Seasonal Server Discussion

Discussion in 'Time Locked Progression Servers' started by Blingx, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. Blingx Augur

    This thread was created in order discuss the proposition of a Seasonal Challenge Server, even if it isn't the one that is picked.

    Current Idea given by Holly "Windstalker" Longdale:

    PROS:
    • It won't advance to an arbitrary expansion and then stall.
    • No waiting 3-4 years for a new progression server release after expansion X kills the population.
    • Get to experience what's gonna happen on the other options anyways.
    CONS:
    1. It may go too fast for some people, since the idea is to unlock/complete something the fastest. (think Classic->Kunark->Velious->Luclin in 3months)
    2. It's competitive/awards competitive behaviors (think training others, ksing, p-socking).
    This stuff is still conceptual they could make it so that the challenge goal is different each time(not just killing X boss or completing Y expansion). It could even be made to award EVERYONE that completes the goal not just 1 player or 1 guild of players.

    I think having a pool of options that the server cycles through each reset would be great with the possibility of people/devs coming out with new challenges to put in. Otherwise what happens with the current rule set will happen with this one; it gets stale and then people leave.

    But the purpose is to discuss the idea not to convince you to choose it. So what are your thoughts?
  2. Coldsore.Fippy Augur

    I'd be interested in seeing what the prize would be. Is it something that gives an advantage for the next season? Or is it like a title that gets added to your account, more of a prestige/recognition kind of thing? Some sort of exclusive mount? Extra entitled time on your account to get more vet rewards? A Ping's Potion Pack or some other LoN loot cards? Resetting some of your /claims? How do you make a prize compelling but not OP?
  3. Fizzle Augur

    Id be interested in this if the details were more clear. How long is a season is my biggest question. I like the fact that when the server runs its course I wouldn't have to beg and scratch and claw for years to get another one. Makes sense from daybreaks standpoint since it would get rid of us pests asking for a new server again in 2 years.
  4. Aszuthan Journeyman

    First of all... Hey Blingx! Long time no see. You're still my favorite bard after all these years.

    And honestly I think there's a handful of issues with the current presentation of the "Seasonal Server" - but it's largely marketing it with a better name and a small (although hardware demanding) tweak that could increase it's popularity quite a bit.

    1) It should be named an "Anniversary Server" or "Anniversary TLP" - with a 1 year reset timer (or maybe biannual) coinciding with the March 15th Anniversary events. Ties in with the marketing they already do for the timeframe and for people that have an interest in EQ at all they clearly like to push nostalgia during the timeframe but with buffed up versions of old stuff already - this would give the opportunity to give people who don't want the buffed up versions something as well.

    2) They should present the players with a transfer option to a standard TLP when the reset occurs - so those that want to continue forward can, and those that want to stay there can as well. [And possibly for the "Lock it before GoD" or whatever else types after a few more expansions that server could lock and allow transfers to a standard TLP as well - but that's getting tangential and very longterm]

    I think the combination of those two things, the first making it more clear that it's years between resets not 12 weeks - and the second, making it appealing to those that want to play on a reseting server permanently as well as those that just want a fair starting point to jump off to standard TLP after a year or two, that I feel would fix it's current bad publicity.
  5. Xanadas Augur

    Add to cons:
    - nobody will bother doing tradeskill/cultural armor stuff (or anything else that takes a lot of farming) since it's almost always obsoleted when the next expansion opens.
    - there will be next to no bazaar market since, you guessed it, most items are obsoleted extremely quickly as expansions fly open.
    - solo play or even non-guild group-play would be non-existent since the nature of the server is guild vs guild.
    - there would be no point for a non-competing guild on a server like this.
  6. syko187 Elder

    I honestly feel the seasonal server is a better option than TLP, but I still prefer a locked server.

    That being said, seasonal server is 2nd best option to me. TLP's die when they get too far, so I'd rather have a faster resetting server than spend a few months on Fippy 2.0 for nothing once the server declines. Then I'll be stuck looking for something to play again.
    Soltara likes this.
  7. PathToEternity Augur


    This. This this this a thousand times.

    If we had two lists, both a thousand items long, of the pros and cons of any kinds of progression server, this will always be the watershed for me.

    I don't care what the unlocks are or how they are determined or how long they are for or anything else. The premier problem with progression servers is that they are so infrequent. We got a paid nine years ago and we got a pair four years ago, that's it.

