Category Archives: EverQuest

What Sort of Special Server for EverQuest II Then?

Apparently it has somehow not escaped the notice of the EverQuest II team at Daybreak that the Ragefire and Lockjaw time locked progression servers have been a pretty big deal over on the EverQuest side of the house.

The third round of nostalgia based servers… maybe the fourth if we count the somewhat short-lived 50/51 server from back in 2009… that have gone live and have been so popular that the company has had to open up a second server each time seems to have finally seemed to trigger some sort of, “Aha!” moment in the EverQuest II team.

It probably helps that the same person now runs both the EverQuest and EverQuest II teams, Holly “Windstalker” Longdale.

So yeah, an EverQuest-like progression server idea seems to be something of a possibility for EverQuest II.  However, that brings us right back to the question of, “What in the hell does “progression server” even mean in the context of EverQuest II?”

It certainly doesn’t mean a “classic” server, that is for sure.  I went over that a couple months back, how the infrastructure restrictions imposed by having to run such a server in parallel with the live servers, using the same client, means that there is almost zero possibility of returning to the chaos of the 2004 launch.

And, Daybreak has pretty much confirmed my suspicions with this tasty and relevant quote picked up by Feldon over at EQ2 Wire from this week’s live stream:

Just to clarify, the code of the EverQuest II game as it existed at launch no longer exists as it has been patched over, however there are a lot of possibilities and challenges we could do to make an attractive server.

Where we’re going, we’d better not need old code.  Nostalgia is dead, lost or patched over, when it comes to mechanics.  2004 is gone, never to be seen again.  No crazy crafting mechanics or whatever will be making an appearance.

My earliest screen shot of EQ2 - Nov. 14, 2004

2004 was full of muddy textures and spelling errors anyway

But still, the EverQuest II team is now publicly stating that they are looking into some sort of progression/nostalgia/special server.  Or at least they did on the live stream, if not in the likely much more widely read Producer’s Letter.

But in the absence of the world of 2004, what would we want to see?

We know that just rolling a new server and blocking it off from transfers and character boost will bring some people out.  Remember the EverQuest II Extended experiment?  The chance to join a fresh community while it is all low level.  That will get a bit of buzz which will last at least for a little while.  But I don’t think that is a spicy enough meatball to get a large, long term commitment to a new server.

So what else would they need?

Limit the content to the original and dole out the expansions over time.  That seems like an obvious starting place, the whole progression thing.

Lock out classes and races added after launch and only allow them when the content that added them is introduced.  Again, obvious, though perhaps not as big a deal as with EverQuest.  SOE added what… four races and two classes since launch?  And Froglocks came in as delayed part of the launch content.

Turn off flying, leaping, gliding, bouncing, or whatever mounts.  Maybe that is just me again.  Also, I might consider turning off griffon towers… maybe.  Or turn them off in zones where they were not available at launch, and  at least make people discover them in a zone before they can use them.  We good there?

Crank up the leveling curve.  Right now you level up so quickly in EverQuest II that you have to dump at least half of your exp into the Alternate Advancement bucket… and I admit that is a nice feature, SOE gets a cookie for that and other companies should copy the ability to route base exp into something else… so if they are going to ration out content over time, they have to make it last longer.

Also, they have to turn off AA points until Kingdom of the Sky in any case, so there should be no bucket to siphon of exp for a while in any case.

Dial up the difficulty.  I hope there is a dial for this.  Give mobs more hit points or make them hit harder or at least toughen them up a bit so if you’re in a group the mob doesn’t die before everybody gets a hit in.  Toughen up dungeons especially.

Make it for subscribers only.  That will limit things to people actually invested in the server and will keep new players from wandering in and asking what the hell is wrong.  Also, doing that will offset the next item.

I already mentioned locking the server off from transfers and insta-90s, but clamp down on the cash shop as well.  I know, cash shop is money, but everybody here is a subscriber.  Shut down as much of the cash shop as you possibly can, even cosmetics.  There is already a great cosmetic armor system in the game, let people discover and use items from the original content and go about sporting that.

And while we’re shutting things down, how about Chrono mages, holiday events, any of the PvP battle ground distractions… any PvP at all, frankly, as PvP is not the core audience so spending time trying to cater to a small group who won’t even show up for this seems pointless, the dungeon maker thing, and some of the insta-travel options.  I know, there were never boats to take people to places in the old content, but we used to have to at least go to Thundering Steppes in order to travel to the Enchanted Lands, Zek, Feerrott, and Frostwhatever.  Do that again, if you can.

I am tempted to say cut mentoring as well, but that still has its uses.  I can’t quite part with that.

