GM NPC text & PET Drake – april 2000


The Song of Sainy Dragonfriend

‘From the worlds core, the rock children rose,
Shielded from wurms eyes by dirt and stone.
With gnarled hands and broken bones,
they carved their place into Veeshans Home.

Soon after, the woodlands and deserts and swamps.
All nurtured life planted by interloping Gods.
Veeshan left her children, in peaks carved by her claws,
turned her back on Norrath, and her fellow Gods laws.

The Crystalline Dragon content in her lair,
Sealed off Sky and still slumbers there.
Some dragons went mad, apart from their queen,
Others took charge and formed a wurm ring.

The rebels were hunted and sent from the peaks,
To dwell in the lands inhabited by the weak.
One of these rebels a lady white as snow,
Swept up a shard of nature unknown.

As years dragged on one by one the wurms fell,
Into a deep slumber from what no one could tell.
Their magic had faded, because of the shard?
Or perhaps from the magic they call Veeshans Veil.

Now a new verse to this legend I’ll share.
In regards to the Sky and what is happening there.
Veeshan still slumbers, the veil has worn thin,
The Wurm Queen neglect wakes her children again.

My song is done, but I will warn you to heed the words of my verse for they speak the truth. Mortals now visit where Veeshan slumbers, and only dragons once dwelled. But the door to the Sky is not a one way portal. There is much to learn from the great Wurms, and much to fear.’

Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20000409000850/http://con.xrgaming.net:80/

Interview with bill trost – 2000


Interview with Bill Trost by Everlore
EQ Event II -Saint Louis
Saturday – March 4 2000

Notice: There may be a few things outdated in this interview such kunark yet to be released, Fiery Avenger yet to be descovered, recent changes in game, etc…

Bryan Reynolds: Hi my name is Bryan Reynolds and I’m with Everlore. I’m here with Bill Trost. He’s going to go ahead and answer some of the questions that some of the viewers of the web site have. He’s going to go ahead and give us a little history with how he started with Verant, and then we’ll go ahead and start with the questions. Thanks for being here Bill.

Bill Trost: My name is Bill Trost. I was one of the first people brought on to the Everquest team. My overall responsibility was content creation on the macro level, starting with designing Norrath; the overall architecture. I have a pretty extensive background with D&D [Dungeons and Dragons] and computer games, and art. Lots of DMing [Dungeon Mastering] background. I started with the history. Like where magic comes from, you know, that kind of stuff. Drew all the maps of the world, named all the geographical places and zones. It was a lot of fun, the first half of my involvement. I was lucky enough to get that job. I’ve known Brad for about 6 years now. I met him through a flyer that was up in a community college I was going to. He was at the time working on a game, an Ultima 6 clone, and I came in and helped him with the art. So anyways, that little game was seen and we all got in the team. I was seen as an artist at first, but later on became the lead designer, and helped bring in additional designers.

Bryan Reynolds: I have a question about being a game designer. If you had to take some of the standard things you do in a day when you were building the game, what would they be?

Bill Trost: It was mostly just sitting with blank paper, and saying ‘this would be cool.’ Luckily we had creative writers who would write the history. Our primary quest designer, Tony Garcia, really did an awesome job, Tony is another guy I played D&D with ever since I was 10 years old. So a lot of the guys from Norrath are part D&D characters. 

Bryan Reynolds: Oh, that’s good to know! That’s cool!

Bill Trost: Yeah. Sir Lucan De`vir was actually Tony’s character. So it was really cool. Yeah.

Bryan Reynolds: Oh! So lets go ahead and ask the first question. Does Verant ever intend on implementing some kind of form of decay, like decaying of items or weapons. The longer a server is up the more there will be, so is there ever gonna be a chance that our weapons decay? 

Bill Trost: Uh, the short answer to that is, no. The long answer is, we’d like to have some other method of getting items out of the economy rather than just having them wear out. So you’ll see more and more quests designed to bring more items to give people an incentive to get people to get rid of their old items. 

//{5.49}

Bryan Reynolds: Yeah.

Bill Trost: It’s a philosophical debate that we go through a lot. Because personally, I am a hard ass DM, or at least I was. My philosophy was ‘break it.’ If I felt they had something they shouldn’t have, I break it. But that doesn’t go over to well with the majority of players. It’s a constant debate we go through on the Everquest team and there are valid arguments on all sides. So we’re trying to come up with some kind of compromise to help alleviate that situation and not ruin someone else’s sense of pride they get when they get an item, knowing it won’t go away the next time they log out. 

Bryan Reynolds: Yeah. If someone spends 32 hours camping that item and it decays, then, they’d be pretty upset. 

Bill Trost: Yeah, that would suck. We want to keep the players optimists. 

Bryan Reynolds: But there would be some kind of incentive I’m sure. 

Bill Trost: Right.

