Massively Shutdown is Official — End of an Era

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary


Massively‘s Editor-in-Chief Brianna Royce has posted an extremely candid response about the closure of Massively after 10 years in operation, and despite 40% growth in readership last year. The number of sites that critically review MMORPGs in an unbiased way could already be counted on one hand and now we’ve lost the biggest and the best. It’s the end of an institution as they say, and once again AOL, the company that shouldn’t even exist anymore, continues to be a cancer on the internet community, destroying everything in its path.

I have sad news for the Massively staff and community today, news most of you already knew was coming.

This week, we learned our AOL overlords have decided that they no longer wish to be in the enthusiast blog business and are shutting all of them down. This mass-sunset includes decade-old gaming journalism icon Joystiq, and therefore, it includes us. February 3rd, 2015, will be the final day of operation for Massively-that-was.

I would like to be able to tell you truthfully that this is an equitable and just decision that makes some sort of logical sense, but the reality is that our overlords’ decisions have always been unfathomable. I know more of what I know about corporate from reading tech and finance news than through my own job. We all suspected this was coming eventually a year ago when a VP whose name I don’t even know and who never read our site chose to reward our staggering, hard-won 40% year-over-year page view growth by… hacking our budget in half. There’s nothing to do in the face of that kind of logic but throw your hands in the air. It’s not about merit or lack thereof, and it’s not about journalism or gaming being dead or anything grand like that, so there’s no point in taking it personally.

Not So Massively: Joystiq Finds Out They Are Being Shut Down

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2

If you’ve grown tired of media conglomerates buying out smaller sites that cover the Products and News that you care about then shuttering them shortly thereafter, you may want to look away.


The folks running MMO powerhouse Massively and its parent company Joystiq, found out today through sites like Re/Code and Kotaku that AOL plans to shutter their sites in the near future. Editor Alexander Sliwinski was put in the extraordinary position of posting a “no comment” in reaction to the news. To some, the most shocking news out of all this may be that AOL still exists, but for most of us, the number of gaming sites still actively covering MMOs especially EverQuest II continues to dwindle so any loss is of concern.

From Kotaku‘s article:

AOL is preparing to shut down the video game website Joystiq after over ten years of publication, according to people familiar with the situation. It’s unclear exactly when Joystiq will close, but we’ve heard that this is connected to a larger-scale reorganization planned by AOL, the longrunning media company that has had more than a few struggles in recent years.

When I spoke to him yesterday, Joystiq editor-in-chief Ludwig Kietzmann declined to comment on this story, but this morning, Joystiq reported that they were “aware of the closure,” despite the fact that AOL corporate had not informed the staff.

Last week, the AOL-owned TechCrunch reported that their parent company was planning a restructure that would lead to layoffs and site closures. Though TechCrunch didn’t offer specifics on which sites AOL would be closing, the report did mention that Joystiq‘s traffic had declined by 18% in the last year.

Continue reading @ Kotaku…

Opinion: Is Altar of Malice Too Hard?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2


Challenge and depth are the spices that keep players coming back to EverQuest II despite the popularity of mass market MMOs like World of Warcraft, and the allure of expertly marketed glitzy new MMOs that are all appetizer and no entree.

However while Tears of Veeshan seemed to strike a good balance of difficulty and progression, the overwhelming feedback on the forums, in chat channels, and in my personal experience so far for Altar of Malice is that the EQ2 team overshot on difficulty and rarity.

I group 2-4 hours per week in a casual guild. We didn’t just jump into the Tears of Veeshan group content on day one and clear it all. It took time to learn the scripts and earn the gear needed to progress. Dominion required a raid-geared tank and two healers for the longest time. Today, I still do not have fully gemmed Potent gear, let alone Overclocked gear or all the purple adornments and heroic gear I wanted out of Tears of Veeshan.

Obvious: Altar of Malice Early Access Requires All Access Sub

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2, Expansion News


This may seem self-evident, but playing the Altar of Malice expansion these next two weeks (November 11-24) prior to the widespread release is a thank you given to All Access subscribers for their continued support. Free-to-Play users will be able to buy and start playing Altar of Malice on November 25, 2014.

If you are currently All Access, bought Altar of Malice, and let your All Access subscription expire during the early access, you will be booted to Antonica and not able to access expansion zones until November 25th!

My opinion: It would not be fair for people who renewed their All Access just to buy Altar of Malice to then it lapse but keep playing.

