A different locked server concept

Discussion in 'Time Locked Progression Servers' started by Vumad, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Vumad Journeyman

    I don't know if the devs read these but I hope they do.

    I wish DBG would implement era progression servers that do NOT unlock, like Agnarr is currently. But these servers allow one time FREE transfer to the NEXT server in the progression series. It would work somewhat similar to the current setup except that servers themselves would not progress and transfers would be free. In short, I can make a character on sever A go to 50, then move servers for free and level to 65, and so forth until I level up to the current game.

    The problem I have is that I play on Luclin. Below L80 the game is a wasteland. I wish I could start a character on a POP locked, or previous locked server and have people of a similar level to play with. When I get to a place that I am content with, I can transfer to the next server in the series.

    I think P99 proves that there are people who want to play the game in locked eras. I think progression proves this as well. These people are a resource for recruitment to all severs. I think that such a slight change in the current system would help bundle similar level players together rather than making it so hard to find a group pre-100.

    I also think that the change should slightly change the subscription plans. Currently you must have a sub to play on progression servers. This seems like Inverse Logic (pun intended) to me. I would think that a vanilla locked server that is free would make the most sense as it would be a way to help rebuild the population and get new players to come to the game.

    I try to get people to join the game but it is wasted effort as they log into a game designed to group with an absent population and a terrible XP curve. I realize it might be profitable to sell subscriptions and heroic characters to existing players but I do believe that games like Minecraft have proved that things like graphics are not going to keep people from trying EQ. I just wish they would find a properly distributed population that would encourage them to stay.

    so DBG, please compete with P99 with a free server. Allow free transfers from that server to a subscribing server with posted level caps. Allow each server that is capped a free transfer to a locked server of a higher cap or a live server. Please put the stepping stones in place.

    And yes, I am a subscriber. I can't take credit for the idea, but I really really wish it were a thing.
  2. snailish Augur

    This concept has been brought up before, usually called the "ladder server" or similar.

    I want to like the idea, mostly because I would play on certain locked eras for a long time (Velious, OoW, TSS). But other people would be different. And that is the problem as even if you only locked by level cap eras... pretty much all of these servers would be lower population than Agnarr is now (some time into the lock) as you would be splintering off those still hanging on Agnarr and only gain a few others I predict. If they are low population they won't accomplish what you want (robust place to level all the way with others).

    Least effort, least risk but could maybe accomplish similar things (provide those that want to level up with others to eventually play live) would be making a new live server with really high XP, possibly even focus the XP extra high (I can't remember if they can do this server-specific or not) in the TSS zones --possibly even warranting a TSS lock* because the content supports this, no mercenaries, no level 90+ interfering with the content. And give free transfers off to live servers. This is the only lock I see maybe being useful/played for more than a year.


    *Did they move Defiant gear past TSS era yet? Trivializes TSS content if not, plus having defiant be something you transfer to a normal live server to get would slighly incentivize that too.
  3. MarttinPH Elder

    TSS gets some defiant armor but not all of them. I think TSS gets defiant up to Intricate. I think HoT gets Elegant. I could be wrong.

    I think the idea is interesting but it has requires some fine tuning. There are currently 24 expansions. How many steps on the ladder do you have? and where do you place them?
    Too many servers might cause some eras to have almost no populations.
    Just a guess, we could have the following progression.
    Server 1: Velious Locked
    Server 2: PoP Locked (We have this)
    Server 3: OoW Locked
    Server 4: The Bured Sea
    Server 5: House of Thule
    Server 6: TBM
    Just a suggestion.
  4. Aurastrider Augur

    I have brought this up previously and think 3 servers would be sufficient. 1-60, 61-85, 85-105 all with current live xp rates or better. Once you reach the level cap for your server you move up to the next server. These would not be "progression servers" but rather leveling servers. The idea would be to feed end game to support the health of the game on that end. Once 105 you can transfer off to a server of your choosing.
    snailish likes this.
  5. Arrk Augur

    The problem to solve... Names

    you would have to make a set of servers... that all contain the lock names through all eras...this however only spreads the population out on all servers of that lock group
    or
    you have to solve the name issue another way... like account tying names so you can have duplicates. However, that is a huge issue alone...