And would it be too much to ask for the Isle of Refuge as the starter zone again?  We have to have some starter are, why not that again?  I am not asking for old Qeynos of the racial ghetto home towns or any of that.  But dude, Isle of Refuge would go a long way towards nostalgia.

Also, maybe, just maybe, some special server only achievements that can only be earned by doing things in the content when it is the latest available on that server.  I’d dig a “Nostalgia Warrior – The Journey is Half the Fun” achievement, or something like that.  It would make me actually look at the “added way too late, half-assed, uninspired, cribbed straight from WoW yet looks about a tenth as good” achievement system that got tacked on to EverQuest II a couple years back.  Seriously, Rift copies the WoW achievement system wholesale and made it work, why couldn’t you guys?

Or, if not achievements, titles maybe?

Anyway, it sounds like the old Norrath team at Daybreak… as opposed to the new Norrath team, which is doing Landmark and, we assume, EverQuest Next… is semi-seriously considering the possibility of exploring the idea of maybe doing something akin to the “overwhelmingly popular three times running” EverQuest progression server idea for post-Cataclysm Norrath.

What other ideas… realistic ideas, because they are clearly going to have to do this on the cheap… should they be considering for such a server?  What would get you to come play?

May in Review

The Site

Another month, another algorithm change at Google, another drop in page views, both here and at EVE Online Pictures. (Which also turned 7 years old this month.)  It was only supposed to about mobile friendly sites… and my WordPress.com theme has mobile options… but who knows what is really going on at Google?

Anyway, that is just the random search engine traffic.  The demographic that I guess I would call “people who actually come here on purpose” remained about the same, as it has over the last few years.  And that’s what matters, right?  Right?

Meanwhile, I have been wondering how other sites choose what pictures to display when my posts are syndicated.  WordPress.com has options that allow me to syndicate out notifications when I post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr.  But I have yet to figure out the pattern as to how an accompanying graphic, if any, is chosen for a given site.  Some days they are all the same, some days each site picks something different.  And then I do a post with no pictures in it, like this one.

One Year Ago

EA killed off Mythic Entertainment.  They had already handed over Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot to Broadsword, so what was left in any case?

The news about post-Kickstarter Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen continued to be off-putting.

I got another seven day trial in Landmark.

The strategy group started in on our BIG map campaign in Civilization V.

In EVE Online I was wondering about the prospects for a summer war.  Everybody just assumed that there would be one, though in null sec the various empires seemed to be settling in and consolidating.  Sure, there was the trap at Daras… another on the list of reasons we shy away from low sec… the run down to Placid for a kill, and that op down in Syndicate (my post on which stirred up some sour grapes about day one players) but otherwise things were quiet.  That left plenty of time to go find my name on the monument.  Also, I wanted to know if the alleged ‘learning cliff’ was still the biggest issue facing EVE Online.

In World of Warcraft the Timeless Isle was still a thing.  The Warlords of Draenor expansion was still over the horizon and subscriptions were down to 7.6 million under the weight of wait.  The pacing of content delivery was an open topic.  Meanwhile, our group was slowing down a bit even as we started in on dungeons in Pandaria.

In attempt to make plans for another summer hiatus, I gave Star Wars: The Old Republic a try, going through the Sith starting area.

And then there was the kick off of the 2014 Newbie Blogger Initiative.

Five Years Ago

I was unemployed, which you would think would leave me a lot more time for gaming and blogging.  But the anxiety of looking for a job for the first time in 12 years… and the first time in 20 years where there wasn’t just one out there waiting for me… made for a quiet gaming and blogging month.

Yes, I did start to poke my nose back into LOTRO.  A game where I didn’t have to pay a subscription seemed about right. (I have a lifetime subscription.)  That meant getting back into the swing of the game and figuring out what had changed.

We actually got THE DATE for the release of StarCraft II.  How did that turn out for everybody?  I skipped the whole thing.  Maybe when the StarCraft II warchest version comes out with all the expansions I’ll look into it.

The Agency came to Facebook, in the form of The Agency: Covert Ops.  A Mafia Wars-like game, without the multi-level marketing aspect, it had its good and its bad.  I liked the puzzles.  The dogs with guns… and the submarine fight… not so much.  Who knew that would be all of The Agency we would ever get?

Meanwhile SOE was transcending bad taste with their EQII PWNZ marketing campaign.

There was some Pokemon fun going.  I was twinking the Pokewalker while our cats worked against me.  The cats won in the end.

We also went to see the Pokemon Video Game Championships in our area.

And the instance group was wrapping up Dire Maul and Stratholme.  Then, having hit 60, we let the Dungeon Finder guide our way into the Outland.

