EverQuest II is Going Free-to-Play this December!

Editor-in-Chief Chris "Pwyff" Tom sat down at a roundtable interview with SOE's Dave Georgeson to talk about what this Free-to-Play transition means to loyal players.

I tried to think of a witty way to bring this news to the masses, but after an hour of pondering terrible opening lines (EverQuest II now Free-To-Quest… 2!), I think I've finally settled on just telling you straight: EverQuest II is going free-to-play. 

There. I said it.

Regardless if you're playing EQ2 or not, when one of the industry's most well-known MMORPGs declares that going free-to-play means "only good things for everyone involved," this certainly qualifies as very big news for all. I got the chance to sit down at a roundtable interview hosted yesterday by SOE's very excitable Dave Georgeson to discuss EverQuest II's new free-to-play shift, which is set to be released in early December, alongside the launch of the Age of Discovery expansion pack. Read on for more details!

In terms of their overall focus for EverQuest II, Dave notes that SOE really wants to give players "as many options as to how they can pay - or not pay - for their game." Dave argues that the industry is shifting away from traditional business models, calling the subscription / expansion approach a "pay and hope model." In other words, in more traditional subscription-based business models, developers have been releasing massive game-changing expansions, hoping that players will enjoy all of the new additions. Conversely, players who purchase the new expansions are also hoping that the expansion will be good. If players discover that they don't like the new content or the new level cap, they've still made the purchase! By going free-to-play, Dave says that SOE will be more dynamic in reacting to player demands, and they will be forced to constantly produce quality content if they want players to reciprocate.

SOE is also hoping to make the transition for current EverQuest II players as smooth as possible. In order to accomplish this, they're aiming to simplify everything down to two tiers: the Gold Tier and the Free Tier. All current EQ2 Live Subscribers will find themselves transformed into Gold Tier players in this new shift, but Dave stresses that "we're doing nothing to make ripples, and we're doing everything we can to make sure those ripples don't start." Free players won't find much change in the shift, and SOE plans to discontinue the Platinum membership, although anyone who still has a Platinum membership will be allowed to keep it for the duration of its subscription length. Also, when EverQuest II goes F2P, it will adopt a store very similar to the current EQ2 Live Marketplace as opposed to the EQ2 Extended one. This means players on the EQ2 Extended servers should stock up on Self-Rez Scrolls and the like, because these items will soon be gone from the Marketplace (but not your inventories!)

More details on Page 2!

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Win Win
# Nov 15 2011 at 12:31 PM Rating: Decent
12 posts
I am a current recurring subscriber. I was planning on staying a subscriber for the forseeable future. This new option essential has no downside at all. If anything it just adds new options for me.

I could let my sub lapse at times and still play some characters if I wanted.

I loose nothing and gain flexability.

Really is a Win Win
well..i see soe point on f2p
# Nov 15 2011 at 10:24 AM Rating: Decent
15 posts
Large Text ive played org eq since 99, i am not a grinder i like to have fun. grinding is not fun to me. the had thier fair share of ***** ups and i cancelled my sub many times, but hum one of the last few times i cancelled my sub they had questionar as to why i was leaving.

that supprized me before i would email soe with my complaint as to why i was leaving. im not some (no offence ment) some kid whinning bout what ever. so seems back in early 2000 soe disided to GASP listen to why ppl were leaving.

but bottom line is MONEY ...when ppl leave a sub only game they LOSE MONEY...and thoughs ppl who leave will tell their friends not to go there...so they LOSE MORE MONEY..well the possible client or customer what ever yu want to call them.

so with f2p they give ppl the option of tring the game and maby thell try a sub along the way...they can always go back to f2p if they dont like the perks..finances being what they are right now some ppl cant afford to pay for sub 12 mths a yr..

its a social place as well you can visit with your friends so on and so forth even if you cant aford a sub at that time..

yes i understand f2p is as free as you want it to be and it is a cash cow. im sure soe has figured out they make good money by NICKLE AND DIMEING PPL than by subs.

what i dont like about the merger of extened and live.