Bryan Reynolds: Do you plan on doing any art overall, like better art for weapons?

Bill Trost: That’s a yes and no question. Yes we are with the kunark expansion. There will be lots and lots of new items and weapons. There will be new icons and textures for them. A majority of them might be Iksar only , but yes we will have new items and weapons through the expansion. As for adding them as part of a patch, that is also a possibility. 

Bryan Reynolds: Is Iksar on the dark race team for the PVP team or are they their own team on the PVP teams server.

Bill Trost: Um, that would probably be determined through the play testing. My initial reaction would be yeah, they would probably be their own team. Because they are kind of separatists. They have a wide enough range of classes that they could support their own team. That would be my guess, but I’m not solid. 

Bryan Reynolds: Will Verant make any changes to the class specific armor quests, especially those for the Paladin ‘Armor of Ro’. 

Bill Trost: Basically yes. We are constantly updating quests and changing them. Trying to upgrade the ones that aren’t rewarding as much as they should, and fixing them. 

Bryan Reynolds: Yeah I remember talking to him the last EQ event and he was working on them.

Bill Trost: They’re constantly working on them, and they are updated most of the time. That’s Tony’s job, 24 hours a day.

Bill Trost: (chuckles)

// {8.57}

Bryan Reynolds: Okay, the next question would be, I’d like to see an NPC in a certain location in cities that would buff PCs for money… Will you ever have NPCs that will buff PCs? 

Bill Trost: This is another thing that was debated off and on. We will see a limited version of that. But the problem is with putting lots of NPCs like that in, is that it would make the PC classes that do those buffs less meaningful. 

Bryan Reynolds: Like an NPC in every zone that casts SOW [spirit of wolf].

Bryan Reynolds and BT: (laugh)

Bryan Reynolds: Does Verant have any intention of placing a cap on the population of any of its servers?

Bill Trost: No. No we have no intention of adding a cap. But yes we have every intention of adding more servers. 

Bryan Reynolds: Could you elaborate on what currently the hardware is….I don’t want to get in details, but is it difficult to add a new server, or not?

Bill Trost: It’s not extremely difficult to add a new server, but it’s …I’m not the one who says ‘lets put up a new server’, there are a lot of politics it must go through. 

Bryan Reynolds: Would you ever start taking checks, money orders, or other forms of payment other than just credit cards?

Bill Trost: That would be cool. I think we should. It’s not necessarily my area of expertise, but I think that would definitely be good. 

Bryan Reynolds: Could you ever add more visual graphics , like having flames come out of fire elementals, or water drip from water elementals? 

Bill Trost: I thought that was a cool question. That would be something I’d like to see, and I don’t see any reason why we possibly couldn’t add stuff like that. The one problem with altering characters, with what we call the ‘Global Characters’ like elementals is right now that would require a pretty hefty patch that we could probably do as an optional patch, maybe. Its like a 10 meg download, hehe.

Bryan Reynolds: Let’s move on. There is currently a bug that allows monsters to hit through walls. When is the date of this bug being fixed. 

Bryan Reynolds: I assume they’re talking about certain outdoor zones where the NPCs will ignore objects. 

Bryan Reynolds: From my understanding, the reason that happens is because people would exploit objects. 

Bill Trost: Right, the reason why its there is because if we did as elaborate a texture on the outdoor zones like some of the indoor zones, basically , we’d have much fewer NPCs because the CPU couldn’t handle it. We’re basically maxing the CPU at where it is. And we’d much rather use the CPU to have more monsters than having the monsters be incrementally smarter. 

Bryan Reynolds: That makes sense, makes sense. Are there plans for Everquest to go beyond Kunark. I know there was Velious 

Bill Trost: Right, Velious was the other continent that was on our original maps. Beyond Kunark, we really don’t know. I imagine if I’m sitting with you at a similar event next year, I’m sure we’d be talking about Velious. Because if Everquest continues to be as successful as it is now, I can’t imagine us not doing that. Now, am I the one who has any input on that decision, no. 

Bryan Reynolds: Did you guys ever dream Everquest would be this big?

Bill Trost: No. 

Bryan Reynolds: So you’re extremely happy about this?

Bill Trost: Yah! Happy and scared!

Bryan Reynolds and BT: (both laugh)

Bill Trost: No, nobody ever imagined it would be as successful as it is. 

Bryan Reynolds: All right. Here is a really good one about rogues that really needs to be answered. Lot of people are upset about it. Why can’t rogues pick the locks in Befallen. This has been a mystery since the first time I went to Befallen. 

Bill Trost: That’s a situation where it just wasn’t intended for you to be able to pick those locks. It’s by design. You’re supposed to get the keys in that method. We didn’t want anyone to take another route, we wanted that particular zone to be linear in that way. 

Bryan Reynolds: Another question is, how rogues disarm traps. Where are they ?

