6 Most Epic One Time Events
by Tyler Edwards, July 24, 2013
If there's one thing you can expect to find in every MMO, it's repetition. Some games lean on grinding more than others, but you can pretty much guarantee you'll end up repeating the same bosses, quests, and encounters sooner or later. Eventually, even the most epic experiences lose their thrill. But once in a while, players are treated to something special, to epic events that will only ever be seen once. Some are planned by developers, and others are happy accidents, but all are tales that will forever live in the memories of those players lucky enough to experience them firsthand.
6: Attack of the fifty foot game director:
This one occurred just a few days ago in the horror MMO The Secret World as part of its one year anniversary celebration. A large part of the anniversary centers on fighting the Guardians of Gaia world bosses, massive golems requiring dozens or hundreds of players to take down.
As one boss was about to spawn in the Blue Mountain zone, players were excited to spot the game director for TSW, Joel Bylos, making an appearance on his in game persona. There was much /cheering and /bowing, and Joel settled in to watch players fight the Guardian. For a time, it seemed he was content simply to let events play out.
Then, to the awe and delight of all involved, Joel entered the fight, using his game master powers to blow his avatar up to Godzilla size. The titanic game director and the boss then duked it out until the golem toppled.
The creature known as Joelzilla then put on a brief performance of Gangnam Style before shrinking himself down to the size of an ant and vanishing into legend.
It was later revealed that he had done this after working a sixteen hour day, showing his sense of humor is matched only by his dedication to the game.
5: The closing of Tabula Rasa:
Tabula Rasa was an ill-fated sci-fi shooter MMO released in 2007. Despite some unique concepts and a loyal core of fans, it suffered from many glaring technical and design issues, and it ultimately failed to be a commercial success. As a result, the game shut down in 2009.
However, the developers of Tabula Rasa decided that their game would not go quietly to the Great Server Hub in the Sky. They enacted an epic event to send Tabula Rasa off with a bang.
The event began with merging all of the game's servers, bringing the remaining players together and ensuring no one wanted for company during the game's final hours. The developers then launched the event itself, greatly ramping up activity by the alien Bane, with game masters controlling many NPC armies personally.
The Bane attacks were tuned as to ensure eventual defeat for the players. Tabula Rasa's population found itself pushed back until nearly the entire game world had been taken over by enemy forces.
The war culminated in a gripping final stand in an instanced version of Earth, in which players were given the opportunity to at last defeat the Bane and wrap up the game's story.
Reportedly, many of the developers, having already been laid off, ran the event on their own time, totally uncompensated - an impressive show of devotion to the game they had created.
We can only hope all MMOs are given such a worthy sendoff when their ends come.
4: The Battle of LXQ2-T:
EVE Online is known for its emergent sandbox gameplay, where the drama comes not from prewritten storylines or professionally made content but from the rivalries, wars, and betrayals between players. Sometimes, these player conflicts flair into massive battles the likes of which are unheard of in any other game.
The greatest of all of EVE's brawls was the Battle of LXQ2-T, named for the star system in which it took place. This virtual slugfest lasted for nearly twenty four hours and involved over three thousand players at its peak. At times, the servers lagged so badly under the load that latency was measured not in milliseconds, or even in whole seconds, but in minutes.
The battle was instigated by a group of alliances known as the Northern Coalition when they invaded the territory of a Russian faction from the drone regions. The Russians countered this massive invasion with everything they had, but ultimately lost badly. The Northern Coalition ended up destroying nearly ten times as many ships as they lost. However, though they won the battle handily, they ultimately lost their war with the Russians.
Of all the entries on this list, we're mostly likely to see a repeat of this one. While there will never be another Battle of LXQ2-T, it is a guarantee that EVE will continue to see massive battles between its players, and perhaps one day one will even exceed the scale of LXQ2-T.
3: The opening of Ahn'Qiraj:
Ahn'Qiraj was a raiding complex in the classic version of World of Warcraft featuring both twenty-man and forty-man wings. Rather than just release the raids on patch day, each server had to open them through an epic, global effort the likes of which have rarely been equaled, in WoW or any other game.
Opening the gates of Ahn'qiraj required the collection of enormous amounts of crafting goods and other items by both playable factions. It could take even a well-populated and organized server months of real world time to collect all the supplies needed to go to war with Ahn'Qiraj.
While this was happening, one player from each server would be selected to embark on a long and difficult quest chain to assemble the Scepter of the Shifting Sands, which would open Ahn'Qiraj itself.
After months of preparation from players of all stripes, the bearer of the Scepter would at last open the gates, resulting in a ten hour world event featuring armies of players and NPCs facing off against the insectoid forces of Ahn'Qiraj.
The ensuing wars became infamous for the lag and server instability they caused, but they're still remembered fondly by many WoW players of a certain vintage for their sheer epic scale.
2: The Sleeper awakes:
The early days of MMOs were more mysterious than the current days of datamining and carefully explained content. One mystery for players of EverQuest was the dragon boss known as Kerafyrm the Sleeper.
Kerafyrm would lie dormant until four other dragons, each epic bosses in their own right, were defeated. He would then awaken and rampage across the game world, massacring all in his wake.
Many rumors flew around Kerafyrm. It was commonly held that he was so powerful as to be impossible to defeat. But players tried anyway, assaulting him in massive "zergs" involving hundreds of players.
When one army of players finally came close to defeating Kerafyrm, the game masters despawned him because the developers had never intended him to be killable. This enraged players, and after an intense backlash, the developers relented and allowed players to kill the Sleeper.
The first kill took three hours and involved hundreds of players repeatedly sacrificing themselves to the dragon. After Kerafyrm finally fell, awarding no loot or rewards to speak of, neither he nor his four guardians ever appeared again, fading into the mists of MMO history.
1: The death of Lord British:
Few events echo down through the short history of the MMO genre like the assassination of Lord British. It stands as an eternal testament to the endless griefing potential of MMO players, and it stands as one of the most prominent entries in the file of, "This is why we can't have nice things."
The story dates back to the beta for the venerable Ultima Online. Richard Garriott, creator of the Ultima franchise, appeared at an in game gathering under his alter ego of Lord British, ruler of Britannia, to thank players for their assistance during the testing process.
But not all players were grateful for the developer's appearance. One disgruntled player known as Rainz decided to play a prank on Garriott by casting a fire spell on Lord British. The virtual king was supposed to be invulnerable, but Garriott had forgotten to reapply the invincibility state before the event, and a rather crispy British flopped dead then and there.
The developers retaliated by unleashing a wave of demons on the crowd, resulting in a wholesale massacre of the innocent bystanders. Rainz wound up banned, though the ban was reportedly based on previous exploits he had committed rather than the fact he ganked the head developer.
It might not be quite so fun as some of the other entries on this list, but few events in MMO history are as memorable as the death of Lord British, and a gank of this scale is unlikely to ever be seen again, so it earns the top spot on our list.