It’s not exactly news by now, but Sony is in the process of moving its current flagship fantasy MMO, Everquest 2, from its strictly pay-to-play (with a side server on f2p) status to a fully f2p game, allowing the Unwashed Masses on the same servers as the Loyal And Long Suffering Customers Who Are Being Slapped In The Face Or Punched In The Gut, At Least If You Believe Forum Posts.
This is pretty good news if you happen to want to try out a massively fleshed-out MMORPG with huge freaking swathes of content, and sets the bar pretty high for future entrants into the f2p marketplace. It should also be great for the population; right now the game is hopelessly top-heavy on most servers and I would be hesitant to recommend it to anyone starting from scratch. F2P should mean lots of lower level people for new players to group with, and even if 9 in 10 of those quit before making it past 50, that’s still a influx of new blood that the game hasn’t seen in ages.
It’s less good for long-time players who are decrying the Impending Noob Apocalypse or doing the math on what it would cost to convert their accounts from month-to-month billing (what Sony calls “Gold” membership) to the pay-as-you-go “Silver” or “Free” plans.
For example, I have three characters and only one of them is a class/race combination that’s available for free. I’d need to pay $5 to unlock all the races and $5 to unlock all the classes so I could log the other two characters in. Fortunately, the Silver membership that I’m getting as a perk of being a current subscriber gives me three character slots, so I’m good there – nothing to buy!
Then, well, I’m kitted out in rather a lot of raid gear of the sort that you can’t equip as a free player, so I’d need to spend 30 cents per item for about 20 items.
So, after paying 16 bucks, I’d be able to use my current primary character for free from now on, and another few bucks would get Most Favored Alt up to speed, and after only a couple of months I’d actually start breaking even.
Now, if I wanted to switch main characters to Most Favored Alt, who just happens to be both a free race AND a free class, I’d only be out a few bucks to equip his few pieces of raid gear and then good to go from there.
I’m actually in a pretty good spot to consider this. If I happened to have 7 characters all kitted out in high end gear… Well, but I don’t and that’s a good thing. This plan definitely isn’t for those folks. 🙂
The other thing is that this is reminding me that I really ought to give DCUO a shot now that it’s F2P. It’s got to be worth at least an evening’s mucking about.