Daily Archives: January 30, 2012

The End of EverQuest for Macintosh – Old School has been Dismissed

Hidden away in the EverQuest free to play FAQ is a mention of the EverQuest Al’Kabor server. (Question 16, since I cannot link to it directly.)

Al’Kabor is the server that supports the Macintosh version of EverQuest, and may be the only true old shool version of the game available. (Today’s theme is SOE and “old school”)  The server is currently still on the Planes of Power expansion and has seen only technical updates since then.

The FAQ points to a forum post about the impeding demise of the Al’Kabor server.

The amazing journey that has been EverQuest: Macintosh Edition has created an untold number of adventures, and bonds between its players that will last far beyond the years of the game. As the saying goes, however, all good things must come to an end, and so the time has come for the Al’Kabor server.

On Thursday, March 29, 2012, the Al’Kabor server and the EverQuest: Macintosh Edition will be closing. EverQuest: Macintosh Edition has had a wonderful run, seeing an incredible tightly-knit community band together to accomplish feats of heroism that remain unsurpassed in the annals of MMORPGs. Overcoming the challenges of the Planes of Power in their near original form is not a task for those who are not dedicated to victory, and we here at SOE are in awe of your dedication and commitment.

We know you will have many questions about what this means, and we have prepared this FAQ in an effort to answer some of these questions. During the remaining weeks we will also be enjoying some time in game with you, the players of Al’Kabor, both to see if the final raids in the Planes can be completed before the final days of EverQuest: Macintosh Edition and to celebrate the community that has kept this game strong throughout the years. Please keep an eye out on the Official EverQuest: Macintosh Edition sub-forum so that we can communicate with you the days and times when we will be joining you in game.

Thank you all again, and we hope that we can join you in fond remembrance of the unique and wonderful experience that has been EverQuest: Macintosh Edition.

And thus the last hold outs in the SOE old school will be disbanded.  This and the entry about the Time Locked Progression servers in the FAQ (Question 15) seems to indicate that old school and free to play do not mix.

There is also a FAQ in the forums, which I will include after the cut.

Continue reading

EverQuest Goes Free to Play This March

This just in from the EQ Players site, we have a further answer to my question about what other SOE titles will go free to play.

Hello everyone – I hope you all are doing well early on in the New Year! With an exciting Veil of Alaris expansion just released in November, we’re thrilled to announce the next big adventure for EverQuest®. After listening to your feedback and suggestions over the past few years, I’m happy to announce that in early March 2012, EverQuest will be going free-to-play.

We’re excited to be expanding the EverQuest experience by making the game more accessible to every type of player so that you can choose to play the game in a way that suits you best. Anyone who wishes to start, return or continue to play one of the “Best Games of All-Time” can simply download and play EverQuest on their terms – think of it as Free to Play, Your Way. Recurring subscriptions, non-recurring subscriptions, Silver or Free memberships, item unlockers, and more. The game will now be setup to be flexible so that *you* can decide how much to pay, based on how much fun you’re having.

EverQuest players are some of the most loyal, long-standing players of any MMO in existence. With the gaming landscape changing every day, we want to ensure we continue to evolve the game to keep players engaged and bring in even more new players to further expand the community. With no up-front costs or required membership, we might see a new player or two along the way, and more people is always a good thing!

Once we go free-to-play, here are some of the upcoming features and events you can expect:

  • On Friday, March 16th, EverQuest becomes a teenager: 13 years old!!! We will be having some extra added events in the game starting that week leading up to that Friday and we’re introducing some new items within POK to let you know what’s in store.
  • With the free-to-play launch, a renovated everquest.com website will be unveiled and after that, we will bring you upgraded EQPlayers pages.
  • We have improved the functionality of our Map system! Some improvements include being able to view appropriate level content for your character on the map, allowing you to find zone lines much easier; and also showing you your wisps on the map to help navigate to where you want to go!

