So despite the exhaustive EQ2: Free-to-Play Frequently Asked Questions, as well as SmokeJumper‘s lengthy Producer’s Letter, there were still a few details and questions that got missed in last Thursday’s announcements.
These EQ2X items are leaving the Marketplace (some previously announced):
- ‘Wand of Obliteration’
- ‘Rune of Devastation’
- Mastercrafted Gear
- Tradeskill Rares
- Crafted Arrows
- Self-Rez Scrolls
- ‘Guild Charter’ unlocks for creating guilds
These EQ2X items are staying in the Marketplace:
- Research Reducers (for researching Adept, Expert, and Master spells faster)
- Regular Bags
Other Points of Interest:
- Free StationCash for recurring EQ2 subscriptions paid with a Credit Card.
- What do Gear/Spell/Class/Race Unlockers actually cost?
- Returning EQ2 players who are considering the Free-to-Play option are less than happy about needing to buy Class/Race Unlocks if their class/race isn’t a Free one.
Devastation, Obliteration Leave Marketplace
The Rune of Devastation and Wand of Obliteration, along with several other items are leaving the Marketplace prior to the merge. Deveryn posted these details:
Rune of Devatation (150 SC Each)
- Charges: 3
- Casting: 1.0 seconds
- Duration 20 seconds
- Recast: 10 minutes
- Slot: Charm (Optional)
- Increases the potency of all abilities by 25%
- Will absorb all attacks from NPC enemies that are NOT heroic or epic
- On any combat or spell hit this spell will inflict 5% of max health in heat damage
- Does not affect Heroic of Epic targets
- (Does not Crit/Cannot be modified)
Wand of Obliteration (150 SC Each)
- Charges: 3
- Casting: 1.0 seconds
- Duration: 1.0 seconds
- Recast: 5 minutes
- Slot: Charm (Optional)
- Instantly kills the target
- Not a player or Player’s Pet and Not Heroic or Epic Targets
- (Cannot be modified)
SmokeJumper had some comments about the perceived power and popularity of these items:
By the way, these were the absolute worst-selling items of any that we removed. Barely anyone used them, even though they’re handy at times (and extremely cheap to use).
The stuff that sold better was Mastercrafted equipment (only in the 10-40 level range) and Rradeskill Rare components in the 70-90 level range (for obvious reasons). But even still, less than 10% of the players actually bought any of these things at all, so overall, they had very little effect on the game or on the tradeskill commodity market (broker).
However, I could post this info a million times and there are those that would still not want anything to do with them, so that’s why we’re removing them during this conversion.
Personally, I’ll miss the self-rez scrolls I used there. I’m one of those types of players that solos as if it was a contest of how much you can pull and survive. It was fun being able to stand up again after I was wrong.
Guild Charters, Research Reducers, Crafted Arrows, and Bags
1) There will be no Guild Charters in the marketplace (as there are on EQ2X). Guilds can be created for free on any server after the conversion. (This will result in an explosion of new guilds as free-to-play folks come onto the servers, but we didn’t like the effect of throttling guild creation on EQ2X. After watching it for a year, we feel that it stifles socialization, which is a bad idea.) We will grant a refund to anyone that purchased a guild charter on Freeport in the 60 days before we launch the free to play conversion
2) The Research Reducer items will stay on the marketplace. Everyone seems to agree that their effect is almost completely innocuous because getting the masters for free is incredibly easy in game. It just takes time, but it doesn’t take effort of any sort.
3) The Crafted Arrows currently available on the EQ2X marketplace are going away.
I’ll repost most of this as an addendum to my Producer’s Letter.
Astute readers have pointed out that while the level cap won’t be going up for 2 years and the market for Masters has already mostly crashed (most masters are now 20-30 plat instead of the stratospheric 100-350p prices we saw just 18 months ago), the bigger issue is that EQ2 is getting a new class — Beastlords. Players will be able to fully Master their new Beastlords in a manner of minutes using Research Reducers, if they are willing to drop enough cash.
