When EQ2 went Free-to-Play two days ago, emails were sent out to people who had played in the past but were not current subscribers. The emails mentioned the conversion to F2P and that they would be able to return and play at the Silver level for free. But when a lot of these players made it back, they were hit with quite a surprise.
After installing 14 gigs worth of game files (for those that didn’t choose the streaming client) they headed to the character select screen. That’s when they were kicked in the teeth. Unless they got really lucky and picked a race/class combination that was free, they were staring at a list of locked characters. In order to play, they would have to pay for race/class unlockers. If they wanted to create a new character, they would have to delete all but three of their old characters since silver membership only has four slots. The only other choice was to create a new account that wouldn’t have silver access. This was not a good way to welcome back returning players.
SmokeJumper agreed. Today this announcement was posted:
We’ve been listening to you since we launched the Free-to-Play service across all servers. One of the most frequent issues is from folks that used to play EQII Live and are now coming back to the Silver membership level and becoming very confused because they’ve never played under those restrictions. “Why can’t I play my characters? Why are they locked?”
Of course, the reason is because those players are returning to a Silver membership (which is free of charge) and those older characters are often locked behind the Silver membership race/class restrictions. There are two easy ways to get around those restrictions: Upgrade to Gold, or buy the race/class packs.
But, we don’t really want to force those decisions on returning players. It’s not a fun experience to come back to something that seemed exciting (F2P) and then get hit with a bill as soon as you arrive, just for the privelege of using your current characters.
So here’s what we’re going to do.
*Every* character that was created before 12/06/2011 at 12:01 am will be grandfathered in without race or class restriction. This means that regardless of your membership level, you will be able to play any character created before 12/6 without paying for race- or class-pack unlocks.
For any player that previously subscribed to EQII Live servers, or as a Gold or Platinum member on EQ2X, we will also refund all the class/race pack purchases made after 12/06/2011 at 12:01 am and before the time of this posting (12/08/2011, 4:30pm) so that no one loses any SC due to this change.
Of course, this doesn’t affect new characters created from now onward. If you are playing at Silver or Free membership levels and want to create a *new* character, you’ll still be subject to the regular membership class and race restrictions.
We think this should make a lot of folks happy and we’ll get this done as soon as humanly possible, either today, or first thing tomorrow.
See you in-game! Enjoy!
Personally, I applaud Smokejumper for doing the right thing for our returning players. -Dethdlr
Tags: returning players
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