1. removal of market items armor and crafting consern me most...
im not a grinder and im f2p so i dont have much plat to purchase these items from other players.

harvesting rares well some times its near impossible to harvest decent amounts of rares (compatition between players harvesting ect) i dont have wks to spend harvesting so i can get the rares i might need.

as to armors... well if your f2p some of them you need to purchase unlockers to use them (less money for soe if they remove them)

im not sure bout the other items but im sure some ppl would prefer them to stay in the market

2. i do have toons on live (havent played them in ages but there there)
not many maby 3 or 4 all low level toons but they are asri and other types of toons that at this time in f2p are locked unless you pay for the race or class.

soe isnt very clear or i missed it with what server is extened aka freeport being merged with???

i know when they merged majong with other server i didnt pay attention and since it was a server that i had full toon slots filled... to access my majong toons i had to delet them all to get to the majong toons... which were all highest toons i had on eq org...

so seems soe is expanding slots alowed so we wount have to do that...if you have full slots in both games you will have access to all of the toons.

if you have purchased extra slots you will not lose them..sounds like we will no longer be given the option to buy extra slots once the merger happens (or they have removed that option already im not sure)

3. im gona make sure im not paying for access pass when they do merge... because im SURE there will be SOOO MANY DOWN TIMES it wouldnt be worth PAYING to be locked out because the game has gone down over and over again.......that was one of the reason i stoped paying for org eq back when sooo many down times in 1 mths it wasnt worth the money to me.

so theres my lil chit on the merger......lol thank soe for it because extented is DOWN FOR what ever reason right now ^_^
Webcast available on YouTube
# Nov 11 2011 at 11:43 AM Rating: Excellent
Empress of News
2,350 posts
The webcast SOE held last night which may have addressed some of the concerns here is now up on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtaEY_NSFvk
Cyliena Velnarin | @Cyliena on Twitter

# Nov 11 2011 at 6:53 AM Rating: Decent
22 posts
As usual I don't understand what's going on, what changes they are making, how it will affect me...but I do know that I've been trudging along since the beginning of EQII and I will continue to trudge because I do it to relax and have fun, not kill myself to grind to lvl 90 in 24 hours or less. I rarely find groups because I can only get on at very odds times of the day and usually for only a couple of hours at a time since I've been raising my grandbaby, the most important thing in my life right now. It sometimes takes 2 hours to find a group because I'm not ubered up and maxed out on the equipment and spells, so I don't meet their criteria for dungeon/raid. =-P

So my point is I'll continue to trudge to the cap as best I can. Go with the flow they give me like I always have been. It does no good to b*tch and moan and complain. You make the best of it. It's just a game. I lived before it showed up and my son got me hooked, I'll survive when it goes away. I may not like the changes but there is nothing I can do about it. It's just a game.

Not everyone will be happy about the new changes, most will fuss and cry and whine...but bottom line is, it's your money (or not) and your time. If you're not happy, walk away...find something out there that will make you happy.

An old woman's point of view...

Safe journey...
# Nov 11 2011 at 7:02 AM Rating: Excellent
Empress of News
2,350 posts
If you continue to pay for your subscription nothing will change at all for you aside from new people starting to join your server in December. In fact with a recurring subscription you'll get a bonus 500SC/month once the change goes in. :)
Cyliena Velnarin | @Cyliena on Twitter

F2P adds possibilities
# Nov 11 2011 at 5:58 AM Rating: Decent
9 posts
I do pity the newfreebie, who has no connections whatsoever, so are stuck with low slot bags for a while.

If you have friends, who is not able to spend enough time on the game to excuse a full gold subscription or who do not have the economy to do so, then the new payment plan is perfect for you to play together now and then. Personally I know a lot of old raiders in multiple games, who stopped due to those two reasons.

They are your friends, so naturally you will help them out with max level crafted backpacks and strong boxes, so the experience is less frustrating. With max slot containers on the toon, in the bank and vault, there is more slots available than some games offer, it is not really that bad all of a sudden.

For 10$ they can double their inventory and add chat channels. Until they reach higher levels, they are pretty set.

As a gold sub you do not loose anything. The game is exactly the same for you as always, only more lively -- if SOE some day learns to do marketing campaigns -- without putting a foot in their mouth -- it would be booming. It is a good game, tons of content, a lot to do for diverse types of players.

There is some issues with inconsistency of some features from xpac to xpac that fragments my feel of wholeness in game, that frustrates me personally, but I never saw any threads on the forums about it, so that might just be my personal pet pew.

Some people call F2P Pay to Win. Only shows a lack of insight as to what is really going on. There is no all win button somewhere that you can buy for station cash with the new plan - and I agree, there should not be. Power items should stay out of the game. Only one of them that fits with the adapted flexibility payment plan is a replenish vitality potion for weekend warriors and holiday samurais.

Only issue I have had so far is Wand of Obliteration pretty much being required by groups on Freeport on Lord Bob (pools) and the ruined bath guy (tofs). Personally I would prefer such items to never come back in the game and the encounters fixed instead.

