It’s hard to believe as Everquest hit it’s 20th anniversary that Project 1999 – the Daybreak “approved” emulation server that is locked in the Velious expansion for eternity – is getting a new server. Project 1999 already has a RED server (For PVP, essentially dead and with XP bonuses) and the BLUE server – which has always been considered the Beta server. Now, with GREEN, the vision for Project 1999 will be completed.
That vision is to relive Everquest patch by patch in the exact same order and frequency as the original. So yes, there are times when things will be broken in a good way, and time when things will be broken in a bad way. All the XP penalties are in there in all of their glory (65% penalty for a troll SK, I believe?) and players just have to live with it or play a different class. The goal is to re-create the true timeline, not play in an optimized version.
Of course, somewhat ironically, except when it comes to loot and kill rights. The volunteer staff of the server are well aware that specific camps will be locked down 24/7 on the new server and passed from friend group to friend group – so to combat that they are creating a /list command – which puts you next on the list. When items drop from that camp / mob no one can loot it but you – and once you get yours, you can no longer loot it (unless you get back on the /list).
While its a fine solution, kind of weird considering the goal of the project – but I fully understand that no one gets paid enough to battle an army of “neckbeards”. There are things you can no longer get in game – Guise, Manastones, etc that people are really excited to get a chance for. JBOOTS will once again drop in Najena, not quested for.
What is the end game? When it hits its glorious end it will merge with the Blue server, and then reset. And while all of this sounds fun and good for the nostalgia purists, I don’t think I will be playing it. I think I will be sticking to BLUE. I already have a suite of well leveled characters (54 Enchanter, 40 Druid, 27 Shadow Knight) and due to my higher levels I can farm for gear for alts and basically have a comfortable run at Norrath. I mentioned in a recent post I am playing the game because it is a great game – not for the Nostalgia. It will be probably easier to get JBOOTS on Blue now since a good chunk of the population will be gone to Green.
And that is my only worry, really. Right now the population is in a sweet spot on Blue. Always people to group with, always room to find a good solo farm/cash camp – small enough that friendships make the game better yet big enough you get to meet people all the time. If we cut that in half (or worse, I have no way to guess here), will groups still work? Can I get a port in a reasonable time frame? How about a 96% clickie rez? All of these are currently easy enough to get with friends and patience. I am also mortified to think how crowded starting areas will be and fighting over trash mobs. The upside is that now there is so much twinking that the game is still relatively easy compared to the past, but that doesn’t make it less fun for me.
So, Project 1999 launches what the goal of their Project was all along in October. Will be interesting to see what happens from a very blue sideline. Who knows, maybe something – or someone – will encourage me and draw me in to try.