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Games And Gamery

The Fippy Darkpaw 6 Day Project

Posted by Stropp on February 11, 2011

I’ve just updated my Everquest install, logged in, and realised that the Fippy Darkpaw server doesn’t go live until the 15th of February. So much for 11 days on FD, it’s now down to six.

Still, I’m going to give it a go, but because of the limited amount of time, won’t be creating thousands of alts to try and work out the best character for me.

What I’m going to do, however, is give you that job.

I’d like you to make some suggestions on what kind of character you think I should create. What class/race combination and starting zone do you think would work based on the following criteria?

  • The Fippy progression server will not have any expansion content available, I expect that any races or classes not in the original game will not be available at the server launch. By the same token, it is unlikely that the mercenary system won’t be available either.
  • I tend to solo. I’m not averse to grouping but have often found my timezone (GMT +9:30) doesn’t help in finding players. Tipa assures me that the server should be busy during my timezone, but I’d still like to be able to solo in case I find myself alone.

Once the server goes live, I’ll create the character and spend as much time as I’m able, and I’ll give you a running blogetary of my progress.

I’d love to hear your suggestions. Can you leave them in the comments below, or on Twitter at @Stropp.

I Like Free

Posted by Stropp on February 11, 2011

I just received an email from the folks at SOE. Here ’tis.

Free Everquest

A few months ago I unsubscribed my Station Access due to budgetary concerns, which meant that not only did I lose access to Everquest 2, but also to Vanguard and Everquest 1.

Since then I’ve dabbled back in LotRO, but haven’t really done much gaming at all apart from finally completing Fable 2 on the XBox 360, and spending a few minutes playing Forza, also on the XBox.

It looks like this account reactivation is limited to rerolling on the Fippy Darkpaw server. This server is a progression server, which take the player back to the original release of the game, without any of the expansions active (if I’m not mistaken.) As players reach certain in-game goals, the expansions will be added one at a time.

I have to admit to being very tempted. The problem of course is that this offer is only available for 11 days, from the 10th of Feb to the 21st, which doesn’t leave a lot of time. The fact that this is a progression server makes me wonder if all the niceties that EQ has added over the years (in terms of removing the grind) are still in the game, or if it will take weeks to get past level 10. Worth having a look just for that I think.

Still, it’s free, so I can’t argue with that. I like free.

Update:  That’ll learn me to improve my reading comprehension. The Fippy server doesn’t open until the 15th, which only leaves 6 days to explore the new server. In the meantime, the existing servers are available to use.

Everquest 3 Contrarian

Posted by Stropp on May 31, 2009

There’s been a little discussion of late about the nature of Everquest 3. Tipa has been proposing that EQ3 will use the client/server model that seems to work so well for Free Realms. This model works by streaming data as the user plays, not by downloading a single large patch before playing. Ogrebears has taken the opposite viewpoint in that a hypothetical Everquest 3 would have a much larger data footprint than Free Realms which would make a streaming data model impractical (for a number of reasons.)

[adsense_id="1"]So why are we talking about Everquest 3?

Well, it appears that SOE have a new project in the works, and that this project has been the destination for a couple of high profile members of the EQ:OA and EQ2 teams. (Sorry, I read this the other day and can’t find the article.) This would seem to suggest that the new project is something at least related to Everquest.

However, I’m going to disagree with Tipa’s premise. I don’t believe that SOE are developing Everquest 3. I think that the effect that EQ2 had on EQ1 is reason enough for them to go for a new IP.

Everquest 2 had a big impact on Everquest: Online Adventures. Players left for the new game and didn’t come back when EQ2 wasn’t what they had hoped for. (Some did come back, true, but WoWs arrival a few months later siphoned off a lot of disillusioned EQ2ers.)

So with both Everquest and Everquest 2 now seeing a measure of stability — a player base that seems fairly healthy and consistent — why would SOE jeopardize this by releasing another sequel?

But if the potential for destabilizing the existing playerbase is an issue, the other is lack of freedom. If SOE decide to go the EQ3 route they are constrained to follow the existing lore of both games closely. The alternative is to risk alienating the players who love the world and lore of Norrath. The big advantage of developing a new IP is that the developers can pretty much do anything they want, go in any direction they want. And the players get something fresh and new.

Finally, as has been pointed out before, there’s a perception that MMORPG sequels don’t tend to do all that well. Having said that, there have been precious few sequels to be able to validate this, and (as I believe) it has more to do with managing expectation and execution rather than the fact of being a sequel. But, there’s a perception of greater risk with sequels, and I’d have thought this would have been taken into account by SOE’s marketing department.

So I just don’t think the new game will be EQ3 set on Norrath. I’m expecting something new.

Of course, I also don’t see how Hollywood can justify doing sequels and remakes of old movies and TV shows out the wazoo either.

As just an aside, developing a new project is expensive. Given the current recession, perhaps this is a big part of why SOE have canned The Matrix Online, to open up some funds for whatever it is they are developing.

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