Live: EQ2 Extended (F2P) Panel

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

Dave georgeson, Greg rothgar spence, rich waters (lead designer)

11:17 starting presentation

Georgeson: I worked on gaia online. There are a lot of players out there who want to play eq2 but for free.

Slide: Why a separate service?
slide: why allow copies from eq2 to eq2e?
Slide: why no copies from eq2x to eq2?
Slide: how do we get new players?

We advertise and incentivize both games.
Ads will take you to landing page.
Landing page shows benefits of other services.

Eq2: no restrictions. Earn what you own. Long standing community. Established guild halls.
Eq2x: no up front fees. Robust marketplace.

We want both sides of this fence to do well. We will make adjustments to incentives on live if too many players are going to f2p.

Game Update 57
brings new players to the game.
Revamped ui.
Updated tutorials.
Flora in gu57 costs almost no CPU. Total retouch of flora.

All updates on both games on the same day.

Game Update 58

Possible new event besides frost fell and nights of the dead.
New itemization for sf bosses
Reitemization in 1-20
SF Hot zones
More armor pieces for marks

Q&A

calthine: what about station account? We don’t get eq2rewards in gu57.

Response: we want to look into station access benefits and overall value.

Crabbok: can we flag eq2x items so they don’t work on eq2 servers to allow transfers? Need to be able to recruit players from eq2x to eq2.

Georgeson: we can’t allow transfers to eq2 because of exploits/transfer loops. We will watch the effects closely.

Leko: will f2p have pvp?
Georgeson: not at this time. F2p has just 1 pve server. Transfers allowed from pve or pvp to eq2x “with all gear” Plan to add pvp server.

Question: what is the incentive for a eq2x player to move to live server?
(huge applause)
Georgeson: players have a decision and if they play to 90 on eq2x then well, they must like eq2x.

Audience: who won’t want to play for free?
Georgeson (exasperated): we are going to try to explain to new players e decision they make. “trust us” (audience laughter) to make the right decision and protect eq2.

Comment: basically no movement on allowing f2p to act as a free 1-50 trial for players to move to eq2. Once you roll on eq2x you are stuck.

British Question: what about Europe?
Response: recruit a friend remains on intl servers while eq2x is tested “at home”. 14 day trial is going away which is obviously a problem. 14 day trial is not that successful which is why we are adding free to play.

Comment: but it’s not a trial for eq2. It’s a trial for eq2x and then you are stuck.

Question from UK: can we have a moratorium on stat items on live?
Georgeson: other than existing mounts we do not currently plan to add more stat items to live, only eq2x.

Question: what about all these free accounts re: exploits and plat spam?

Question: will eq2 players be able to upgrade their automatic gold status on eq2x to platinum?
Response: Station access gets gold access on eq2x or if you transfer a character for $35.
Talked to platform about prorating as far as partial subscriptions. We will do something so you aren’t paying $15 a month on live, plus $35 to copy, plus $200 on top for platinum.

Question: I don’t want f2p players to transfer over to live.
Georgeson: (update) this is the feeling we have gotten from the players.

Rijacki: even with 2 buttons you are going to funnel all players to eq2x. this is not a free trial for eq2 but a free trial for eq2x. (huge applause) why not do 14 day trial or 20 level test of EITHER version of eq2?

Rothgar: a lot of the people we will be marketing to will be people who never considered eq2.

Response: a ton of people try our trial and play the hell out of it but very few convert. They move on to other games. There are too many free games out there competing with us. (as far as player anger) Have you looked at LOTRO forums? A tremendous amount of our players are people coming back. Very few are new players. This change will have a minimal effect on new users.

georgeson: most players “new” to eq2 are people returning. Very few are truly new players. We haven’t been seeing new blood.

calthine: You are still taking away our free trial.

Crabbok: the limitations of copying accounts… Can you allow normal transfers or free transfer weekends. What about wiping eq2x after beta?
Georgeson: honestly we didn’t initially want to allow eq2 transfers to eq2x during beta. We can’t wipe the server after beta because we will already be allowing purchases.

Question: Why isn’t the money being put towards this being applied to live?
Georgeson: we could spend the same money and get very little response. By doing this we are getting written up in the press. NPR. new York times.
Honestly we hope people go to either server.

Question: wouldn’t advertising have been cheaper?
Georgeson: this took a few devs 4-5 weeks for this.

question: dwindling populations…
Georgeson cut him off. Actually population has been steady since February. Now you might see numbers on your server if players are moving to AB or other bigger servers.

Question: as a raider I’m worried about shrinking rosters.
Georgeson: we will have to wait and see. Who knows, the free to play server may end up as the “place to be” for raiding.

Thorien: if I’ve never seen a car before and I have only seen a Cadillac and a Chevrolet and only have a list of stats, I will choose the server with “more stuff”.
Georgeson: you will prefer players who know the difference.
Thorien: removing the free trial takes away choice that marketing could do something about.
Response: we covered that ground. Very few players take up new trial.

