Dethdlr’s Dungeon: Balancing EQ2X with EQII Live

Written by Dethdlr on . Posted in Commentary, Dethdlr's Dungeon, Free-to-Play (EQ2X), StationCash

Dethdlr's Dungeon

Fan Faire is now over and one thing seems to be clear: SOE does not have a plan to balance the new players coming into the game between EQ2X and EQII Live, at least not one they are willing to share with us… 

They keep giving the same basic answer: We’ll adjust on the fly.  Here is what they’re trying to balance:

Which door do you think new players are going to go through?

They keep saying that if too many new people choose EQ2X, they’ll add more incentives to EQII to balance it out. Problem is, what could they possibly add to EQII to make it more desirable for a new player than the free choice of EQ2X?

With the removal of the 14 day trial, nobody in their right mind is going to TRY the $40 option when the FREE option is sitting right there next to it, just a click away. And once they get themselves established on EQ2X, they’re not going to want to leave their new home to go over to EQII. It doesn’t matter what incentives they put on the $40 option, people are going to TRY the free option instead. What on earth do they think they can add to the EQII side to make a NEW PLAYER want to TRY the $40 option instead of the FREE one?

We keep getting twisted logic out of SOE. Here are the latest “facts” on the subject we’ve been presented with:

A. Lots of people played the free trial
B. Very few people signed up after trying the free trial
C. The begining levels have a very high learning curve and need revised
D. The UI needs an overhaul to make it easier for new players

So, they go and fix C and D. This would lead any logical person to believe that those changes would have a favorable impact on B. Will it? We will never know because when C and D hit the live servers, they’re turning off the free trial!

It’s like saying that a restarant is failing because of the paint job on the front door. So to prove this fact, they change the menu, furnature, cooks, wait staff, and management and then re-paint the front door. When the restarant starts doing good they say “See, that paint job on the door really turned this place around!”

So lets assume for the moment that SOE actually does have a plan behind all this and do some speculation on why they are doing what they are doing.  I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing…

Ok, done laughing?  Let’s proceed…

(Begin speculation)
EQII was headed down hill for a while.  Sentinel’s Fate(SF) came out which caused a short spike in subscriptions but research showed that most of them were old players returning anyway and not actual new players.  Once the newness of SF wore off and people had done most of the heroic content, subscriptions started falling off again.  Basically, attrition was begining to take it’s toll without much hope of turning things around.  How do you convince NEW players to try a 6 year old game?  How do you convince people who have tried the game with the 14 day trial to come back and try it again?  Tell them that THIS TIME it will be better?  Tell them that for the last 6 years the new player experience has been kind of lacking but that we finally figured that out and fixed it?  How do you build an advertising campaign around the concept of “we’ve had our head up our arse for the last 6 years, but we’re doing much better now”?  Tough to convince people to try the game based on that.

So what COULD they have done?  As I said above, they could have fixed the new player experience and let players do the 14 day trial again.  But that wouldn’t have driven new players to try out the game.  It would have just kept more of the people who were trying the 14 day trial already.  It MIGHT have been enough to turn things around but we all know, EQII isn’t really out there in the stores or on people’s minds as something they want to try.  So what could they do to try and convince NEW players to try the game?  Enter EQ2 Extended (EQ2X).

Announcing EQ2X got EQ2 back in the press.  It got some buzz started about a 6 year old game.  It’s most likely going to draw in NEW players to try out the game and probably bring back some that tried the 14 day trial and didn’t subscribe.  So, with all the buzz about EQ2X bringing people in to try things out, why not give them the choice of the 14 day trial for EQII or the Free EQ2X?  They claim it’s because it would be confusing but what if it’s because they don’t really want people limited to 14 days to get hooked? 

They’re convinced that they can’t do F2P without RMT so at least for the time being, they don’t want F2P on the EQII Live servers.  But they want to bring in new players and get them hooked on the game even if it takes them a few months of free play to get addicted.

Short term, they’re allowing copies over to the EQ2X servers but not transfers.  This could be to save EQII from a mass exodus of characters over to the EQ2X servers while still allowing people to copy over to try it out.

It’s possible that they DO have a plan but it’s one they can’t tell us about because it doesn’t sound good at all.  It goes something like this:

1. EQII was in a downward spiral and death was only a matter of time. (Remember the downsizing that just happened?)
2. Put in F2P called EQ2X with all sorts of restrictions
3. Draw in lots of new players to EQ2X and get them hooked
4. Over time, make EQII more desirable for the players that get hooked
5. Cancel the copy ability and allow transfers so that EQ2X becomes the trial that will feed EQII
6. Even though the flow from EQ2X to EQII will be small, it will still be bigger than the flow was before EQ2X and will be enough to stop the eventual death of EQII.

