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Old 11-10-2011, 03:21 PM   #1
Kiwigirl

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As posted:-

Producer’s Letter

Producer's Letter

Many of you reading this letter are long-time EverQuest and EverQuest II players. You've been part of the SOE family for a long time (earlier this week was EQII's 7-year anniversary!) and our aim is to take care of you and keep you entertained for years to come.

Part of caring for our customers is listening to you and hearing what you have to say. Additionally, we need to be aware of changes in the industry, changes in player expectations, and larger economic trends in general.

We've listened to your concerns about the complexity of the subscription structure, how the separate forums between EQII and EQ2X divide the community unnecessarily, that the Live Gamer servers are under-populated, and that many people want more flexibility with payment options so they can better manage their personal budgets.

We believe the key to meeting your expectations is to provide more flexibility and to deliver what you want when you want it, whether it's basic game content, full subscription access to the game, or something in-between. So in early December we're going to change things to be "Free to Play. Your Way." Let me explain what that means…

Membership and Pricing Changes

There will no longer be an up-front fee for downloading and installing the game. You no longer have to buy the software in order to use it, and game content through the Sentinel's Fate expansion will be available to all players without charge. You simply download, and then launch and play the game for free.

Last year, we created a successful, but separate, "free to play" service for EQII called "EverQuest II: Extended" (EQ2X). However, now that all servers are becoming free-to-play, we are combining both services together and EverQuest II (including the EQ2X servers) will operate as a single game with a single membership structure.

The new membership structure for EverQuest II is simpler and easier to understand than the one we used previously, and we've adjusted the model so that Gold members in EverQuest II will get everything that current EQII subscribers do currently.

Here are the differences between the new EverQuest II membership model and the prior EQ2X membership model:

  • Gold membership in EverQuest II will provide access to all races and classes (except the Freeblood race and the Beastlord class) and is identical in all ways to the current subscription status on EQII Live servers.
  • The free membership level will be called "Free" instead of "Bronze."
  • Silver membership now costs 500 Station Cash instead of 1,000 Station Cash. (If you purchased a Silver membership in EverQuest II: Extended within the 60 days before the launch of this change, 500 Station Cash will be refunded to your Station Wallet.)
  • Players can no longer purchase a Platinum membership. Existing Platinum memberships will continue until they expire.
  • A matrix showing the details of the three new EverQuest II membership levels – Free, Silver, and Gold – is available here: (insert link)

So basically, you can play at the Free level (with restrictions), upgrade to Silver to remove a bunch of those restrictions… or sign up for Gold membership and remove *all* of those restrictions, depending on which expansions you have on your account.

Additionally, Gold memberships are no longer required to recur each month. We will have non-recurring memberships that you can purchase with Station Cash or real-world currency. Recurring and non-recurring Gold memberships will be available for 1, 3, 6, and 12-month durations. Recurring memberships are still available for those of us who don't like having to remember to pay each month, and recurring memberships also get the perk of a Station Cash bonus grant each month.

The aim is to give you as much flexibility as possible, without drowning you in a sea of confusing options. Free, Silver, or Gold at whatever duration and recurring state that you desire. It's up to you to play EQII your way.

How Does this Affect Me?

For EverQuest II players, at the end of the day all we're basically doing is making your subscription optional. For EQ2X players, we're simplifying the membership model and adding benefits to the Gold membership. That's about it.

If you're an existing EQII subscriber and you keep your subscription active then the change will be in name only. We will simply call you a "Gold" member instead of a subscriber.

The conversion will be seamless; at launch, your current subscription status will roll over directly to an equivalent recurring Gold membership. The cost is the same, and all your benefits are exactly the same, including veteran status. There is no difference in service and you don't need to do anything unless you desire to change your membership status.

If you're an existing EQ2X player, then you will not be affected, except that Gold members will actually get a bonus.

