Scofflaws! Shoplifters! Thieves! GU57 enforces 7 & 12 Character Slot Limits

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

For years, players have been asking for additional character slots, either for free, or as an optional one-time purchase.

Seven vs. Twelve

An EQ2 monthly subscription runs approximately $14-15 a month depending on your choice to pre-pay 3, 6, or 12 months in advance, or stick to month-to-month payments. Despite the introduction of new races, and a new expansion each year, currently, EQ2 subscribers have access to 7 character slots.

So far, the only option offered to increase the number of character slots has been to buy Station Access.  This $29.95/mo package was originally intended as a way to provide access to SOE’s entire stable of online games (EQ1, EQ2, SWG, etc.). But over the years, this deal has been sweetened with the addition of more character slots. An EQ2 player with Station Access receives 12 character slots.

It’s worth noting that those are 7 and 12 slots per region. Players can start 7 characters on US, EU, and Test servers, making for a total of 21 characters in all if you include all 3 regions.

What happens when you downgrade, and today’s changes after the jump…

What happens when you downgrade?

What hasn’t been clear is what happens when a player initially subscribes to Station Access, creates more than 7 characters, and then at some point in the future downgrades their account to an EQ2 standard account.

Who decides which 7 characters remain accessible?

How do you tell the game which 7 character slots you want to keep active?

Can any of the other characters be accessed?

Station Access FAQ

Here’s what the Station Access FAQ has to say on the subject:

What happens to my additional character slots for EverQuest, EverQuest II and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes if my Station Access subscription is cancelled or terminated?

You will only have access to your additional character slots while you are an active Station Access subscriber. If you cancel your Station Access subscription or it is cancelled or terminated, but you continue with your individual game subscription, you will only retain access to the standard number of characters for that game.

Not exactly clear.

Hidden Characters

The point of this article is not to hang anyone at SOE out to dry. In the past, players have been able to switch to hidden characters, that is, characters they don’t have access to because they are on a standard EQ2 account, by typing /camp charactername. This advice came from well-meaning SOE support based on the information available to them at the time.

This was the policy at the time, I’m guessing because there just wasn’t a better way for a player to choose which 7 characters they want to use, to the exclusion of all others.

Game Update 57 Change

With Game Update 57 comes a new error message and behavior. If you have more characters than you should, if you try to access the “hidden” characters, you are presented with an error message indicating that you have too many characters. There is no way to shuffle your characters around and choose which 7 you want to use.

I think we can all agree that A player should not be able to pay $15/month and have all the character slots they want.

However throwing the switch and locking out players from accessing all but the 7 most recently accessed characters without any warning or announcement is probably not the best way to keep some of your most loyal customers to stick around, or to get them to pay more money.

I’ve read this controversial thread and players have been called shoplifters, scofflaws, thieves, and worse, despite the fact that some of these players have paid upwards of $500 over 3 years just to maintain 5 extra character slots. Is a character slot really worth $100? At one time, Station Access was $20 per month. Now it’s $30.

I heard rumblings at Fan Faire that the Station Access may receive some attention, either additional benefits or some other change. But this is the kind of thing that should be discussed out in the open, with transparency about what SOE is wanting to accomplish. This is the type of change that should have been announced and discussed, and possibly with the introduction of a reasonably affordable one-time fee or monthly fee to buy additional character slots. It also doesn’t help that some players were unable to locate the Station Access plan within the revamped EQ2 Subscription chooser screens.

MythBusting…

If you have 7 characters, then with your EQ2 account you still have access to those 7 slots today.

If you have 12 characters and have Station Access, then you still have access to those 12 slots.

If you have more than 7 characters, but are on a standard EQ2 account, then for the time being, if you try to /camp to a character not currently on the Character Select screen (the last 7 actively used characters), or even if you try to edit the appropriate INI settings file, you will not be able to access those other characters until you upgrade to a Station Access account. If you try, you will be presented with an error message “You have too many characters.”

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Comments (14)

  • Spakka

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    This is appalling news, at least let people choose which 7 they want if you are going to suddenly restrict them like this. I haven’t had a sub for several months, but I am going to be really annoyed if when I re-sub for $15 I am going to lose access to one of my top level characters due to this.

    Reply

  • Magson

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    Wow, this is gonna be fun for me. I have 12 characters from the 3 years or so that I had Station Access, but am currently on a regular sub. I generally only play 2-3 characters though, so it doesn’t really matter to me if I can’t access the “extra 5.”

