*** Progression Servers ***
– Fixed a problem that could cause an expansion to open without a vote.
From the EQ Test Server Patch Notes
From what I have seen, the Dragons of Norrath expansion was fully unlocked and accessible on the Fippy Darkpaw server by the morning of November 13th, so I will mark that for my unofficial timeline. As I mentioned in my previous post on the subject, no unlock vote was taken for the expansion, and no word has come from SOE about what happened, but it looks like the unlock will stand and there will be no roll back for a vote.
Meanwhile, it was reported in the forums that the pre-unlock message for the next expansion, Depths of Darkhollow, had been seen on the Vulak server. There had been no vote up for that and I have no idea if it went any further than just a message.
There was, however, a poll taken on Vulak and Fippy Darkpaw about the unlock timer settings. Currently unlock votes are set to be taken 60 days after specific content from an expansion has been defeated for the first time. The result of the poll was that a majority of respondents wanted that 60 day time frame increased. There has been no word on when that will come to pass, though there will likely be another poll to determine how long the delay between content complete and a vote should be.
Of course, this is likely to please very few.
Voices from the raider factions claim that the repeated no votes on the Gates of Discord expansion unlock sent a good chunk of their population away, never to return. Longer delays between expansions will not make their lot in life any better.
On the flip side, the constantly posting and ever unrealistic “I want to turn the progression server into a classic server” faction has been trying to slow down votes since day one. And while there are many sub-factions within that group that want things to stop at one expansion or another, I am pretty sure that Dragons of Norrath is not high on anybody’s list as a classic server setting.
And in the midst of all of this, SOE has been saying… nothing.
There hasn’t been a word from anybody about what is going on. The only thing approaching an official response has been from SOE-MOD-02, who comes in to shut down duplicate threads on subjects being discussed.
This is something of an irksome bit for me because, while I realize that the EQ team is in the midst of launching the Rain of Fear expansion, which is slated to come out next week, the population of the time locked progression servers represents paying customers. You have to have a gold account in order to play on the TLP servers, so this is a population of SOE’s best customers, and they are being left to stew and squabble amongst themselves.
Must mishandled customer relations ever be the SOE hallmark?
So, with a great big sigh and a rolling of eyes skyward, I am going to call to a halt my attempts to try and track the progress of the second round of time locked progression servers. It has been difficult to do since I stopped playing on the servers, which honestly happened back during Ruins of Kunark, and has gotten more so as time has gone on and the population on the servers has dwindled.
I am not going to renounce doing any more posts on the subject of these servers. In fact, I can foresee at least two more such posts. One will be when the Fippy Darkpaw and Vulak servers get merged, and the other will be when the remaining server, which will likely be the more populous Fippy Darkpaw server, gets merged into one of the standard EverQuest Live servers, thus ending this round of progression servers.
I suspect that both of those events will be easy enough to spot and will help me round out my timeline.
But I am not going to spend time watching forums, emailing people, asking people to log onto the server to check polls, or otherwise spend time trying to tease out information that simply does not get posted anywhere.
But even with the community squabbles and the opportunities that SOE missed to use this server as a community building tool, it has been a grand experiment to my mind. A flawed, irksome, neglected, forgotten in the back of the closet for months at a time experiment that often represented the triumph of reality over dreams and nostalgia, but a worthwhile one none the less.
For what really turned out to be just a few weeks for Potshot and I, it was a misty water colored reflection of the game we played in 1999 that brought out both its benefits and its flaws.
I played in the snow. We read graffiti the Qeynos sewers. We went to Blackburrow. We camped bandits in West Karana. We ran to Freeport. We delved in Najena. I got stuck in the Ocean of Tears. We died in Unrest. We sailed on Lake Rathetear. And we ended up on Kerra Island and then in Runnyeye.
It was a decent nostalgia tour that let us relive many fond memories.
All of the posts related to this are under the Fippy Darkpaw tag if you want to review.
So, with that, I give you my timeline of the Fippy Darkpaw server so far with, as I said, the intent of updating it at least two more times.
- Fippy Darkpaw server goes live with classic EQ content, February 15, 2011
- 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
- Omens of War unlocked, September 10, 2012
- Omens of War content complete, September 12, 2012
- Dragons of Norrath unlocked without a vote, November 13, 2012
I expect in a few years we will see the EverQuest Progression servers, round three. Despite the problems, nostalgia pays.
Will you be there?