The First EverQuest II Progression Server is Coming to an End

Just a little over three years ago I was writing about the launch of the Stormhold and Deathtoll servers, Daybreak’s first run at the time locked progression server idea with EverQuest II.

That is Daybreak’s graphic for the idea

The idea has been an ongoing success for EverQuest, but there was still an outstanding question as to whether or not the original was uniquely qualified for that sort of thing of if Daybreak could make the magic happen with the never-quite-a-successor.

There had been polls and a bunch of details about what to expect when it launched.

Missing from my lauch day post was the last minute surprise about Daybreak bringing back the Isle of Refuge as the starting zone for the new servers.

Subscribers Only

I was excited to see how this played out and signed up to give it a try.  However, like the game at launch, going back to something akin to its origins wasn’t a very satisfying solo affair.  Like a lot of my EverQuest memories, my good times in EverQuest II were as part of a guild that played together.  Wandering solo at a slow pace meant not keeping up with expansion unlocks and the mass of players, so I did not stick with it for too long.

I kept an eye on the news as things progressed through the first few expansions, but even that tapered off after a while.

I was still watching when Deathtoll, the PvP server, was shut down due to low population, ending the history of PvP servers for the game save for the Russian server.  It was gone before the Echoes of Faydwer expansion was up for a vote.

After that I didn’t hear much about it and didn’t pay it much mind.  Daybreak did other special servers, the Race to Trakanon event server, the Free Trade server, and the second round time locked server, which opened a little over a year ago, Fallen Gate.

Today, however, I saw some news about the Stormhold server.  It has apparently run its course.  Unlike the many expansions of EverQuest, which has kept the Fippy Darkpaw server, which launched in February 2011 (last time line here), up and running with things to unlock to this very day, the plan for Stormhold only had a dozen transitions planned.  Even at a leisurely four unlocks a year, possible with the short voting windows, Stormhold could have easily run its course by now.

And so, come September 4th of this year, the Stormhold server will be merged into the Antonia Bayle server.

I am curious as to why they chose that server.  It used to be the popular server, the cool kids server, where events and such happened.  It was the server that was passed over when server merges hit the other live servers back in November of 2015.  But now it seems to be in need of a bit of a population boost.

Of course, this is just my sort of luck.  When the server merges happened before no two servers that I had characters on were merged together.  The server count went from ten to four and I still had characters on three different live servers.  Well, now it will be four.  I have a couple of characters on Stormhold and soon they will be on Antonia Bayle.  Just what I needed.

3 thoughts on “The First EverQuest II Progression Server is Coming to an End

  1. Bhagpuss

    I sorta, kinda know what’s going on here. I’d have to go fact check to be sure so take this as approximate…

    Stormhold was announced to be closing and merging with Antonia Bayle over a year ago. Characters on there were given the option to move in advance of the closedown but if they didn’t they go to AB. You can see the discussions going on about it in this thread from August 2017

    The reason was the runaway success of Fallen Gate, the newer TLE server. In keeping with the EQ experience, the later iterations of the progression concept were superior to the early ones and players acted accordingly. With almost everyone who was interested having started over on FG, DBG decided Stormhold had run its course.

    They didn’t shut it down, though. They left it up and running and I’ve played on it several times since. Last time I was on a global /who all returned five results. It’s been effectively dead for a year. I have no idea why they haven’t formally completed the funeral rites before now.

    The reason Ant. Bayle was chosen as the destination server is that during the earlier set of server merges, when AB was the busiest server, it didn’t get merged with anyone, Somehow – I can’t remember the details – that ended with AB becoming the least-populated server. Looking at DBG’s server status page right now (EU primetime), the busier servers (Medium load) are Halls of Fate, Maj’Dul and Thurgadin. Ant. Bayle is Low (as is Fallen Gate – I don’t know if that suggests the interest in TLE is flat across the board now – I never played there so I have no feel for the numbers).

    Ant. Bayle was crying out for DBG to do something about their precipitate decline so I imagine sending the Stormhold remnants there was intended to throw them a bone. The general feeling on SH seemed to be that people wanted to go to Fallen Gate but that wasn’t allowed. Whether there’s anyone left now to care I very much doubt.

    I’m going to let my one character go to AB because I’ve never played there and I’d like to see if it’s any different. I wonder if they have any more special rules servers in the works, like Race to Trakanon? Perhaps they finally got around to closing Stormhold because they need the hardware for something new.


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I seem to remember something along those lined coming up last year. But I never go into the forums, so mostly depend on the community team leaving their lair to actually post news on the main site. Anyway, I thought it was worth noting and, of course, found a way to bring up all the other special servers I could remember.

    I still want to know when Fippy Darkpaw is going to get merged into live on the EQ side though. I was half surprised to find it still going when I double checked that.


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