Category Archives: EverQuest

The Four Stages of Ragefire Login Grief

The official launch announcement is up in the forums, the Ragefire time locked progression server is live.  Now the reality strikes home…

1 – Cannot log in

You could at least not toss my user name with each try...

You could at least not toss my user name with each try…

2 – Cannot connect to server list

Oh, come now, this part should be easy

Oh come now, this part should be easy

3 – Time out at the server list

And yeah, that login screen doesn't like me either

And yeah, that login screen doesn’t like me either

4 – The server is just full

Wasn't instancing the starter zones going to cover us on this front?

Wasn’t instancing the starter zones going to cover us on this front?

And about every fourth time I click on “PLAY EVERQUEST” there is just long enough of a delay before the error comes up that I think I might just get through.

Oh well, I guess I’ll watch the promo movie a few more times.

Hey, I had ISDN when EverQuest came out, no modem connecting chatter for me back in 1999!  Also, I was totally able to log in the first night.

Hrmm, how about that EverQuest Lore video then, that will keep me busy for another minute.

Ragefire First Night Follies – Half-Elf Bards, Level 50s, and the Big Wipe

On the bright side, I suppose it says something that a game past its 16th birthday can open a new server… a new server that requires you to be a subscriber in an age when free to play is the norm… and find it overloaded.

Crowd on the Kunark Dock

Is this where we catch the boat to the Ragefire server?

Seriously, when the Ragefire server went live yesterday at a little after 2pm PDT (at least half an hour before the plan) people were saying that the rush to get on was such that it was slagging the login servers and causing a problem across the game.

Still, people were getting in after a bit and there was a huge amount of goodwill right up until somebody noticed there were level 50 characters wandering the server.

The server was then locked and pretty much remained in that state going forward.

Fippy Darkpaw was up and low population...

Fippy Darkpaw was up and low population…

At one point the finger was being pointed at the Half-elf bards in particular as being problematic.  If this were really SOE, it would have been rangers… and nobody would have noticed the problem because who rolls rangers in EQ after all the years of abuse?

The initial plan appeared to be to get in, delete the level 50s, clean up any items they might have handed off, patch whatever caused this to crop up, and just open up the server again.

This caused a good deal of outrage.  With the server just up and fresh, it seemed better to the teeming masses that Daybreak just wipe the whole thing and start fresh, lest there forever be a taint on Ragefire.  Why wouldn’t Daybreak just take the obvious path out of this situation?

Well, it appeared that, once again, we were getting hosed by the cash shop.  According to the official post in the forums, the only downside listed to doing a wipe was that they would have to refund cash shop purchases, thus violating the eternal code of the con man, “Never give the mark his money back.”

We’re exploring the option of wiping the server. The benefit is it gives everyone a clean slate. The disadvantage of a wipe is it also clears all Marketplace purchases on the server.

-Roshen, Daybreak Forums

That there is a cash shop on the progression server rankles many, even if it is only supposed to be selling XP potions.  And if they were fretting about cash shop purchases, I guess some people logged in, rolled up a character, and immediately bought some.  So it was off on a search for a fix.

However, the fix wasn’t immediately forthcoming and people getting home from work or deciding to log in to see how things were going with the Ragefire server were continuing to have an impact.

At various points they were letting players on to the server again to check fixes, but for the most part it remained locked.  Along the way the overall plan changed and a full player wipe became the officially stated goal once they had the problem addressed.

However, as the hours dragged on the team needed to call it a night.  The server was up and down a few more times, but the official line eventually pointed to trying to start again fresh today as new issues cropped up, so we can hopefully look forward to another launch attempt this afternoon.

I was joking at one point about getting the fully authentic day one EverQuest experience with all of this, but for all the problems and crashes and disconnects and what not more than 16 years back, I was still able to actually play for a couple hours on that very first day.  I was never amongst those who were able to get on Ragefire yesterday, so I went and tended my garrisons in World of Warcraft.

Still, this does seem to answer the musical question, “Who is this company that claims it used to be SOE?”  Clearly there was some SOE showing through with them getting to the right answer only after having annoyed their audience with the wrong answer first.  The Daybreak aspect seems to be an attempt to be SOE, just faster.

We shall see what happens today.

Addendum: Keen has his own look at the day, including a screenshot of the bards errant.

Also, it would be cool if Ragefire was added to the server status page.  They managed to add the Beta server after all.

EverQuest Ragefire Progression Server is Coming May 20th

I have to ask again, who are these people who claim to have once been Sony Online Entertainment?  They seem to be moving at a speed unlike anything I ever saw out of SOE.

