The Coming of GoD - A History of Fippy Darkpaw
Quarm has perished two months ago and now is the time to cast your votes on the next expansion, Gates of Discord, on the Fippy Darkpaw server.
There are a couple of opinions on the GoD vote, as there are with most expansions, but this vote may be the most important vote of the server. Why? From here on out the raid progression switches to instances and the contested mobs become fewer and further between. There is still some contested content, and always will be, but the major targets will now switch to instances.
So why is this important? Well, it changes up the dynamic of the server community considerably. At the launch of the server Twisted Legion was going up initially against just Armageddon. Shortly after launch Citizen joined in the mix and said "hey, we're a force too!" Then as we progressed we began seeing other guilds like Ion, Rosengard, and a handful of others making their marks too.
Once we got down to the brunt of it and began seeing 200+ people in Plane of Hate and Fear 24/7 with several other guilds like Darkblood, Ceaseless and Ferocity in Plane of Sky it became all too apparent that the TLP wasn't what many thought it was going to be and certainly wasn't overpopulated by casual players. It was full to the brim of end game players who wanted end game content.
Kunark brought around more targets but more drama. We saw the rise of the box armies taking on older and even some newer bosses, permanently locking down spawns like Nagafen and Vox. We saw the Shadow Knight Wars to see which guild had the most SKs on macro to sock and kill any Kunark target within milliseconds of its spawn. We saw end current-content raiders getting increasingly annoyed with their competition and we saw the more laid-back guilds getting frustrated on having to resort to farming T2 Hate mobs in hope of some scrap of loot to drop every 4 hours. During this era Armageddon folded and Ascendency was born.
Enter Velious and the rush for ST keys and Vulak kills. The end gamers were showing no sign of backing down and stayed on alert through all hours to get their targets. Ion hung up their hats and mostly joined up with Citizen to try to give TL a bigger run for their money. The tier 2 and 3 guilds along with the box armies continued work on kunark content, finishing epics, and started in on some halls of testing and WToV kills. Competition was heavy and it was fierce among all the raiding guilds.
Luclin made a permanent mark on many players' memories as hundreds of people were cramming into ssra to get emp keys. The guilds knew that whoever got the most emp keys first would be able to lock down emp, and thusly be able to keep Vex Thal to themselves, if only for a week or two. Ssra was packed 24/7 as shift work kicked in and players got keyed. Ultimately Twisted Legion won the race and locked down Vex Thal for themselves for a short while. The tier 2 guilds became increasingly frustrated as several guilds remained in NToV during whatever free time they could muster up to keep the vulak loots coming in for a while longer. Ascendency, Darkblood and Rosengard were able to reclaim NToV for a while and Austerity, Dreams, Ceaseless, Qabal, and a handful of others started work on WToV and whatever kunark targets remained unchecked from their progression lists.
When PoP came around the server had been in full tilt competition mode for every single target from classic through luclin for a full year. No spawn apart from Innoruuk was ever up for more than a day, or extremely rarely, two days. Friendships had been forged but usually with one hand on the holster. Guilds were constantly suspicious of each other and for the most part suspected the worst in any given scenario. Players could not enter a zone without someone else suspecting someone was going to get sniped. It had been, after all, a full year of fighting for every scrap of content. Agreements had been made and broken, GM rotations had been implemented, confused, and dropped. Every guild continued to feel like they were on their own and had to battle for their rights of enjoying content.
At this point guild leaders came together and decided enough was enough. Soon after, an agreement had been made on PoP flagging which had been met with incredible success. Guilds were progressing, competition was still available, but everyone got a piece of the pie. Fippy was starting to come together as a community.
And now, we're on the cusp of GoD. We've finally evolved to a community that can keep the thrill of competition without resorting to dirty tricks and we're entering the era where EverQuest changes to instanced raiding. What does this mean for the community? I think it could go either way. Instanced raiding takes some of the edge off but to an extent where guilds rarely have to interact with other guilds. It's a double edged sword. We'll all be able to do the content we want to do but we won't have reason or need to evolve the community we've finally started building. Maybe this is a testament to the modern age of MMO gaming and the reason we no longer see games like EverQuest. If it took a full year for us to get our shit together for this run, how long would it take in other games with larger communities and (arguably) more asshats?
Food for thought, I guess. But when making your vote for Gates of Discord, try to remember our history. Remember where we came from and what we've accomplished together. If we're able to maintain a community as we enter the days of scheduled instanced raiding, we just may be able to keep the fun going for years to come.