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Fippy Darkpaw – The Buried Sea Completed October 10, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest.
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Another chapter in my desultory  attempt to track the progress of the Fippy Darkpaw time locked progression server.  See the list of updates at the bottom of the post.

The EverQuest expansion The Buried Sea, SOE’s attempt at a pirate themed adventure, was unlocked on the Fippy Darkpaw server this week.

EverQuest The Buried Sea

Pirate Firiona

And, as has become the standard fare, the content was defeated in less than three days.  From the good people at the Fippy Darkpaw forums:

Congrats to Citizen on beating The Buried Sea less than 72 hours from the opening of the expansion. That makes 6 in a row for you.

If my unlock calculations are correct, that means Secrets will go up for vote on December 9th and the expansion should unlock, assuming it passes, on December 23rd.

The next expansion, potentially unlocking just before Christmas, is Secrets of Faydwer, the last of the EverQuest expansions to be on/suffer from the “two a year” expansion cycle.  Secrets of Faydwer was the 14th EverQuest expansion and launched in November 2007.

Secrets in her eyes

Secrets in her eyes

We are now getting into expansions I was writing about regularly, if not always seriously, and also into the territory where SOE gave up on the roll-up packs of expansions I mentioned the other day and just started throwing all expansion in the box.

  • Fippy Darkpaw server goes live with classic EQ content, February 15, 2011
  • Classic EverQuest competed, February 24, 2011
  • Ruins of Kunark unlocked, June 6, 2011
  • Ruins of Kunark completed, June 19, 2011
  • Scars of Velious unlocked, August 29, 2011
  • Scars of Velious completed, September 14, 2011
  • Shadows of Luclin unlocked, November 21, 2011
  • Shadows of Luclin completed, December 4, 2011
  • Planes of Power unlocked, February 13, 2012
  • Lost Dungeons of Norrath unlocked, March 12, 2012
  • Legacy of Ykesah unlocked, March 12, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 7, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 21, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, June 4, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlocked at last, June 18, 2012
  • Omens of War unlocked, September 10, 2012
  • Omens of War complete, September 12, 2012
  • Dragons of Norrath unlocked without a vote, November 13, 2012
  • Prophecy of Ro completed, April 26, 2013
  • The Serpent’s Spine unlocked, July 16, 2013
  • The Serpent’s Spine complete, July 19, 2013
  • The Buried Sea unlock vote goes up, September 23, 2013
  • The Buried Sea unlocked, October 7, 2013
  • The Buried Sea completed, October 9, 2013

Once Secrets of Faydwer is unlocked… and completed in the usual rapid fashion… that will only leave three more expansions on the board from the launch of the server.  The multi-year march through the EverQuest content is nearing an end.

EverQuest Fippy Darkpaw

Expansion List

The last expansion on the list, House of Thule, was the last EverQuest expansion I bought.  I wanted to see how they did housing in the game, a feature that came with the expansion.

There have been three more expansions since House of Thule, and since the Fippy Darkpaw server launched, including Call of the Forsaken, which went live earlier this week.

Fippy Darkpaw – Pirates on the Horizon September 20, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest.
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I gave up trying to track the status of the EverQuest time-locked progression server Fippy Darkpaw about a year back.  Basically, I had long stopped playing on the server and keeping track of how things were moving along became increasingly difficult.  The server timeline, still linked on the EverQuest web site, has been broken since the game went free to play on its 13th birthday.  And SOE has shown no interest in promoting the server since the run up to its launch, so they never mention any change on the server ever.  I speak as someone who has subscribed to every SOE new channel he can find.

I was depending mostly on the forums, since each unlock appeared to have problems and would, thus, generate forum posts.  But SOE eventually fixed that as well, reducing forum content to bug complaints, demands for new classic and/or progression servers, and requests to merge/not merge the Vulak server, which is dead/just fine, with Fippy Darkpaw.  The dearth of timely news made me give up my quest to actively cover all updates and expansion unlocks.

