On the bright side, I suppose it says something that a game past its 16th birthday can open a new server… a new server that requires you to be a subscriber in an age when free to play is the norm… and find it overloaded.
Seriously, when the Ragefire server went live yesterday at a little after 2pm PDT (at least half an hour before the plan) people were saying that the rush to get on was such that it was slagging the login servers and causing a problem across the game.
Still, people were getting in after a bit and there was a huge amount of goodwill right up until somebody noticed there were level 50 characters wandering the server.
The server was then locked and pretty much remained in that state going forward.
At one point the finger was being pointed at the Half-elf bards in particular as being problematic. If this were really SOE, it would have been rangers… and nobody would have noticed the problem because who rolls rangers in EQ after all the years of abuse?
The initial plan appeared to be to get in, delete the level 50s, clean up any items they might have handed off, patch whatever caused this to crop up, and just open up the server again.
This caused a good deal of outrage. With the server just up and fresh, it seemed better to the teeming masses that Daybreak just wipe the whole thing and start fresh, lest there forever be a taint on Ragefire. Why wouldn’t Daybreak just take the obvious path out of this situation?
Well, it appeared that, once again, we were getting hosed by the cash shop. According to the official post in the forums, the only downside listed to doing a wipe was that they would have to refund cash shop purchases, thus violating the eternal code of the con man, “Never give the mark his money back.”
We’re exploring the option of wiping the server. The benefit is it gives everyone a clean slate. The disadvantage of a wipe is it also clears all Marketplace purchases on the server.
-Roshen, Daybreak Forums
That there is a cash shop on the progression server rankles many, even if it is only supposed to be selling XP potions. And if they were fretting about cash shop purchases, I guess some people logged in, rolled up a character, and immediately bought some. So it was off on a search for a fix.
However, the fix wasn’t immediately forthcoming and people getting home from work or deciding to log in to see how things were going with the Ragefire server were continuing to have an impact.
At various points they were letting players on to the server again to check fixes, but for the most part it remained locked. Along the way the overall plan changed and a full player wipe became the officially stated goal once they had the problem addressed.
However, as the hours dragged on the team needed to call it a night. The server was up and down a few more times, but the official line eventually pointed to trying to start again fresh today as new issues cropped up, so we can hopefully look forward to another launch attempt this afternoon.
I was joking at one point about getting the fully authentic day one EverQuest experience with all of this, but for all the problems and crashes and disconnects and what not more than 16 years back, I was still able to actually play for a couple hours on that very first day. I was never amongst those who were able to get on Ragefire yesterday, so I went and tended my garrisons in World of Warcraft.
Still, this does seem to answer the musical question, “Who is this company that claims it used to be SOE?” Clearly there was some SOE showing through with them getting to the right answer only after having annoyed their audience with the wrong answer first. The Daybreak aspect seems to be an attempt to be SOE, just faster.
We shall see what happens today.
Addendum: Keen has his own look at the day, including a screenshot of the bards errant.
Also, it would be cool if Ragefire was added to the server status page. They managed to add the Beta server after all.