If you are a Bronze member, you will simply be called a Free member instead.
Silver members will carry on as if nothing had changed.
Gold memberships have been improved! They now have access to all races and classes (except the Freeblood race and the Beastlord class). (If you purchased a Race Pack in the 60 days before the launch of this transition, we will refund the Station Cash for that purchase.)
Platinum membership is going away. If you are an existing Platinum member, your Platinum membership will continue until normal expiration with all of the original benefits. That membership is currently set to recur, so if you don't change it, you will stay a Platinum member and continue to get those benefits. However, if you drop Platinum membership, you'll be unable to re-subscribe to it. You'd have to rejoin at a Gold membership level for continued full access to the Game.

How Does this Change Benefit Me?

Some of the changes affect you directly, whereas some of the others are more of a "soft return" that makes your gaming experience better by making the game better as a whole.

Here's a few of the obvious benefits:

  • More population! Our recent launch of free-to-play for DC Universe Online has been extremely successful with tons of new players logging on within the first week (1000 percent increase in concurrents!). With more players, everyone benefits!
  • Payment flexibility! You don't want to pay anything at all? We can do that. You want to pay month-by-month? No problem. You want an annual recurring membership because you're going to be playing this game until 2050 and don't want to think about it? We can do that too!
  • Better service! By merging EverQuest II: Extended and the original EverQuest II into a single game our messaging will become much easier and we will be able to focus our attention on one game instead of two.

What Does this Mean for the Future?

Our content delivery plans are unchanged. We're still going to be delivering everything we've promised previously, and a lot more.

As a reminder, here are a few things we've committed to you previously (and maybe a bit of detail you haven't heard before):

  • We're going to create more content for "Destiny of Velious" through 2013. Skyshrine, the Withered Lands, Siren's Grotto, Cobalt Scar, the Western Wastes and more are all being worked on currently and will be released periodically during that time. Velious is a huge continent and we're giving it the justice it deserves. Please note that there is no additional price tag for this content if you own the "Destiny of Velious" expansion; all this content will be open to you when it is released.
  • Next summer, we'll be revamping Qeynos as we're doing with Freeport right now. Just as Freeport is being Reborn, we'll be returning the "Greater Good" to Qeynos, making it a much more interesting and vibrant city, pivotal to Norrath once again.
  • We intend to revisit old backwaters in Norrath, bringing them back to life with new content and new ways to game in those areas.
  • In many cases where we've released features or fixes in the past couple of years, we had contingency "Phase 2" plans for many of those features. We're going to circle back around and implement many of those Phase 2 plans (including much of the feedback we received on those features), improving them and making them even higher quality than they already are.
  • Plus a lot, lot more. We'll release more details on those things as we get closer in 2012.

The EQII dev team is still fired up about this game. We all love what we're doing and we want to make this the best MMORPG in the industry, partly out of desire to deliver great entertainment, and partly out of pure pride of craft.

We're also looking into mechanisms that allow you, the players, to help guide us on what gets developed in the future. Look for more on that soon. In the meantime, a great way to provide feedback is through the forums, as well as through Facebook and Twitter. We'll also be covering topics you surface in our livecasts so be sure to tune in.

What about "Power Items" in the Marketplace?

EQ2X currently has a list of items that are not available on the regular server marketplaces. These include:

  • Power potion
  • Health potion
  • Self-rez scroll
  • Wand of Obliteration
  • Rune of Devastation
  • Mastercrafted Equipment (all)
  • Tradeskill Components

These items will no longer be offered on the marketplace when this revamp occurs.

We may reintroduce some of these items again later-on, but we intend to do some in-game polling of players about how we might bring them back before we do it. You will get a chance to chime in and we'll incorporate the results accordingly.

What about Live Gamer?

The Live Gamer ("Exchange") servers were set up to allow players to sell items, coin and even characters to each other for real-world profit. Those servers were walled off from other servers and over time, their popularity has waned to the point where their populations are currently very small.

We're going to liberate those players and characters by turning off the Live Gamer service, and merging the existing Exchange populations into other servers already in existence.

