The Daily Grind: What’s your most treasured EverQuest or Vanguard memory?

Yeah but WHY though

EverQuest was not my first MMORPG, but it’s certainly one that shaped me profoundly. While I look back and grumble at the antique design mechanics and annoyances and drama, I’m also still carting around friends, skills, and passion for the genre that developed in the years we spent in SOE’s first big MMO.

For example, on this week’s MOP Podcast we talked about the “overwatch” events many guilds used to hold on EverQuest servers, where large groups of high-level players would come and babysit newbies with buffs, heals, chatter, and even snacks. Those kinds of social moments were priceless – and they’re also seldom found in more modern MMOs that make things like buffing and trading more and more difficult.

In honor of Brad McQuaid, whose passing this week has brought EverQuest players, former Vanguard players, and hopeful Pantheon players together in mourning, I’d like to open this Daily Grind up for some reminiscing. What’s your most treasured EverQuest or Vanguard memory?

Update: This was written on Wednesday evening, so we had no idea that the Pantheon Twitter account was going to do a very similar topic Thursday morning (nor could they have known what we had scheduled)! Please send your memories their way, too, so the VR team and Brad’s family can take comfort in them.

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Seriously, impossible to name one treasured memory.
I started EQ after hearing friends at work talk about it during morning coffee.
1. First time I was following a friend. I did it because I am directionally challenged even with maps. Well we had just had a successful camp and hunt. He decided to drink a few and since I didn’t know my way around the area I was auto following….a drunk dwarf…around ” the Hole “. Needless to say I fell in, a died at the feet of whatever high demon lived there. My friend apologized but as a 20 level dwarf paladin couldn’t help. I managed to learn how to swim into the entryway of the hole without drowning. I saw a large raid party “naked” buffing themselves for another try after a complete wipe. My 20 level female druid just stared in horror at the “red conned” “door trash” and swam back out. So I was sitting on the bank of the pool being depressed at my lost, but hard earned level 20 gear. When a level 4 hafling came up and asked if needed help to retrieve my corpse. “Ehhh?!??, ” So to shorten this up I gave him permission to drag my corpse all the way up and got my precious hear back. He told me he does this all the time for friends. I’m sure many people have similar stories about corpse retrievals. After that if I ever came across a corpse I would call out it’s loc and see if anyone was looking for it. Even helped retrieve it a few times or did an escort. I would regularly sit near starter zones when I wasn’t questing with friends and buff, SOW, new people. Just to pay forward the kindness of a halfling who helped the dumb druid who auto-followed a drunk dwarf around “the Hole”.

2. A short one. Me and same friend created brand new barbarians. His male and mine female. Out hunting snow snakes and bears. Hard slow work and frequently running to the guards. When a dwarf runs up to me initiates a trade a gives me hammer. And it’s has like 17 damage with 51 delay. But even though it’s slow when it hits it was devastating. Remember the barbarians starters were tartan kilts and for women the tartan band sports bra. Mine friend said that’s why I got the hammer.

3. When Kunark came out my friend who usually had the best computer invited me to create a cat and join him. I hadn’t upgraded my computer yet so I logged in, jumped into my cat and experienced the awful snap back. Run forward…or try to…and snap back to where I started. My friend watched me for five minutes as I did the scene from Monty Python holy Grail of Lancelot charging the castle. Luckily, since he upgraded his video he sold me and installed his old video in my computer so we could play.

EverQuest had a great community most of the time. I got kill stealed and trained too but rarely maliciously. I caused quite a few trains to zone myself. But it was fun for years and still gives me a warm feeling when I remember my time there.

Michael Thompson

My name is Nalini von Zaroviche, and I am a dark elf necromancer. When EQ first came out, I was on the ECI server and I still am to this day. We had a GM named grog. It was a little gnome guy. Everybody on the server knew who he was and everybody loved him because he got involved with people. He would watch his people raided, and would show up at a campsite and just start having a conversation with the group. I remember in po tranquility, he would have a booting party. It would be on one of the walls, and would summon you to him, and then punt you across the zone. Of course you would die but it was hilarious to see three four hundred people with their tune lining up, to be summoned and punted. This would go on for hours and we didn’t care about the losing of levels. He was a fair and exciting GM and we still talked him of this day. He was the one who put fancy The Bard, he was the board who was known for kiting sand Giants, he was our Leeroy Jenkins of the day,

