Tag Archives: Drunder

Friday Bullet Points about Daybreak, 64-bit, and the End of the Drunder Server

It is Friday and I don’t have anything worth a full post, so here are a few tidbits mostly about Daybreak.

  • 64-bit EverQuest II

I was actually thinking about writing a full post about this, but there isn’t that much to say at this point.  Server and client have been upgraded to 64-bit, which was pretty much necessary to ensure the long term viability of the game.

There wasn’t a lot of fanfare around the launch.  It just showed up at the top of the patch notes and got a short news item on the site.  But they have done 64-bit upgrades for the other titles in the Daybreak stable already, so it doesn’t seem all that exciting.

The system requirements for the game have changed, and if you’re still running on 32-bit Windows XP then your days of playing the game are over until you upgrade.  But otherwise, just another day at Daybreak.

  • Drunder Goes Under

It seems like ages ago when Daybreak announced the unique “special” server that was Drunder.

Fortress of Drunder is included on the Drunder server

It was almost seven years ago when they hit on the idea of collecting all the problem children together. Anybody busted for breaking the game’s rules wasn’t to be banned, they were to be banished to the Drunder server.  There they could hang out with all their fellow miscreants and reflect on their crimes.  Also, they would get no customer service support and would have to pay a subscription to keep playing.  It was a strange idea.  I wrote a whole post about it when they announced it, with links out to like posts.

Well, the Drunder era is over.  It was announced on the forums that the server was no more.

We are announcing today that Drunder has been retired. This also means all accounts associated with Drunder will no longer be accessible.

It was strange to think that somebody might continue to play, or even subscribe, when they had been banished.  But if somebody was doing so, they can play no longer as their accounts are not longer accessible.

In an ironic twist, the forum message ends with:

Please contact Customer Service with all questions or concerns here: https://help.daybreakgames.com/

Since they were not supposed to get any customer support once banished, I wonder what they should expect now?  Or if there was anybody left to expect anything in any case.  I have a feeling that if the server was active with still paying customers it wouldn’t have gotten the chop.

Related Coverage:

It seems they banned Daybreak accounts and not just the EverQuest II access.  Oh, Daybreak.

  • Robin Flodin Paid Off

This isn’t strictly a Daybreak thing, and it happened more than a month ago at this point, but it has been in my notes to bring up at some point.  Robin Floodin, one time CEO of Enad Global 7 and the enthusiastic face of the company that bought out Daybreak, was bought out of the company.  Per the statement published back at the end of May:

On May 25, 2022, the EG7 executive team and select board members purchased 2,446,592 shares, representing 2.8% of outstanding shares, from Robin Flodin, the former CEO of EG7. The purchase price was SEK 16.25 per share and amounted to almost SEK 40 million. After this transaction, Mr. Flodin will no longer be a shareholder in the company. The purchasing group was led by Jason Epstein, a current board member and the proposed new chairman of the board who acquired 1.1 million shares; Ji Ham, the acting CEO, acquired 900,000 shares, doubling his stake; and Alexander Albedj, the current chairman of the board, acquired 250,000 shares. Additional participants in the group included the deputy CEO and CFO, IR-responsible and independent board members.

A nice payday for Mr. Flodin I suppose, but it does make one wonder if Enad Global 7 really acquired Daybreak or if it is ending up the other way around.  As noted over at MMO Fallout, “acting” CEO Ji Ham doesn’t appear to have an replacement waiting in the wings many months after taking on the center stage role.  One might begin to think that it is less an act and more a fait accompli.

Friday Morning in a Hot Spell

It has been close to 100 degrees here almost all week… which is actually pretty normal in Silicon Valley at this time of year.  My memories from childhood and the start of school always included some really hot days a week or two into things, just in time to find that the air conditioning in one building or another had broken down over the summer.  And so my daughter gets to experience the same.

So in the cool of the evening I am throwing together a few items too short for posts of their own.  The return of bullet point Friday!