Question: What about advertising on TV?
response: we have been advertising free realms like crazy. If eq2x goes big and makes millions, we will advertise it. We hate seeing all those WoW ads too.

Question: (mumbling) what about lotro?
Georgeson: we didn’t want to go that route. We wanted to avoid all those limits and allow players to get further into the game before realizing they are missing features.

Question. Making the game more casual?
Georgeson: we don’t want to make the game easier or more casual. We did make the starting out areas easier and smoother. Live servers are not “hardcore” servers.

Georgeson: I really think players will realize before level 30 which server they want to be on. I think some will look at the features grid and say I just want the straightforward $15.

question: why is $15 a month not enough if subscriber numbers are stable?

georgeson: it’s not that we can’t afford ads. It’s that they don’t work. When we release eqnext, because it will be a new game, we will advertise it. When eq2x is ready and out of beta, we will advertise it.

Folks coming up to ask questions after.

Wrapping up. Velious panel at 2.

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Comments (47)

  • Dethdlr

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    Have we mentioned lately that you rock Feldon? Thank you so much for doing this.

    Reply

  • Gori

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    I want to echo those sentiments. Thanks for doing this.

    Reply

  • Blockhead

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    Yep, much appreciated, almost like being there.

    Reply

  • Steve

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    There are a lot of players out there who want to play eq2 but not while SOE is running the show.

    Reply

  • Silverglade

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    I love how their slides about why they’re launching EQ2X as a separate service is the same BS they’ve been spewing without actually addressing the concerns the population of the live servers have.

    Reply

  • Atan

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    Gu57: brings new players to the game. Revamped ui. Updated tutorials.

    So EQ2X launches with Gu57?

    Reply

  • Silverglade

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    @Atan
    Well, the beta is launching Aug 17th, and I don’t think they’re wiping after beta.

    Reply

  • Teri

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    You’re doing a great job with this, but I don’t understand the point of this panel. Is it for EQ2x or game updates? someone needs to call them out on their bullshit.

    Reply

  • Silverglade

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    “Transfers allowed from pve or pvp to eq2x.”

    Transfers of the $35 lose-all-my-stuff copy.

    Reply

  • Grimjakk

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    Beta launches Aug 17. I would guess that GU57 would be the “official” launch.

    Reply

  • Silverglade

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    That was supposed to read:

    Transfers OR the $35 lose-all-my-stuff copy.

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    In the 4th picture above, are those the bodyguards standing in front of the panel to keep the mob from rushing the stage with pitchforks and torches? lol

    Reply

  • Gori

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    Not sure if you see these comments live Feldon, but if you do, and if you get an oppurtunity, please ask if any free trials for EQ2 live will be available at launch, if they are being considered post extended launch, and whether they will commit to RAF not being eliminated?

    Reply

  • Steve

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    Dethdlr – I was thinking the exact same thing.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    Atan both servers get gu 57, gu 58, and future updates on the same day.

    Reply

  • Silverglade

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    So we should just “Trust them”… even though they’ve basically shown no reason for a player to roll on a live server, esp after they are on the F2P one. Why is the crowd not throwing things at this guy?

    Reply

  • Atan

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    It doesn’t sound like they said anything at the panel they hadn’t already said somewhere else?

    Reply

  • Gashel

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    I’m thinking the same thing Atan, it still sounds like the live server statuses will be a reaction to how things play out on the EQ2X server.

    I was really hoping for a laid out game-plan regarding the Live servers. 🙁

    Reply

  • Steve

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    To think, people actually paid to see this highly informative session full of exclusive information.

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    I guess 28 days didn’t give them a lot of time to come up with a laid out game-plan.

    Reply

  • Gori

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    Not getting any kind of warm fuzzy there is some kind of plan, other than to create the most favorable conditions possible for extended and to react accordingly. Extended is their new baby, and we fit in only so much as it doesn’t interfere with that.

    Reply

  • alan

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    all im seeing is spin from smokearse

    thanks for this Feldon

    Reply

  • Silverglade

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    It’s honestly annoying me at how they’re not actually saying ANYTHING.

    Reply

  • Huene

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    Ask about the future plans of restricting classes and if alternatives to subscribing will allow for more varied classes.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    It’s very much spin.

    Reply

  • Steve

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    I sure hope I can make it to Dragon Con this year to be there just for the EQ2 panel.

    Reply

  • Nalerian

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    It looks like they are getting frustrated with this line of questions and that they don’t have good answers. I wonder if they really believe that they have good answers or if they know how shady this looks to their current (loyal) subscribers.

    Also, Feldon – you rock for doing this.