If this IS their game plan, they can’t really tell us.  As a company, you don’t want to tell your customers that their game on life support and it’s only a matter of time before it dies.  You also don’t want to tell your NEW customers that you are trying to get them hooked and make them spend money on things they don’t need, in the hopes that eventually they will realize that and move over to EQII.

OR, they may think that the players will be split and we will eventually end up with half EQII servers and half EQ2X servers.  Some have said that the quote from Fan Faire was a bit off and that SmokeJumper was saying that maybe EQII would end up being the place to be for raiding, not EQ2X.  That would at least explain why people would re-roll and move from EQ2X over to EQII: Raiding.

(End Speculation)

All signs point to the fact that SmokeJumper is convinced that this is a good idea and that it won’t mean the death of the EQII Live servers.  What we don’t know though is if we were already heading towards eventual death before EQ2X came out.  Maybe this is like chemotherapy.  We weren’t going to make it the way things were going so we’re trying this experimental treatment.  Short term, it may look like we’re getting worse but long term, we may end up making a full recovery. 

I don’t agree with the approach that’s being taken, but it’s likely that I don’t have all the facts either.  If I had all the facts, I might come to the same decision, I don’t know.  I guess all we can do is wait and see.  Hopefully this will end up being good for all of us.  I just hope SmokeJumper is in for the long haul and doesn’t jump ship.  If this is in fact a long term plan, we need him to stick around and see it through.  I’ve got my fingers crossed.  I guess only time will tell.

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Comments (29)

  • Loredena

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    They haven’t completely taken away the option to try EQ2Live for free — the 14 day trial goes away, but the refer-a-friend stays. I get the feeling that they percentage sticking it out and subscribing is higher for the latter, and new players who are joining friends have a fair bit of incentive to go that route over the F2P one. (And the refer the friend gives you the game, so you’re not out that $40)

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    EverQuest 2 Collectors Edition is usually $19.95 for up to and including The Shadow Odyssey.

    Reply

  • Justin

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    If SoE really cared about Everquest 2, wouldnt they have looked at the subscription numbers years ago and said, gee lets smooth out the new player experience? gee lets fix classes so people havent wasted their time once they DO spend the money on the game!

    The reality is SoE has too much on its plate to care that much about eq2

    Vangaurd was a disaster.

    Everquest 1 hasnt likely seen any new growth in years.

    The Agency looks DoA

    If SoE Devs and other people in the company cared enough, problems with itemization and class balancing would have been looked at a long time ago, when it was clear from live update 13 that some classes became uber and some classes became junk.

    It took 3 1/2 years for shadowknights to recover from the joke that was live update 13.

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    Only time will tell, But the big question is smokejumper trying to corral us into something that will eventually destroy us or does he have a plan. I for one can only hang on so long before I will become just another statistic to smokey. Can only hope things get better before we are all on fire.

    Reply

  • Jez

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    I’m having a hard time working myself into a tizzy over EQ2X. Yes, it’s free, but once you see how vastly limited the free version is it doesn’t really seem like a big issue. At Bronze level (the free version) you get two character slots, five gold per level, adept spells, restricted broker use and no shared bank. Not to mention in-game pop-up adds. Oh yeah, sign me up. I just think serious gamers, the ones who really want to PLAY the game, will still pay. EQ2X just seems like a fancy trial. That’s all I’d ever use or recommend it for. When DDO went F2P I got all excited, thinking I might go back to it. Then I saw the limitations and thought…”Nevermind. I’d rather pay for EQ2.”

    Reply

  • Haizen

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    I really don’t see why they didn’t just do F2P on live servers like Funcom has done for years with Anarchy Online. the base(original) game is completely free. If you want to play ANY expansion content then you have to sub.
    If SOE did that with EQ2, then 1-50 would be free (no restrictions),and to level past 50 and play any expansion content you would have to sub.
    The great advantage to this model is that the “free” players are already on the main servers and adding to the population. You do NOT have to have RMT in F2P.

