Tuesday, July 27, 2010

EQ2 Extended - FTP Option

SOE has announced they will soon be offering their own version of free-to-play for EverQuest 2.

They will continue to offer the subscription model; however the Extended model will function separately on completely different server lists. While you technically can play completely for free, your options will be limited to two character slots, two backpacks, eight classes, and four races. Free players also will be unable to upgrade their spells and gear, and will have restrictions in gold and broker usage. There will also be a subscription model available on these servers. As far as I can tell, the difference for subscribers between the Extended and Regular servers will be a more "robust" cash marketplace including the ability to purchase stat armor, buffs, and cutting your spell research time.

While initially, I suppose current players opposed to ftp or this type of cash shop will rejoice that they're not on the same servers, I don't think in the long run this will be a good thing for the population of the current servers. New players trying the game will automatically start on the other servers now and are more likely to stay there than have to start over on new servers, especially knowing the option to purchase certain perks will be available. Researching a spell currently takes me 30 days to complete...who wouldn't want to pay to speed that up? Also players from normal servers will be able to have their characters copied to the new servers for a fee and minus their gold and many of their items.

I realize they've done it this way to not chase off their current subscribers as they've done in previous MMO's, but in the long run I don't think this fares well for the old servers and is more a way of getting players used to the idea before merging the old servers with the new.


Grimjakk said...

The fate of the old subscription servers will depend a lot on the perks they offer standard subscription players over the "gold" level players on the Eq2X servers.

The fact that they're offering a "copy" (note they don't say "transfer") service to the new servers at least means that we aren't locked into a dying service model.

Aspendawn said...

I don't know. $35 for each character you want copied, with none of your gold or bank items transferred and only some of the clothes on your back, not to mention loss of guild still feels a bit locked.

But it's still in beta and who knows what might change based on feedback. I guess we all saw this coming at some point.

Bhagpuss said...

I think this is a great move. I'm not sure they have the feature set quite right yet, but that can all change over time.

I have Station Access and I'll use that to play on the new servers under the Gold standard, but I'll also make a completely new account and play under the Bronze, free version to see how that plays too. I really like the idea of being freed from worrying about gear upgraders. Being limited to Treasured/Adepts is a bonus in my book.

I really hope they roll this out for Vanguard.