It was no surprise a couple months back when enforced raid rotation reared its head on the Ragefire and Lockjaw time locked progressions servers. It is one of the rules of EverQuest that this must happen because one of the unsolvable problems of limited, contested open world content is that it will turn people into assholes, or at least strongly encourage those who are already assholes to remove all restraint on that aspect of their personality.
I would go so far as to contend that such an act on the part of SOE is fully in line with the whole EverQuest nostalgia experience.
Anyway, nobody would care except that it is bad for business. There is a whole code of conduct (where, among other items, you’re still specifically disallowed from impersonating an employee of Verant Interactive) and players complain about other groups behaving badly and it becomes a matter where the company generally has to intervene or suffer through the torture of a thousand tickets. Better just to nip the whole thing in the bud than to let things fester.
The surprise came this week when Daybreak announced that they were no longer going to enforce the raid rotation schedule.
They didn’t say raid rotation was bad. In fact, they praised the cooperation of the guilds in sticking to the raid rotation and encouraged them to continue and to play nice in the spirit of the community and that whole code of conduct thing. Daybreak just won’t be bringing down the hammer by suspending whole guilds for the actions of one member if there are problems with the rotation.
I have to wonder what caused the change of heart at Daybreak. I know it wasn’t any sort of “open world content is the best content” feeling since, as I have pointed out, they’ve been down this road enough times to know the folly of that idea.
It is possible that, a few months into the lives of the servers, that the raiding community has settled down and Daybreak feels that the point of crisis has passed. Or perhaps the opening of Ruins of Kunark on Ragefire has spread people out enough that the problem has been reduced. Or it could be that the customer service team, no doubt whittled down during the post acquisition layoffs, doesn’t want to have to spend time dealing with this particular issue. Certainly having players resolve their own disputes was a theme in the announcement. Maybe we will see them demanding an EverQuest version of the Drunder server so they can just banish their annoyances without having to actually ban their Daybreak account.
And, of course, people both cheered and complained when rotation enforcement was announced and they are both cheering and complaining now that it has been suspended. I suppose we shall just have to see how it all turns out.