Bill Trost: That was just a fault in the development originally in Everquest. Traps just weren’t fully realized the way we originally intended them. Ideally we should really relieve those, but because rogues have been enhanced in other ways. We have more concentrated on making rogues a more assassin type class. They are more combat oriented than we originally envisioned them to be. 

// {14.56}

Bryan Reynolds: I know I’ve seen a lot of comments about it. When they take out the disarm and arm, don’t think about it as something you should have, it hasn’t really been implemented, but rogues have been buffed up in other ways. 

Bryan Reynolds: I often run out of assignable hotkeys after making pet, guild and corpse commands. Is there a chance of getting more assignable hotkeys?

Bill Trost: I would think that there is, I mean I’m not a programmer. But that sounds like a good suggestion. I’m not …

Bryan Reynolds: Is there a gameplay issue behind it? Like you only have 8 spells?

Bill Trost: I really don’t think so, you’re still limited to displaying the 6 slots, so adding the additional banks of those wouldn’t have a significant gameplay issue. The whole purpose for those slots is to make it convenient. So adding more would make it more convenient, and it is possible. We should do it. I don’t know where the data is stored. I assume its stored client side so it shouldn’t matter, but I don’t know. 

Bryan Reynolds: Are there any changes being planned for trade skills like smithing, and adding new items to be made with them. The whole trade skill question really.

Bill Trost: This is something really that is going to be addressed short term. Post-Kunark, trade skills are top priority. 

Bryan Reynolds: Little background this, I know you were talking about trade skills overall, but I know trade skills weren’t the primary factor when you started Everquest. It was more role-play, and taking RPGs, like D&D games, and have as close to that type of feeling as possible. Maybe you can further elaborate on that, but the reason trade skills aren’t so elaborate are because you really would want to do a trade skill for a majority of your time, or even half your time. 

Bill Trost: Right, the initial design for Everquest was to capture the pen and paper feel of Dungeons and Dragons. So we went ahead in designing it like it was that type of game. Its just we didn’t worry about making our armor, we went out and found our armor. And it was that kind of thing when we first made Everquest. But later on we found out that people really enjoyed something like that, even though it wasn’t part of the limited game experience, the hack and slash feel. So trade skills were picked up and implemented in our game, and I think overall, they’ve added quite a bit. Could they have been more meaningful to the game? Yes.

// {18.23)

Bryan Reynolds: What I’m possibly thinking is that, UO [Ultima Online] had trade skills and lots of them. And in UO, trade skills are mainly used to make mass amounts of money and when they come over to Everquest, they don’t have the ability to make mass amounts of money so they can’t go out and buy as much. There are a lot of people on Ultima Online who like to just make clothing for example, they wanted to see themselves in all different sorts of clothes. But many people’s goal is to make a whole lot of money. 

Bill Trost: Yea, that was never our intention. Everquest was always more of an adventure game. The characters are adventurers, they’re not merchants. At the core, that’s what it was, but we added the ability to be pseudo-merchants as the game progresses. But it was never the focus of the game, and its pretty obvious that wasn’t the focus of the game. I think we underestimated the value of those.

Bryan Reynolds: I guess the only way to balance it is to…lets say you have a group of 5 adventurers and they’re going out they were 10th level. And after 5 hours of work they produced 100 platinum. A group of 5 tradesman on the other hand who sat around and did their trade skill, they should also produce 100 platinum. But even at that I don’t think they would be satisfied with that, because that’s not a whole lot of plat. 

Bill Trost: Yeah, that doesn’t enable a guild to have their merchant guys who are their money factories. 

Bryan Reynolds: Okay, how much of the game is yet to be discovered. Are there any secrets, areas, NPCs, or quests, that have not been found yet? Are there any weapons that have not been found at all by anyone except the Fiery Avenger. 

Bill Trost: The answer to all of them is, yes. Has most of the game been discovered, yes probably. I mean in areas to explore, about 90% of it has been found. 

Bryan Reynolds: Oh, I have a question. Is there a creature….a wandering serpent in Lake Rathe? You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. 

Bryan Reynolds and BT: (both laugh)

Bill Trost: Is there a serpent there? Maybe! 

Bryan Reynolds: Awww, ok. So basically you’re saying that most of the land has been discovered. But many secrets, areas, and quests, have not been discovered.

Bill Trost: Right! And the key to that is that there is more stuff going in every day. 

// { 21.36}

Bryan Reynolds: Is there anything that has been in there since the very very beginning that hasn’t been found yet? 

Bill Trost:: From the very beginning….? (pauses) I don’t think so. 

Bryan Reynolds: Really?

Bill Trost:: Well, as far as have all the quests been done? No, no they haven’t. But have those quests been in there from the beginning, I don’t know. It’s a difficult question, but I’m not sure. Its possible, but I don’t think so. 

