Sep 26, 2011

EverQuest 3 (to Play)?

Sorry for the bad pun, but John Smedley of SOE Fame, or infamy if you’re not a fan, said something this week in an interview on GamesIndustry.biz that got me thinking;

“In my opinion this [The Old Republic] is going to be the last large scale MMO to use the traditional subscription business model.” 

Now call me curious, but aren’t you, Mr Smedley, developing EverQuest 3?  Isn’t that a “large scale MMO”?  Of course it is, it has to be, it better be!

PlanetSide 2 going Free to Play should’ve set off my spidey senses, but I’m now thinking the venerable EQ3 will be launching sans Sub.

F2P is all well and good, but this is SOE, I can’t help but think that they’ll be fleecing the players for every penny they can get their grubby mitts on, to me, the difference between subscription and free to play is the same as the difference between those awesome Theme Parks like Alton Towers and Oakwood Park; where you pay to get in and the rides are free, and those rubbish “Fun Fairs”, if they can be so-called, where you get in for free, but pay for all the rides.  SOE would like to have you pay to get in, then pay for the rides, as they did with EQ2.

I’m also quite annoyed with F2P actually costing you more than a subscription.  I like knowing how much a game is going to cost me before I play, call me old fashioned, but I certainly think spending real money on pretend things is still a bit odd.   A Massive game like EQ3 would have loads of things to do other than questing and grinding exp.  Crafting, customising your home, trading with other players etc. Imagine, if you will, that you had to pay a fee every time you did that, or were severely limited in what you could do until you coughed up the cash for a “Traders Pack” or maybe an increase to your “House Item Limit”, which wouldn’t be permanent, would only be a 7 or 30 day “rental” until you needed to top it up.  NO! THE HORROR! ARGH!!

Obviously, this is a worst case scenario, but if SOE moves EQ3 into the F2P arena, as they will be doing with DC Universe Online; and with SOE’s track record for telling their players the truth (the RMT in EQ2 thing still hurts!)  it doesn’t bode well for players’ value for money.

3 Comments

  • I am with you there wodge. I really want eq3 (sorry smed, it will always be eq3 to me), to be another great norrathian installment. The problem I have is eq2′s flawed f2p model which as you say is about ripping customers off as much as possible, rather than creating a model makes the customer feel they can play the game to a good level without spending more than a monthly sub.

    I hope we are wrong. I have no problem with it releasing as f2p I just don’t have much faith their model will be as good as the one LOTRO uses.

  • Personally, I really think LoTRO has a fairly crap F2P model as well, actually think it’s one of the worst. It has way too many “barriers” to the actual gameplay, whereas F2P only games like Allods, Forsaken World etc. can actually be played from level 1 to the cap without spending any cash without having any large gaps in content.

    If it is F2P, I fear they will follow the LoTRO model as it’s been hugely successful, but it’s quite the immersion breaker with all the “Pay Turbine coins to get this quest!” malarkey.

    Also, that comicy thing in the middle is the finest piece of art you ever did see, yeah? :D

  • I believe F2P will kill the immersion that Everquest Classic is famous for. Immersion is a dying thing in modern MMO’s.

    I love the Everquest franchise but I will not play EQ3 if people are able to buy things from an online store with real money.
    …and I will be very sad.

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