SmokeJumper Does the Math on Character Slots for F2P Conversion

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

If you thought all the bases had been covered on Character Slots with November 12th’s announcement about the Free-to-Play conversion of EQ2, there was one group who still had questions. These players are in the unique position of having characters on both the EQ2 and EQ2X servers AND having also bought character slots.

If you feel a math headache coming on, feel free to run away. To quote SmokeJumper “This situation only affects players that have characters *both* on Live server(s) and EQ2X.If you don’t have characters on Freeport, then this is a non-issue.”

   

EQ2 Free-to-Play: A Few Details and Clarifications

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

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.

EverQuest II: Free-to-Play Webcast Video & EQ2Players Soon!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News, Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

From the EQ2 Forums:

EverQuest II: Free-to-Play Webcast Recap

On Thursday, November 10, 2011, we had a very special webcast going over the big announcement: EverQuest II going free-to-play! This week’s webcast featured EverQuest II Executive Producer Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson and EverQuest II Associate Producer Emily “Domino” Taylor. The two were interviewed by SOE’s Director of Global Communication, Linda “Brasse” Carlson. We learned about many of the specifics associated with the free-to-play conversion and a bit about the new expansion “Age of Discovery.” At the end of the video, screenshots of the Collector’s Edition items were also shown.

After the jump, our question about the new EQ2Players and Data Feeds gets answered…

Busting 6 Myths About EverQuest II’s Free-to-Play Conversion

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

So there will have been a lot of myths and “the sky is falling” posts since Thursday’s announcement of EverQuest II going Free-to-Play and eliminating the “separate but equal” EQ2X service. Let’s see if we can knock out a few…

1 The price of my EverQuest II subscription is going up.

According to SmokeJumper, “nothing is changing”.

An EQ2 subscription will continue to be $14.99/month and will continue at that pricing for the foreseeable future. In fact, you’ll be able to pay your account with StationCash. If you stockpiled SC (up to the annoyingly low limits allowed), then you could pay as little as $3.75/month for your EQ2 account.

We have not heard any word on whether pre-paying 3, 6, or 12 months will still get provide a discount. If this goes away, then those who prepaid at $11.99 a month now will see a price increase to $14.99 when their 12-month subscription is up for renewal.

2 As an EverQuest II subscriber, I’m going to have to start paying extra “unlocks” for Races, Classes, Dungeons, Raids, Quests, etc.

Players with an EQ2 subscription are going to start being called “Gold”. Otherwise, nothing is changing about the EQ2 subscription and you won’t be asked to buy “unlocks” to access the Broker, Bank, Races, etc.. The only race that costs extra is the Freeblood, and the only class that costs extra is Beastlords which will require the Age of Discovery expansion.

There has been no indication (or substantiated rumor) that dungeons, raids, or quests will be going to pay. In fact SmokeJumper recently stated that that’s not a payment plan that SOE considers desirable.

SmokeJumper Answers Questions about All/Station Access, EQ2X Platinum, SC Pre-orders, and Character Slots

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

SmokeJumper has answers for four of the biggest questions regarding the changes announced this week with EverQuest II becoming a Free-to-Play game rather than having a separate EQ2X service.

Okay, folks,

We promised you answers to four big questions that kept coming up on the forums yesterday. (We promised info by early next week, but we’re ready with the info now, so here ya go.)

EverQuest2 Free-to-Play Remixed Trailer

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

You’ll likely remember last year’s EverQuest II: Extended Trailer. It had great music, good editing, and was quite attractive to watch. Now that EverQuest II is going Free-to-Play without a separate service, that trailer has been remixed with some new clips.

We provide the new trailer below with the new motto “EverQuest II Free to Play. Your Way!™”.

Worried About Character Slots? Don’t Panic!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

So the biggest kerfuffle about today’s announcement about EverQuest II going fully free-to-play was an unexpected one for me. A larger-than-expected number of players have multiple characters on both the EQ2 and EQ2X services and they are concerned that they’ll get locked out of some of those characters when the transition completes and will be forced to buy character slots to continue playing those characters.

