The main image for this episode’s show notes contains the logo for Trek Profiles. If you’re a fan of Star Trek, or a fan of slice-of-life style interviews, then I’d say that you should check out John’s podcast
with John Krikorian about EverQuest and going back to games from our younger days
I’d recommend listening to parts one and two, if you haven’t already
And John brings up the fact that EverQuest became about more than just the game when Verant
the original developers of the game
started running fan meet & greets, and events. Whilst this isn’t the first game, and it certainly wont be the last, to have fan-based meet-ups, this one wasn’t tournament based and wasn’t about playing the game. It was all about meeting other players in real life, shaking hands with the developers, and genuinely having a good time.
Which leads us into a conversation about people being able to let their hair down
or to use the metaphor from the episode "take off their masks"
when in the company of people from the communities that they are part of - and how this isn’t limited to just video games. Which allowed me to use one of my favourite quotes from MASH again:
If you ain’t where you’re at, you’re no place
We then talk about the ability of games like EverQuest, and services like Slack and Discord, to connect people who may never meet in person, and how it’s entirely possible to have deep, meaningful friendships with people who you will likely never meet.
There’s just something about these environments, you know, that when a game creates that, it’s about more than the game.
Squidge lets us know that he never played EverQuest because he never saw it anywhere in the UK, and that he was put off of a few MMOs by the community not being as open or friendly as he would have liked. And that’s something I witnessed back in the day, too.
I’m a dwarf with a battle-axe… anyone, I’m going to chop them off at the knees. That was my thing. Give me them knees.
From the sound of John’s experiences with EverQuest, the things that Squidge witnessed in WoW (and other MMOs) doesn’t seem to happen in EverQuest. If I’m honest, the old school
behaviour had put me off of all online games, completely.
Getting Started - John’s Tips
John was kind enough to drop some hints and tips for new folks who want to get into EverQuest:
Start at level one and play through the tutorial
Buying a character will skip all the learning portion of the game, and you’ll find it harder to play
Try out the first major quest - “Heroes Journey”
This will take you through the first 10 (or so) levels, and you’ll get a feel for the game
as I’ve mentioned before: it’s Reddit, so tread carefully
Squidge then asks whether John has one of “those stories”
a fun story you love telling
about playing the game, and John certainly doesn’t disappoint. Whereas Squidge’s story isn’t nearly as interesting - but is still quite good - and on the back of it John drops some knowledge about how EverQuest works behind the scenes
If there’s too many people, the game just automatically starts suspending people.
Squidge and John then have a mini fact-off, where they both keep dropping some pretty interesting facts about different games
if there’s ever a pub quiz for video games, I want both of these two on my team
After the final break, Squidge brought up the fact that EverQuest came out before the whole Y2K thing
the tl;dr for you youngsters is that the media though the world would end because of a pretty serious bug in most Windows-based computers
and that people where still playing it. I then drop some knowledge about just how much hard work went into fixing the Y2K bug. And when discussing that, John reminded me of the 2038 problem
which has nothing to do with the 2048 game, and it’s many clones
which is a much harder problem to solve
the tl;dr for that problem requires a little background information.
Unix was released on Jan 1st, 1970. Unix is what both MacOS and the Linux kernel are based on. In Unix, the date is stored as the number of seconds since midnight Jan 1st, 1970. On Jan 1st, 2038 that number is going to exceed the space put aside for it, and overflow. When an overflow happens, the value is usually reset back to 0. So on Jan 1st, 2038, the majority of Unix computers will think it’s Jan 1st, 1970.
Then you realise that the majority of the worlds banks run on Unix. As does the backbone of the Internet. Any IoT devices you have also run on Unix. Your smartphone runs a variant of Unix but is immune to this
for complicated reasons relating to CPU architecture - unless you bought an Android device with an Intel CPU
There are some very, very smart people working to fix this problem, but it’s not an easy one to solve.