Posts about Reisu every Monday and Thursday

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fantasy "languages" in Everquest

I've been playing MMORPGs for over a decade now, and the first one I really got into was Everquest. The original Everquest opened an entirely new world to me. It even had different languages for it's races.

Well... sort of. You could "speak" different languages, and characters that didn't "know" that language couldn't understand, which came out as gibberish. At the time it seemed to me an amazing thing to design into a game even if it wasn't a proper conlang.

When I needed to travel from Kelethin to Freeport in the days before the Plane of Knowledge I would sometimes forget my original intent to travel. If others were on the boat with me I would swap languages with them if they were so inclined. I would ride the boat back and forth for hours doing this. It consisted of making a macro for a paragraph of random text, grouping up and spamming the text to the other person or people.

Most people that enjoyed this activity would put their favorite passages or quotes into the block of text. I changed mine often, to whatever suited my fancy at the time. Nearly every race had it's own unique language that you could learn. Some were more difficult to learn than others. For example, no player characters were fluent in the faerie language. Someone at one point had to learn it from interacting with (likely killing) fae NPCs.

You could even know a language, but not be fluent in it. This means if someone spoke to you in that language you could understand some of it, but a certain percentage would come out as gibberish.

I had a goal in that game to have a character that new all 25 languages fluently. Unfortunately this goal was never realized before I stopped playing the game.

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