  • Asheron’s Busy Signal

Asheron’s Call was put into unsupported limbo, being free but essentially unsupported, by Turbine some time back.  Now we are getting a taste of what that might mean in the long term.  MMO Fallout reported earlier this week that the game had been brought down for maintenance a couple weeks back and failed to come up again and has been unavailable ever since.

asherons_call_full_logoThe thread reporting the problem has been updated and indicates that moving that transferring the Asheron’s Call to Turbine’s new data center, where the LOTRO servers are going as well, would be expedited, but that the game would not be up again until that happened.  The statement was that the game should be up by Friday.

They just did not say which Friday.

However, it appears it might be today, as people at the end of the forum thread are reporting that they can log in.  There has been no official announcement or update since August 31.

Addendum: Turbine posted about the servers being up on Facebook, though no word yet in the official forums, where players are looking for compensation for the down time.  I say refund them double their money!  Wait, the game is free?

  • The Wonder about Drunder

Daybreak announced their isle of misfit players, the Drunder prison server, back in August.  However, we haven’t heard much since.  Over at Atheren’s Adventures there was a report of a thread about the new server over on the Daybreak forums.

Fortress of Drunder is included on the Drunder server

Fortress of Drunder is included on the Drunder server

The thread kicks off with a post from somebody who has been banished to the new server and has found that it isn’t actually working yet.  How do you open a ticket on a server where you have been denied all support?  Anyway, there is clearly a hole in the system if people so banned can still post on the forums.  The rest of the forum thread is mostly scorn for cheaters, questions about what gets your there (as opposed to just outright banned), and why Daybreak has bothered with this at all.  Key comment from the announcement thread:

Update from drunder: server was a complete flop, no one plays there. Banned people continue to just make new accounts.

Still some of the old SOE “Hey, let’s just try this!” moxie left in Daybreak I guess.

  • Transfers Begin in Middle-Earth

The server consolidation effort for Lord of the Rings Online, which was referenced at the beginning of the year in the Producer’s Letter and for which we finally got some concrete details early last month, looks to be kicking off next week.

There is a post up on the forums indicating that the first two servers up for free, one-way transfers will be the US server Elendilmir and the EU server Estel.

Players on EU servers will be able to transfer to one of the following servers:

  • Belegaer
  • Evernight
  • Gwaihir
  • Laurelin
  • Sirannon

Players on US servers will be able to transfer to one of the following servers:

  • Arkenstone
  • Crickhollow
  • Gladden
  • Landroval

The US server Brandywine remains off the list of possible destinations for the time being.

  • Saying No to Windows 10

Long gone are the days when I would install a new operating system on day one or, heaven forbid, during beta.  I think the last beta OS I installed on a machine I owned was Mac OS 7.1, part of the System 7 chain of releases, and I regretted it.  I don’t even want to  get into the pros and cons of Windows 10.  I am happy and everything is working on Windows 7, so there is no reason to change.  I’ll move when I need to.

However, Microsoft seems quite intent on telling me about Windows 10 every day when I start up my system.  I am not interested in a “free” copy of Windows 10.

This, every single day

This, every single day

Finally sick of that, I decided to try to at least do away with that notification.  As it turns out, Microsoft slipped that in as part of the Windows Update cycle as KB3035583.  Uninstalling that update removed the daily reminder about Windows 10.

Unfortunately, Microsoft is so eager to hand out copies of Windows 10 that they might be pushing it to people who haven’t even opted in.  Just what I need clogging up space on my SSD.  Something else to fix.

The Isle of Misfit Players – We Like Your Money, We Just Don’t Like You

So in the very active world of EverQuest II of late… is anything else going on at Daybreak, because they don’t seem to be talking about anything besides EverQuest and EverQuest II… another idea has come bubbling to the surface; Drunder – The Prison Server!

Fortress of Drunder is included on the Drunder server

A simulation of a player being sent to Drunder?

