EverQuesting: Falling for EverQuest II’s new progression server, Fallen Gate
A new time-locked expansion server got rolling last week in EverQuest II — are you on board? I wasn’t initially planning to participate; my gaming time is at a premium with so many games and so many goals, and spare time is simply non-existent. That said, I now have a little Aerakyn Mystic fluttering her dainty dragon wings about the starting zones.
So how did I get suckered into joining this server? With the offer of a cool and punny mount that can be claimed on live servers! Now that I am there, however, I’m finding more reasons to stay. Perhaps I will continue my adventures there beyond the level 10 needed for the Pedipowered Posterior Punter.
Could Fallen Gate be a new home for me? Could it be for you? Read on to learn more about what this special server offers then you can decide if you want to join us there.
Starting from scratch
When friends asked if I was going to roll on Fallen Gate, I told them I hadn’t even considered it. That’s right, I just dismissed it outright. That may seem unfair to the new server, not giving it a chance and all, but I just didn’t think progression servers were for me.
See, I had already tried that route with Stormhold, and it didn’t stick. Sure, there’s definitely the nostalgia bit: It’s the chance to experience the game fresh from the start. The opportunity to do the Isle of Refuge again (which has since opened again on live servers as well) was the biggest pull, and the idea of leveling up on equal footing with the entire community again was definitely alluring. But it isn’t quite the same as reliving those early years. The new servers can’t mimic the originally launched game; there are major changes to the crafting system, itemization, new races and classes, and more. While the announcement for Fallen Gate says, “Tradeskilling should look similar to the original EverQuest II launch,” I really can’t see it — still no subcomponents. And there are still no original racial boroughs to wander through and live in. Now, if a server actually did bring back the original crafting and those starting boroughs, I’d be there in a heart beat!
Another strike against the Stormhold server was actually a positive that initially drew me there: starting over. As it turned out, I missed my regular characters too much — characters I’d already invested many years into and who all, by the way, had many goals still to accomplish. It would be nice to shorten my list of things to do in EQII, not lengthen it!
And I admit it: I also missed my veteran rewards and all my cool stuff I’d collected and crafted over the years.
When the novelty of starting over wore off, I also ran into the problem that a number of friends could not come join me on this server. Since all of the event and progression servers are restricted to All-Access members only, some very important people in my life were prevented from being a part of this adventure. Not having friends with me definitely dampens my spirit and leads to losing interest. In the end, I have a low-level Ratonga that is languishing away on that server, basically just taking up a valuable character slot.
So what is different about Fallen Gate? Why did I sacrifice my last character slot for it? Why am I suddenly eyeing this server and contemplating carving out more play time for it? Daybreak knew that it had to give folks reasons to want to keep making new characters on new servers, and it hit on a few decent ideas with this one.
Fallen Gate has the same basic structure of the previous progression servers. The whole community starts from scratch, advancing through the content of each expansion as it releases. All those veteran rewards are unavailable, and no one can transfer characters to the server. But there are some distinct differences that might seem more enticing to folks. Perhaps even enticing enough to lure them away from their home servers for a spell.
Instead of letting the community vote on when expansion content releases like Stormhold did, Fallen Gate will release each expansion on a regular 12-week schedule (with adventure packs such as the Fallen Dynasty release six weeks into their applicable expansions). The new server also hosts a special twist on Heritage Quests, something I have been personally focused on. Players who complete HQs on the progression server will earn not only the expected reward but also another reward that can be claimed on every character on every other server. What is the reward? A higher-level version of the HQ reward. Daybreak gave this example:
For example, after you complete the Journeyman’s Boots Heritage Quest on Fallen Gate, you’ll have a reward waiting for you for every character on your account on EVERY server. You’ll be able to obtain a level 100 version of J-Boots on your regular play server, a level 90 version on Stormhold, and even a level 50 version for your Fallen Gate characters. Once you complete the Heritage Quest on Fallen Gate, these items can be purchased for free from a Heritage vendor located in Freeport and Qeynos.
Fallen Gate is also a bit different in that you can play any race or class from the get-go regardless of when it was introduced in the expansion timeline. You still have to own the premium ones, however, in order to utilize them. This actually was to the benefit to the server in my case as I found it more appealing to make a combination that I hadn’t played before. That’s how my Aerakyn Mystic was born. And now that I have this new character, I am interested in seeing how she plays. (And since this used my last character slot, I won’t be able to make her on my home server!)
However, my Aerykyn does have one big negative that may lead to her untimely death: While making my character, I ran into the old, old, old bug of hair not looking the same in creation as it did in game. No biggie, I can just delete and remake, right? Well, no. You see, I remade her again tweaking the hair color, and again I wasn’t happy with how it looked in game, so I tried to do it a third time and was told I could not use my name because it was already in use… on two deleted characters on my list! The only way I could use my name was to pay to unlock one of the previous builds that I was unhappy with. This is totally unacceptable to me. I should be able to use the name as many times as I want to while building a character until it comes out right, especially since it is a bug that caused the problem in the first place. (Hint: Be sure to also click the torch bottom on the bottom on and off to see the differences there before committing to your creation.)
Daybreak also indicated that there’s another interesting twist that I hadn’t realized at first: Apparently, the difficulty of encounters had been tuned to account for combat mitigation. Players should find the encounters more challenging than on normal servers. No more breezing through those starting zones! Now you must work for your levels… and feel the slower trickle of XP once again. Is that a plus or minus? You decide.
The original reason I was lured to Fallen Gate was the Pedipowered Posterior Punter mount. This whimsical mount tickled my funny bone! I just have to have it! It just so happens that now that I am on the server I might as well stick around a bit. So how can you, too, get a butt-kicking mount? You just have to level a toon to 10 before Wednesday, July 12th, at 2:59 a.m. EDT. I am hoping that this reward will be like the HQ rewards and be claimable on every server and every character; alas, the wording is just “on any server,” so we will have to see. I have no idea how I would decide who gets it! My Ratonga has the right spirit for it, but I do not want to keep playing the Channeler, so I’d never get to use it! Decisions, decisions. As a side note, the boot can also be placed in houses as decoration like all other mounts as well. [Edit: The launchpad now announces that you get it on ALL your characters!]
Level 10 is surely fairly easy to attain in a two-week span (now down to one!). Folks who remain and continue to level can aim for the Mirgaul’s Familiar Tonic reward that will unlock at level 30. The tonic will enhance a single familiar on a server of your choosing. This challenge has no time limit.
So do the new twists and rewards entice you? Will you be starting over on Fallen Gate, or are you already there? We’d love to hear your experiences! If you want to see my first experience on the server, you can catch it on OPTV reruns!