The folks over at Massively.com have posted an interview with SmokeJumper. In it, he talks about F2P, comparisons to other MMOs, the possibility of a dungeon finder, and the class balance manifesto. Interesting read.
SmokeJumper is looking for feedback on placing F2P marketplace items on the test server. He posted this on the official forums:
We don’t have a big enough population on the Test server to run two different Test servers (one for EQII Live and one for EQ2X), and we’d like to get your feedback on whether you think it’s appropriate for us to allow the EQ2X marketplace items to show up on Test.
Since the items are optional, it shouldn’t make much of a difference in your play style, but it would allow us to test them on a real server before they go Live.
Additionally, for anyone interested, they’d probably help leveling a bit, which is always somewhat of a hurdle on this lower-population server.
What do you think?
Thanks for your feedback.
I personally agree with many of the other posters that have already replied who think this would work much better if done on Test Copy. Test Copy gets wiped periodically anyway and gives unlimited station cash. This would seem to be the perfect place to “test” marketplace items.
EQ2X is no longer in beta. From the ashes of the EQ2 Live servers comes the newly launched F2P server. At least that’s what seems to be implied by the free “Staff of the Rising Phoenix” available for a limited time on the EQ2X server. From Everquest2.com:
It’s official! SOE has removed BETA from the logo and is proud to announce the official launch of EverQuest II Extended.
To celebrate the launch, EQ2X players can claim their free Staff of the Rising Phoenix from the in-game Marketplace on the Freeport server. The staff is an appearance-only item, depicting a phoenix engulfed in glowing flames, and will be available for a limited time only, so be sure to claim yours before 11:59 pm PDT on Sunday, October 3rd.
Read the full article at Everquest2.com.
Here are your update notes for 28 September 2010 (since we cover EQII Live and EQ2X, the link is to the EQ2X forums where the full update notes are posted):
EVERQUEST 2 EXTENDED
- Going to Battlegrounds on EQ2 Extended should no longer cause your items to set to 1c sell value.
- There is now a new respawn location right by the entrance to the Underfoot Seal chamber where Master Yael spawns. In order to activate this new respawn location, players will need to defeat fire elemental encounter “Saalax” before it can be accessed.
Here are your update notes for Wednesday, 8 September 2010:
EVERQUEST II EXTENDED
- Fixed a bug causing Platinum subscribers to not be able to use the shared bank.
- Fixed a bug that would cause your AA slider to reset to 50% upon zoning.
- Sort by current zone for the quest journal now properly puts the current zone quests at the top of the list.
- We have disabled the spells from replacing old ones in the hotbar until we can track down a bug regarding it.
- Fixed an issue causing parts of some structures in Halas to show as wireframe.
- Torque of the War Blade and Ring of the Vice Vigoth now have resists added to their stats.
- Runic Deflection on Band of Mreeptahp’s Fury now correctly wards your target.
- The King Speleothem multi-stage event in Stonebrunt Highlands should now be fixed. Player should now be able to progress through the stages and fight the end boss.
- Zaalax, Xaalax, Saalax and Yaalax : Seismic shock should strike the correct targets named by Zaalax.
Platinum Memberships are now available for EQ2X players!
With the Platinum Membership, players can enjoy a robust experience in the world of Norrath. Platinum members will get full access to all 19 standard character races, all 24 classes, all spell tiers and equipments grades. They can play up the the current maximum level (level 90) and get 10 character slots for making a variety of characters.
In addition, Platinum members will have six bag slots, an unlimited coin allowance, and can send and receive in-game mail. This level of membership allows unlimited use of the broker system, voice chat and in-game chat, joining and creating guilds, and the use of eight bank slots and 75 active journal quests.
Platinum members get full customer service support and won’t see any in-game pop-up advertising. As an added bonus, they’ll receive 500 SC per month.
Update: Or are they? This has been posted under This Months News on the EQ2Players.com website and is also on the login page for EQ2X but hasn’t made it to the main page and reports are that it isn’t quite live yet. Will it launch today? I guess we’ll know soon.
Update 2: It’s now linked on EQ2Players.com and has been announced by Kiara. Pretty sure that means it’s a go.
