The Scars of Velious expansion for EverQuest came out in December of 2000. My roommate, perhaps tired of my moping over my lost love, picked up a copy of the game for me as a Christmas present. I installed it, created a half-elven Bard, and soon our apartment had two guys in the living room at all hours of the day, faces bathed in the glow of monitors.
Within a week, the game that hadn’t affected me at all nearly two years previously had become an important part of my life. Soon, it would become my life.
If I wasn’t asleep or at work, I was playing EverQuest. The former was becoming a rarity. I would go into work, and I would still hear the sounds of EverQuest orcs in my head. All I had to do was close my eyes and I was speeding through the Greater Faydark zone, killing pixies and turning in quest items.
In January of 2001, a man with a tow truck came to my place of employment and took my car away. I had fallen behind on payments without realizing it, and Nissan had decided they wanted my Sentra back. My first thought as I watched the tow truck drive away was how many hours walking to and from work would take from my EverQuest time.
I worked at a company called FranchiseOpportunities.com, maintaining and creating websites, but increasingly my time there was spent either communicating with my EverQuest friends or browsing websites for tips on the best equipment and techniques for grinding experience points and gold. It was impossible for my co-workers not to notice. In February of 2001, Joseph Lunsford, the owner of the company, called me into his office.