Hop to It! Bunny Mounts Come to EQ2 in Time for Easter

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, StationCash

watership-down-original

Holly “Windstalker” Longdale has posted 3 new screenshots on her Twitter account about new bunny mounts which are now available in EQ2. They are leaper mounts and currently run 1,350SC.

bunnies-earie_armored_mount

Bristlebane Day Brings Flying Bovoch Mounts

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

In my Spring weather-fueled absence from Norrath, I’ve missed more than a few announcements, so let’s get caught up, shall we?

bristlebane_flyingmounts_ttobey_catkins

From the EQ2 Forums:

A flying meaty monstrosity has been spotted…and spotted…in the realm of Norrath! It would seem Bristlebane takes small statures to heart given the size of the little wings on these brand new barnstorming Bovochs!

To share his glee and innovation, Bristlebane has made his flying Bovoch’s available to those brave enough to take one to the air during the most hilarious of holidays from Friday, March 28th, 2014 to Thursday, April 10th, 2014!

The flying Bovoch mounts (available in black and pink) are 1995SC, as were last year’s non-flying mounts. There are also winged versions of the baby Bovoch house pets available as well.

Smed: PlayerStudio Coming to Europe — EQNL Made It Happen

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Player Studio, StationCash

playerstudio-splash

Aspiring graphic artists who happen to live outside the USA have been stymied by SOE’s regional restrictions on Player Studio. It’s our understanding that tax and accounting laws have so far kept the program from opening up to other countries.

With Player Studio being a core part of the upcoming EQNext (sources pointing to a 2015 nod) and EQNext Landmark (going Alpha this month and in wide release sometime in April), it seems that a corner may have been turned and PlayerStudio availability in the EU may be on the horizon. As a happy side benefit, this will hopefully open the marketplace up for many more EQ, EQ2, Planetside 2, and FreeRealms player-designers as well.

Weekend StationCash Services Sale in EverQuest II — Jan 17~21

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, StationCash

From the EQ2 Forums:

Is your Vitality in the dumps? Low XP gain keeping your character from enjoying Norrath? Don’t settle for normal speed progression! This weekend only, take advantage of 30% off Services* and Potions to ensure your character receives nothing but the very best!

This sale will begin at 12:00 PM PT, January 17th and be available until 11:59 PM PT, January 20th.

* Heroic Characters and 280 AA Bauble not included

What’s On Sale?

  • Character Slots
  • Reforging Uses (you can use Plat or SC any time you reforge your stats)
  • XP Debt Removers
  • XP Potions
  • Vitality Potions
  • Guild Renames
  • Name, Gender, and Race Change Potions
  • Server Transfer Tokens

You can browse the EQ2 StationCash Marketplace without logging into the game! Just head to the EQ2U Marketplace Browser.

Smedley Delves into Reasons for Subscription Changes (mostly Accounts and Tax Laws)

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Free-to-Play (EQ2X), StationCash

smedley_fanfaire_community_address

SOE President John Smedley continues to peel back the curtain on the thinking behind Subscriptiongate and why he is trying to make this right for loyal customers, while addressing the Accounting and Tax Law issues which SOE could ignore no longer.

First up, Smed posted his philosophy on game development and how these Subscription changes were never about squeezing players for more revenue:

When I read through all the posts here and on our forums, it never ceases to amaze me how people can think we’re just money grubbing jerks because we’re trying to make money.

I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that’s just not how we think. Most people I know in the games business are in it because there is literally nothing else they want to do ever. From the time I was in high school I knew that’s what I wanted to do. The same is true for a lot of people here at SOE and around the industry.

Obviously one of our goals as a corporation is most certainly profit. And yes, when you guys buy our stuff it makes us happy. But money has nothing to do with why it makes us happy. We’re happy because you guys bought something we (or one of our other players made).

We’re in the middle of developing Everquest Next Landmark (on schedule right now for end of this month). We rebooted the game 3 times. It was a massive delay and it hurt us financially. But it was the right thing to do for us, and for the industry. Most importantly you all are going to get to play something we’re very proud of and we think is a whole lot of fun.

I believe a lot of this rhetoric is the result of us not being transparent enough, so we’re going to change that. I want us to start explaining the “why” in the decisions we make.. particularly the financial ones.

The changes we originally proposed would not have made us more money than the previous plan. Even if some people cancelled, though to be honest we thought our plan was pretty darn awesome and you would love it.

The same is true for a lot of the decisions we make. We’re trying to make life better for you, and yes.. for us too. But while some of those decisions are financially based, most aren’t. It’s usually something to clean up a tangled process or solve other problems.

So. how do we really feel about monetization?