What Do You Think of Fabled Deathtoll?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance, Itemization, Raiding

It’s been just over a week since Fabled Deathtoll, a level 95 x4 raid zone opened in Norrath. While the zone and enemies may be familiar territory for Kingdom of Sky veterans, the boss battle strategies have gained a few twists. But perhaps most surprising about this revisited zone is the way loot is awarded. The EQ2 team seem to tried out several new approaches, and so far, the response has been mixed.

Instead of the typical drops off each named, certain names drop one-use recipe books that create powerful items. Other enemies drop new cyan-colored adornments. I won’t try to parse the entire structure of how loot works in the zone, but the official Fabled Deathtoll thread met an untimely end as the tenor of the feedback did not amuse the EQ2 moderation team.

The thread got a number of responses from the EQ2 design team. Indeed, just before the thread was closed, it earned this response from Kander pointing the way towards a number of corrective changes, some of which have already been patched into the game:

Editorial: Why SOE Should Reconsider Its “No Remote Positions” Policy

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary


Sony Online Entertainment has a rocky history with third parties. Whether the responsibilities weren’t well-defined, the contracts were not clear, or these companies grossly oversold their capabilities, we’ve seen example after example of relationships with external companies which have not paid off for SOE or for their customers.

  • LiveGamer — SOE contracted with this company to allow EQ2 players to buy and sell in-game items, currency, and characters. Controversially, the change was forced onto existing non-LG servers. Also, contacting LG customer service was always a gamble. The program was not successful and the partnership was dissolved to pave the way for Free-to-Play.
  • AFK Interactive — SOE hired this relative newcomer to mobile app development to develop an EverQuest II Mobile app for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. The app barely worked, requiring repeated logins every few seconds, and was extremely limited in the quantity and quality of information displayed. The app stopped working altogether shortly thereafter. AFK Interactive is now defunct.
  • HP Print-On-Demand — SOE heard the call from players to make Posters and Art Prints available of some of the incredible concept art and artwork endemic to SOE’s games. To this end, SOE partnered up with HP to provide a print-on-demand service. However the poster choices never grew beyond a small pool, and the website went offline within a year.

After the jump, more partnerships, and a possible solution!

Veteran Rewards Recalculated to Account Start Dates, Regardless of Subscription

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2

“Is nothing sacred?”

In an unexpected (and undocumented) change today, it appears that players are now receiving Veteran Rewards from their account’s opening date, rather than actual time played as it has been calculated for many years now.

This means that players who rolled a character in November 2004 and have not played a lick since may stand up and be counted along with those who have been actively supporting the game for 10 years, dutifully paying a monthly subscription. It’s a puzzling change to be sure, and the motivation may have been a genuine hope to attract returning players, but it seems to this reader as ill-considered as selling Titles on the Veteran Reward vendor which were originally granted for defeating specific event-related enemies.

John Smedley Takes to Reddit to Answer Questions, Teases New MMO Property

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

SOE President John Smedley skipped SOE’s traditional communication streams and took to Reddit tonight to participate in one of their popular Ask Me Anything livechats to answer candid questions about today’s announcements about All Access, the sunsetting of four SOE games, and more.

When asked what we can expect from SOE this year, we got:

Everquest Next Landmark will launch…. we have expansions for EQ and EQ2 and an unannounced MMO that we’re working on.

Wait… what? A new MMO?

completely new IP. The data is on the interwebs.. someone just has to find it.

SWG PLAYERS – OUR NEXT GAME (not announced yet) IS DEDICATED TO YOU. Once we launch it… you can come home now.

When asked about EQNext, Smedley confirmed my suspicions that we won’t see it until 2015:

not sure yet. Likely sometime next year.

SOE Sunsetting Vanguard, FreeRealms, Clone Wars Adventures, Wizardry Online

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

The Sony Online Entertainment belt-tightening continues, with the announced shuttering of the following games:

  • FreeRealms – March 31, 2014
  • Clone Wars Adventures – March 31, 2014
  • Wizardry Online – July 31, 2014
  • Vanguard – July 31, 2014

As Clone Wars and Wizardry Online were the intellectual property of other companies, LucasArts (since purchased by Disney) and Gamepot respectively, so there may have been some contractual reason for these games to end. Also, the Clone Wars show went off the air this year.

