One of the biggest things I recall from the early days of EQ1 involved the philosophy of designing zones. For those that don't remember, zones were roughly divided into those with good loot (including gear) and those with good experience. This pulled players in an extra couple of directions. Do we go here for a chance at loot, or do we go there and try to gain a level or two? The 'loot heavy' zones were nothing special, maybe a special weapon like the Runed Totem Staff, and 7g instead of 1g per mob. That took an awful long time for players to make any money in an evening.
The 'experience-heavy' zones were far more generous, and always crowded. High Pass Keep was home to the orcs in the tunnels, and indoors was all about the small goblin camp. Both were exceptional experience. It wouldn't have been unusual for characters to gain 2-5 levels in an evening, depending on how much competition was in-zone at the time. Some spots for high experience are still in game, like the undead gnoll reavers hill in East Karana, and are still superior experience for the level 13-18 crowd.
Another issue was the existence of camps where both the experience and loot were superior. Bandit sashes in West Karana was an excellent source of experience -- there were lots of bandits and they gave good experience. They also dropped the Bandit sashes which could be turned in for bronze weapons, which sold for 1-3 platinum apiece (a fortune when similar mobs were dropping a few silver pieces). These hot spots were popular camps, and tended to draw a disproportionate portion of the population.
A balanced design philosophy eventually took over and experience and loot were balanced. The paltry loot was bumped considerably, where it is now possible to easily earn 10-20 platinum in any of the starting zones while on the ride from 1st to 5th level.
This is one aspect of the early games that not many people remember, and I hope doesn't reappear in Pantheon. This design philosophy was left on the side of the road when the game evolved.
Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.