Here it is.

We believe if we make great games, we’ll make money.

In that order.

So I therefore am going to make it one of my personal missions to explain the thought process behind our business decisions. I want to be able to have an honest enough dialog that I can actually tell you “yeah this is important to our bottom line.. that’s why we did it”… and have you at least not question whether that’s the real reason. You may disagree with it, but at least you’ll be able to make a reasonably informed judgement as to whether or not we’re the greedy company some of you seem to think that we are, but at least you’ll hear the why.

My hope is that by doing this we can at least get people to say “ok. that makes sense.. I don’t love it but it makes sense and I’m ok with it”. And if you don’t, then we have work to do.

many more quotes after the jump. Smedley has been a posting machine!

Backlash II: The Sequel — You Really Can’t Please Everyone

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Free-to-Play (EQ2X), Player Studio, StationCash

eq2forums-burn4

Last Friday, SOE announced changes to their Subscription services, replacing the 500 SC/month allowance for having a Gold Subscription in any of SOE’s games with a monthly voucher to buy ONE item per game, up to 2,000SC, to exclude Player Studio, “bundles“, and an unknown array of other items, presumably “Services“, Experience items (280AA bauble), and expansion unlocks like Mercenaries. Players who buy a number of 100-200SC items would have lost out with the deal, as the voucher only applied to a single item with exclusions. And while it’s a small pool of players, Vanguard players on an All Access subscription would have gotten nothing out of the deal.

Yesterday, SOE President John Smedley halted these changes, bringing back the 500SC/month allowance (although it must now be claimed once per month), and went further, cutting the price of a multi-game All Access subscription from $19 to $15 and applying a 10% reduction in all Marketplace prices for Subscribers. And all was right with the world.

Except…It seems there were some players who were excited about the “one item per month up to 2,000SC” deal, but didn’t say so. I’ll let the quotes speak for themselves

from Kaeros:

Wow, that’s incredible. A bunch of people just b & m’d the entire community out of 4 times the rewards. Way to go forums.

Personally all the people I play with were pretty hyped about the new version once they said they were looking at bundles and player studio items being back on the table for it.

Stick to your guns Sony!

Smed Delivers! All SOE $15/mo Subs Become “All Access”, 500SC Returns, Player Studio Included

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Player Studio, StationCash

stationcash_wedidit

After last week’s changes to Gold Subscriptions for EverQuest, EverQuest II, DCUO, PlanetSide 2, and All Access passes were announced, I was certain that regardless of how much player feedback came out against the changes, little would change.

After 6 years, I guess I can still be surprised by Sony Online Entertainment.

Just over 1 hour ago, SOE President John Smedley took to Reddit (once again bypassing the forums), to announce the restoration of the monthly 500SC stipend, AND some remarkable changes to All Access. This not only gives us back everything we asked for, but goes to the heart of solving the problems players had with these changes. We are fully cognisant of SOE’s issues with devalued StationCash, but the changes as announced last Friday were ham-handed at best. Today’s announcements make a lot more sense.

After the jump, John Smedley’s comments on Reddit

Breaking: John Smedley Talks Gold Subscription Changes

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Player Studio, StationCash

SOE President John Smedley has taken to his favorite “bypass the Marketing/PR Machine” venue Reddit and posted some personal thoughts on the Subscription changes recently announced for EverQuest, EverQuest II, Planetside 2, DCUO, and all of SOE’s games under the All Access umbrella. It’s written from a PlanetSide 2 angle, but it is applicable to EQ2 as well.

From Reddit:

Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a Happy New Year! we’re here back working hard to make cool stuff.

I wanted to give a little more insight into our thinking regarding the changes to the upcoming subscription plan.

I have been personally reading every post I can find about it and I understand there is a lot of FUD out there around it. So let me clear some things up and let you in on some of our thinking process.

Goals

The goals of our plan are very simple. Let players buy anything they want up to 2000 SC. It’s fair to say that there aren’t a lot of high priced items in the Planetside 2 shop, but that’s kind of a good thing too. It’s just when you look at it from the perspective of someone who’s plan is changing they are right to ask “why is this good for me?”.

We are discussing the feedback we’ve been getting and we are making some decisions regarding this today. Particularly around Player Studio items (yeah that was a bad idea) and we’re talking about bundles as well. I promise that we are listening.

Why did we make this change? There were a few reasons really. First and foremost we wanted to let players get some of the larger items on the marketplace. People complain the other way on this all the time – they complain that the 500SC isn’t enough for them to buy enough stuff. So we thought this would be a positive change.