In mid-December, we'll merge Vox with Nagafen (where they can continue to play in their chosen PvP style), and then merging The Bazaar with Freeport. There are more steps than that involved, of course:

  • We'll shut off the ability to post new sales in mid-November.
  • The auction service itself will be discontinued in early December.
  • The server merges will happen about a week after the auction service is shut off, with Vox first, and then The Bazaar a couple days later. This will occur in mid-December.

If you don't have the time or inclination to log onto an Exchange server to take your sales down, we'll auto-return the items to you at the time that we shut down the auction service in early December.

What? You're Still Reading? Okay… A Summary!

All of this (and more) is planned to happen on the same day in early December (we'll announce the exact date as we get closer):

  • "Age of Discovery" expansion launch (pre-order available now!).
  • GU 62 -"Freeport Reborn" launch, free to all players!
  • Free-to-play conversion.
  • A brand new website with an all new players section!
  • And more. Yes, there's still more that needs to firm up before being announced!

When all is said and done, there will only be two types of servers, PvE and PvP. You'll have complete flexibility on payment options. There will no longer be a mandatory up-front cost of any sort.

Everyone will be a winner.

Today, we'll be doing a Community Webcast covering all of this. Please be sure to send in any questions you might have via the Facebook page or Twitter so we can respond with answers during the Webcast!

You're going to love Age of Discovery, and Freeport is fantastic. Now that everything else is so incredibly flexible as well, there's a ton to love about EQII. We're looking forward to a great future with you!

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:24 PM   #2
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http://everquest2.com/news/read/current/5026 pre-order today.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:28 PM   #3
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This is absolutely terrible news! SMILEY

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:31 PM   #4
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A matrix showing the details of the three new EverQuest II membership levels – Free, Silver, and Gold – is available here: (insert link)

someone forgot to insert a link

Shaolin Sam wrote:

This is absolutely terrible news!

How is offering content up to SF for free terrible news?

Eve Online gives FREE expansions every year and only charges what...$15...or was it $30 to buy the game, then ~$15/month sub or if you can make enough in-game ISK cash, "Free to Play" that way (someone else buys your sub).

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:33 PM   #5
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Brigh wrote:

A matrix showing the details of the three new EverQuest II membership levels – Free, Silver, and Gold – is available here: (insert link)

someone forgot to insert a link

http://everquest2.com/free_to_play/game_overview

Here you go. SMILEY

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:33 PM   #6
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Shaolin Sam wrote:

This is absolutely terrible news!

No it's not, it's great news! 

Look, no one is taking away anyone's right to sub.   They're just adding choices that bring in additional types of players (like those who play multiple MMOs or those who, with families and jobs, can't always justify a full sub every month-- but can justify occasional cash shop purchases) to help fill up our servers.

Smedley already mentioned on his Twitter page about a TV and internet ad campaign.  Let's hope that includes us-- right in time for AoD and Frostfell, we can really crank with this!

I can hardly imagine Nagafen and Unrest teeming with life again, like Nagafen was when it launched in early '06, and like R.I.P. Lavastorm on launch day.  I'm thrilled.  So many in my family and old guilds have long left....it will be great to be able to bring them back with such a terrific offer, and the new expansion/holidays too!

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:35 PM   #7
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Digital Collector's Edition

The Digitial Collector's Edition is a Station Exclusive and is specially priced at $59.99 for pre-order only. This version includes the base game, all seven expansions, a Cloak of the Truespirit, Dungeon Maker Unique Monster Spawner #1, Dungeon Maker Unique Monster Spawner #2, Armored Flying Pegasus Mount, Unique Beastlord Warder Pet, Lavastorm Prestige Home, Custom Dungeon Maker Map Layout, and a Robe of the True Spirit. New accounts will also receive a free 30-day subscription.

Please note that after the pre-order period ends, the price of the Digital Collector's Edition will increase to $89.99.

