I have, I have tried to love it and just can't. Not sure that there is any use in making suggestions or not; probably not. I'll just move on, and leave the following:
Working adults and young parents and casual players in all stages of life need "time efficient fun" and there have been no servers in the past couple of years in the EQEmu community who take that simple truth seriously. I really tried to make this server work for me but even with the new changes, it's just impossible to get anywhere, go anywhere, or do anything "fun" or "off progression"... spontaneous, etc.
Look, I like a challenge, I do; but strike one is terrible- and I mean terrible-- healing aggro on bots, and even well geared players unable to fend off three green or light blue meanies, even with cool downs, specials, and store-bought Healing/HOT potions. If I wanted this level of aggravation, really, I'd be playing legit servers, or real EQ. Removing the death penalty and corpse-runs if of no consolation if the rest of the game play sucks and you still die all the time to encounters you'd usually actually win solo, if skillups kept up with crazy-fast levelling that is (they don't, and there appears to be no way to raise skills safely in the arena or any other semi-safe zone). So, that's two strikes. Lastly, progression servers all sound like a great idea to keep players loyal and engaged and "progressing" the fallacy is, EQ is not that game, and what you expect of players is still not doable "solo" and/or on off hours.
GG, just either have bots or don't- "unlocking bots" is dumb, imho, and the last thing to convince me my time is better spent elsewhere.
I have to cut this short, but I still want to say "thank you" for the few good times I've had here over the past couple of years. Naturally, you do a lot of things "right" and there is still measurable worth and fun and all that jazz on PE. Thanks.
* increase combat/casting skills on level-up; maybe even offer spells/skills/disciplines on level up. It's all the same at top level and removes one of the greatest traditional complaints about EQ.
* progression isn't working as far as i can tell; my decked out pally can't even get to Naggy at level 50 with level 60 AA's and a well-geared Druid bot. Either make it possible to solo thru progression or get rid of it; disappointed to see LoY locked out for armor dye, very disappointed to imagine that Veksar isn't enterable, if I could even get to RoK zones.
* on bot servers, there needs to be a much higher drop rate of defiant armor, accessories and weapons; at level 50 i'm still using three pieces of level 1 and 2 defiant gear (that's my GOOD armor, aug'd with 150hp augs) and a f'ing Gloomsteel newbie blade with a Major Aug of Snare. Putting up new vendors would suck, and dropping usable shit means players are actually working for their upgrades, not just grinding plat...
* check your zone unload settings; players need to be able to "reset" certain zones especially on low population servers. I tried for three days straight to get Ghoulbane and never even saw the Shin Lord spawn once. Figured out early that Gnollslayer last part wasn't completable either. Drop rates of other things were so bad, I gave up on newbie armor and weapon quests, and hoped for Defiant upgrades which never came.
If that all working just the way you want it, oh well, thanks again.
Back when we started the server it was tailored for group progression. Meaning you would need a full group of players to progress.
The recent changes (unlocking additional bots, making progression targets easier) were made to allow smaller groups (duo + bots) to progress.
However, the main idea with the server is that you need to farm a decent amount of "custom shards" to be able to progress.
And, we've always wanted to keep the original value of weapons and items intact, so there are no custom items, only custom augments.
This means that you may have to kill/farm certain "raid" mobs in order to get desirable items. We've made sure that the respawn time of all NPCs are capped at 15 minutes.
Defiant armor is quite "overpowered" in comparison to many original items, and we've decided to keep their drop rates as is, to steer people toward getting items from raid mobs.
Yes, there are a lot of things we could change / implement in order to make this server more enjoyable (isn't there always?), but, this server was - and still is - just a side project we find fun to work and expand on from time to time.
We are only two developers and you will rarely find us actually online in the game or browsing this forum, as we have other things that grab our attention.
We occasionally start a new set of characters and play on the server, but most of the year we just leave it running in case someone finds it entertaining.