    Reply

  • Bluja000

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    I for one don’t care about the extended server. I’m going to stick around until Rift beta comes around, and see if I can get into that. If I can, then I’ll check that out. Even if I can’t, I’ll likely at least try the trial if there is one, or perhaps just start that instead. It looks like it’s coming out around the same time as the new expansion here, and I’m not sure how I feel about the changes going on. Will just have to wait and see.

    Reply

  • Starseeker

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    This was a good post, I can see a lot of your points :).

    They had stated that people “played the hell out of ” the 14 day free trial, but then quit. I think what they are trying to do is let people play the hell out of the game instead, with limitations.

    However, it would have been better on the live servers…It is unfortunate they had to marry RMT with F2p.

    The way it is may draw in more players, it may equalize down the road. But they have lost a big chunk of veterans doing this, with no answers, and seemingly no care or no game plan to grab those disillusioned players back. even if they get new blood, they’ve lost some old blood.

    My guild has lost at least 6 now, and I am leaving soon as the next good MMO comes out. I am not sure the long term plan will get them through the weather of SWTOR, Guildwars2, FF14, Rift, Tera, Wow expansion, and who knows how many other games that are all coming out in the near future, as well as splitting their own servers and competing with themselves for a playerbase.

    Reply

  • Ocabs

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    Their plan is to simply get EQ2X more players than EQ2 and slowly phase out the EQ2 servers, while cutting costs in other areas. Right now they make $15/m per user, but with cutting out expensive devs, increasing hardware quality (which decreases load, and costs), and doing things like decreasing spell effects which also decrease server load.. and costs.

    So while 15/m is good for the ancient methods, they can likely made an even better profit with 9-10/month APU (average per user), and in the same time draw lots more customers because of the ‘free’ carrot.

    I can guarantee if they’re making more profit per user with EQ2X, there is no doubt there will be no ‘plan’ to keep live servers alive. It’s just not worth it. On top of extra profit, they have the ‘free’ defense to anyone who complains about lack of updates as well. “Hey guys, sorry for slow updates, but it is a ‘free’ game” (*cough* bull).

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Their plan is to simply get EQ2X more players than EQ2 and slowly phase out the EQ2 servers, while cutting costs in other areas.

      In every conversation I have had with SmokeJumper, he has said this is not the goal. Take that how you will. He has stressed to me that because 14-day Free Trial is generating a pitiful amount of new subscriptions, Free-to-Play is needed. My problem has been why separate servers, and why a marketplace? Why not 1-50 free-to-play and get them hooked?

      Reply

  • Steve

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    Best thing SOE could do to boost EQ2 subcribers? Sell EQ2 to another company not associated with SOE at all.

    SOE is the main reason people do not play this game by the millions.

    Reply

  • Eddie

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    I think its BIG MISTAKE to separate EQ2X and EQ2live servers…

    Reply

  • snowline

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    unlimited trial on the EQ2live servers, just level limit it, and put some basic antispamming/farming restrictions in. no specific RMT items created.

    If they want to sell stuff to the unlimited trial people – make the broker the only way f2p can get mastercrafted/fabled/legendary stuff, let subscribers sell lots of normal items available in game to everyone including to the f2p players, pay the subscribers in plat as per normal – charge the f2p in stationcash. Effectively, soe hiring their current subscriberbase to provide the items already available in game to the unlimited trial people who haven’t upgraded yet.

    Reply

  • Bhagpuss

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    I think that analysis of the “Secret Plan” is back-to-front.

    I’d guess that, if there really IS a secret plan, it’s along the lines of getting EQ2X started in a blaze of publicity, building it up to the point where it’s much more populated and profitable than EQ2 and then gradually (or quickly) scaling down EQ2 with a view to closing it down.

    At that point, if we’re lucky, they *might* migrate the remaining EQ2 sub players over to EQ2X. Or they might not. Those with long memories will recall the Legends server in EQ1.

    I’d also say there’s only one reason why a separate EQ2X exists: current EQ2 players howled so loudly about every baby step away from a full subscription model that there was genuine fear that if the EQ2X model had been implemented on existing servers (as many are now, ironically, demanding) it would have led to a really significant loss in current subscribers.

    Basically, they tried that with the NGE over at SWG and they remember how well that worked out for them. I’m sure they’d have preferred to have just one EQ2 under the new payment model and operate a single service and I bet that’s what they would still prefer. If EQ2 does remain profitable I imagine it will stay, but unless the EQ2X project is a complete flop (which it won’t be) the EQ2 sub servers will almost certainly just carry on down the declining spiral they would have anyway.

