Darkpaw Announces and Adjusts Plans for the Rizlona and Aradune Time Locked Progression Servers

Sometimes it pays to wait a bit after Daybreak announces something as they are a company that is willing to change their mind in front of a live studio audience.

That can be a good thing.  As I said back in the SOE days, they do try to get to the right answer.  The problem is that their starting point does seem oddly wrong at times.  I don’t think this was necessarily one of those times, but feedback did seem to change their minds.

This all has to do with the Rizlona and Aradune time locked progression servers that were announced as part of the ramp up to the EverQuest 21st anniversary celebration.  This week we got a target date and some more information about the plans for those servers.

Coming this month

The rules were posted and seemed both restrictive and a bit confused.

The restrictive aspect was the plan to stop both servers at the Planes of Power expansion after unlocking an expansion every three months.  That was a plan similar to the Agnarr server that launched back in 2017, which was advertised as a “PoP Locked” server, and which hit that end point back in 2018.

That seemed like a reasonable idea back then, an attempt to recreate something like the locked in time spirit that rose up around the now seven years gone Al’Kabor server that hosted the EverQuest for Macintosh community.  But I am not sure they need to reboot that idea every few years, and not with two servers.

But they changed their mind on that and now neither server will be “PoP Locked.”

They also announced that both servers were to be “GM Dedicated” servers, the meaning of which I’ll just quote:

Rizlona and Aradune are GM dedicated servers, this means they will be more visible on your server and petition queues will go direct to them. It is possible that there will be instances where other GMs may assist when available but most will go to your specific GMs. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more about your server’s GMs!

I remember a time when GMs were pretty visible in EQ, so maybe they are trying to revive that era again.

And then there is the confusing bit… or at least the bit that is confusing to me.  The full titles of the two new servers are:

  • Aradune Truebox Dedicated Progression
  • Rizlona Boxed Dedicated Progression

In the parlance of past severs, “truebox” means no multi-boxing at all, while “boxed” is a new one on me, but at least implies that they will allow some for of multi-boxing.  But then there are the rule sets described for the two:

Aradune Ruleset:

  • Mangler XP Progression
  • Agents of Change Enabled
  • Pick Zones Enabled

By playing on Aradune you agree to:

  • Absolutely No Automated/Unintended Game-play, any incident of automated gameplay is immediate suspension, second offence is ban including Aradune associated accounts.
  • Boxing any more than 2 characters will result in the following actions taken against your account. First Offence: A written warning from the GM. Second Offence: A 7 day suspension of account privileges on all Aradune related accounts. Third Offence: Permanent ban on all Aradune associated accounts.

Rizlona Ruleset:

  • Mangler XP Progression
  • Agents of Change Enabled
  • Pick Zones Enabled

By playing on Rizlona you agree to:

  • Absolutely No Automated/Unintended Game-play, any incident of automated gameplay is immediate suspension, second offence is ban including Rizlona associated accounts.

Does that mean you can dual-box on Aradune and multi-box to your hearts content on Rizlona?  Did the meaning of “truebox” change at Darkpaw?  It is possible.  I don’t keep up that closely.

And I can imagine why Darkpaw might want to give multi-boxers a fresh server to play on.  While the practice is often decried by the forum warriors, it has been a thing for most of the life of the game and… of course… you have to have to have a subscription for each account in order to indulge in the practice on these special servers.  No free to play allowed.  So if you want to box a fill party to level cap, Darkpaw will be happy to take your money and direct you to a special rules server just for you.

I don’t know that I will opt to play on either server, but my Daybreak All Access subscription will still be running when they launch, so I might log in for a peek.

In advance of these new servers, there is also the planned server merge coming a week earlier.  On May 20th the following which will see the following servers merged:

  • Lockjaw into Ragefire
  • Trakanon into Vox
  • Fippy Darkpaw into Vox
  • Brekt into Firiona Vie

I covered the origins of the soon-to-be merged servers in a previous post, so won’t repeat it here, but there are some good reasons for these merges.  Details on naming conflicts and character slots and the like are available in a Darkpaw post.

3 thoughts on “Darkpaw Announces and Adjusts Plans for the Rizlona and Aradune Time Locked Progression Servers

  1. bhagpuss

    The rule for Rizlona just looks like the same rule as applies to all normal ruleset Live server to me. As far as I understand it, in EverQuest, on servers that permit multi-boxing, you can play as many accounts simultaneously as you like (six, for a full group, obviously being the norm) but you *must* control all the characters manually, using only your hands and the in-game tools (eg auto-follow, macros) only.

