I picked up Everquest in 1999, an Online MMORPG which can to this day still be played with and sometime against up to a hundred thousand people.
There’s considerably fewer people on the server now.
You can download it at www.everquest.com if you’re interested, I play on the only role play server available.
When I first got into the game, as Lisa my ex-wife can attest, I spent an inordinate amount of time on it.
This game single handedly coined the phrase “Game widow”, where the Significant Other of a relationship would spend so much time in the game world, they often neglected their real life.
I, for instance, over 4 years– logged quite literally 261 days in this game world. That’s 24 hour days – so I quite literally spent one sixth of my life playing this game during that period of time.
It was madness.
About a year into playing the game, I learned of the GMs who were supposed to help players get out of situations when they got stuck in game.
More often than not, these GMS did less of their job than they did showing off to their friends – going to high ranking areas and killing an impossible enemy at touch or guiding guilds through areas that had not been explored.
I suppose that’s what grabbed my attention.
And in their shoes. I can’t claim I wouldn’t do similar things.
Maybe I wouldn’t necessarily kill high ranking Mobs, there’s a certain satisfaction in pulling this off yourself without assistance.
Maybe I would. I don’t know…
But what I certainly would do is explore areas others hadn’t explored and guide people I knew through those areas.
A GM was more or less omnipotent within the game realm. They had the power bestowed by Verant to be anywhere in the game world anytime they wanted to, could instakill any enemy, could create items for themselves and other players.
Their primary duty was to assist with GM related requests. People stuck in terrain. Items, armor, and weapons that had gotten corrupted with database errors or had gone missing. People unable to retrieve their corpses (it was a mercy thing the GMs did for people who dared to explore than they should have).
But they also just hung out. Talked to people. And quite frequently showed them things you can get in game areas just to tease people to go to certain areas they hadn’t explored yet.
Incentive you could say.
Thus it was referred to as ‘God Mode’
Verant, the owner of the company who made the game was busy denying applications for GM. They had already enough people in their pool and didn’t want to expand it to people they didn’t know.
And I remember at the time wishing there was a way to explore without having to be a GM.
Not long after these thoughts went through my head, something called EQEMU came out.
Everquest was run on a server owned and managed by Verant. But what EQEMU did was localize that server. It redirected all the TCP and UDP connections to a local instance of the server running on the local machine.
Within hours, I was checking out areas I had never gone to without connecting to Verant’s servers.
I was seeing enemy bosses that I would never be able to fight myself with the Verant server base.
And while I could instakill things, loot was not available on the emulator. That, and the Mobs didn’t move. Not a single one of them went anywhere.
They just stayed stationary, in the same place.
There was clearly work that needed done with the emulator.
So while I could see the nifty graphics and see some of the item graphics.
… What I couldn’t do was actually play the game. I could just walk around and tour. But there was no one to talk to, no one to hand out quests.
It was like having God mode without Verant’s approval process.
I often think.
Does the world I live in have a God mode?
Can you apply for GM authority while in game?
Because I can tell you for sure. I’d make this world more dynamic than it is.
Not destroying stuff. No Godzilla crap.
I don’t know, quite honestly, what I would do if I had these powers in the real world.
Which I know are coming.
I know I would have fun exploring and trying things out.
As I have done my entire life anyways.
Only this time would be different.
I’d actually have to hold myself more responsible to higher standards than community standards to ensure the integrity of this..
My community and my reality…
This is after all my world we’re talking about here.
And it’s not like I can log out and log back in to a remote server.