However, once in a while a nugget of information still shows up unbidden.  For example, the good people at FippyDarkpaw.com, an external site devoted to the server, recently posted this update.

[Tue Sep 17 22:56:41 2013] <SYSTEMWIDE_MESSAGE>:The barrier to The Buried Sea begins to shimmer. The Priests of Discord have news for you.

Expect the vote to open on Monday.

That means that The Serpent’s Spine is on its way out and the EverQuest pirate expansion, The Buried Sea, will likely be unlocked very soon, featuring a meaner, more scantily clad Firiona Vie.

Pirate Firiona

Pirate Firiona

The Fippy Darkpaw server is now returning to a time when I was actually playing EverQuest again, during what I guess I would call the age of Norrathian nostalgia.  I came back for The Serpent’s Spine, which was new so not really nostalgia I guess.  But it was a return to the old world.  And in the classic nostalgia pattern for me, I played for a bit and then went back to greener pastures.  So by the time The Buried Sea came out… which sounded suspiciously like Pirates of the Burning Sea… we were playing Lord of the Rings Online.  But we were talking about Pirates of the Burning Sea.  And The Buried Sea sounded nothing like that.

Not the EverQuest version

The Buried Sea came out during the end of the “twice a year” frantic EverQuest expansion cycle and was aimed primarily at those who were already high level and invested in the game.  It featured, if I recall right, a lot of faction work along with some new currencies and represented something of a “things to do” side path opposed to an evolution of the game.

With that, and a couple other updates I gleaned from the site, I was able to update my list of events for the Fippy Darkpaw server.

  • Fippy Darkpaw server goes live with classic EQ content, February 15, 2011
  • Classic EverQuest competed, February 24, 2011
  • Ruins of Kunark unlocked, June 6, 2011
  • Ruins of Kunark completed, June 19, 2011
  • Scars of Velious unlocked, August 29, 2011
  • Scars of Velious completed, September 14, 2011
  • Shadows of Luclin unlocked, November 21, 2011
  • Shadows of Luclin completed, December 4, 2011
  • Planes of Power unlocked, February 13, 2012
  • Lost Dungeons of Norrath unlocked, March 12, 2012
  • Legacy of Ykesah unlocked, March 12, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 7, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 21, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, June 4, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlocked at last, June 18, 2012
  • Omens of War unlocked, September 10, 2012
  • Omens of War complete, September 12, 2012
  • Dragons of Norrath unlocked without a vote, November 13, 2012
  • Prophecy of Ro completed, April 26, 2013
  • The Serpent’s Spine unlocked, July 16, 2013
  • The Serpent’s Spine complete, July 19, 2013

After The Buried Sea, there are only four more expansions on the list, as the timeline graphic only showed things going out to the House of Thule expansion.

Expansion List

Expansion List

And what will happen after that?  Will the server be merged into one of the standard servers, which was what happened with the original progression servers?  Will we see another round of progression servers?  Will we get that “classic” server that so many people want, but which nobody can quite define?

We shall see.  Updates here when and if they become available.

Sayonara Fippy Darkpaw January 12, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest.
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An homage to the Fippy Darkpaw server.

Direct Link

Meant to evoke the spirit of the Sayonara Norrath video.

Not quite there for me, but still full of fun sights.

Fippy Darkpaw – Dragons of Norrath and The Story Going Forward November 23, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest, Sony Online Entertainment.
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*** Progression Servers ***

- Fixed a problem that could cause an expansion to open without a vote.

From the EQ Test Server Patch Notes

From what I have seen, the Dragons of Norrath expansion was fully unlocked and accessible on the Fippy Darkpaw server by the morning of November 13th, so I will mark that for my unofficial timeline.  As I mentioned in my previous post on the subject, no unlock vote was taken for the expansion, and no word has come from SOE about what happened, but it looks like the unlock will stand and there will be no roll back for a vote.