Last week the EverQuest Ragefire progression server beta opened up, then yesterday they announced in the forums that the Ragefire Progression Server would go live next Wednesday, May 20th.

Ragefire awakens!

Ragefire gets real!

Okay, yes, the EverQuest team, which now runs both EverQuest and EverQuest II and which has also been plundered to provide bodies for other projects, if I read things right, isn’t exactly making a new game like their brethren on the EverQuest Next team, nor are they trying to fix long standing problems and expand to new platforms like the PlanetSide 2 team.  They aren’t even trying to bootstrap a new game on top of the PlanetSide 2 code, as with H1Z1.

No, the EverQuest team is just trying to put together another progression server, which they have done a couple of times before, so this ought to be somewhat straightforward.  They have actual progression servers still running, right?

But even with the rather focused task, the EverQuest team does seem to be moving at a brisk pace.  The last time around there were a couple of months between the results of the server name poll, which yielded Fippy Darkpaw, and the server actually going live.  I think it must be all the attention the idea of another progression server is getting from Daybreak, and how much it contrasts with the lack of attention that the Fippy Darkpaw server got after it launched.

Anyway, the poll results were last Wednesday, the server goes live next Wednesday.

That is almost too soon for me.  I was guessing a June date in part out of wishful thinking and the onset of the usual instance group summer hiatus.  But there it is.

Like Bhagpuss, I have spent a little time on the beta server, following my usual pattern.  I rolled up a half-elf druid and started in Surefall Glade.  That was my plan back in 1999, the half-elf druid thing having been my main back in TorilMUD.  But I had two friends who also wanted to roll half-elf druids as well, so I relented and rolled a ranger instead, thinking that they couldn’t possibly be as bad as rangers were in TorilMUD.

They were.  My friends went on to greatness with their druids, one of the first really OP classes in EverQuest, while I struggled until I rolled up a bard.

So I rolled up and then rolled out of Surefall Glades and off to the front yard of Qeynos proper, the traditional spot for the first few levels for those of us starting west of Highpass.

Yeah, this looks familiar

Yeah, this looks familiar

It had been a while since I actually got out and slayed a gopher snake or two in Norrath, so there were a few changes I wasn’t aware of, like the updated looting method.

A menu of looting options

A menu of looting options

That actually helps, since one of the traditional EverQuest problems has been clicking on yourself while trying to click on a corpse to loot it, your own target area being huge relative to your actual avatar.

Of course, the prime item to loot was the Stone of Beta.

The Stone of Beta

The Stone of Beta

You collect the stones from corpses.  Not all kills yield them, but if you just keep killing they will start piling up.  Then you click on them, which puts up a firework and clicks a counter somewhere indicating your ongoing participation.  I hope the threshold for reward isn’t too high.  There is talk of a bag or some such, which would be nice.  But if you need more than 100 stones I probably won’t get there.  With the /betabuff command and content seemingly wide open on the server (I was on the Plane of Knowledge for a bit) the population feels diffused, so there aren’t the traditional groups forming up to camp bandits and such.

I did try the /betabuff command myself, boosting my first character to a level 20 druid.  However, it also turned me into a female halfling along the way.  That wasn’t going to stand, so I re-rolled another half-elf druid and went back to level 1 again.

One outstanding question is what happens with the Fippy Darkpaw and Vulak servers once Ragefire goes live?

Too soon?

Too soon?

Fippy Darkpaw is around the House of Thule expansion now… I think.  SOE never bothered to announce these things so, as I have noted in the past, the only way you could tell when an expansion hit from the forums is when SOE screwed something up… which was regularly for most of the unlocks.

But now, with Ragefire opening up soon, what will happen to the other two active progression servers.  They are long past the expansions for which most people are nostalgic.  By House of Thule SOE was in full on backport mode, trying to bring every feature from EverQuest II back in time to old Norrath.  I expect that the population, not huge on Fippy Darkpaw and small enough on Vulak that calls for a merge between the two come up regularly, will drop off with a rush back to the excitement of day one in the classic content.

We shall see I suppose.  About time to get signed up for Daybreak All Access I suppose.  The beta is free, but the live server will require a subscription to play.

And the next order of business is to see who might actually be playing on Ragefire when it opens.  EverQuest is no fun solo.

Addendum: Make that May 21st.  Much ado about happenings on May 20th.

EverQuest Ragefire Progression Server Beta is Live

Who is this company that claims to once have been Sony Online Entertainment, yet uses the word “soon” unironically as though it meant something?

