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.
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.
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.
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.