Bryan Reynolds: What about the Fiery Avenger quest? Was there ever a point in the game that it wasn’t in there?

Bill Trost: (pauses) Well, it was redone in a way to make it more obvious. It’s still pretty hidden. (chuckles) 

Bryan Reynolds: Yeah, lots of people have completed parts of the fiery avenger quest and they didn’t even know it. 

Bill Trost: That’s absolutely true. 

Bryan Reynolds: Are you able to give us any hints on the fiery avenger? 

Bill Trost: Hehe, no. Gotta keep my job. 

23.22

——————————-END

Bryan Reynolds, CEO RPGLore Networks
Transcribed by Payman T, Editor

An Interview with Bill Trost – 2004


An Interview with Bill Trost

We’ve recently celebrated the fourth anniversary of EverQuest® and who better to talk about this online gaming phenomenon than the one person who has been dedicated to it since the beginning as a driving creative force. As co-creator and lead designer for the original EverQuest and subsequent expansions packs, Bill Trost now serves in the defining role of Lead Designer for EverQuest II®, SOE’s continuation of the fantastical worlds of EverQuest.

Steve Fuller: Not many people are aware of your originating influence on EverQuest. Can you give us some background on how EverQuest got started and the role you played in its creation?

Bill Trost: While I was an art student I met a couple guys who needed help making a little shareware PC game demo.  This demo got noticed by John Smedley, now the president of SOE, and eventually all the folks who worked on it were hired to develop EverQuest.  John Smedley, who was at that time the director of a Playstation development house, had the idea to take the text MUD experience and update it with the latest 3D graphics, and he was able to actually convince Sony to fund it.  This was the beginning of EverQuest.  I was the Lead Game Designer for the original release of EverQuest as well as the first two expansions.  But, it would be dishonest for any one person to try to take credit for the design of EQ.  EQ’s original game design was truly a team effort, with the largest and most notable basic gameplay contributions coming from our resident game design and code wizard, Roger Uzun, whom I am now fortunate enough to be working with again on EQ2.  Ryan Palacio (SWG) and Geoff Zatkin (EQ2) also had a lot of influence, especially within their specific specialties, database design and spell design respectively.  In addition to leading and training the design team, establishing the framework for the fiction of Norrath, the faction system, interface and content design were my personal responsibilities.  But my good friends Kevin Burns (EQoA) and Tony Garcia (EQ2), along with all the other designers and artists contributed incredibly to the content design and quest creation.  A great many of the now familiar characters and places of Norrath actually came from an old pen and paper RPG campaign world I created as a teenager.  Tony was a player in that campaign so he and I worked well together and had similar goals for what we wanted the world of Norrath to be.  It is incredible and very surreal to hear people talk about all the names of our old characters and such.  “Firiona Vie,” for example, was actually in my original campaign an ancient Elven city, not a hot Elf babe.  Here is a bit of previously unrevealed trivia: the name, “Firiona Vie,” in that campaign, translated from Elvish meant “The Flowering Place.”  It seemed to be a fitting name for EQ’s beautiful Elven spokesmodel.

SF: What were your expectations of EverQuest in the beginning? Did you envision having a sustained subscriber base of more than 400k four years after release?

BT: No way.  No how.  We thought that if we could get 70k over the life of the game (which we hoped to be about 16 months or so), we would be golden.  EverQuest’s longevity and continued growth is just incredible and a testament to the skill of the talented designers, engineers and artists that came on board after us original farts.  I have the highest respect for them and feel they have consistently improved the game over the years.  EQ is more fun now than it ever was.

SF: And on beating such expectations, one word to describe your thoughts now on such a huge accomplishment?

BT: Thanks!

SF: Looking back on your role with EQ, what is your most shining moment? What’s your one most favorite thing about the game?

BT: Queen Klicnik!  Hee…  Seriously, I love that so many people enjoy what we worked so long and hard on.  We accomplished what we set out to do and what nobody, including ourselves some of the time, actually thought we could do.  We created a brand new fantasy world and a fun game.  Norrath is a place where people can meet, become friends, have adventures, then tell stories about the good times they had.  That is awesome. 

SF: For balance, what moment would you love to take back?

BT: I wish, on the original release, we would have had the time and good management support to do some of the awesome things that Rich Waters, Shawn Lord, Scott Hartsman and the rest of the EQ Live team have done with PoP and LoY.  Those guys (and gals) rock.  They are totally focused on EverQuest and have excellent leadership in Robert Pfister and Rod Humble.   EQ is a much better game since the gauntlet was passed to them.

SF: With the success of EverQuest, it only made sense to transfer that success to other platforms. Currently a version of EQ can be played on the PC, on the Pocket PC, as a pen & paper game, and even console gamers can now get into the act with EverQuest® Online Adventures™. A version is now being beta tested on the Macintosh. Do you play a role in any of these other products?