Even as I was digesting bits of the forum thread about the server poll results last night, a new thread went up saying that the Ragefire Beta Server had gone live.

Ragefire awakens!

Ragefire awakens!

You need a special client for the beta, which is linked in that forum post, and it is a 10GB download, so we’re getting a lot of the game.  But on the upside, the beta/preview is open to all accounts, not just those on Daybreak All Access.  So testing is like, free.

Tell that to the H1Z1 team.  Or the Landmark team.

Of course, being beta… and the server is literally called “beta” in the launcher… it isn’t always up and running.  I haven’t been able to get in yet, though I can see the server.

Your server option...

Your server option…

And while they are getting feedback in the forum thread about the beta server going live, they are officially pointing people towards the EverQuest section on Reddit… because Smed.  Of course, as noted before, that just takes moderation out of their hands, and not everybody is happy about the poll results.

Anyway, I hope they get things together so I can take a look this weekend.

 

EverQuest Ragefire Progression Server Poll Results

The polls in EverQuest closed earlier this week and Daybreak has posted the results in the EverQuest forums.

The first result we were already pretty sure of over the weekend, which was the name of the server.  Ragefire won the poll handily, being out in front by enough to be declared the likely winner a few days early.  Here were the options in order of popularity:

  1. Ragefire
  2. Lockjaw
  3. Gorenaire
  4. Yelinak
  5. Meldrath
  6. Anashti Sul
  7. Opal Darkbriar
  8. Mrylokar

And so it goes.

Lockjaw Defeated

Lockjaw Defeated

Next was what content should be available at launch.  The options were Classic, Classic and Kunark, or Classic and Kunark and Velious.  I personally couldn’t see the appeal of starting with anything besides Classic, and apparently I was not alone, as that was the winner.  Good on that.

After that there was the Yes/No option on voting to unlock expansions.  I was strongly against voting.  That seemed to cause as much drama as anything during the reign of Fippy Darkpaw.  There was real forum rage around the first half dozen votes. Plus, it makes the game play of at least part of the progression server demographic, the raiders, dependent on the whims of the voters.  The raiders are keenly interested in when expansions unlock and are often in a semi-dormant state towards the end of an expansion cycle.  Getting them queued up hoping for an expansion unlock, only to tell them to check back later feels like jerking around some of the most dedicated customers of the server.  Better to keep to a schedule that everybody is aware of in advance in my mind.

However, people who vote on polls like to vote on polls, to votes to unlock won handily.  As with Fippy Darkpaw, there will be a minimum level for voting, something that enhanced the voting power of the raiders, who all tend to be at level cap.  This time around you will have to be within 21 levels of the cap in order to vote on unlocks, which means level 29 for the Kunark unlock vote and 39 for the Velious unlock vote.  We’ll have to see how this works out, but I am issuing an early drama warning given past history.

Finally, there is the important poll item, what sort of server progression will there be?

Server detail vote

Did I really vote for that?

The choices were:

Maximum Nostalgia: Six months between early expansions, dragging classic, Ruins of Kunark, Scars of Velious, Shadows of Luclin, Planes of Power, and Gates of Discord out into a 3 year event.

Accelerated: Sort of a fast-slow-fast rhythm.

Level Cap Bias: Eight months between expansions with level caps 70 and under, four months after that.

Half Speed: The real world expansion release rate run at twice the speed… so the option seems mis-named.  It should of been Double Speed or Half Duration or something.

I voted for Level Cap Bias because… um… oh, yeah… that gave me maximum classic and Kunark, which is all I want out of a progression server really.  Velious and forward is still “that new crap” in my mind.  Old biases die hard.

However, I was in a small minority with that thought I guess, as the results were:

  1. Maximum Nostalgia – More than half the vote
  2. Accelerated
  3. Half Speed
  4. Level Cap Bias – Just over 10 percent of the vote

So Maximum Nostalgia it is.  Rather than getting eight months of classic I will only get six.  But I can live with that.  A full year of nothing but classic and Kunark works, though there is already a bit of “six months to Kunark?” drama.  Yes, it is the best expansion ever in the history of MMOs, but if any aspect of EverQuest has six months worth of content, it is classic dammit.

