On Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 3PM Pacific the Ragefire server will become available to players!

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Q: Which versions of zones will be on the server?Like the previous two Progression Servers, zones that were graphically revamped (Freeport, Commonlands, Nektulos, Lavastorm, Ro) will be in their revamped form. Our Progression servers have to co-exist with live servers, so we need to have the same geometry running on all of them. In cases where the geometry was the same but population changed, we will use the original populations where possible:

  • Splitpaw – Will begin in its first revamped form (with the Ishva Mal).
  • Cazic-Thule – Will begin in the form after Rubicite was removed.
  • The Hole – Will begin in its first form (with Master Yael).
  • Plane of Hate – Will be in the current layout, but with population much like the original zone after the first loot revamp.
  • Plane of Fear – Will have population the same as the first loot revamp.
  • Droga/Nurga – Original population.
  • Firiona Vie – Original population.
  • Veeshan’s Peak – Original population, but no death restrictions.
  • Plane of Mischief – Original population. The “easy” entrance will not be active until it changes to the current version.
  • Grimling Forest – Original population.

Zones that are set up in this manner will transition to their current datasets in roughly the same timeframe as they originally changed.

Q: What about the Sleeper?Kerafyrm will be in stasis when the server opens.Q: Will you be removing changes you have made to game functions?In most cases, no. For instance, the UI will be current, you will not leave your items on your corpse when you die, coin will not have weight, and the enhanced loot system will be in place. If it is a modern system that is enabled on live servers for everyone, it will be in place.Features that were added with expansions, such as the Bazaar (Luclin), armor dye (LoY), out-of-combat regeneration (TSS), and mercenaries (SoD), will mostly be unlocked when those expansions were unlocked, with the following exceptions that will be enabled day one:

  1. The Raid window
  2. Maps
  3. Augmentations
  4. AAs (though most abilities still are restricted by level or expansion)
  5. Saving recipes in tradeskill containers
  6. Audio Triggers
  7. Many Achievements (but not kill or collect achievements)
  8. Hotbar revamps (but not item clicking in bags)
  9. Guild rank customizations

Because leadership AAs were introduced as an expansion feature but later added for free to everyone, they will be available upon launch as well.

Q: Will classes or races that were not available at launch be available on this server?

Not until the server progresses to the point at which the race, class, or combination was added.

  • Iksar will not be available until Kunark is unlocked.
  • Beastlords and/or Vah Shir will not be available until Luclin is unlocked.
  • Frogloks will not be available until Legacy of Ykesha is unlocked.
  • Berserkers will not be available until Gates of Discord is unlocked.
  • Drakkin will not be available until the Serpent’s Spine is unlocked.
  • Froglok monks will not be available until Veil of Alaris is unlocked.

Q: Will the tutorial or veteran rewards be enabled on the server? What about holiday events like Fabled mobs, or Hardcore Heritage?

Not at launch. These features and events will be enabled at approximately the time they were introduced to the live game.

Ragefire

Ragefire

Q: How will you be handling the rush of players at launch?

As some of you may have seen when the current Tutorial zone was released, we have a form of load-balancing that can spawn another version of a zone when the current zone gets too full. For the launch of the new Progression server we are able to announce that we have extended this function to many newbie zones that meet the following criteria:

  1. The zone is primarily for new players (levels 1-15). The number of zones available to players in the 15-25 range is nearly double that of levels 1-15.
  2. The zone does not contain significant content for mid-level players (levels 30 and up, ish). Increasing the availability of low-level treasure is an acceptable consequence of the system, but not mid level items.
  3. The zone is not a dungeon. Unique items appearing on unique creatures in a shared environment is, we feel, vitally important to the feel of early EverQuest.

These are the zones that we’re setting up to load balance:

  1. North Qeynos
  2. Surefall Glade
  3. Qeynos Hills
  4. West Freeport
  5. Commonlands
  6. Nektulos
  7. Misty Thicket
  8. Everfrost
  9. Steamfont Mountains
  10. Greater Faydark
  11. Butcherblock Mountains
  12. Innothule Swamp
  13. Toxxulia Forest
  14. Paineel
  15. Field of Bone

Once those zones reach a certain threshold of players (it varies based on the size of the zone), it will spawn another version of itself. You will be able to choose which version of the zone you want to enter upon zoning in, or you will be able to use the /pickzone command to choose another version of the zone you are in. This should let people group up with friends but still be able to find things to kill and see plenty of other players.

We have also enabled technology to dynamically increase (or decrease) the maximum number of characters allowable on a server at any given time. Between these two new systems we expect to be able to handle most of the players who want to play on the new server on the first day.

Q: So why not instance raid content?

The load balancing system is relatively uncontrolled and does not have any of the safeguards that are built in to our current raid zones. It does not lock content to any one raid or guild, and has no capability to assign or give raid lockouts. Due to these limitations, we feel it is not technology that can be applied to any zone where “end game” items are available.

Besides all of that, creating instanced versions of raid encounters wouldn’t be true to the original experience of EverQuest. This playerbase formed raid rotations or other rules on its own before, and we would like to believe that it is capable of doing so again.

Q: Will Recruit-A-Friend or other account-based bonuses apply to this server?

No. This is a new ruleset server and account bonuses will not apply to characters on it.

Q: Will experience rates be reduced on the new server?

Yes. We will be testing out a different method to adjust this experience modifier that should hopefully fix the problems people had with the most recent Progression Servers. When we open Beta we will need your help to test the new method.

Q: When you talk about expansions unlocking after a certain amount of time, does that mean killing raid targets isn’t required?

No. Any time we mention that an expansion unlocks after a certain time period, that time period starts when the previous expansion’s progression targets are defeated.

Q: Why can’t you make a Progression Server that does X? Lots of people like X!

There is a very wide selection of people who are interested in our new Progression Server, and the startlingly similar distribution of votes in our last set of polls showed us that there are a very wide range of opinions about what a Progression Server should be.

Very roughly, the last poll had 40% in favor of long duration locks, with 20% favoring each of the other three options. That is a clear plurality that is leading us in that direction, but it also means that more than half of you would have preferred something else. We are not in a position where we are able to please everyone, but we are doing our best to please as many of you as we can. We hope the next poll options make that clear.

We appreciate the feedback that everyone has been sharing with our team on our official forums and Reddit. We’re pretty excited about the new progression server coming this summer and we can tell that you are too!