Facebook Ad for a Pirate EverQuest Server

Or private server, if you prefer.

I am not sure which is technically more correct, but when in doubt I always go with “pirate” in a headline when I have a choice.

There is, and has been for almost a decade, a private EverQuest server community out there based on an open source EverQuest server emulator called EQEmu.

I have no idea what SOE thinks of this.

Certainly, if this project were emulating World of Warcraft, lawyers would have been involved almost right away.  And Sony itself is no stranger to litigation to protect its interests, real and perceived, so I find it interesting that these servers have been running for as long as they have been.

But I have to imagine that part of the implied truce between the emulator community and SOE, if such a thing can be said to exist, is that the private server community keep a low profile.

So I was a bit surprised to see this ad on Facebook.

Okay, it is just a Facebook ad and not, say, a billboard planted on the 805 at the Miramar Rd. exit.

No, not this at all

But it is an ad.  And it is no doubt a targeted ad set to display to those who have “liked” EverQuest on Facebook.

Certainly the Shards of Dalaya picked an opportune time, and not on accident I am sure, because right about now anybody who likes EverQuest sure isn’t playing EverQuest… at least not with SOE.

And even Sony’s legal department is probably tied up with more pressing issues.  There are a lot of government entities out there who are demanding answers from Sony right now.  They will be busy for months to come.

So maybe this is a canny move by a private server to get a few more players.

But that assumes that my theory about a need to keep a low profile is true.

Does anybody know what SOE’s stance is towards these servers, the people who run them, and those who choose to play on them?

18 thoughts on “Facebook Ad for a Pirate EverQuest Server

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Apropos of nothing, I thought I would mention that I wrote down Freeway interchange near SOE first (my sister lives up the freeway a ways and I’ve skulked outside SOE HQ before) and then was amazed to find that Wikipedia had a picture of it.

    Odd that they should, now that I think about it, but it worked out for me.

    Like

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    I honestly have no idea what they offer, though I am pretty sure it isn’t the latest content. No housing, for example.

    One of the big issues I read about in the three minutes of research I did was the need to get the right version of the EverQuest client. The current version will not do.

    Like

  3. Angry Gamer

    I’ll tell ya what SOE thinks of it…

    “Gee great by the time we get the hacker crap cleaned up… all our players will be stuffed full with trojans, back doors, and malware by playing on this pirate crap server stuff…”

    Talk about extending the end of this to infinity… and scaring the execs nightmares of bottomless money pits.

    These types of things might really tip SOE over the abyss. As I’ve alluded to before this was a multi-vector attack and you CAN compromise clients as easily as servers.

    Like

  4. James

    FWIW, there is/was a SWG private server that was going to run the last pre-NGE version. Obviously they reached some sort of truce with SOE/LucasArts, otherwise I’m sure someone’s lawyers would have been mailbombing the owners of said server with “cease and desist” letters.

    Like

  5. Justin

    Shards of Dalaya has been around for a very long time 6+ years maybe even longer. They have a very heavily customized version of EQ. I haven’t played there for years, but when I was there, very little of what you expect out of EQ was present there.

    I do remember that they made all pants go in both LEGS and HEAD slots, which was a big bonus.

    Like

  6. Tipa

    I asked some CM or other about this when I was writing a Shards of Delaya article awhile back, and was told they knew of SoD, but had no comment.

    Shards of Delaya is unique among the private EQ community in that they use the client-side assets of EverQuest, but none of the backend code. The quests, NPCs, even the zone connections are entirely different. For instance, Plane of Nightmare B is, in SoD, the tutorial zone. In EQ, it’s the first raid zone in the Planes of Power progression, home of Terris Thule.

    There are other EQ servers which try to duplicate the old quests, NPCs and everything else. I don’t think any private server is actually running SOE code, but they are certainly violating copyrights if they try to duplicate server-served content.

    Like

  7. Xoduz

    MMO server emulators have existed since before Ultima Online launched (the first one turned up during UO’s beta, and for a while after the UO launch, it even used the real UO authentication servers to verify that you had an active UO account), and you can find them for pretty much any MMO – including World of Warcraft (and Hello Kitty Online!)

