Should Other MMOs Emulate the EverQuest 2 Prison Server?

By Jeff Francis
Should mmos emulate the EverQuest 2 prison server?

It's probably not a good testament to the human spirit that whenever something new is created, others instantly begin looking for loopholes or ways to gain an unfair advantage in that area. There have been cheaters and hackers that have plagued online gaming ever since the first mmorpg was nothing but text characters. Now cheaters are more elaborate in how they perpetuate their shenanigans, but the result is that every single online game will see its share of cheaters and those that break the rules. EverQuest 2 has decided to come down hard on such folks, and they're shipping them off to the virtual equivalent of Australia in the form of a special prison server. Response to this has been mixed, but the question remains: should other mmos emulate the EverQuest 2 prison server?

EverQuest 2 guards

Not too long ago, players on the EverQuest 2 forums were met with the following post, "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."

The developers at Daybreak Game Studio have implemented some serious consequences for those sent to the EverQuest 2 prison server. The first is that those players sent to Drunder will not get any customer service support, but they will still have to maintain a membership in order to play the game. Players can petition to join the new server, but the developers stress that this is a one-way trip for a player's entire account. If you have multiple characters, you can't move just one over. If one goes, they all go. Permanently. The players who are sent to this new EverQuest 2 Drunder server will be those that are found in violation of the game's rules of conduct, naming policy, afk policy, terms of service, and EULA. (I wholeheartedly support sending people to a prison server for having stupid names like YurMomsButtz and other such garbage.)

So should other mmo games emulate the new EverQuest 2 prison server? My answer is an unequivocal yes. I can't tell you how much I hate the many hackers, cheaters, and trolls that infest online gaming today. It seems that the problem has gotten worse with the rise of free mmo games. Any thing that can be done to round them up and put them into a place where their actions can no longer bother other players makes me absolutely giddy with glee. I think that this is a genius idea, and I wish that they had thought of it sooner. I love it that the entire account is moved over and not just a single character as it really gives out some major consequences to those caught violating the game's rules.

EverQuest 2 combat

What I've found surprising is that there is some mixed reaction to the new EverQuest 2 prison server. Some players have complained that the company is wasting resources on such a move and that they should concentrate on perma-banning the bad players and using those resources on creating new content for the game. I can kind of understand that point, but the beauty of the EQ2 prison server is that it still forces those bad players to keep paying for a membership while being behind virtual jail bars. As they're not getting any customer support, any revenue raised should go towards creating new stuff for the honest gamers on the other servers. It's a win-win for everybody. This kind of acts like a soft ban as I'm sure that those cheaters will eventually get tired of paying to play on the prison server and give up the game entirely. If they decide to stay, the company continues to charge them for playing, and I'm sure that some interesting livestreams and videos will come out of the Drunder server that will be entertaining to the rest of us.

Gamers have long asked developers to deal with cheaters and trolls in mmo games, and the methods that they have used have come with varying degrees of success. I really love the idea of the EverQuest 2 prison server as it walls off the bad players from the good ones, but they lose any support from the game company itself and have to keep paying for the privilege of playing. This method allows the game company to not deal with the hassles of permanently banning players and accounts, as cheating players who tire of being stuck on the EQ2 prison server will essentially ban themselves by quitting. To be honest, what's not to love about this setup? Therefore, I definitely think that other mmo games should immediately begin emulating the EverQuest 2 prison server.

Aug292015

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