Some people thinks F2P will mean no people in DoV zones and barely any lvl 90s. Again, lack of insight. EQ2x have had plenty of people with DoV since the xpac was released. The server also have plenty of level 90s, and plenty of gold/platinum subs, who choose to play there for various reasons and no, none of those I have met claims the invisible "Pay to Win" button to be the reason. It is the flexibility, the oppotunity to play with economy/time challenged old friends etc. that attracted live players to roll on Freeport.

Most games with multiple xpac includes old xpac for free in new xpacs. Freebies just get the free old xpacs without access to the new one. Not including DoV in AoD is a bad move, the extra content being released until 2013 just for DoV owners has to be a very good to excuse making such a decision!

Keep the power items out of the marketplace, and none of the issues people have with a game with a F2P plan actually exists.
@ "Charmed" @ Freeport/EQ2
@ "Serious Business" @ Gnomeregan/Alliance/WoW
@ "Dissonance" @ Shadow Lands/Empire/SWTOR
We are looking for casual members, event and dungeon teams
Writing on the wall...
# Nov 10 2011 at 9:45 PM Rating: Decent
27 posts
Let's face it, Sony is only doing this because they will make more money or reduce the "red-ink" of the live server base now ongoing. Yes you can unlock, unlock and unlock. Each of those costs real money and again a "nickel and dime" situation. I can see the writing on the wall though as next up to bat... "SERVER MERGERS" which is exactly what they did with all previous games that lost population aka "customer base". Next logical question on most folks minds should be hmmm.. server mergers... "would this mean MORE LAG?" It's unfortunate that mmo's tend to handle these situations the same, 1. find new ways to generate funds 2. merge resources to save money 3. lay off support and game developers to save money and last but certainly not least 4. close the doors to save money.

Yes most folks want it "their way" so it's too bad that for some, "their way" is being answered by the support folks as "uh uh, no way".
New EQ2 client.
# Nov 10 2011 at 7:53 PM Rating: Decent
3 posts
Did they fixed the graphic engine yet, does it still require a pentium 8000k to be able to play at ultra settings and with 30+ fps?

I guess not.
Martinus Mastuselementus
Arch Mage Lvl 62
Paralax, Karana
New EQ2 client.
# Nov 10 2011 at 10:22 PM Rating: Decent
Just what are you talking about?? I get 50+ FPS on my 2.5 Ghz Quad Core, and a 1 Ghz, Duel Header, HD ATI Video Card. . .

And I run all my graphics on extreme... :P

I don't know what processor lag is. . . . Any more. . . :P
BizyKizat, lvl 95 Dirge of Bristlebane, lvl 95 Master Provisiner (Butcherblock) - EQ2
DeathSpank, lvl 95 ShadowKnight of Inoruuk, lvl 95 Master Woodworker (Butcherblock) - EQ2
NumbSkull, lvl 52 Monk, lvl 11 Outfitter (Butcherblock) - EQ2
OneBizyCat, lvl 73 Cleric of Inoruuk (Firioina Vie) - EQ (No longer plaid, But Never Forgotten)

To Die in the service of others, is the Nobelist thing one can Ever do.
They better not mess up my subscription!
# Nov 10 2011 at 6:33 PM Rating: Decent
6 posts
I must say that I'm slightly surprised by this because they already had a f2p server going, but I guess that was really just a test for the real thing. It's kind of a bummer to see games go this direction, but I can understand why they do. It's very profitable. If you want to keep playing your favorite game, you'll just have to deal with this type of subscription service. Hopefully the f2p server that is up atm was enough for them to get all the kinks out tho! Sony is notorious for creating more glitches. I don't want to log in on my Live account that got switched to Gold and get ANY RESTRICTIONS. For example: I have 10 characters atm, and I can see them ******** up and only giving me access to 7 when it gets changed. ><

Edited, Nov 10th 2011 4:42pm by Favellena
I'm not even supposed to BE here today!
Playing: Everquest II: Jennelle (Mystic), Favellena (Conjy), Peacheekeen (Troub)
Guild Wars: Nejara the Lion (Paragon), Lil Miss Tayke (Assassin)
Opposite of Happy!!!!
# Nov 10 2011 at 5:03 PM Rating: Default
Well it seems your 2CP's worth isn't worth a full 2cp to me, Cyliena.