Massively — Norrathian Notebook: Are membership changes a benefit to EQII players?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Player Studio, StationCash

Massively‘s MJ Guthrie has checked in with her thoughts on SOE’s announced removal of 500 StationCash/month allowance for Gold subscribers to its games:

massively_norrathian_notebook530px

While I had another, happier topic all ready to ring in the new year, SOE surprised us with a questionable decision this week that I felt necessitated an immediate response. So today we’ll focus on this hot topic instead: All change is not good. And SOE’s announced change in membership benefits for EverQuest II is really not good.

Previously, with the removal of the remaining free-to-play restrictions, EQII subscribers saw their benefits whittle down to essentially a buff to mount speed and coin, AA, and XP accumulation (basically what was offered during the Gold Rush event) and the monthly 500 Station Cash allotment. While that seems as if players lost most of their advantages for subbing, there wasn’t too much murmuring because at least we were happy that our comrades had the freedom to choose the classes and races they wanted and enjoy the game better. And besides, we still had the 500 SC, so we still had some worthwhile benefit. Well, now that’s changing.

SOE has decided that this last benefit must be retooled from 500 SC that accumulates until you use it to the ability to buy one single item for up to 2000 SC per month. While it may sound like a better deal on the surface, it’s not — not for SOE or for its customers.

.

.

Why this switch, and why now? My bet is because EQN Landmark is coming out soon and SOE wants to prevent players from building up SC by subbing to one game and spending it in EQNL, thereby forcing players to buy SC for the new sandbox if there isn’t any kind of subscription benefit offered.

Read More at Massively.com

50% StationCash Instant Rebates Active — App Gear, Housing, Over 1,000 Items+

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, StationCash

piggy_bank

The two-day StationCash Instant Rebate event is now active, and over 1,000 items can now be purchased for half their normal price. Rebates are a marketing tactic intended to drive sales of StationCash, since players must typically purchase more to buy discounted items. If a mount is 1,950SC, then you’ll need the full amount to buy it, but you’ll immediately receive 975SC back. This rebate event runs all day December 31st and January 1st, ending at 11:59pm PST

What’s on Rebate?

  • most Appearance Clothes/Armor
    • Kilts, Cloaks, Shields, Weapons, Jewelry
    • Racial Heritage Armor
  • most House Items
    • House Pets and Plushies
    • Building Blocks
    • Furniture
    • many PlayerStudio items
  • Prestige Houses
  • Dungeon Maker Avatars & Builder Items
  • Consumables (many)
    • Item Unattuners, Spell Unlocks (F2P), Broker Credits (F2P)
    • Vitality Potions, XP Potions
    • Reforging credits (if you choose to reforge with SC rather than plat)
  • Pet Illusions
  • Bags
  • Legends of Norrath packs
  • Mounts (nearly all)
  • Freeblood: Race unlock, Cloud of Bats, Accessories, and House

What’s NOT on Rebate?

  • Services
    • Character Slots, Server Transfers, and Name/Race/Gender Changes
    • Level 85 Heroic Characters
    • 280 AA Baubles
  • Age of Discovery Features
    • Reforging, Mercenaries, Beastlord Class, or the AoD pack
  • Frostfell

Double Experience This Weekend, StationCash 50% Rebate On Select Items on Dec 31st ~Jan 1st

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Live Events, StationCash

doublexp-2013-christmas

From RadarX on the EQ2 Forums:

Finish up your holiday shopping and clear your calendar as this weekend starting Friday, December 20th at 12:00 PM PT you’ll get double experience from Adventure, Tradeskill, Alternate Achievement, and Guild Experience! This event will run through Sunday, December 22nd at 11:59 PT.

Also, to help everyone ring in the new year and finish out Frostfell, we will have a 50% Rebate Sale on many of our items on Tuesday, December 31st at 12:00 AM PT to Wednesday, January 1st, 11:59pm PT. You only have two days so don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Double XP Time Zone Conversions

  • PST: December 20 @ Noon ~ December 22 @ 11:59pm
  • EST: December 20 @ 3:00pm ~ December 23 @ 2:59am
  • GMT: December 20 @ 20:00 ~ December 23 @ 7:59
  • CET: December 20 @ 21:00 ~ December 23 @ 8:59
  • AEST: December 21 @ 5:00am~ December 23 @ 4:59pm

StationCash 50% Rebate Time Zone Conversions

UPDATE: As per the revised announcement, this is a TWO day event.

