Fey mushroom rings are sprouting all over EverQuest II, marking the return of the monthly Moonlight Enchantments event. This one-day-only event comes and goes every 20th and 21st of the month. What’s interesting with this recurrence is that Daybreak is hinting that there might be a change with this event come April.
“Though the rings have appeared as usual this month, we’ve got a peculiar feeling that something new may be involved the next time around,” the studio teased.
Additionally, the studio is running a spring screenshot contest through March 29th. Players who enter a winning submission could win 1,000 Daybreak Cash, which we assume can be used as a down payment on a car or home.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been enjoying the journey through RIFT Prime, the game’s first progression server. Trion Worlds surprised and delighted many of us when it announced that it would be creating a slightly more difficult, vastly more cash shop-free shard that would take players through the entirety of the RIFT experience from vanilla through the latest expansion.
As I’ve reset the clock on my RIFT adventures, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the benefits of progression servers. With a lot of World of Warcraft fans wondering if Classic will eventually morph into a progression shard (which I certainly hope it does), and with games like EverQuest and EverQuest II repeatedly embracing the alternative ruleset, I think we could be moving into an era where older MMOs experience new life with this relatively simple move.
So why are MMO progression servers a brilliant idea? Here are 10 thoughts on the matter.
There are MMOs that have been around a while, and then there is EverQuest. It’s so old school it is old enough to be out of school! Yup, EQ turned 19 years old yesterday. That’s 19 years of the iconic music, 19 years of Qeynos, and 19 years of Fippy trying to storm that gate! So much has happened in Norrath between March 16th, 1999, and March 16th, 2018 – more than one single restrospective could cover. So we’ll just look at a single year!
As is tradition, I’ve sat back and looked over the previous year, remembering the highlights and goings on of the game. How did the 19th year play out for one of the oldest MMOs? Sadly, this year was of the leaner variety; not much happened across Norrath. You wouldn’t know that by all the anniversary offerings, though! Take a stroll down the cobbled lane of memories, but don’t get lost in the nostalgia; there are oodles of anniversary quests to fill your schedule with during the celebration, going on now through Thursday, May 10th, 2018.
This week, The Ancient Gaming Noob posted up an image of RIFT Prime, where Trion asks people to… play nice. “Just a neighborly reminder that 1-29 chat is for RIFT chat, ideally things relevant to level 1-29 gameplay,” the UI HUD reads. “Please be good to each other. We’ve muted some and shall mute again. Have a great evening!”
Meanwhile, over in Trion’s Trove, I’ve had to report-and-block dozens of fellow players just in the last few days for disgusting slurs in multiple languages, stuff the filter doesn’t catch. For a free-to-play game that’s also on console, yeah, I guess I expect no better from the playerbase. But but but RIFT Prime is subscription-based. Surely that means a strong community, where such polite warnings from developers aren’t necessary? Yeah, not so much, as anyone who played old-school MMORPGs can tell you. This is a problem even in games whose devs prioritize community and care a whole lot.
So this week, let’s talk about in-game chat. Do you use it? Do you watch it? Do you turn it off? Is it really terrible everywhere, or just in some games? Which one is the worst and the best, and what should developers do about chat specifically?
A festival dedicated to getting sloshed? No, this isn’t college life — it’s EverQuest II’s Brewday! Every year near St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration dedicated to libations runs throughout Norrath. There are drunken quests to do, pink elephants and talking cabbages to collect, tons of themed crafts to make, and plenty of drinks to partake of. This year’s festival runs from March 6th at 3:00 a.m. EST to March 20th at 2:59 a.m. EDT.
While it is disappointing that Daybreak has not added any new content to the festival for 2018, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do. And there are a couple new items to acquire — namely a spiffy griffon mount and the next crafting recipe book. Here’s a guide to get you through the weeks of revelry. You can also get a visual walkthrough of some tasks by watching The Stream Team festival escapades from 2015, 2016, and 2018.
What does the color green, beer, and garish carousels have in common? EverQuest II’s Brewday, of course! It must be from one of those Elf sub-sub-races, you know, the Sprite-rish.
Anyway, Brewfest is raging in EverQuest II from March 6th through the 19th, bringing back the previous round of refreshments and quests while adding some new crafting items and Brew Barrel Carousel set for players to use in their homes. Sadly, this looks to be more cosmetic than an actual ride, but you can always twirl your monitor around and pretend.
In other EQ2 news, the Fallen Gate progression server just unlocked the Echoes of Faydwer expansion. This gives players on that shard a lot more to work with, including the Alternate Advancement class trees, more crafting professions, and six heritage rewards that will transfer to live servers.