    Getting a progression server every five years is a hell of a timetable, especially as EQ ages and we wonder, Will this be the last one?

    At least a seasonal server gives us guaranteed and frequent reboots of some kind, and for me that trumps all other options. I'm mostly interested in the Classic through PoP era, sure, but it would be fun if we raced through other "expansion trilogies" if you will, sometimes naked, sometimes with /testbuff, whatever. It also doesn't have to be all about raiding, as someone mentioned about - quests and crafting could be incorporated into seasonal goals.

    Seasonal could be done wrong, but I also think it's the easiest to get right. Progression servers, as much as I enjoy them, have real potential for messing up (out of era gear, tradeskill play exploits, etc.) and something that's wiped/tweaked/re-fitted occasionally helps smooth over some of those rough edges.

    So I voted seasonal. I hope we get one. I almost don't care at all how it's packaged.
  8. Irbax_Smoo Augur

    Personally, I love the idea of a seasonal server. EQ doesn't have to have just 1 progression server. There could be 1 seasonal and 1 whatever else that casual players want. Honestly, I would see this as the best option for casual players.

    The seasonal server would attract the highly competitive guilds and allow them to go head to head. At the same time, the more casual server allows the non-competitive gamer to experience EQ without a hearty amount of training, KSing and p-socking. Casuals might even get to raid time relevant content and competitive guilds would have less whining from casuals.

    It is a way to fragment the two warring gamer types, while still catering to their needs.

    You can bet if they did a seasonal server, I would play nothing, but EQ.
    JacklSK likes this.
  9. Machen Augur

    Lots of options for a seasonal server.

    1) Discord 2.0 -- Permadeath pvp. Last player standing after ~2 months.
    2) Combine-Style progression. how far can you get in 6 months?
    3) Fippy style progression server (no votes). Done when a player reaches 300 in every tradeskill -- including research (8x300). Would need at least velious iirc to complete.
    4) PoP progression, ends when quarm defeated. Characters continue from 3).
    5) PVP/progression server, no vote/timelocked, ends when one player gets 1000 unique kill shots (duplicates don't count)
    6) PVP progression no vote, ends when GoD is unlocked.

    etc etc. You can come up with almost endless ideas, most of which would interest both raiders (open world competition) and groupers/casual classic players (more time spent in classic/kunark/velious/whatever.)

    I'm not a super big fan of the idea, I prefer long term character development personally as I think that's the core around which EQ is built.... but I can see how a seasonal server could have its appeal, IF it is done well and Daybreak puts in the effort (doubtful) to have a wide variety of seasonal challenges.
    Zoggzog likes this.
  10. Vaclav Augur

    Good call Machen - it would be cooler for Seasonal to have a changing list of rules or targets to achieve.

    I'd almost suggest a few triggers to causing the end - so that there could even be a race between different types of content doing. (i.e. if it's ending at PoP - First Tradeskill Earring [forgetting the name], First Quarm, and perhaps some other triggers)
  11. Mardy Augur

    Seasonal server is going to be a server where they reward players that hack the most, as well as train & killsteal the most. With lack of GM intervention now after the firings, expect a server like this to be open season to hacks & cheats.

    Daybreak gets +1 for good intentions, decent ideas. But ultimately players will mess this up. We already saw what happened on Fippy/Vulak when guilds hacked and cheated to beat server firsts. And those servers didn't even reward players for accomplishments.
    Zoggzog and Crayon123 like this.
  12. Vaclav Augur

    You think not one person that hacked events didn't sell their loot to earn RL money?

    And I'd personally weigh that reward much higher than a silly title, like the rewards for Seasonal would likely be.

    [Not to mention, I'm sure a common discussion topic with basically no GMs now is figuring out how to disable or detect the hacks automatically - and I'm sure they'll figure out something eventually]
  13. Mardy Augur


    I didn't say that did I? I know for sure people sold loot for money, but then that has always happened in EQ, it's nothing new. Still doesn't take away from the fact that a highly competitive server will attract the worst player behaviors possible. History doesn't lie, we've all seen it happen before.

    And don't dream about them disabling any hacks, it's just not happening. The only things keeping hacks low in MMO's are 1) active detection, 2) active development via engine upgrades, and 3) active enforcement. EQ had none of the 3, Daybreak with severely underhanded staff will be none of it either. It's an old game with an outdated engine, one run without active GM's now.

