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EverQuest 2: PvP test server announced E-mail
Wednesday, 11 April 2007
From the EQ2 website :

Announcing a New Test Server for the PvP Rules Set
The EverQuest II team is happy to announce that we are adding a new Test Server for the PVP environment. The PvP environment is significantly different than the standard rule set EverQuest II servers, and the goal of this new PvP Test server is a better path from design through implementation on PvP items. We know that there will be many questions about this new server, and have put together this article to answer as many of them as we can.

How will the PvP Test server be different from other PvP servers?
The EverQuest II PvP Test server is an environment in which players can access a newer version of the game that includes the latest fixes and content additions before they go live to the regular servers. It's also a place where designers can test new ideas and systems to see whether they should be included or adjusted in the game.

Please be aware that characters with abilities that can instantly kill other characters have been capped to do a maximum of 40% of the target player's health in damage.

You can also use the /ooc channel to talk across factions on the PvP Test server. This is intended to make it easier for players of both factions to coordinate and try out new ideas and features.

What is the benefit of playing on the PvP Test server?

Members of the PvP Test server community make a direct contribution to the future of the PvP side of EQII by helping the developers test out changes and new systems. The feedback provided by PvP Test players will be invaluable in helping shape the future of the PvP game. It is very much like an ongoing beta program.

What are the potential downsides to playing on the PvP Test server?

Because we will be updating the PvP Test server to include the latest code and data, downtimes can be more frequent than on the normal servers or may happen at odd times. Additionally, item and ability changes may happen as we get feedback on how they function in game. Finally, there is a chance we may need to sometimes remove items to maintain the integrity of the testing environment.

Playing on a Test server isn't for everyone, but it can be a rewarding experience. Those who play on the PvP Test server must do so understanding the risks involved and must be committed to supplying feedback that can help build a stronger game. On a Test server the greatest sense of reward is the knowledge that you are lending a direct hand to the ongoing development of EverQuest II.

Do I have to use any of my standard character slots to play on the PvP Test server?

No. Characters on the Test servers are completely separate from characters on the other servers. You have a totally separate bank of character slots available for play exclusively on the Test servers. Please note that the PvE and PvP Test servers count together toward the Test servers bank.

Can I have my existing characters copied over for play on PvP Test?

Yes. On the Test PvP server (not the PvE server) players can choose to copy over their existing PvP (only) characters. Starting April 10th, log into your regular PvP server and character of choice and type '/testcopy add' in the command line and press enter.

This command will only work for PvP characters on the PvP servers, and will not copy PvE characters to the PvE Test Server. It should take approximately 24 - 36 hours for the character copy to complete, depending on when you initiate the command, and when the servers check data for new incoming character records.

Should we assume all the changes that show up on the PvP Test server will eventually make their way to the other servers?

No. Do not think of a Test server as a preview; it is a testing environment. While many changes and additions will indeed move to the live servers at some point, not all of them will. Becoming either angry or overjoyed because something changes on a Test server would be premature. In order for a Test server to fulfil its intended purpose, it must be a place where the development team has the freedom to try new ideas and theories that may not be intended for the other servers.

How do I connect to a Test server?

Connecting to a EverQuest II Test Server requires that you run a version of the game that is slightly different than the one used to connect to our regular live servers. If you want to keep the option of playing on both the live and Test servers, we HIGHLY recommend that you run the Test client from its own folder. For this reason, we have created a folder in your EverQuest II directory called \TestServer\ which contains the Test launchpad and this help text file.

The following steps will guide you through our recommended Test client setup process.

Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the \TestServer\ folder in your EverQuest II directory. Create a shortcut on your desktop for the TestEQ2.exe file, which is the launchpad used to connect to the Test server. You may rename the shortcut if you wish, but don't double-click it yet. If you do, you will end up downloading the entire Test client, which would be a long and unnecessary process.

Highlight all the files and folders in the EverQuest II root directory EXCEPT the following: the \cache\ folder, the \logincache\ folder, the \TestServer\ folder, and the eq2_default.ini file. (You can use Control-A to highlight all the files and folders, then hold down the Control key and left-click on those folders and files to de-select them.) Right-click and drag the selected folders to the \TestServer\ folder. Select the option to COPY the files and folders, NOT move them.

When the copy is complete, double-click the desktop shortcut you made in Step 1. This will run the Test server launchpad and update the client to be able to connect to the Test server.

Using this method, you can use your regular EverQuest II shorcut to connect to the normal servers and the Test launchpad shortcut to connect to the Test server. Keeping the Test client in its own folder takes up a significant amount of hard drive space but will save you a lot of time updating both clients in the future.

Why are my characters from the standard servers shown (but marked as unavailable) when I run the Test client?

It is likely that you accidentally copied over the \cache\ folder, the \logincache\ folder, or the eq2_default.ini file when you copied files into the \TestServer\ directory. Delete these files and folders from your \TestServer\ folder (but NOT your EverQuest II root directory) and run the Test launchpad again.

Do you plan to periodically wipe existing PvP Test characters?

We have no scheduled plan to wipe characters on PvP Test, but there may be times when such actions are necessary. When this happens, players will be able to copy their live PvP characters back over to the PvP Test environment.

What's different about the PvP Test server?

There are a few things special to the PvP environment that will be different even in the Test environment. The first difference is that players can copy their existing PvP character over to the PvP Test server. This is a difference from our normal PvE Test server experience.

The PvP Test server is a testing environment first and foremost. Players who choose this server should keep in mind that the dev team will be testing new concepts and ideas on a regular basis here, and the world can change radically with each and every new idea tested.

When will the PvP Test server open?

The current schedule is to have the PvP Test server online and available for play this coming Wednesday, the 11th.

In Closing

Please remember that while the EQII team hopes that the PvP player community will actively support and enjoy this new PvP Test environment, the goal behind the PvP Test server is to fully investigate potential content items prior to their addition to the live PvP servers. If you choose to play on the PvP Test server, please be sure to make use of the /bug /feedback, and /typo commands as you discover new content!

With your help and support, we can use this server to take the PvP environment for EQII to new heights!

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