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SOE Tentatively Returns to Selling Content for Station Cash and Removes Equipment Unlocks September 27, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest II.
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One of SOE’s big EverQuest II free to play fiascoes was, in my opinion, getting themselves in a position where they had to stop selling expansions and subscription time because they had devalued their RMT currency, Station Cash, so badly.  As the big chart over at EQ2 Wire showed, if you timed things right you could have ended up paying as little as $1.25 a month for a Gold level subscription back in the day.

Likewise, expansions could be had for a pittance compared to their list price in the face of sales at both the Station Cash and the Station Cash Store ends of the business.

So all of that clearly had to go, leaving me with the big question about what to spend all my Station Cash on.

Well, there was a change on the expansion front today as a new Producer’s Letter announced that SOE would begin selling the Age of Discovery expansion for Station Cash.  You can buy it as one big bundle for 4,000 SC, or as individual pieces totaling up to 7,000 SC.

  • Beastlord: 2500 SC
  • Mercenaries: 1500 SC
  • Tradeskill Apprentice: 1000 SC
  • Reforging: 1000 SC
  • Dungeon Maker: 1000 SC

According to the Producer’s Letter, the Age of Discovery expansion will cease to be sold for anything besides Station Cash as of October 1, 2013.  However, The Chains of Eternity expansion, and the upcoming Tears of Veeshan expansion, however, will require some real world money to purchase.

Still, this is actually something of a big step for their cash shop as it gives players something substantial to purchase.  I know some people love mounts and cosmetic gear, but it is nice to have something with some “heft” to it in the shop.

Who you calling, "fuzzy?"

My only cosmetic purchase, a bunny hat

In addition to that, and something that might actually get me back into the game to spend some of my Station Cash, it was announced that both Free and Silver level accounts would no longer face gear restrictions.  So when I go back to take a look at EverQuest II, my first in-game alert won’t be about how my character can’t wear his currently equipped gear.

This seems to be part of an ongoing loosening of the free to play restrictions on the game.  Previously SOE removed the restrictions on races and classes (except for the Freeblood vampire race and, of course, the Beastlord class) and has tinkered with things like bag slots before.

Free and Silver accounts still face restrictions on skills, character slots, and in-game mail access.

In turn, in order to set Gold level accounts… the classic $15 a month subscription option… apart from their lesser brethren, SOE will be boosting coin loot by 15% and mount speeds by 10%.  The former sounds okay, but mount speeds are already almost terrifyingly fast at this point, does anybody really need another 10%?

All this goes in place on October 1, 2013, along with a new Station Cash item that will boost your character 280 AA points.  Add in the whole Try and Buy a Heroic Character option and it seems like the EverQuest II team has been busy stirring the pot to get more people back in game.

Comments»

1. Marty Runyon - September 27, 2013

I have a whole lot of SC sitting on my account (I think). Maybe it’s time to download EQ2 again.

2. bhagpuss - September 27, 2013

Much though I’d like to go on giving SoE money for our two Station Access subs, this change makes it hard even for me to come up with a reason to carry on paying. I have well over 12,000 SC saved already and with the removal of unlocking the remaining restrictions are ones I probably won’t ever notice.

For a while we needed to hang on like grim death to the SA accounts because it looked like that was the only ticket out of PSS1, but with the threat of Region Locking now removed, grandfather rights for logging all the existing accounts in under their existing SOE details and the prospect of having to go through PSS1 for EQNext regardless, why do I need to keep paying?

I still feel very uncomfortable about cancelling, but they seem to have moved to a position where there is literally nothing I need or want in order to play that they aren’t willing to give me for free, and even if there was I have enough SC saved up to get it anyway.

As someone who wants to go on playing SOE MMOs for many years to come, I hope they know what they’re doing. They worry me.

3. HarbingerZero - September 28, 2013

Heroic Characters? Sony just won the internet. I’ve been begging for that for years. Guess I know what I’m doing with the SC in my account…

4. Telwyn - September 28, 2013

I cancelled my subscription from renewing only this last week. I’m playing EQ2 regularly but no so intensively I feel like I can justify the sub. This just makes me feel even better about that decision as I won’t have to immediately unlock all the legendary gear.

I guess master spells will still need unlocking though? I wonder how that will play with the upcoming heroic characters?

5. EQ2: more changes to Free to Play restrictions | GamingSF - September 29, 2013

[…] boost of 15% to coin loot rewarded in-game and a 10% speed increase to all mounts. The latter, as Wilhelm notes in his post on this, will only increase the already “terrifyingly fast” ground mount speeds. I must […]

6. Raziel Walker - September 30, 2013

That is a really nice bunny hat.

7. Good Guy SOE | In An Age - January 8, 2014

[…] receive some membership perks, and then receive a monthly stipend of 500 Station Cash (SC). As Wilhelm has detailed previously, SOE has had a ton of issues with people hoarding currency from triple SC sales, to the point where […]


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