  • PST: December 31 @ 12:00am ~ January 1 @ 11:59pm
  • EST: December 31 @ 3:00am ~ January 2 @ 2:59am
  • GMT: December 31 @ 8:00 ~ January 2 @ 7:59
  • CET: December 31 @ 9:00 ~ January 2 @ 8:59
  • AEST: December 31 @ 5:00pm ~ January 2 @ 4:59pm

Cyber Monday: 15% Off Prestige Housing

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, StationCash

house-for-sale

Looks like there will be a Cyber Monday sale after all.

Announcement posted by RadarX:

There has never been a better time to move on up to a new Prestige Home in EverQuest 2! Stop tripping over weapon racks and give your pets more room to roam in. Between now and Noon PT December 3rd, you can grab a house for 15% off!

Don’t settle for a simple five room when you can own Personal Grotto! Head to the Marketplace and get yours while you can!

From Holly “Windstalker” Longdale‘s twitter:

The Marketplace section of EQ2U has been updated to reflect this sale.

 

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

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

StationCash_ecommerce_finance

As we’ve documented, Sony Online Entertainment got itself into a huge pickle with the devaluation of StationCash. The overeager Marketing Dept‘s numerous Double and Triple StationCash deals devalued much of the StationCash entering SOE’s economy to just 1/4 of its value.  This was an untenable situation. At SOE Live, SmokeJumper was heard to say ”We were losing our shirts”.

It doesn’t help that Walmart demands special incentives from their vendors to carry product, and so the 1500 StationCash cards offered there have a 500 SC bonus. This has just further compounded the situation.

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

We are just speculating at this point, but we’re going to call August’s Double StationCash deal exclusive to Best Buy-purchased game cards (at those few locations that bothered to stock them) as the last one.

SOE Cyber Monday Sale: 25% Bonus on Station Cash

Written by Feldon on . Posted in StationCash

From the EQ2 Forums:

CyberMonday2013-banner

Cyber Monday is here! Great online deals happen on Cyber Monday, which is why SOE is offering a 25% bonus on Station Cash! Purchase Station Cash in-game, via the website, or redeem a game card for Station Cash this Monday, and you’ll receive a 25% BONUS!

Hurry! This offer ends at 11:59pm PST on December 2, 2013!

Don’t forget to check participating in-game Marketplaces for any additional Cyber Monday deals!

* Excludes purchases of Station Cash by SMS payment.

Commentary
So 30% off StationCash (online only) on Friday:
  • $10.50 for 1500SC calculates out to $1 per 142SC

and 25% extra StationCash (online only) on Monday.

  • $15 for 1875SC calculates out to $1 per 125SC
If you were hoping for Triple or Double StationCash, well, this is less than 1 1/2 times StationCash.

StationCash: EQ2 Bag Sale – November 30th Only

Written by Feldon on . Posted in StationCash

We’ve confirmed this in-game, but this also appeared on the EQ2 Forums:

Save space and Station Cash and take advantage of a 25% off a number of bags and backpacks in the Marketplace. Available from November 30th @ 12:01 AM PST until November 30th @ 11:59PM PST this is available for one day only so ensure you stock up today!

Time Zone Conversions

  • PST: November 30 @ 12:01 AM – 11:59 PM
  • EST: November 30 @ 3:01 AM – December 1 @ 2:59 AM
  • GMT: November 30 @ 8:01 AM – December 1 @ 7:59 AM
  • CET: November 30 @ 9:01 AM – December 1 @ 8:59 AM

Black Friday: 30% Off StationCash — Online Only

Written by Feldon on . Posted in StationCash

stationcash-blackfriday

From EverQuest2.com:

Black Friday is a day to get the best deals in your favorite SOE games, so we’re helping you out by offering 30% off Station Cash purchases! Just buy Station Cash in-game or via https://www.soe.com and you’ll get 30% off the price!

Log into participating SOE games throughout the weekend for more deals and fun!

Don’t forget Cyber Monday is coming!

*Offer valid between 12:01AM PST 11/29/2013 to 11:59PM PST 11/29/2013. Excludes purchases of Station Cash by SMS payment.

Commentary

In fact, the best deal we got this year was Double StationCash exclusively from Best Buy midway between this year’s SOE Live and the layoffs. Like an overused background character, is it too early to write off Double and Triple StationCash as dead for good? With just 3 months until EQN Landmark goes Alpha, SOE is likely keeping a tight rein on any possible devaluation of their account-wide currency.

 

Player Studio Artists: Help SOE Deck the Halls!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Player Studio, StationCash

From the EQ2 Forums:

player-studio-banner

All gamers know it’s not a holiday until you see your favorite MMO decked out for the season! This year, Sony Online Entertainment invites you to get in the spirit by creating holiday-themed items for your favorite games.