Standard Digital Edition

The Standard Digitial Edition includes the base game, all seven expansions, a Cloak of the Truespirit, and a Dungeon Maker Unique Monster Spawner #1. New accounts will also receive a free 30-day subscription. The cost for the Standard Digital Edition is $39.99.

Is the above accurate? You guys are seriously charging $39.99, $59.99 or $89.99 for the various releases of AoD considering how little is actually "in" that "expansion"? Not a troll attempt. I'm just honestly confused at the pricing schema. I honestly assumed, with what is actually in AoD, that it would cost closer to what the other DLC packs like Splitpaw and the Mara thing cost which was more like $9.99.

Again... not trolling... just seriously confused and looking for answers to if the above pricing is "for real" or just "pricing atm and is being considered to be changed".

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:37 PM   #8
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thesiren wrote:

Shaolin Sam wrote:

This is absolutely terrible news!

No it's not, it's great news! 

Look, no one is taking away anyone's right to sub.   They're just adding choices that bring in additional types of players (like those who play multiple MMOs or those who, with families and jobs, can't always justify a full sub every month-- but can justify occasional cash shop purchases) to help fill up our servers.

Smedley already mentioned on his Twitter page about a TV and internet ad campaign.  Let's hope that includes us-- right in time for AoD and Frostfell, we can really crank with this!

I can hardly imagine Nagafen and Unrest teeming with life again, like Nagafen was when it launched in early '06, and like R.I.P. Lavastorm on launch day.  I'm thrilled.  So many in my family and old guilds have long left....it will be great to be able to bring them back with such a terrific offer, and the new expansion/holidays too!

You don't know what F2P does to a game. There's not a single F2P game on the market that's successful atm. People play them for kicks then just delete them. Heck. I started downloading DCUO just to try it out when it went F2P but after reading the restrictions just plain stopped and deleted it. F2P games are basically a gaming company's way of saying "We're losing money fast and are trying REALLY hard to stay afloat so we're going to change the pricing and hope to god we make money up on the back end." SMILEY

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:37 PM   #9
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Shaolin Sam wrote:

Again... not trolling... just seriously confused and looking for answers to if the above pricing is "for real" or just "pricing atm and is being considered to be changed".

I'd say you got the wrong thread.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:41 PM   #10
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Shaolin Sam wrote:

You don't know what F2P does to a game. There's not a single F2P game on the market that's successful atm.

If that's the case then why is every company moving to the F2P.  Freeport also seemed to always have a lot of people running around.  That would seem to be contrary to your argument about the lack of successs of F2P.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:42 PM   #11
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thesiren wrote:

Shaolin Sam wrote:

This is absolutely terrible news!

 

No it's not, it's great news! 

Look, no one is taking away anyone's right to sub.   They're just adding choices that bring in additional types of players (like those who play multiple MMOs or those who, with families and jobs, can't always justify a full sub every month-- but can justify occasional cash shop purchases) to help fill up our servers.

Smedley already mentioned on his Twitter page about a TV and internet ad campaign.  Let's hope that includes us-- right in time for AoD and Frostfell, we can really crank with this!

I can hardly imagine Nagafen and Unrest teeming with life again, like Nagafen was when it launched in early '06, and like R.I.P. Lavastorm on launch day.  I'm thrilled.  So many in my family and old guilds have long left....it will be great to be able to bring them back with such a terrific offer, and the new expansion/holidays too!

They are doing away with the extra marketplace items so I see no problem /shrug Vox.. welcome to Naggy (I assume that is who you will get merged with)
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:43 PM   #12
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No need to believe what I'm typing. Watch what happens to this game come December when this goes live to see for yourselves and then remember what I said.

As for every game going F2P, that's not actually entirely accurate. It's generally only the really bad games that go F2P with the "a la carte" system and most people don't play those games seriously because they don't want to be nickle and dimed all the time.

Leave the game the way it is. Gawd.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:46 PM   #13
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Let's keep feedback constructive please folks.  We very much want your opinions and concerns, but within our forum guidelines.  Thanks!