Open by whatever means necessary…

Meanwhile, it was reported in the forums that the pre-unlock message for the next expansion, Depths of Darkhollow, had been seen on the Vulak server.  There had been no vote up for that and I have no idea if it went any further than just a message.

Depths of Darkhollow is coming…

There was, however, a poll taken on Vulak and Fippy Darkpaw about the unlock timer settings.  Currently unlock votes are set to be taken 60 days after specific content from an expansion has been defeated for the first time.  The result of the poll was that a majority of respondents wanted that 60 day time frame increased.  There has been no word on when that will come to pass, though there will likely be another poll to determine how long the delay between content complete and a vote should be.

Of course, this is likely to please very few.

Voices from the raider factions claim that the repeated no votes on the Gates of Discord expansion unlock sent a good chunk of their population away, never to return.  Longer delays between expansions will not make their lot in life any better.

On the flip side, the constantly posting and ever unrealistic “I want to turn the progression server into a classic server” faction has been trying to slow down votes since day one.  And while there are many sub-factions within that group that want things to stop at one expansion or another, I am pretty sure that Dragons of Norrath is not high on anybody’s list as a classic server setting.

And in the midst of all of this, SOE has been saying… nothing.

There hasn’t been a word from anybody about what is going on.  The only thing approaching an official response has been from SOE-MOD-02, who comes in to shut down duplicate threads on subjects being discussed.

This is something of an irksome bit for me because, while I realize that the EQ team is in the midst of launching the Rain of Fear expansion, which is slated to come out next week, the population of the time locked progression servers represents paying customers.  You have to have a gold account in order to play on the TLP servers, so this is a population of SOE’s best customers, and they are being left to stew and squabble amongst themselves.

Must mishandled customer relations ever be the SOE hallmark?

So, with a great big sigh and a rolling of eyes skyward, I am going to call to a halt my attempts to try and track the progress of the second round of time locked progression servers.  It has been difficult to do since I stopped playing on the servers, which honestly happened back during Ruins of Kunark, and has gotten more so as time has gone on and the population on the servers has dwindled.

I am not going to renounce doing any more posts on the subject of these servers.  In fact, I can foresee at least two more such posts.  One will be when the Fippy Darkpaw and Vulak servers get merged, and the other will be when the remaining server, which will likely be the more populous Fippy Darkpaw server, gets merged into one of the standard EverQuest Live servers, thus ending this round of progression servers.

I suspect that both of those events will be easy enough to spot and will help me round out my timeline.

But I am not going to spend time watching forums, emailing people, asking people to log onto the server to check polls, or otherwise spend time trying to tease out information that simply does not get posted anywhere.

But even with the community squabbles and the opportunities that SOE missed to use this server as a community building tool, it has been a grand experiment to my mind.  A flawed, irksome, neglected, forgotten in the back of the closet for months at a time experiment that often represented the triumph of reality over dreams and nostalgia, but a worthwhile one none the less.

For what really turned out to be just a few weeks for Potshot and I, it was a misty water colored reflection of the game we played in 1999 that brought out both its benefits and its flaws.

I played in the snow.  We read graffiti the Qeynos sewers.  We went to Blackburrow.  We camped bandits in West Karana.  We ran to Freeport.  We delved in Najena.  I got stuck in the Ocean of Tears.  We died in Unrest.  We sailed on Lake Rathetear.  And we ended up on Kerra Island and then in Runnyeye.

It was a decent nostalgia tour that let us relive many fond memories.

All of the posts related to this are under the Fippy Darkpaw tag if you want to review.

So, with that, I give you my timeline of the Fippy Darkpaw server so far with, as I said, the intent of updating it at least two more times.

I expect in a few years we will see the EverQuest Progression servers, round three.  Despite the problems, nostalgia pays.

Will you be there?