BT: I am the unofficial Lore Czar of EQ so I get to hear bits and pieces where lore conflicts might occur.  But, I am deeply involved in the design of EQ2, and have been since we shipped Kunark, so that is my primary focus.  I am playing EQoA and EQ right now and let me tell you, those teams are doing great things while maintaining and improving the original spirit of EQ. 

I love the EQ d20 stuff that Sword and Sorcery are doing.  It this former-geeky-teenager’s dream come true to have hardcover role playing books dedicated to the fantasy world you helped create.  I need to get a Pocket PC!  I really want to play that game.  It is also so rad that Mac folks are finally going to get a chance to play EQ!  I really hope they like it.

SF: What are your thoughts on having all this varied EQ entertainment available to a diverse base of users?

BT: It is just mind blowing.  I love it.  Our world of Norrath is so diverse and flexible that you can tell virtually any kind of story in it.  I love seeing all the different interpretations of Norrath.

SF: Where is the current EverQuest heading? Does it have legs?

BT: Does it ever!  EQ is better than it has ever been.  As long as people enjoy playing it, we plan on supporting and expanding it.  And we have the most talented people in the business doing just that.

SF: You have since moved on from the original EverQuest to take up the design reigns of EverQuest II. What is EverQuest II?

BT: EverQuest II is an entirely new fantasy game based on the future of the world of Norrath.

SF: How will EverQuest II differ from the original?

BT: EverQuest II was designed new, from the ground up, taking into account all the lessons we learned over the many years of EQ.  It is not a replacement for EQ, it is a different game.  It is designed to offer an alternative experience that we think will appeal to both current and former EQ players as well as people who might be new to online gaming.  Our plans are for the two games to exist simultaneously and to build off of each other.  We are in a unique position in the industry to be able to do something like this.

SF: How will EQ II affect the life of EQ?

BT: That is top secret for right now.  But it will be fun.  For both games.

SF: What goal do you hope to achieve for EQ II that you might have had for EQ but could not be achieved for whatever reason?

BT: We really did, for the most part, reach all of the goals we originally set out to reach in EQ.  And the EQ Live team is constantly setting and achieving new goals!  For EQ2, since it is not just EQ1 with different graphics, we have defined an entirely new set of goals that we are striving to reach.

SF: Can you break down the feature list for EQ II? Give us a hint on what we can expect?

BT: I can’t give a complete list of features at this time but the largest one that has everyone excited is the addition of dedicated trade classes that form the foundation of our in game economy.  Our combat and magic systems are also very exciting and new, while maintaining an overall EverQuest flavor.

SF: With E3 around the corner.  Do you have big show plans? Can you tell us?

BT: This is why I am being so tight-lipped on features.  We have big plans for E3 this year, where lots will be revealed.  It is very exciting.

SF: After EQ II, what next for you?

BT: Our core systems for EQ2 have been designed from the beginning to support expansions.  If EQ2 does well, I hope to be able to work on at least the first one of those, because we have some cool ideas that just don’t fit with our initial release plans.  After that, I hope to be able to explore some other game ideas I have, here at SOE.  At some point, fresh blood and fresh points of view are needed.  And they will be needed in EverQuest II.

SF: In your opinion, what’s next for the MMO industry?

BT: The sky is the limit.  I personally hope that more people get into this industry and shake it up some.  We at SOE are doing our part with EQoA, SWG, Planetside, EQ II and some other things I can’t talk about right now.  I hope others follow that lead.  As a gamer, it will be so depressing if every new game coming out is just trying to be “EQ Too.” 

I think the market is wide open for a group of folks with a new idea and a clean, tight, focused design.  String enough of those together and you have the MMOG version of a cable network.  That is the model I hope the industry follows. 

SF: And to close, what advice would you give someone who wants to become a game designer?

BT: Play lots of games.  Play all kinds of games; pen and paper games, war games, board games, card games, console games, party games, computer games, MMOGs.  You never know what game will have a cool mechanic that you could use in one of your designs.  Also, make games.  Even if it is just for yourself.  Let me tell you this, if I was interviewing a designer and he or she was able to show me a game he or she had made on their own, even if it was just a solitaire card game on 3×5 cards or a chess variant, and the game was actually fun, they would be light years ahead of most people who want to be game designers and would be seriously considered for the job.  The most important qualifications a game designer can have is a love of games, and more importantly, a love of how games work and an understanding of what they can do for the people who play them.  For video games, a deep and realistic understanding of the ever expanding limits of technology is also a must.  You do want to actually ship your game, after all.  Be flexible.  Accept criticism gracefully.  Never be so married to a design that you become blind to better solutions.  There always is one.  Be confident.  If you don’t want to play your game, odds are, no one else will either.