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:47 PM   #14
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This post has moved: /eq2/posts/preList.m?topic_id=48345...post_id=5655204 Removed for non-constructive feedback
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:47 PM   #15
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GREAT NEWS!!

Finding a group has been SO DIFFICULT lately even on AB.  Bring in the new players.. I don't care if they paid for some of their gear on the F2P servers since we're coming into a new expansion anyway.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:48 PM   #16
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I refuse to pay that much for so little.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:48 PM   #17
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I read the article about EQIIX being merged with EQII Live, and I can see both pros and cons with that. Lots more spam in chat, lol.

Anyway, my question is about All Access Subscribers, it says that all current EQ2 Live subscribers will be renamed "Gold Subscribers", and everything else will remain the same for them. Will All Access Subscribers have a "Gold" membership with the added benefits of all access such as more character slots?

Just curious...

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:48 PM   #18
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No one can seriously be surprised by this move.  This is what Smokeblower was hired for after all.

Now can we xfer to freeport for $25/char?

8 year vet reward should have been 1 free char move token per character.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:49 PM   #19
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My constructive feedback is that I saw this coming from a mile away and one of my three subs was not renewed long ago, one was canceled just a bit ago and ran out yesterday, and this one is canceled and runs out the 17th (I think, but since it wasn't really important at that point I didn't care to pay that much attention).

So long EQ2, it was nice to know you while you were still a pretty lady.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:49 PM   #20
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8 year vet reward should have been some... nevermind i best not
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:50 PM   #21
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[email protected] wrote:

8 year vet reward should have been some... nevermind i best not

Those things the English wear on their feet. Double entendre for the win....or is that a triple...lol.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:51 PM   #22
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Shaolin Sam wrote:

As for every game going F2P, that's not actually entirely accurate.

The Old Republic (and possibly Copernicus) are thought to be the last of the subscription based games.  Companies all over are embracing F2P for a reason.  If it was as bad as you say, then that model would have died already.  Since it has not, and it's just increasing, then that would be some evidence (anecdotal, I'll admit) against that.

Plus, I'm sure they have plenty of data to predict how well this would be received financially (from their own games (DCUO, FR and also EQ2X) as well as the industry as a whole on what the projected revenue per subscriber would be.  It's not the doom and gloom end of the world scenarion you seem to think it is.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:52 PM   #23
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[email protected] Bayle wrote:

GREAT NEWS!!

Finding a group has been SO DIFFICULT lately even on AB.  Bring in the new players.. I don't care if they paid for some of their gear on the F2P servers since we're coming into a new expansion anyway.

Except it won't help you get a PUG in DoV, since free players won't have access to it.

It will probably help finding a PUG in the lower levels however, since those levels are pretty empty as everyone playing this game is finding himself rushing to 90 because the real fun is with the current expansion, not the older content.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:53 PM   #24
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Have had an active account since 99, time to move on as well. Seriously though, 40 bucks for ??? makes no sense.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:53 PM   #25
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thesiren wrote:

Shaolin Sam wrote:

This is absolutely terrible news!

No it's not, it's great news! 

Look, no one is taking away anyone's right to sub.   They're just adding choices that bring in additional types of players (like those who play multiple MMOs or those who, with families and jobs, can't always justify a full sub every month-- but can justify occasional cash shop purchases) to help fill up our servers.

Smedley already mentioned on his Twitter page about a TV and internet ad campaign.  Let's hope that includes us-- right in time for AoD and Frostfell, we can really crank with this!

I can hardly imagine Nagafen and Unrest teeming with life again, like Nagafen was when it launched in early '06, and like R.I.P. Lavastorm on launch day.  I'm thrilled.  So many in my family and old guilds have long left....it will be great to be able to bring them back with such a terrific offer, and the new expansion/holidays too!

