Cecilia D’Anastasio of Kotaku has unearthed the legend of how guilds of classic EverQuest on the Rallos Zek server almost killed an “unkillable” mob — the Sleeper — Kerafyrm. My partner was present at this battle and fought right up until the moment SOE panicked and despawned Kerafyrm. It was a big deal and caused much consternation. Now the story can be told…
Rare today are opportunities for gamers to step outside the prescribed outlines of a developer’s intended gaming experience, especially in MMORPGs. Back in the early 2000s, anarchic players eagerly hunted down the virtual unknown, where possibility and impossibility were deadlocked within some specter of the original game.
The other day, I heard a piece of virtual worlds lore that brought me back to those times: On EverQuest, in November of 2003, nearly 200 players came together to defeat the apparently invincible dragon Kerafyrm, known as “the Sleeper,” against Sony Online Entertainment’s designs. The story has everything: warring factions, a tomb, an invulnerable dragon, surprising partnerships and a panicked multinational corporation
In EverQuest lore, he explained, the crystal dragon Kerafyrm was imprisoned in “The Sleeper’s Tomb,” an icy cave, because he was the child of two dragons from warring families. As the developers’ script went, when players entered the Sleeper’s Tomb and killed the dragon’s four warders, Kerafyrm would awaken. Then, he would kill everyone in sight before rampaging across the world.
After three hours, Kerafyrm’s health was depleted to about 26%. He was going to die. And, when did, he wouldn’t go on his rampage, as he had on every other server, and trigger the rest of the storyline. It was completely off-script. What would happen to EverQuest’s precious story?
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