New Linking Sites

The following blogs have linked this site in their blogrolls, for which they have my thanks.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in May

  1. WoW Subscriptions Drop to 7 Million on Purpose
  2. EverQuest Ragefire Progression Server is Coming May 20th
  3. The Next EverQuest Progression Server will be Named Ragefire
  4. The Doomed Convoy at KVN-36
  5. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  6. Ragefire First Night Follies – Half-Elf Bards, Level 50s, and the Big Wipe
  7. Fear of Flying
  8. Project 1999 – Now Totally Legit
  9. Progression Server Progress in EverQuest
  10. Traveling Home and the Contraction of Empire
  11. Draenor Tourism Season is Over, WoW Back Down to 7.1 Million Subscribers
  12. EverQuest Ragefire Progression Server Poll Results

Search Terms of the Month

“tnt” + perpetual inventory system
[That sounds like a drastic solution, I like it]

eve leaving game who to give money to
[Me! I pick me!]

terry pratchett on j k rowling
[Rule 34 knows no limits]

hay porn games
[Fun down on the farm?]

5 features of blizzards
[Low res graphics?]

everquest next expansion
[You are the optimist, aren’t you?]

EVE Online

Well, the conquest of Delve ended and most of The Imperium went home.  Reavers, however, remained in the south and spent the month doing un-Reaver-like things… such as defending sov and getting into fights… on purpose.  It has been a fun distraction, since about the only other thing going has been alliances shifting locations up in the north.  I did move a pile of stuff down to our new home in Tribute, but haven’t actually done anything there as yet.

EverQuest

For all the posts I have done about the Ragefire and Lockjaw progression servers, I haven’t actually spent a lot of time playing on them.  Almost none at all really.  It has been a busy month and unlike with Fippy Darkpaw, I didn’t get into a group with anybody else who wanted to play, so I have been soloing my way up to a level where I can get a group, which isn’t all that much fun.

H1Z1

I got on board with the deal between Daybreak, The Imperium, and The Mittani dot com and bought a copy of H1Z1.  I went in and played with the group of Reavers who joined in as well, and exploring the game with a group on voice coms was pretty fun.  I could not see playing the game solo at all, but as a small group game it has potential.  However, since the Reavers had other things going on, by mid-month I had stopped playing.  At some point I will have a summing up post, because there is both good and bad in the game.

World of Warcraft

I have been slacking in WoW.  I haven’t made the instance group all month.  I haven’t leveled anybody up.  All I have been doing is daily garrison stuff and some pet battles.  I am in a routine where I can churn out a 30 slot, hexweave bag about once a week, so I am slowly growing in storage space.  And I have many level 25 pets.  But I haven’t done anything besides that all month.

Coming Up

We have the WoW 6.2 update in the near future.  They have already done some of the pre-download for it.  I am going to guess it won’t be this coming week, but the following week seems likely.

We also have the next EVE Online mini-expansion, this one called Carnyx.  That comes with the first round of entosis link sovereignty capture mechanics.  We shall what that brings.

I managed to get a World of Warships key yesterday, which prompted me to download that, World of Tanks, and War Thunder.  I haven’t played the latter two in a while.  We’ll see if I spend much time there.

And it is June, so time for a Steam Summer sale maybe?

Get Lockjaw Today!

Erm… I mean get on the Lockjaw server today!  Maybe.  Daybreak has targeted today, May 29, at 11am Pacific Time as the launch point for the second Voting Time Locked Progression Server, Lockjaw.

Given all they have gone through over the last week, I would hope that this would be the easy bit.  Just clone the server, wipe the character database, and go!  As if anything in life is ever that simple.

Lockjaw Defeated

He’s going to be ready to go by 11am, right?

As I noted in yesterday’s post, this seems to be the only answer for Daybreak at the moment.  Even with all the updates they have done for the Ragefire server, it remains popular beyond its capacity.  People will have to start fresh however.

How this plays out in the longer term… well, Daybreak could help out by not forgetting about how popular Ragefire has been while they have talked about it.

Don't forget about me!

Don’t forget about me!

Addendum:

 

Days of Ragefire

Maybe not the best post title, but I figured I already had two literary allusions for titles so far this week, so why not run with the trend.

The Ragefire Voting Time Locked Progression Server, or whatever its full title is, carries on and remains more popular than expected.  There were problems from launch, but Daybreak has been working hard to accommodate all of those who want to play.  They have tweaked the zone instancing, they have put in code to log off players who go AFK for extended periods (the big problem last week), they have upped the capacity of the server so that Ragefire can now handle more players at once than the old progression servers, Fippy Darkpaw and Vulak, combined.  They even added a queue to the login page.

And still I couldn’t get on last weekend.

