I don’t know if EverQuest holds the crown title for the MMO with the most expansions, but I’m sure it’s among the top three if not at the number one spot on that list. It’s astounding to count them up and realize that two dozen expansions have come out for that game between 2000 and 2017. That averages to a little more than one per year!
Today I want to pay tribute to the 24 expansions of EverQuest by going through them, one by one, and seeing how they grew and enriched the game over the past decade-and-a-half. I would also love to hear testimonies in the comments as to which EverQuest expansion you enjoyed the most!
A nasty bug on EverQuest’s progression servers has kept players from completing an expansion boss for over a year now, with bug reports and complaints to Daybreak resulting in no action taken whatsoever. Whenever players engage the Rathe Council, a fight made up of 12 enemies, the mobs frequently despawn and respawn before the fight can be completed.
Even worse, according to a tipster’s report, is that guilds and individuals can intentionally trigger the despawning to keep others from finishing the fight. This has kept guilds and players from progressing through the Planes of Power expansion if the fight is encountered in its open world version.
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.
If you’ve been one of the brave adventurers who rolled up a new character on EverQuest’s Agnarr server a while back and stuck with it, then good for you! Your reward today is the unlocking of the Ruins of Kunark expansion and all that it offers.
Agnarr launched this past May, aimed at subscribers looking to recapture the old glory days of EQ. It differs from EverQuest’s other progression servers in that it will stop unlocking expansions once it hits the sixth expansion, Lost Dungeons of Norrath. In so doing, the server will remain permanently stuck in the Planes of Power era, which apparently some people much prefer to what came after.
The next expansion for the server, The Scars of Velious, will unlock after 12 more weeks.
One of EverQuest’s progression servers stands at the threshold of a major step into a larger world. The population of the Lockjaw shard is currently voting on whether or not to unlock the Planes of Power expansion for the entire server. If a majority votes yea, then this content will open up next Monday, June 12th. If not, voting will recommence every two weeks until it passes.
This past May, EverQuest opened up a new type of legacy server named Agnarr that will only feature content up through the Lost Dungeons of Norrath expansion. Agnarr had a rough launch but has settled down since then. The game is currently holding a sweepstakes for players on this server to win a time-locked server adventure pack.
The next EverQuest progression server is on its way on May 24th, but it’s a little different than previous progression servers because this one won’t ever catch up to the live game. It’s not supposed to. No, this server is meant to be locked into the era of Planes of Power; after six total expansions have been released (The Ruins of Kunark, The Scars of Velious, The Shadows of Luclin, The Planes of Power, The Legacy of Ykesha, Lost Dungeons of Norrath), the server will stop there. No more progression.
Of course, this is a good thing if that’s exactly your favorite era of the game and when you’d want to stop anyway, so the game’s 12-week schedule for each expansion might be just perfect for you. The server is also a true box server, meaning that multiboxing isn’t allowed, so you’ve got to play the game with everyone else as the developers intended. You can hop on to the new server on May 24th, and all of your questions about raid lockouts and the like have already received helpful answers in anticipation.
Ready to battle it out more than usual? The Battle Bards are cranking up the combat tunes from MMORPGs today, inviting all sorts of violence and slap-happy tempos into the show. So strap on your sword, sling a shield on your back, and get ready to leap into the fray with a wide assortment of excellent — and even unusual — music tracks!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
We’ve got Episode 79: Combat music and the show notes for you after the break!