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EverQuest Interviews: Progression Server Q&A, Part 1

By Carolyn Koh on June 21, 2006

EverQuest lets you start over again, find out the details

Carolyn Koh quizes the folks behind the brand new EverQuest "Progression Server", which lets players play EverQuest the way it was originally presented to the players. We talk to Chris Lena, a Producer on EverQuest, about this.

MMORPG.com:There’s been a lot of interest in the Progression Server and I’m going to ask the $64 dollar question. Why? Why did you think that such a concept would work?
Chris Lena:

There are a lot of reasons for this server idea, but for me it was a fairly simple solution to a problem EverQuest has had for a long time. People always say to me that they would love to try EverQuest or that they used to play and would like to get back into it but they feel overwhelmed because of all of the content that has been added. They feel like they could never catch up and just lose their gumption. The Progression Server is a way for all of those people to get on this new server at level 1 and progress through all the content together. The amount they have to learn when they start is bite-sized. But the Progression Server has become a lot of things to a lot of people and you can find dozens of different reasons on our forums as to why players are interested in this concept.

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MMORPG.com:There’s even been talk of a population control and a 2nd server. Did you expect to generate this amount of interest from the fan base and do you have a “magic” number for the population before you open up another server?
Chris Lena:

We do have a magic number and we have reached it. In other words, there will be a second server launching on June 28 called The Sleeper. The bigger question is what the population long-term is. Whenever we open any new server the initial interest is huge compared to the lasting population. I expect this to be even more dramatic with the Progression Server. We have to balance allowing everyone to try the server who wants to with technological limitations and long-term server viability.

MMORPG.com:You have been careful to make a clear that this server won’t be EverQuest “Classic.” Apart from fixing what was “broken,” what will differentiate this new server from EverQuest “Classic?”
Chris Lena:

Not everyone means the same thing when they say “classic” so that is the number-one reason to avoid it. Most people are referring to the state of the game upon original release or maybe the first expansion or two. This includes the game code from that time period which simply does not exist. A true “classic” server would also have the original non-customizable user interface and a player pressing the sense heading button fifty million times to make their compass work. And now that I think of it you wouldn’t even be able to play in windowed mode.

MMORPG.com:A tutorial system is almost always in any MMORPG these days. What made you decide to take the tutorial zone out of the Progression Server?
Chris Lena:

We took it out for a couple of reasons. One was that we believe that participating in that original content again also includes starting in your race's city. With a new server where everyone will be starting out together we will have the new character population to support this. The tutorial also dropped some items that would unbalance a game starting with just the old world content.

MMORPG.com:Are you replacing it with anything else since this is a new server or do you not expect any players new to EverQuest to wish to play on it?
Chris Lena:

We think the tutorial has been a great addition to the game and I am sure we will add it back to the server once we have progressed few a couple of expansions. We definitely think that the Progression Server is a great time for new players to join the game. They will have something better than the tutorial – they will have a world teaming with veteran and returning players to group with and learn from.

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