Also, strictly speaking, most companies do not hire inexperienced game designers.  So it is really a good idea to learn either programming or art as a way to try to get your foot in the door somewhere, and that experience can only help when you are later called on to communicate your designs effectively to engineers and artists.  Once you are in the door, bust your ass and make people notice your bitchin’ work ethic and your killer, positive attitude.  It won’t be long before they make you lead designer. 

SF: Final words?

BT: Wow.  That was quite an interview.  But this has been quite an exciting 7 years of my life, working on EQ.  And 4 years of people actually playing it!!  Incredible.  I cannot thank our loyal players, past and present, and my fellow EQ teammates, past and present, enough.  I feel so very fortunate to be able to make a living doing something I love.  Thank you.  I hope to see you in Norrath.

And thank you Bill for bringing great entertainment to our lives!

-Steve “Mennix” Fuller 

Myserties of EQ (Piestro)


************** SPOILER ALERT *******************

Stop reading if you don’t want to know.

Ok, so let’s get started. 🙂

Fiery Avenger:

When the Fiery Avenger Quest 1.0 (never completed) was put in, it wasn’t every fully functional. Pieces of the quest did go in however, and were discovered by the players. The sphinxes found in Rathe Mountains were originally part of this quest.

Quoting from Brad McQuaid in his post on the EQ forums on this topic recently:

“The first quest involved talking to several sphinx and figuring out their riddles. This was begun, but then devs were distracted with other priorities. So you couldn’t finish the quest (or even get far on it), but we announced it worked. When later we realized it didn’t work, we ended up throwing the whole initial quest idea out and put a quest in that actually worked.”

Mayong Mistmoore:

Mayong was not in the game initially. He was specifically left out to create a sense of mystery and hint at a larger story. Because he became a subject that players were curious about, he was a frequent topic of early GM quests and those done by the Quest Troop. The first few times they featured Mayong, they didn’t actually have a model for him and had to use a dark elf model. There were a number of GM quests that did involve Mayong, helping to lend some credence to the idea that he did spawn.

Brad mentioned this in the above mentioned thread as well, worth a read for you guys if you are interested. https://forums.station.sony.com/eq/index.php?threads/12-years-i-feel-so-old.4319/

Kracken:

Unfortunately this one is complete urban legend. There was never a Kracken in the OOT. There was a giant shark planned for Lake Rathe, but he was probably removed at one point because water monsters are hard to implement.

Other Super Rare Spawns:

There are a ton of other super rare spawns in the original EQ zones. The most famous of these was bilge farfathom, who inspired the Bilge Hunter website. http://www.hyperhighway.com/bilgehunter/

These spawns are crazy rare, for example Prince Kyrmt Keroppi may not have spawned this year. Or last. It’s pretty unlikely unless people are actively killing in those zones all the time. There were a number of obscenely rare evil eyes as well, and they were the inspiration behind the Xorbb zone in the most recent expansion. I think spawns like these with incredibly low chances are what give rise to credibility for the above mentioned Kracken.

The King of Ak’Anon;

The King of Ak’anon is a clockwork stand in. The real king is in Dragonscale Hills I believe, and featured in some quests there. There is a very complicated Gnomish reason for all this, but it confuses me since I haven’t fully played through that quest line.

I think the other reason for many of these mysteries is that Devs are clever folks. Or at least they have a low animal cunning. When they build things they frequently add hooks where future content can be inserted, or areas where zones can be attached. While the early devs didn’t have any idea of the potential longevity for EQ, or the massive amount of people that would be attracted to Norrath, they still were gamers at heart. They did thing like write out long timelines, and note potential areas for future expansion.

Nowdays the devs are very cognizant of this, and frequently do these sorts of things in a much more knowing manner. They aren’t above planting fake clues buried deep in game files either to throw off those who try and find out what is not yet meant to be seen. Of course sometimes those clues grow in the retelling, and devs actually end up implementing what was originally intended to be something to throw players off the scent.

And never forget repurposing. In early Beta there was a system for evil characters to be able to travel around Norrath as there was significant concern that it would be too difficult for those individuals to go from one location to another. As the game developed it became clear that this wouldn’t be necessary, and so it was scrapped for the time being. But the firepot in Neriak’s third gate is still clickable. I wouldn’t put it past the Devs to use this sometime in the future.

Some of the Devs are more fond of the mysterious content than others. I know Dzarn who is on the team currently still adds in the occasional quest with no bracketed keywords immediately available. It’s always interesting to see how quickly the players pick up on those sorts of things and still solve the quests.

