EQ2 Producer’s Letter: Lots to Come, All Access

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Free-to-Play (EQ2X), Game Updates & Maintenance

So last Thursday, Holly “Windstalker” Longdale posted a Producer’s Letter for EverQuest II. The letter included a few phrases which seemed open to interpretation and so we waited to post these notes to see if there might be some clarification. There hasn’t been, so here’s the letter:

Greetings Norrathians!

It’s been an exciting year so far for EverQuest II and we have a lot more to come!

Since All Access membership was announced earlier this year, as well as news on our new weekly update direction, we’re having a great time bringing more to the game each week. There’s a lot coming up too and we wanted to take a breath and tell you all about it!

As many of you know, our All Access membership changes will go live on or around April 23, 2014. Players who choose All Access membership will get access to SOE games, can claim 500SC a month, and get access to special promotions and offers. Members will also get unique benefits in EverQuest II.

In EverQuest II, All Access membership will get you the following benefits:

  1. 7 character slots
  2. Member Benefits buff: Additional 15% coin loot and 10% mount speed
  3. Double all the alternate currencies you earn in game, like Etyma and Loyalty tokens
  4. Member-only Loyalty items
  5. All access to broker, in-game mail, chat, and spell tiers
  6. Early access to content and promotions.

For example, the first “early access to content” for All Access members will be the contested version of the High Keep dungeon with an entirely unique story, characters, and loot. This new zone will go live with the All Access membership launch and be exclusively available to members for two weeks. The dungeon also includes a new Heritage Quest for the Bloody Shank that All Access members have exclusive access to for the same two weeks.

Very soon we will find a permanent home online to list what is coming up on our schedule. Meanwhile, here’s a look at what’s on deck for the weeks following April 23, 2014:

  • Prestige Guild Hall (High Keep)
  • New Loyalty Items, Darklight Palace Prestige Home released
  • New Temple of Veeshan raid zone [Ed. Note -- actually the North wing of the existing zone]
  • Convert old alternate currencies like Void Shards or Obols into current tinkering and transmuting components
  • Tunaria Battlegrounds zone.

We have a lot more on our schedule for the year and we’ll keep you updated. We’re thrilled to start our planning for SOE Live this year too! How time flies when you’re having fun!

Holly “Windstalker” Longdale
Senior Producer, EverQuest II

Originally posted: https://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/index.php?threads/producers-letter-lots-to-come.547627/

All Access — April 23rd!!

If you have been following the “New All Access Plan Information & FAQ” thread on the official EQ2 forums, and the exhaustively detailed The Revised SOE ALL ACCESS PLAN thread in the General SOE forums, plus the various announcements on Twitter, you know that individual game subscriptions to EQ2 are going away in favor of a unified All Access pass which will cover all of SOE’s games for the standard monthly rate of $14.99 (cheaper if paid 3, 6 or 12 months in advance). This transition was first slated for April 2nd and then April 16th but will finally go live on this Wednesday, April 23rd.

On April 23rd, EQ2 players with a Gold subscription will be automagically migrated to an All Access pass and should not need to do anything to gain access to all of SOE’s games including EQ, EQ2, the PC versions of DCUO and PS2 as well as just plain Landmark when it leaves closed beta and EverQuest Next when it emerges from the vapor.

This All Access pass is not restricted to those who have a recurring subscription attached to a credit card. It is also open to those who are still clinging to accumulated game time purchased with StationCash back when it was available, as well as players who fund their EQ2 subscriptions through Krono or SOE Game Cards. It will be interesting to see if users of the latter two payment choices will continue to face restrictions such as StationCash gifting and Server transfers as they have in the past.

Silver is Out, Gold is In

One of the surprising changes coming on April 23rd, first announced in March, is that EverQuest II’s Silver membership level will no longer be available for purchase. Accounts which have been granted Silver at any point in the past will have it grandfathered in. Although the perks of Silver have diminished over the years, this small purchase still offered two additional character slots, the use of Expert spells, and most importantly the ability to chat in public chat channels which is invaluable to new players. For the obvious reason that Free-to-Play accounts cost nothing to create, Free (formerly Bronze) players were kept out of chat channels due to spam and abuse. It is unclear if chat channels will be  blockaded from all but Gold subscribers.

Early Access

After years of giving away the store, it seems that the pendulum has swung the other way and the EQ2 team are looking hard at ways to incentivize subscriptions. We’ve enjoyed Double Alternative Currency (in-game tokens), 15% bonus coin, and 10% bonus mount speed for a while, but this is something totally new – All Access subscribers get to play Contested High Keep and its associated Heritage Quests two weeks before Free-to-Play players. It seems plausible that this may extend to other game updates and possibly even the ******** of ********* expansion coming this November.

Holly also tweeted that All Access subscribers will see Double XP weekends more often than other players…

Customer Service

There will, of course, be customers who have unique or complex situations which are not addressed by even the more detailed FAQs which have been posted. EU players of Planetside 2 or DCUO who are stuck with ProSieben certainly have some issues here especially with Landmark. Players with questions are encouraged to open a ticket at http://help.soe.com/

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Comments (17)

  • badcat

    |

    so that weekly update thing, I guess that only pertains to well the sc shop as I not seen anything really new in a while.

