Fippy Darkpaw – Oh The Crowds!

As mentioned a few days ago, the Fippy Darkpaw progression server for Everquest opened up today, or in my case, very early in the AM.

I was hoping that it would go live at midnight PST as that would have been around 7pm my time, but alas, it was not to be opening instead at 10am, which I figure was around 5am. There’s a 5am in the morning now?

As soon as I got up at around 8am, I logged into Everquest and tried to hop in to the server. Boom. The server was full and not letting anyone in. Doh! And… a second progression server had appeared on the server list. It looks like Fippy and the desire for servers as close to classic as possible was on everyones wish list.

Fortunately, I only needed to try to load the server a couple more times and before I knew it, I was staring at the character screen. Now the moment of decision. What class and race to make?

I had been advised by Tipa that a Cleric would have been great for getting groups, or a Necro or Beastlord best for soloing. Unfortunately, Beastlord was included as a later expansion along with a couple of other classes, and a few races. I didn’t want to go Necro as evil races had a hard time in early EQ, and a Cleric ain’t all that great for leveling.

The choice ended up being between making a Paladin or a Mage. I ended up choosing the Mage path since I had never tried that before, and a Mage is a good soloer and also wanted in groups. I also wanted to start in Freeport, so for that I chose Human.  After a bit of fiddling, Stropp the Mage is born. Here he is in all his pinkish-purple glory.

Fippy Darkpaw Stropp the Mage

Pink, oh glorious pink. I just want to wear it!

After doing the initial handing of the tattered note, I headed out for the West Freeport gate, and crowds like there were on Launch Day.

I expected there to be a lot of players on, and in fact from what I saw on chat and the forums it looks like I missed the bulk of them. Greater Faydark was the most crowded zone, I think that’s where Crushbone resides, and that is a big nostalgic zone. As I said, I was feeling nostalgic for Freeport, so that’s where I headed.

West Freeport Yard crowds

Click for a bigger picture

I was greeted with many rat, bat, and Orc corpses.  Early on, it was quite difficult to find something to kill, I can only imagine how hard it would have been right at the start. But I did find some critters, and kill them I did.

One of the things SOE did with the progression server is lower the amount of XP for each kill. They did this quite substantially. When I tried out this zone on a normal server on the weekend, I leveled up from 1 to 2 in about 15 minutes getting about 10% per white kill, a little less for a blue. This morning it took nearly 90 minutes to get to level 2, and I estimate I was getting between 1 and 2 percent for a white kill. Unsurprisingly, this drew a few comments in OOC chat.

Behaviour was mostly pretty good. I was KS’d a couple of times. Which was probably fair because I reckon more than a couple would have thought I had done the same. That’s the problem with winding up for a spell, it can take a few moments in which someone else thinks the target is free.

As I write this, I’m now sitting on level 3.5. After getting to level 2, I picked up my first pet and headed into the Commonlands. Despite a lower density of critters, I found my leveling a bit faster and hit 3, about an hour later.

I’ve died three times during this first session. Once due to a red train in the CL, one due to picking a fight with something beyond both myself and my pet, and once due to a silly mistake the details of which are a bit fuzzy. Thank goodness for repressed memories.

Overall I’ve enjoyed the session, and I reckon I’ll be playing out the remaining free period. I think I’d like to resubscribe just for this, but that’s not really on the cards at the moment.

Still, this server is not going anywhere soon. It looks like a complete success, given the number of players on the server, and the leveling is so slow that no-one is going to be at the level cap by the end of the coming weekend. And there is also the voting system. The next expansion won’t be going live until the majority of players over level 30 vote for it to do so. That won’t happen for at least three months as far as I can tell.

If you are playing on Fippy over the next few days, or are thinking of doing so, give me a shout in the game (or leave a comment below) and we can catch up and smack down a few firebeetles together.