    As for trojans, malware, backdoors and other nefarious stuff – I’m prepared to bet any amount of money that there is much less of that in the server emulator communities than is floating around in the “official” MMO communities, hidden in various addons, UI modifications and other third party softwares.

    Like

  8. bhagpuss

    The test case on this was the Winter’s Roar server, which was shut down in 2005 after a “Cease and Desist” order from Sony.

    http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=378698

    If I recall correctly, Winter’s Roar was the biggest, most successful emulated EQ server of its day and there was some kid of fee for playing on it. The money aspect probably got the lawyers involved.

    Since then there has been a lot of maneuvering in the grey space between what’s not technically illegal and what’s not worth the time and trouble of litigation and poor P.R.

    I’ve read at least one interview where someone from SoE was asked direct questions about Project 1999 and stonewalled with a kind of “I can’t endorse it but if they can do it it’s pretty amazing” kind of reply. Unfortunately I can’t Google that interview up.

    I wouldn’t play on an emu server as long as there was even one legal EQ server available but if, as was discussed, Sony closed SoE down and abandoned the Everquest franchise, then I might well give a private server a go. Or even download the emulator and try and set up a really private server just for me and Mrs Bhagpuss and invited guests.

    Is there an EQ2 emu scene?

    Like

  9. Shane

    Emulation has been around for a long time, and it doesn’t really look like there’s much that Companies like Sony and Blizzard can really do about it, or are at least are prepared to risk the legal expenses tackling.

    While we hear about Blizzard’s campaign to shut down private servers, the truth of the matter is that they’ve only really gone after 1 server directly, and that was a very unique case due to the amount of money that ScapeGaming was generating in revenue.

    I’ve been a part of the WoW emulation scene for more than 5 years, and in that time, Blizzard has never gone after the people developing the projects.

    Back in December of 2008, they went after a bunch of the larger private servers, but again, they didn’t do that directly, but instead targeted the commercial host (Soft Layer) that was being used by many of the servers. Most of these servers were only down for the length of time it took them to get themselves setup on a new host.

    I haven’t personally played on any EQ privates in the past, but I have friends that have been playing on various servers for years, and they’ve never really complained about the experience.

    I’ll also second Xoduz about the malicious software type thing. I’ve never run into anything in all my years mucking around with various emulators. Actually, the risk to the player is very minimal, since in the vast majority of cases, the player isn’t downloading anything at all to play on these servers, and is simply editing configuration files that were created by the game installer and pointing the client to a new server. In most cases, the only thing players have to do out-of-game is visit that server’s website and fill out a basic account creation form.

    Like

  10. bhagpuss

    @Justin I didn’t know that and it’s very interesting. What did they do to change the set-up to avoid Sony taking them down again?

    Like

  11. Justin

    @bhagpuss

    I’m honestly not sure what they had to change. From a user’s point of view, the URL and Server Name changed, but everything else was still the same. I’m pretty sure even characters persisted between the two. Tho I’m not 100% on that point, it was a long time ago.

    Like

  12. Anonymous

    @bhagpuss

    a take down order is written to be specific to the site / hosting / server where the material is at the time of the order.

    Standard dodge is to move your content to “newURL.com” and keep business as usual.

    Typically these operations are hosted in countries where enforcement of these notices is difficult.

    It’s worth noting that takedowns are a civil court matter in the US/EU etc… so it’s not a criminal matter until you get a judgment for damages etc. THEN you attempt to collect against the company or it’s hosting / network provider.

    This process is real fun in places like Russia and China etc

    Like

  13. Woldaff

    Hello! I am the owner of Shards of Dalaya.

    First, we actually are Winter’s Roar – we just decided to take the game in our own direction instead of copying Everquest as we were doing as WR.

    Also as for the legality of our server since we do not make *any* money and do not provide the client we are basically a “mod” of the game and are arguably under fair use in the US. We are based outside of the US though in a location that game mods are very much fair use.

    We are not nefarious! We are a basically a new game utilizing the old everquest client. The staff is a group of people who are passionate about making a great game in our spare time utilizing the (mostly) awesome tools that the everquest client gives us.

    I would be happy to answer any questions!

    Like

Voice your opinion... but be nice about it...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s