Meanwhile over at Daybreak, after cancelling the Marvel IP MMO… which, again, got more press traction than anything else they have ever announced even when they were saying they weren’t going to do it… and launching the Varsoon server for EverQuest II, they also found time to bring two new special servers online for EverQuest, the Vaniki and Yelinak servers.
Once again we are reminded that EverQuest somehow has the audience to be able to push out two special servers annually, despite being a 23 year old game. That is the installed base I often reference that can be farmed to ensure the longevity of titles.
The Vaniki server is on the level locked plan, which I am not sure I fully understand, but there is a whole FAQ posted about it, with a timeline included.
- Open at level 40 with expansions up to Gates of Discord unlocked
- Four weeks later: level 50 unlocks
- Two weeks later: level 55 unlocks
- Four weeks later: level 60 unlocks along with expansions up to Prophecy of Ro
- Twelve weeks later: level 65 unlocks along with expansions up to The Buried Sea
- Twelve weeks later: level 70 unlocks along with Secrets of Faydwer
- Eight weeks later: level 75 unlocks along with expansions up to Underfoot
- Twelve weeks later: level 80 unlocks along with House of Thule
- Eight weeks later: level 85 unlocks along with Veil of Alaris
- Eight weeks later: level 90 unlocks along with expansions up to Call of the Forsaken
- Twelve weeks later: level 95 unlocks along with expansions up to Empires of Kunark
- Twelve weeks later: level 100 unlocks along with expansions up to The Burning Lands
- Twelve weeks later: level 105 unlocks along with expansions up to Claws of Veeshan
- Twelve weeks later: level 110 unlocks along with Terror of Luclin
- Twelve weeks later: level 115 unlocks
- Twelve weeks later: level 120 unlocks
If I do the math right that give about 33 months of life for this server from launch to the final unlock, which after a decent interval, will no doubt be merged into the Vox server, the now standard landing place for special servers that have run their course.
The Yelinak server is a bit more traditional type of progression server, with a couple of new twists, detailed in its FAQ.
- Ruleset: True-Box Timelocked Progression – New expansions unlock automatically every 8-12 weeks. (Early expansions unlock more often. The specific schedule is below.) Only one EverQuest client may be run per computer.
- Experience: Progression standard. Starts off slower than live, but faster than EverQuest at the original launch and increases at Gates of Discord, Depths of Darkhollow, and The Serpent Spine. At The Serpent Spine experience is as normal live servers.
- Eight weeks after launch: Ruins of Kunark
- Eight weeks later: Scars of Velious
- Eight weeks later: Shadows of Luclin
- Eight weeks later: Planes for Power and Legacy of Ykesha
- Twelve weeks later: Lost Dungeons of Norrath
- Four weeks later: Gates of Discord
- At this point the schedule becomes consistent. Enjoy expansions for twelve weeks when a new level cap is unlocked, and eight weeks in expansions where the level cap stays the same.
- This server starts with standard True Box. Only one EverQuest client may be run per computer.
- When Omens of War unlocks, we will move to a Relaxed True Box. You may have up to 3 clients per computer logged into the server at the same time.
- When The Buried Sea unlocks, True Box will be removed.
The “true box” thing seems to be an admission that a lot of people start off on these servers on day one… they often have queues to get logged into them… but that the population starts to fade as time goes on. So no multi-boxing when the population is high, but as it tapers off… well, then few are likely to care if you three box, then six box I guess.
Likewise, the experience starts off slow and gets loosened up as the expansions unlock, so that by the time you get to The Serpent’s Spine (fall 2006) you’re working with the live server experience table.
Anyway, both servers were off and running… um… Thursday. I am a couple of days late on this I guess. But there is still time to catch up. A lot of people don’t even start until the first weekend hits, knowing that the first 24 hours of any Daybreak launch is often fraught with misadventure.