I have been engaging in a good conversation on the Project1999 forums about possible future pathways for the Blue server. If you’re just tuning in, the Blue server is the emulated EverQuest server the project team has used to test and develop the classic game. The idea was that eventually the bulk of the development would conclude and a fresh new server would be released based on the ten year journey. Well that server is Green and it will be opened on 25 October 2019.
So what will happen to Blue?
Many Blue players have no more than a passing interest in Green. They might log in and enjoy the launch day/week rush, but see no medium to long term future on the server. I think this is likely for a few reasons:
- attachment to characters (which is fine I get that)
- no interest in the cyclical nature of Green
- an innate hatred of (over)hyped things
- fear of overcrowding and a preference for lower pop servers; and/or
- preference for Kunark/Velious in the classic era.
I would say the first bullet point is likely the strongest pull factor for those staying. EQ is not like many MMOs in that characters aren’t as disposable – people have spent a lot of time on their Blue characters and they don’t want to give them up to do it all over again.
And the above could encompass a lot of players. Personally I was thinking I would stay on Blue until only recently, and now I’m on the wagon. We can’t discount these players who were given assurances that they were putting time and effort into a particular type of server that wasn’t going anywhere.
So for many people, changing the makeup of Blue would be very damaging, and it would go against staff comments that Blue is here to stay, mostly unchanged.
But – and it’s a big but – recently project staff have confirmed the possibility of custom content on Blue. That is classic-inspired non-classic content.
This triggered a recent multi-page forum thread with people giving their ideas for custom content, and a few detractors stating it would harm the ‘classic-ness’ of Blue. I said in the thread itself that I found this perplexing, in that Green – a pure, cyclical iteration of classic EQ – made the need for Blue retaining its classic-ness irrelevant.
I was called out on this, and reminded that the point of the project was to recreate classic EQ – no matter the server. And the thread itself is probably a great example of why custom content is just a nightmare. We have everything ranging from a few mob tweaks to class redesign to partial post-classic expansion implementation. So in that sense it’s probably too unwieldy to work well.
The fact we should remember is that players seeking classic EQ will look to find a home on one or both servers. Simply because Green will be the best option for many to find that classic EQ fix doesn’t mean Blue can be tossed away hastily. Custom content must be done carefully – if at all – especially because it will be so hard to get players to agree on what “classic-inspired” custom content should be.
The fork between Blue and Green cannot be too wide.