Category Archives: EverQuest

End of a Vision

I was shocked tonight to see the announcement that Brad McQuaid passed away.  I first saw the news from the Pantheon MMO account on Twitter and wondered if it was real, it seemed so out of the blue.

It is with deep regret we share that Brad McQuaid passed away last night. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered by gamers worldwide.

Thank you for bringing us together through your worlds. Rest in peace .

VR offers our deepest condolences to Brad’s family.

But it appears to be true.  There are reactions all over the MMO space, including some words from the EverQuest team.

From the EverQuest Teams,

We are devastated to hear of the passing of Brad McQuaid and are eternally grateful for the EverQuest Universe he was instrumental in creating. His effect on all of us, the gaming industry overall, and fans of EverQuest and RPGs is immeasurable, and been life-changing for so many.

Continue your great quest, Aradune. May your next adventure be even more grand than this one.

I am kind of in shock.  I’ve been dismissive of his vision and pretty hard on how Vanguard turned out, but without him there would have been no EverQuest and the landscape of the MMORPG genre would have been very different.

Always the guy with the flaming sword

I played with him on TorilMUD back in the day.  It is hard to believe that was more than 20 years ago, that EverQuest is now past 20, and that he is gone.  He even dropped by here to comment a few times, always in his long winded way. He had an impact on the industry that will carry on.

Other reactions:

 

Comparing Four MMO Expansions

I originally sat down to write about pre-orders being available for the next EverQuest II expansion, Blood of Luclin.  However, aside from the addition of the Friends & Family option, it isn’t all that different from the last few times I’ve written about EQII pre-orders.  And even the new F&F bit is similar enough to the EverQuest version that I was feeling little dull.  Also, I am sick right now and going through that chart in detail was making my headache worse.  You can check out the details here, but I won’t be going through them with a fine tooth comb.  I’ll probably regret that in a year, but I’ll live.

You can buy it today

Instead I started listing out different aspects of some expansions.

We have a few expansions that have been at least announced.  Minas Morgul just went live for LOTRO, EverQuest and EverQuest II both have expansions in the offing, and at BlizzCon we heard about Shadowlands, the next WoW expansion.  In laying out some details for comparison I don’t have any real key points to highlight, but sometimes just the comparison is enough to make you think about what is going on.

How far in advance did they announce an expansion?

  • WoW – Maybe as much as a year in advance
  • LOTRO – About two months
  • EQ – About three month
  • EQII – About three month

WoW has a tradition of getting a lot of details announced at BlizzCon about nine months ahead of when an expansion will ship.  Way more details than we got for the other three just months before their planned launch.  However, EQ and EQII do yearly expansion, so a year in advance they’d still be patching the current expansion rather than the next.

LOTRO though… I guess SSG just doesn’t like to spill the beans too far ahead.

When were pre-orders available?

  • WoW – Maybe as much as a year in advance… like now for Shadowlands
  • LOTRO – About two months ahead of launch
  • EQ – About a month ahead launch
  • EQII – About a month ahead launch

With SSG and Daybreak, pre-orders seem to be offered pretty close to the official expansion announcement.  With Blizz there used to be a fair gap between the expansion being announced and pre-orders being available, but at this past BlizzCon we saw pre-orders go live coincident with the expansion announcement.

Expansion tiers and pricing

  • WoW – Base $40, Heroic $60, Epic $80
  • LOTRO – Standard $40, Collectors $80, Ultimate $130
  • EQ – Standard $35, Collectors $90, Premium $140, F&F $250
  • EQII – Standard $35, Collectors $90, Premium $140, F&F $250

The new “Friends &  Family” packages are outliers.  But even if we leave those out it does strike me as a bit odd that WoW is not the most expensive in any category save for the base expansion, and there it is tied with LOTRO.

Should the base expansion include a level booster?

  • WoW – No
  • LOTRO – No
  • EQ – No
  • EQII – Yes

I am a bit surprised that EQII is the outlier here with its level 110 boost.  LOTRO offers a level 120 booster with the two higher tier packages, as does WoWEQ though… as I noted previously, it is in a strange place.  It offers a booster with its more expansive packages, but it is still the now more than five years old level 85 boost.  This, for an expansion where the level cap is going from 110 to 115.  My “WTF Daybreak?” opinion of that remains.