    Solve the name issue... then you may have a chance.
  6. jeskola Augur

    I can only facepalm when I see a post like this go up. This would be a ton of work just to create a ton of dead servers.
  7. Ngreth Thergn Developer

    A big issue with this is: Server and server maintenance is not free. As players suggest, we don't foresee this having a large population. Likely not enough to support the cost of the servers.
  8. HoodenShuklak Augur

    Velious lock? P99
    PoP lock? Agnarr
    Luclin lock? Rolling tlp releases
    Middle of the game lock? Any of the various old tlps.
    End game? Hell, you already have a FV there.


    All that's really neglected at this point is FV tlp or a pvp. One's foregone conclusion to be the most popular tlp to date, the other is eq pvp.
  9. Imukai Lorekeeper

    I wish they'd lock one right before mercs are added. That would be my forever home. Alternate to that, maybe locking at DoN. Agnarr locked too soon, and all the others will eventually have mercs - which IMO are the iceburg for the game as a whole.
  10. Aziuno Augur

    I know this is the complete opposite of what the OP asked for... but I imagine this would be more popular and makes a bit more sense...

    What about a Seasons Server?

    For a few years now, you have done a New TLP with very similar rule sets. When you do this, the same people restart over and over on them, and a tiny portion remain to actually experience a TLP past PoP.

    Why not just make the next server a seasonal that every year it resets, and toons are dumped elsewhere when done, or just deleted.

    I don't think straight up deleting them would be a big deal, players say they want to keep their old toons, but the truth is they get abandoned as soon as you find a new server you are having fun on, and vary rarely does anyone go back to their old toon.

    Features of this Server:
    -People playing it know that there is a deadline when it resets, and if they want to experience past (Luclin?) they would not play this server.
    -People who want to experience past these era's aren't left with a server that has mass exodus cast on them as soon as guilds clear Plane of Time.
    -When you launch a new progression server after a few years, people would join it knowing with a bit more confidence that the population is more likely to hang around past PoP
    -You don't have to pay for powering on hardware / maintenance for a server with 0 population like Fippy/Zeks
    -You could even test out small ruleset changes and see how they go, and not have to worry too much, as in a year it will be a clear slate again.
    Graethos likes this.
  11. Spayce Augur

    So you've created a lot of servers locked at expansions with level increases. What happens next?

    Great, now the Classic server will be a ghost town from 1-40 when everyone is at 50 after the first year. As soon as folks want to jump to the Velious server, they will be joining a server full of level 60s at 50 that's a ghost town from 51-59. Then over and over for every server, joining it at the bottom with nobody to play with every single time. Good times!

    The way to pump any life into existing TLP servers is to make it extremely easy to catch up. Right now on Coirnav, a player should be able to hit 65 very quickly (perhaps starting at 60 after play creation) so they can join up with the existing player base and progress with them through OoW when the cap raises to 70. The devs already did this once when they introduced heroic toons at 85 to help folks catch up to live, and it can easily be done again for TLP servers.
  12. snailish Augur

    Do we need a catch-up server or just expanded character creation options?

    Mayong 51/50 code exists... strip the gear and that would be fine to allow as of PoP (if not Luclin) on any server. For free.

    Code up a level 30 version in patchwork gear and that's a fun testdrive thing as of Kunark and for those of us that like to mess with alts but are bored doing 1-25 again (yep... not a long process on a live server).

    Code up a level 70, make 85 free, and make the paid heroics level 105 to sell.

    Era gate them appropriately for all servers to use.
  13. Xeris Augur

    Could save costs by merging a bunch of existing servers... prolly some TLPs can be merged, many live servers can be merged, etc.
  14. jeskola Augur

    They do not have the ability to merge servers right now. They wrote a new script and tested it on empty Vulak into Fippy, and it failed miserably. After that, they shelved all future server merge plans for the time being, as they need to go back to the drawing board.

