WoW is stupid. Yes, I said it. World of Warcraft is dumb. More accurately, I should say Blizzard is stupid. The reason? Its stance on legacy servers. This month, the studio through legal pressure effectively shut down an unauthorized, player-run WoW emulator, Nostalrius -- a place where fans were getting their fix of vanilla WoW goodness. I can understand not wanting others to profit off your work, but we're talking about ignoring a fan base that desperately wants your product! Why not get in on the action?
As much hate as people want to hate on Daybreak (and far be it from me to say some of that isn't rightly deserved), the studio got one thing right: It respects players' desire to play older versions of its games. Both EverQuest and EverQuest II have official progression servers, and Daybreak has even signed a supportive agreement with the fan-run EQ emulator Project 1999. Even Daybreak's former President John Smedley threw his support behind emulators. So why don't more companies give this notion a go?
Do you make New Year's resolutions for gaming? I do and I've seen more than a few bloggers come out in early January to announce what they want to do with the year. Take for instance Telwyn, who has quite the laundry list of to-dos for 2016.
"Thinking back on my first impressions of Trove and also the time I’ve spent in EverQuest II recently, I really should give housing some attention this year," Telwyn writes. "Rather than just plonking items down in my shadowknight’s house where there happens to be space, I want to take a play-session or two to actually decorate the Kromzek Keep I bought using the daily quest tokens. That place is enormous and could accommodate a more logical and artistic arrangement of all the various zone rewards I’ve accumulated."
What are your resolutions? Hopefully one of them is to check out some of these great blog posts, which include a couple of first impressions piece, a look at a popular emulator, 2015 game awards, and more!
Ex-Daybreak President John Smedley took to Twitter last night to throw his support behind MMO emulator projects. While most studios publicly ignore or condemn these fan projects, it was a well-known secret that Daybreak held a favorable attitude about them.
"I've been asked recently about my feelings on emulators like SWG Emu and things like Project 1999," he posted. "Now that I'm no longer at Daybreak/SOE I can speak my mind. Truth is I've always respected the hell out of the people that work on the emulator stuff. Good for them. I would love to have turned over the source code for older games as long as it's handled properly. Anyone that has that kind of passion and backwards engineers a server is someone I respect highly."
EverQuest has evolved quite a bit over the years, but some folks prefer reliving the classic experience. Project 1999 -- recently given a written go-ahead by Daybreak -- has catered to that desire for the past six years, and will soon be celebrating its October anniversary with a double XP weekend and a temporary permadeath server. The double XP will start in the evening of Friday, October 2nd and go until the morning of Monday, October 5th. The upcoming temporary server, dubbed Project 1999: Discord, will last for a month or two and includes free-for-all PvP with no level-range limits, no rules, and minimal CSR involvement. At the conclusion of the server's life, all characters will be deleted and those that reach the highest levels will be honored in a new Hall of Fame section of the website.
While waiting for these anniversary events, players can jump in and enjoy the new patch that brings all servers into the January, 2001 era. That means class XP penalties have been removed, group XP has been modified, and root/snare stacking has been changed. Full details can be found in the patch notes.
Who says MMO emulators are illegal? Not Daybreak, apparently, as the firm has entered into a "written agreement" with the creators of an EverQuest emu known as Project 1999. Co-manager Sean Norton posted on the emulator's forums today outlining a document that "formally recognizes Project 1999 as a fan-based not-for-profit classic EverQuest emulation project."
Norton says that the agreement establishes certain guidelines that the staff must follow, which will allow them to update the emulator "without risk of legal repercussions." Norton also says that the 1999 release schedule will change so as not to conflict with Daybreak's upcoming EQ progression server.
Daybreak posted its own notice on the official EQ website earlier today.
[Source: Project 1999 forums
; thanks Ryan!]