It's clear that in order for a game to survive, it has to maintain a decent population. This is something that has been on the slow decline in EverQuest II. There is just nothing, other than a nostalgic moment, that appeals to new players.
EverQuest II still has its original set of launched servers. However, very few of them are able to sport a quality community. Even on its two most populated servers, Nagafen & Antonia Bayle, you will find it very difficult to find a low level group. While it might get better in the latest tier, the quest to 80 will surely be a solo job (for new players). Not only will the new player experience the troubles of the solo realm, but he or she will also experience the hard economy, pvp twinks, and the void of being alone.
In order to fix the current situation, we need to get these servers merged. I curerntly feel as if they are purposely delaying, as they are generating a tidy sum due to the price that players pay for the character transfer service. We need to get these servers merged asap in order to maintain the current population.
Lets say the way have just merged all of 20ish servers into 5 or 6. We now have plenty of free space to work with. It's time now that we implement the Recycling Server.
The Recycling Server is much like Diablo II's Ladder Server, where new players are able to experience the game as if it had just launched. In terms of EverQuest II, the Recycling Server would reset at the beginning of every new Expansion Set. However, your characters will not be deleted; they will be transferred to one of the main servers. You will then be able to create another character on the Recycled Server.
The above must be done in order for EverQuest II to sustain and grow:
1) The servers need to be merged in order to sustain the current population.
2) The Recycling Server will entice new & casual players to join:
- It allows new players to experience the game as if it had just released.
- The economy will be fresh; thus, new players will be able to compete with all the buying & selling.
- New players will be able to find groups in the lower tiers. It will greatly help with leveling.
- It's a great chance to experience / re-experience the fun of low level PvP (Commonlands, Antonica, Thundering Steppes).
- New players will not have to deal with the following: tough economy, ganking twinks, and the lack of other lowbies to group with.
- It's a fantastic way to get future players amped on the release of a new expansion. It will surely do well in the marketing realm.
With all types of merges, we will have our problems with player names etc. However, this is all something that can easily be worked with. The main goal is to increase and sustain the population. If we continue to ignore this situation, EverQuest II will continue to plummet.