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The Shadows of Luclin Goes Live on Fippy Darkpaw November 22, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest, Sony Online Entertainment.
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Yesterday saw the next EverQuest expansion on the list, The Shadows of Luclin, unlocked on the Fippy Darkpaw time locked progression server.  The expansion will be live on Vulak as well in another week or so.

Firiona Vie in Space!

(Incredibly awesome full box art image above (click to enlarge) swiped from Giant Bomb, which has more images of Luclin if you are interested.)

This follows the very popular launch of the server back in February, the unlock of Kunark in early June, and the unlock of Velious in August.

With The Shadows of Luclin expansion Fippy Darkpaw is now moving beyond the expansion where EverQuest was my main game.  Not coincidentally, my daughter was born in the same month that Luclin shipped, so I am not even sure if I bought this expansion.  I have the discs from launch, Kunark, and Velious still hanging around, but no evidence that I got to Luclin.  Something in my brain thinks I played until Planes of Power came out, but I think that is because I knew people who talked about/complained bitterly about that particular expansion.

Among the usual flurry of new zones and such, The Shadows of Luclin introduced:

  • Alternate Advancement, those beloved AA points that let you customize your character’s abilities.  Before Luclin, every character of the same class and level was pretty much the same.  After Luclin people began checking how many AA points you had and if you spent them “correctly.”
  • The Val Shir, a cat-like race was added in.  They should not be confused with Kerra, who appeared as NPCs in EverQuest and later became the playable cat race in EverQuest II.
  • Beastlords, a pet using class with something of a monk/shaman mix of skills, appeared on the scene.  Like hunters in WoW and Rangers in Rift, they seemed to be reasonably popular.  I knew some people who rolled up beastlords and got them to level cap despite having several level cap characters already.  And, in a surprisingly slow move, SOE will be introducing Beastlords in the next EverQuest II expansion, Age of Discovery, sometime around the end of this month.
  • New character models.  Who didn’t love that?  Really, that many people?
  • The Nexus, a teleportation system that began the trend  towards trivializing travel in Norrath.
  • The Bazaar was also added, killing off the unofficial Commonlands Tunnel marketplace and introducing a way for player characters to act as NPC vendors, leading to astronomical (and misleading) /played times as dedicated sellers left themselves logged in 24 hours a day.

So Luclin was a game-changing expansion for EverQuest, one of those points in time that people use as a divider. (Usually to divide between something like “good old days” and “that new crap.”)

And what heralded the arrival of this expansion on Fippy Darkpaw?  A message on the EQ Players site or a post/tweet from the EverQuest community manager?  Nah, SOE doesn’t seem to want to exploit nostalgia to promote their most nostalgia driven title.  Besides, they have other things to do.  Those random screen shots of the week don’t scramble themselves after all!

Even the Fippy Darkpaw timeline chart was behind the times when I checked yesterday, though it finally updated this morning.

Luclin Now Open

The unlock of the expansion was a completely automated non-event for SOE.

No, the first notice that Luclin had gone live on Fippy Darkpaw was a post on the time locked progression server forum complaining that AA experience is too damn slow.

Some things never change.

Now how soon until the first boss is down on the server?

If you want to follow my spotty, biased, and nostalgia driven coverage of the time locked progression server, you can click on and bookmark the Fippy Darkpaw tag for the blog, or the wordpress.com-wide tag here, just in case somebody else posts about the server.  (Be warned, the RSS feed for that page runs about 2 weeks behind.)

And, as always, your memories, corrections, and complaints are always welcome on the topic, especially as we are now leaving the realm of personal experience for me.

Who has a Shadows of Luclin memory to share?

Addendum:

There was a post in the forums of each of the three expansion unlock messages, in case you want a more exact time stamp:

[Mon Jun 06 01:01:00 2011] <SYSTEMWIDE_MESSAGE>:The barrier to the Ruins of Kunark has been breached. Make haste, many new and exciting adventures await you in these foreign lands!

[Mon Aug 29 01:01:56 2011] <SYSTEMWIDE_MESSAGE>:The barrier to the Scars of Velious has been breached. Make haste, many new and exciting adventures await you in these foreign lands!

[Mon Nov 21 00:04:23 2011] <SYSTEMWIDE_MESSAGE>:The barrier to the Shadows of Luclin has been breached. Make haste, many new and exciting adventures await you in these foreign lands!

 

Comments»

1. wizardling - November 22, 2011

Sadly the Ogre Beastlord newbie armour quest final combines are broken, and we all know how SOE will get right on top of sorting that…

But other than that disappointment, I suppose I am enjoying my first beastlord in years. I’m even roleplaying her a little, as it seems a waste not to use her rather remarkable ugliness (though she still smells better than trolls), dim intellect, and annoyance for the small thin races that bug her, for a few laughs.

Which takes me off on a tangent on something that occurred to me as I created her – how come newer MMOs don’t let me make fabulously ugly toons? Even trolls and forsaken in WoW are not as wonderfully awful looking as a Troll or Ogre (especially the female ogres) in EQ1. MMO designers – I want to make toons that only their mother could love, please.

Oh, and we knew Luclin had been unlocked cause the day before last the yellow message popped up on screen. In less than an hour ‘/who all beastlord’ was returning beastlords with double digit levels. I don’t know how or why they do it :-D

As for Luclin’s changes to EQ… yeah, mixed emotions there. It took all of a couple hours for the CL tunnel to die off again :-( That made me sad. Also the trivialisation of travel is a bummer, and heralds latter more disastrous changes for the old world cities :-( But trying to look on the bright side, I do like Luclin’s zones, the Vah Shir, beastlords and AAs. So good with that bad as usual.

