The promised final post of the Fippy Darkpaw server era. The server merges started yesterday and so the Fippy Darkpaw server has been merged into the Vox server as part of the server merges Daybreak announced back around the anniversary. Having launched back in early 2011, its long run is finally over.
Back in late 2010 SOE told us that they were going to go down the nostalgia path. This wasn’t the first time they had done this, having tried this with The Combine and The Sleeper back in June of 2006.
It always seems a bit crazy to me that they were already headed down that lane fourteen years ago. Prophecy of Ro was the current expansion back then, with The Serpent’s Spine in the offing, and they were still rolling out two expansions a year.
Then again, they waited almost five years before they tried it again, this time with the Fippy Darkpaw server.
And, like its predecessor, Fippy Darkpaw was so popular at launch that they had to roll out another server to keep up with the demand.
This was the precursor for the current Daybreak era. Back then they seemed to believe that you could only play the special server card every so often, so they left a lot of time between launches.
They also had a lot to learn about promoting these servers. One of my complaints about the Fippy Darkpaw era was that they launch it and then pretty much ignored it after that, save for the announcement of expansion unlocks.
This was also the racing era where the next unlock vote was dictated by how soon the leading raid guild finished off the content of the current expansion. We still had to vote, but you had to be at the level cap to cast your ballot, so the raiding guilds ruled… at least until we go to the Gates of Discord expansion.
SOE did seem to have some plans to track the server progress graphically, with an expansion unlock status bar on their web site along with an objective tracker below.
Perhaps they felt that the tracker would be a substitute for actual GM attention or announcements. It was better than nothing… until it stopped working and then it was like the server didn’t exist.
SOE was a bigger company then and, we have a sense after the fact, that the game was being pulled in multiple directions. It wasn’t until Daybreak forced the team to slim down (every year) and the Holly Longdale faction won out that some serious effort was put into the retro and special server idea.
And, lo and behold, they discovered that you can do something every year and it will attract both new players and old. So it is this year. While Fippy Darkpaw is going away, two new servers will be launching next week to carry on the tradition and follow in the path of The Combine and Fippy Darkpaw.
Now it is time to wrap up the history of the server. I have, at times, tried to maintain something of a server timeline. Initially it was just expansion completion and unlocks, but I injected some of the other things that were going on during its run.
- Fippy Darkpaw server goes live with classic EQ content, February 15, 2011
- Classic EverQuest completed, February 24, 2011
- Corpse runs get voted down, March 31, 2011
- Armor quests get fixed, April 13, 2011
- Ruins of Kunark unlocked, June 6, 2011
- The SK harm touch exploit becomes an issue, June 16, 2011
- Ruins of Kunark completed, June 19, 2011
- Scars of Velious unlocked, August 29, 2011
- People are asking for GM intervention with raids, September 5, 2011
- Scars of Velious completed, September 14, 2011
- GMs running a fight club over raids, September 20, 2011
- Hacking issues brought up, October 7, 2011
- A GM is assigned to the server full time, October 11, 2011
- SOE bans some hackers, promises to fix raid issues, October 15, 2011
- GM enforced raid schedules are now a thing, October 25, 2011
- Shadows of Luclin unlocked, November 21, 2011
- Shadows of Luclin completed, December 4, 2011
- Exp is loosened up, December 15, 2011
- Planes of Power unlocked, February 13, 2012
- Lost Dungeons of Norrath fails to show up when expected, February 29, 2012
- Still waiting, March 11, 2012
- Lost Dungeons of Norrath unlocked, March 12, 2012
- Legacy of Ykesah unlocked, March 12, 2012
- EverQuest goes Free to Play, but not for Fippy Darkpaw, March 16, 2012
- Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 7, 2012
- Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, May 21, 2012
- Gates of Discord unlock vote fails, June 4, 2012
- Gates of Discord unlocked at last, June 18, 2012
- Omens of War unlocked, September 10, 2012
- Omens of War complete, September 12, 2012
- Dragons of Norrath unlocked without a vote, November 13, 2012
- Prophecy of Ro completed, April 26, 2013
- The Serpent’s Spine unlocked, July 16, 2013
- The Serpent’s Spine complete, July 19, 2013
- The Buried Sea unlock vote goes up, September 23, 2013
- The Buried Sea unlocked, October 7, 2013
- The Buried Sea complete, October 9, 2013
- EQ for Macintosh closed, October 19, 2013
- Echoes of Faydwer complete, ~end of January 2014
- Seeds of Destruction unlocked, May 1, 2014
- Seeds of Destruction complete, May 12, 2014
- Underfoot unlock vote fails, July 14, 2014
- I give up trying to track expansion unlocks
- Somebody buys SOE and it becomes Daybreak, February 2, 2015
- Daybreak announces Fippy Darkpaw/Vulak merge – September 22, 2017
- Darkpaw becomes a sub-studio of Daybreak – January 21, 2020
- Fippy Darkpaw is merged into the Vox server, ending its run, May 20, 2020
So it goes. I’ll have a post about my own time on the server later. But for now we bid farewell to SOE’s second nostalgia experiment. Long may the idea prosper.