EverQuest is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released on March 16, 1999. EverQuest was the second major MMORPG to be released, after Ultima Online, and the first to employ a three-dimensional game engine. Many of the elements in EverQuest have been drawn from text-based MUD (Multi-User Dungeon) games, particularly DikuMUD's, which in turn were inspired by traditional role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. In EverQuest, players create a character (also known as an avatar, or colloquially as a char or toon) by selecting one of sixteen races in the game, which range from humans (basic Caucasian-looking human, dark-skinned Erudite, and barbarian), elves (high elves, wood elves, and dark elves), half-elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, trolls, and ogres, to cat-people (Vah Shir), lizard-people (Iksar), frog-people (Froglok), and dragon-people (Drakkin). The EverQuest universe is divided into more than five hundred zones. These zones represent a wide variety of geographical features, including plains, oceans, cities, deserts, and other planes of existence. One of the most popular zones in the game is the Plane of Knowledge, one of the few zones in which all races and classes can coexist harmoniously without interference. The Plane of Knowledge is also home to portals to many other zones, including portals to other planes and to the outskirts of nearly every starting city.