Key items from upgraded packages

  • WoW – Mount, pet, cosmetics
  • LOTRO – Mount, pet, cosmetics, titles, various booster potions
  • EQ – Mount, pet, mercenary, cosmetics, house item, bag, various booster potions
  • EQII – Mount, pet, mercenary, cosmetics, cosmetic house item, teleporter to new expansion house item, various booster potions, and an trade skill insta-level boost to 110

I left out the level boost obviously, as it was covered above, and ignore the F&F packs, as they are strange new beasts.

EQII is really the standout in piling things on here, including even a level booster for trade skills, though EQII trade skills have the same level cap as adventure levels, and are earned more like adventure levels than the skill point upgrades in the other crafting systems.

WoW effectively gives you a boost into trade skills since they split trade skills up per expansion with BFA.  But you get that no matter what.

As I have said before, if I were a dedicated EQII player, I could see being very tempted by one of the more expensive packages… relative to EQ especially, which has the same price points… despite the high prices.

Anyway, I thought that comparison was mildly informative.  You can find all the order pages below.  I’d be curious as to how these four games compare to other MMORPG expansion, though I don’t keep a close enough eye on anything else to even know who still sells expansions like this anymore.

EverQuest Torment of Velious Pre-Orders Available

The upcoming Torment of Velious, the 26th EverQuest expansion, is now available for pre-order.

Coming in December

The description of the expansion, since at this point I cannot tell what is going on from the names anymore:

The lands and denizens of the continent of Velious are suffering. The icy landscape has seemingly come to life and is flowing oddly upward toward the sky. This restless ice is infecting and animating the inhabitants it touches, turning them into zombie-like beings with a strange icy infection that appears alive in its own way – moving and shifting over their bodies. What has caused this strange turn? And what could it mean? All adventurers are called upon to unravel the chilling mysteries that are the Torment of Velious.

I probably could have guessed that there was suffering in Velious.  Still, I have a little bit better idea.  As for what the expansion contains, the base description is:

  • Level Increase to 115 [from 110] – Take your character to all new heights with our new level cap!
  • 6 Expansion Zones – Uncover the mysteries in new zones on the continent of Velious. A new threat faces all and many creatures that have been familiar to Norrathians have been strangely transformed by living ice.
  • New Raids, Quests, and Missions
  • New Spells, Combat Abilities, and AAs
  • New Collections

Standard stuff for an EverQuest expansion at this point.  Some new zones to conquer, more things to play with, more things to do, plus a level cap increase, which you get with every third expansion.  Oh, and you get all previous expansions as well, another standard part of the deal.  It is formulaic, but if it works you cannot really fault the team.

What is new is that there are now FOUR ways to buy the expansion, up from the three pricing levels to which we have grown accustomed, meaning I couldn’t just re-use the same pricing graphic I stick in these posts every year.  So I give you the four pricing levels.

The four prices of Velious

Comparing the levels from cheapest to most expensive:

  • Standard – $34.99

You get the stuff listed out above… zones, raids, quests, missions… basically, the expansion.  Probably worth the price for another year of game play, especially since you’ll likely get the usual mid-year big game update with even more content.

  • Collector’s – $89.99

For an extra extra $55 you get the following items:

  • Froststone Crystal Resonator – Personal teleporter that sends you to Froststone Keep – per character
  • Contract of the Restless Ry’Gorr – A new mercenary companion – per character
  • Goblet of Adventure III – 4 hour 50% xp boost x2 – per account
  • Perfected Augmentation Distillers – Allows the movement augmentations x10 – per account
  • Velium Threaded Satchel – 40 slot 100% weight reduction bag usable on ANY server – per account
  • Torment of Velious Painting – House item – per account
  • Level 85 Heroic Character Boost – Level boost – per account
  • Velious Snow Kitten Metamorph Wand – Pet – per account
  • Restless Wolf Saddle – Mount – per account

I imaging the teleported will be useful and the new mercenary will probably be over powered… so also useful.  Pets, mounts, and house items, people love those.  The xp boost and augmentation thing, probably less so.  The bag is huge, though it will probably make the database team cringe if it lets people hoard even more stuff.

