Previously it had been announced by Piestro, the EverQuest community manager at the time, that the next two expansions to come up on the Fippy Darkpaw time locked progression server would behave as they did on the previous progression servers.
(Those servers were The Combine and The Sleeper, if I remember correctly. All that history seems to have disappeared, which is part of the reason I am keeping track of the new servers here.)
That is to say, the Lost Dungeons of Norrath expansion would unlock automatically 15 days after the Planes of Power went live and the Legacy of Ykesha would unlock 15 days after Rallos Zek was slain for the first time.
Both of those events happened on February 13, 2012. So there was an expectation that both expansions would go live on February 28.
As I posted here previously, they did not.
After a long thread, with the usual arguments (no such thread is complete until somebody chimes in that “expansion X” should never get unlocked, along with the paired duo of “Sony is always right” and “Sony is always fail”), the latest EverQuest community manager, Naylie, passed on an explanation of the issue.
I spoke with Development and apparently we were a little confused on how this unlock was going to happen.
These two unlocks should happen the same as the other expansion unlocks. If enough yes votes happen, both expansions should unlock on March 12, 2012.
This change of tune got some groans and a bit of fist shaking, but at least there was an answer. After a bit more grumbling, people went back to their routines.
There was a bit of worry about the vote itself, since the expansion being voted on (two expansions really, LDON and Ykesha), was not listed on the ballot, just the generic “unlock the next expansion” verbiage. This caused some to fear that people would think the vote was for the Gates of Discord expansion and that they might mistakenly vote against it. (GoD was, for some guilds, the “let’s go beta test WoW” expansion, and marked the end of growth and the beginning of decline for EverQuest.)
Though, frankly, no vote has gone against unlocking so far, so I am not so sure how valid those worries were. Then again, there was at least one new thread agitating for a no vote because it was assumed to be the Gates of Discord.
And then on March 11, the day before the expected unlock, another vote came up. As usual, there was only the generic “next expansion” verbiage, so it was not clear if this was a vote on The Gates of Discord, a re-vote on LDON, a separate vote of Ykesha, or just some error condition.
This was followed up on March 12 by a lack of voting results and/or expansion unlocks.
A thread on the forum ensued. There has been, up to the point in time when I initially posted this, no response.
And the chance of a timely response seems pretty thin for two reasons.
First, this week EverQuest anniversary week, with the game turning 13 this coming Friday. That means store specials and in-game events, none of which apply to the progression servers, so community team eyes will be focused elsewhere.
Second, this is the month that EverQuest is supposed to go free to play. When the free to play transition was announced back at the end of January, the timeline for the change was given at “early March.”
I think we have passed the point which most people would consider “early” in March. (If you want to find out more, you can click here.) We will shortly be at the aforementioned 13th anniversary, a date mentioned in the free to play announcement as one of the first post free to play events.
So I would imagine that the EverQuest team is very focused on the business model transition to the exclusion of almost anything else at this point.
And free to play is one thing that won’t touch the progression servers. As noted in the details of the subscription matrix for free to play, players will be required to have a traditional, or Gold under the new terminology, subscription in order to participate on the progression servers. A nostalgic model for a nostalgia driven server. And, of course, the progression servers won’t have the selection of items from the Station Store either, so the model makes sense. But it means that the progression servers won’t be getting much attention and are, in fact, probably being cursed by some programmer at this very moment who is having to add in or maintain a series of conditional statements just to keep those servers as close to the nostalgic idea as SOE can manage.
So the time locked progression servers are not the highest priority on SOE’s list of things to do this week.
Meanwhile, the Vulak server (see, I do remember them now and again) is running a couple weeks behind Fippy Darkpaw and no doubt want to see how this gets resolved if only to get an idea of when they might get access to LDON and LoY.