Player of the Week

(Date Posted: March 28, 2008)

Real Name: Sam

Allakhazam Name: Kadath

Character Name: Kadath Dreamfire of the Nexus of Cazic Thule of Ayonae Ro Of The Tribunal (Server merges are both awesome and the debbil. Note Sony: Please get to work fixing Titles, none of my old server titles really work, kkthx)

Character Race: High Elf

Character Class: Level 80, 1750+ AA Wizard

Deity: Solusek Ro, may his glory light your path

Server: The Tribunal via Ayonae Ro via Cazic Thule

Guild: Valiant Crusaders

Guild Website:

Guild Rank: Currently Guild Leader, one of 10 original founding members

Length of Time in Guild: Since the start

Real World Location: NJ

Career / Employment Industry: Software Engineer and College Professor, Masters Degree in software engineering

Hobbies: Amateur photography (, volunteer firefighter, Fluke fishing, deer hunting, scouting.

Family? Flying solo

Your Website: The Flickr site's the place to find me,, if not the VC website.

At Level 40   Valiant Crusaders   With Familiar

Besides EverQuest, what other MMORPGs have you played?
I've betad dozens of others including Dark Ages of Camelot, WOW, Anarchy online, Planetside, EQ2, SWG, Lineage and more. They all suck. There's no THERE there. =)

How did you find out about EverQuest, and when did you begin playing?
In PC Gamer about 3 months after the game launched. I had avoided Ultima Online despite wanting to play a MMO because I don't, won't, and can't ever envision the fun in PVPing in a game where PVP isn't the MAIN purpose, like quake or doom or unreal, all of which I play or played regularly. So I wasn't really following the scene, but when I saw EQ was the real deal and PVP was optional I bought it the next day and have played ever since.

Do you know anyone in real life who plays EverQuest?
Very few of my real life friends play any games at all regularly and none play MMORPGs though a few tried WOW.

How did you come up with your main character's name?
I am a huge fan of Howard Philips (HP) Lovecraft, especially his novella The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath. In that story, Kadath is an alabaster city very similar to Felwithe. Lovecraft is incredibly verbose, bordering on boring in some passages, but much of his stuff is very well envisioned, very cerebral stuff in among the creepy crawlies.

What factors affected your choice of race / class for your main character?
I started knowing no-one and nothing more than what PC gamer described. I played a rogue and hated it cause wizzys would always killsteal my groups in Crushbone and Befallen. I decided to jet on the rogue and fight fire with fire =)

About how often do you play EverQuest, and how long is a typical playing session for you?
5 nights a week, 4 hours a night seems about average. I have pretty good luck getting in guild groups cause I'm not afraid to make a mutt team and try things we aren't sure we can win. That's the nice thing about being a pessimist, for any given prediction you are either right or pleasantly surprised. VC is ALWAYS surprising me with what we can pull off.

How do you spend your time in game?
Raids are two nights a week and grouping / hanging out the rest. We are a family guild that is semi serious about raiding, and DemiPlane of Blood is proving to be more challenging than we expected, but we are still here kicking =)

What other class/race combinations have you levelled past 35?
I've experimented with just about every class but the only real alt I'm serious about is my 75 Iksar Necromancer, Ikzilla.

Approximately how much of the EverQuest world have you experienced?
Just about all content through the end of Anguish except OMM, all of Dragons of Norrath, we are halfway through DemiPlane, mostly flagged for Theater of Blood, and also doing later expansion end content as we feel we are ready for it. That said, the Fabled Planes of Power absolutely sucks. Everything in it is either ridiculously past us or not worth our effort. Lame. Biggest disappointment for a fabled yet, and only time I haven't bothered really... I was really looking forward to it too =(

What is your favourite expansion?
Planes of Power, hands down. Hard to beat but sooo worth it in the end. The devs could have and probably should have stopped after PoP, they went in all sorts of wacky directions that made a better gaming experience but the content and design don't hold a candle to PoP. PoP also has the best ever backflagging design which is important to a guild like VC. EVERY expansion after that's backflagging absolutely sucks unless you are backflagging for a tier 1 guild. Well guess what Sony, 95% of your customers aren't tier 1 and never will be. Wake up and remember there are players who want to experience this content too, down the road a bit.

What is your least favourite expansion?
GoD. Backflagging that one is a bitch. And it's not a lot of fun. And the weapons are way too fricking rare. And don't even get me started on the asshattery that is BiC, or as we call it, the quest that shall not be named.

What is your favourite zone?
Tower of Frozen Shadow. Whoever designed that should be put in charge of fixing Tacvi, Demiplane and fableds =p

What is your favourite NPC?
Sirran the Lunatic. If we were playing D&D he would be characterized as Chaotic Neutral. ChaNeuts forever! They are the most fun characters, you can do anything with them and never know how they would react. On Ikzilla, I always got a kick out of the guards outside of Cabilis who accused me of impersonating a froglok. I always thought Melody the guild tribute merchant was kinda cool in a mannequinish way, but then she tried and failed at inciting a coup within VC and now all I can do is just glare at her, standing there looking so smug.