Vanguard has a long troubled history that included substance abuse, parking lot firings, and copious drama which can be uncovered in the scantest of Google searches. But as a game, it had brilliant ideas, yet never had the chance to spread its wings as a reincarnation of EQ’s fabled difficulty with EQ2 graphics. Vanguard players must surely be feeling whiplash as the game had been left abandoned, then seemingly out of the blue had seen active development over the last couple of years, with a shelved pre-launch raid zone finally being opened just last week.  Read Vanguard’s Sunset announcement.

NOTE: It is our understanding that there are NO layoffs in response to this announcement, and that the few folks who worked on these games within SOE are being reassigned to other projects.

After the jump, some thoughts on FreeRealms…

EQNext Landmark: Will Monetizing Everything Leave Room for an In-Game Economy?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary


NOTE: No EQ2 News. Just a little bit of cross-promotion of EQNWire. has checked in today with a speculative critique of the upcoming EQNext Landmark and its all-encompassing implementation of Player Studio. According to PC Gamer’s recent interview with Dave Georgeson, SOE will be looking to recoup its staggering development investment in EQNext as soon as servers are up. But if a price tag can be put on everything players create, will an in-game economy have any chance against players flush with cash?

Op Ed: Will Monetizing Everything Leave Room for an In-Game Economy for EQNL? @ EQNWire

EQ2 Gold, All Access to Get Rewards Instead of Free StationCash

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance

An announcement intended for tomorrow morning briefly appeared in the EQ2 Forums RSS feed and then vanished, however a few players brought it to our attention. As you likely know, EverQuest II Gold and SOE All Access accounts currently receive a monthly allowance of 500 StationCash.

Starting the first week of February 2014, in lieu of this StationCash allotment, all recurring Gold and All Access customers will be able to login to EverQuest II and buy one item (up to a value of 2,000SC) per month for FREE. If you are All Access, you’ll also be able to login to EQ, Planetside 2, and DCUO and get something similar.

Who will see this as a Bad Change – Players hoping to continue stockpiling StationCash for EQNext or EQNLandmark, or buy plat will likely see this as unwelcome news. This also impacts players who tend to buy small items, rather than a single large items. The most desirable items — Service items like server transfers, AoD features, and 280 AA baubles, will likely be excluded.

Who will see this as a Good Change? – Players who use their free StationCash to buy items off the Marketplace will likely see this as a nice change and significant premium over the standard Gold subscription.

UPDATE: The official announcement has been posted on the EQ2 Forums

EQ2 Talk #73 – Santa Kander is Coming to Talk

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2

Dellmon and Aliscious have conducted a great post-launch interview with Kyle “Kander” Vallée about EQ2′s recent Tears of Veeshan expansion, talking about what worked and what didn’t, and sharing a few tidbits of the future. Our illustrious host Dellmon’s protestations that he shall never reforge nor adorn do wear a bit, but it’s nonetheless a fantastic interview worth listening to if you wish to hear the thought processes behind the expansion, as well as a look at EQ2′s coming months.

As for prescient sneak peaks within the interview, look for more raid content, a fabled Kingdom of Sky zone (level 95 Sanctum of Scaleborn please?), and PvP/Battleground fixes are all on the way, with at least some of this landing as early as January. Kyle also took a moment to share his appreciation for EQ2Wire and our coverage of the expansion. He was generous in his comments and I was a bit stunned to say the least.

No doubt many of you are no doubt driving or flying to and from visits with family over the holidays, so go ahead and grab a download! From


EQ2 Talk welcomes back Kyle “Kander” Vallée, EQ2 lead designer! Kander helps take the mystery out of some of the itemization changes that happened in game with the Tears of Veeshan expansion. He touches on the team’s goals for changes to healers, best in slot items, new content and some of the mechanics changes. He also gives us a vague hint at what we can expect in the near future.

Click here to listen to Episode 73

Opinion: The New StationCash Reality — The End of Double and Triple SC?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2, StationCash


As we’ve discussed in the past, Sony Online Entertainment got itself into a huge pickle with their unintentional devaluation of their StationCash currency. An overeager Marketing Dept held numerous Double and Triple StationCash promotions which devalued much of the StationCash entering SOE’s economy to just 1/4 of its value.  This created an untenable situation and at SOE Live, SmokeJumper was heard to say ”We were losing our shirts”.

Compound this with the fact that Walmart demands special incentives from their vendors to carry product. The popular 1500 StationCash cards with 500 SC bonus further amplified the devaluation effects.

