Popular tech blog VentureBeat has dropped a lengthy interview with members of the EverQuest II team to retrace how the Isle of Refuge newbie zone and Far Journey boat tutorial were resurrected, and then the ensuing shenanigans as the team tried to maintain the secret even as players stumbled upon more clues that what had once been deemed “impossible” was in fact going to launch just hours later.
While it was a team effort, ultimately we have EQ2 designer Carlos “Gninja” Mora to thank for performing archaeology on parts of EQ2 that hadn’t been seen in eight years, and for then recognizing that what at first seemed to be insurmountable roadblocks preventing the zones from running properly could be fixed. Months of hard work by a dedicated group (most of the EQ2 team has continued working full blast on this fall’s Campansion) led to an overwhelmingly successful launch of two Time-Locked Expansion Servers for PvP and PvE. We’ll never have the game as it was at launch, and how many would truly want that (spirit shards and subcombines anyone?), however enough changes and limits have been applied that thousands of characters have been created and played on the new TLE servers just in the last few weeks.
Without further ado, a few quotes from the VentureBeat article, which is a great read and can be found here:
Game companies don’t often get to play a happy trick on their customers.
EverQuest II‘s designers got an idea early in June: They would release two new servers for their free-to-play massively multiplayer online RPG that would only have the original game on them, circa 2004. Players would vote for when the company should open up the game’s expansion packs on those servers.
One piece of the game would be missing, presumed lost forever: The starting zone, which consisted of an island and boat ride, could not be recovered. Players were irate, saying this wasn’t nostalgia, this was just two new servers.
Continue reading the article which interviewed Holly “Windstalker” Longdale, Kyle “Kander” Vallée, and Carlos “Gninja” Mora.
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