So those are the results.  They were followed up by a FAQ with details about things like the Daybreak Store (will be there, but only XP potions available), the beta (soon, maybe in less than a week), and subscription requirements (you must be an All Access or whatever it is called now subscriber to play) along with a listing of specific things you will see or not see on day one.  You can read it all here, but this was the detailed but:

  • When the server is opened, only zones, classes, and races that existed when EverQuest first launched will be available, with some exceptions.
    • Paineel and the Hole will be open.
    • The Temple of Solusek Ro will be open.
  • Everyone will start at level 1. There is no tutorial, characters can not transfer to this server, and Heroic Characters are not available to be redeemed.
  • When raid targets are defeated, they will be broadcast across the server. When all of the raid targets in an expansion are defeated, a countdown begins.
    • For EverQuest, Kunark, Velious, Luclin, and Planes of Power, this countdown will be six months.
    • For Gates of Discord and all following expansions, this countdown will be three months.
  • Polls are scheduled to start every two weeks, on every other Monday. May 4th was the most recent, May 18th will be the next, and so on.
  • If the countdown timer ends with at least a full 168-hour week left before the current poll ends, the current poll will be activated. If there is less than a full week left in the current poll, the next one will be activated.
  • When a poll is active, you will go to a Priest of Discord and say ‘vote.’ If you’re within 21 levels of the current level cap, you are allowed to vote.
  • When the poll ends, if more people voted ‘yes’ to the next expansion than ‘no,’ the next expansion will open and the cycle begins again.

So that is how things stand.  I might sub up to try and get into the beta just to get a taste.  But the real outstanding question is when will this all start for real?  I am going to say no earlier than June 15 and no later than July 7 as a guess.

When do you thing we will see Ragefire go live?  And will you play?

The Next EverQuest Progression Server will be Named Ragefire

Daybreak has posted up in the forums that, while the poll is still open, the name “Ragefire” is currently so far ahead that no other name appears to have a chance.

The name celebrates Zordakalicus Ragefire, a dragon from the Skyfire Mountains of Kunark.

Ragefire hanging out..

Ragefire hanging out..

As was mentioned in the comments of my post about the current polls, among the things he drops is an item for the Water Sprinkler of Nem Ankh quest.  The name is also probably the easiest on the list to spell/remember, which was my reason for picking it. (Lockjaw, the other easy name is running a distant second.)

Name choices

Name choices

Meanwhile, the polls are still open in game for a couple more days and, since there was no mention of other options clearly winning, there is still time to influence how this server will be run.

Project 1999 – Now Totally Legit

Well, I didn’t see that coming.

p99-gold-flat

In what I can only describe as something that wouldn’t have happened while EverQuest was under the Sony banner, Daybreak has officially recognized and blessed the EverQuest Project 1999 servers.

As part of the deal Project 1999 has agreed to push out the release of the Velious expansion until early August so as not to conflict with the upcoming EverQuest Progression Server.  So I guess we get a little bit of data on that front as well.  Of course, if you’re a pessimist, you might wonder what this says about Daybreak’s commitment to old Norrath, what with Smed’s words still fresh in our ears.

Meanwhile, if you think this means that the same might happen for SWG: A New Hope or SWGEmu, I wouldn’t hold my breath.  Daybreak owns all the rights to EverQuest, but a little company named Disney becomes involved when we start talking about Star Wars Galaxies.

The text of the announcement from the EverQuest site:

If you’ve ever looked for people playing EverQuest on Twitch, you’ll often find fans playing on the Project 1999 servers (often referred to as just P99) and engaging with other members of the community via their Twitch chat. Project 1999 is a fan-based, not-for-profit, classic EverQuest emulation project.

The guys running Project 1999 are passionate fans of EverQuest and our work, and we’re fans of what they’ve been able to accomplish with support from the player community. So, we’d like to bring you the following announcement from the P99 crew:

“It’s been an exciting year for Project 1999 and we have some exciting news we’ve been really anxious to share with all of you. As some of you may be aware, in the past there has been both confusion and concern over the status of Project 1999.  We have recently entered into a written agreement with Daybreak Game Company LLC that formally recognizes Project 1999 as a fan based, not-for-profit, classic EverQuest emulation project. The agreement establishes the guidelines that we as a project must follow, but it will allow to us continue to update the game without risk of legal repercussions. As a show of good faith to support the efforts of Daybreak Games, we have decided to reschedule our expansion release as to not conflict with the upcoming new progression server being released in the coming weeks. We would like to personally thank all the folks at Daybreak and acknowledge how awesome it is for a company to work with and embrace the creations of their fans. This is really something that’s unique in the gaming industry.”

To read the rest of the post, please visit the P99 forums.

We’re proud that the EverQuest community is one of the most passionate and engaged groups of players in the gaming world. We’re glad we were able to reach an agreement with the team behind the fan-based, not-for-profit emulation project as they continue to share their love of EQ with many.