The EverQuest II team has come up with a pretty clever solution to handling players who can’t seem to play nice with the rest of their virtual brethren. In short, they’re sending you to MMO jail.
Recently revealed through the EverQuest II blog, the development team is about to kick off an in-game experiment that oddly mirrors human history. You know how some countries would simply ship their worst offenders off to an island rather than let them continue to disturb the peace? Well, that’s exactly what’s going to be happening soon within Everquest II.
“Later this week, we plan to release a server we are calling Drunder, which is a ‘prison server,’” reads the announcement. “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 and can never leave or transfer to another server.”
I’m sure the internet will correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of something like this being attempted. Basically, if you’re cheating or being a real jerk, you can look forward to spending the rest of your gaming days in EverQuest 2 surrounded by likeminded individuals.
I see this as an interesting social experiment. As the server starts to fill up with hordes of offenders, will it become the most toxic gaming environment known to man, or will the trolls reform and act like decent human beings as they realize how much of a pain it is to be surrounded by hatefulness and negativity all of the time? What would a gaming world look like where trolls have created their own society? It sounds like a place I’d be fascinated to visit, but I certainly don’t want to be stuck there.
According to the announcement, the EQ Customer Service Game Masters have been asking for a server like Drunder for years now to help manage more disruptive players. Those same people will be in charge of sentencing players to the prison server, so you might want to be on your best behavior moving forward.
As an added bonus (hindrance?), Drunder will not receive customer support and it will require a maintained membership to access and play. And here’s the crazy bit: You can head to Drunder by choice. If, for some insane reason, you want to be permanently banished to this gaming madhouse, the developers ask that you simply use the game’s petition system to request a transfer, rather than hit the chat thread with a bunch of hate speech. A fair warning, though: Even those players will not be able to return to their old server. All of their characters will be transported to the EQ2 prison server permanently, so think long and hard before committing yourself to a life of crime.
“Ultimately, players who break the rules—or want to—will have a world of their own to do…whatever they will,” continues the news post. “…Let’s see where this takes us.”
I’m pretty sure this is basically the plot for one of the seasons of The Wire and, depending on who you ask, it could have been considered a huge success.