    On balance, I don’t think EQ2X can make things much worse for the lifespan of EQ2 than they would have been without it. At least it increases the chance of soem version of EQ2 being around for longer.

    Reply

  • herem

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    you guys are focused on the wrong thing, and that’s what soe wants. the endgame is to get everyone on a RMT model. period.

    the only way any f2p model works is if people are spending $5 to buy a shield..oh, and i might as well spend another $5 on a really cool weapon. which, of course, gets outdated once i hit the next tier…so i’ll spend another $10 on a weapon and shield…and potions…how about $3 on a 100% xp potion so i *can* level faster.

    whenever soe says “f2p”, they are directing you away from the real goal – REAL MONEY TRANSACTIONS.

    Reply

  • Sigtyr

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    Separating EQ2X is a very good idea it will create new server communities for better or worse, it will lead to more people in the lower level tiers, it may also defuse (especially with the equipment limitations (that I personally do not like btw)) the leetness that are so prevalent at t9 and t9 and people may actually have to do things in imperfect groups with imperfect equipment (GASP).

    Like it or not the fact is that there has not been any real reason for a new player to play EQ2 for some time unless he or she found that very rare gem of a guild where people actually group and helps new players. A lot of the complaints seems to be that there will be no more lvl 90s with 200 + APs and good raid experience wanting to sign up for the raid guilds in the future.

    EQ2X will separate the casuals from the more hardcore players. I think EQ2X will do fine I am not sure if EQ2 Legacy will fare so well when a lot of the casuals will disappear, and I think that is the problem SOE is trying to fix. Despite all the “dumbing down” of the game there are still not enough reasons for a casual player to play EQ2 for any length of time.

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  • Starseeker

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    I agree with Feldon, 1-50 f2p would have been great, I would have even suffered if they put stat items for 1-50 on the market.

    I think this would have done two things. It would have filled up the 1-50 zones with people besides that random boxer leveling their 10th alt (unless your on AB). And, as people level and make friends with those random boxers, or even with others, Those people will progress past 50 because they are sub, and the f2p people would not. Peer pressure sometimes works great. Your stuck at 50 while your friend is off doing cool t8 and t9 dungeons. Now you want to join them.

    IMO this is how it should have been implemented.

    Reply

  • Griffinhart

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    I think the scale graphic is a bit misleading. On the left door should be.

    $40 up front if you wish to level to 90 or Access to SF
    $15 a month if you want access to Legendary or Fabled items.
    $15 a month of you want to be able to own more than 4 plat at 80
    $15 a month if you want Master level spells/combat arts
    $15 a month if you want unrestricted broker access

    On the right should be:
    Gold Level Access included with EQ2 Live subscription.

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    I think the scale graphic is a bit misleading. On the left door should be.

    $40 up front if you wish to level to 90 or Access to SF
    $15 a month if you want access to Legendary or Fabled items.
    $15 a month of you want to be able to own more than 4 plat at 80
    $15 a month if you want Master level spells/combat arts
    $15 a month if you want unrestricted broker access

    All of those include “if you wish” or “if you want”. Thought I covered that with “Pay only for the extras you want”.

    On the right should be:
    Gold Level Access included with EQ2 Live subscription.

    That one probably should be there. Good point. :)

    Also, as Feldon pointed out, it’s really a choice of paying $20 and not $40 to try out EQII Live. They have an option available called the “EverQuest II Starter Pack” for $19.95:

    The Starter Pack is a great value for new, returning and existing players. Receive the base game, all three adventure packs and five expansion packs up to EverQuest® II The Shadow Odyssey™, plus in-game items! The Shadow Odyssey stretches well beyond the fantasy realm and propels the EverQuest II world into a new era of excitement and adventure. Includes the Legends of Norrath™ digital card game with a “Taking Flight” loot card, starter deck and booster pack for the Oathbreaker set. Legends of Norrath is rated “E10+” for Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, and Suggestive Themes. 30 days of game time included with purchase (new accounts only; excludes existing game and Station Access accounts).

    Reply

  • Griffinhart

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    But the problem is, what you are considering extra, many wouldn’t. Access to legendary/fabled items and master spells from NPC drops and quests are not what I would consider extra. At least as it should be bulleted as a pretty significant disadvantage to the Extended server.

    It’s worth mentioning too that at SF’s release the game was $37 through amazon and can currenly be purchased for $18 through amazon.

