No, that’s not the loot train pulling into its stop.
Long before EverQuest’s Karnor’s Castle garnered infamy, the art of training was in its infancy in a little zone called Solusek B (Sol B, sister zone to the lower level Sol A). Sol B was one of the higher end zones in the original EQ, with tiered levels of mobs providing experience from the upper 30’s well into the 50’s. Mobs were generally in larger packs than previous zones, spaced closer together, and had a decent respawn speed. Add in clueless noobs and the fact that most paths invariably crossed, pure chaos would ensue.
Upon zoning into Sol B (there was one main zone-in and multiple side zone-ins from Sol A), you were greeted by some form of Kobold. They hit rather hard for their level (when the zone was new, nobody had much in the way of gear) and occasionally had a healer packed in with them. They would also flee, and, god forbid you didn’t snare them or you could be sure many new friends would be racing to properly greet (kill) you.
If you were the only group there, this wouldn’t seem like a problem, since you could easily set up near the zone out and simply pull there and run 10 feet to the zone out if something went wrong. However, unlike World of Warcraft, there were no private instances at this time. Twenty hours of the day you could be sure there would be at least 30 others in Sol B and during peak hours there would be well over 70 people in the zone.
Mobs in Everquest were very social, meaning they would attack other groups if you hadn’t generated enough hate or someone zoned out and they were wandering back to their spawn spot (no evade+sprint back as in WoW). They would also chase until either they died or all aggro players were dead (unless you were a Monk, Necro, or Shadowknight with feign death). One bad pull from the back of the zone could easily make its way to the front and wipe out anyone caught in its path. This was known as training, and usually nobody bothered to warn anyone that one was incoming.
I can recall many 20+ Kobold trains wiping out half of the zone as you’d notice the zone’s population go from 70 to 40, and 5 minutes later the yelling would begin. The higher level mobs in Sol B (Bats, Lava Spiders) were also close to the lower level Kobolds making it that much easier for some moron to go wandering and bring the house down on you.
The biggest train I’d ever seen was one of about 10 Lava Spiders, 15 or so bats, and about 30 Kobolds. They even managed to pull the rare spawn Noxious Spider ensuring that everyone was poisoned and would die even after zoning out. Truly, it was one of those rare sights you just had to sit back and laugh.
To think some of these trains were not malicious would be naive. Hell, being a Monk myself, I purposely wiped many groups who dared to invade my group’s camp spot and pull our mobs, or to just kill off some asshat I didn’t like. Since I had feign death, there was little reason to worry about reprisal — if they did try something, I’d simply wipe them again. Scenarios like this lead to another phrase in Everquest, “Never fuck with a monk”.
Karnor’s Castle may have later claimed status as the largest and most frequent zone of trains, but everything has a beginning, and it was quite a bit of fun being part of it. I had some amazing trains in Karnor’s Castle as well, but that’s another story.