Saturday, September 19, 2020

Ghost Ship

As I may have mentioned I have favorite spots in various games, where I like to park characters when I log out. If there's housing and I have time I like to settle down for the night at home but for one reason or another I often end up logging out in a favored quiet corner of the city or under a chosen tree out in the country instead.

In EverQuest II I have quite a few characters who are citizens of Freeport. My preferred camp spot there is under cover of the open roof on the seaward side of the smaller of the two East Freeport banks. It's convenient, cosy and ... haunted.

I always thought there was something odd about it but it took me quite a while to pin down exactly what it was. I was convinced that there had once been a large rowing boat resting on its side, propped against that back wall of the bank. I was sure I'd seen it but whenever I remembered to look there was no sign.

Later, as various characters acquired larger and larger entourages - combat pets, vanity pets, familiars, mercenaries - I began to notice one or two of them would sometimes mysteriously go missing when I was in that spot. I'd look around for them and not find them and then as I'd turn around they'd re-appear.

One day, it must be a year or two ago now, I was arriving or leaving, I forget which, when I spotted the ghostly outline of a rowing boat in the exact spot I remembered having seen a real boat, long before. I stopped and stared, then I carefully moved all around it, examining it from all angles. And then I stepped through it.

Was I hallucinating? Having some kind of flashback? Was it a secret quest or the ominous warning of some forthcoming event?

No, of course it wasn't any of those things. It was - and remains - a graphical glitch. There's something wrong with the code at that specific spot that makes odd things happen. I could bug report it but I would hate for it to be fixed. It's a part of the game for me, now. I'd miss it if it was gone.

Very, very occasionally I'm able to see the location as I imagine it's intended to be seen, with a large, solid boat leant against the wooden wall. Sometimes I see the ghostly outline of a boat but mostly I don't see anything at all. 

I've become so used to the anomaly I rarely think about it at all. Not until it pulls a new trick on me. Like it did tonight.

This evening, when I logged in to collect my Overseer rewards and set the next round, I was greeted with a most peculiar sight. My berserker was sitting on his winged warhorse in front of a brightly glowing cutaway of the small East Freeport bank. I could see the banker and the broker, an iksar customer and some crafting tables through what should have been the wall. And the rowing boat.

All around was darkness. Not the familiar gloom of a stormy Freeport night but the stygian blackness of a featureless void. I had the berserker turn his mount in a tight circle. For three-quarters of a rotation the void maintained. For the other quarter East Freeport flicked into view, solid and bright in full daylight.

I love graphical bugs and glitches in MMORPGs. When I run into a good one I always try to get a screenshot. This was a classic. I moved around carefully, trying various angles , hoping not to fix what was broken.

And then the ground fell away beneath my feet. The flying horse unfurled his wings and went into a majestic glide. Sparks streamed backwards from my berserker's glowing crown. The East Freeport bank grew smaller and smaller, slipping into the distance behind us as we fell into the void.

Until the game caught onto what was happening and teleported us to the zone safe point beside the West Freeport gate. Spoilsport!

In all the times I've come and gone in that spot, which must be many hundreds by now, this is the only time I've fallen through the world. I suppose I ought to find somewhere more stable to camp out in future. Hanging around near any graphical glitch is tempting fate. There's always that outside chance something could happen to your character or even your account.

Yeah, that's what I should do. What I actually did, naturally, was log two more characters in who were parked at the same spot to see if I could get it to happen again. 

It didn't, but because I was paying attention for once I noticed that what I saw each time was different. The berserker got the full works with the cutaway buildings and the void, the warlock got the ghost boat and the necromancer got a solid wall and an emprty space.

What no-one got was what they should have: a neatly stowed, ordinary rowing boat, leaning up against a solid wall. That's the rare version.

Long may it stay that way.


  1. That is a great story (and experience). Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love it!

    I haven't EQII installed right now, but I definitely have to check this out. Most of my characters live in Freeport, and I've logged in or around that bank often too, but I never noticed anything like this (not even the boat itself)...

    1. I suppose it *could* be specific to my server, Skyfire. I haven't checked it on any of the others.


Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide