To discuss the upcoming Time-Locked Expansion servers, Oakmiser, videographer of the Norrathian Chronicles, has recorded and posted an interview with EverQuest II Lead Designer Kyle “Kander” Vallée.
The requests for player feedback into the Time-Locked Expansion servers keep rolling. This time, we’ve been asked which encounters that have been changed over the years from Heroic or Epic mobs that should be changed back to something with more teeth!
From Caith on the EQ2 Forums:
What mobs would you like to see returned to heroic (or epic) status in the original game zones for the Time-Locked servers.
Antonica – Scarecrows
Next month, we’ll see two new Beta servers open to test PvP and PvE Time-Locked Expansion (TLE) Servers. While we’ve already been informed on several occasions that restoring the EQ2 codebase back to a launch or near-launch state would be nearly impossible, but the EQ2 team want to offer players some of the “uphill both ways in the snow“ experience that early EQ2 adventurers encountered. So the team are developing Time-Locked Expansion Servers which will be a sort of hybrid of some of the modern conveniences we have now, but with certain design decisions reverted or changed to provide more challenge and social interaction.
To decide what restrictions should apply to these new challenge servers, the EQ2 team have already been seeking feedback from players in discussion threads on the forums. This feedback is already shaping what we’ll see in Beta, which will then further shape the final form these servers take when they launch later this year. We’ve been told to expect several in-game and on-forum Polls for players to vote on which features they think should be removed outright, time-locked, or freely allowed. To sketch out some of the team’s current subject-to-change ideas for how these TLE servers will differ from what we see on Live servers, Kander has posted TLE FAQ dated June 16th on the EQ2 Forums.
Greetings Fellow Norrathians!
We wanted to make a post this week and give you a glimpse of what we are planning for our Time-Locked Expansion Servers and what you can expect to see here in the very near future.
Our current plan is to launch 2 new TLE Servers, a PvE and a PvP version. Both of these servers will have back up servers in case we need them. I am going to go over the current iteration of how they will be launching and what our plans are with them, and also list what we are considering, which we will give you, our player base, a chance to vote on with in-game polls. More on that later.
What can we expect to be in place with the launch of the Time-Locked Expansion servers?
I want to address questions around concerns with lower-population servers. First, as a community-focused team, we’re listening to feedback and we want to tackle population health issues on some servers.
After we launch the two new Time-Locked Expansion (TLE) servers, we will proceed with creating a merge process for the US servers that need it most. We hope to start doing merges within the next few months. We’ll give you specific dates as we get closer. This is very challenging work that will branch off from our Cross-Server Dungeon work. Luckily, what we plan to do for true Cross-Server Dungeons & Battlegrounds logically helps us merge characters to new servers. We’ve already had our incredible coders working on the foundation of cross-server processes for a few months already. Our database changes earlier this year were the first step.
Once we’ve addressed server populations for the US, we are going to work on some options for our international servers which is an even bigger challenge given the multiple languages, but we’ll be sharing news on that as we get closer.
What does this mean for you and our plans for the year? We are working in writing a merge process ahead of creating Cross-Server Dungeons. This effort will delay that somewhat, but it’s still on our calendar for this year along with the campaign content release and live content.
We want to do the work that is needed to ensure a rewarding and fun stay in Norrath.
Sincerely, as always,
Holly “Windstalker” Longdale
With the success of EverQuest’s recently launched Ragefire progression server, the idea of something similar in EverQuest II seems to have magically gone from “probably not” and “extremely unlikely” to “We’re doing it!” Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but last week, EQ/EQ2 Executive Producer Holly “Windstalker” Longdale surprised the hell out of everyone by announcing that PvP and PvE Time-Locked Expansion Beta servers (Yes that’s plural!) were coming to EverQuest II.
How soon you might ask Kander?
Sooner than you think. /wink
Ok really… How soon?
Its coming sooner than you think. Announcements are being trained to zone…
Holly “Windstalker” Longdale unpackaged the feline on Twitter.
Happy day!! We're preparing TWO Time-Locked Expansion Beta servers for #EQ2 in early July — one for PVE and one for PVP! Details soon ™!
— Holly Longdale (@TheWindstalker) June 10, 2015
From EQ and EQ2 Executive Producer Holly “Windstalker” Longdale on the EQ2 Forums:
What’s Up for EQII?
We have a lot in store for our intrepid Everquest II players. We’re excited to be discussing the launch of two new Time-Locked Expansion Servers for PvE and PvP sometime this year.
Along with that, the team is moving forward with a strategy of treating our players as real gamers who don’t need to be handheld for everything they do. What this means is we feel we need to trust our players to learn and achieve things without us having to give you all the information ahead of time. There’s a big difference between “head southwest and uncover the mystery of the green fog” and “go find the green fog that I put on your map for you.” Our players are smart and we want EQII to be a thinker’s and strategist’s game.
Today we release a new Rumrunner home with a décor set for our decorators, a store version of the Zeppelin mount for anyone that likes to float about in style, and new Summer Ethereal items will start dropping in Altar of Malice heroic zones (including Rum Cellar) for our adventurers.
We’re also currently testing Character Restore and Item Restore functionality on Beta which we hope to release soon.
On Tuesday, June 23, we will release Echoes of Faydwer Fabled Dungeons with all new updated loot and fun for level 100. There are 3 heroic dungeons, 3 advanced solos and 1 raid with a challenge version. Here’s the zone list:
· The Fabled Acadechism [Heroic & Advanced Solo] · The Fabled Court of Innovation [Heroic & Advanced Solo] · The Fabled Crypt of Valdoon [Heroic & Advanced Solo] · The Fabled Freethinker Hideout [Raid & Challenge Raid]
Then, in early July, we’ll introduce the ability to quest and worship Erollisi as a god for new miracles and blessings.
We can’t forget Tinkerfest! It will launch on July 17 with new content!
And later in the summer, we’ll see more Ethereal weapon drops.
For those who are curious, we’re doing a fair amount of technical and backend work to help our performance and to move toward cross-server functionality. We also want to address server population issues. We’re focusing on the first part of this work which is adjusting our architecture.
We also have been continuing to work on the content for our release later this year. Toward the end of summer as we head into the Campaign release timeframe later this year, we’ll be releasing some prequel events and designers will be sharing details about upcoming features with you. Today in our Twitch stream, designers previewed an upcoming feature that allows you to increase stats on new equipment. We also have a new item type in the works for this year’s campaign referred to as Relics which are extremely powerful items where only one can be equipped at a time, per character. Kander, Caith, and Kaitheel (yikes!) discussed these features in our livestream today and you can watch the replay here.
We’re enormously grateful for the support of all of our players and we’re excited about what’s coming up for EverQuest II!
Sincerely, as always,
Holly “Windstalker” Longdale
Exec Producer, EQ & EQII