What is your favourite raid encounter (if different from NPC)?
Quarm. What beats a dragon? A FOUR HEADED DRAGON. It just needs frickin' laser beams!

If the war between Firiona Vie and Lanys T`Vyl erupted again, which side would you take?
Screw those guys, look what happened when that went down, worst expansion ever followed it and the lore got all mishmoshed together too.

Describe your most memorable moment or proudest accomplishment in game.
Around level 25 a druid in my guild helped me finish the Staff of the Wheel by aggroing the killer sharks in Ocean of Tears. He ran them off so I could free dive down and get the staff part buried there. Yes, we basically invented kiting before ever hearing of the term. =) I was literally shaking as I grabbed the staff in fear the sharks would come back, that I would be eaten and never get my character back, so I was stoked that someone would risk themselves (and their gear!) for me so selflessly. Skky finally chose a surname that day at my insistence, and became Skky Sharkrunner, and I couldn't have possibly been prouder of him or of VC. Since that time I've had literally thousands of proud achievements with VC and I cannot possibly list em all or pick a favorite, but that day will live with me forever.

  Legends of Norrath  

What is the largest amount of platinum you have ever had at one time, and how did you go about accumulating it?
I currently have 100k, 90% of which is from people quitting the game and giving it to me. I don't have the patience to buy and sell and Sony ruined tradeskills once they made it a requirement to master more than one if you wanted to get anything accomplished. I used to be the 'go to' guy on Cazic Thule to get 10 slot backpacks when they were uber rare, but I gave up tradeskills once it became necessary to master em all...

What are some things you would change or implement in order to improve EverQuest?
BACKFLAGGING SUCKS if you are not in a Tier 1 guild. Tacvi HAD BEEN ok but then Sony got a stick up their ass and screwed that up too. Backflagging in DemiPlane sucks, can't speak to expansions past that.

Sony has a lot of hubris and doesn't listen to respected class leaders, tradeskillers, or raiders other than Tier 1 guilds. They need to talk to the family guilds and semi-serious raiders. There is a huge difference between a Tier 1 guild rolling into the last 3 expansions and anyone behind them.

Also, and this didn't get much press, but Sony had a heck of a time shutting down the scammers, spammers and plat traders and they did a REALLY good job of it, I think they got rid of 98% of the problems. But they did TOO good a job of it too, in my opinion. In my guild alone we had several honorable players who got mixed up with people who were using a lot of these shady exploits and trusted these people too much and their characters got banned.

We all know Sony's stance on sharing account information and that is the risk you take. The reality is that if you want to keep up in progression with your friends you are quite literally forced to choose between sharing your login information or being an anchor when you can't go someplace your friends are. In this instance that bad choice of who to share with lost accounts with over 400 days played time combined. And these people have ZERO recourse to get those characters back. Both agree they were wrong to be mixed up in the shady play but neither were directly involved when it went down, and nobody at Sony will listen to them and several of them chose to quit rather than rebuild.

I even reached out to Sony employees to see if I could get their sentences reduced but Sony will not even talk to me. That's bullshit and no way to run an organization. Those people have paid Sony hundreds or thousands of dollars over the last 9 years to play this game, the LEAST Sony could do is give them a chance to explain themselves or to apologize. Instead Sony chose to throw the babies out with the bathwater and my whole guild is paying the price for this couse of actions, and others in my guild were TERRIFIED that they would lose their accounts for merely being friends with and groupmates of these bad actors, and having accepted tradeable loot from them in the past.

That's no way to run a game and no way to run a company and no way to run a community. As I said, it's left a HUGE bad taste in our mouths for ALL of Sony. They should be ashamed of themselves for not even having the courtesy to respond to MY emails if nothing else.

What types of spells, skills, disciplines, and/or alternate abilities would you like to see added to your class?
MORE GROUP LEADER AAs. A SEPARATE opt-in for group leader and raid leader experience. I made the mistake of maxing out group leader AA and still need raid leader AAs, so any time I'm not leading a raid I always lose 20% exp on the first few kills until I wake up and hit the switch. Raid Leadership AAs are nearly impossible for anyone not in a Tier 1 guild to accumulate. I have been raid leader on every event my guild has done and I'm nowhere near maxing the skills and there is ZERO possibility of anyone else in my guild ever getting a chance to earn a few themselves since there is no way for me to mentor them while they are skilling up. We can either use me as leader and get my skills benefits or let them skill up and have ZERO aa benefits.

Tradeskills are also a disaster according to those in my guild who work them. The latest changes to SKs make them horribly depressed, UNDO THOSE LAME "FIXES".

Wizard spells are mostly a joke, get a little creativity please! Every one of our spells is cookie cutter of the last two expansions and then they nerfed our instacasts into near uselessness. Lame.