And then there is the heroic character boost.  Level 85?  Really?  I was writing about those back in mid 2014.  The level cap is jumping up to 110.  You would think that they could work out a booster that at least got you to level 100.  The EverQuest II team… which is the same team actually… has been able to increase their insta-level option over the years.  What is going on with the EQ version?

Insta-level lag aside, if I were into the game and kept current, I would probably be considering this package.  It isn’t as lavish as one might hope for $90, but it is probably enough.

  • Premium – $139.99

What to buy if you have an extra $50 bill burning a hole in your pocket.

This gets you all of the above with the following additions:

  • Froststone Crystal Echo – House or guild hall teleporter to Froststone Keep – per character
  • Perfected Augmentation Distillers – Allows the movement augmentations x20 – per account
  • Velium Threaded Satchel – 40 slot 100% weight reduction bag usable on ANY server x2 – per account
  • Shared Goblet of Adventure III – 4 hour group 50% xp boost x2 – per account
  • Tizmak Metamorph Wand – Pet – per account
  • Saddle of the Restless Griffon – Mount – per account
  • Guise of the Restless Coldain – Disguise – per account

More stuff, but is it $50 worth of more stuff?

  • Family & Friends – $249

Here we get into new territory.  The price alone might make you recoil… a lifetime subscription was available for less last winter… but there are some twists here that might blur the lines for some people.

In addition to everything in the premium package you get the following:

  • Velium Threaded Satchel – 40 slot 100% weight reduction bag usable on ANY server x3 – per account
  • Shared Goblet of Adventure III – 4 hour group 50% xp boost x4 – per account
  • TRADABLE Torment of Velious Standard Expansion Ticket – Basically a copy of the expansion you can give away (or sell I guess)
  • TRADABLE Level 85 Heroic Character Boost
  • TRADABLE Restless Wolf Saddle
  • TRADABLE Restless Griffon Saddle
  • Gnomish Legendary Bundle which includes:
    • Clockwork rhino mount
    • Gnomework illusion
    • Your choice of all three of the following [you get them all, or just one?]:
      • A full suit of gnomish appearance gear
      • A gnomish heritage teleporter
      • A gnomish heritage familiar
    • 40-slot bag
    • 2 shared 50% experience potions.

That is a lot of stuff, including a standard copy of the expansion is $35 right there.  And four 40 slot bags is enough to make the DBA start to cry I bet.

The recent producer’s letter indicates that people have been asking for something like this for a while now, with the idea that they have people they play with or multiple accounts and want to be able to hand off some of these items.

Still, $250 is a lot of cash.  You could buy the standard edition of Torment of Velious and standard editions of the next six expansions… assuming they stay the same price… for that kind of money.

But I have to give Daybreak and the Norrath team some credit for being willing to try out something new to see if people are really willing to go that far for an expansion, while at the same time keeping the base expansion price pretty reasonable, so far as it goes.

I am sure somebody is already penning a “greed” focused complaint on the forums, but nobody is making you but the big package.  I certainly wouldn’t buy it.  But if it serves the needs of enough people to be worthwhile, then let them have their thing.

We will see if the Family & Friends package is back for next year’s expansion.  That will be the test.

Anyway, if you are ready to pre-order you can find all the information here.  The expansion is expected to go live in December.

Friday Bullet Points Return to Norrath

There has been some news coming out of Daybreak since the layoffs announced last Friday.  I do not have a huge amount to say about any of them at this time, which makes them all perfect for another Friday Bullet Points post.

  • Holly Longdale on the The EverQuest Show

The EverQuest Show finally posted their previously teased interview with EverQuest and EverQuest II Executive Producer Holly Longdale.

For those not interesting in watching the 23 minute long interview, the EverQuest Show has also kindly posted a transcript on their site.

While Bhagpuss has a deeper look at the interview, things that popped out for me were:

    • EverQuest population is currently half on live servers, half on retro servers
    • Expects EverQuest to be around at least for another decade
    • The size of character database entries is a limiting factor
    • There will be another Norrath title some day

There is more in there, especially about the passion of the team, but that is what stuck in my brain and made nice bullet points.

