EverFriends II: The people we tease

Some reputations are enduring. Some of my friends have characteristics that invite teasings for years, long after the initial joke is gone.

(When I say “my friends”, I always mean Club Morte, the bunch of friends I met in EverQuest II four years ago.)

Unker Kell is our mobile Wikipedia because he knows everything about everything and he doesn’t seem to ever forget a fact.

Unker Kell

We call him Kellpedia, sometimes, but that’s not very funny, so we also tease him about his “uncle-ness” (hence his nick Unker Kell – the mispelling due to his not technically being an uncle).

We often give him grief over his sometimes eccentric dress sense, excessive sensibility and choice of music and cars.

He was shopping for a car the other day and kept waxing lyrical over the Volkswagen Passat CC, vehemently disagreeing that it looks “uncle”.

Volkswagen Passat CC

Fortunately, we (mostly the Goonfather) put so much pressure on him that he agreed to give the Mazda RX-8 a try, which resulted in him buying it because it’s one of those “love-at-first-drive” cars.

Mazda RX-8

In EverQuest II, Unker Kell has a reputation for spending hours and hours sorting inventory.

In the game, we have personal and bank inventory slots to keep all our treasures, and in each slot we can place bags or boxes, each of which open up to more slots to keep all our treausres.

This is how mine looks like, with all my bags and boxes open up. Each tiny square can hold one item:

EQ2 inventory

As you can see, this has the potential of providing many hours of sorting entertainment, especially when you have several alternate characters (like Unker Kell has) and you want to share items with them.

In the past, whenever we agreed to meet for an adventure, he would be the last to arrive because he’s always busy sorting inventory at the bank.

He’s also often late for real world outings so the joke carries over into real life as well. Unker Kell is his name and “inventory sorting” is his thing.

He’s better now. I think maybe now he spends his lunch hour sorting inventory so that he doesn’t have to sort it when he’s playing with us. (But we still tease him about it.)

Now we come to Morte, our group’s namesake.

Morte

Our group bears his name because he is our class clown. And also because he always irks everyone so much we all want to club him. (But he’s very good for laughs so we keep him.)

In EverQuest II four years ago, we used to call him the paper tank.

In MMORPGs, a tank is the group’s warrior assigned to absorb all the enemy hits (because he has strong defence but weak offence) while everyone else concentrates on actually killing the enemy.

Tanks have special abilities to keep enemies’ attentions on them.

Grimji
This was our tank in my old guild.

Morte is a mage in game and has powerful nukes that can severely pulverize an enemy. Unfortunately, it angers the enemy so much it will turn its attention on Morte. Unfortunately, also, mages can only wear cloth armor so they’re especially fragile.

The mage’s job is to nuke a mob just enough so that the combat can end quicker but not so much that he gets its attention. When a mage overnukes, he will override the tank as the punching bag. And Morte loves to overnuke.

Calling someone a paper tank is like saying, “You paper-wearing nuker, you think you can be a tank? Hur hur…”

Here’s a picture of Morte being a paper tank. He’s in the middle of the screen being surrounded by angry mobs:

Morte paper tanking

A few months back, Morte was all excited over buying 120 rolls of toilet paper for like $12, and his nickname became Toilet Paper. And when we returned to EQ2 last month, he became Toilet Paper Tank.

His most-uttered words ingame now are “Save me~~~.”

Next…

The Goonfather has a reputation for being a chiongster because he enjoys rushing the enemy and has no patience for tactics. As a result, he has like the highest death count among our group (next to Morte).

The Goonfather

But he has no nickname for that because I’m probably the only person who gets annoyed by it since he always drags me along to his doom with his impulsive habits. To the others, he’s probably just a source of amusement.

There was this time in the past when two of us needed to kill some gnolls and, out of impatience, he went to aggro all the gnolls in the immediate area all at once.

Pulling the whole world

He really enjoys flirting with death in games.

Nanny Wen (aka Davienne) is the bimbo of the group (ingame) because she’s always getting lost and making silly mistakes due to being blur.

Nanny Wen

She’s also a bimbo because she enjoys comparing clothes and appearances and laughing at people for being short. She plays a high-elf, which is a very tall race, and she enjoys saying, “I am looking down on you.”

Unfortunately for her, she can’t do the same in real life.

The other day, she was teasing Unker Kell about his looks (he plays a cat-like humanoid and was wearing a stupid Santa hat). She asked him to shapeshift into Billy the moppet because he looks better that way.

(In EQ2, we have abilities to turn ourselves or other people into all kinds of funny things, which is fun.)

Nanny Wen says

And this was Unker Kell’s reply:

Bimbo

Bimbo

This is Billy the moppet:

Billy

Billy is actually a mob we had to kill several times in the past for a very tough quest. I guess the game developers thought it would be funny to allow players to shapeshift into Billy.

EQ2 is more fun than ever because there is now a built-in voice chat feature. It makes it feel like we’re physically together, enjoying a fun activity together.

The downside is that now I can’t take screenshots of people saying funny things anymore, since people hardly type anymore.

Funny screens

No more such screens. :(

In another post, I’ll share with you some of the funny adventures we shared together. I can’t wait to tell you about the one where the Goonfather and Unker Kell voluntarily did a “You jump, I jump” and fell to their deaths amidst much laughter from the guild.

Another time!

Right now, I’m having so much fun reliving the good old days with the same bunch of friends. Isn’t it such a rare thing being able to actually relive fond memories for real?

