You’ve ruined your own lands! You’ll not ruin mine!

EverQuest Ruins of Kunark Art

My hopes for a fast-moving Daybreak Games Company (DGC) might actually not be completely insane. My last entry was Daybreak alluding to a new progression-based EverQuest server. Throughout the post and comments I have maintained the position that Daybreak needs to move quickly to show the community that they care about the EQ franchise, they care what players want, and that they aren’t stuck in a rut after layoffs — in other words, they can actually still make games.

Last night a forum post went up on the official forums explaining potential rulesets which are up for vote on the live servers (which I do not have access to since I am not currently a subscriber). Since I can’t actually vote in-game, I’m going to vote here and explain why.

1. Existing rules:

  • Server starts with only the original EverQuest zones active. Players start at level 1.
  • When players kill a set of predefined targets, a two-month countdown timer starts. There is a three-month timer before Kunark and Velious can unlock.
  • When the timer is complete, a two-week vote starts that will enable the next expansion. If the majority chooses ‘yes,’ the expansion unlocks at the end of the voting period. If the majority chooses ‘no,’ a new vote begins immediately.
  • This progression can continue until the server is no longer able to defeat raid targets or until it catches up with live servers.

This is Fippy, the current server’s ruleset. Meh. I don’t like the voting.  I think players can actually crank this out quickly and progress this kind of server at lightning speed.

2. Slower progression

  • Server starts with only the original EverQuest zones active. Players start at level 1.
  • When players kill a set of predefined targets, a three-plus month countdown timer starts. When the timer is complete, a two-week vote starts. If the majority chooses ‘yes,’ the expansion unlocks at the end of the voting period. If the majority chooses ‘no,’ a new vote begins immediately.
  • This progression can continue until the server is no longer able to defeat raid targets or until it catches up with live servers.

A little bit better, a little bit slower. Still meh. Not my ideal.

3. Locked progression

  • Server starts with only the original EverQuest zones active. Players start at level 1.
  • When players kill a set of predefined targets, a two-month countdown timer starts. There is a three-month timer before Kunark and Velious can unlock.
  • OPTION: When the timer is complete, a two-week vote starts that will enable the next expansion. If the majority chooses ‘yes,’ the expansion unlocks at the end of the voting period. If the majority chooses ‘no,’ a new vote begins immediately.
  • OPTION: Dev determines the unlocked progression based on the player completion rates.
  • At a specific point, determined by Dev, votes are no longer available and progression is complete.

Now we’re talking! I would take this ruleset but add Kunark on a 6-8 month countdown with a vote for Velious. I love the idea that the devs would identify a point in time where progression is complete. A permanent classic server? Yes, please! Maybe lock it around PoP?

4. Seasonal Challenge Server

  • The server starts with only original EverQuest zones active, or with content enabled through a later expansion. Players start at level 1.
  • OPTION: When players kill a set of predefined targets, a vote begins within a week. Each vote lasts two weeks. If the majority chooses ‘yes,’ the expansion unlocks at the end of the voting period. If the majority chooses ‘no,’ a new vote begins immediately.
  • OPTION: Alternatively, Dev may choose to unlock content when progression targets are complete.
  • Players have a set period of time (one season) to complete as much content as they can. The player(s) who get the farthest will receive recognition and a prize (to be determined later).
  • Once the season is complete, the server is reset and the challenge begins anew!

By far the worst idea. It turns EverQuest into a power-gaming level grind for the elitist guilds and doesn’t allow for players like me who love to relax and teleport players around, or camp objectives to earn neat items, to play my way. I may not want to rush to 50 to camp the planes.

Despite clearly favoring the third option, I would play on any of these (except maybe the 4th… even then I’d be tempted). My biggest complaint about all of them is the inclusion of voting, hence the title of this post (name that quote!). I would much rather see a time-locked progression server where the expansions release at the same historical pace (or LIGHTLY accelerated if at all).

The key here, however, isn’t necessarily the ruleset! I want Daybreak to understand this point very, very clearly: Charge a damn subscription! Require All-access! I do not care what you do, but do not screw it up with “Free to Play All the Way” and RAF nonsense.

So could it be? Could DGC actually be doing the smart thing and moving full steam ahead with an EverQuest progression server? My hope is growing once again.

  • Keen you do not have be a subscriber to vote.. just log intothe f2p EQ client and the vote window pops right up

  • They charged a subscription for the previous Prog server. Only accounts with subs could make characters there.

    As for RAF there are apparently legal issues over that due to the way the original offer was worded that preclude removing it. So I read on the forums anyway.

  • Personally I wouldnt care, I doubt I would play for 8+ months.

    However I am completely stoked about this. I have never experienced classic EQ and I really want to jump into it.

    But to think that MMO gamers now a days could last with 8+ months of already seen content seems short sighted to me. I am not even talking about the MMO gamers mind set but more the skill/resources now readily available that were not there in 1999-2001. Your average gamer these days is about as good as your above average/skilled players of yesteryear.

    I would prefer it to take long enough for us to move through content at a slower pace. But the not get stagnant as we wait for new things.

    You have to remember when EQ first launched no one knew of camps, or what quests were where. A lot of the things you could knock out in an hour now (because you know the comp you need and what to do) took an entire afternoon/evening.

    I think back to ffxi it took me months (8-9) to get to max lvl. If I could go back in time with a group of people who knew as much as I do now. We could do 1-75 in a month easy. Add in 800+ people with the same mindset and endgame goes down in another month. Leaving you with 6+ months of stagnant play.

    But again I am very excited with w/e ruleset they end up with. As long as the xp works 100% as it did at launch. Do not add in any kind of boosts that were not there in 1999-2000

  • “Server starts with only the original EverQuest zones active.”

    I can’t remember how the previous progression servers worked. That quote there suggests that access to zones is the primary element that is restricted and progresses over time? What about all the other features added throughout various expansions? races, classes, AA etc.

  • I always thought it amusing when orcs said to me, High Elves like you have ruined your own lands!… Elves had like, the most un-ruined lands of them all. Lol

  • I enjoy options 2 or 3, and agree that the timeline should be closer to 6 months for unlocked expansions.

    Regarding the RAF nonsense, like someone pointed out before, agreeing to the TOS usually allows devs to do what they like. I always laugh when hearing someone threatening such and such on a forum.

    Having RAF would seriously impact the server in a negative way, which most people can agree upon.

    Move fast Daybreak, fast I tell you!! And then maybe, people will overlook the Landmark/H1Z1 messes.

  • Filch in the other progression services AA wasn’t introduced till Luckin, and the other races and classes weren’t introduced until that expansion.. So launch of Fippy did not have iksars

  • I downloaded the client tonight just to check on my characters and you still can’t log into Fippy Darkpaw unless you have a paid sub.

  • I don’t know that I’d go back to Vanilla EQ. I’d miss the classes and races they added too much. My main, once Luclin hit and until I quit was a BL, and I loved that damned class. I really loved my Berserker, as well, even though GOD was a really shit expansion.

    If they would tweak it so you could play any race/class at the start, with only areas and leveling restricted, I’d throw my money at them so fast someone would have to write a rap song about it.

    POP was sort the beginning of the end, in my mind, though. Not needing other players to get around, not having to actually walk or take the boats to travel between continents. Luclin was restricted enough, POP just threw travel out the window. Same impact on-demand travel had to SW:G, waiting 30 minutes for a shuttle meant that shuttle ports were actually places people congregated, and made the game that much more social.

  • Any time you reduce dependency on other players it’s bad. It SEEMS good at the time because it is more convenient but it kills the world. Luclin really was the beginning of the end but it was so very subtle, and very slow moving from there.