A player asked:

I have 12 slots on live full and 14 on eq2x.. when the merge what happens to all the characters? do I need to delete toons before hand that I don’t want?

also most of my toons have the same name on different servers. how am I going to deal with that?

Please give me a response I need to know if I need to delete the toons I don’t want..

SmokeJumper has responded thoroughly on this issue:

Don’t delete anything!

I’m chasing this answer for you now and expect to announce a resolution early next week (after many discussions in the meantime). As far as I know, this is our only unresolved question on the changeover.

EverQuest II Updated Free-to-Play Frequently Asked Questions

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

Here is the updated Free-to-Play Frequently Asked Questions page from EverQuest2.com. You may also go straight to the Membership Comparison Grid which compares Free, Silver, and Gold subscription levels.

1. When will I be able to play EverQuest II for free?

We do not have an exact date at this time, but we are anticipating releasing EverQuest II as Free-to-Play early December 2011.

2. How much does EverQuest II cost to play?

Basic access in EverQuest II is free! This includes access to a large portion of the game. However, there are also paid memberships that grant access to different content that are also available. Free membership gets access to seven years worth of gameplay and diverse zones released from EverQuest II‘s launch through EverQuest II: Sentinel’s Fate. Free members will not have access to the most recent expansion packs EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious and EverQuest II: Age of Discovery. However, both Destiny of Velious and Age of Discovery are available for purchase.

You can play all the way up to level 90, the highest level available in the game. You have access to the game’s eight character classes, and four of the most popular races in the game from which to create your character. Additional choices can be purchased both a la carte and with memberships.

3. What are the differences between Free, Silver, and Gold memberships?

The features and benefits of Free, Silver, and Gold memberships are detailed on the EverQuest II membership matrix page (click here).

EverQuest II Producer’s Letter — EQ2 Fully Goes Free-to-Play, LiveGamer Gone

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

EverQuest Executive Producer Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson has unveiled the news that EverQuest II is fully going Free-to-Play on all servers, and the segregation between EverQuest II and EverQuest II Extended (F2P)  is going away (as is the ‘powerful cash shop’ and the LiveGamer service).

From EverQuest2.com:

Many of you reading this letter are long-time EverQuest and EverQuest II players. You’ve been part of the SOE family for a long time (earlier this week was EQII’s 7-year anniversary!) and our aim is to take care of you and keep you entertained for years to come.

Part of caring for our customers is listening to you and hearing what you have to say. Additionally, we need to be aware of changes in the industry, changes in player expectations, and larger economic trends in general.

We’ve listened to your concerns about the complexity of the subscription structure, how the separate forums between EQII and EQ2X divide the community unnecessarily, that the Live Gamer servers are under-populated, and that many people want more flexibility with payment options so they can better manage their personal budgets.

We believe the key to meeting your expectations is to provide more flexibility and to deliver what you want when you want it, whether it’s basic game content, full subscription access to the game, or something in-between. So in early December we’re going to change things to be “Free to Play. Your Way.” Let me explain what that means…

Upcoming Webcast — Thursday, November 10, 2011 “Very Exciting News for EverQuest II”

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

From EverQuest2.com comes this notice about ‘very exciting news for EverQuest II’:

Come check out this week’s EverQuest II Webcast! Host Linda “Brasse” Carlson (Director, Global Community Relations) will interview Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson (EQ2 Executive Producer) and Emily “Domino” Taylor (EQ2 Associate Producer) to talk about some very exciting news for EverQuest II! You won’t want to miss it!

Join us on Thursday, November 10, 2011, at 4:30 p.m. US Pacific Time*, as we live stream this webcast on the Twitch TV! The webcast is expected to last about 20 minutes.

Note that SOE has switched live stream services from Stickam to TwitchTV.

