Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Party like it's 1999

Today a new "progression" server opens for Everquest, called Fippy Darkpaw. On that server you will be able to play Everquest like it was when it launched in 1999, without the expansions. The expansions will open up later, at a pace determined by the players.

I really, really wished that all the people who are constantly complaining about how World of Warcraft dumbed down MMORPGs would put their money where their mouth is, and play for a while on the Fippy Darkpaw server. Having played EQ myself a decade ago, my personal guess is that none of these people could even make it to level 50 on Fippy Darkpaw, let alone start raiding. Hell, probably even level 30 in the original EQ would be too hard for most players today. The majority of people complaining about games being too easy today don't even *know* what a really hard game looks like. I'm telling you, level up a character on Fippy Darkpaw, and then we can talk whether a hard game is really what you want.
I haven't read about that, but is that without all the patches and improvements added to the game after release? Otherwise it will probably not be exactly the same thing.

Was EQ "dumbed down" with following patches?
This would be the 2nd classic server I heard of. The first one being Project 1999 I think. It's been up for a while now, about to reach the point were Kunark was released I think. It was actually a little fun, but I started playing right when FFXIV released, so I didn't get to play for long.
Is it hard because it actually requires skill or is it just hard because leveling requires grinding for days on end? I never played EQ and I've heard both...
It was years before EQ saw any serious dumbing down of the game. When I left (about 5 expansions in) they had added instances, had instant travel to most places in the world instead of relying on wizards and druids to port you everywhere.

But these cut some of the annoying timesinks. Soloing wasn't any easier. You basically needed groups to accomplish almost anything. There were very few quests, especially for experience. Everquest? Hardly. Raids were still 60-80 people. I think they released 5 or so expansions since I left, so some of this may have changed.
EQ for the first years never was hard in terms of margin-of-error. It was hard in terms of "What the eff should i do?" or "How the eff to we get 10 more healers?" or "Why the eff do tanks need a certain item to hold aggro?" or "What the hell is aggro?"

Not knowing anything made EQ the legend it always will be. Playing it today is easy cause every info is easily obtainable. Though it won't help you casting your first druid port spell and arriving at the portal just to be slaughtered by lvl 30 mobs. You still can't beat them even with full knowledge of the game. Good times.
If I could get a group of the coolest people I've played MMOs with to go in with me, I'd go back to playing FFXI in a heartbeat.
I played EQ fairly hardcore when released.

Getting to 50 took 75 days played, almost all of it grouped. You lived and died by your reputation.

And most of a cohort would level with you. You would see familiar faces as came into a new zone with them in the harder camps and you would slowly progress through the zone.

The hardest thing about raiding in EQ is that everything was a world boss. If some other guild had killed Lord Nagafen or Lady Vox that week, that was it.

I miss the community and camaraderie that EQ created in the player base. I am not so sure I miss playing EQ. (Though I still vividly remember my first visit to the Estate of Unrest and the hands...)
It would be cool if they left in the code that produced Hell levels. Mmmm level 45...
What I'm hoping is that all the whiny people who think that EQ was the best thing since sliced bread go there and either realise that it really wasn't, or else just stay there and shut up!
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These EQ weenies should put their money where their mouths are and try to hit the max level in MajorMUD...I figure most would give up before level 10!

I'm kidding, of course, but I think this is quickly going to become (or has already become) a pissing contest about which game is more hardcore than another game.
They've done an awful lot to make the new Fippy Darkpaw server as close as possible to the original game, but it will still be significantly "easier" than it would have been in 1999. Some structural changes could not be rolled back, and, of course, everyone knows what to do now.

Nevertheless, it will probably seem quite difficult enough for anyone that hasn't played EQ before. Personally, as someone still playing EQ after 11 years, I prefer the game as it is and I would recommend anyone who's curious to try one of the servers using the current ruleset. Fippy is really only going to have nostalgia value if you were actually there first time round.
Well, and the other thing about EQ was that extreme, extreme randomness of certain spawn timers - to the point where somebody would literally sit in a single spot for *days* hoping to get specific mob. And when I say days, I mean every waking/online moment clearing out a small section of guk over and over and waiting/hoping - and other people queued up outside.

Which was really a good portion of the game in minature - original, pre-Kunark EQ was about nothing so much as establishing a camp/base and killing from there until you outleveled it. And usually grouped, with a line of people waiting for a group at the best spots.

On the other hand, it did encourage a very close-knit community because you really got to know people and I made some great friends, both in-game and a few whose friendship transitioned into rl.

EQ took TIME more than anything else.
I'm one of those people whom you asked to put our money in our mouth Tobold.