I know That I haven't completely read everything about this, but just by reading this post, I can tell you that those of us that have stuck with this game from the beginning will not be happy that this is taking place the way it is. And If in Reading more on this I change my mind, I'll be sure to add to this post, but I tried that mess for a few months while I was having a bit of $$ issues, like some of us occasionally do. And It Sucked! I did my absolute best to get back into my Paid accounts... And now I'm reading that I'm going to be forced back into that bull crap. That Shell of a Great MMORPG. Well, I'm just not liking the idea at all.... let me read more, and make a final judgement....

2 B Continued!! . . .

Ok, According to this Matrex also posted here at Zams, there are not just a few changes going on.

I my self have 2 accounts, and Extra Char. Slots on both. What will happen to them? Will I loose them & the char's in them? And why should I have to pay for the freeblood race again, when I bought it, than Got it again when the expansion came out... and what about me already owning DoV on 1 of my accounts? Will I still Own it after this F2P thing Takes place? And what about me having to buy all the other expansions? Doesn't seem fare at all that they no longer have to be purchased for new players. And there was nothing said about that. I understand it's a way to get new players, but I still PAID for them all. That's a slap in the face without some kind of compensation.

What I'm pointing out here are just a few issues that I'm noticing off the top of my Head. I'm sure I'll find more. I know I'll remain a "Gold" Member, just to maintain my present level of game play. But I'm already feeling sorry, if not Pitty, for those stuck in the Free/Silver range.

All and all, I'm still not happy, but also not as pissed as I was earlier. Although, When this does happen and all the stuff I already PAID for isn't were it should be, I feel sorry for the person that I will talk to on the phone...

Edited, Nov 10th 2011 6:59pm by keybordkiller
BizyKizat, lvl 95 Dirge of Bristlebane, lvl 95 Master Provisiner (Butcherblock) - EQ2
DeathSpank, lvl 95 ShadowKnight of Inoruuk, lvl 95 Master Woodworker (Butcherblock) - EQ2
NumbSkull, lvl 52 Monk, lvl 11 Outfitter (Butcherblock) - EQ2
OneBizyCat, lvl 73 Cleric of Inoruuk (Firioina Vie) - EQ (No longer plaid, But Never Forgotten)

To Die in the service of others, is the Nobelist thing one can Ever do.
Opposite of Happy!!!!
# Nov 10 2011 at 11:51 PM Rating: Excellent
Special Snowflake
6,786 posts
keybordkiller wrote:

I my self have 2 accounts, and Extra Char. Slots on both. What will happen to them? Will I loose them & the char's in them? And why should I have to pay for the freeblood race again, when I bought it, than Got it again when the expansion came out... and what about me already owning DoV on 1 of my accounts? Will I still Own it after this F2P thing Takes place?

They are not taking anything away. Anything you have already purchased you still will have. Character slots, Freeblood, DoV, even rez scrolls if you're on Freeport. (Look through Smokejumper's posts on the o-forums for the quotes there).

Here's what's happening: Extended is going away and we're gaining a cut-back Trial. That's all, really. They're even taking the objectionable stuff off the market until players can vote on it in game.

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My thoughts, not to sound like a jerk
# Nov 10 2011 at 3:08 PM Rating: Decent
4 posts
When I first read the title of this post..I was jumping up and down screaming..I have been with EQ/EQ2 since Scars of Vel..And loved every moment..They have always been good to me, and I've met many great people.I thought I could hop back on EQ2 and mess around with old friends and own as my Shadowknight *flex*.But then I began to read the rest of the post...I already knew of its, sorta free to play before hand, with the different account versions, gold,bronze etc..Seeing them do almost the exact same thing, made my tears of joy go to well...saddness. The free to play option they are offering is harshly* though I understand* the gameplay..Limited races/classes makes it almost not even worth playing..With a limit on spell ranks, will make the lvl 90*I respect the fact they let you go to this level* areas into hell..Two bag slots..really?.No access to legendary or fabled gear, why bother questing and killing nameds? Can't use the broker? Well...looks like I'll have to grind out the tradeskills myself then, oh wait, that'll be hard with only 5 gold per lvl..

So all in all...I think this f2p is just a HUGE slap to the face of people who were/are interested in joining the wonderful world of EQ2, and vets alike
My thoughts, not to sound like a jerk
# Nov 10 2011 at 3:59 PM Rating: Excellent
Empress of News
2,350 posts
If you went with a Free/Silver membership there's a lot of unlockers you can buy to be able to equip more powerful equipment, open up more inventory, use the broker, unlock classes/races, upgrade abilities and so on. You can get really far with just Mastercrafted gear and when you get closer to cap start unlocking stuff.

Just my 2cp. :)
Cyliena Velnarin | @Cyliena on Twitter

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