    However…… just the other day I logged in on all 12 to check the research assistants, and I went from highest level to lowest level. Meaning, if it only allows me access to my 7 most recently accessed, then I don’t have my 2 level 90 “mains” or my other “most played” alts.

    Could be interesting. If there was some sort of Cust Svc way I could choose which 7 I wanted access to, there wouldn’t be a problem, but since you said in the article that there’s no way to do that… Well, I’m not playing much anymore anyway, so that’d be the impetus I need to cancel again.

    Reply

  • Thundy

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    People were “using” the system to get access to those slots without paying them, but SOE really should offer those folks a way to choose the 7 they should have access to now.

    Reply

  • Cyan

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    If the char selection screen is still working, deleting one of the 7 displayed will automatically display the next down the list. I learned this long ago when I downgraded from station access and wanted to roll a new toon.

    Reply

  • Spakka

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    Thanks for that advice Cyan, at least there is that option although I suspect a lot of people will not want to delete any.

    Reply

  • Steve

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    I don’t mind so much that they made this change. I would have just liked some warning.

    Still trying to find a reason to re-subscribe to this game. I really want to still like it and have fun playing. However, I have no idea what they are going to screw us with on the next GU.

    Reply

  • Twisted_Mentat

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    Downgraded from access years ago after no longer playing planetside and vanguard, didnt know about the /camp charname at the time so had to delete all my extra’s to make my main available.
    Can’t blame SOE for wanting it changed but making such a change unannounced is more than a bit unfriendly. Not to mention that I and several others would no doubt pay a #reasonable# one-time fee to get some extra slots in the 1st place, City of villains has been doing it for years, and SOE have been constantly asked by the players for years if they could also provide this service.

    Bad form SOE, unfortunatlety its the type of ninja patch we’ve come to expect.

    Reply

  • Rick

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    Yep – totally done with this game. I had SA for over a year…only play 4-5 toons on a regular basis, the rest were just for inventory overflow or storage of mats/shineys/etc till they got to the toon that needed them. If I can only access 7 of the toons now and some of them are not toons I regularly play with, good riddance to this game once and for all.

    Every few months, something comes along that aggravates me about the way this game is run but nothing that game-breaking to quit over, even the f2p stuff. This on the other hand is more than enough to say sayanora. My 6 month sub expires in 3 weeks and I can finally move on. Yay!!

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    Deleting toons is not workable if you want to keep the 7 toons on the Char Select screen, but valuable items are stored on other toons.

    Again, nobody should get unlimited characters for $15/mo, but at least allow players to move items around before shutting things down.

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    Honestly this is just par for the course with how SOE has been doing things behind the scenes lately. Althoug hi don’t think they should have access to the additional toons, SOE has really been hanging the players out to dry lately. :( I don’t know if this is directly related to Smokejumpers taking over, but it sure seems interesting how money hungry things have gotten lately at SOE. :(

    Reply

  • snickly

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    Feldon, you posted here twice that people were getting unlimited characters from this. That is not the case at all.

    You could not create new characters, you were just able to switch to already created characters that is all.

    Reply

  • Rick

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    I love Rothgar’s response…and is the SOE standard response anytime something unnaounced makes it to live and players find out about it seconds after servers come up after an update…paraphrased of course…

    “We didn’t mean to not announce this…just forget to add it to the notes…OOPS!!!…wasnt a secret, wasnt a stealth nerf….just an honest mistake by us lovable folks working on EQ2…”

    Practically every single time a change is made that will knowingly cause a bit of a ruckus with the playerbase makes it to live w/o an announcement, OOPS!!! Aw shucks, sorry guys, we didn’t mean it. Hamsters made us do it lololololol.

    I’ve never threatened to quit, I rarely post on any boards as is but enough is enough…I’m not even gonna threaten…sub cancelled, gonna log in, look at options to move my toons to live gamer to sell them and if not viable, start giving stuff away to those who have helped me along the way.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    Snickly,

    I didn’t mean literally unlimited. It was intended as a vernacular. That said, I have heard multiple reports of players having up to 18 characters on their account in 1 region.

    Reply

  • Gungo

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    You were able to have unlimited characters, because there are several times in game say when servers are down or when your character crashed (reproducable) and your toons never showed up. You were able to create MORE characters then 12 on an account. I had an account specifically made to camp avatars with 14 avatar camping toons on it that would have a program to rotate and send text messages when the avatar would spawn. That account has long since been deactivated but it is possible to go over the l2 SA limit.

    Reply

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