    Like I said, seasonal server was a decent idea, they get a +1 for it. But ultimately it's just not going to be a good environment to be in due to the amount of competitive gamers wanting to be the first and be the best, and get rewarded for it.
  14. Irbax_Smoo Augur


    The thought of hacking didn't even occur to me, but you're right @Mardy.

    Personally I can handle people whom train, kill steal or are just jerks in general. Hacking is a different story and I know it happened on Vulak, but it wasn't anything major enough to disrupt my personal enjoyment of the game. That or I just have incredibly thick skin.

    I haven't played EQ since PoP on the last set of progression servers. How prevalent is hacking on normal servers right now? I would use that as a comparison model, because I doubt DBG would use different methods on any new servers.

    My experiences playing against hackers in other games is that the majority of them aren't all that smart and are horribly lazy. You have 2-3 geniuses that come up with the hack and then turn around and sell it for a chunk of change. The people whom buy the hack and use it are the majority, not the innovators. While I can see a market grow for new hacks for TLP at the same time I don't see a large possibility of new hacks being made for a 16 year old game.

    I would say existing hacks would be the most prevalent and maybe someone will come up with 1-2 more. So if hacks aren't insane on current servers as they are now, then I would doubt they would be exponentially worse. Worse, yes, but not exponentially.

    ~Rulu
  15. Trosh Augur

    Personally I'd love to see a server with this ruleset launch about 6 months after launching one with the standard TLP ruleset. It would split the first wave up so that both servers would maintain momentum forward, but would allow for constant day 1 starts for people who want to give it a shot all over again.

    I guess the best thing to do would be to re-start the server after there is only 1 guild that defeats 2 expansions in a row. Obviously that guild wins the title or w/e and then you could have a cool-down period and re-launch.

    Need to make sure that whatever the prize is wouldn't give the winners an advantage over other players for the next relaunch, however. Perhaps SC, Title, a neat mount.. those would be okay.
  16. Vaclav Augur

    Yes, but people cheating for financial gain will be motivated regardless. I'm hearing stories elsewhere of people that earned literally enough for a car downpayment from hacking during the first months of Vulak and Fippy.

    Don't get me wrong, titles are neat and all - but I'm most definitely not a cheating type - and for a moment I started to muse if I should try doing that once the TLP rolls around before my ethics snapped me back to reason. (And I'm no poor college student, got a very comfortable retirement lifestyle that it wouldn't influence much, just would replace my own downpayment on a car buy I've got to do soon...)
  17. Gorillanator New Member

    The key here is what the prizes will be and how they will be distributed. If they are super-awesome and only given to the top tier players than yes....there's gonna be bad behaviour.

    But if the rewards are more frills and baubles and they are given to a wider group then there should be less thorns.
  18. Zoggzog Elder

    A lot of very good points have been raised in this thread. I personally enjoy long term characters, but I can see the appeal of an official contest server. However, as it has been pointed out, if the rewards are trinkets, or something that a lot of people can win, it's not going to draw as many people. Yet, if the rewards are substantial, or only winnable by a few, it will be a fustercluck of trains, kill stealing, ninja-looting, camp jumping, and general douchery. The only way that kind of server could feasibly operate would be with heavy regulation. I doubt that will happen, given the recent decisions concerning GM's, but if it does, I would be very interested in it. In fact, a contest server with rewards that could transfer to your characters on other servers would be a great pairing for a Locked server. Players could have a home on their Locked server, and play on the contest server for a little variety and prizes for their Locked characters.
    JacklSK and Irbax_Smoo like this.
  19. yellowzombie Elder

    I'll be honest, the first time I heard about this ruleset on the polls, I recoiled. It sounded ridiculous and stupid.

    Thinking about it further and reading some ideas about it on this forum and elsewhere though has really changed my mind about it. I think it has a lot of potential for greatness.

    One major issue I think of however is what happens to your toon when the season ends. Is it simply deleted? Are they wiped and created naked at lvl 1 again? So much of the nature of an MMO is the time and energy you invest into your character. If you play knowing full-well that they will be wiped within a few months, would that affect your own personal drive to cultivate and develop the greatness of your character? I feel like for me personally, it might cause some issues for full investment. On a regular TLP server, you play your character for the long-haul, knowing that they're not going anywhere. That deletion factor is kind of intimidating.

