Can't go a day now on veterans without seeing TLP changes affecting Live, Live players complaining about TLP changes, etc. The TLP server boards are as active as the veteran boards, even though the amount of TLP servers is much less than the amount of live servers. Reddit's /r/everquest is made up of 90% TLP posts, and developer attention has also appeared to have shifted to the TLP servers. So here's a thought - does the popularity of the TLP servers show that Everquest went down the wrong path in the last, say, 10 years? After all, the TLP servers are to turn back the time - back to the days of Classic, Kunark, Velious, Luclin, and Planes of Power. Days most of us, who've been through them while they were current, remember fondly. TLP is a play on nostalgia, to be sure, but there's a lot to be nostalgic about - not just Classic, Kunark, Velious, Luclin, and Planes of Power. Everquest has had twenty-two expansions. Yet, judging by the speed at which TLP players empty out of these servers after the first five expansions are done, one has to wonder why no one is asking for a return to the other expansions - why TLP players would rather play the first five expansions over and over again, instead. Is there a "magic" to the first five expansions of Everquest that began to be lost after the Planes of Power? I tend to think so. But what is this "magic," specifically? What are the biggest differences between the first five expansions of Everquest, and the later expansions? Here's my take: 1. Static zones, instead of instanced zones 2. Pick up grouping, instead of soloing/moloing 3. Camping, instead of mission grinding 4. Unique and flavorful items, instead of standardized item tiers 5. Plenty of risk and danger, with none of the tools we have today for mitigating them down to zero 6. Exploration-focused progression, instead of task/mission-focused progression 7. Coherent world design & aesthetics, instead of "hey here's an island with weak looking birds and crabs that hit for a billion damage," though this was starting to change with Planes of Power. Of the above, I don't think a lot of it is new as complaints about modern Everquest, but I still feel it deserves repeating. I don't necessarily disagree with all the decisions that the developers have made over the years - for example, I thought the introduction of mercenaries was necessary, and they could not have stopped people from making boxes. But I also don't think that it was inevitable that Everquest would go down the path of instance missions, heroic adventures, daily quests, and standardized zone/item design & incoherent world building. At this stage, it's a bit too late, because I think it's very hard to remain passionate about the game - it's been 15+ years, the player base is shrinking every year, and the engine/platform is long past its prime. Yet, one wonders whether they could've held onto the passion & the excitement longer, had they not taken the steps that they did. Do you feel the changes to Everquest's basic design over the years have been necessary to keep the game alive & going? Else do you think they made Everquest too different from its beginnings, such that its fans ended up turning to TLP servers to play the actual Everquest?