  • Torment of Velious

The EverQuest team announced the next expansion for the game, Torment of Velious.

Coming later this year

The producer’s letter that contained the new describes some of what we can expect from the expansion including:

    • Level cap raised from 110 to 115
    • 6 new zones
    • All the usual more quests, more raids stuff

Pre-orders will go live this coming Wednesday and there will be the usual array of collector’s edition goodies.  Beta for it is coming up soon and a December launch is expected.

  • Miragul Server

Also in the above linked producer’s letter it was announced that there would be a new progression server launched on November 5th to help celebrate the rapidly approaching EverQuest II 15th anniversary.  Named Miragul after the lich of Everfrost, it will start players at level 85 in the House of Thule expansion.

  • Blood of Luclin

There was also an EverQuest II producer’s letter which also announced the next expansion for that game, Blood of Luclin.

No expansion splash screen yet.

As with the EverQuest expansion it features some of the same expected items:

    • Level cap raised from 110 to 120
    • All the usual more zone, quests, more raids stuff

Not a lot of details there.

Pre-orders for Blood of Luclin will go live on November 5 with, as expected, plenty of collector’s edition goodies for those willing to spend the extra cash.  The expansion is slated for a December launch, with a beta period coming up.

  • Rivervale Server

As with EverQuest, the EverQuest II team is also launching a special server.  The Rivervale server will have no locked content and will allow players to start a level 90 heroic equipped character if they so desire.  It basically sounds like a fresh live server that requires a subscription.  Not that it is a bad idea.  Some people like fresh servers and not everybody likes the timed content unlocks.  No word on exp rate or other details.

  • Anniversary Events

As noted, next month sees the 15th anniversary of the launch of EverQuest II.  The producer’s letter also mentioned that special anniversary events will kick off on November 7th.

As with the interview on The EverQuest Show, Bhagpuss has also has a post about what we know about the expansions, servers, and events so far.

  • EverQuest II Custom UI Outage

No all is peaches and cream in Norrath.  They grim reaper of the layoff may have passed them over, but problems still lurk.  In an effort to track down a server lag problem that has been plaguing the game, all custom UI addons, including the ubiquitous EQ2maps, will be turned off this coming Tuesday, October 22.

The outage is not permanent, but how long it lasts depends on how quickly any problem is found.  It is hoped the outage can be turned off as early as Friday, but it will remain in place as long as it is needed to debug the problem.

Details and compensation are in a forum post.

And so it goes in Norrath.  More information on most of the above will likely be arriving soon.

EverQuest Progression Servers vs WoW Classic

For the last few years one of the key arguments to my mind in support of the idea of something like WoW Classic were the progression servers that SOE and the Daybreak rolled up for the EverQuest community over the years, starting back in 2007 with The Sleeper and The Combine.

A splash screen of many expansion splash screens

There was a lot to be learned from even that first rough run, including the idea that it might be more popular than expected requiring the company to roll out another server.

After running lukewarm-to-cold on the whole special server idea during the SOE years, where they would launch with some fanfare and then never mention the servers again in any official capacity, Daybreak has turned the special server nostalgia thing into a part of their ongoing business plan.  When Holly Longdale says that EQ has more players in 2019 than it did in 2015, it is in part due to the cottage industry for Norrath nostalgia they have created.

So now Blizzard is in the nostalgia business with WoW Classic, and is clearly seeing some success from having done so.  But it is interesting to see the different paths Daybreak and Blizzard took to get to their respective positions, both in how the went after the idea and how their respective games evolved over time.

The Classic Splash Screen

The idea for this post came via a comment from Bhagpuss on the post where we were having trouble finding a definitive answer on the functionality of meeting stones.  He noted that information about mechanics in WoW Classic were not as readily available as they were for Daybreak’s games.  While places like WoW Head have been able to recreate WoW Classic versions of their site with quests and locations pretty well covered, they are not quite complete as we discovered.

Meanwhile, if you start digging up stuff on EverQuest you will find old articles, often not updated for a decade or more, are pretty spot on, both for live and progression servers.

Part of this is, of course, due to how SOE and then Daybreak approached the nostalgia idea.  While Blizzard set out to recreate the 2006 experience running in its own version of the client, an EverQuest progression server runs on the same client as live and draws on the same assets and resources.