We are just speculating at this point, but we’re going to call August 2013′s Best Buy Double StationCash deal to be SOE’s last such weekend. This is frustrating due to how few locations bothered to stock the cards.

At this point, EQ2Wire is predicting that Double and Triple StationCash deals are a thing of the past and we will not see them return.

Point of Need: Revival of the Revive Button

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance

Anything can change in Beta, but at least right now on Tears of Veeshan beta, a new “Point of Need” option is being tested in the Revive window:


The large “Revive Instantly!” text and  Double Up icon at the bottom of the window ONLY APPEAR when the player selects the small yellow “Revive Instantly!” text within the list of revive spawn points. In last year’s Chains of Eternity beta, I believe this feature was much more “in your face” as I recall the large double arrow icon and text appearing at all times.

At SOE Live 2012 in the Business of EverQuest Franchise panel, Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson talked about how Point of Need features could be a financial boon to SOE without being nearly as obtrusive as the paywalls of other Free-to-Play games. This Revive feature seems to build on existing Point-of-Need features including Researching spells and, more recently, Map Travel.

EQ2Wire Asks

What do you think of the new Revive Instantly feature? Is it still obtrusive or has a reasonable compromise been struck?

Rothgar, Autenil Join SOE, WoW, PoxNora Alums at Startup – Molten Games

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

NOTE: No EQ2 News.


A few weeks ago, Joshua “Autenil” Kriegshauser, tweeted that it was his last night at SOE. Josh worked on EverQuest II for many years, dabbling in different SOE games but always contributing to EQ2. He also helped launch Clone Wars Adventures.

Just 5 days later, Greg “Rothgar” Spence, lead (or one of the chief) programmer for EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next Landmark followed up on Facebook:

Today is a special day because it’s my 7-year anniversary of being employed at SOE. This job has been a life-changer. The people I’ve met, both co-workers and players from the community have affected me in more ways than I could describe. I’ve learned so much from a professional standpoint and grown to love the community behind our games like family. I’ve made friendships that will last forever and I’ll never be able to give back as much as I’ve taken from these experiences.

Diablo III to Ditch Auction House — A Cautionary Tale about Fully Tradeable Fabled/Mythical Gear?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

It’s a slow EQ2 news week, and an interesting article came up about Diablo III, a game whose Auction house aligns with a desire expressed by a small but vocal group of EverQuest II players: Fully tradeable Fabled/Mythical raid drops, sellable on the broker.

So what’s the verdict? Effective March 2014, Blizzard will be phasing out their Gold and Real Money Transaction Auction Houses. The video their lead designers have released (and which I have embedded below) leaves no doubt about how the Auction house was impacting Diablo III…

From Ars Technica:

The blog post and embedded video note that Diablo 3‘s Auction House was originally designed to provide a place for players to simply trade items. However, the system quickly took on a life of its own, becoming the preferred way to acquire epic and legendary items with the class-specific stats that each of the games’ classes needed to slay more demons. Diablo 3 Game Director Josh Mosqueira noted that the Auction House “short-circuited [the] core reward loop” of Diablo 3, replacing monster drops as the primary way the vast majority of players acquired new gear.

After the jump, Josh’s further thoughts, and I address why SLR is not an all-or-nothing affair…

The Book Closes on Another SOE Live

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2

The curtain has gone down on another Grand Banquet, and just a few panels left to go due to the extended SOE Live schedule this year, it’s hard to believe that another event has come and gone so quickly! Every year things seem to go faster, with barely time for a breath.

There are a few panels today for those folks who aren’t East coast or who are staying Sunday night) including EverQuest Next Writer‘s panel, Channeler feedback panel (naturally there will be more feedback taken in the Tears of Veeshan beta forums) and the EverQuest II Q&A panel. I imagine these panels will be lightly attended, but hopefully videos will be taken and posted! As I am on the East coast of the US these days, I’m heading out before some of those panels even get under way.

I saw so many EQ2 players this weekend, had a tremendous time talking about and answering questions about EQ2U at our Data panel, and just really enjoyed the weekend. It was fantastic to meet Aliscious of EQ2Talk, Arabel and Maergoth of Equilibrium, Striinger, Yadrizzle, Afista, Dedith of Dragon’s Armory, Chuina (Chad) and Tannlin of the new EverCast show, and so many others, as well as catching up with old friends like Leko, Dellmon, Cyliena, Atan, Jethal, and so many others that I should be remembering (Email me!) .It was also great to catch up with devs from the EQ2 and EQNext teams.

