blog and Stargrace’s. We wondered if we could ever recapture the old EQ feeling of starting off powerless in an immense world where you had to rely upon others to advance. We picked a server — Stargrace’s old server, Luclin — started new characters, and embarked on a tour of Old Norrath wearing only the stuff we ourselves won in battle or quest rewards. The new-to-us Serpent’s Spine expansion gave stuff better than we could find elsewhere, and the introduction a couple months in of Defiant armor essentially trivialized the game. In retrospect, we maybe should have avoided Serpent’s Spine and restricted the use of Defiant armor… but with those, we were able to put Vox and Naggy on farm status, so it all worked out. Tipa the Ranger of Luclin is middle right in the picture above, but since her name was taken (by Tipa the Rogue) on Erollisi Marr, I had to rename her.
Rounding out the characters. Upper right is Nashuya, my SK. She was my roleplay character in Children of Darkness, and I had a lot of fun with her. She’s wielding Narandi’s Lance from Egat’s 10th Ring War. In the center square stands Patience of Fennin Ro. I made her (and a bard, Dulcet Obligato, long since deleted) to play with some friends I met through the EQ Guide Program. I’m not sure why I deleted the bard. Since my Guide character was named Esperanza (Hope), I kept the theme (if not the language) when I made Patience.
Why Esperanza? Well, I was very into my local church at the time, St. Matthias in Seaside, CA. Etha Gray was an occasional attendee; she had a radio show and was VERY respected in the community. She was (and is) an amazing person, and I named Etha the Druid in honor of her. Some of the congregation volunteered at the Luz y Esperanza food pantry in Salinas, so when it came time to name my guide character, I thought I’d keep with the church theme and choose that for a name.
Lastly, bottom middle, Tsukina the Necro. I created her to save Tsuki’s name when I transferred her (Tsuki the Mage) to Stromm to help Dera out. I ended up transferring her to Luclin, along with Brita (nee Dera) and Etha, in order to support the Nostalgia guild.
The Grand Consolidation brings all these characters home to Erollisi Marr. Tsuki came back from Stromm. Tsukina, Brita (renamed to Dera again), Tipa the Ranger (renamed to Ranoma) and Etha returned from Luclin. Patience came from Fennin Ro, and everyone else was already there.
Question remains — now that I have all these characters with all this history on one server — what do I do with them?