If you were responsible for organizing and running a GM event, what would it be and how would it play out?
I love GM events, most of them are pretty cool but some of them lately have been cookie cutter scripts. I got my title from rescuing Al'Kabor from the Nexus when Luclin opened, that one really rocked. The GM event that gave out Al'Kabors staff in Velious was really cool too. So all I can say is: more titles and artifacts that can be gained by all players, not just the best geared on server!

If you had to start over from scratch, what race/class combination would you choose?
High Elf Wizard, there is none finer =) I dabble with a lot of classes but I always come back to Kad.

How do you describe EverQuest to your coworkers or computer-illiterate friends?
"Like Dungeons and Dragons run by a semi-inept and mostly unobservantm but creative and benign GM". =)

What is next for you in the world of EverQuest?
Well, "It's never been about the loot" (Copyright and TM!) but we have fun working our way through raid content that isn't new to the game but is still fun to a guild like ours. The issue is there is a huge disconnect between how challenging the end zone content is at this point and how much fun can be gleaned from it versus the loot that is better out of single groupable content in later expansions.

We WANT to win these expansions but let's face it, they are tuned for obsessive compulsive guilds who will beat their heads against stupid unfun events until they win, regardless of the cost to their sanity, blood pressure and social life. VC doesn't work like that. We LOVED PoP and Anguish, a lot of these newer expansions not so much. At this point it really isn't a gear issue but one of finesse and compulsiveness. Will be interesting to see how it plays out, but one way or the other we will keep on trucking doing things our own way.

  Valiant Crusaders  

** Pick the winner in a battle between...

Qeynos vs Felwithe - Kelethin & Felwithe > Freeport > Cabilis > Qeynos

Innoruuk the Prince of Hate vs Cazic Thule the God of Fear - Both should fear the wrath of Solusek Ro, may he light their presence with his glory.

Giants of Velious vs Akhevans of Luclin - No opinion, tho I liked Velious a lot.

Muramites of Discord vs the Drachnids of Darkhollow - For Drachnids you can't beat the ones outside Karnor's Castle. I rate those much higher over those two choices, though the drachnids in the 69.1 instance are personally responsible for most of my AAs.

Tradeskilling vs Questing - Tradeskills are the debbil.

Instance Zones vs Static Zones - VC thrives on instances, we aren't competitive in 'racing' people for content, it's just not our style. The instances rock, and in them we are totally free of the asshats who thrive on making others lives miserable. You DO lose a lot of the community and the competitiveness though, it's a hard tradeoff, but instances still rule for us.

Monster Missions vs Project M (PvP as Monsters) - I was one of the few people who really did get to kick people as a snake in the Project M beta and it was fun for a while. Monster Missions before they got nerfed into lameness and before they were farmed to death rocked. I love the BRAAAAaaiiins one especially when it's run right.

Soloing vs Pick-Up Groups - I solo about .0001% of the time. I play for the guild and the server community not to be antisocial, but every once in a while I love kiting now that a total spaz like me can do it with instanukes. The 69.1 mission taught me how to do this really well, but you can burn out FAST on it.

Guild Raiding vs Grouping With Friends - BOTH, tie. I'm very fortunate to have a tight pack of officers in VC who have my back and all care deeply about the guild more than they do the game itself. They make the raiding go smoothly and help organize so much that one night is as fun as any other.

GM (real people) Events vs Scripted (computerized) Events - WELL RUN GM events are great. Scripted events can be great or wacked out, depends on the patch. The fabled scripts usually rock but they suck this year if you aren't in a top end guild.

Arena Royal Rumble vs 1-on-1 Duel - Arena for sure. Even though wizards get pwned. Who designed arena PVP so that clerics have been almost unstoppable for 9 years running?

Faydwer vs Odus - Faydwer will always be Kad's home. If I ever quit this game Kad will be permanently entombed outside Felwithe in the Kelethin woods.

Kunark vs Velious - Velious by a long shot. Tower of Frozen Shadow and Velketor's Labyrinth are awesome, and we spent years in both Kael Drakkel and Temple of Veeshan.

Planes of Power vs Gates of Discord - This is a joke, right? Does anyone pick GoD? PoP kicks GoD's butt.

Depths of Darkhollow vs Omens of War - DoDH isn't a bad expansion but the end game isn't quite right. Anguish is AWESOME and some of the most fun raiding I've done, so clearly Omens of War.

Bard vs Enchanter - Both are great and I'll take either in my group any day. Often have to go without em both so I love it when we luck out and get one.

Monk vs Rogue - Depends on what expansion, right now both rock.

Paladin vs Warrior - Both rule if played by someone who understands their strengths, but it's a LOT more fun to pick on Paladins, they all have guilt complexes or something. =)

Allakhazam vs Illia - Can't have one without the other!

If you would be interested in being featured as a Player of the Week at or would like to nominate someone else, see this thread on our EverQuest Forum.