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