Okay, I admit, I did not try that much.  My daughter wanted to go to FanimeCon, which is just over in San Jose, so we spent most of our waking hours down at the convention center. (80+ street passes on my 3DS XL!)  But during those times when I was home and had some time to log on, I was left looking at the login page and wondering where I was in the queue.

Just keep waiting, just keep waiting...

Just keep waiting, just keep waiting…

It is great that they put in a login queue, but it is primitive enough that I immediately longer for something better… like a queue that told me how big the queue might actually be.  I will sit patiently if there are only a dozen people ahead of me, but if there are 900 I might just choose to go and do something else.  Even the ArcheAge queue, which would just say “more than an hour” beyond a certain point would at least tell you how many people were ahead of you. (Which led to at least one person telling me that the ArcheAge queues were not so bad because they never said anything beyond one hour, so the trick worked.)

Anyway, for all of the work Daybreak has done, the problem remains; the draw of nostalgia has gone far beyond what they expected.  The time has come for them to roll up a second server.

Lockjaw Defeated

Shit, get a priest over here, we need a res

And so at some point soon we will get the Lockjaw server, that being the second place name from the poll.  It will be otherwise the same as the Ragefire server.  If you want to play on Lockjaw you will have to start fresh.  There will be no transfers from Ragefire.

That works for me but, as noted, I haven’t been able to get on much, so I don’t have a lot invested in Ragefire yet.  Others who have more invested may be reluctant to swap.

Level 3 druid is easily replaced

Level 3 druid is easily replaced

And this will likely lead to another issue in the longer term.  Daybreak has been very reluctant to simply roll up another server to deal with the load.  That is because the history of EverQuest progression servers shows that the enthusiasm won’t last.

Some people will get their fill of nostalgia quickly enough.  A few days or a week or a month or two of playing in the original content will sate them and they will leave.  Others will hit the wall somewhere in the 30s when areas for exp groups start to thin out  and finding a free camp or a group that will take you starts to become a chore.  That will change when Ruins of Kunark goes live and opens up the world considerably, but that is six months and a successful vote down the road.

Eventually things will die down and we may end up with two sparsely populated progression servers, with one the poor relation in that regard, and there will be calls for a server merge that will never come. (Although there will inevitably be the person declaring that they like an empty server, because you can find support for any point of view if you look hard enough.)

Of course, Daybreak could help keep this from happening, or happening sooner than it should.  The starting point would be to not forget that they have these servers.  The last time around, with Fippy Darkpaw, SOE was great guns about the whole progression server idea until about two weeks after it launched… and then it never mentioned the whole thing publicly again.

Seriously, Daybreak should make a big deal out of the servers beyond launch.  If nothing else, the opening of expansions should be noteworthy, especially Ruins of Kunark with its new starter zones, new race, and all that.  Played right, each expansion could be a rallying point to get people to come to these servers, or return to them, as they progress.

But that is another one of those corporate culture things I bring up now and again.  An ingrained corporate culture can keep a company from doing what seems easy and obvious from the outside.  Blizzard will never roll up a WoW nostalgia server because their culture cannot fathom why people would want such a thing.  SOE’s corporate culture included a recurring habit of hyping something up, then totally failing to follow up and letting things go silent for ages.  Progression servers, The Agency, EverQuest Next, whatever, they make a big splash, then let things sit until the last ripple has faded.

So I suppose we will see if Daybreak is really a new company or just the old same old SOE with the same old habits we’ve come to know so well.

Addendum:

Daybreak has announced that they will be instancing some additional zones to accommodate the blob of players moving through the leveling curve.  The list right now is:

  • High Keep
  • The Liberated Citadel of Runnyeye
  • The Western Plains of Karana
  • The Northern Plains of Karana
  • The Southern Plains of Karana
  • Eastern Plains of Karana
  • The Gorge of King Xorbb
  • Blackburrow
  • The Lair of the Splitpaw
  • Kithicor Forest
  • The Lavastorm Mountains
  • Solusek’s Eye
  • Befallen
  • Najena
  • The Qeynos Aqueduct System
  • The Feerrott
  • Temple of Cazic-Thule
  • The Rathe Mountains
  • Lake Rathetear
  • The Lesser Faydark
  • Crushbone
  • The Castle of Mistmoore
  • The Estate of Unrest
  • The City of Guk
  • The Ruins of Old Guk
  • Dagnor’s Cauldron
  • Erud’s Crossing
  • Freeport Sewers
  • North Desert of Ro
  • South Desert of Ro
  • Highpass Hold
  • The Ocean of Tears

That is quite a list.  You can get pretty far into the original content on that list.  We’ll see how it plays out.

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.