Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Call Me By My Name

Not much more than a couple of years ago, on March 16 2019 to be precise, Daybreak popped up four new servers in celebration of EverQuest's 20th anniversary, two each for both the EQ titles. I posted about it on the day, leading with a screenshot of the login queue for one of the EverQuest servers, Selo, showing an average wait time of three-quarters of an hour.

I made characters on one of the EverQuest II servers, Kaladim, where I was cock-a-hoop over nabbing the name Lana. Flush with success, I logged in to EQ as well and snaffled two more top echelon names, Breezy (a Druid) and Buffy (a Bard). 

EQ's Selo server was so busy at launch I didn't get to log either of my newbies in until the next day. EQII's Kaladim, while popular, wasn't quite as rammed. I played there instead. And went on playing for quite a while.

Two year's later, Lana is somewhere in the mid-twenties. I took her all the way to twenty back when the server was fresh and I've logged her in quite a few times since to do this and that, most recently just a few weeks ago. 

I consider her a "real" character. She has a nice inn room that's properly decorated and I take care to make sure she gets her turn at things like holiday events so she can keep adding to her decor. As for the server, Kaladim is thriving. It's quite possibly EQII's busiest server.

Breezy and Buffy, on the other hand, haven't fared quite so well despite their impressive names. They're level three and four respectively. Buffy's total played time is just over two and a half hours. She's been standing in the bank in Shadeweaver's Thicket since March 2019. I don't know where Breezy is. Or care much, if I'm honest.

I'm in Qeynos, you dimmock! As if you care!


Even though I was genuinely thrilled to have both names at the time, I forgot either of the characters even existed almost immediately after I made them. Until today, when I read the following announcement on the login screen:

Upcoming Server Merge and Downtime - July 21, 2021

That got my attention. I wasn't aware any EQ servers were merging. I hope it's not one I play on! I clicked through the link to the forum post

"On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, Selo is being merged with Povar, and characters on Selo will be transferred over.
The announcement goes on to list a whole lot of detail about what the move entails, including this key piece of information: 

Naming Conflicts

  • If, as a result of the server merge, two or more characters have the same name, the conflict will be resolved as follows:
    • The player who has logged into game within 60 days before the merge will retain the original character name. If there is still a conflict, the character with the highest number of minutes played will retain the original character name.
    • The renamed character will have additional vowels (or 'x') added to the end of their name and be flagged for a free rename. Characters who have been renamed can open the rename window to pick a new name with /changename chat command.

That got me thinking. Didn't I have a character on Selo? I kind of thought I did. And I had some vague memory of something about the name...

Long story short, I logged in and found out everything I've just recounted above. It leaves me with some decisions to make. There's plenty of time. The merger is still a month away. 

The first question is do I want to go to Povar? I don't have to because until the move happens there are free server transfers off Selo for the asking. It's in the FAQ:

Will there be free character transfers off of the servers before the merge?

  • Free transfers off of Selo will continue to be active until the merge is complete. Use /servertransfer on Selo if you would like to go to a different server (or go to Povar early).

I didn't think I had any characters on Povar but I logged in just to be sure. None on my All Access account. I haven't checked my formerly-subbed account but I'm pretty certain Povar is a server I've never played on, nor Quellious, with which it's already merged.

I don't have any strong feelings about Povar one way or the other and since I have no intention of playing the characters anyway it hardly matters where they go. On the other hand, if I moved them to a server on which I have other characters, it's a lot more likely these two might also get a run out now and again. Not to mention I could twink them a little, which is always fun.

/Who all returns nineteen characters on Selo right now - and I'm betting a lot fewer than nineteen players based on those names.

But much more than that, I do want to keep those names. By logging them in I've cleared the 60 day hurdle. If I do nothing more and no-one else on Povar a) has an active character called Buffy and/or Breezy  or b) has an inactive one they care enough about to log in before July 21 so as to keep the name then I'm covered. If either of those things happen, though, I end up with Breezyx and Buffyx, a far less appealing prospect unless you happen to be one of Martin Millar's werewolves.

What I could do, if I'm being sneaky about it, is to try and make characters with those names on the various servers I do sometimes play on and see if they get rejected. If they don't, I can not make the character but instead /servertransfer there immediately in the confidence the name(s) will stick.

Of course, if I could do that I could just make the new character and log them in and I'd have the damn name(s) anyway so maybe it's not worth the trouble. Thinking about it, I probably stand a better chance of getting the slots by default on Povar due to inaction on the part of the current name-owners than lucking into a server where no-one's name-squatting them already.

Why I care is probably something best left unexamined. It's one of those wanting to be invited to a party even you have no intention of going things. 

As for Selo, it's a sad end for a server that started with a bang but was already whimpering long, long ago. Of the four 20th Anniversary servers across both EQ games, two prospered and two imploded. 

In EQII, as I mentioned, Kaladim continues on in style while Nagafen, the Seasonal PVP server, ran into the usual problems and closed a while ago. In old Norrath Mangler maintains a very healthy population while Selo has long been a virtual wasteland.

I won't go into the merits of PvP servers in the EQ games or the wisdom of launching multiple new special ruleset servers all at once except to note that history suggests there will always be PvP servers, no matter how many problems they cause and that however many PvE servers there are, there will never be enough at launch and always too many soon after.

I can't say I'll miss Selo. I never really played there. I'm glad I noticed it was going before it was too late to do something about my characters, all the same. If anyone else has people on Selo, now's the time to bail them out. 

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Hmm. I wonder if anyone's using Ferris?


  1. I saw the Selo merge in my feed earlier this week. I guess a fast, but not as fast as live, progression server that starts in Luclin wasn't a winner then?

    I guess as they experiment with server types they are bound to come up with some clunkers. But Selo and Mangler had some problems being defined when they were announced, another example of the old SOE trick of changing their mind in front of a live studio audience.

    Yes, there are always half a dozen very excitable people in every MMO forum insisting that PvP is a winning strategy and will bring in a million players. On the EQII front it ends in tears every time.

    How about "Rooney?" Anybody using that?

    1. Reactions to Selo and Mangler were very mixed even before they launched as I recall with a lot of people predicting there would be no long-term interest in Selo. Looks like they were right. Personally I wanted a server that was faster than Live, not faster than a regular TLE server but still slower than Live. Who the market for that was supposed to be was never clear. Atill, a new start server is a new server so people piled on. They just didn't hang around for long.


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