The Prison Server Experiment

Today I caught wind of the newest experimental server that is coming to Everquest II. I’m going to quote from the forum post, but you can read the whole thing here.

The gist of the announcement is that the new server isn’t going to be time locked. It’s not an expansion server. It’s nothing you have heard of before, but it is interesting enough to talk about. Let’s dive right in shall we?

Later this week we plan to release a server we are calling “Drunder,” which is a “prison server.” What does that mean, exactly? Ultimately, players who are caught breaking our rules and disrupting EQ2 live server gameplay will be flagged for this server, and no others — ever. Characters on these accounts will be copied to Drunder (the “prison server”) and can never leave or transfer to another server.

This is a server our Customer Service Game Masters have requested over the years in order to manage disruptive players. They will determine who goes there. As gamers, we recognize there are some players who like to step outside our rules.

Drunder will get no customer service support and it will require a maintained membership to access and play. Rather than disrupt live servers in an attempt to join the “prison server,” players can use our /petition system and ask to join Drunder. To be clear: You won’t be able to move individual characters to this server, while maintaining characters from the same account on another server. This is a ONE-WAY trip for an entire account forever.

Ultimately, players who break the rules – or want to – will have a world of their own to do… whatever they will.

As I said, this is an experiment. We wanted to see what happens given it’s not a very common option.

Let’s see where this takes us…

Wow. So you probably weren’t expecting that, were you? I know I wasn’t. What’s interesting to me is that I didn’t think EQ2 really had the population to warrant an entire server to toxic players. I can however think of a number of other games that do have this sort of playerbase, and could definitely benefit from the concept. Taking the most toxic of players and locking them away on a separate server, never to been seen again. The only way they can get back into other servers is to start a whole new account, which would be painful even if they were originally on a free to play account, as you’re still going to lose all of the progress gained to that point. I can see this working for a multitude of game platforms.

There’s been plenty of talk about the toxicity of competitive games as of late, and this just might be the solution that could help cut down on that. I can see this working for games like League of Legends, where a separate server is set up for players who have been banned or repeatedly warned about their bad behavior. I know, there’s the problem that LoL is F2P and all you need to do is make a dummy email account and you’re right back in. But what if there was a way to tie the system to one’s IP address? That seems like the key to getting past the dummy email account. You’d have to be a real troll to want to go to the next level and be toxic from someone else’s machine. Most people wouldn’t bother. They’d play in their toxic pool, with other toxic players, and most likely stop playing the game altogether because the entire experience is ruined. It’s the Triple-T experience! Trolls Trolling Trolls. Gotta love that. I guess it’s also going to be off-putting for free players who will now have to pay a subscription fee to be able to access the server. I’m not sure why anyone would opt into that though the option exists.

Honestly I haven’t seen much in the way of toxicity in MMOs on a personal level. I’ve heard stories of people raiding guild banks just to disband, and I’ve heard of people purposely pulling/wiping and things of that nature, or just being overtly offensive in global chat. Still, I’m sure it’s more prevalent in games with higher populations like say World of Warcraft, and I haven’t spent too much time there, so perhaps I’m ignorant. But I can attest that most competitive shooters, MOBAs, and other games of that nature definitely have some toxic sheen, and perhaps Daybreak have come up with a solution that could help to wipe the muck off.

What do you guys think? Is this just a waste of time, or is Daybreak onto something here?

Made today’s run with Steroids, and died in a stupid fashion in world 3. Hooray. Some day I might actually get far.

#gaming #toxicity #everquest2