Some Dragons of Norrath Features Unlocked on Fippy Darkpaw Without a Vote November 12, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest.
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One of my worries about trying to report on expansions unlocking on the Fippy Darkpaw time locked progression server while not subscribed and actively playing is that at some point an unlock will go off without a hitch, thus keeping the forums from lighting up with complaints.

Those complaints are the trip-wire that alerts me to unlocks, because I certainly cannot count on the Fippy Darkpaw timeline they have on the EverQuest site.  That has been broken since March, when the game went free to play.

So it is a good thing that SOE seems to have my back on this!

Today is about the right time frame for the Dragons of Norrath expansion to unlock.  The past estimate was November 19th, next Monday, but that is only a week off.

Firiona Vie gets a solo cover

And so this morning there is a post in the forums reporting that features from the Dragons of Norrath expansion (of which Giant Bomb has a great summary) such as Guild Halls and faction NPCs and bandoliers and such are now available on the Fippy Darkpaw server. (But not on Vulak.)

However, none of the actual content, the zones that make up the bulk of the expansion, appear to be available. [Update: The zones appear to be in and live, but are blocked off.]

Oh, and the vote for the Dragons of Norrath has not come up yet.

Details, details.

There was a rogue poll that showed up just after Omens of War was unlocked, so maybe that masked the need for an unlock vote?  Or maybe the unlock vote was supposed to go up today?  Or maybe whatever changes SOE is putting in for the Rain of Fear expansion that is supposed to go live this month broke something?

Or maybe it is just another day on the Fippy Darkpaw server.

Omens of War Complete on Fippy Darkpaw September 20, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest.
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I try to keep up with what is going on with the Fippy Darkpaw Time Locked Progression server.  I am trying to record major events just to keep some sort of record.  This is made difficult by the fact that I am not currently subscribed to EverQuest.  So I try to keep track by following the forums.  It is actually lucky for me that there have been issues with almost every expansion opening up, since that means that people post about it in the forums.

But I tend to miss other things, since the official SOE Progression Server Timeline has been broken since mid-March of this year.  That was my past source of information on things such as content completion.

Once in a while I catch a break though.  For example, over at the Fippy Darkpaw web site, an alternative forum dedicated to the server, they were good enough to announce that the Omens of War content gating the next unlock had been completed.

Wedneday, September 12 marked the defeat of Overlord Mata Muram, starting the clockdown timer for the Dragons of Norrath vote. Grats go to Citizen on this unlock, their first since server launch last February. Nicely done!

Now, if my math is correct, we’re due to see the DoN vote go live Sunday, November 11th. The vote needs to be up for seven days before it’s tallied, and will be tallied the following Monday, meaning the earliest unlock for DoN will happen early Monday morning, November 19th.

In the meantime, enjoy Omens of War!

So there it is, the Omens of War expansion was done in less than two days.  The expansion was supposed to unlock early on September 10th, but there was an issue which delayed it until later in the day. I guess the content wasn’t as hard this time around.

Quick Omens Indeed

As noted in the quote, the next expansion, Dragons of Norrath, looks to be on track for a mid-November unlock, should the voting go favorably.

And that leaves my list of Fippy Darkpaw server events as follows:

  • Fippy Darkpaw server goes live with classic EQ content, February 15, 2011
  • Classic EverQuest competed, February 24, 2011
  • Ruins of Kunark unlocked, June 6, 2011
  • Ruins of Kunark completed, June 19, 2011
  • Scars of Velious unlocked, August 29, 2011
  • Scars of Velious completed, September 14, 2011
  • Shadows of Luclin unlocked, November 21, 2011
  • Shadows of Luclin completed, December 4, 2011
  • Planes of Power unlocked, February 13, 2012
  • Lost Dungeons of Norrath unlocked, March 12, 2012
  • Legacy of Ykesah unlocked, March 12, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 7, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 21, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, June 4, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlocked at last, June 18, 2012
  • Omens of War unlocked, September 10, 2012
  • Omens of War content complete, September 12, 2012

So my next post about Fippy Darkpaw, barring any other server disasters, is a couple months out.