EQ2Wire reported last week about individual classes and broker access being available for purchase on EQ2X in the near future. The future is now.
This just in from Smokejumper on the EQ2X Forums:
If you are a Bronze or Silver member, there are two new features available to you!
Classes, a la Carte!
You can now purchase individual classes for 750 SC each. You can either purchase them in the marketplace or at the time of character creation. All classes outside of the original eight free ones are available for purchase.
(Gold and Platinum members, this doesn’t affect you since you have always had access to all the classes.)
If you wish to interact on the Broker system (either listing an item for sale or purchasing something for yourself), you can now do so. A pack of 10 Broker Credits is available for 150 SC. Each time you list an item or purchase something, you expend one credit.
(Again, Gold and Platinum members don’t need these since they have open access to the Broker at all times.)
Here are your hotfix notes for September 1, 2010 after the break:
This coming weekend, from 10:00 am PDT on Friday, September 3rd, until 10:00 am PDT on Tuesday, September 7th, we will be running a true Double XP promotion (+100% XP).
The bonus applies to AA, tradeskill and adventure experience gained this weekend. Our French, German, Japanese, Test and EQ2 Extended servers will also be enjoying the increase in XP gain.
EQ2 Extended (Free-to-Play) may seem to be “set in stone”, but in fact, changes are still being made and considered during its Public Beta/Soft Launch. Of particular discussion have been the price of race packs and just how limiting the lack of broker access is on the Bronze level. A possibility is to sell races individually, and looking at other options for in-game economy.
One aspect of the EverQuest 2 Live vs. EverQuest 2 Extended (Free-to-Play) debate has been how Station Access fits into the picture. Many Station Access players are using the account not to play multiple SOE games, but for the extra 5 character slots.
With the “EQ2 Subscription Perks” announced by SmokeJumper for monthly, quarterly, and yearly subscriptions, designed to offset and contrast against the EQ2 Extended servers, Station Access players have been feeling left out.
In a thread entitled “Station Access Accounts – No Multi-Month, No Extras, No Nothing“, SmokeJumper has hinted at some possible changes going forward.
Players on standard EQ2 accounts with more than 7 characters in a region, or players on Station Access accounts with more than 12 characters in a region were locked out of accessing these “hidden” characters with a change in Game Update 57. Although intended to close an exploit, the primary motivation for this change has been to protect the monetization of character slots, which are for sale on EQ2 Extended servers.
Note: This change has been rolled back as of Tuesday, August 24th, to allow players to “get their house in order”. On Tuesday, August 31st, players who have more characters than are allowed by their account type will only have the option of deleting characters to access “hidden” characters. The /camp command will not load any character not visible on the character select screen, and changes to the character list INI file will be ignored.
If you have no more than 7 EQ2 characters on your EQ2 account, or no more than 12 EQ2 characters on your Station Account, you do not need to do anything.
One of the changes in today’s hotfix was that some Mastercrafted items now also show a Fabled or Legendary tag. Domino gives us further explanation.
There have been reports from several players that trying out EQ2X has wiped out all their entitlements on EQ2 Live with their Station Access account. I have two Station Access accounts myself and have tried EQ2X on both of them. One is fine, the other no longer has access to anything but the base game. Zoltaroth wrote on the EQ2Live Forums:
We are looking into what is going on. I am going to be in touch with the people who PMed me via PMs.
Until the account gets fixed, it’s as if you bought the base game at launch and never bought anything after that. You can’t even get into the TSO zones because it doesn’t think you bought that expansion.
Hopefully this will be fixed soon. Until then, if you have a Station Access account and want to try out EQ2X, be aware that you’re rolling the dice. Everything may be fine but there is a chance that your live account will be locked out of everything once you’re done on the EQ2X server.
The EverQuest II Extended (Free-to-Play) website and Beta service have officially launched. Of note on the new EQ2X website is a tremendous 2 minute trailer for the game which is getting a lot of positive reaction so far on the EQ2X Forums. The cinematic trailers coming out of EQ2′s PR department are always worth a viewing.
The folks over at DreamStation.cc have posted the EQ2 Extended Trailer in 720p High Definition:
After a lot of questions and a lot of waiting, we finally get an answer on what the “perks” will be for the EQ2 Live Subscription servers. This thread on the official forums outlines the perks that you get for a multi-month subscription.
