Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Eviction Notice

Just a little FYI for any EverQuest II players out there. There's got to be someone, right? Two weeks from today, on March 21, the Kaladim server will be merged into Antonia Bayle. The Tarinax PvP server is also merging into AB at the same time, although I'm pretty sure that's not going to affect anyone reading this.

None of this should come as much of a surprise. It was in the roadmap, after all. I confess I'd completely forgotten about it, all the same. According to that schedule, Tarinax will be replaced by a new PvP-TLE server next month but there's no new PvE-TLE server this year, hardly surprising since the most recent, Varsoon, hasn't yet unlocked the third expansion, 2006's Echoes of Faydwer.

Kaladim is "only" four years old. I put only in inverted commas because I remember when John Smedley speculated in an interview that the original EverQuest might, with luck, last three to five years. EQ is twenty-four this month. EQII will be nineteen later this year.

Still, by modern standards, four years isn't much of a run. I was surprised when I logged in this morning  to see the announcement. I'd have thought Kaladim might have had a while longer to go before the inevitable roll-up. It just goes to show the industrial nature of Daybreak's special rules server operation, I guess. They roll out, they roll on, they roll up. No drama. And now I come to think of it, at the automated pace of Time-Limited Server unlocks, I suppose four years is the full, expected life.

The process is streamlined to a fault. There's an astonishingly re-assuring FAQ on what you need to do to prepare: in short, nothing. Over the years, during what must by now amount to dozens of similar events, every possible problem has been revealed and solved. Banks, houses, inventory, mail, even those dungeons you made to store tens of thousands of housing items (Yep, that really is what the hardcore decorators use that old, mothballed feature for.) it all just moves seamlessly across.

About the worst that's likely to happen is you might get an x or two added to the end of your name. That's happened to me a few times, even though I generally pick very unlikely names. For Kaladim, though, I chose something so obvious I was excited enough to have snagged it I made a post about it. I'll be miffed to lose my rights to Lana. I never did give her that surname...

I'm actually mildly irritated to find the server is folding at all. It's not as if I play there often but I have been in the habit of dropping by for the holidays to do some quests, pick up a few sticks of furniture, maybe a hat... I had things quite nicely set up and I particularly liked the way everything Lana owns is something she's picked up for herself at low level by doing the kind of things someone who lived in a world like that might feasibly do for fun or profit.

Of course, it will all transfer with her, unchanged, but it won't have the same metaphysical imprimatur. It's the sort of thing that used to mean a great deal to me, when I took virtual worlds a lot more seriously than I do now. Vestiges of that level of attachment still surface occasionally.

I also don't much like Antonia Bayle. It used to be the official roleplaying server - may still be, for all I know - and for a long time it was by some margin the most highly-populated. Then something happened to it - I don't know what - and the population crashed to the point that Daybreak were actively trying to encourage people to transfer there for a while.

I'm guessing it's still the lowest population of the mainstream servers because every merge seems to take Ant Bayle as its destination these days. I don't have anyone there at the moment but only because the last time this happened I moved somewhere else before I was pushed. 

You can do that because Daybreak is happy to give you the choice if you care enough to take it. As the FAQ explains, "Right now, if you log in to your character, you will find a character transfer token that will allow you to pick the server to which you wish to transfer. You will be able to use this token until the servers come down for the merge on March 21, 2023."

I'm going to get right on that as soon as I finish this post. I haven't decided yet where to go. All my other characters bar one are on Skyfire so that's the obvious choice but moving there will strip away any residue of originality that might be left. Once on Skyfire, Lana will have access to all the wealth and resources of my high-level characters, instantly rendering her insignificant and meaningless to play.

In fact, her very isolation over on Kaladim was what held my interest in how she was doing. It was a small reminder of the way I used to play, when I'd regularly start new characters on fresh servers just for the pleasure of having to raise them by their own bootstraps. In the case of Kaladim, I particularly appreciated the way certain overpowering Veteran and special event  items I'd normally have been able to claim on any character I made were blocked until the server caught up with the apropriate era, although it's fair to say that by now all those have unlocked anyway.

Not counting Kaladim, Tarinax, Test and Beta, there are currently eight servers to choose from: the aforementioned Antonia Bayle and Skyshrine plus Halls of Fate and Maj`Dul all use the standard ruleset, while Isle of Refuge is the "Free Trade" server and the most recent addition, Kael Drakkel, is flagged "Lore and Legend". The current TLE server, which, as I said, is Varsoon, also uses a free trade ruleset and the final server is the EU-based Thurgadin.

I'm still mulling over my choice of destination. I'm tempted to give Varsoon a try. If not, I might go to Isle of Refuge. They both at least offer the possibility of something different to the experience I can already get on Skyfire. I already have a character on Kael Drakkel, where you start at 90 and stay there because everything, everywhere is the same level. I tried it for a while but I really couldn't see the point so I won't be going back.

I note that the instructions on the server transfer token, unlike those in the FAQ, do stress that shared banks, mail and broker boxes need to be cleared before moving, so there's some housekeeping I'll need to attend to before I leave. With the deadline just a couple of weeks away, I suppose I'd best get started.


  1. I have played on AB for years, and from what I remember the EQ2 team did something to piss off the PVP players. I don't remember what specifically, but the reaction was for those players to try and "ruin" the "flagship" server at the time aka Antonia Bayle. So a bunch of angry and disruptive players flooded into the server, purposefully trying to ruin RP events... which caused the role-playing community to scatter to other servers. Without that core group happily adopting AB, it caused the server to plummet.

    I never moved, so all of my characters are still there I just have not played in ages.

    1. Ah! Thanks for that explanation. I knew there'd been some kind of event but it must have been in the two or three years I barely played EQII at all because I never really heard the details. The game has had a major problem satisfying PvP players going all the way to back to launch but I thought they were usually the victims of neglect rather than the perpetrators of outrage. It is, however, exactly the kind of thing that PvP outfits were infamous for back in the first few years of the original EQ, so I guess we shouldn't find it too surprising.

    2. I was not actively playing at the time either honestly. I want to say it was circa 2014 shortly after the release of Tears of Veeshan (I had to look up the expansions to remember which one). My friend was trying to get me to come back but explained to me the mass exodus/pvp invasion thing that was going on with AB. I think folks fled to Crushbone maybe? That sounds familiar at least.

  2. I should log my characters in. Maybe for once just stick with one, and learn the game a bit. Atheren :)


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