Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tiger, Tiger : EverQuest

I didn't plan on posting tonight but Belghast's observation that he hadn't been able to log in to EverQuest because "the servers went down at 5:00 am EDT on the 18th and did not come back apparently until 2:30 am EDT on the 19th" led me to check the patch notes to see what was going on.

They are extensive to say the least. There's all the usual, expected, ongoing tweaking of content from the 19th Anniversary celebrations and the current expansion, Ring of Scale but there were also some changes that struck me as rather odd:

Tigers across Norrath celebrate by roaring in delight! Reverted tigers in older zones to their original appearance.

The Minotaur Hero will again terrorize the Steamfont Mountains. Newbie gnomes beware!

Handing in the Tome of Order and Discord to a Priest of Discord will again flag the character as Player Versus Player

Hmm. I believe all of those are reversions to changes made at various times over the years that were intended either to modernize the game, make it more accessible, or both. I'm sure I specifically recall The Priest of Discord being disabled to avoid the endless customer service problems caused by newbies handing in their Tomes without understanding the dire and irreversible consequences.

What's more, it was only a few days ago, while I was hunting in Emerald Jungle, that I was admiring the gorgeous tiger models there. I very nearly did a post specifically about them. Those are the models they have removed in favor of older ones. I wish I'd taken some better screenshots now.

I wonder what the older ones look like? I do remember when they changed the Dire Wolf models in Velious from the ones that looked like they came from a Tex Avery cartoon to the inferior ones we have today but I can't recall any goofy, cartoon tigers.

What this presages, I dread to think. There seems to be altogether too much of a "good old days" vibe going on in some parts of DBG. On the other hand, if they feel like reverting Freeport to its former glory they can change every animal model in the game back to 1999 spec and we'll call it even!

Not everything old is deemed gold, however. By far the biggest and potentially most controversial change is this:

Performed additional upgrades to both the client and server to utilize more modern hardware and operating system features.

- - EverQuest will no longer run on Windows Vista or older operating systems.

- - Please refer to the minimum system requirements on our website.
It  was only last week that there was a big discussion in general chat about Windows. The consensus seemed to be that EQ was best played on Windows XP, which was what most of the people expressing an opinion were still using.

EQ players generally do not like change. We'll see how this goes.


  1. Ouch, yeah, killing off support for old operating systems for a game that pretty much depends on long time customers, many of whom never bother to upgrade their PCs more than once a decade if they can help it does seem fraught. Then again, Windows Vista is now more than a decade old and even Win7, which I still run, will pass its nine year anniversary later this year. At some point directly testing and supporting old operating systems just takes too much time and effort. I recall having to support IE6 for ages because a big customer was still running XP with that for their agents. It was a royal pain, and it is just a web browser. You'd think that would be easy. So I imagine the pain of supporting a whole out of date OS must be much, much worse.

    At least they didn't say you needed to be running 64-bit I guess.

    On the tiger front, was the model that Potshot and I ran into on Kerra Island back on Fippy Darkpaw the new model or the old?

    1. That's the new tiger model in your screenshot...I think. Pretty sure they replaed all the tigers with that model a long time ago. If it hadn't been so late when I saw the patch notes I'd have gone to Kerra Island to check because it's the first place you think of when tigers come up. I actualy c an't remember what the old tiger model looks like. I'll go there this weekend and check and maybe add a screenshot to the post.

      As for the OS, it was inevitable and they've warned about it before, but it does seem that EQ would be particularly susceptible to player discontent over the issue. Looking at the forums, though, I can't see much pushback yet - players seem a lot more up in arms about the long downtime and the number of bugs in the patch. I'm guessing people will just accept it if they want to play. They won't have much choice!

      I wonder if P99 still supports older versions of Windows?

  2. Even the IRS moved on from Windows XP in 2015. ^_^ Yes, it is a pain, but from a safety standpoint we're all better if those remaining 'swiss-cheese security' XP systems die off. I imagine even the cheapest modern system with integrated graphics will run EQ just fine. Cue, 'even a toaster can run it' jokes.

    1. You'd think EQ would run o a toaster, being so ancient, but in my experience it's quite demanding on technology. My ten year old laptop has never been able to run it even though I could, for quite a while, play GW2 on it. MMOs constantly up their minimum required specs and now I can't run GW2 on the laptop either. I haven't tried WoW recently but I hear their minimum is a lot more demanding than it used to be.

      I played EQ last night though and no-one even mentioned the new minimum OS specs - although I gues by definition anyone affected by the change wouldn't have been there to complain about it...


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