Everquest: What we know about how Fippy Darkpaw’s Progression Server will work.

I’ve been getting a little excited about the launch of the upcoming Everquest Progression Server, due to arrive tomorrow. I’m not sure if this will survive contact with the actual server itself, but for now I’ve been looking about trying to find out everything I can about how it will work. To reiterate, a progression server returns EQ to as close to its original form as possible, and then slowly the expansions are added as certain requirements are met. This is what I’ve gathered so far from my investigations:

Zones which have had their physical geometry revamped will be in their new state. This will include Freeport, to the dismay of all. I think the other zones this will affect are Steamfont, Misty Thicket, North and South Ro and the Oasis of Marr, Lavastorm, Highhold Pass, Nektulos Forest, Toxxulia Forest and Kerra Isle, and the Commonlands. Possibly Feerott (I can’t tell whether it got a full geometry revamp or just a little tweaked). I shall probably be spending a good deal of time on day one being desperately lost in the Steamfont Mountains. It’s unclear what state their populations will be in, but I would imagine that it’s as close to an approximation of the original as possible.

Zones which have kept their geometry, but had their population revamped, will be returned to their original state, or thereabouts. Splitpaw will be in its level 30 incarnation.

Certain zones were added to Everquest outside of expansions, available to all plauyers regardless of what expansions they’d bought. These will be appearing at the approximately correct time. So, The Hole will be present at launch, as that was added shortly before the first expansion. The Warrens, a low level dungeon that made Odus actually worth visiting, won’t be along until the first expansion by that measure.

Only original races and classes will be available, but race/class combinations which were added post-launch, such as the awesome Gnome Paladin, will be playable. The missing classes will be Beastlord and Berserker. The missing races will be Frogloks, Iksar, Vah Shir, and Drakkin. They’ll be along with their respective expansions.

Compared with the last progression servers, a lot more effort has been put in to making sure that items do not turn up until the correct era. Also, many items which have since been removed from the game will be making a triumphant reappearance, until it’s time for them to leave again. It is said that this might even include the Manastone!

Jewellerycrafting and alchemy have been totally revamped in the live game. Fippy will be taking us back to how it used to work, with the original recipes. Crafting, in general, will only allow recipes that existed in the current timeframe.

Fippy will be using the modern smooth experience curve which eradicates hell levels. A modifier will be applied to that, to approximate the rate of level gain that we saw at launch. The experience penalties that some races used to have will be gone, though races with experience bonuses will retain them.

The Map UI will work. This was added well after launch, but never required ownership of a particular expansion. Many other UI parts are expansion locked and will turn up at their allotted time. For a more authentic launch experience, don’t use the map! Me, I’ll probably end up using it to extricate myself from Steamfont.

The /melody command, AKA Autotwist, will be functional. This is one quality of life change I’m glad of. Twisting was a technique that involved starting and stopping bard songs rapidly in order to get the benefits of more than one at once. It required constant fiddling about, and perfect timing. While it might be said that autotwist removed some of the skill from playing bard, it’ll save a lot of repetitive strain injuries.

It sounds like the ships between the continents will be running, but there will also be newfangled teleporters on the docks for those who don’t want to wait. Rather a shame, in my opinion. Hanging out at the docks and taking the boat used to be quite a social experience.

Spell gain will use the new system where you gain spells every level, instead of getting a large number in one go every 4 levels. Spell damage, and monk unarmed damage, will use the modern values, greater than the original. However, out of combat mana regeneration will be back at original values, making me glad I play an Enchanter.

NPC soulbinders will be present. Originally non-casters would need to find a player to bind them, setting their respawn point. That wasn’t much fun, so NPCs were added to cities and some other locations that would bind you.

When you died in the old days, most of your possessions would be left on your corpse, and you would need to retrieve them. After 7 days the corpse would decay, and any items on it would be lost. The developers have made the decision to not bring that back, though they are considering putting it up for a vote. I’m a little disappointed by this, as it was rather central to the whole feel of the game. You’ll still lose xp when you die, and be able to reclaim some of the lost xp by getting back to your corpse, but I hope they bring equipment drop back. It is not a feature I would want to see in any modern game, but it was core to the EQ experience. (It’s not quite as awful as it might sound, as there were spells that could summon a corpse, as well as a corpse dragging command. Using my illusions to help people get their corpses back was one of my favourite hobbies!)

Like the first progression servers, there will be certain goals that need to be achieved in order to move on to the next expansion. Typically this involves defeating all the most powerful enemies of the current build. Unlike previous progression servers, once those goals have been achieved the playerbase will then vote on whether to progress or not, and will keep voting once per week until a majority of active players are ready. One of the big problems with the last progression servers was that a small number of guilds managed to advance the servers much faster than most people really wanted. Voting should slow things down a little.

If you have any questions, especially if you haven’t played EQ before, just drop me a comment. I’ll do my best to answer, either in the comments, or perhaps even in another post! The server should be coming up around 10 am PST, and perhaps I shall see you there!

12 comments to Everquest: What we know about how Fippy Darkpaw’s Progression Server will work.

  • I only had a brief foray into EQ back in the day, but I do remember my limited exposure with great fondness. I’d like to take a whirl with this, but I think it would feel too much like being an absolute noob in 10 year plus old game, which is a paradox that would make my head explode. Basically, I don’t think I’d get as much out of it as I would if I had stuck with it for longer then I did (and remembered those particular Good Olde Days).

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tami Baribeau, Petter Mårtensson, JoeTortuga, Margaret Krohn , Neil Frankham and others. Neil Frankham said: #EQ #Everquest: What we know about how Fippy Darkpaw’s Progression Server will work. http://arksark.org/blog/?p=5003 […]

  • […] maybe not. Arkenor of Ark’s Ark has the full details on what to expect when you play on the newest server. I was disappointed to read that the new uglified zones will […]

    • comment peut on tolérer pareilles horreurs !tout ca pour produire plus et entendre dire que l&;uosqréleveur n’y trouve pas son comptemais dans quel monde vivons nous ?la société marche sur la tête ! on est au bout d’une civilisation !

  • […] Ark’s Ark — EverQuest: What we know about how Fippy Darkpaw progression will work “Fippy will be using the modern smooth experience curve which eradicates hell levels.” […]

  • Misty

    Great info. I have been playing this server since about a week after launch so I thought I would add some comments as someone who played EQ for about 4 years and is returning after about 8 years of absence.

    Boats – This is one of the most disappointing features missing from the progression server. If you are in a zone whee boats actually appear, and you attempt to use one, it simply dumps you in the water when the boat begins to move. I feel this removed a tremendous amount of historical value and sene of community. I loved those boats!

    Population – The population started out a bit insane but appears to be leveling off now. If anyone is considering trying the server, I recommend getting started ASAP before the majoity of the server is in the mid-upper levels. I am 17 shaman right now and I feel behind the curve a bit.

    Corpse Run – i agree, running naked through treachorous zones is part of what made the original EQ interesting! I”m glad the xp debt is still there, but I believe it should go back to everything being on your corpse when you die.

    Overall – I love it. I strongly dislike some of the later expansions (ultimately what caused me to leave the game). I hated the Luclin expansion and POP with the POK and insta-travel anywhere sealed the deal for me. When will devs ever learn to stop listening to the whiners and stand by the game they created. Insta-travel destroyed the sene of EQ community (not to mention the bazaar, but I’ll leave that alone). That said, I’m crossing my fingers that our community will vote down some of the later servers and keep the game pure (or close to) like it was back in the day :)

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