EverQuest II Ending PvP Support on April 5th

Written by Feldon on . Posted in PvP/BG/Proving Grounds, TLE/Prestige Servers

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Introduced as an addon feature fourteen months after the game’s launch, Player vs Player combat in EverQuest II has always had an identity crisis.

In spring 2006, open-world PvP was bolted onto EverQuest II’s core game through the introduction of several open world PvP or “red” servers — Darathar (UK), Talendor (DE), Gorenaire (FR), Venekor (US RP), Vox (US), and of course Nagafen (US). In 2009, the population of Venekor, a RP PvP server, was merged with Nagafen. With the collapse of LiveGamer player auctions in 2011, Nagafen absorbed the Vox population.

Despite significant and later sporadic development effort to keep PvP relevant, Nagafen’s population gradually dwindled to a point last year where just a handful of daily logins were being reported. Last fall, the difficult decision was made to migrate those remaining Nagafen players to the decidedly non-PvP world of Antonia Bayle. All did not seem lost for PvP diehards though…

With last summer’s launch of Deathtoll, a Time Locked Expansion PvP server with travel restrictions, limited escape options, and access to Battlegrounds almost completely blocked, things were looking up for open world PvP. Thousands of TLE PvP characters were created within hours of the server’s launch. It briefly seemed like a second TLE PvP server would be needed, and indeed the name Bonemire was reserved, later depriving the consolidated Butcherblock/Crushbone/Oasis server from a non-punctuated name choice.

Yet despite massive early enthusiasm, the underlying problems of a bolted-on system remained. EQ2 was never designed for PvP and despite sometimes Herculean efforts over the years to maintain a semblance of balance, skilled players always find the right combinations of class, gear, and abilities to make them unbeatable, frustrating others until they leave. With the departure of more and more well-meaning but outmatched cannon fodder, the remaining kings of the mountain squabble over titles and wonder why their easy prey has permaquit.

PvP’s shrinking audience may ironically be attributable to listening to player feedback by EQ2′s developers. On more than one occasion, an extremely vocal minority has dictated forum discussions which led to hefty PvP patches that only relocated PvP lopsidedness rather than stamping it out. Regardless of who or what is to blame, PvP’s 10 year run in Norrath seems to be at it’s end.

On April 9th, Deathtoll will merge with Stormhold (the TLE PvE server currently unlocked up to the Kingdom of Sky expansion). Harla Dar, the Akella Online-managed Russian PvP server, will be folded into Splitpaw on March 30th. Cross-Server Battlegrounds will remain for those who need their PvP fix.

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Comments (18)

  • Ezka

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    I would feel unbelievably crushed if my way of playing were stamped out. But at the same time, you’re right, Feldon… Even though I’ve never played PvP, EQ2 has never felt like it would be a good PvP game unless much time and energy was devoted to an experience entirely unlike and unique from PvE. And unfortunately, Daybreak has finally admitted to themselves that the vocal minority is just the vocal minority, and spending any more resources on PvP is not worth it anymore in the long term. My heart goes out to the PvPers out there, and I’m so sorry for your style of playing going the way of all things, but I hope you know that there are plenty of relationships that you can forge in the PvE servers. Best of luck to you all.

    Reply

    • blaine

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      That’s where your wrong, you’ve probably never pvp’ed in this game,in my opinion this game had the best pvp around on mmo’s, maybe you just sucked?

      Reply

  • Anaogi

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    I understand how PvPers must feel, but…this is a mercy killing. It’s for the best for the game as a whole at this stage.

    Reply

  • Yaron

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    A series of events by Daybreak have caused this.
    1) Timelock pvp server decimated the Nagafen population, once Deathtoll got exploited by botters and other things. They had already killed Nagafen
    2) The new ToT expansion came out and many people came to the new combined servers from the Deathtoll server. Some with hopes of Battleground PvP,
    3) ToT expansion had nothing PvP wise, no upgrades to your PvP gear, no new zones in the battlegrounds.

    So if u want to PvP get it in on Deathtoll while u can, or get used to /duel command
    and let the new weapon procs. take over the duel game.

    just my 2 cents
    v/r
    Yaron

    Reply

  • Democyde

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    It’s impossible to truly balance a game with so many classes and so many skills, many if them grossly overpowered. Especially with gear raw stats and abilities ramping up so dramatically.

    I tried PvP when I first started my life in Everquest II on Vox. But being completely unfamiliar with MMOs in general, and Everquest specifically, I found the experience exciting but otherwise unrewarding.

    After two months, I gave up and moved to Unrest.

    But I always wondered about the PvP experience I abandoned so many years earlier. So it was with significantly rose-colored glasses that I rolled a character on Nagafen. I was excited to try my hand against other players, now that I too knew what I was doing. But in a week of playing I encountered exactly one player. By lack of population, Nagafen became a defacto PvE server. I had enough toons on those servers, thus I deleted my character and yet another soul left PvP, again.

    At this point it’s pretty much dead on TLE servers, too, as they are all too willing to remind everyone. Players should be allowed to moved to live servers though, to partake of battlegrounds. Restricting them to TLE is unfair.

    Hopefully the abandoning of PvP means a strengthening of live servers and more resources dedicated to working on the next expansion pack. Not just a cost cutting measure.

    Feldon, have you heard rumors of any layoffs resulting from this?