    A dev also posted that server consolidation won't really save them any money or free up resources for a bunch of reasons I can't recall - it's all in a dev post on here somewhere that I am too lazy to search for.
    snailish likes this.
  15. Vumad Journeyman

    I acknowledge a couple of the arguments against and will make some counter points.

    I do like the phrase "ladder servers". Good thought.

    The server costs issue isn't really much of an issue. Agnarr already exists so there is not cost there. It would only need a name change to drop it into its ladder server slot. Also DBG recently launched two TLP servers. There are already several voting locked servers. Consolidating the servers down to 5 servers that simply stay locked is really not an issue from a server cost stand point. There are currently 8 progression servers. A ladder server concept could actually reduce costs because it would permanently implement 4-5 set progression servers. There obviously would be a cost in any mergers or what-not, but the other levels in the ladder would just be a renamed progression server that doesn't follow through with unlocking when it gets to the desired point.

    Gaps after transfer are not much an issue. Capped at 50, 65, 80 and 95 would really put people in the right spot to be able to group with the end game people on each server. It's not unreasonable to set it up so you start on each server at the proper (lowest intended) level even if creating a new character.

    The only real issues are, as mentioned, names, but more importantly server transfers. I do not know what the costs to DBG would be to server transfer a character. A larger impact is when entire guilds try to transfer at once. The whole concept behind a ladder server system is backboned on being able to transfer when you are content with the content. There can't be a cost or it simply wont work. It might require an upfront coding investment that may not seem worthwhile, but I believe if done right it wouldn't be a bad long term investment.

    Everything prior to level 105, with the exception of 3 premium servers is already free. I can see the only arguments to be had are if guiding players with ladder servers would improve early game grouping and if managing free server transfers. Even these free servers have the potential to generate income if things like raid gear maintain the premium tag, but more importantly they would hopefully grow in population with the draw of free high quality MMORPG gameplay and serve as recruitment points for the live servers.
  16. Vumad Journeyman

    I will admit that I do not know the motives of the TLP players and maybe the unlocking is why they play there. I'm no psychologist so I don't know if ladder servers would have the same draw as progression servers. Nostalgia is the motivator for many, myself included, but I'm sure competition is a motivator for many also. Also Ladder servers would draw the most focus on the last expansion in a level cap with minimal focus on expansions below the cap, whereas progression servers walk through each expansion (so competition is not the only draw. It is possible the the TLP servers would still be more popular than ladder servers for these reasons. I obviously can't say. I'm mostly basing my thoughts on P99 and Agnarr which are already 2/4 (yes 1/2) of the ladder equation which is already to a reasonable extent proof of the potential success of ladder servers.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/project1999/comments/9s3e1c/player_count/
  17. HoodenShuklak Augur

    New tlps are an easy (financial) win because at its heart Everquest is an mmorpg where the players make the game alive. Early on in eq you're forced to take part in that whole MMO part. But that drops off as expansions come along and attrition takes its toll.
  18. Goburs Journeyman


    Since you're answering to this topic....in all seriousness, why haven't you atleast asked the community if they'd roll on a PvP TLP? If you have, I apologize as I have not seen a poll, or any responses to this topic. I know I sure as hell would. It's how I spent many of my first years in this game, all the way from being corpse camped on sullon zek, to the TSS era of Zek. I know a TON of people who would roll on this server.

    Why not give it a shot? It's not like it could be any worse than repeating blue time and time again. Why not give us people who love PvP a chance to relive the glory we once had in EQ? There would obviously need to be some things fixed so that pvp wouldn't be broken in some areas as the server progressed, but what's the harm in atleast trying?
  19. Iyacc Augur


    Because they don't feel it would be profitable. If they did - they would have done it by now.

    That's how businesses work. Not for funz, or for feelz, but for $$$$$
  20. Warpeace Augur


    We cant get other things fixed as it is. Your asking for something that is nitch at best including how broken PvP is in EQ? Asking for effort that takes more than 5 minutes? Probably happen before server stability on test though.

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