Omens of War Goes Live on Fippy Darkpaw September 11, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest.
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The time for another vote has come and gone and this time around Omens of War has passed and been unlocked on the Fippy Darkpaw server.

Sexy Omens Indeed

Of course, in the Fippy Darkpaw tradition, the event could not pass without issue.  While the expansion unlocked and went live on the Vulak server without a hitch, the unlock failed on Fippy and the polling system went into something of a reset state and wasn’t displaying the results.  This lead to the guilds vying for “first place” in downing bosses to bump into the content wall.

Piestro, who is officially back as the EverQuest community manager stepped in and at some point yesterday afternoon the expansion unlocked on Fippy Darkpaw.

With Omens of War, the expansion list is now on the cusp of the World of Warcraft era.  Released on September 14th of 2004, this was the last expansion SOE was to release while still king of the subscription MMO hill.  After that, EverQuest II launched on November 8th and World of Warcraft launched on November 23rd, and the great decline began.  EverQuest would be the king of the hill no more.

The Omens of War expansion brought with it a level cap increase of 5 level, boosting the ceiling up to 70, a ninth spell slot, purchasable with AA points, along with the title, task, and tribute systems.  Among the notable zones added was the Citadel of Anguish, which was considered to be the hardest raid event relative to player power/abilities so far in the game.

Meanwhile, the progression server timeline app on the EverQuest site appears to be officially and completely broken now, having reverted from displaying Planes of Power to classic EverQuest.

A fresh new server?

This was no doubt was cheered by the group that has taken over the progression server forums to demand a stop to progression and who continue to agitate for a “classic” server preserved in amber and never updated, though there appears to be no consensus as to where “classic” really ends.  That state appears to be somewhere between launch and the Gates of Discord expansions, but shifts depending on who is speaking.

The list of Fippy Darkpaw events now stands at:

  • Fippy Darkpaw server goes live with classic EQ content
  • Classic EverQuest competed, February 24, 2011
  • Ruins of Kunark unlocked, June 6, 2011
  • Ruins of Kunark completed, June 19, 2011
  • Scars of Velious unlocked, August 29, 2011
  • Scars of Velious completed, September 14, 2011
  • Shadows of Luclin unlocked, November 21, 2011
  • Shadows of Luclin completed, December 4, 2011
  • Planes of Power unlocked, February 13, 2012
  • Lost Dungeons of Norrath unlocked, March 12, 2012
  • Legacy of Ykesah unlocked, March 12, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 7, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 21, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, June 4, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlocked at last, June 18, 2012
  • Omens of War unlocked, September 10, 2012

The next stop on the Fippy Darkpaw expansion parade is Dragons of Norrath, which we ought to see show up before the end of the year… unless the Citidel of Anguish is still as hard as it once was.

Will Nostalgia Be Solely the Domain of EverQuest? July 30, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, World of Warcraft.
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The discussion of problems in the Progression server area of the EverQuest forums generally falls into two categories; specific issues and general issues.

Specific issues are things you probably expect.  A given NPC isn’t spawning or doesn’t drop the right item.  A specific quest is broken.  (Or in the case of the newbie armor quests, a whole bunch were broken.)  The Station Cash store is selling things that shouldn’t really be available.

These threads are generally not that interesting, unless the issue in question affects your play.

And then there are the general issues, which often boil down to “people are jerks.” (Which, I think is necessary for the authentic EverQuest experience.)  I find these much more interesting.  The topics can range from hacking to player behavior to the rate at which the various expansions are unlocked.  There was a good one started recently.

These threads bring out the various faction, which include those who want a server locked in time at some past expansion (though which expansion is always up for debate), those who see the whole thing as a race to be first to slay the key bosses and get geared up, and those who just want a taste of the “good old days,” along with various views in between.

