Heya Cinder. :)
Youre thinking of Everquest II. the "improved" Everquest so good it killed both EQ 1 and 2. :P
In EQ1, you had the Good races (humans, halflings, elves, gnomes) and the Evil races (trolls, ogres, dark elves) and there was no changing. The closest you could get was to be a human necromancer or Shadowknight and go feed the Librarian as much red wine as you could carry. Youd be tolerated at best by most factions, but liked by none, either, and the 'Animal' faction was just going to attack you on sight.
Yes, there was a faction for random animals and it sucked a lot to try to meditate to get your health and mana back, and some bear or snake out of nowhere would bite you in the ass.
So there was some Rep change possible but not really and the only reward was that at least that group wouldnt try to kill you. There is a famous phrase, "You've ruined your lands but you wont ruin mine!" Thats Everquest I.
EQ2, the dark elves had taken over a formerly human town Qeynos (Kway Noss) and made it an evil city whereas Freeport, the original human city, was Good aligned.
There was later on a quest implemented to allow you to become a traitor to whichever you had started in, and be KOS to both, until eventually after a long slog you gained enough Rep with the other city.
I never did it so cant tell you more about it.
Everything in Everquest was haaaaaarrrrrdddd. Night was so dark that humans literally couldnt see without a torch and it only radiated maybe 10 feet. Terrifying let me tell you.
The Fel Reaver in Hellfire Peninsula was in Everquest I called Sgt Slade. A human paladin that walked around East Commonlands zone picking off any evil race that left the keyboard for just two seconds. The man was diabolical. Especially since the only way out of the dark elf city was through a newbie area, then into East Commonlands.
Levelling up your weapons came from Everquest.
The first raids were Lady Vox, a white dragon (priest class) living in an ice cavern labyrinth and Lord Nagafen, a red dragon that lived in a volcano.
Vox had "weak spots" in the ice floor and every single raid at least two people (or more) would fall in and then instead of dying, would run out of the pit of monsters and drag all of them up the ramp, into the dragon fight room. Vox was fought by all the priests sitting just outside the main cave, around the corner and when you got low on health you ran back to them, hopefully NOT carrying aggro, to get healed and run back in. It as a never ending chain of in and out, but if the priests got aggro, she started Summoning them to her, in the main room and insta kill them. There was always one priest logged out in case of a wipe, to log back in and start rezzing, one person at a time.
Nagafen was a true joy as well. Again you had the Priests room, down a ramp and around the corner to run to. Nagafen was on a ring platform suspended over lava with a single bridge to get to him, and he cast Fear as well as fire and the usual smiting.
Plane of Fear was not quite so bad, but Plane of Hate was truly sadistic.
The Plane of Hate could only be gotten to by a wizard casting a planar travel spell on her group of 6. Raids required 30 people minimum to succeed, so you needed 6 masochistic or well paid wizards or 1 wizard that ported each group in turn using an expensive gem that could only be bought in the depths of the dark elven city (by an evil aligned human in the case of Good) and it evaporated upon use.
Once on the Plane of Hate, there was a ten minute patrol that would come into the tiny room you arrived in, look around, then leave, so everyone absolutely had to be invisible until everyone was up and buffed. Everyone was required to carry invis potions, and usually a druid or wizard would cast invis on each party member, and also bards could sing an Invisibilty spell (very quietly I guess) on a lute that so long as they kept playing (hitting buttons) would cover their group if they stayed in range of the bard.
The wizard doing the Portal spell was unable to be invisible, so someone else would invis them after they started casting, or a bard would play, but a bard could leave a gap in coverage if the travel took too long.
So One group would portal up and a priest would immediately log out in the tiny room, and a rogue would stealth, and they would watch for the patrol. If the patrol arrived, noone came up until after they had left, and those in the room had to hope their invisibility didnt fail (as it was bound to do always at the worst time). If it did fail, theyd kill you instantly, and if the raiders were smart, nobody tried to help. And if they were lucky, the combat aggro would wear off after a few minutes before someone elses invis failed, and reAggro the patrol. And if they were really unlucky, that first group would arrive right into the patrol, killing the wizard and the priest, and possibly the rogue too.
Then someone would have to time the patrol and someone get another portal stone, and so on. And in Everquest, corpses decayed in an hour or two. With everything they had on them, and so everyone had a backup set of armor in the bank, for Corpse Retrieval, and some had a third set, because you HAD to get that body back and rezzed. You lost nearly 3/4s of a level of xp as well, in a game where xp gain was so slow they had to add a second xp bar so that you could see some progress after a night of playing.
Also, in that tiny room in the Plane of Hate, the walls had an aggro bug where anyone touching the walls, the patrol would instantly run there and kill that person. Did I mention the room was tiny and raids were 30-50 people?
Once everyone was finally up there, buffed and ready, you pulled as normal, moving through the city streets and the raid was fairly standard, all trash but hard trash requiring 30 people, and Lieutenants , till you get to the Boss who was magnificent, a music connoiseur, and tried really hard not to die because a wipe would mean the logged out priest would have to log in, and the dead players would have to give rogues permission to drag their bodies and hope the rogue wasnt a practical joker who could drag it who knew where, to be rezzed. It had to be rogues because the respawn was up by then, which meant so was the patrol. Which meant the entire rezzing process could be interrupted and everyone killed, and the naked wizards need more portal stones to bring people back up. And it all had to be done before the decay timer.
I played a wizard so there were times when Corpse re-re-re-retrieval lasted up to 4 hours as people got corpses and died again.
It was expected that you would stay, if only for moral support even if you couldnt do anything to help and especially if you were the raid leader, but of course people might have work, or been there 6 hours already, or just not care, and youd lose people and once or twice I remember that we did lose corpses.
But for the most part, people did stay because it was us against the game. And people knew who left and who stayed.
I stayed till the bitter end always because I was the only way to get there, but I always got my corpse and the best rez , 96% quality, as a thank you.
More than you ever wanted to know, Im sure, but Everquest 1 was a truly magnificent game. I have such amazing memories of it to this day.