This was no doubt due to a few reasons, with a lack of resources being at the top.  Blizzard has the personnel and the budget to create something like WoW Classic while the EverQuest team hasn’t had that sort of opportunity since the early days, at which point it probably seemed like a silly thing to take on.  The team was cranking out two expansions a year for quite a stretch, and expansions made money and kept people subscribed.

There was also something of a lack of commitment to the nostalgia idea.  While I give SOE props for even getting into it back in 2007, just eight years after EverQuest launched, it wasn’t until well into the Daybreak era that the company really took the idea seriously, that resources were dedicated to make the nostalgia server idea a thing and address some of the problems that the fans had been complaining about since the first round of them.

But SOE and then Daybreak were able to get away with their half-assed approach to progression servers largely due to the way the game have developed and evolved over time.

The thing is, if you log into an EverQuest live server today you can wander around a lot of old zones that have remained pretty much untouched since they were launched.  The EQ team has released expansion after expansion, adding zone after zone, while never doing anything to really reform or consolidate the world.

Yes, there is the Plane of Knowledge, the travel hub of Norrath, and SOE updated a few old world zones like Freeport, but a lot of content was just left where it was dropped and rarely looked after again.  Somebody might add a new zone connection for another expansion, and a few places got a Tome of Knowledge added to get people to the Plane of Knowledge, but for the most part if you wander through old zones they look like they did back in the day.

And you can add to that the fact that the team didn’t go hog wild on revamping classes with every expansion.  If you roll up a warrior on a live server or a progression server, they still start with the same old skills from back whenever.  Spells got a bit of a revamp, losing the every five level aspect at some point, but otherwise you still get Spirit of the Wolf at about the same point you got it in 1999 or 2007 or 2011 or 2018.

In that environment where you haven’t really added a bunch of new stuff to the old zones, where classes are about the same now at level 1 though 20 or 50 as they were back in 1999, where content has been delivered in nice little stand-alone silos, a company can get away with a low effort, same client nostalgia experience.  Fippy Darkpaw is still running at the 1999 gates of Qeynos. delivering his line, over and over again.  So they can fiddle with some toggles about which zones you can access and play with the experience slider and call it a day.

Yes, there is Project 1999 and the purist attempt to really recreate every little detail of the original game. (They have a new server coming too.)  I admire the effort, but it does feel a bit like a niche of a niche, the desire to get back the entire experience.  Daybreak delivers about 80% of the experience already in a… I was going to wite “modern client” but let’s not be silly… supported client that gets updates on servers that get a lot of traffic.

Compare this with Blizzard’s lot.

The elephant in the room is the Cataclysm expansion, which redid the old content, updated the old world to allow flying, and added zones that adjoined to classic zones, and basically stirred the pot radically.  This is ground zero of the “missing old content” movement.

But that is only the most stark example of change.  Blizzard stirs the pot with every expansion.  Occasionally I see a call for “WoW 2.0″ and I laugh, because we’ve been there already.  The Burning Crusade was literally WoW 2.0, and while its changes were not as sweeping as Cataclysm, the game changed the day it dropped, as it did with Wrath of the Lich King and Mists of Panaria and so on and so forth.  And while Blizz gives us a new city to hang out in each expansion, it also pushed to keep us in Stormwind and Orgrimmar as well, with portals to ease getting back and the auction house to serve as a draw.

I have written about how the hunter in WoW Classic is so different that retail, but even the simple classes have seen change.  Compared to rolling a warrior in EverQuest today, rolling one in retail WoW is nothing like the 2004 or 2006 experience.  You go through different content with skills that work differently up a different skill path to unlock different talents on a different talent tree.

In that environment there is no cheap way out to create anything like a vanilla WoW experience.  You cannot half-ass an attempt to test the water, you cannot just roll out a new server with only the level 1-60 content unlocked, because that 1-60 looks different, plays different, and for the most part is different.