EQ2 Impressions

I’m really happy to see a lot of good decisions going forward on the EQ2 team, I liked the Mechanics and Itemization panels a lot, and really other than the Insta-85 thing (which I talked to Holly about), things are looking good for EQ2.

One thing I was blown away by with EQ2, which will be explained further when I post the Art & Animation panel video, is that the work of Alex (GermInUSA), who is a graphics programming wizard from the early console days, is now finally going to bear fruit. If you have watched past Art & Animation videos about EverQuest II, you know that building a large exterior zone takes weeks if not MONTHS. This is due to the archaic tools available which follow EQ2′s design rules. Also the tools have prevented things like blending multiple textures together to make a smooth transition from a dirt path to rocks at the side of the road, up to hardier terrain. Right now this is extremely arduous.

Demoed at the Art & Animation panel, EQ2′s new Terrain Editor allowed the creation of a large island zone in 10 HOURS. The zone was much more intricate and detailed, flora and landscape elements just looked so much better, and significantly improved pathing is built in as well. No more NPCs and characters flipping around at odd angles as non-flat surfaces are encountered. It was truly amazing and I can’t say enough about it. In the past, the Design team has had to ask the Art team for new zones 6-9 months in advance. Now, we’ll see zones rapidly prototyped and iterated so much faster that who knows, there might even be some time to goose up some older zones which are interesting lorewise but visually dull (like Thundering Steppes).

NOTE: Nobody said they are redoing any zone!! It was just given as an example of a zone built early on that could look so much more awesome.

So I’m signing off for now and will start crunching videos tomorrow! Seriously!

Heroic Characters: Insta-Level 85 for Free, for Any Player (No Previous Experience Required) — Sept 15

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2

Tonight’s EverQuest II keynote here at SOE Live included the revelation that Heroic Characters are coming to EQ2. I’m not against this idea, as the writing has been on the wall for insta-level 90 or 85 to come to EQ2 sooner or later. Due to multiple gear revamps plus Mercs, I feel that EverQuest II is a solo tutorial from level 1-89, and then the ‘real’ game starts at level 90.

However the unsettling part of this announcement was that people would be able to create their FIRST character as a level 85 with full Legendary gear, spells, a chunk of AAs, and have those AAs automatically spent for them with Character Advancement Templates.

EQ2Talk Episode #67 – Now Boarding

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary


SOE Live is once again upon us, ready to douse us in news about a number of SOE games including EverQuest Next, and refusing to be overshadowed, EverQuest II! The EQ2 team have been working their butts off on new content, itemization improvements (more choice, less cookie cutter!!), and more which has yet to be revealed.

But while we wait for that news to break, (or if you need a podcast for your flight to Vegas), you ought to check out the latest EQ2Talk #67 episode which has been posted to If you didn’t listen to Episode #66, you really should, as much of the #67 episode deals with listener e-mail responding to Dell and Ali’s impressions of the Challenge Duo zones which were discussed heavily in #66.

Both Dellmon and Aliscious are attending SOE Live this year and hopefully we can get some of their impressions about all the announcements and news, and of course I think we can expect a post-SOE Live show!

Character Blocked from EQ2U Due to Trademark Claim

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2 Data & EQ2U


I have removed the block of characters named “Malshandir” from EQ2U.

I believe that a series of e-mails sent from a ISP address is insufficient to warrant blocking search results from a publicly accessible API. It also sets a dangerous precedent for other websites that merely index data from a third party source.

This morning, I received an e-mail from one Thomas Freyer of Freyer Consulting in Frankfurt, Germany:

From: Thomas Freyer
Subject: Deleting of Profile

We demand by law the deleting of this profile as the owner of the trademark “Malshandir” we gave you no permission to use is.
If this profile is deleted within the next 6 hours we will not take further legal actions against you.

As I was still a little sleepy, and since I receive threatening e-mails about once a month demanding that I remove characters from EQ2U, I replied informing Mr. Freyer that Sony Online Entertainment retains ownership over characters and thus he has no grounds to sue, but if he would avail himself of the Help section on EQ2U, he could remove his character in approximately 5 minutes.