I’m making the most of it by playing the game obsessively. So don’t think I’m a nerd. It’s for the sake of friendship! =P

The evil eats into the soul

Just last week, my life was taken over by a most unexpected evil called EverQuest II.

EverQuest II

It is most unexpected because I never like revisiting an MMORPG after quitting. Picking up where you left off is tedious. I prefer to play new games all the time.

And EverQuest II is most evil because it lured me back not just once but twice.

I first started the game in Feb 2005. Quit after a year due to excessive guild politics.

Returned in Dec 2006 because they introduced Faes, which are too cute to resist. Quit after a few months, can’t remember why.

EverQuest II

Now, in Mar 2010, all my friends have suddenly gone back into the game one by one. These are the very friends I first met in the same game in 2005, who have become my best friends over the years as we moved together from activity to activity.

Club Morte

I was very reluctant to restart the game, especially after three years of absence. Too many changes would have happened to the game, which would throw me off. Plus I didn’t want to get addicted to an MMORPG again.

But then, EQ2 started to dominate conversations in Plurk and gatherings (dinners and stuff) with my friends, so I had two choices: Return to EQ2 or be hopelessly clueless.

I saw returning to EQ2 as being the lesser of two evils, despite EQ2 already being the evil incarnate.

EverQuest II

So, after three years of being a lost soul, I am an MMORPG player once again. (I say lost soul because although I really appreciated being not addicted to a game, I always felt incomplete without one.)

I logged into the game last week and was completely useless. I’d forgotten how to do everything. After spending an hour staring at the screen dumbly, wondering where to start, I decided to create yet another new character to learn the game from scratch again.

I made an evil Fae (known as Arasai) this time, but in the same colour combination as my first because I still think blue and white looks best.

Sheyli the Arasai:

EverQuest II

Sheyla the Fae:

EverQuest II

The evil infiltrated my soul very quickly. The first night I logged in, I played overnight until 8:30 in the morning.

It has been a downhill battle since. EQ2 is really the ultimate MMORPG for me. I enjoyed WOW but was never so entranced. Maybe it helps that all my friends are in the game with me and it’s like we have come full circle and reliving all fun we had a long time ago.

And it’s fun to talk about EQ2 when we meet in real life.

So, while EQ2 has hold of my life, everything takes a back seat. Which is really bad, but I’m trying very hard to at least complete my most important tasks daily, one of which is to blog. Which is what I’m doing now. =P

Even as I’m blogging, I have EQ2 open on my other monitor so I can drive myself crazy.

EverQuest II

Also, this week, I’m getting some outside air every evening attending a voice masterclass workshop with renowned voice coach Bill Pepper, who coached Russell Crowe and Sam Worthington, among other celebs. Have gone for two sessions so far and it’s been cool!

So that kinda balances my life a bit, keeping me away from total addiction.

But now I’m thinking of getting a laptop so I can play EQ2 if I happen to be stuck outside with time to kill.

YES IT’S THAT BAD.

EverQuest II

And it’s not just me. Everyone in Club Morte is addicted. =P

Plurk

If only life were so simple

You say to Snoseniffer the Schemer, “Tell me about the blacksmith.”

Snoseniffer the Schemer says, “The blacksmith’s assignment is to make us coins. We needs lots and lots of gold coins. The more coins the better.”

You say, “Why?”

Snoseniffer the Schemer says, “Why? Because everyone needs lots and lots of coins… We puts them in chests and counts them and the more we have the better we are.”

You say, “But why? What’s the point? Are you trying to buy something?”

Snoseniffer the Schemer says, “Huh?”

— extracted from a dialogue in EverQuest II between a player and a goblin.

Gaming life is very easy. You kill monsters, you get money, you buy cool stuff with your money, all without breaking a sweat. (Well, gaming can be stressful if you choose to make it so, especially if you’ve played Star Wars Galaxies, but we’ll leave it at that.)

When I’m broke in the real world, or when there is something I desperately want to buy but can’t afford to, I would wish I could just go out in the streets, bash up some monsters and earn some money.

Yeah, right.

In the real world, you could, of course, go out and get a job to earn money. But real world jobs don’t spawn all over the place like monsters do in game worlds.

In the real world, you have to go through an interview for a chance to get a job. In EverQuest II, you don’t need to be interviewed by the monster to get its loot. You just take it by force.

These days, the economic system in games is getting more complicated, though. You can make money in so many ways. You can be a businessperson. You can be an entrepreneur. And you always make money. You never lose (unless you’re a hopeless moron). So, if you’re someone with half a brain, you could make a fortune in a game world if you wanted to.

For instance, you might start a business selling potato pies. You invest a small sum of money (which you got from killing monsters) to make a first batch of 200 pies.

Most of the time, if it’s in the game, you will have customers and your pies will sell for a tidy profit.

But let’s say, for discussion’s sake, your pies are extremely unpopular, you’re extremely unpopular and everyone hates you and hates your pies and they don’t sell.

Your potato pies sit there for three weeks and they are still untouched.

IT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE GAME WORLD PIES DO NOT SPOIL.

You can keep them in your backpack for five years and they’ll still be as fresh as the day you made them.

And, one day, you decide that enough is enough and you’re sick of staring at your 200 unsold pies, so you make your way to a non-player merchant (that is, a computer-controlled one).

THE MERCHANT WILL BUY YOUR PIES!

EVERY TIME!

Giving you a tiny profit, even!

If you’re a business savvy person, you could make unbelievable amounts of money in the game. If you’re not, you make a small amount. But you still make money and you never starve.

Isn’t that grand?


Killing crabs for dinner.