On a less controversial subject, SmokeJumper threw this in:
[Regular bags] are staying, but based on sales…nobody cares.
The Problem with Self-Rez Scrolls
Yeah, well, [Self-Resurrect Scrolls were] definitely affecting raiding on EQ2X. So it would have affected raiding on the other servers also. *If* we sold it on the marketplace some day, it would have to have raid protection built into it somehow.
A simpler fix would seem to be making them non-combat only.
Returning Players Feeling Burned About Class/Race Unlocks
One reaction this week that has taken me by surprise is potentially returning EQ2 players who have expressed their displeasure at having to pay to unlock certain Classes or Races in order to play EQ2 for free. Again these are players who previously had an active EQ2 subscription. Observers have been quick to remind them that, before Free-to-Play, letting your EQ2 subscription lapse meant you couldn’t play at all.
These returning players have focused on the “fairness” of certain Classes and Races requiring unlocks. Other Free-to-Play MMOs put up paywalls around different content, such as needing to pay to enter a dungeon (the popular Lord of the Rings Online which is often put up as an example that SOE should imitate), while EQ2 has focused on Classes, Races, Currency, Item Quality, Spell Quality, etc.
There was also some confusion due to some outdated information that carried forward to the new Free-to-Play Comparison Matrix. The matrix erroneously indicated that Races were unlockable but Classes were not. Of course anyone who has played on EQ2X knows this hasn’t been true for a long time, and of course it won’t be true on the upcoming combined service either.
Returning EQ2 players will be automatically granted Silver status. They’ll need to buy unlocks if they want to:
- Equip Legendary and Fabled Gear
- Scribe Master Spells
- Unlock Races (in packs of 3 for 750SC) on your account
- Unlock Classes (one at a time) on your account
After the EQ2/EQ2X marriage, players with a Gold membership, previously known as the bog standard EQ2 Subscription will get to equip all gear, scribe all spells, and roll all classes and races with the exception of Freeblood which remains a pay race, and Beastlord which requires the Age of Discovery expansion.
Unlockers for Legendary/Fabled Gear and Expert/Master Spells
One last detail we wanted to throw in, because there has been some confusion. If you are playing Free-to-Play on either ‘Free’ (previously Bronze) or ‘Silver’, then to equip Legendary or Fabled gear, or to scribe Expert or Master spells, you must buy an Unlocker. If your character already has Expert/Master spells scribed when you become Free-to-Play, then you don’t lose them. So How much to Unlockers cost?
750sc ($7.50 at the standard price) gives you 25 unlocks.
If your character is of a class and race that doesn’t require an unlock, and you buy one set of 25 unlocks, you could conceivably be fully Mastered, with full Fabled/Legendary, and not have to pay anything per month to raid, until you need more unlockers. The only really sticky situation is the plat limits (you stop earning gold at 18 plat at level 90) and bag space but creative players have managed to work around these issues.
Pay for EQ2 with Credit Card, Get StationCash; Pay for EQ2 with StationCash, Get… Cookies?
With the announcement that we’ll be able to pay for EQ2 Subscriptions on a month-to-month basis with StationCash, and the additional announcement that those who pay for an EQ2 Subscription on a recurring basis with a Credit Card will get 500SC per month, a few players wanted to know if they could have their cake and eat it too. SmokeJumper broke the news that the cake is a lie:
You can only buy non-recurring memberships with station cash.
Recurring memberships are credit card only…and those are the memberships that grant 500SC per month. So no, unfortunately, you can’t get the 500SC grant if you buy a membership with SC.
This is not remotely surprising, as SOE has had several double and triple StationCash weekends in the past. With Wal-Mart’s 1500SC cards having a 500SC bonus that also triples, some of us have enjoyed quadruple StationCash weekends. If you did stock up on StationCash at these discounted rates, your EQ2 subscription could cost as little as $3.75 per month. If SOE then threw in 500SC free per month, players could literally be making $1.25 a month for playing EQ2.
If you have any unanswered questions about the EQ2/EQ2X migration, feel free to ask here in the Comments, or by clicking Contact Us!
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