Hope that answers a few questions at least. 🙂

Reference: https://www.reddit.com/r/EQNext/comments/1ifni8/unsolved_mysteries_quests_and_other_bits_of/

Dorn B’Dynn


A tall and well-formed dark elf, Dorn B’Dynn is in self-imposed exile in the Desert of Ro, and hates every moment of it. Raised a member of the Cauldron of Hate, the guild of warriors in Neriak, B’Dynn has never been satisified with his position in Teir’Dal society. He has spent his long life plotting to increase his prestige, seeking the status that comes with personal power. B’Dynn took up the study of necromancy, but discovered that even that did not meet his needs. When teh guildmaster of the Cauldron of Hate decided he neded a trusted warrior to maintain a present in the Desert of Ro, B’Dynn saw great opportunity to gain a reputation, so he volunteered.

B’Dynn’s main duty is to ensure various smuggled goods shipped from Faydwer and Kunark are delivered safely to the Dismal Rage in Freeport. He also spies on other forces within Ro and the Oasis of Marr, mtains diplomatic ties to the Scorchfist Orcs, and arranges safe passage of trolls out of Grobb (a service that requires the trolls to serve a Teir’Dal master for several years – a source of many troll guards for the dark elves).

B’Dynn has gone far beyond his stated duties, however. He has forme da close alliance with the dervishes of the desert, and plans to bring them fully under his control in teh decades to come. He hopes to make them the core of his own army, with which he will claim control of all the lands from Freeport to Innothule Swamp. He then intends to take control of the troll lands as well, bolstering his army further. Once he has this level of mastery he plans to make a conerted effort to raid the remains of Takish’Hiz, and any other old elven ruin, regardless of how many dervishes and trolls he has to kill in the effort. He sees the gypsies as his primary opposition in this effort, and never misses an opportunity to make their lives difficult.

Quest: Seakillers’ Heads
Faction: Cauldron of Hate (-1 rank)
NPC: Dorn B’Dynn
CR: 17
Reward: +1 faction rank with the Cauldron of Hate and the Coalition of Tradefolk Underground (maximum +3 each from this quest). 10d10 platinum pieces
Consequences: -1 faction rank with the Gypsies and the Knights of Truth
Quest Summary:
A trio of 3 seafury cyclops brothers called Malquar, Heferus and Querl Seakiller have discovered one of the routes used by the smugglers who support the Teir’Dal, and have been stealing supplies and destroying ships. Dorn B’Dynn has discovered they have a lair in the southern Desert of Ro, but is unwilling to risk himself to find their exact location or to attack them himself. He is more than happy to allow a band of adventurers trying to gain acceptannce with the dark elves to risk their lives in solving his problem.
B’Dynn doesn’t care about the stolen goods or the destroyed ships and their crews, as such losses are inevitable in a smuggling operation, but if the Seakillers aren’t elminated the losses may become too great for him to hide from his masters in Neriak. What he needs is the heads of the three brothers brought to him as proof they are no longer a threat to his operations.
The quest can be rerun with different foes, such as sand giants, Quag Maelstrom and even Cazel

Karnors Castle (Vhalen)


As with most Sebilisian strongholds, Karnor’s was named after a hero of the first iksar empire. I cannot say for certain whom this Karnor is. Perhaps I need to delve deeper into my archives. Here is a bit I can tell you.
Fortress Karnor is an ancient iksarian stronghold. It was most likely constructed around 825 A.G. by order of Emperor Venril Sathir. It was during this time that the Sebilisian Empire was involved in a vast campaign of slaughter and subjugation. This was known as the First Slaves’ War, a war to enslave the Kromdul and frogloks. Fortress Karnor was built to contain the iksar army in the southwest territory of Kunark. It was there that the iksar crushed and enslaved the Kromdul, hill and forest giants. It was often called the Karnor by iksar officers. It was designed to withstand the pummeling of hurled boulders that you might find departing from the hands of an enraged giant. All aspects of the Karnor were designed to either withstand or contain the Kromdul.
Although the Karnor was one of the most formidable fortresses in Kunark, it would eventually be toppled by the might of the Kromdul who had been integrated into a massive giant army commanded by the giant hero, Warslik. But the Karnor would not remain in ruins forever. Hundreds of years would pass and Venril Sathir would return to occupy the fortress to yet again plague the giants with his evil.
What condition could such a formidable stronghold be in now? Who now dwells in the halls of Karnor’s Castle?

https://forums.daybreakgames.com/eq2/index.php?threads/an-eq1-lore-primer.196538/page-3#post-2175807

Fall of an Empire


This raid task is made available after completing the three previous monster missions in the series, One Shall Rule Them All, To Raise the King, and Zebuxoruk’s Pact.

In this monster mission, you play frogloks, dragons, and sarnak in a raid on Sebilis (which is under the control of Iksars).

Sebilis is a city under siege! The froglok and sarnak slaves have revolted, threatening their captors. Trakanon and his dragon allies have burst free from their 600 year imprisonment. The combined forces are tearing the Iksar city inside out, annihilating everything in their path. Retrace the footsteps of Trakanon and look for the ancient book of the dead.