And in those discussions, one of the points often brought up is what people think SOE should do for the NEXT round of progression servers.  People seem quite confident that there will be a next round.

This is because SOE seems to be quite happy playing the nostalgia card when it comes to EverQuest.

The path to nostalgia is paved with old textures

SOE plays up every anniversary.  They used the “hardcore heritage” as part of their marketing in the Living Legacy campaign.  And they have seen fit to roll up special servers in the past.  Fippy Darkpaw and Vulak are the second round of progression servers, the first being The Combine and The Sleeper, which showed up back in 2006.  And then there was that 51/50 server back in 2009.

Does any other company play the nostalgia card as vigorously as SOE does with EverQuest?

Yes, some games note the passing of anniversaries.  And there is a always a “come back and play” promotion going on for one MMO or another at any given moment of time.  But that seems to pale in comparison to the lengths to which the EverQuest Live team goes.

Then again, I think EverQuest might be in a unique spot when it comes to playing that card, and not just because it is old.  WoW is as old now as when EQ was when the first progression servers were kicked off.

EverQuest has all of those expansions, with 18 to date in its 13 year life.  While the expansion train started off slowly, it took a year to get to Kunark, after that SOE was dropping two expansions a year for quite a stretch, each with its own additions to the world of Norrath.  Every single one of those added zones to the game, and quite a few added levels or classes or races new game mechanics or some other change to the game.

At the time SOE seemed obsessed with getting out two expansions a year whether they worked or not.  Broken content certainly plagued them and caused problems in the community.  It wasn’t until WoW came along with its more stately expansion pace that SOE seemed to get the idea that less quantity and more quality might be a better plan.  And even then the pace was still one expansion a year.

In hindsight though, this crazy pace of expansions set EverQuest up nicely for the whole nostalgia/progression server role.  Each expansion was sold separately and required purchase to access the content.  So the game has 19 built-in layers of content, including classic, that can be opened up, each of which expands the world.

Which makes me wonder if anybody else could even pull off this sort of progression style server.

Is there an MMO out there that should be playing the nostalgia card?

Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot both seem ripe for the nostalgia treatment, if only EA were willing.  Have they done anything along that line?

EVE Online, with its single server and ongoing quality of life improvements, seems to have excluded itself from nostalgia.  Or does somebody really want to go back to the days before “warp to 0?” (I know somebody does.)

Blizzard seems to see World of Warcraft only as a going and growing concern, despite some subscription setbacks, and has no plans for nostalgia.  Plus they went and killed all the original content with Cataclysm, so setting up something like a classic server would take a lot more than just turning off the expansions.

EverQuest II is also getting old enough for nostalgia, but I think SOE will leave that card for its older brother.  EverQuest II’s role in the world seems to be to push the player tolerance envelope for ugly mounts.

Lord of the Rings Online… might be too young yet.  And how different would a server feel with Moria and beyond turned off?  Maybe if I had gotten further in the game I could answer that.

And even if these games rolled a server based on original content, it would likely have to follow constraints similar to those that SOE faced with EverQuest.  You might be able to play in the old world, but you would likely have to do so with class abilities from the current version of the game.

So what do you think about nostalgia focused MMO servers?

Who else should be playing the nostalgia card?

And is anybody in as good a position to do so as SOE is with EverQuest?

EverQuest Fippy Darkpaw Video Log #15 July 28, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest.
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One of the players on Fippy Darkpaw who goes by the handle RekMMO had been doing video logs about his time on the Fippy Darkpaw Time Locked Progression server.  After some time away, he is back and catching up with what has been going on.

Direct link here.

His series of videos is interesting to watch just to see the places he has been.  There are plenty of familiar sites.

He had been posting these video logs regularly until he took a break before Planes of Power.

He also posted an unofficial trailer for the Fippy Darkpaw server before it launched.

