I know I’m being somewhat high strung, but the whole “legendary server” thing sticks in my throat a bit. I’ve seen enough other runs at this sort of thing and the effort here seems low.
And not low effort just compared to the amazing plans for WoW Classic or how Jagex handled RuneScape Classic or the work Daybreak has put into its progression servers for EverQuest and EverQuest II. I think even Trion did more with Rift Prime, and they were on the edge of going out of business.
But you get what you get. Maybe success here will inspire further refinements later.
A Legend in our own PR
There are enough good things with the server that I’ll get over the hubris of the word “legendary” at some point. A fresh start server has its own potential. All the early zones full of people will be nice to see. And there is something to be said about a subscriber only server. As with the Daybreak runs, you end up with a crowd that really wants to be there.
And we do get at least one change to differentiate the server. According to SSG, the experience gain will be adjusted in order to slow it down a bit.
Yes, you will gain XP on the Legendary server at a slightly different rate. The goal is to make sure you don’t outlevel quests in a given zone too easily, but that progress through the game also isn’t cumbersome.
This is another item of fine balance, because the standard live server XP slope leaves you outleveling zones long before you’re through. This is understandable in an older game with so many levels where people are often running alts up. But now we’re only going to level 50 and everybody will be on their main and there to see the old sights.
However, it would be easy to crank that meter over too far, ending up with advancement that feels like a slog or, worse, the quest chain leveling faster than the player. We’ll have to see how that goes.
The server itself has been christened Anor, after a small town in northern France… wait, no… it is named after the sun… Anor is the Sindarin word for the sun. No doubt SSG has bright hopes for the server, thus the name.
The whole thing is set to open up at 17:00 UTC, which is noon on the east coast of the US and about fifteen minutes ago out here on the left coast, assuming it launched on time and this post went up when scheduled. So if you’re hearing about this server for the first time now, you’re already late!
Also, if you haven’t patched yet… yeah, you’re not playing any time soon. The LOTRO patcher is just awkwardly slow. It isn’t Runes of Magic bad, but it isn’t anybody’s ideal world. I installed and launched Destiny 2, which weighs in at 81GB, about 5x faster that the last LOTRO update patched.
Anyway, I’ll be trying to log in later in the evening Pacific time, so I won’t have anything to report today. But that won’t stop me from pondering the likelihood of what might happen today.
- Server Opens Late – Very Likely
If SSG has the server live at exactly 17:00 UTC I might concede them the legendary title.
- DDoS Attack Keeps People from Logging In – Minuscule
Who hates Middle-earth that badly?
- Login Queue over an Hour Long – Almost Assured
There will be the traditional rush for the server when it goes live, and the load will continue to rise as we get into US prime time.
I suspect that this might be the highest load on a LOTRO server since they went free to play.
- Patching Slows to a Crawl – Quite Possible
There is going to be a lot of people patching, and SSG just pushed a big update last week.
- Patching Fails Altogether – Probably Not
I’m going out on a limb on this, because the patcher and the whole LOTRO web site was down for over an hour last night. I’m assuming they were just working on something to prepare for the launch.
- Starter Zone Crashes – Unlikely
I think SSG is pretty solid here, though for the Shire I might go even odds.
- Hobbit with Immersion Breaking, Semi-Obscene Name – You Think?
I’d honestly be disappointed if that didn’t happen.
- Starter Zones Denuded of Quest Mobs – Mais Oui!
Yeah, this is just gonna happen. Be ready and patient.
- Somebody Gets to Level 50 by Tomorrow – Of Course
Only if they don’t get there by tonight. Don’t pay them any mind. They’re just going to have to roll another character anyway if they want to play with other people.
- Calls in the forum for a second server due to crowds and queues – No Doubt
Pretty much standard item from the checklist for this sort of server event.
- SSG actually rolling out a second server – Very Low
I don’t think SSG has that in their plans.
- SSG Web Site Down – Possible
It is down as I am writing this the night before.
SSG has done a poor job at getting the word out, but those who pay attention to the game have mostly seem to have heard by now.
- Drop in Population on Live Servers – Of Course
Most of the people interested in this server are probably already playing LOTRO. Over at Daybreak their progression servers are their most popular.
- Complaints about the server in world chat – A Sure Thing
The problem with calling it “legendary” is that is that it sets an expectation that it might be something more than what is on offer. And people won’t read the announcement and FAQ. Just mute world chat. That is my plan.
- Waiting for the Weekend and Being Happy Logging In – Seems Likely
Seems like the best plan for anybody not ready to run the gauntlet, though the following weekend will make it even easier to get on quickly I bet.