    You can’t use any out-of-game software to automate character actions (we all know the name of the infamous one all the bad people used to use, I’m sure, but no doubt there are plenty more these days) but also no jamming coins under the keys or putting heavy weights on the keyboard!

    You also have to be at the keyboard and ready to respond to a query from a GM to prove you are there and actively paying attention to the game (assuming your characters aren’t just idling in a safe spot – I think that would allow you to go afk).

    I may have got some of that wrong or it might be out of date but that’s how it was the last time i checked. It’s interesting that Aradune does allow two-boxing, though. I also thought Truebox meant no boxing at all. That does seem to have changed.

    I’d forgotten there was a PoP-locked server. If there was an LDoN-locked server I’d be there like a shot. PoP is one expansion too soon for me. I might play on one of these, though, since I seem to be playing EQ again – if you can call doing overseer quests “playing”. My Magician will ding 96 this weekend though!

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – Despite being advertised as “PoP Locked,” going back and reading about it I see they did go as far as LDON on the Agnarr server, so you’d be good there.

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  3. Gnomenecro

    Sorry for the late response to this, but I have not been reading the blogs as regularly since working from home.

    The DPG definition of Truebox is that rather than run multiple instances of the game client on one computer (as you can in Live), you must run each instance of the game client on its own physical computer. Oh and virtual machines are right out as they will ban you for that if you get multiple warnings and keep it up. Second-hand computer stores and Amazon refurb sellers rejoice as people buy old laptops to play an old game across multiple accounts.

    DPG apparently allows MQ2 and ISBoxer to be run on Live and I saw some posts in their official Discord by Community Manager Dreamweaver that MQ2 will be allowed on Rizlona but it was a confusing statement. Something about the parts of MQ2 that helped you control your boxes was o.k. but the parts of it that allowed “automation” were not? It sounds like a recipe for confusion and forum rage and a customer support nightmare for these poor dedicated GMs. One can only hope that they put veteran GMs on these new servers and that the new hires go to the older, less-populated Live servers because there will be a ton of reports coming in of automation I am imagining. It is unclear to me whether Rizlona will require multiple computers or if they will allow you to run multiple instances of the client on one machine.

    Also, a lot of these heavy boxers are flush with krono. Every iteration of these TLP servers brings out the opportunistic krono farmers who lock down every halfway desirable gear camp and then sell said gear for plat or for outright krono if it’s a “good enough” item. DPG did put a slight damper on this practice when they made it so that certain items with focus effects would have said focus effects disabled until later expansions, but there’s still plenty of stuff these seasonal farmers lock down and sell, including loot rights for epic quest drops and/or multi-questing epic drops. It’s amazing really how much krono they make. There is a guy in my current guild who 3-boxes and has not paid a penny in sub fees across those accounts for the last 3 years due to his farmed krono stash.

    Aradune server will indeed be Truebox and you will only be able to play 2 accounts at a time. The biggest question I have is how they know whether you are adhering to this or not. For example, my wife has 3 active accounts and I have 2. If we are both playing 2 accounts, how does DPG know this is 2 people playing 2 accounts each across 4 computers rather than one person playing playing 4 accounts? This seems to be one of those areas where they have declared something that will be hard or difficult to accurately detect or enforce. I am rather in favor of the idea of less 6-boxing and more actual humans in a group but this just doesn’t seem like an enforceable rule. Already you see people making jokes on the forums about how their 17 kids just love to play EQ with them.

    So I don’t know how these servers will go. I suspect Rizlona will be similar to how Ragefire was, with armies of magicians rolling across Norrath. Yes, they did nerf the mage pets from what they were back when Ragefire started, and yes, Rizlona will have the Agents of Change so that guilds can spin up their own raid instances rather than have contested open-world chaos. But I suspect it will be a battle of box armies for all the open-world content and the gear camps I mentioned earlier. Personally I have zero interest in Rizlona, and maybe a small amount of interest in Aradune but only after it gets to at least Velious. I am sick of that Classic grind and the krono farmers are off-putting. I’m still active on Coirnav and I dabble on Phinny some with the wife, who has stuck it out on Phinny for all these years. I admire her ability to stick to one thing, which I am lacking.

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