A Faded Obsession

EverQuest is a Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game, or MMORPG for short. It expands on the traditional pencil & paper RPGs like Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, bringing fantasy role playing into the realm of online computer gaming. I've been playing AD&D since I was fifteen years old, and once I started playing a lot of computer games, I started wishing there was a way I could play AD&D on the computer with other people. MMORPGs are the answer! I started playing Ultima Online, one of the first fantasy MMORPGs...but I had to give it up. Too much Player vs. Player conflict in that game, with no way to avoid it. That's changed now, and I'd rather play UO than EQ, but gave up both to play Anarchy Online, a sci-fi MMORPG. I suppose I should devote a sentence or so as to why I became disillusioned with EverQuest; I got bored. There's not really much to do in it but kill, and kill, and kill some more. I've done the trade skills, and they're pretty much a waste of time. There's new stuff to make now, but gathering the materials is prohibitively, excruciatingly difficult. In general about the game, as I saw someone post somewhere once, you camp one spot and kill the same thing over and over and over again so you can get a little better (level), then move onto another spot to camp. Whoopee. But anyway, EverQuest has a way to completely avoid PvP, so I played it instead of UO for two years. Hell, I helped beta-test it. The real reason people keep playing EQ after they get bored, though, is their friends. Even after I was burned out, I kept logging back in to be able to talk to my friends. The straw that broke the camel's back, however, was the customer (un)support. The folks who're in charge of the way EQ is run act like spoiled children jealously guarding a favorite toy. I finally realized that The Vision™ by which EverQuest is governed didn't include the people in charge acting like adults, with impartiality and even-handedness. So I cancelled my account. I stopped playing EverQuest in June, 2001. So keep that in mind when reading any of this!

One of my favorite things to do, first in Ultima Online, and something I've done a lot of in EverQuest, is to have my characters pursue "trade" skills. In EverQuest, the phrase is misleading. You can't become a real trader with most of the "trade" skills. The majority of items you can make with skills, when sold back to Non-Player Character merchants, are done so at a loss. Few items are saleable to other Player Characters for anything resembling a reasonable return on the time and in-game platinum spent making them. But it's fun to make things like Birthday Cake and Vodka for yourself, not to mention you're a hit at guild parties! Various types of characters can pursue: Alchemy, Baking, Blacksmithing, Brewing, Fishing, Fletching, Jewelcrafting, Making Poison, Pottery, Tailoring and Tinkering. Only Shaman of 25th level or more can make potions with Alchemy, only Rogues of 20th level and higher can Make Poison, and only Gnomes can Tinker. All other crafts are pursuable by any character. There are no official descriptions of the crafts at the official EverQuest site. This should give you a clue as to the attention given them by the game developers. Before I quit, I mastered all the non-specific crafts, most with my main character, Isolde. Fletching I did with my ranger, Mullein.

I have some info about some of the EQ Crafts that I've pursued. I've spent the most time on my Baking page, but have recently added some basic guides for Baking and Pottery. You can also get the Excel viewer from Microsuc...uh, Microsoft to look at and print the spreadsheets, if you don't have Excel on your machine. There's also no cultural tailoring or smithing info, since putting all that in would take up an enormous amount of time, the only one I could pursue would be Koad'Dal smithing, and I'm basically a lazy git who doesn't feel like putting up all that info when you can just go get it at EQ Traders Corner.

Craft Guides Spreadsheet Last Updated on:
Baking (table & tips) Baking 101: Quick Guide
Baking 201: Advanced Baking
eq-baking.xls May 15, 2001
Brewing eq-brewing.xls February 27, 2001
Jewelcrafting eq-jewelcrafting.xls February 27, 2001
Pottery Pottery 101 eq-pottery.xls February 27, 2001
Tailoring Tailoring 101 eq-tailoring.xls June 5, 2001

There are several sites I visit when I want information and discussion of EverQuest and the crafts.

Fletching Guide by Aoenla A very nice guide on how to make arrows and bows, all the types possible, and a small chart noting the cheapest way to Master Fletcher status. She has it all in a downloadable Excel file, too.
Map Shop of the Norrath The best maps of Norrath I've ever seen, in Japanese Animè style. Some of the maps have no English on them, which doesn't bother me, but may you.
EQ CastersRealm Has Information sections on several of the crafts, including trivial tables, and is, I think, the site for information on all classes. (Once upon a time, it just had caster info, but they've expanded and now it's a good site regardless of your class.)
EQ Traders Corner I don't know what I'd do without this site. If not for Niami's information on where in Norrath to buy supplies for the crafts, I probably wouldn't be a master of anything more than Jewelcrafting. Niami's also included recipes, which is where I go now to update my spreadsheets.
AllaKhazam's Magical Realm My favorite place to go for info on quests, the Fashion Table, and check out Equipment.
EverQuest Stratics A very nice news/fan site, it has, among other things, discussion boards for the crafts. I moderate the Baking and Pottery boards as Wicce. The server monitor on the front page is a definite improvement!

On rare occasions, I get to combine multiple interests of mine. I got one such opportunity on Sunday, July 30th, 2000. Isolde, my primary EQ character, used to be in a guild called Chalice and Blade. (The real world intervened in the guildmistress' life, things got out of hand in the guild itself, and so the guild disbanded.) We were a Pagan-oriented guild, with our name coming from two common ritual tools for many Pagans. Two of my former guildmates decided to have their characters marry in the game, and they wanted a Wiccan handfasting ritual done. Xircon asked Isolde to perform the ceremony. I got one together, tweaked it a little to reflect a Norrathian influence, and Isolde Whitehands performed the handfasting of Xircon Trieze and Koramce Heimdall. I was typing like mad (no, I did NOT script any of it), so here's the only good screenshot I got:

The Bride's Vows

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