Time Zone Conversions:

  • PST: November 10, 2011 @ 4:30pm
  • EST: November 10, 2011 @ 7:30pm
  • GMT: November 11, 2011 @ 0:30
  • CET: November 11, 2011 @ 1:30

Yes that means I’ll be staying up quite late to see what this is all about.

EverQuest II Relaunches Free Trial — 14 Days, No Level Limit

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

One year ago, the EverQuest II Extended “Free-to-Play” service launched. In its wake, the EverQuest II Free Trial was unceremoniously discontinued. At Fan Faire, we learned that the Trial was coming back, and today it has.

Past trials have been very limited:

  • Play the Fae — A 7 day trial of one starting zone (Faydwer) and limited to level 20.
  • Trial of the Isle — A trial limited to level 6 on the Qeynos and Freeport starting islands.
  • Both had limited access to chat channels, private messaging, and joining groups and/or guilds.

Unlike those past trials, this one is a full 14 days and allows starting in any of the four current starting cities, as well as providing players access to every expansion except Destiny of Velious.

Not Giving Away the Store on Veteran Rewards, Plus Test vs. Test Copy

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

It was easy to interpret SmokeJumper‘s suggestion that StationCash purchases could count as “time” towards Veteran Rewards and, taken to its logical conclusion, allow players on EQ2X or even Live to “buy” Veteran time. However this is not what he meant! Here’s a clarification:

Veteran subscribers that have been here forever have already received their rewards. That would be a “no” for [taking previous time into account]. We’d only give them “backlog” credits from the last vet reward time to now.

But for EQ2X’ers, you’ve never received credit, so you’d get credits as far back as August last year when we launched if you’ve been here that whole time.

There are many details to work out before we implement however, so I should stop throwing out details. We may want to change our minds about some things.

Making EQ2X a Real Choice

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

The announcement of EverQuest 2 Extended (EQ2X Free-to-Play) to the world was not a complete surprise to everyone. In addition to the various individuals within the EQ2 team and SOE involved in its planning and implementation, a few players were notified and their feedback solicited. What would be the community reaction? Should the services stay separate? There were many questions.

At last year’s Fan Faire, once the EQ2X cat was out of the bag, I spoke to Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson about the future of EQ2 and EQ2X, and how the latter might choke off the former. My feedback was simple:

  • If the website promoting EQ2/EQ2X gives the two services equal weight, and if players are given a REAL choice between the two games, then I think your best bet is to keep the 2 services separate.

Georgeson assured me and many others that both EQ2 and EQ2X would be equally marketed, with a ‘fair’ choice between the two games. On that representation, having the two services separate made sense. And yet, when EQ2X went live, this is the first thing I noticed on EverQuest2.com:

EQ2X: Bronze and Silver Players Get Gold for 30 Days

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

In an interesting turn of events, Bronze and Silver players of EQ2X are being given 30 days of Gold access as part of SOE’s “Make Good” program. You’ll recall that Bronze is the free-to-play level of service, while Silver pay a one-time fee. Although players of both Bronze and Silver levels can and do buy various race and item unlocks, some have played EQ2 entirely for free. From SmokeJumper on the EQ2X forums:

Hi, folks,

We don’t want the Silver and Bronze members to feel like they’re being left out in the cold on this Make Good program that we’re running currently. Gold and Platinum members are already receiving 45 days of membership for free. So we’re going to do something similar now for Silver and Bronze members.

Obviously, Silver and Bronze members don’t pay for subscriptions, so extending “free time” to them is meaningless. Therefore, for the next 30 days (starting today), we’re going to treat all Silver and Bronze members as if they are Gold members instead.

Thus, Silver and Bronze members have 30 days to use the broker freely, equip and use items, use any class packs, etc.

All Silver and Bronze members have all rights and privileges of Gold members until June 17th.

Enjoy!

If you have been considering playing EQ2, I can’t think of a better offer. If only there was a way for EQ2X players to transfer their characters to the live servers.

