So I fire up Mongbat, my 14th level high elf enchanter (Yes, I own an elf character, SHUT UP) since I suspect all my lizard characters wouldn’t be welcome in “keletin”, the land of the wood elves. I /msg a dr00d friend in my guild who immediately gives me grief for playing yet ANOTHER character.
“No! You don’t understand! I’ve got this NEW STRATEGY!”
“Uh HUH. Does it involve me powerlevelling you for four hours?”
A quick port later, laden down with 400 plat (since, for all I know, since this is such a R33T EXPL0IT shark meat might cost LOTS OF MONEY), I stumble into Thurgadin. Looking for the shark meat vendor, I feel the cold eyes of the dwarfs staring into my back. They KNOW. They KNOW I am an expl0iter. They are ALL TAKING NOTES. Finally, I find, tucked away, a vendor who sells all manner of tasty meats — including the rumored shark meat. A stack of 20 costs only a few gold. I buy about 90,000 and, since I am CLEVER, gate myself, weighted down with about six tons of shark meat, back to Kelethin.
Kelethin is in Greater Faydark. Greater Faydark, for those of you who play UO, is West Brit Bank, Vesper, and the entrance of Covetous all rolled up into one big congealed mess of idiocy. Greater Faydark is HELL. And, through no coincidence whatsoever, it is where all elves originate. That’s right, elves spawn from Hell. And here was where I spent the rest of my evening. Feeding a guy shark meat.
For three hours.
Let me tell you, there are probably things more boring then portioning off four individual shark meats at a time, piling them into a container, hitting the combine key, handing it to an NPC, and checking to see if the resulting sword given as a reward is worth keeping or if I should just toss it off the platform onto the heads of the unsuspecting newbies below. Most of those more boring things involve accounting. But I persevered. I mean, this was the BIZZOMB of exploits in EQ, right? I had it on the word of Mr. Orange his own bad self. I was l33t, baby.
The hours passed. I began to fantasize that my endless combining and sifting and sorting was almost productive, as if I was actually at work and going through last week’s reports instead of allegedly having fun at a game. Occasionally my fun would be interrupted by a rank newbie (such things actually existing, even on the antediluvian server I play on) paging me demanding step-by-step instructions on how to be the master of their game. I replied with URLs to sites like Casters Realm and Allakhazam. The hints were not taken. “WHERE DO I BUY PET SPELLS” “WHAT IS THAT CALLED” “WHERE DOES THIS HIGHWAY LEAD TO?”
Finally, three hours after I began, I finally levelled. That’s right, after three hours of mind-numbing menial labor, I had achieved level 15. Which I probably could have done in two hours of actual alleged fun gameplay.
There’s still two backpacks of shark meat in my bank. You can have them if you want. Because I’m afraid I just don’t have it me to be an expl0iter any more. Only in the strange parallel universe that massively multiplayer games inhabit, would cheating be more work than playing honestly.
But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved the Vision.
“1989“, with apologies to George Orwell and Brad McQuaid