Since the unveiling of the Player Studio program, your fellow players have shown off their creativity and talent by creating in-game items for EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide 2, and Free Realms. In addition to epic bragging rights, creators get a split of the profits for sales of their item, which is pretty much the definition of “win/win.”

For more information on the program and game-specific submission guidelines, check out the Player Studio homepage. If you’re interested in making some holiday magic (and money!), send in your themed items by November 30, 2013.

$5 Off SOE StationCash and Game Cards at GameStop

Written by Feldon on . Posted in StationCash

From the EQ2 Forums:

stationcash_nov2013

Purchase and receive $5 off on either a $15 SOE or a $15 PlanetSide 2 Game Card from any participating U.S. GameStop or EB Games Canada from November 4th, through November 24th, 2013.

A trip to your local GameStop or EB Games might be in order so you can get a head start on your holiday shopping! Pick up one of these bad boys up for that special gamer on your list or tuck one away for your own stocking!

*Offer valid from store opening on November 4, 2013, through store closing November 24, 2013, while supplies last.

EB Games Canada UPDATE

The initial announcement I quoted included EB Games in Canada, but the revised announcement excludes EB Games, so it looks like they are not part of this promotion.

On Beta: Mercenary Unlocks — Gotta Collect Em All!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, StationCash

merc_unlock

At SOE Live this year, the ability to store Mercenaries on EQ2 characters was announced to deafening applause. The feature was reconfirmed in an October Producer letter. So when Tears of Veeshan beta opened, players quickly found the new interface allowing them to store Mercenaries, along with a few surprises in the implementation (and cost) which have spawned a multi-page discussion.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a BETA feature and as such may change between now and live, so readers should not make any assumptions about pricing, etc. until Tears of Veeshan launches on November 12th.

NOTE: The Mercenary window has been substantially upgraded since this screenshot was taken.

Nothing in Life is Free

First up, Mercenary Unlocks are not free. Mercenary Unlocks are currently priced at 100SC ($1) each. When they first appeared on Beta, they were set to 250SC each, so pricing is subject to change before launch.

What’s the difference between Unlocks and Slots?

Player Studio “Nights of the Dead” Items Arrive on the Marketplace

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Player Studio, StationCash

From Ry “Roshen” Schueller on the EQ2 Forums:

How will you celebrate the scariest time of year in Norrath? A variety of Player Studio artists came together to create some supernatural additions to the Marketplace for this spooky holiday.

Organ of Enchanting Darkness by NEKO ZERO

[IMG]

This ancient organ was once used to create haunting tunes during secret ceremonies. What music would you want to hear played on its keys? This impressive piece was the winner of the Player Studio Dawn of the Dark Elf competition!

Heroic Characters Interviews Around the Web

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Free-to-Play (EQ2X), StationCash

heroic_characters_018

Our invite was once again misfiled, but if you are curious to catch all the info about Heroic Characters, including a few quotes from Holly “Windstalker” Longdale and Dave “SmokeJumper” Georegeson, you’ll want to check out the writeups by Cyliena (ZAM) and MJ (Massively) who endured SOE’s PR firm to bring you the scoop!

heroic_characters_146

And is it just me, or are the 3 screenshots provided by PR kinda the opposite of what you’d expect to see in marketing Heroics? The exclusive armor set and free flying mount, especially on characters ALL BY THEMSELVES are probably the sorest subject for existing players. I guess I can see that players want to know what their $35 (3,500SC at full price) gets them, but I certainly wouldn’t have featured a Solo character in all 3 screenshots.

Frequently Asked Questions About Heroic Characters (and More!)

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

In response to a number of questions by players about Heroic Characters on the EQ2 Forums, Caith and RadarX had some answers…

Q (by Errrorr): When will Channellers become available as heroic characters?

We don’t have a date on when Channelers will become available as a Heroic option.

Q (by Errrorr): Is it possible to have certain long and tedious questlines already completed (For example Speak as a dragon)?

Heroic characters are not going to have any quests completed for them. If a quest is so tedious as to be off putting, and is also something that cannot be avoided, I would rather look at the quest itself. I’m not sure To Speak as a Dragon would qualify in my estimation, but it’s something that we can look at.

Q: Does the Heroic Character purchase apply to the character slot, or to the character?

If you unlock a heroic character, and then delete it, it goes away. Whether that character is purchased, or unlocked as your one free, the result is the same. To unlock another heroic character to replace the one you just deleted would require you to purchase it at that point.

The reason we have a try before you buy option is to give people a chance to experiment with classes before unlocking them. Please use some care with which character you want to unlock as your free choice.

and later…

If you delete the free unlock, then no, you do not get another one to replace it.

Powered by Warp Theme Framework