Tuesday, July 27, 2010

News Filter: Everquest 2 Does An Obvious Thing

  • So, EQ2 finally fell in line. From a story found on Massively, by way of Ardwulf's Lair, we learn the SOE is trying to bolster the numbers of their flagging flagship MMO by adding free-to-pay servers alongside the traditional subscription servers. They even put out a handy chart that looks an awful lot like the one Turbine released for Lords of the Rings Online.

  • F2P is the new black. Everyone wants a piece. But is it really going to be good for these games? Looking at those charts makes my head spin. Choosing the right payment plan shouldn't be as complicated as choosing the right life insurance policy.

  • For now, I take a wait-and-see attitude. Green Armadillo, who was until recently enjoying Runes of Magic, has run up against the design speed bumps required to make the item shop work. Is that what we have to look forward to from these previously triple-A titles? I have to admit that I haven't had much luck with F2P games because the game designs feel so dishonest. Not that subscription games can't string you along just to squeeze another month out of you. But that's not so blatant as selling you an XP potion to speed you past content gaps.

  • For an additional take, check out Jayedub's post at Dub's Diatribe. There is a lot I agree with there. As I commented on his post, F2P will be good for people for whom money was the only issue for them not playing. It doesn't make an unattractive game better, and it doesn't help the people who already liked the game enough to pay for the subscription.

  • In other news, Blizzard has installed a new swimming pool at their headquarters. However due concerns about saving water, they filled the pool with money instead.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. I'm happy about EQ2. I've wanted to give that game a try since forever, and now that there are F2P servers, I have every reason to.

    Interesting way they are going at it though, to be honest, it's the very definition of double dipping. Seems like they are still hesitant to go completely F2P, or they want to have their cake and eat it too.

  2. I confess to not seeing much of a downside to the split model; they get the benefits of F2P bringing new people in and the upside of current players' game experience surviving unchanged. There's some concern over players flocking from the subscription servers to the F2P servers, but I don't think that will be a significant thing.

    Long-term, we will likely see the populations of some sub servers decline, but this will be a slow process likely taking years, and frankly there are already EQ2 servers in need of merging. (And some that are healthy as hell in population.)

  3. They filled the pool with money? Sure is going to hurt when they dive in!

    I agree with Ardwulf 100%.

  4. For what little time I've spent looking at their F2P plan, it seems a bit more complicated than Turbines. Then again, as a LotRO lifer my perspective is a bit different.

  5. @ MMOGamerChick - Like with DDO, this will be an excuse for me to check out the game again.

    @ Ardwulf - Not much of a downside, so long as the F2P model doesn't actively work against having fun. I'm just not sold on a huge upside. I'm hoping that I'm wrong, though. All interesting points, though.

    @ Jayedub - You obviously haven't spent enough time with Scrooge McDuck.

    @ Blue Kae - My plan is to start at the bottom find out how restricted I feel, and move up from there. I can't see myself going up to the subscription option.