Splitpaw, Unrest Top New Hardware Reqs, Freeport (EQ2X) Now Largest Server

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

When prodded about upgrading the graphics engine of EQ2, if not to improve the graphics, at least to address the spate of flickering graphics and shadows which seem to have plagued the game for some players (including me) since the launch of Velious.

SmokeJumper addressed this concern and others including graphical glitches and performance slowdowns in Public Quests:

We redirected our efforts yesterday to trying to resolve some of the PQ issues. We fixed one issue last night, and although I had been getting similar behavior to what you describe on my home rig, I couldn’t make that duplicate last night, so I’m hoping the improvement we made was a good one. (Admittedly, I was still turning my graphics down to High Performance when multi-raid groups were in the PQ area.) We’re not done yet and there will be more improvements next week.

Engine improvements are also on our list for this year. Those definitely take time to accomplish but there are some obvious things we should do to bring the engine up to par with other modern engines.

Server upgrades are something we want to complete also. In the last six months, we’ve upgraded Antonia Bayle, Crushbone, Nagafen, and Freeport because they were the most highly populated servers. Since the merges, it’s obvious that Splitpaw and Unrest (at least) need upgrades also, and we would like to just go ahead and upgrade all of the remaining worlds. Budget requests have been made.

Stay hopeful.

   

Rothgar, Zolratorh Battle “Receiving Zone Info” Issue, Crashes, Trolling

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

If there is any doubt that EQ2 devs are working as hard as they can to resolve the persistent Receiving Zone Info issues affecting Freeport and (to some extent) other servers, know that Zoltaroth and Rothgar put in 16 hours on Tuesday, and I know that Zoltaroth worked again until midnight this morning. Sleep is overrated!

A Caution to Bronze/Silver players about Velious

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News, Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

If you are an EQ2X player with Bronze or Silver access (a Gold monthly subscription is roughly analygous to an EQ2 live subscription), and are thinking about buying Destiny of Velious, you may wish to read this excellent post by Claviarm on the EQ2 Extended Forums about some extra fees you may be on the hook for:

So now that the NDA has been lifted, I just wanted to let all the bronze and silver players out there know ahead of time that Destiny of Velious may not be a wise purchase unless you also set aside some money for equipment unlockers. Right from the beginning, the solo quests give out legendary gear. I didn’t spend a lot of time playing the beta, so it’s entirely possible I missed something, but I didn’t run across a single item that was TREASURED or below.

EQ2X’s Freeport Server Buckling — Time for 2nd Free-to-Play Server?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

Despite prophecies and predictions declaring EQ2X overpriced and underdelivered, it seems EQ2X’s popularity has nonetheless led it to be a victim of its own success in recent weeks. Several threads on the EQ2X forums about server crashes, instability, and lag have been created which got some reaction from SmokeJumper. Currently, EQ2X runs on but a single server called Freeport.

After the jump, responses from SmokeJumper

GU60: PvP and BG Work

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X), Game Updates & Maintenance, PvP/BG/Proving Grounds

Believe it or not SmokeJumper posted a bit about Game Update 60, which will be anywhere from 1-3 months after the Destiny of Velious expansion launches. It’s expected to have some Battlegrounds and PvP tweaks. His post also talks about EQ2X marketing and EQ2X PvP servers:

Answers (but you might not like them):

1) We haven’t started spending marketing cash for Extended yet. That’s slated for January. The reason I bring that up is until we bring more people into Extended, we have no plans to open up a PvP server because too many servers dilutes the population and we’re not willing to do that yet. However, we *would* like to do a PvP server. It’s currently slated to be the third server, assuming we can kick start population beyond its current levels.

Response on Where’s the EQ2X Marketing?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

So it was put forward that the Big Marketing Push for EQ2X that was promised for late summer never materialized. SmokeJumper tackled this one:

The decision was made to delay the marketing spend until January after the Christmas cage fights over banner slots and other advertising have died down a bit.