From the EQ2 Forums:
As happens in the world of technology, we’ve experienced some unexpected glitches and unfortunately we will be delaying the launch of EQ2X. We are now hoping to launch on Thursday, August 19th.
We apologize for the inconveniece, and thank you for your patience. Please watch this post for updated information as it is available.
EQ2Players is now reporting that all U.S. servers (EQ2 and EQ2X) are up and running with Game Update 57. Europe-based servers will be updated later today on their usual schedule.
EQ2X Marketplace Momentarily Appears on Runnyeye/Splitpaw?
Speaking of Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY), the EQ2X Marketplace (with mastercrafted and powerful items available for purchase) briefly appeared on European servers Runnyeye and Splitpaw before they were brought back down. We’ll update you as we hear more.
Update from SmokeJumper
There was a code bug with the international servers. They are coming down now so we can correct.
Free-to-play items will not be present when they come back up.
Today marks the introduction of Game Update 57 to the live servers. Key features of this update include:
- The EQ2 User Interface has received a facelift, with a new toolbar, a refresh of various windows, and a merged Character/Inventory/Profile window. The default theme is red, but easily switchable to blue by typing /loadui and choosing the Blue graphic set.
- More character classes are now neutral and may start in either good or evil cities.
- Spell animations and effects have been revamped.
- Intrazone travel now supports path linking. Travel within Kingdom of Sky has been improved.
- Erudin group instances (level 86-90) are now easier to reach.
- New tradeskill quests have been added in the level 10, 20, and 30 tiers. These quests reward a mount as well as access to what have previously been overpriced Advanced recipe books.
- Starting areas in Greater Faydark and Darklight Wood have received substantial revamps. Gorowyn has received further architectural rebuilding to improve navigation.
- All classes have had some group-specific spells postponed until later levels to reduce the number of spells new players get in the first 20 levels.
- Fighter heals will no longer critically heal.
- The “Notable Norrathian” contest winning paintings are now available within Norrath but only during the monthly City Festivals (next is Sept 1-7). They are guild hall placeable.
- Lucan D’Lere has returned to Freeport.
- Today’s update contains no new dungeons or raid zones.
Also going live today is the public beta for EverQuest II Extended, the Free-to-Play alternative to a monthly EQ2 subscription. Game Update 57 will arrive simultaneously on both servers. EQ2X, as it’s being abbreviated, may be discussed on the separate EQ2X Forums.
A View From the Top‘s Karen and Adam sat down with Paul “Frizznik” Carrico, SOE’s Lead Mechanics Designer at Fan Faire. On this episode they discuss a few different aspects of EverQuest II, the upcoming Velious expansion, and even a little about EQ2 Extended. Take a moment to listen to Frizznik’s thoughts on the game. Thanks to Kiara and Calthine for putting the meeting together.
Fan Faire is now over and one thing seems to be clear: SOE does not have a plan to balance the new players coming into the game between EQ2X and EQII Live, at least not one they are willing to share with us…
Apologies for any typos. They jacked up the AC in here!! Remember folks, lots of EQ2 t shirts, hoodies, and polos.
Friday night was the big Pool Party. We took up the entire Bally’s outdoor swimming pool area. There was live music, bars dispensing refreshing beverages at every corner, water misters, and crystal blue swimming pools.
Dave Georgeson was making the rounds all night talking to anyone and everyone who wanted to give him the business about the EQ2 Extended service, and the long-term effects on the EQ2 servers. Say what you will, but he puts himself out there and communicates with the players. He is self-assured that this will work, and quotes his 20 year history of successful games.
Calthine of EQ2 ZAM and I questioned him mercilessly for about 30 minutes and I have to say he is very charismatic and understands the concerns. He wanted to reiterate that this is an experiment, that it’s not even beta yet, that many things can change, and that if they start to see a huge shift from EQ2 to EQ2X, they will add more incentives to the EQ2 subscription side. They want to use EQ2X to attract new players who aren’t currently staying in EQ2 after their 14-day trials end, not to siphon players off the live servers.
Sorry for blurry pics. Here’s what I got. I also recorded the first part on video, but didn’t get the Q&A.