Gates of Discord Expansion Goes Live on Fippy Darkpaw At Last June 18, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest.
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It is time for another update on the Fippy Darkpaw Time-locked Progression Server.  I wrote this main portion of this post more than six weeks ago, assuming the first vote around Gates of Discord would go as all past votes, passing and letting those out in front of the pack get along with their race to finish.

And then, of course, the no votes prevailed, one, two, and then three times.

Finally though the high end raiding block got their act together… or the no vote coalition wandered off to do something else… and the vote passed both on Fippy Darkpaw and on Vulak.

Of course, things could not go completely smoothly.  The expansion opened up automatically on Vulak this morning, but did not do so on Fippy Darkpaw despite the results showing that votes for opening were the winning choice.  And so it was into the forums looking for answers as people speculated whether the “yes” vote won but did not clear the magic 51% requirement.

Piestro chimed in that he was checking up on the status.  We get pretty good service from him, considering he isn’t actually the EQ community manager any more.  A few hours later, he had good news for those waiting for the expansion.

Oil has been applied to the hinges. GoD should be open shortly if it is not already.

So where are we now?

When we last looked in on a new expansion going live on Fippy Darkpaw, it was part of a struggle to get the Lost Dungeons of Norrath and Legacy of Ykesha expansions to come online.

Those two expansion were… odd… at least in terms of the Progression Server.  They did not get their own launch, but we pushed out as lesser content during the Planes of Power time frame.  Originally they were set to unlock 15 days after the Planes of Power went live and 15 days after Rallos Zek was slain respectively (this happened the same day… Go Speed Racer!), which was how it went on the previous Progression Servers.  But that turned out to have changed and a vote was required and they didn’t go live until March 12th.

Of course, March 12th put the unlock in the midst of  a tumultuous week for EverQuest.  That was the week the game converted to the free to play model, just in time for its 13th birthday.

Among other things, the change to free to play broke the Fippy Darkpaw timeline display, as it still shows LDON and LoY as locked… well, they are not lit up despite some content being shown as completed… and nothing has updated since March 14th.

Timeline stuck in time

I hope SOE finds some time to fix the timeline at some point.  But for now it appears to be broken.  At least I got an acknowledgement from Piestro that they know it is broken, though there is no word on when it might get fixed.

All of which leads us to the Gates of Discord, possibly the most aptly named MMO expansion ever, all the more so given the voting drama, though I am sure some people would nominate Cataclysm.

Discord indeed!

But Cataclysm did not ship with broken and unbeatable content.  Nor did it represent as drastic a paradigm shift in game play.  With Gates of Discord, contested, open world raid content was a thing of the past.  Such content would be instanced going forward, a precursor to what people would see in WoW just 9 months down the road.

The one-two punch of broken content and instancing has been claimed to have set the stage for the migration of many players from EQ to WoW at the end of 2004.

That is a matter of history, something for others to debate.  In the here and now there is the usual call in the forums to vote against unlocking the expansion.  This has happened with every expansion except Kunark so far, though only with Gates of Discord did it actually come to pass.

The list of Fippy Darkpaw events now stands at:

  • Fippy Darkpaw server goes live with classic EQ content
  • Classic EverQuest competed, February 24, 2011
  • Ruins of Kunark unlocked, June 6, 2011
  • Ruins of Kunark completed, June 19, 2011
  • Scars of Velious unlocked, August 29, 2011
  • Scars of Velious completed, September 14, 2011
  • Shadows of Luclin unlocked, November 21, 2011
  • Shadows of Luclin completed, December 4, 2011
  • Planes of Power unlocked, February 13, 2012
  • Lost Dungeons of Norrath unlocked, March 12, 2012
  • Legacy of Ykesah unlocked, March 12, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 7, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 21, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, June 4, 2012
  • Gates of Discord unlocked at last, June 18, 2012

The next stop is Omens of War, the last EverQuest expansion before the dawn of the WoW era.

We should see the vote for Omens of War some time in mid-to-late August I would guess.

We shall see what comes to pass then.