Also at the free-to-play launch, all players will receive a Welcome Pack containing items to add to your gameplay experience. You’ll be able to summon a unique Mercenary to fight by your side and we’re including some Bayle Marks to help pay for the services of your newly summoned Mercenary. A couple of Experience Potions are also included to help you increase your experience gained while adventuring. For all the collectors that like to show off all the great wares to your friends, we’re giving you an item to display in your home and add to your collection. And finally, you’ll be able to customize the appearance of one of your weapons with a Weapon Ornamentation – also included in the Welcome Pack. So be sure to check the claim window for your free gifts.

We, the EverQuest dev team, are very excited about this new flexible system. Free-To-Play is the best fit for EverQuest and we are looking forward to supporting the game and our dedicated fans for years to come. This is a great year for everyone associated with EverQuest and SOE. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what’s coming in 2012.

One last note, we will be doing a Community Webcast on Thursday February 2, 2012 covering all of the exciting free-to-play details. Please be sure to send in any questions you might have via the Facebook page or Twitter so we can respond with answers during the Webcast.

See you in game very soon!

Thom Terrazas
EverQuest Producer
AKA “Phathom”

Well, my Station Access just expired and it looks like I won’t need it any further to get my bits of nostalgia.

There is a Free/Silver/Gold feature matrix available, similar to the one for EverQuest II, and a frequently asked questions list.  I wonder how many loopholes they forgot this time around?

Now, how soon until they announce Vanguard is going free to play?  And then what else is left?  Can PlanetSide and EQOA stand alone on the subscription model?

Why Isn’t Vanguard Overrun By Those Seeking an “Old School” MMO?

If all the people who wish there was an MMO like MMOs used to be would stop wringing their hands and go play Vanguard, maybe it would get that expansion. Even without one, it remains very close to the best MMO there’s ever been.

Bhagpuss, in a comment at We Fly Spitfires

Oh Vanguard, saga of more than heroes, negative example cited by many.

Here it is, the twin fifth anniversary of the launch of both Vanguard and Microsoft Vista.  And what a pair they are, mirror images of, if not failure, then certainly a failure to meet expectations.  Both sold moderately well, though in ways that did not help them in the long run.

Play Vanguard - Ride a Dragon

Dell, for example, made money selling machines with Vista and then charging a fee to revert them back to Windows XP.  And didn’t Vanguard sell something like 90,000 boxes right off the mark? [242,000 boxes sold according to Wikipedia. Thank you Bhagpuss.]

And then Sigil offering up a mea culpa about the game problems in April then and handing the whole thing over to SOE by May.

I know having played in the beta I was dubious when Sigil announced their launch date, which was both too early and square in the teeth of the first WoW expansion.  And very soon after launch I was pondering how they were going to get out of their mess.

And after the launch… and after SOE took over the game… there was the long march back to sanity and, in some ways, away from the vision.  Server merges.  Graphic revamps.  Bug fixes.  Making the game playable took a while.

But here we are, five years later.  The game is as “fixed” as it is ever going to be.  It is available, stable, and five years down the road you likely have a machine that can run it.

So why isn’t Vanguard the focus of players looking for an old school experience?  Why is something like EverQuest, which is coming up on its 13 year anniversary and which, in many ways, has abandoned many of the old school difficulties, still more popular?

My theory is that many of those seeking such an experience really have something specific in mind.  I suspect that they do not, in fact, seek an old school experience, but rather long to experience their first game as it was when they played it initially.  Basically, I think they want an old school experience in their old school, not in some new world.

And so Vanguard is not regarded as a viable option.  Relatively few people have nostalgia for the game.  I would be willing to bet that the EverQuest progression servers were more popular by themselves when they went live than Vanguard as a whole.

Why do you think, five years after launch, Vanguard isn’t the target of players claiming to seek an old school experience?  The bad launch?  The system requirements?  Too small of a player base with nostalgia for the game?

Anyway, Bhagpuss has a post up celebrating the Vanguard fifth anniversary, which along with his comment quoted above made me think about what will become of the game.