Daily Archives: April 3, 2015

EverQuest II – The Circle is Now Complete

I’ve been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now *I* am the master.

Darth Vader, wrong as usual

That was the first quote that sprang to into my mind when I read the summary of the April 1st (why would you ever pick that date for a press release?) announcement that EverQuest II was apparently dumping the whole yearly expansion idea in favor of smaller adventure packs.

The circle is complete because way back in 2005 SOE went with the whole adventure packs idea.  It was an era… another era… when they were looking to get more money out of players on a more regular basis.

At launch SOE put a choke hold on alts by limited accounts to four characters total (a huge change after having 10 characters per server back in EverQuest) so that you had to opt in for whatever they were calling the All Access Pass (I recall it having another name before it was Station Access) back when it kicked off just to get a couple more slots.  SOE also offered up all sorts of player data… but you had to opt-in for a monthly fee to access it on their site.  And then there were Adventure Packs, small bits of content that you had to purchase separately.

The Adventure Packs

The Adventure Packs

I don’t recall the first one, The Bloodline Chronicles, being much of a big deal aside from being the vehicle for introducing the ability to blow up special walls.  The Splitpaw Saga was much more memorable, though I think that might have been primarily because of the huge amount of experience you could get running some of the quests.  When that got nerfed, it stopped being a thing.  And then there was The Fallen Dynasty which, if I recall right, was an attempt to salvage the work of SOE’s studio in Asia.

There was nothing horrible in that group, but they also weren’t very notable either.  Of those three, I think only The Fallen Dynasty gets much play these days because SOE tosses a few new quests into the zone now and again.

But now we have The Rum Cellar campaign and Daybreak seeming to jump on the who adventure pack idea again.

Includes another ugly mount

Includes another ugly mount

And I am curious to know why Daybreak, having said that when it comes to the traditional big expansion, up to a third of those who purchase them go for the full boat, all the extra fluff, more than double price ($90 vs. $40) Collector’s Edition, would now opt for $15 adventure packs again?

Is this the end of what I would call “the tyranny of Kunark,” where that first EverQuest expansion set the bar for all MMO expansions going forward?  Is this the inevitable destination in the world of free to play?  Are smaller chunks of content sold in such packs better, or will they lead to a chaos of “who has what?” when guilds want to do things in groups or raids?  Should, as Keen asks, all MMOs have DLC?

Addendum: And Syp weighs in with four flaws in this DLC plan.