I think this is why, as Bhagpuss noted, that some info is just difficult to find about WoW Classic.  With Blizzard shaking up the game and every class with each expansion, there hasn’t been the sort of static, almost sedimentary, layers of development the way there was with EverQuest over the years.  Fifteen year old articles at Allakazam are still relevant because SOE and Daybreak laid down some content and moved on.  Blizz doesn’t play that way.  Blizz changes the whole world, touches most everything, in a regular ~24 month cycle.  There was no simple path back to vanilla because it was so well and thoroughly gone.

And so we got Blizzard pushing off the idea of vanilla WoW and things like J. Allen Brack’s now infamous line for at least a decade.  I was already referencing calls for “classic” Azeroth servers back in August 2009.  Private servers offering a vanilla experience were already pretty common seven years back when I dabbledwith the Emerald Dream server.  But for Blizzard to get there required such a commitment that it was only after retail kept sagging that they decided to play the nostalgia card.

Daybreak got their imperfect nostalgia merely due to their rather silo focused content delivery.  Blizzard got more perfect nostalgia but had to rebuild it as a new client due to their propensity to change the world.

I suppose the lesson to take out of this is to plan for nostalgia… at least if you think your game is going to run 15 or 20 years.

The Factions of MMO Nostalgia and Progression Servers

I feel like I am a bit ahead of the game here.  In the last few months people have been writing blog posts, myself included, about what Blizzard should after WoW Classic.  Blizz can’t just stop at vanilla, can they?

The Classic Background

But I have been watching debates rage over how classic servers or progression should be handled for about a decade over in the EverQuest forums.  Remember, SOE put out the first EverQuest progression server back in 2007.  That was just eight years after the game launched, proving once again that it takes Blizzard twice as long to do everything I suppose.

So I had to chuckle a bit when Kaylriene suggested this might be unknown territory in his post the other day.  Unknown only if you focus solely on WoW I suppose.

Now, granted, what Blizzard is attempting to do is way above and beyond what SOE/Daybreak have ever attempted, which is to create an authentic 2006 experience.  This has set expectations which means that they won’t be able to half-ass their way through adding additional expansions.  And I think that they must, at some point, go that route.  Again, given the EverQuest experiences with this over the last decade, an authentic revisit to some of these old expansions is worth as much in subscriptions as another new expansion.

The problem is that the WoW audience is not a unified group.  No MMO audience is.  And this progression/nostalgia idea tends to sort people out into a few different categories which I have noticed and noted over the years.  They are:

The Classicists

These are the people who are not interested in progression.  In fact, they’re complaining that WoW Classic is coming in at version 1.12.  They are the ones arguing about what vanilla WoW really was.  They don’t want a 2006 version of the game, they want the November 23, 2004 version.  They want all the warts and issues of the first day of the game.  No looting bug, no deal!  And they sure as hell don’t want any expansions.  They want the game to stay right there, locked in time.

The Progression Raiders

These have been the key drivers for EverQuest, and will likely have a notable role with WoW Classic.  These are the old raiding groups that get back together to race to level cap in order to be world first/server first to take down bosses, farm raids for gear, and advance to the final boss in any expansion.  They want a specific phase to last only as long as it takes them to bring down the boss and farm for enough gear to move on.  They are always pushing for a faster unlock pace.

The Nostalgia Tourists

These are the people who want to relive the good old days, but are not too concerned with total authenticity or wearing the launch day hair shirt.  I am mostly in this group.  I want to take my time going through the content, so I am not in a hurry to see the next expansion show up.  However, I still want the game to advance eventually.

The Fresh Starters

Bhagpuss first identified this group to me.  There is a group of players out there just loves that fresh server smell, running out into the newbie zone with a mass of low level players, and just enjoying the spectacle of a new world coming alive.  They just shows up again and again at every new special server launch, hang out for a while, get to a point where they are done, then wait for the next one.  If nothing else, an easy crowd to please, and their subscription dollars spend just the same as everybody else’s.

The Cult of PvP

This is sort of a sub-group, since people here usually identify with one of the other groups as well.  But they just want you to know that PvP is the most important thing and the biggest draw and that if you just focused on PvP everybody would be happy and the servers would overflow.  When this hasn’t panned out in the past, at least in Norrath, the PvP response has always been that not enough focus was spent on PvP.

