Tag Archives: EverQuest 21st Anniversary

Using My EverQuest Heroic Upgrade

With the 21st anniversary event offer of a free heroic character upgrade available for a limited time, I decided I should take advantage of the offer while it was around.  I might scoff a bit at the boost only being to level 85, but it is better than no boost at all I suppose.  And you need to be that level to use the Overseer feature.

And I wanted to use the Overseer with a character I had some connection to, which at this late date in the history of the game, is a very rare situation.  I have a couple dozen characters floating around over a range of servers, but I am hard pressed to name them or when I created them.

But there was one I recalled.  Dolenz, my cleric, who I rolled up last year in anticipation of the 20th anniversary.  I started him fresh, went through the tutorial, and got him all the way to level 50.

Dolenz at 50 about one year ago

It wasn’t like I got him to level 50 back at launch.  The xp curve is much lighter and there was bonus xp for much of the anniversary event.  But I still played him through those levels, light though they might have been, and explored a range of Norrath both familiar and not.

So I pressed the button on at the character select screen and applied the upgrade to him.

Dolenz at 85 this week

The good from the upgrade is that the game does hand you a lot of stuff.  You get a set of gear… in green, so it matches the cosmetic hat I got last year, as you can see above… and a couple of 24 slot bags, which are always handy, as well as some cash, a pile of AA points, and all the spell upgrades for the intervening levels you have skipped.

The downside is… well… dealing with all of that largess is, as always, a bit cumbersome in the EverQuest UI.  You have to find all the gear in your bags… you have to find those new bags in your bags, assuming you had space for all of that… and dole it out to the right spots.  You get a series of packages assigned to you through the rewards interface, which always looks like you only get one of the items, since you can only highlight one, even though it says you get them all.  And you do get them all.  It is just awkwardly presented.

Worst of all though are the spells.  The EverQuest team has always been big on handing out new and improved spells with every expansion, no matter how many levels the cap was raised, so there are a lot of choices.  And this isn’t WoW, where the spells have the same name and you just get a new rank level of it.  So when you are sitting there trying to figure out which spells to assign to your nine spell slots… again, the word “awkward” springs to mind.

The heals available

Those are just the heals which, as a cleric, make for the longest list.  And they are all at least flagged by level.  And you can at least see a pattern, with “light,” “renewal,” and “word” heals being the three main flavors.  But I don’t know what the difference is off hand today.  And those are just the main heals, not the delayed, duration, or quick heals, much less the cures.  Then there are the buffs and the damage and the utility spells.

According to my spell book, which is pretty much useless under the weight of that many spells, the total at my disposal is 393.  I guess it could be worse. There are a lot of spells.  Maybe that is why they only boost to level 85, they are afraid that the rain of new spells is already overwhelming enough.  Who knows.

Getting mired in that for a while pretty much put the kibosh on any plans I had to actually go out in the field to fight monsters and run quests.  So he’ll likely become another permanent resident of the Plane of Knowledge.

But I mostly wanted to use him for the Overseer feature.  And he’ll serve for that.  Though in boosting him up I did also discover that your characters, at least on the same server, share the same Overseer setup.  I had a quest going with the pally I boosted years back and after I boosted Dolenz and brought the Overseer up, I found that quest in progress in the UI.

That makes sense.  They have to limit it somehow.  There is already talk of the whole thing being too generous, with changes coming in to keep things under control, even after the very conservative intent the team started with.

But I’ll keep poking at it for a bit.  What happens there will likely be an indicator as to what will happen with the EverQuest II version of the feature, which remains a very poor cousin at the moment.

New Servers and Server Merges and More with the EverQuest Anniversary

Aside from the habit of writing a post about the EverQuest anniversary in advance, as I did with yesterday’s post, I also seem to have to follow up with a reaction post to things announced with the coming of the anniversary.  And so it is today.

An image I can really only use this year

The EverQuest team put up a post with all sort of news yesterday.  There was, of course, the heroic character for all subscribers and Overseer feature that was introduced into the game last week and the usual special anniversary events.

But on top of that they added in a 50% bonus exp event that will run through until April 1st.

They also announced the two new special servers that will be coming for EverQuest.  The names will be Aradune and Rizlona.

Aradune of course honors the late Brad McQuaid whose in-game persona was Aradune Mithara and whose memorial I visited in East Karana not so long ago.

Rizlona, once a mighty bard, is a demigoddess and a guardian of the tower of Solusek Ro, and the name was at one point thought to be a possibility as an overflow server for the Mangler server that rolled out with the 20th anniversary last year.  But that was not needed, so we get the name now.

Full details are yet to come for both servers, but they are said to be variations of the Mangler server (the FAQ for which you can find here) with some special variations.

But before that happens there will be a few server merges.

The Lockjaw progression server will be merged into the Ragefire server.  Lockjaw was the overflow server, launched back in May of 2015, when the population of the Ragfire server exceeded capacity.

Back in 2015 things were crowded

That was the start of a lot of updates for the EverQuest server architecture in order to accommodate the initial rush of players these servers tend to see.  I do not know where either of these servers stand when in comes to expansion unlocks, but it seems natural enough to merge them together.