    Remember when they introduced merchants you could buy unlimited batwings from in the bazaar? They silently killed the very first market many people got into. Selling stacks of batwings to high level players for one whole platinum piece. If you gathered up a few stacks of batwings and found a high level to buy them for their levitate spell you could make a VERY good start for yourself on that insane (to a newbie) payout.

  • @Gringar You hit the nail right on the head. The dependence on others may be a double edge sword, but removing it leaves one with a dull blade.

  • @Table: I remember when EQ first launched there were actually quite a few guides. Most of us used guides for everything. We had maps, walk-throughs, pictures of what things looked like, etc. Even having those assisting tools everything still took forever. Why? Multiple reasons: (1) The world was huge. It took time to traverse. (2) Everything was difficult from killing to traveling safely. (3) Complexity was much higher and required thought before just mashing hotkeys and running into a mob-filled camp to grab a clickable item. (4) Things were rare and even if you knew where to get those Ancient Crock leggings it might take 20 hours for the dang thing to spawn — then 20 attempts at him for him not to drop the sleeves every time!

    @Gringar: Amen brother. I will champion player interaction and interdependencies all day long. The batwing example is a great one. EverQuest has hundreds of these connections and dependencies between players. One of many subtle reasons why it made such an impression on people.

  • Just so you guys know this will not be as classic as P1999.. SOE has said that the files for Old Freeport are lost forever, and Corpse runs cant make a comeback because the coding for corpse runs is gone and all loot spawns on you when you die.

    So if you do want to play classic need to stick to P1999

  • It is a little hard to believe. Sounds like a lie to keep people from continuing to ask. I can believe the old code being overwritten but old zone files gone? C’mon 🙂 Though imagine if SOE or Daybreak DID want those old files and code to make it into the game. They’d have to ask P99.

    “Could we maybe… Could we please take a look at our old code and zone files? You’re the only one that still has them!”

  • While the old Freeport may not be there, a few changes won’t kill anyone.

    Also, while you may spawn with you weapons, you still need to get a rez for exp losses. Honestly, spawning with my weapons and armor I’ll gladly live with. Corpse runs sucked and still do. I recently went through a couple this week and starting naked with everything deep in a dungeon isn’t a great feeling.

    There will also be an in-game map, thank goodness. Having to look at the wiki for a map is just unnecessary. Even with the in-game maps, traveling is dangerous and confusing.

    The main things will be classic. Zones, for the most part, classes, need/desire to group, classic weapons and spawns, etc. The biggest thing they could do to make the progression server, ain’t classic is have expansions unlock too fast.

  • are the modern in-game maps GPS maps? (showing you exactly where you are on the map?) or are they just static images of the zone layout?

    that actually makes a pretty big difference. GPS maps take a lot of the adventure out of travelling. landmarks aren’t important and you can’t really ever get lost.

    yeah, I know hugging the zone wall isn’t super exciting. but there’s a lot more to travelling in EQ than that, especially if you want to actually get somewhere in a zone rather than just pass through it. a lot of adventures start with getting lost.

  • I believe on Fippy Darkpaw it was the same maps as in Live EQ.. so yes GPS maps.

    This wont be classic but it will be fun to start at level 1 and see all of EQs content. I plan to play atleast thru POP

  • From what I remember when Combine first came out there are also crafting recipes that require ONLY vanilla mats that create some pretty nasty items. I remember people crafting some basic throwing spears that were far better than any weapon around and had lots of stats on them. There were other weapons, items and armor that were way stronger than vanilla EQ armor and weapons yet only required vanilla mats but for some reason the spears stick in my mind. Possibly because of how easy they were to craft.

  • I played on Fippy Darkpaw until about level 50 and yes they had a lot of newer stuff so it isn’t anything like P99 but it was fun. Some of the stuff I was actually glad they had, like the newbie armor quest that isn’t in classic but they left in. It’s still old school but not so old school that you have to wait until you’re in your 30’s or so to start getting item drops.

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