    Right now, I just feel that the people that the extended server is going to attract will be the super casuals. Anyone that tries the game out there and decides to convert to a sub, will likely give the current subscription type and servers a hard look as in the end it will save money and give them a greater access to content and players by going with a standard subscription.

    In the end, It’s still cheaper to go for a 1 year sub at $144 and buy the expansions at $40, and get access to all servers and a much wider playerbase cheaper than the $200 a year “platinum” sub.

    The only question for me that remains is, will the Extended servers attract new players to EQ2. If it does get EQ2 more players, I can easily see current servers getting a boost in population.

    I would like to see them make a change though. The “Gold” subscription should include access to both Live and Extended servers as the current subscription plan does. It would be less confusing for new players, simplify the options and make trying both the Live and Extended servers a no brainer to players of all types.

    Reply

  • Griffinhart

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    Forgot to mention, You also say “future expansions not included” on the Live side, but you don’t mention that you have to pay for the current expansion, and for all accounts up to and including gold, future expansions are not included.”

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    @Griffinhart: I don’t disagree that people are going to want some of the items like legendary/fabled items, masters, etc. But that’s coming from current players. We know that they’re going to want those things. Brand new players won’t know what they are going to want at the point where they are making the decision. SOE isn’t going to put in their matrix that you don’t get these things but will definately want them.

    They’ll see Free and Fee. Doesn’t matter what you put on the Fee side, it’s not going to be as appealing as Free. That’s because Free doesn’t cost them anything and if it turns out they made the wrong choice, nothing lost. They can always go back and choose Fee.

    The problem is, by the time they realize that the Fee side would have been a better deal, how many friends have they made on the Free side? Some people don’t have a problem moving around between servers but others (like myself) feel at home on the server they are on. They have friends there that are the real reason they log in each day. If these relationships get established on the EQ2X servers while they are trying it out, chances are they’re not going to want to change servers just for financial reasons.

    You do bring up a good point with the 1 year subscription on the EQII Live servers being $144 instead of $15 x 12. But I believe that the Platinum sub includes $60 worth of SC to offset it a bit. Guess it depends on how much SC you plan on spending in a year.

    And I agree that the Gold subscription should include access to both Live and Extended servers. If you’re paying $15 a month on Live and getting Gold on EQ2X, then $15 on EQ2X should get you access to Live. I also think those with Station Access should get Platinum level access to EQ2X. Only time will tell but hopefully this will end up working out for all of us.

    Reply

  • Akasha

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    This is sounding like such a bad plan for the longevity of EQ2, the person who mentioned what AO did is 100% right. Paying for levels and content over 50 would be a smart move. I, also, will be looking at RIFTS when it comes out instead of staying on a sinking ship.

    BTW, spell check is your friend Dethdlr!

    Reply

  • JeremyR

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    That 1-50 thing wouldn’t work, because it’s not making the game “free”, it’s just a trial. No one would ever play it over the countless other games that actually are “free” (at least in theory). Yeah, Anarchy Online does something like that – but who plays Anarchy Online? No one.

    It’s not so much about actual money spent, but the appearance. Putting a cap like that would doom it from the start.

    And you can’t have F2P without an item mall. For every free player, you need paying members to pay more.

    Reply

  • Blockhead

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    We can speculate all we want and all our conjecture will remain conjecture until SOE actually figures out what they are doing. ie: They are totally winging it.

    I’m very much into lotro lately, i’m unsure why it didn’t click this good 3 years ago, was probably because EQ2 was still pretty rocking back then and was the better game. Now the tables have turned, Turbine has improved the game tremendously, and SOE has let theirs slip.

    So here we are today and EQ2X is a prime example of what we have been saying for years, EQ2 has no direction. The more i read and thought about what has happened lately, it became clear that they are in a some ways being honest; they pretty much decided to do this about a month ago.

    I hate to continue to use lotro but i’m sure it’s probably the most familiar.

    Why is lotro integrating into their live servers? I feel it’s because they worked out all the details, spent allot of resources on implementing and testing their ideas, “AND” then decided to let everyone know what they are doing. You don’t see them changing their matrix on the fly. It’s because they FULLY BAKED IT, then announced it. This is the real deal.

    For the most part i feel the community as a whole is genuinely looking forward to the new life they are about to receive, furthering player confidence in the game as well because Turbine thought things through and are confident in their own decisions.