Whether you want to raise a toast or drown your virtual sorrows, EverQuest II’s Brewday festival is the place to do it. The annual celebration of being sloshed started today and runs through March 20th at 2:59 a.m. (EDT). While there doesn’t appear to be any new quests to complete, there is a new mount to get and wild boar loot that drops from Hammy in High Keep, so Massively OP’s MJ is diving in to chug, chug, chug! some festival goodness. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. and have an ale or 10 with us.
What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
In 2003, Sony Online Entertainment tried an experiment to reach out to the (then) small-but-growing community of Mac users. The company released EverQuest Macintosh Edition — quickly abbreviated to EQMac — which incorporated the core game and the first four expansions of EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark, The Scars of Velious, The Shadows of Luclin, and The Planes of Power. Because EQMac was a separate version of the game, SOE segregated Apple players on their own server called Al’Kabor and then, for all intents and purposes, left them alone while the “real” EverQuest continued to expand and advance.
While the population didn’t exactly explode as the progression of time rendered EQMac stuck in a type of video game amber, a singular community of dedicated, helpful players formed. This community soon became proud of their hardcore home. According to many of them, EQMac was the way EverQuest was always meant to be played, frozen in time at the release of one of the game’s best expansions. It was a mark of pride to say that you played on Al’Kabor.
For over 10 years, EQMac quietly and doggedly continued, thanks to this small group of loyal players, SOE President John Smedley’s affection for the title, and one or two devoted devs who helped to maintain the MMO. This is the story of a spin-off game that became a living time capsule.
Is your Valentine’s day about love, friendship, or free candy from mom? In MMORPGs, it’s about questing, murder, and free loot! So, yeah, kinda the same. Enjoy Massively OP’s guide to this very pink not-a-holiday across the MMORPG genre – and some not-quite-MMOs too!
Want to get crafting done in EverQuest II but without all the crafting parts? Well, now you can have just that with the tradeskill level 100 boost. Buy it for 3500 Daybreak cash (i.e., $35) and your character’s tradeskill class will be set to 100. The potion also grants an associated 500 skill in tinkering, adorning, transmutation, and the associated tradeskills. In other words, it’s all the joy of crafting without all of that… crafting part.
Players who are still Artisans will be prompted to pick a specific tradeskill class when using the potion, which serves as a quick boost to start in on the new signature quest line for tradeskills. Anyone with an All Access membership will also benefit from a 10% discount on the purchase. Obviously, players who have already done the crafting work won’t have any need of this, but if you’re languishing at lower levels… well, you can change that, and it’ll just cost some money now.
Legacy, vanilla, classic, progression – call them what you like, but alternative server rulesets, particularly of the nostalgia-driven kind, are all the rage in 2018. Just since the dawn of the new year, we’ve gotten a new server type for Age of Conan, with RIFT’s on the way – not to mention World of Warcraft’s looming in our future. And those are just the new ones! Games like RuneScape, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online already run similar servers.
That said, does every MMORPG need one? Aren’t some MMORPGs already in pretty good shape without needing a spin-off for nostalgia’s sake? Is it in every MMO’s best interests to prioritize, on some level, the very older ideas it intentionally left behind? That’s the question I’ve posed to the writers this week: Are there any MMORPGs that should stay far, far away from legacy servers, and if so, why?
How about this as a love letter from Daybreak to EverQuest II players? Next week, the studio is releasing GU105, A Stitch in Time, on February 13th with a trio of content offerings for the community.
First up is a new tradeskill signature quest line. Crafters are being drafted into action to help protect the multiverse. You’ll have to be level 100 in any profession to take part of this adventure, which will pay out in “powerful” recipes if successful.
Then there’s Familiar Season 3, which overhauls the familiar system and adds plenty of new pets in both loot tables and the marketplace. Finally, all players will be able to join in a new public quest to fight the creatures of Hate. Good luck!
Maybe it will be short-lived, but it is exciting to see attention and excitement return to the sphere of RIFT
following the announcement of the upcoming Prime server ruleset
. I’ve gone from not thinking much of this title in my absence to somewhat missing it to absolutely craving it within the span of a week, and I’m sure that’s only going to get worse.
Seeing friends and commenters talk about RIFT has reminded me of just how many incredible features and qualities this MMO has. Sure, it’s made a lot of missteps and just about nobody really loves the business model, but there is a genuinely good game here that has a feature set that most MMOs could only dream about having on the back of the box.
So whether you’re thinking about returning to RIFT this spring or perhaps taking it up for the first time, here are 10 features from the game that I feel deserve public kudos.