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Server Rulesets

All is right with the universe today, folks! I was looking at the latest poll for EverQuest Next and wasn’t expecting these results at all.

eqn-server-types

I was expecting PvP or something ridiculous like permadeath to rank at the top.  Previous polls seem to be voted on by the certifiably insane, but this one restores my hope.

I voted “No specialty servers for me!” but I could have easily chosen role playing.  Back in EverQuest II’s early days, Graev and I played on the rp server and actually rp’d.  We were known as the Rumblebelly Boys, and we traveled to parties and performed our little synchronized dance and epic poetry.  I guess I should have lead with the fact that we played eccentric Halflings… that makes it sound a little less weird.

Honestly though, I love standard rulesets.  It goes back to playing the game the way it was meant to be played because that’s where all of the mechanics make the most sense.  I never think PvP when I think of EverQuest, despite the special ruleset servers like Rallos Zek being pretty popular.

Ultimately it comes down to whether or not a special ruleset can sustain a population.  If a permadeath server comes out, I’m sure plenty of people will play on it for the first few months.  As times goes on, that server will inevitably have the lowest population to the point where it no longer makes sense to support it.  The same goes for some PvP and RP rulesets — even normal servers, when too many are opened, get merged.  Merging servers is the MMO death knell.  Failed rulesets and wonky out-of-place features are another.

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Comments

  1. It might be interesting to have a sub-poll that asked what percent of people wanting a RP server would actually partake in full time RP.

    I have been a member of a few guilds that decided to roll on RP servers not to RP, but to be in the midst of a more committed population, meaning to some degree less kids and the type of people who name their toons “Eye8umomma1337″.

  2. I don’t mind ruleset serves. I think it is a great way to tweak your product to appeal to various demographics.

    Don’t like PvP?, play on our PvE only server.

    Love PvP?, play on our PvP server.

    Don’t care for endgame and like to enjoy the journey?, play on our Hardcore server.

    Like Vanilla WoW?, play on our Vanilla server?

    Want a kid-safe environment?, play on our Family server where we more closely monitor character names and public chat channels.

    So on and so forth.

    Heck, I don’t know why you couldn’t even do a Casual server. You could take out some of the unecessary gold/time sinks and really focus on the content by throttling progression. Casual players won’t care cause they won’t hit the threshold anyway and hardcores won’t even consider rolling on that server.

    I really don’t see why Blizzard hasn’t experimented more with stuff like this. If anyone has the resources and potential population levels to sustain it and actually do stuff like this it is them. How many people would resub if Blizzard announced an official vanilla server or a Mordred-esque PvP server (true FFA PvP and grouping)? Would it last? Maybe maybe not, but it would probably net them several thousands of subs for 3-6 months or more.

  3. I think that if you have 50 servers it’s a total waste of resources if you don’t also have 50 rulesets. No two servers should ever be identical, or try to be. Of course, the rulesets don;t have to differ in any extreme fashion. Just a tweak here and there. In fact if EQNext lives up to the hype (clue: it won’t) that will be exactly how it plays out: they already said that player actions will cause each server to develop independently. That, in my book, is different rulesets by another name.

    Personally I’d vote for a No Elves server.

  4. RP servers would seem to be hard to police.

    I was in a RP server in AoC mostly due to seeing how terrible the general community was like during the early access. I remember a statement from the devs that appeared online at launch that specifically stated how role-playing a “homicidal maniac” was not an acceptable excuse for non-stop and baseless PK behavior, which really was all that was happening at higher levels due to lack of endgame content (with ruthless guild organized rez spawn camping).

    At one point I entered into a zone conversation where people were arguing about this PK behavior on what was meant to be a RP server, and after the usual trolling back and forth I sought to settle this issue by contacting a moderator. I provided him Funcom’s exact link where random PK behavior was explicitly outlawed on the RP servers, only to find the moderator say that they had no longer any intention to enforce that and it was an outdated ruleset; eventually that stipulation was removed from their online RP statement. The same held true for naming convention, that is while strict naming restrictions were stated they did not appear to be enforced.

    So in the end their “RP” server was like any other server meaning that you can roleplay here if you like, or not, with Funcom taking a hands off approach to enforcement of their theoretical ruleset.

  5. NetherLands says:

    Agree with Balthazar and Bhagpuss, if anything there should be (in general) more server types and less servers of a given type in MMORPG’s.

    Let players that prefer a certain playstyle have their own little sandbox to play in togethe.

    It allows for better bonds as well as better discourse (a Raid-obsessed Achiever and a RP-ing Explorer can have such a vast diference in perspective they simply can’t comprehend the other) and better tuning to the wants of a particular playstyle without disrupting the playstyle of others (ie quick rush to cap is fun for raiders but awful for those that just like to ‘putter about’ in a virtual world)

    Of course it does mean that rulesets should also be enforced (something that, badly enough, too often isn’t the case with RP servers).

    Btw – I could see Family Servers becoming a (relatively) big thing now that more and more early adapters are coming to the age that they have kids old enough to play.

  6. I miss Guinevere for this exact reason. I’ve tried rolling on “RP” servers during MMO launches since, and so far none of them have actually enforced naming conventions, let alone actual roleplay or even a higher standard for any widespread chat channel.

    People used to care. And because of that the people that moderated our games did. Nowadays its “lolzgtfo” both in peoples’ minds and their games.

  7. S. Tolga Kirtiloglu says:

    I am all for speciality servers but not as some of you depicted.

    segregating hardcore and casual players? explorers and achievers? end gamers and “stop and smell the roses”-ers? This would be so very bad I think.

  8. I voted for RP server :) I don’t always RP myself but I like a lot when I see others around to do it and because the general rule is that you find more polite/kind people on RP servers. Also, people who like RP servers are more about the virtual world and less for the actual game.

  9. I always played on normal ruleset servers.

    A roleplaying server seems to contradict its self in a themepark mmo.
    As everyone gets the same quests and enemies/allies even if it might not fit the role you chose in the beginning of the character creation.

    A pvp server sounds like grieving, unless you start at the very beginning and you are at around the same lvl as everyone else.

    The only ruleset I can think of that would actually add something to my experience would be a classic server ruleset for an older game. For instance world of warcraft just before the first expansion hit.
    (molten core.. blackwing lair, playing in battlegrounds with only allies and enemies from the SAME server)

    Well ok maybe for a game like diablo 2 a hardcore ruleset makes sense.
    Problem is that cheating ruins that very quickly. or a lagspike or a disconnect or a pc failure.
    Poof all your progress gone. On second thought: Forget about the hardcore ruleset making sense.

  10. wufiavelli says:

    RP servers are not bad for some naming enforcement and the like. They also act as a way for more mature players to move away from the 13 year old herd. If people RP or never really cared.

    PvP and Rp go along really well though. Griefers were the only thing that kept UO RP community large and intertwined. As soon as trammel came out everyone went off into their own little niche. RPers are a bitchy and whiney bunch, griefers forcing them into a larger community for protection is a good thing.

    Also many of the top PvPers are roll in the RP community. RP communities normally are good at planning large scale PvP events.

  11. For me the rp aspect isn’t about names or typing in thees and thous. I tend to find people more interested in having fun and focusing less on “being the best”.

  12. I would have voted for permadeath, except their example for special rules was ‘no trade restrictions.’ No drop, soulbound, etc is an incredibly stupid mechanic and is a symptom of a game that isn’t even trying to have a real economy.