You say, ‘Hail, a forgotten noble’

A forgotten noble says, ‘You have done well, mortal. I can see now that the ancient book of the dead resided in Sebilis during the fall. Do you know [what happened] on that fateful day?’

You say, ‘what happened’

A forgotten noble says, ‘The slaves revolted in Sebilis. Chaos and bloodshed ensued, blood-curdling screams of the fallen emanating from every room, every corner. The final destructive attack on our people came when Trakanon and his Dragon allies descended on what was left of the city and reduced it to ruins. The grand Sebilisan Empire was no more. Let us look back together. Allow me to [show] you.’

You say, ‘show’

A forgotten noble says, ‘From the eyes of our enemies you will witness the final death rattle of the Sebilisian Empire. Do not forget the task at hand. You may become caught up in the moment, enthralled by the vicious bloodshed and slaughter, but always remember your true purpose, searching for the book. Tell me when you are [ready].’

You have been assigned the task ‘Fall of an Empire’.

Say “ready” to zonein after selecting a monster shroud.

Task stages:

Fend off the Council’s legions of undead servants 0/80 Sebilis
Rise up and annihilate the oppressive Iksar slavers 0/80 Sebilis
Slay the Iksar slavemaster 0/1 Sebilis
Retrieve the head of the slavemaster 0/1 Sebilis
Slay the Iksar champion 0/1 Sebilis
Retrieve the head of the champion 0/1 Sebilis
Deliver the slavemaster’s head to the Council Leader 0/1 Sebilis
Deliver the champion’s head to the Council Leader 0/1 Sebilis
Defeat the High Council 0/1 Sebilis

The raid is divided into potentially 3 locations. Four people can select dragon shrouds (Gorenaire, Talendor, Trakanon, and Severilious) and will spawn in the Trakanon lair area. Up to 12 people can select various froglok shrouds (3 Clerics/Warriors/Rogues/Enchanters) and will spawn at the regular entrance to Sebilis. And up to 12 people can select various Sarnak shrouds (3 Clerics/Warriors/Rogues/Enchanters) and will spawn a bit east of the “Disco” area in the upper levels.

NOTE: You have the option of having everyone (except the Dragons) go either Frogloks or Sarnaks in order to keep the raid together if doing this with smaller forces, though beating the later parts of the mission with less than 20 players is unlikely to succeed.

The four dragons are essentially stuck in Trakanon’s Lair area where you can observe the Iksar Council (which are currently inactive). Periodically waves of skeletons will spawn and roam up to the council which the players controlling the dragon shrouds are responsible for killing. Usage of dragon AEs and Fears make this part of the mission essentially trivial.

The Sarnak and Froglok forces need to clear a large section of the upper levels of Sebilis. The Iksar Slavemaster spawns near where the frogloks start and the Iksar Champion spawns near where the Sarnak start. In addition to killing these two named NPCs and looting their heads, the froglok and sarnak forces will want to kill around 60 to 70 Iksar-type NPCs as few spawn on the lower levels and you must kill 80 altogether to advance to the final stage of the task.

Enemies in the zone have a chance to drop an assortment of weapons/shields that have good stats for the frogloks/sarnaks to wear.

Once enough Iksar Slavers have been slain in the upper levels the frogloks and sarnaks can head towards the Trakanon Lair section of sebilis to meet up with the dragons. If you want to avoid clearing you can “train” the dragons and allow them to just AE everything to make it a bit simpler.

After everyone has formed up in Trakanon’s Lair and 80 undead servants/iksar slavers have been killed you can turn in the Slavemaster and Champion heads in to Council Leader Sisarik to begin the final phase of the task, fighting the council themselves.

NOTE: The council members will not respawn once killed and there is no failure mechanic for the dragons or sarnak/frogloks dying. Expect to wipe quite a bit in this next part.

The council are MUCH stronger than anything else in the zone, and frankly, overtuned. The first “wave” will be TWO council members simultaneously. These hit for up to 1500 and have a LOT of HP. They are also aggro linked and will leash if you attempt to pull them too far past the bridge, their aggro range is also quite large.

Wave 2 will be THREE council members simultaneously which behave the same as wave 1, the extra council member just makes the fight quite a bit harder.

Wave 3 will be the Council General and Council Leader which are even stronger than the council members. Each can hit for up to 2500 and the General can Flurry and Wild Rampage.

Unknown what happens after this point but presumably a chest will spawn with some loot.

One drop is the Timeworn Moss Agate Band, which can transmute into: ???? (level 1-10), ???? (level 11-20), ???? (level 21-30), ???? (level 31-40), ???? (level 41-50), ???? (level 51-60), ???? (level 61-70).

(need all further information for this task: rewards, NPCs involved, quest items, dialogues, task stages, all other pertinent information.)

A compendium of EQOA lore, Everquest lore, Everquest 2 lore and EQ RPG Lore