I don't think it's going to impact me in one way or another. And what is wrong with giving a choice to those who want it? If it doesn't directly impact you personally, why care if someone else wants a choice. I don't think it's terrible news at all. I don't get why so many here are so resistant to change. Is it the endearing need to control what others do and have access to, what is it? If you choose not to change anything, you don't have to. If you want to, you can. Why is that terrible?

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:54 PM   #26
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From here:

http://everquest2.com/news/read/current/5026

AA Limit Increase

  • The AA limit will be increased above the current limit of 300.

HEHE HAHA HOHO HEHE HAHA

AFter all this time and they STILL can't tell us the details? What the heck? How many? In what trees? These details might be kind of important if you asking us to shell out $40.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:55 PM   #27
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Nolrog wrote:

Shaolin Sam wrote:

As for every game going F2P, that's not actually entirely accurate.

The Old Republic (and possibly Copernicus) are thought to be the last of the subscription based games.  Companies all over are embracing F2P for a reason.  If it was as bad as you say, then that model would have died already.  Since it has not, and it's just increasing, then that would be some evidence (anecdotal, I'll admit) against that.

Plus, I'm sure they have plenty of data to predict how well this would be received financially (from their own games (DCUO, FR and also EQ2X) as well as the industry as a whole on what the projected revenue per subscriber would be.  It's not the doom and gloom end of the world scenarion you seem to think it is.

You know what this is?

This isn't "make the game better"

this is "blood from a turnip" and SoE is going to bleed every last one of you dry to your personal threshhold before you move on to greener pastures as well.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:55 PM   #28
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While I am not pleased...at the very least they are taking away the 'special' bought goodies from Freeport. no insta kill wands, no health/power potions, no buying all the mastercrafted stuff for SC, ect. sounds like they are just adding silver and free plans to live, and stripping freeport marketplace of anything we don't already have on live. we'll see how it goes.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:55 PM   #29
Lantis

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Nolrog wrote:

Shaolin Sam wrote:

As for every game going F2P, that's not actually entirely accurate.

The Old Republic (and possibly Copernicus) are thought to be the last of the subscription based games.  Companies all over are embracing F2P for a reason.  If it was as bad as you say, then that model would have died already.  Since it has not, and it's just increasing, then that would be some evidence (anecdotal, I'll admit) against that.

Plus, I'm sure they have plenty of data to predict how well this would be received financially (from their own games (DCUO, FR and also EQ2X) as well as the industry as a whole on what the projected revenue per subscriber would be.  It's not the doom and gloom end of the world scenarion you seem to think it is.

Personally, I wonder if the current F2P-or-nothing thing isn't just a trend that will eventually die.  Because once too many F2P are out, competition becomes more difficult since you will have a certain userbase who won't feel attached to a specific game, and will change from one F2P to another F2P game every month or so.  And being less attached means they will be less enclined to spend money on add-ons.  Bottom line, the income will start to dry out for F2P games, and they will need to find a new way to keep people attached to THEIR game, and paying.

Personally, I think there's room in this market for both hardcore, subscription-based games, and for F2P games.  Two different crowd, and both will keep existing in parallel for the forseable future IMHO.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:55 PM   #30
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Nolrog wrote:

Shaolin Sam wrote:

As for every game going F2P, that's not actually entirely accurate.

The Old Republic (and possibly Copernicus) are thought to be the last of the subscription based games.  Companies all over are embracing F2P for a reason.  If it was as bad as you say, then that model would have died already.  Since it has not, and it's just increasing, then that would be some evidence (anecdotal, I'll admit) against that.

Plus, I'm sure they have plenty of data to predict how well this would be received financially (from their own games (DCUO, FR and also EQ2X) as well as the industry as a whole on what the projected revenue per subscriber would be.  It's not the doom and gloom end of the world scenarion you seem to think it is.

The beast that is the WoW developers beg to disagree that F2P is the future. They might have their fingers of the pulse of the game world a tad moreso than some companies who have repeatedly, time and again, failed to develop and deliver new MMOs.

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