So…January now.

November 3, 2010 Hotfix Notes

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

Remember that patch that went in yesterday?  The one that caused raid zones to crash over and over again?  Today we get the patch for the patch.  “Fixed a crash issue related to pet immunity” apparently means, “we fixed the raid zone crashing bug that we introduced yesterday“.  This bug was apparently reported on the website late last week but the info didn’t make it to the developers.  Remember, always /bug when you find a bug.  That doesn’t mean they will always see it, but at least that gets it into their system. Notes after the break…

Arrows on StationCash

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Daybreak Cash, Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

Is it time to just rip off the Band-Aid™ and be done with it?

Unannounced in this week’s additions to the StationCash Marketplace were the addition of in-game merchant-bought arrows (no great shakes compared to woodworker-made ones) to the StationCash Marketplace. When prompted on the EQ2 Forums, EQ2 Senior Producer Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson had this response:

They’re just the basic arrows you can get from merchants. It’s a convenience thing for folks that run out of arrows in the field.

and later in a similar topic in the Tradeskills forum:

It’s pure convenience. Some players are willing to spend a buck to avoid leaving a raid or dungeon to resupply with arrows.

Player response has varied from “Get this crap off the live servers and put it back on EQ2X“, to “if my group/raid expects me to buy items from the Marketplace to stay competitive, I’ll tell them to pound sand” to “Why not just rip off the Band-Aid and put RMT on the live servers, since that’s where we’re headed anyway.

UPDATE: In response to player concerns, these arrows have been removed from the StationCash Marketplace. From SmokeJumper:

We never intended to start a fight here, folks.

They’re removed.

I think SOE have demonstrated a lack of self-discipline in what items they will add to the Marketplace. They’ve continued to push the envelope, seemingly until players will accept full RMT on the live servers.
Is it time to just rip off the Band-Aid and go full RMT on the live servers?

Most of you probably clicked delete on this weekend’s announcement that Pirates of the Burning Sea is going full RMT/Free-to-Play. I read it with interest, because it’s like a pair of binoculars (or a spyglass and sextant, if you will) into the future of EQ2, EQ2Next, and beyond.

Update Notes for 5 October 2010

Written by Dethdlr on . Posted in Daybreak Cash, Free-to-Play (EQ2X), Game Updates & Maintenance, Raiding

Here are your update notes for 5 October 2010:

EVERQUEST 2 EXTENDED

  • Bronze members will now be able to view chat channels (Silver or higher is still required to participate in chat).
  • You can now purchase Gold memberships directly in game.

MARKETPLACE

  • You can now buy extra character slots in the marketplace!
  • You can now redeem station cash cards directly in game by going to: Marketplace – Add Funds – Station Cash Card.
  • You can now add a credit card to your file directly in game by going to: Marketplace – Add Funds – Credit Card – Add New Card.
  • Check the marketplace for “New” and “Hot” items!
  • Marketplace items that are discounted from normal price will now show “SALE” on the icon in both the welcome window and the marketplace window.

PERAH’CELSIS’ ABOMINABLE LABORATORY

  • Homicidal Madness (the charm spell) no longer affects fighters.
  • EQ2X: Bronze Chat Channel Restrictions Relaxed

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

    SmokeJumper just announced some changes to the bronze level chat channel restirctions on the EQ2X Forums:

    As of Tuesday, October 5th, the chat restrictions for Bronze players will be eased somewhat.

    Bronze players will now be able to *see* the chat that’s occurring in broadcast chat channels (like /auction, /Level 1-9, etc.).

    However, they will still be unable to *send* chat in those channels.

    In theory, this allows Bronze players to hear what’s going on in the world, and opens up a huge pool of potential customers for Silver and Gold players that are /auctioning items in chat. (Bronze players can /tell back to the auctioneer if they’re interested in the item.)

    The world should feel a bit more filled with people for Bronze players now, as well.

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