Just a few weeks in the past, greater than 100 gamers delved to the underside of Sleeper’s Tomb, the ultimate dungeon of EverQuest’s 22-year-old Scars of Velious enlargement. It is a brutal, difficult space gated behind a key that requires gamers to defeat an endgame dragon. It looks like a critical second, demanding coordination and focus. However this raid was not critical. It was a celebration on the finish of the world as they knew it.
It was the form of occasion that noticed retired members returning, GMs turning individuals into illusory dragons, and a beloved group streamer narrating alongside on Twitch. Soundboards with in-jokes from two years of raiding collectively threw people into gales of laughter. The server’s strongest guild, Seal Workforce, had damaged into this tomb to wake the Sleeper.
And that meant everybody else on the server was pissed.
Let’s again up a minute. On three-year-old fan server Project 1999 Green, individuals play EverQuest because it existed again then, locked to simply the primary two expansions (there at the moment are 28 EverQuest expansions, with the most recent releasing in December 2021). On Mission 1999 Inexperienced, nothing is straightforward. There are not any XP potions to purchase with microtransactions, no public sale home, no situations. If you happen to and I each desire a mob, whoever will get there first wins. Raid bosses are on timers per week lengthy, and guilds have specialised groups ready hours for them to spawn, prepared to interact them in seconds. It is intense.
So why would the server’s most dominant guild need to wake the Sleeper? There isn’t any extra dramatic resolution in EverQuest: it is a server-changing onetime occasion that unleashes the legendary dragon Kerafyrm on a murderous rampage throughout the server and removes his Warders—and, critically, their unbelievable loot—endlessly? Waking the Sleeper is probably the most historic second in all of EverQuest, some of the historic in any MMO, and anybody not already keyed was shedding their probability endlessly to get this stuff.
In keeping with Seal Workforce’s detractors, it is a easy matter of the guild selfishly taking its ball and going house. For months, Seal Workforce had had the Tomb all to themselves by monopolizing the keyholder dragons. However in current weeks challenger guild Kingdom and their allies in Secure Area had lastly begun to build up some keys by getting kills on dragons like Yelinak and Zlandicar. Fairly than allow them to have an opportunity at getting Warder loot, the egocentric and depressing members of Seal Workforce have been going to wake the Sleeper, break everybody’s enjoyable, and develop into that child within the Disney film with the black jersey that punches our plucky hero proper within the schnoz. The p99 discussion board was full of tons of of posts like “Your resolution to wake the Sleeper is not going to solely tarnish your legacy and be a cause individuals look again at your guild with distaste, however it would inevitably result in your collapse. Mark my phrases.”
So, yeah. Hardcore EverQuest gamers are nonetheless actually intense about EverQuest.
However that is simply the story in accordance with Seal Workforce’s critics. The true story could also be a bit extra difficult. There had been in depth argument within the guild on when to wake the Sleeper, with heated phrases on each side. Some wished it accomplished instantly to free the guild from having to focus solely on keys on the expense of fine loot. Some wished it left asleep endlessly, not seeing the purpose in taking away content material. Accusations of officer corruption, drained gamers sick of monitoring keyholder dragons, and a very loud German calling everybody pixel poopers made for a risky stew.
Lastly some Seal Workforce gamers had had sufficient. Taking issues into their very own fingers, a splinter faction of keyed gamers created a Discord channel known as Kerafyrm’s Dream in the midst of the night time and began making strikes towards the Tomb. Discontented Seals alongside members of different guilds have been going to wake the Sleeper, consensus be damned. Just some mad scrambling by guild management—mobilizing to the Tomb, altering passwords on shared accounts, speaking members off ledges—prevented catastrophe. The clock was ticking: Somebody on Mission 1999 Inexperienced was going to wake the Sleeper. The one query that remained was who was going to do it.
Seal Workforce’s guild management was dealing with the most important dilemma any EverQuest guild has ever or will ever should face: Do they wake the Sleeper and danger alienating members who’ve labored tirelessly to degree, raid, and compete for keys however who could not have but gotten the objects they need from the Tomb? Or do they depart it asleep and danger having one other guild or a splinter faction wake it for them, ruining the prospect for his or her members to expertise the occasion?
For a lot of who play on Mission 1999 Inexperienced, this one extremely uncommon second is the end result of 20 years of nostalgia. 20 years in the past, this identical second was the primary time in a massively multiplayer online game that gamers determined their very own destiny—actually, the destiny of their total on-line world. It was one of many first massive, scripted occasions in an MMO ever, with repercussions virtually unthinkably dramatic in a sport right this moment. Think about gamers in WoW or Last Fantasy 14 having the ability to completely kill a boss, making their loot endlessly unobtainable for the remainder of their server.
So on Mission 1999 Inexperienced, polls have been taken. Guild members’ feathers have been de-ruffled. And ultimately, Seal Workforce made its resolution: the guild would wake the Sleeper, it doesn’t matter what anybody else on the server thought.
When the final Warder died, the entire server shook. Kerafyrm awoke and began rampaging by means of Sleeper’s Tomb, killing all the pieces in his path. Seal Workforce had posted on the boards that anybody who wished may come to Skyshrine, the house of Lord Yelinak and Kerafyrm’s remaining goal, and face the Sleeper in an epic final stand to attempt to kill the invincible dragon, one thing that had solely been accomplished as soon as earlier than and was itself a legendary piece of MMO historical past.
A whole bunch of gamers from different guilds, livid at Seal Workforce’s actions, killed Yelinak earlier than the battle may start in earnest. Then Kerafyrm killed everybody and disappeared endlessly.
Mission 1999 Inexperienced is now dwelling within the aftermath. Traditionally, guilds that wake the Sleeper—even dominant ones—are inclined to fade into obscurity afterward. One thing about releasing all that stress, maybe. Or feeling just like the lengthy journey is lastly accomplished. Seal Workforce’s destiny has but to be decided, however one factor is obvious. There isn’t any going again.