2. Wilhelm Arcturus - November 22, 2011

Change is always controversial. But no matter what you have in an MMO, it is somebody’s favorite feature. So some people were welcoming the arrival of Luclin while others were asking if they could have a classic server that just stopped at Velious. The only constant is the self-deluded belief that we all have that most people really agree with our own point of view.

3. HarbingerZero - November 22, 2011

Sounds like Luclin was much like EQOA’s first and only expansion. It brought forth AA’s (good), a new class (Alchemist – good, wish EQ2 had it), and new character models (hideously bad).

4. bhagpuss - November 22, 2011

Luclin was a lot of first-gen veteran’s Jump The Shark moment for Everquest. Not mine, though. I loved it and still do.

I was playing DAOC when it launched so I missed what was apparently EQ’s worst expansion launch ever. By the time I came back it was largely working, although it was months after that before The Bazaar really worked. (Speaking of which, I don’t suppose Fippy has the old, vastly superior original Bazaar up, does it? I must go and look this weekend).

Apart from Paludal Caverns, which as far as i can tell must have been the training grounds for what later became famous as “Barrens Chat”, I like pretty much every zone on Luclin. It’s a crazily dense, dark, claustrophobic place but it’s chock-full of detail and weirdness.

As for the fast transport, I thought, and still think, that The Nexus is just about the prefect compromise. It’s the MMO equivalent of a bus service. You go to the stop and if you time it well your ride arrives almost immediately. Otherwise you may have to wait up to fifteen minutes for the next one. You get off at a terminal that isn’t exactly where you wanted to be and you have to walk the rest of the way. It’s fastER travel, but it still ain’t fast.

5. Aufero - November 22, 2011

I have nothing but fond memories of Luclin. I started a Vah Shir Bard and a Troll Beastlord, happily played them for the next three years, and never again did much with my Druid and Necro. Even the constant drama over guilds wiping each other in Ssra Temple and Vex Thal was exciting.

(I’m pretty sure that last bit wasn’t as fun as I remember it being.)

6. Snick - November 22, 2011

Let’s see – just had an amazing summer playing EQ hardcore for the first time with my girlfriend and a new RP guild we joined in the Spring. Of course 9/11 put a damper on things come September, but I was still looking forward to the much needed graphics upgrade Luclin was promising.

We all bought our boxes on the day of release, ran home and installed and, you know the rest – Loading, please wait… for about 72 hours. I think I managed to log in once, only to be lagged out of the zone after a couple of minutes. A few of the late-late night guildies got in during that period, but it would be one or two hot patches and 3 days later before we were able to get in for a satisfying round of play and exploration.

Disappointing was not the word, as tempers were flying high over SOE’s track record of no monthly content updates in favor of pinching another ~$40 from subscribers with yearly expansions. The funny thing about the release was it coincided with the expansion’s unfortunate acronym which ended up defining the player experience for the first 3 days: SOL!

Once we were able to get in, however, it was a different story for me – I loved the new zones, Player character graphic upgrades and especially the customizable UI, which spawned several UI websites and communities. Within 6 months, I had settled on a UI which I customized with a few additional mods making my chanter that much more uber and fun to play.

Oddly, for our guild one of the best things about the expansion was it freed up a lot of heavily camped key spots on Norrath proper, allowing several of us, including myself, to finish gathering the parts for our Epic weapon quests through 2002.

7. Remianen - November 23, 2011

I remember Luclin.

- Where the hybrid XP penalty (PAL/SHD/BRD/RNG) turned into an xp bonus for AA exp so folks were getting 40% more xp. Paladins got Slay Undead quick fast and camped out in the basement of Karnors, slaying the skellies down near the VP key piece dropper.

- Some lucid shards not dropping at all for a few months, while the devs tried to finish Vex Thal (can’t get in without a key!).

- Gravel Rain

- Overpowered weapons like the Hammer of Divine Consternation (with its Divine Aura proc) along with the Praetorian Myral fight to get it.

- The abrupt elimination of Windows 95 support.

- Warriors (fungi tunic equipped) in Fungus Grove soloing shrooms and not needing clerics (blasphemy!)

- The Monk/Shaman duo becoming the most potent and efficient in the game, often monopolizing several shroom patches in Fungus Grove.

- AE groups! Cleric, 2 enchanters, 3 wizards (all Jyll’s spells memmed) laying waste to entire zones. The tears of all the players who couldn’t belly up to the XP trough those groups produced. Acrylia Caverns and The Grey later being nerfed by the addition of random stun/mez immune mobs.

- At launch, Revenants in Scarlet Desert had a ridiculous melee proc (that was later toned down a lot), which made the zone persona non grata for XPing in.

- People who didn’t know, “drowning” in The Grey.

- Velketor’s Labyrinth and Karnors Castle becoming ever more popular, as folks tried to find the most efficient means of AA leveling possible.

- The Bazaar stunt SoE pulled (when the Bazaar functionality was finally rolled out) in an attempt to break some concurrent user record.

Ahh Luclin….

8. bhagpuss - November 24, 2011

I must be getting slower on the uptake in my old age. It only now occurs to me that this means I could start a new Beastlord in EQ1 this month and a new Beastlord in EQ2 next month.

Oh the possibilities…


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