Damon Anderson
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Damon Anderson

I remember I think it was my first character I made at launch was a gnome, can’t remember for sure what class, but I think Rogue. I really liked exploring Akanon, I remember the little sort of robot rat thing that would zip through some of the passageways, I think he dropped something for a newbie quest that had a cool quest reward, and the tunnels under the city with the gnomish robots and one called Red 5 and killing him repeatedly. And the zone that was right outside it for newbies, if you went to the left there was a sort of gully with rats etc, then to the windmills for a few levels (there was alot of competition for rats and snakes as there were so many people just starting out at the same time). These things not in that order, but were the first several levels of the gnomish leveling experience, which I did repeatedly, as I alt’d far to many times in my time in EQ. I liked the Troll newbie area too, the swamp area was dark and dank, and easy to get lost in those first days. And Neriak too has a real cool look.

Ben Stone

And I loved the classes in Vanguard so much. Disciple is still my fave MMO healer of all time. Its a real shame the game engine never ran well enough to succeed.

Ben Stone

Levelling as a Dirge tank in EQ2, putting on a shield and giving myself the hate buff. Not repairing my equipment in raid and hiding all my broken gear with the fancy chespiece that hid my armour hahaha.


Learning how to use the /Hidecorpse command when I was a Monk and my Guild was helping another Guild recover their corpses and gear from a BAD Fear Plane break in attempt. ;)

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Raid leader screaming at us to “unfuck your dps!” in Vanguard.


I should have copypasta for these by now. I have a few. I was there for Bloody Kithicor, which was my first world event, or I could repeat my story about the Great Hate Raid, or the “I camped Ragefire for 72 hours” chestnut. Or there’s Kerafym…

It was July 28, 2001. Here’s Borick the dwarf and Rokvald the barbarian, punting orcs outside of Crystal Caverns and wasting time when someone in guild remarks that BOTS is gathering in Sleeper’s Tomb when it isn’t their week.

Sleeper’s Tomb was four guardian dragons and Kerafym the Sleeper. If any guild killed all four guardians, the Sleeper wakes up and the guardians despawn for everyone, for good. BOTS had been farming it for some time, but our guild and a couple of others had broken in and were beginning to farm it, so on that day BOTS decided to kill all four guardians and cut off the loot supply to all the guilds below them.

We didn’t know that. We were sent to investigate, but before we could leave the orc camp the whole zone lights up with the apocalypse and everybody within 5 zones is getting chomped by an invulnerable dragon. We ran into Crystal caverns and survived, but much drama was had that day.

Ben Rubinstein

I loved exploring the dungeon zones! They had a real sense of immersion, discovery and danger that I’ve never really found in another MMO. You had to move through them with real caution, usually with typed assistance from a friendly zone veteran.

One that sticks in my mind is the Estate of Unrest. It was a creepy courtyard surrounding a mansion, filled with undead. The sense of d progression was great! First, you got to explore and fight the enemies in the outer courtyard. Doing that for a while leveled up enough to tackle the even more dangerous mansion itself. I realize I remember EQ with rose-colored glasses, but I think objectively the dungeon zones made for fantastic experiences.

Toy Clown

I had struggled for over a year to get my cleric’s epic. At a certain point, it was near impossible to get into a high-end guild unless you had your rez-stick. One day I had finally found a rare spawn I needed and just as we were about to engage, a group swooped it and took the kill. I was so upset I broke down crying and started saying into chat, “You asshole!” (It wasn’t my most proud moment, and EQ brought a lot of those moments out in me. ><)

A nearby group saw what was going on and we got to talking about epics and we offered to help each other out. What was cool is the combined group of us went on to become a tight and well-run oiled machine, doing end-game content that we had never dreamed of doing before. It was great. :)

My fondest memories of those times was the downtime in groups regenning mana. I remember it used to take about 10 min to get full mana after a fight. I had some of the best conversations with people in those downtimes between fights and made lots of connections. That was back in the day before people went "TLDR-ADD" on everything. It was back when people socialized when they were in the same space together. Sure don't have that now, and that is probably what makes me miss how social people used to be.

Between EQ1 and SWG, those were the last MMOs where I felt people were really social.