The Live Purists

These people want all the other groups to just shut up.  They are all about the live game and see any diversion into nostalgia servers as players and resources stolen from their game.  J. Allen Brack is their patron saint and they will repeat ad nauseum that nobody wants this and it is all a waste of time and the servers will be dead in three months and so on and so forth.

And they are not totally wrong.  There is always some impact on the live game player base, and development time can be a bit of a zero sum game.  There are only so many people on the team and hours in the day.

Then there are The Outsiders, who are not really a direct faction, but who wander into the picture now and again.  They are generally noticeable for being against the game overall, retro, live, or whatever, but still insisting that their voice be heard.  They can be random passers by who just drop a line and move on, or they can be the die hards who show up to bad mouth various games any time they are mentioned anywhere on the internet.  You know who I am talking about.

They occasionally make temporary common cause with one group.  Right now they fit in with the Live Purists because they are loudly predicting failure for WoW Classic.  But often seem to just be at war with them all.

None of these groups forms a majority, and the boundaries between them can be pretty soft at times, with the PvP group something of an overlay on a couple of the other groups.  Depending on the circumstances, various groups will be natural allies or opponents.

If the topic is whether or not there should be nostalgia servers, it will be everybody versus the Live Purists.

When it comes to content, the Classicists tend to be at war with the other pro-nostalgia groups.

Content pacing, and suddenly the Progression Raiders are the loudest voice, and more often than not get what they want over the objections of the other groups.

When things are taking too long or when the server launch is way in the rear view mirror, the Fresh Starters start asking for the next server.

And the Cult of PvP remains consistent in its demands for focus to be on PvP ahead of everything else.

I have not seen anything so far to indicate that World of Warcraft and WoW Classic will end up being any different.  The question is really just how soon Blizzard gets going on creating an unlock, advancement, or progression system to allow people to move forward beyond vanilla.

Until then, the Classicists sort of get what they want, even if it isn’t the exact right version.

Which group are you in?

(The poll above may not appear if you have Firefox set to extra protective mode)

Of course, there is an “other” option if I have missed a group.

Addendum: Ehrmagahd, Massively OP totally stole my idea! Go vote in their poll!  That will show them!

Daybreak Sketches Out some EverQuest II Anniversary Celebration Plans and Other Items

Destined to remain ever in the shadow of World of Warcraft, EverQuest II has its fifteenth anniversary coming up in November, just a few weeks before WoW celebrates the same milestone.

Oddly monochromatic logo, but sure

Daybreak published a Producer’s letter for both EverQuest titles yesterday which give some details, and more hints, at what to expect from the coming anniversary.

The EverQuest update says that the senior title, which turned 20 earlier this year, will celebrate the EQII milestone with the launch of a new progression server.  Go figure.

This will be a new style of server, with players starting as level 85 heroic characters… nice to use a mechanic that is already in place… and content through the House of Thule expansion unlocked, with further expansions unlocking every 2-3 months.  The details are not set yet, so there will be further updates as the plans mature.

The EverQuest II update offers both more and less when it comes to anniversary celebration details.

A progression server for EQII is also planned, also featuring players starting off with level 85 heroic characters, with content unlocked through the Chaos Descending expansion.

There are also mentions of completely new server-wide event on live servers, including a dragon themed event that will reward players with something never before seen in the game.  As before, more details will be made available as the events draw closer.

The Producer’s letters for both games also reference the coming expansions for each game.  While no names or themes were mentioned, both will see a increase in level cap, boosting the top level in EverQuest to 115 and in EverQuest II to 120.  As is customary, the current expansions for both games are now available for a discounted price.

There was also a mention of in-game bonuses for the coming US Labor Day holiday, and a reminder that the next update for EverQuest II, which includes the annual summer panda event, will land on August 27th.

August 27th is also the official opening date for WoW Classic, so in a way history continues to repeat itself.

Finally, there is also a poll linked in both producer’s letter related to a possible EverQuest oriented player event, possibly for next year.

Addendum: The latest episode of The EverQuest Show has some extra screen shots from the next EverQuest expansion which they have posted to their site if you want to examine them for clues as to what to expect.

Also on this topic, Inventory Full has a post up about both producer’s letters.

And Massively OP has their own update on the letters.