    Regarding EQ2X allot of people feel they are being short changed on answers, and we speculate, my gut on this is that they don’t have answers because they DON’T KNOW. Not sure if they felt threatened by lotro announcement or not, or what prompted them to blurt out the news, or rush it out, without covering all bases first but they did and as they repeat over and over “We’ll have to see how it goes.”

    So no i don’t think they have any motive to kill live server; them not thinking things through first may kill them in the end but this is the problem with SOE, i really don’t think they think things through. We all know that if EQ2X is a hit, they wont hesitate to cut live servers and or turn them all into EQ2X servers in a heartbeat.

    Me personally; This is how i feel, i will not play on live servers anymore as i feel there is no more EQ2 future there. I felt like playing some EQ2 and my options were alpha or my live account, alpha i decided no because any of my progress will be deleted come beta, ok live then, and honestly i doubt I’ll ever go live again so may as well be deleted because any EQ2 for me will be EQ2X.

    I will be rolling toons under bronze and play here and there. ATM I’m just too into lotro to care anymore either, Turbine has impressed me with their ability to run and operate an mmo. Life time members instead of getting the shaft are getting an amazing deal and i, for the first time ever wished i bought one back in 07 for $199.

    They treat lifers whom don’t give Turbine any income free points monthly, here is Turbine’s chance to cash in on the lifers, and what does Turbine do, give them enough points so they could buy the expansion for free every year, that’s treating your customers with respect.

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    Akasha said:

    BTW, spell check is your friend Dethdlr!

    Wow! You’re not kidding! I wrote this one up in notepad. Turns out I can’t spell beginning, restaurant or furniture and I don’t know the difference between “lets and let’s” or “it’s and its”. Doh! Ok, consider me properly admonished. Run my articles through spell checker before posting. lol

    Dethdlr: Strong, like rock. Smart, like rock. :)

    Reply

  • Blockhead

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    @Dethdlr

    Use Firefox, it has a built in spell checker, just before you post Right Click and make sure Check Spelling is checked. If it were not for that, anything i post would be incomprehensible.

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    @Blockhead

    I use Google Chrome. Been hooked on it for a while. It has spell check as well. Problem is, the window to type up articles isn’t much bigger than the window to type up comments and I like to have more room to work with. There is an option for a much larger window to work with but the last time I tried that, it lost the whole article I was working on. Doh! Just need to run them through a spel cheker befour eye post theem frome nnow onn. :)

    Reply

  • Ian Whitchurch

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    DDO is my game of choice at the moment, and I’m buying it lifetime on the installment plan (I currently have all the low-level content, about a third of the mid-level content and nothing for endgame … which is fine, as I play permadeath, and that means rerolling frequently).

    Everquest is a game I’d always wanted to play around with, mostly because I miss crafting and actual roleplaying, and with the move to a FTP model seemed like a decent time to do it.

    I’m not a raider. I raided a little in WoW, but we’re talking ducking my head into Molten Core about twice and a serious Kara campaign, and as far as I can gather you cant be FTP in EQ and raid. If I cant get up at 6am my time to raid, ah well.

    But not doing five-mans ? Really ? So I’ll just be wandering around wilderness areas questing ?

    The key to the Turbine model is that they can – get this – can make money developing and selling content (*) . Rather than content being a cost center, it’s a profit center.

    So in DDO, they are rolling out new content and selling it to FTP players, while giving it to subscribers, and they’ll do the same model in LOTRO.

    I might have liked EQ2 enough to stay, and even if I didnt I’d make the lowbie zones less lonely for someone who might stay. But at the moment, I think LOTRO is looking like a better crafting-rich, RP-potential option, as then if I like the game I can buy what I want, when I want.

    As it is, SOE will be getting the worst of both worlds – no hordes of newbies making the game on the main servers seem alive, and no real incentive for long-term players to stay and raid on the FTP servers.

    Ah well, Bree it is.

    (*) The actual gear in the DDO cash shop is vendor junk. Literally – the best sword for sale is a +4 with no damage bonuses, debuffs, resist-avoiding or anything. Oh yes, and read the fine print on the rezzing Siberys Spirit Cake “Not usable on raids”. OK, I’ll grant the per-account 32 point builds and the per-toon stat tomes, but Turbine need to keep the bills paid. I really, really dont care about the +xp pots, as anyone who uses them is not playing the game but rather just grinding no-risk, no-fun content in a time sink. Likewise, the +1 level to loot pots are for people who just dont gear alts properly, with their level-capped main grinding the loot, or the cash to buy the loot.

    Reply

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