The Trakanon server will be merged into the Vox server.  The Trakanon and Vox servers were launched back in 2012, when the game became a teenager and the conversion of EverQuest to its current semi-F2P, cash shop, but subscription too revenue model took place.  Like a lot of people, I chose the Vox server to roll anew on for that event.  Vox has remained somewhat more populated than its sibling, so it is natural enough to merge Trakanon into Vox.

The Brekt server will be rolled into the Firiona Vie server.  Both are “free trade” servers, which means you can sell heirloom drops that would otherwise be bind on pick up, or so I seem to recall.  Anyway, I had to look up the Brekt server, with everybody knows Firiona Vie is where the cool kids hang out, so the merge direction seems natural enough.

And finally, the end of days has come for the Fippy Dakrpaw server.  Launched back in Feburary 2011, when SOE still wasn’t sure that retro servers were worth the effort, it was where Skonk and I spent some time wallowing in 1999 nostalgia.  At least we did up until the great Sony/SOE hacking and outage.

Anyway, the nine year old Fippy Darkpaw server, which I last wrote a post about back in 2017, when it was merged with the Vulak server, which was the nostalgia overflow server back in 2011, will finally be subsumed into a mainline live server.  It will be merged with the Vox server.

This is a double special event for me.  Ages ago I promised (to myself at least, since I am not sure that you care) that I would write a final post about the Fippy Darkpaw server when its end finally came AND, unlike other mergers, my characters on Fippy Darkpaw will land on a server where I already have some characters.

There is no word on when these merges will happen, though my guess is before the new server launches.

In the mean time, I have to figure out what to do with my level 85 heroic character boost.  As I have complained, level 85 isn’t a huge inducement in a game where the level cap is now at 115, but it is something.  And it would give me another character to play around with the overseer feature.  Maybe my cleric from last year’s adventures.  I got him up to level 50.  I could boost him to 85 and perhaps use some of that bonus xp time to get him a little further along.  We shall see.

EverQuest at 21

The days are long, but the years are short.

Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

Here we are again at mid-March and another EverQuest anniversary.

Classic EverQuest

I’ve taken it upon myself to mention the anniversary almost every year since the first March 16th of the blog rolled around back in 2007.  I think there was still a bit of a sense or hope that the company would get EverQuest II on track as the rightful successor game it was expected to be and that EverQuest might fade away.  But at ten, twelve, thirteen, fifteen, nineteen, and twenty years it was still around and still looking like the anchor of the Norrath franchise.  It has launched new servers, embraced nostalgia, rolled out new expansions, added new features, and generally kept on rolling and printing money as younger games launched, peaked, and shut down.

And so the date has rolled around again and I wonder once more if there is anything I have yet said about the game.  We’re in the fifth year of the Daybreak era of the game where, unlike some of its stable mates, it has seemingly thrived.

We are also at the start of the Darkpaw Games era, as Daybreak organized three studios under its umbrella. (An umbrella which still shelters H1Z1 apart from those three so far as we can tell.)  That put EverQuest and EverQuest II together under the Darkpaw banner.

Darkpaw Gamed for Norrath

What that means, if it really means anything, is not clear.  There are plenty of theories but few facts.

At this anniversary we are also facing a change of leadership.  Holly “Windstalker” Longdale announced her departure from Daybreak and Darkpaw just about a week back, with the reigns being handed over to Jennifer Chan.  Again, while both games got a note from the new executive producer, it is unclear what that means in the long term.

And now we have the anniversary with the traditional in-game events, which will run out into May.

plenty of time

There are also a few give away according to the current release notes.

What we get

All Access members who log in between now and May 10th will get a free heroic character boost.  This will let you bring any character up to level 85.

Heroic for Free – Unchanged since 2014

I will, as always, grouse a bit about the fact that the level cap has now gone to 115, but they are still giving away… and selling when they aren’t simply handing them out… boosts to just level 85.

Ah well.  They will update that some day I hope.

For now though all you get is level 85.  But they have to give you one because it unlocks the new Overseer feature, which requires you to be level 85 to play.

If you’ve read my post about the Overseer in EverQuest II, you can mostly disregard that.  Darkpaw has take that feature, added some depth and visible… dare I say even comprehensible… graphics and plunked it down into EverQuest.  This version has levels and stats and classes and bonuses and a few other things that at least give the illusion of depth to the whole thing.  And, of course, the ability to spend some Daybreak Cash.

Want to finish early? We can sell you that!

That last bit isn’t active yet, but I am sure it will be soon.

The whole thing is still wrapped in the UI conventions of EverQuest, which date from 1999 and can feel very clunky if you’ve recently been playing WoW… or even WoW Classic… but once you find the Overseer option in the myriad of menu items and move it to your hot bar, it is at least easy to access.

Bhagpuss has a write up about the EverQuest version of Overseer if you are interested.  I do not know what this portends for the EQII version of the feature, but for now EverQuest has the richer, deeper option.

There we are though, a new feature for the 21st anniversary of the game.

The word is that we will also be getting a special server or two at some point here in year twenty-one.  But first Darkpaw needs to clean up and merge some of the aging special servers that are still hanging about.  I suspect that the Fippy Darkpaw server, launched back on February 15, 2011, will be on the list of those to be merged.

What does it even mean when your game has retro-nostalgia servers that are over nine years old?  At least I will be able to write that promised final post about the server.

Congrats to the EverQuest team for making it into another decade!