Introducing EQNWire! — The Original EverQuest Next News & Commentary Site

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary


EQ2Wire has been providing extensive coverage of EverQuest Next for some 4 years now, ever since its development was hinted in the EverCracked documentary. But now the time has finally come for our coverage of the next EverQuest game to venture out on its own as a dedicated site —

There are a number of reasons for this division. While the EQ and EQ2 player communities have many things in common, they are still, at their core, quite different. I’ve seen this in the tenor of discussions on the EQ and EQ2 forums, in livecasts, and in chatrooms. There’s just something different that would not be served by a unified site. Also, with the distinct possibility that EQNext could be a dramatic departure from the standard MMOisms of the past EverQuest games, it makes total sense to make a clean break of things and let EQNWire be its own thing.

Of course we’re not alone in launching EverQuest Next sites this month. The past weeks have shown a flurry of activity as EQNext fan and press sites have come out of the woodwork with increasing regularity, all hoping to grab the attention of veteran EQ and EQ2 players, as well as those new to the MMO world who may have heard of EverQuest only in passing. It will be interesting to see how many sites hang in there over the long haul. Launching a site seems like the hard part, but it’s not. Keeping up the momentum to provide relevant news to your readers week in and week out despite foul moods, vacations, family issues, and so forth is far more challenging and it’s easy to run out of steam.

At one time, there was a community of sites covering EverQuest 2 but this is not true today. I’m genuinely hopeful that there continue to be a few dedidicated sites supporting the EverQuest Next community over the long term.

Commentary: Putting Plat in Perspective

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Game Updates & Maintenance

For the latter part of last year and into this year, I’ve been raiding Saturday mornings in mostly x4 EM content. Outside of that, I’ve done mostly Advanced Solo content and just a smattering of group zones. From that gameplay, via selling shinies, masters, drops, crafting spells for other players, etc. I’ve been able to accumulate more than enough Plat for my character needs.

I am currently the co-owner of a Tier 1 level 62 guild hall with max amenities. I also have five level 95 characters (although my Ranger will always be my main). Between Reforging and Adornments, there are certainly some expenses to be considered, but I’ve always managed to make do without grinding Protector’s Realm, Shard of Hate, etc.

LucasArts and the Human Cost of Game Development

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

This article contains no EverQuest II content.

From by Ben Kuchera:

Former LucasArts composer Jesse Harlin has written a eulogy for the company, and the words have been matched with a series of images taken of employees on what was reported to be their last day of work. The eulogy is moving, and it provides a look into a group of people who are passionate about what they did, but a few lines stand out as stark reminders of how much you give up to work in this industry.

“In the trenches of game design, work was hard. Crippling crunches that lasted for months aged us and tested our sanity. Sometimes executives presented us with projects, development partners, or deadlines that were impossible,” Harlin wrote. “But giving all of yourself creatively never stopped. Ever. Marriages failed as we poured our hearts into games that the press might eventually skewer. Pregnancies were delayed in favor of project milestones. Funerals were missed.”

April Fools? Pink Bovoch Pricing Makes Players See Red

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, StationCash

On Friday, a hilarious video of Tom Tobey and Christopher Atkins introducing new Meatbeast mounts and house pets was released. The video was extremely well-received and I and many others ran out to buy the new mounts and pets and galloped all over Norrath mooing all the way.

But today, it seems the EQ2 team may have pushed the April Fools joke too far.

As was announced on Friday, a pink version of the Meatbeast matriarch mount is available TODAY ONLY (April 1st). What has players stunned is the price: 5,000SC. If you stocked up on StationCash over the weekend from Walmart, that works out to $18.75. If you didn’t, you’re going to be dropping upwards of $50. That’s more than an expansion!

Further, players couldn’t help notice that the original price is marked as 50,000SC 5,000SC. Players are not seeing the humor in that price markdown and instead wondering if the mount will jump to that price the next time it’s offered. We’ve heard from a few players who were so excited to purchase this mount that they grabbed one without double-checking the price, and are now out 5k SC. Thus far, EQ2 mounts have hovered between 1,950SC and 950SC.

Further, players have expressed shock that it’s not a Leaping mount, nor does it offer any bonuses to runspeed, beyond other mounts. You’re literally paying for a re-color of the Bovoch mount added on Friday.

Bovinasauros Rex? Cetaceans!

Raph Koster wrote an article which has been heavily quoted on MMO sites about Free-to-Play and the existence of Whales or customers who will buy big ticket items on game marketplaces. Is this SOE’s first foray into this category of high dollar items? Are they seeing a marketplace trend and simply getting on board with having a few rare items which are at a price beyond what most players would consider a sane purchase?

This is being discussed (raged) on the EQ2 Forums:

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