Courtesy Massively, the news is out that in March SOE will be launching a new progression server for EverQuest.
For those who don’t know, the idea behind the progression server is that when the yet-unnamed shard goes live, it’ll be EverQuest, more or less, as it was when it launched back in 1999. This will be right around EQ’s 11-year anniversary. As time goes on, material from the expansions will be added. Details are in short supply just yet, but it sounds to me like expansion stuff will get added on a timetabel similar to the original x-pack releases… so, about six months or a year later, the content from the first expansion, Ruins of Kunark, will be pushed out, and so on for the 16(!) other expansions.
How much the play on the new server will actually resemble play as it was in March of ’99 is a question I’m not well-equipped to answer. How many ‘foundational’ changes has SOE made to the game that can’t be easily backed out now? I don’t know, although it’s certainly not impossible that the new shard will run on an actual old version of the game that’s been dusted off for this purpose.
I’m really not in the market for a third MMO at this time (my primary selections being EVE and, for a fantasy fix, the subscription-free LotRO,) but I have to admit to being tempted. It may be a chance to experience EQ in something close to the form it took back in the day, with all the endless grind and corpse runs and spawn camping. Considering SOE’s trajectory over the last year or two, it may be the last chance to do so.
In that respect, it’s very tempting, at least to try it out. Plus, I think it’d run splendidly on my laptop.