    Reply

    • milliebii

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      I do not think anything in the “Weekly Features” was ‘new’ the stuff you are referring to was. almost certainly, stuff that was in development for ToV and was removed from scope due to the staff cuts. Now we are getting that stuff drip by drip (as workload permits) in place of the quarterly updates we are no longer getting.

      Hopefully Feldon’s optimism is well founded and the next Xpac will blow our socks off and make up for this year in the doldrums.

      Reply

      • Hoot

        |

        Only thing I really care about is Contested version of High Keep. My raid force has only reached the 6th name in ToV, so we’re nowhere close to taking on the 3rd wing (which is apparently the PoW of ToV).

        But Milliebii is absolutely right. Outside of more prestige housing garbage (do we really need more prestige houses?), all of this content was stuff delayed outside of launch. Let’s hope the contested zone can keep me interested on doing stuff outside of raid time since I’ve cleared every other instance (ToV/FKoS) dozens upon dozens of times.

        Reply

  • Kinya

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    Feldon I sent you on Twitter link to Command Center where Mark Tuttle is talking about All Access. Most of the things we know, but there will be also special badges on forums so people will know who is subscriber and who is not…

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      I did get it, thanks! I will watch it. It’s almost an hour video.

      Reply

      • Kinya

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        But there is only few minutes when Mark is talking about All Access – rest is stuff connected to PlanetSide 2 :)

        Reply

  • Bluewitch

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    So 7 character slots. What about those of us with 9 toons?

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      You won’t lose any character slots. Presumably you bought 2 character slots a while back?

      Reply

    • Finora

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      Gold has had 7 character slots for a very long time at this point, and the all access we’ve had for some years has as well (it did have 12 but it’s been a long while since that was the case). 7 is just the default of EQ2 gold level membership. You get 7 + however many you bought or otherwise permanently procured.

      Anyone who has more than 7 character slots has bought them somewhere or were grandfathered in with 12 from the really old (pre-f2p) all access. To the old all access subscribers, you will revert to 7 slots + purchased slots if you ever unsub I believe, at least I know I lost my spare 3 when I changed my sub a long while back.

      Reply

    • Caela

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      I am currently using 22 slots, and have an unknown number available for new characters. I’ve never purchased any slots, though I think I got one as an LON card.

      I’m not sure how I got so many except I was on the EQ2X server when it merged and they combined all your slots so you didn’t lose any.

      Reply

  • Cuteypie of Permafrost

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    Hey Badcat,

    There have been some pretty cool additions with the weekly update. On the 8th, the AA cap was increased to 350. Only 10, but still, 350 is better than 340. And a contested High Keep as well ad a new HQ is coming really soon too.

    So no, it isn’t just SC stuff. There’s plenty of new stuff on the update notes. They aren’t going to add new zones and quests each week. A lot of it will be features and events rather than new content.

    Not trying to argue, but just wanted to let you know that SOE is actually doing something okay for once.

    Reply

  • Eschia

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    I’m sure those loyalty items will eventually end up in the hands of everyone, just like all the past veteran rewards.

    Reply

  • Eqplayer

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    I play EQ2 as SOE player,not PSS,how i upgrade my current subscriptions to all acess?Payed year in advance,btw.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      You will automatically be upgraded to All Access.

      Reply

  • Pipsissiwa

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    The new plan is great, and is a step for the better on SOE’s part.

    I still have to point out (as ever the stuck record, me) that for Europeans it still ain’t so great. I pointed this out this to SOE and got accused of trolling and threatened with a ban (par for the course – mention you are European or PSS1 in your post on the official forums and its pretty much insta-post-delete):

    US/RoW Customers: Pay $14.99 get access to all games including EQN
    European grandfathered customers: Pay $14.99 and get 2 less games (Planetside 2 and DCUO) and huge question marks over EQN due to undecided (so SOE claim) publishing rights in Europe.
    European PSS! customers: Pay separately for all games as they still haven’t sorted any kind of All-Access after over 2 years.

    Fair? No.
    Trolling? No .

    Thankfully I only care about EQ2, the only other game that I would like to have tried is Vanguard and I’m not getting into a game that is about to die.

    Reply

    • Noctew

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      European grandfathered customers: Pay $14.99 and get 2 less games (Planetside 2 and DCUO).

      Not all of them. If you bought beta access for PS2 through their “alpha pack offer”, you were also grandfathered into PS2 as a European user, and if you never did the DCUO account transfer to ProSiebenSat1, you can also still use the SOE DCUO launcher. :)

      Reply

      • Pipsissiwa

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        True, but many people didn’t do the early thing with Planetside and now can’t play it through SOE, even if the new All-Access makes them want to try it.

        And from what I hear from friends even DCUO players who refused to transition their DCUO account still can’t get in from an SOE account as it knows they are in Europe and tells them to transfer to PSS1. Be nice if the launcher does work, but obviously not for everyone. Maybe its only for those who don’t already have an account for it? Or maybe only those that do…. Either way, DCUO is not available to all of us.

        So most/ many grandfathered Euros still get less for our money.

        Not to mention those forced to be with PSS1 who have to pay for all separately STILL – no All Access has appeared for them despite them promising one for over 2 years so far.

        Reply

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