Announced in the forums as the prison server experiment, All EverQuest Executive Producer Holly “Windstalker” Longdale described it like this:

We are very busy here on the EQII team and we have something coming up we wanted to make you aware of — a little experiment.

Later this week we plan to release a server we are calling “Drunder,” which is a “prison server.” What does that mean, exactly? Ultimately, players who are caught breaking our rules and disrupting EQ2 live server gameplay will be flagged for this server, and no others — ever. Characters on these accounts will be copied to Drunder (the “prison server”) and can never leave or transfer to another server.

This is a server our Customer Service Game Masters have requested over the years in order to manage disruptive players. They will determine who goes there. As gamers, we recognize there are some players who like to step outside our rules.

Drunder will get no customer service support and it will require a maintained membership to access and play. Rather than disrupt live servers in an attempt to join the “prison server,” players can use our /petition system and ask to join Drunder. To be clear: You won’t be able to move individual characters to this server, while maintaining characters from the same account on another server. This is a ONE-WAY trip for an entire account forever.

Ultimately, players who break the rules – or want to – will have a world of their own to do… whatever they will.

As I said, this is an experiment. We wanted to see what happens given it’s not a very common option.

Let’s see where this takes us…

No doubt named for the Fortress of Drunder in the Eastern Wastes (and yes I had to look that up) it is now… um… a thing to talk about I guess.  And talk people have.

Some of the reactions were predictable.  There has been the usual amount of “OMG, my pet issue/idea hasn’t been addressed, but you have time to work on that!?!” which both fails to understand that the world is not a perfect zero sum game and ignores the possibility that maybe this is addressing an issue that was costing the team cycles already.  Still, time was expended on this, so one can at least legitimately ask what the end goal really is.

Then, of course, there were the people who wanted to go and play on this server!  Special server!  Greater challenge!  Battle a sea of annoying problem children in Norrath!

But, as Holly’s post says, this isn’t a “make a character/transfer a character” server, this is a place where your whole account is banished forever.  You can petition to go there if you want, but you’ll be there for good.

The interesting part for me is that the players will get no customer service… which I guess is expected… and will have to have an active Daybreak All Access account to play.

Dude, I'm not even that close to you

I hear even the NPCs will be wary on Drunder

You must pay for the privileged of being banished!  Wasn’t that something from the movie Brazil, where the accused had to pay the bill for their own interrogation, leading a guard to implore Sam Lowry not to hold out too long as it could ruin his credit rating?

So I am curious to know how many will pay to be on this server.  Some will, I am sure, but will it be enough to sustain even the minor cost of running the server?  And will they still get their Daybreak Cash stipend and have access to the cash shop and be able to buy expansions or adventure packs or whatever Daybreak is selling?

It just seems odd.

Of course, what you have to do in order to get sent there is deliberately vague.  You cannot lay down strict rules because people will push the envelope or, like the guy who claimed he couldn’t be charged with gross indecency because he had only been incident 143 times, look for technicalities or loopholes or make the fairness argument because their infractions were less serious than somebody else’s in their opinion.

In the end though, I don’t know how this will play out.  What sort of relationship does this lead to.  Is it going to be some sort of Escape from New York dystopia, players raging against other players, griefing and annoying all who come within range?  Will the players unite and defy the company and form their own community?  Will Drunder even be noticeably different from the current servers?  Will people just quit?

However, if the EverQuest II team did this in order to attract some media attention for their game, they have certainly won on that score.  Feldon over at EQ2 Wire has compiled a list of major gaming… and a few non-gaming… sites that have picked up and reported on the prison server idea.  That is enough attention that they might have to really go through with it and report on it regularly.

Of course, if they really want to make this a really interesting experiment, they ought to let people volunteer to be GMs on the server and watch how that plays out.

Meanwhile, we’ll see who in the neighborhood opines on this.  So far I have seen: