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Twelve Famous Player-Driven MMORPG Moments

Genese Davis Posted:
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MMOs offer a unique community where friends create a bond and a history. As players invest in communal gameplay they foster social relationships that drive these shared experiences. Moments of this nature continue beyond the game, because of the impact we have on each other. Which of the following events did you take part in, or do you remember? Check out the following list of famous player-driven moments in chronological order:

1) The Assassination of Lord British — Ultima Online – 1997

Lord British was killed during an in-game appearance on Ultima Online’s beta test. A royal visit was conducted as a part of server population stress test. A player character known as Rainz cast a spell called “fire field” on Lord British that, surprisingly, killed him. Lord British’s character, like others, had been made invulnerable, but by design the invulnerability did not persist over several game sessions. Shortly before the incident, the server had crashed, and Richard Garriott had forgotten to set his invulnerability flag on when logging on again.

2) Shard of the Herald — Asheron’s Call - 2000

In an effort to create player-driven story, Turbine created an event where players could choose to destroy or defend the final Shard in the Shard of the Herald event. On Asheron's Call's PvE server, Thistledown, a group of dedicated players set up camp around the final crystal where, twenty-four hours a day, they set up rotations to keep the shard defended. Their actions prolonged a halt in story progression for the entire game. Even when the game masters set up waves of attacks, the group was able to hold firm for quite a while. Eventually, the shard had to fall. However, Turbine paid tribute to the group’s valiant efforts by implementing a unique monument, the "Shard Vigil Memorial," honoring those dedicated players.

3) Fansy The Famous Bard — Everquest - 2001

Everquest’s PvP server, Sullon Zek, allowed players below level six an invulnerability factor making them immune to other players’ attacks. The new server was split into good and evil with many players choosing to become evil. A player named Fansy joined the good server and became a bard. At level five, Fansy began training sand giants, a high level mob, and ended up creating a small army of them. With the sand giants in tow, Fansy was able to slay high-level players without dying himself. Even the highest-level players could not defeat Fansy, because of course, the invulnerability he had at level five. GMs were soon notified and Sullon Zek’s low-level immunity factor was altered.

4) Shadowbane Server Hacked — Shadowbane – 2003

Hackers were able to take control of one of Shadowbanes servers and take items and money from other players, populations of cities were forcibly moved to the bottom of oceans, city guards turned on local residents, and mobs went rogue killing characters in safe zones. Eventually this hacked server was rolled back and all players were able to regain their items.

5) Death of Kerafyrm, the Sleeper — EverQuest – 2003

Three top guilds on the Rallos Zek PvP server assembled over one hundred and eighty players with the intent to wake and kill a dragon known as Kerafyrm, the Sleeper. After approximately three hours, when the health of Kerafyrm hit 26%, the boss disappeared (despawned). The players talked with the EverQuest Game Masters and were told that an alleged bug had caused the problem.

The following day, Kerafyrm was back in his sleeping state. There was an apology on the official EverQuest forums from SOE, explaining that they had stopped the encounter because they feared the players were engaging the boss in an unintended manner. The players engaged Kerafyrm once again, and after another three-hour battle, Kerafyrm was defeated.

6) Plague Outbreak — World of Warcraft – 2005

The Corrupted Blood plague incident was one of the first events to affect entire World of Warcraft servers. Upon engaging Hakkar, players were stricken by a debuff called “Corrupted Blood” which would periodically sap their life. The disease was contagious, passing to other players standing in close proximity to the infected person. Within hours as the plague made its way into the outside world, Corrupted Blood had infected entire cities such as Ironforge and Orgrimmar. Low-level players were killed in seconds by the high-damage disease. The issue was resolved with a patch limiting where the plague could exist. ABC News reported that expert epidemiologists conducted a research study on this World of Warcraft incident.

7) The Epic Heist — EVE Online – 2005

The Guiding Hand Social Club (GHSC), a freelance mercenary outfit known for selling services such as corp infiltration, theft, and assassination, acquired a new target: the CEO Mirial. The GHSC spent almost a year infiltrating their target’s corp with their own members, as well as access to the corp hangers. A massive theft ensued in multiple corp hangars synchronized with the in-game killing of the primary target, Mirial. According to PC Gamer, the estimated real-life value of the items stolen was $16,500 US.

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Genese Davis

Genese Davis / Bimonthly, The Holder’s Dominion author Genese Davis opines about video games, the issues the industry faces, and the power of shaping online worlds. Find her on Twitter @GeneseDavis and GeneseDavis.com