    Zoggzog brought up some good suggestions. If there was some way to lock the characters-- transfer them to the TLP server after the season ends or something-- it would be much more appealing. But yeah, totally losing your character and any trace of the amount of time you dumped into them is a lot to swallow for some, myself included.
    Zoggzog likes this.
  20. Irbax_Smoo Augur

    Rewards...

    Something I have noticed on the bazaar on live, since I have reactivated my account, is that the most expensive items are aesthetic armor mods. So there is obviously a desire for these things and even in games like WoW, just getting my fancy mount from arenas was reward enough for me.

    I would suggest rewards based on unique, aesthetic armor mods for "winning" guilds and players. These can be /claimed by any character you own on any server. Like the 999 gifts that give you defiant armor at level 1, except that they are Season X TLP Mod Y.

    Devs don't even need to develop them at all. I would personally market it as a contest for ALL EQ players to submit their own work through the Player Studio, have the EQ team decide on their favorites and then offer the "winners" their choice of what was selected. New artists would be featured on the web site, PR people could write a press release on the winners/artists, social media would go into a frenzy with contest content and opinions.

    It would receive strong community involvement, it makes rock stars out of new artists, gives something unique to "winners", relieves the work load on developers and it's cost effective. It is effectively win-win.


    Winning at Progressing...

    It doesn't have to be ONLY raiding, but things that competitive gamers do in general, because they want to win or be the best at something. These things could be:

    Guild to get the first server kill on raid mob X (obviously you need this one).
    Guild to receive the most first server raid mob kills by the time the season ends.
    Being the first on the server to reach the current level cap.
    Being the first on the server to reach the current level cap for your class.
    Being the first on the server to obtain the epic (1.0+) for your class.
    Being the first on the server to obtain the faction quest BP for your class.
    The person on the server with the most AA at the time the season ends.
    The first person to finish ridiculous quest X (IE: BiC, Shawl, etc).

    Please note that most of these were already tracked on the original TLP time lines and people would fight tooth and nail just to see their name on it. Even my GL in Insidious Vision (Sleeper TLP 1.0) told the guild he had all of his epic ready to go, when he didn't, just so he could get the green scale over another warrior and see his name up on the board. People will do crazy stuff for very little, temporary recognition.


    Jerkiness of Player Base...

    It's going to have bags - it is inevitable. The people that can't handle that don't need to be on this server, but I honestly believe that it would siphon off a lot of problems for the more "traditional" TLP.

    Yes the normal TLP will get people that want to "dominate", but think about how ridiculed a guild would be if they tried to be a digital "gangsta". If they are trying to prove how awesome they are while on the casual server while there is an obvious hardcore raiding server available. It's like those skinny, freckled, privileged white boys with baggy pants attending a private high school costing more than I spent on my college tuition.

    People that really want to compete will do so if they are actively pointed to a server marketed directly toward that specific audience. Just as I am sure casuals would go to a server directly marketed toward that specific audience. It's called audience fragmentation and it's a concept worth many billions of dollars and it's why Facebook is so profitable.

    Hacking is the main concern for these servers, but people that win with hacking are going to have a hard time not getting noticed. It is one thing to make a lot of personal money with it and an entirely different thing when everyone is watching your personal progress. When you are trying to achieve something everyone else wants to achieve, the front runners get watched by everyone. This essentially makes it very hard to hack effectively for a server wide win (not a win in a random game lobby).


    Possibilities...

    IRL I handle social media and PR for several professional gamers and guilds/clans in games like: League of Legends, Call of Duty, Madden NFL and recently Guild Wars 2. I don't handle anyone in WoW, but there is a huge following for arena teams and even some raiders are getting sponsors now.

    The potential for a seasonal server to gain success, even in a horribly old game, is immense with the way eSports are trending in North America. In the next four years we might even catch up to the level eSports has been in South Korea - for the past decade.

    People flock to competition that has rewards (money or otherwise), where players flock fans follow, where fans flock sponsors follow, where sponsors flock more competitions follow and the whole cycle grows on itself. I can't count how many people watch Twitch feeds of some of my clients when they have never even heard of the game being played. They still become loyal followers and they power up the cycle.

    DBG PR could embrace this and thrive off of press releases and trying to organize player watches with MLG and ESL. Even with how old the game is, winning in games will always be relevant, even to the people not playing the game at all.

    I was not intending to write this much, but I got on a roll...
    Zoggzog likes this.

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