    Reply

  • Yaron

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    Oh i forgot one huge thing about Deathtoll
    They did not include the new classes that people liked to play and paid Cash to play aka Beastlord, Channeler

    Reply

  • Betony

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    Excellent, non-partisan write up, Feldon. Good to have the full history of PVP in EQ2 which many people may not have known.

    I hope the hard core PVP types find a game worth their expertise and energy )

    Reply

  • Xalmat

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    Its a shame, I felt EQ2 was one of the few MMOs that could (potenially) balance PvP and PvE. At least at PvP launch.

    Still, there are far better PvP-oriented MMOs out there these days.

    Reply

  • Wirewhisker

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    Good.

    Reply

  • Strubble

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    It frustrates me that the only option for the 4 characters I created on Deathtoll in search of pvp are forced to transfer to Stormhold. I believe it is entirely wrong to not give people the option to move to whatever server they wish to. I deleted toons from non TLE servers in order to create toons on Deathtoll so that I could be on a pvp server. Now that there is no PVP server I have no desire to play on a TLE server. All of the effort that I put into my Deathtoll toons might not be all lost if I could transfer them to a regular server which is now where I play. At least I would have a few more Tradeskillers. All of Daybreaks customers paid for a subscription to play on Deathtoll and now the server is being closed. Leaves a terrible taste in my mouth that we have but one option which is a TLE server. If this continues to be the only option affordered to us I am sure many will delete their Deathtoll characters. I am fairly certain that the majority of us will be unhappy that as paying subscribers we have only been given this single option as to what to do with our characters. Play TLE or /delete.

    Reply

  • Skyce

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    well obviously the BG’s have been taken down too, or absolutely no one are queueing them.

    Reply

  • Ehllea

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    Well, it would make me extremely sad if Daybreak opted to completely remove support for BG’s in the future.

    One thing that i hope people will recognize is that pvp isn’t always about “balance.” There are those “kings of the mountain” because they spend an enormous amount of time and resources on learning the system (all of the classes, abilities, etc) and gearing their toons, so naturally they will be “OP.” In this sense, the balance that people seem to be looking for is to say that such personal progression shouldn’t exist, and everyone should do the same kind of damage, have the same kind of heals, and all the same capabilities…which just doesn’t make any sense.

    The old BG system that SOE developed (the scaling and everything) was good enough for those still interested in pvp. for awhile there was a decent “balance” between certain tiers (30 and 80/89 specifically) and the diehard pvp community was generally pleased. However, with the introduction of Kael Drakel contested gear (level 87 stuff) that balance was completely wiped, and served as the last straw for those who remained playing and invested in the BG’s.

    The system’s there. PvP Does work in EQ2. It attracted a HUGE and kept a large part of the playerbase. It’s honestly worth reviving/keeping. It should take very little effort to morph bg’s into something that doesn’t need to really be maintained…here’s to hoping Daybreak doesn’t give up on it.

    Reply

  • Turd

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    Garbage Battlegrounds killed our pvp server

    Reply

  • Devrosk

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    Eq2 pvp at one time was phenomenal. Over time changes took place that killed open world pvp. You could practically draw a graph showing the decline of pvp because of those incredibly stupid changes. If they were to take away every major change since after KoS expansion it could have gone back to glory. Ofcourse now is too late. Alot of players like myself lost faith in the devs after coming back time and time again only to find its still broken and there’s no open world pvp because the population has dwindled it’s way into oblivion. The changes took place because of the people who didn’t like this or that. It was all over the forums. The problem lies with ppl like me. I never made a single post to defend the state of pvp. If more ppl would have made their voice heard back then we wouldn’t have had so many years of broken pvp killing off a portion of the player base.

    Reply

  • Rock Stone

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    I subbed to the new server. Unfortunatly EQ2 PvP would always suck because it was never FFA. The faction PvP was sad. Even though they opened up the new server with the almost original, it was the same ol garbage. Daybreak sold out instantly with fast mount sales. Was a joke really. Still had the PvP engagement rules lol… If you attack me you slow down, and I get to run away… Carnage flags and all.. I didnt even make it to the second month and I quit.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      When the team realized what was happening with fast travel and flying mounts in PvP, I think there was discussion to turn them off. However there was one roadblock. 5 points if you guess who.

      Reply

    • Sherrif Murder

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      Faction PvP was great actually. FFA would have been dumb.

      Reply

  • Fallen

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    Never actually played everquest 1 or 2 downloading it now and seeing the no pvp sign. shame really. Im looking for a game with pvp and roleplay enforced thats a mmorpg. Not just leveling pyschos who are grinding or killing just to pk. I already had doubts before reading this about everquest most big name titles fall short on the little skills that make games great. like stealth mechanics, pickpocketing from ncps and players. Driving people to roleplay instead of just get the best gear.

    I havent found a game capable of this since feadul realms and threshold rpg twoi text based mmorpgs that while definatly lacking in graphics actually balanced pvp with pve and there was no best gear. bc their was always a counter and the games drive wasnt grinding or pking. the focus was player interaction with each other. Everything you did even from the begining pushed you towards this. Wanna be a theif? or a mage the quest line pushes you towards the theif or mage guild where guess what you gotta get accepted if you can find them that is by a real player. then the crafting skills and enchanting went hand in hand forcing guilds to work with one another for better gear for both. as one has skills the other doesnt have access to. this created a player driven ecomedy. sadly feudal realms is dead and long gone, threshold is still around but I’ve been looking hard for a game with graphics like those text based ones, I was hopeing everquest may have had it.

    Reply

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