I guess we were having too slow a MMO news period, so we needed something to shake things up. That said, looks like it’s SOE’s turn. Everquest 2 will be opening up a separate F2P server or servers called EQ2-Extended.
I don’t play EQ2, so I can’t get into gameplay analysis. There are some problems conceptually. While separating F2P and P2P can help with keeping game balance for pure sub people, it is going to siphon off all the newbies coming in to the free server, and slowly choke off the paid ones.
The sub models they offer also suck. $15 a month doesn’t get you the ability to go past level 80, and only 4 races. It also doesn’t give you access to Sentinel’s Fate, only the $16.66 does. Ironically there’s no reason to choose the lesser value, because it isnt even cheaper. No station cash is given to $15 a month people, so they’d have to pay real money anyways, hiking up the sub cost.
And it makes SmokeJumper look like an idiot, he promised here that:
“As I said in that interview, we will not be changing your subscription model. We’ve heard you folks loud and clear that you do not want items with stats introduced, you don’t want players buying their way to power, etc. Your world will stay the way it has been and we will continue to support it with new content, items, etc.”
They wont be changing the subbed players model, they’ll just introduce a whole new server system of the same game.
The worst thing for me is that I think this is starting to become a tipping point. The more that convert to F2P the more they will influence the market, even if the F2P model is mediocre in terms of sales. That’s going to change the nature of MMO gaming to a few players paying supporting many players not.
Hopefully they’ll make this model into a more sane one through beta.
edit: for your threadnaught pleasure, 46 page feedback thread! Here!