    Reply

  • Aeyri

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    I really don’t think they get the point we are trying to make for some reason 🙁

    No one wants to put down money up front for a game they’ve never played. I would have never started playing EQ2 again after WoW if it wasn’t for the free ‘come back’ trial offer I got.

    If someone is offered the option to start playing for free, or to put money down up front to start playing, of course they are going to pick the free option. Even I would. Once I was on the free server though, why would I want to switch to live? I would need to start a new character, and abandon any relationships I had formed on the free server. Moving servers is a big decision and I think once most people are established in the game enough to consider the live servers, they won’t want to start all over.

    They really need a free trial for EQ2 Live if they want it to look like a viable option for people.

    Reply

  • Torrick

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    Thanks much for these updates Feldon. Great work!

    Reply

  • Gashel

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    Well, did not really get much more out of this panel 🙁

    But I wanted to say again, thank you so much Feldon for typing this up as it happens. It is much appreciated.

    Reply

  • Silverglade

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    I did want to join in and thank you Feldon for liveblogging this. It is most appreciated.

    Reply

  • Rymer

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    Thanks Feldon This isnt what alot of where hoping for but thats just not good PR in my opinion.

    Reply

  • Melanore

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    Great job Feldon, thank you for your efforts, it’s much appreciated!

    Reply

  • Kalyyn

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    this quote was very telling to me

    Question: (mumbling) what about lotro?
    Georgeson: we didn’t want to go that route. We wanted to avoid all those limits and **** allow players to get far into the game before realizing they are missing features. ****

    allow players to get so attached to their characters, friends and cash-bought nicities that none will want to pay out for the livegame and subscription and start all over again on a new server

    Reply

  • Bhagpuss

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    Thanks for the info – great to get it as it happens.

    Reply

  • Kalyyn

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    Forgot to say
    Thank you to Feldon for the fast information, Vegas is several thousand kilometers and a whole ocean away for me, so would never get the info if it wasnt posted here 🙂

    Reply

  • Xalmat

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    Notice how often they basically answered every question without providing any useful information.

    Kind of like a politician. Seriously, SmokeJumper should run for public office, he’d be the perfect candidate.

    Reply

  • Willlow

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    I think its hilarious that even the super fans of the game that are willing to pay and fly from all over the world to vegas to go to the game convention… EVEN THOSE people literally laugh when the guy in charge says “trust us”

    Reply

  • Isest

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    Well after those comments it is clear to me they intend to keep the two games seperate. I agree the answers are bs, as they don’t even seem to know what they want to do as if making it up on the fly.

    Honestly I don’t know what to think. I was not about to cancel my accounts in fact the wifes came up yesterday so shes got another 6 months worth. After that I will have to re-evaluate.

    Reply

  • Starseeker

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    Yes definitely a huge thank you Feldon for posting all this info.

    And I like some others feel that they did alot of tap dancing and not alot of question answering…

    Reply

  • Ballzz

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    Nice job reporting this info Feldon but I seriously don’t know how you were able to maintain composure and stay professional enough to document this for us through all of that BS.

    My favorite:

    Question: as a raider I’m worried about shrinking rosters.
    Georgeson: we will have to wait a nd see. Who knows the free to play server may end up as the “place to be” for raiding.

    Just unbelievable.

    Reply

  • HellsWrath

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    *Grumbles* This did NOT improve my opinion of this whole plan (or lack thereof).

    Thanks for the blow-by-blow, Feldon. Made me feel a little better that our mutual feelings on the matter at least got thoroughly voiced.

    Reply

  • Rijacki

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    This is NOT a transcript (and Feldon does not represent it as such). There are many inaccuracies. Even my own query and the response were not summarised in a way I would considered accurate.

    Regarding the Raiding response, I heard him saying that the current, subscription servers might end up as the “place to be” for raiding.. as one of the reasons players would want to go to the subscription servers if they were more interested in that type of game play.

    Listen to the videos of the panel for yourself. They’re posted to the SOE Fan Faire Facebook page.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    If anyone feels I have misrepresented or misinterpreted a question or answer, please send me a message and I’ll gladly fix it. Thanks!

    Reply

  • Thantoes

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    Rijacki; we could watch them on the SoE facebook page but for some reason the “Official” panel recording is very Dark and it is very hard to really understand what is going on. But, other recordings- snipits- I have seen are MUCH better quality from someone sitting farther away and I think taken with a Phone.

    Reply

  • Murfalad

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    I was the “British Question/Question from UK” there 😉

    Overall the session was actually very constructive though, more so then I expected. What came over new for me was the statement that the free trial doesn’t do much, if that is true then it does change the argument a bit.

    Also it was clear from the answers they gave that they had not put any thought into the International servers with EQ2X (because for example there just are not any Japanese/German/UK/French EQ2X servers), I’m just hoping that my question (and the resulting fumbling around for an answer 🙂 ) jogs them into at least thinking about it in a more coherent fashion.

    Reply

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