I subscribed like crazy when I heard the news from my friend. Last time I talked to him was 2 years ago and today he sent me an sms telling me that SOE is releasing a classic server!! he was excited. Our other friend also there. 2 more friends are excited. All of these quit MMORPGs years ago.

I bought the game from steam since I lost my password to my old account. So, I created my new account and installed EQ. Jumped in the game excited as hell. Choose the progression server, then click play.... DAMN, the server is FULL!!

I tried for 4 hours. I couldn't login, so I had to go to sleep. Will try again today hopefully I can create a character.

Is this a good enough proof for you Tobold?
You know they opened a second one, do you?
There's something people should realized. Please don't be ignorant. When someone wants a game like EQ doesn't mean he wants to go back to 1999 where technology was different. We want a game like EQ in 2011. The engine mdae for EQ is ancient and the experience while still GREAT is still done many times.

Even with it being an OLD GAME with a content that we've done MANY times. The Progression Server is FULL. We are happy to at least get "something".

Imagine EQ3 cater to OUR crowd and make a game that takes the goodness of EQ1 and ignores all crappiness of WoW. I betcha the servers will be as full as they are now in Fippy Darkpaw.
Tobold, I saw a second one. It was locked last night. I tried clicking on it even though the message "locked" was there and guess what, it was locked :P

I am not in USA so now it's 10:30am our time in Europe. I had to sleep so maybe they openned it when it was 12:00am+ last night.

Once I get home (I'm now at work) I will try the second server.

Glad they made two servers, because one was clearly not enough. Did you create a character there Tobold?
I remember creating my first char in EQ, logging in and it was fekking dark. I had no idea where I was and what to do and eventually some reddish thing appeared sliding across the screen. It was night and Wood elfs had infra vision so living things looked red.

Cranking up the monitor brightness to max and pulling down the curtains made it possible to see some kinds of dark grey shapes. It was dark like that for a while, maybe 15 minutes before things got better and you would start understand what things you were trying to look at. Trees...
Ahh EQ. Such memories. To be a high elf in Qeynos by lvl 10, now that was tough.

Vanilla EQ was like paying a fee to get your balls kicked every evening.
I don't think its accurate that people complain about wow becoming too easy. Well, ok, they literally say this, but it isn't what they mean.

What they really mean is they miss the status associated with raiding in Vanilla. They miss the intrigue of what it meant to see that lvl 60 warrior decked out in full Dreadnaught (tier 3 for you wrathbabies). Irony intended...

For some reason, players want a way of separating individuals and themselves from others. "I have superior gear to him just look at the color." That was all it took in Vanilla. In wrath, we looked at GS "I am superior to him look at his GS."

People want superiority, exclusivity, etc. This is only proven by how many people will strive for rare pets and achievements. Gear does not nmean what it used to mean in vanilla, although in means more now than it did in wrath.

The irony is everywhere. People simultaneously complain that content is too easy while also requiring more and more from others to group with them. "LF2M PST with class, spec, achieve, resume, and cover letter! Interview with our panel on top of Org. bank!"

This all connects with superiority as players need others to "prove" to them beforehand if they are "not a bads."

These problems only get worse the farther out from Vanilla we get, as nostalgia of a forgotten time is all that remains. The general playerbase just simply lacks the capacity to objectively view each expansion and vanilla for its merits and improvements.
EQ was my first MMO, and it soured my view on MMOs at that time. I absolutely hated the game, and promptly removed it from my computer within two weeks. I just couldn't understand why anyone would find it "fun" to do a corpse run (I kept getting killed by the same laughing skeleton) and losing levels because you kept getting killed by the same skeleton while naked......
I did not find this "fun" at all! And now I avoid any games that even HINT at a similar death penalty.

I'm fine with how WoW went (and most MMOs now). I'm glad WoW has gone away from the elitist mentality that it had in vanilla. Though there is still that elitist mentality in the game, at least now I can play most of the game, unlike in vanilla. The "dumbing" down has opened more of the game to me and my friends.
EQ being hard doesn't mean that WoW isn't easy
EQ being hard doesn't mean that WoW isn't easy

Nobody said that. EQ being hard means that there are both hard and easy games on the market TODAY. Thus if WoW being easy is a problem for certain players, they have the OPTION to play a hard game instead. The question is, why don't they?

You simply can't justify your choice of playing WoW instead of any other game without admitting that WoW does *something* right, and doesn't deserve the generalized "WoW is shit" review some people give it.
No thanks. I didn't really want to play MMO's as they were during that time period and so I didn't.

Very disappointed nobody commented on the clever title, however.
Very disappointed nobody commented on the clever title, however.

You and me both showing our ages.
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