EverQuest II Extended goes live

Free-to-play option for SOE's fantasy MMORPG now available; $200/year top-tier plan to launch August 31.

The big news surrounding Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest franchise occurred earlier this month, when the storied massively multiplayer online role-playing game maker announced EverQuest Next, a working title. The third flagship installment in SOE's MMORPG universe, Next is a reimagining of the land of Norrath, telling all-new stories in locations that will be familiar to the franchise faithful.

Norrath now has a caste system.

However, that isn't the only notable development out of SOE. Last month, the publisher said that 2004's EverQuest II would soon offer a free-to-play option in addition to the game's standard subscription fee. Today, SOE announced that EQII's free-to-play scenario, called EverQuest II Extended, is now available, and players can sign up for access through the game's official Web site.

EQII's new business model breaks the game's payment plan up into four tiers: bronze (free), silver (one-time, $10), gold ($15 a month), and platinum ($200 per year, available August 31). At the lowest three tiers, players are limited to four races, of 19 total. Bronze and silver memberships are limited to eight character classes, out of a total 24 options. A comprehensive breakdown of what each payment level offers is available on SOE's Web site.

EverQuest II Extended is the latest in a string of MMORPGs that have transitioned to the free-to-play model. Two other recent examples are Turbine's Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online.

For more on EQII, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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137 comments
huskerman34
huskerman34

Omg, this is one game that should of never been f2p. Sony you cheap basterds. One server you have buy races they took the random voiceovers out. Geeez better try Lotro and DD.

silver3drago
silver3drago

Finally! a MMORPG thats free to play! Gentlemen, Mission Accomplished.

ninn1000
ninn1000

$200 a year is way to much to gain full access to all the races. Not a lot of people are gonna do that. That's nearly twice the yearly price of most pay2play MMOs. And it's not even that great of a thing they're paying for. This game is barely F2P, you get 4 races and 8 classes, I think other games that switched payment methods are going to be more successful.

Leonagard
Leonagard

OMG... only crap goes F2P... IMO... MMO genere are about to colapse (I QUIT WOW 2 years ago), cataclysm or whatever lol.... also Star Wars is comming, ... I've been playing F2P DDO and LOTRo BETA from Turbine... they are great... its too soon to talk about LOTRO... but IM having fun with it without any penny spent, and I wont used to buy any lol I just play for free but if the model goes like EQ2 so I WILL PASS and pay for subscription fee if the game worth it!! did you imagine WOW F2P?? lol... wont happen! cuz they ripoff everyone... so the solution is F2P for those who´s ripped off! losers! BTW Diablo 3 is comming... bye MMO'S new games like Hunted, Demon´s Souls, are a good example of Co-op new features of the model that I wish to become standard... since NEVERWINTER online RPGs!... DDO bring me some of it been MMO...

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

microtransactions for spell training and such is ridiculous ..... no consumer should support this as they will find a way to make more money this way than with the monthly fee somehow

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@zaku101 Thanks! Stuff like that is SOOO much better with links :) Here's the original story cited by Gamebanshee (never heard of them before - good site?): http://www.massively.com/2010/05/13/ddo-jumps-to-third-most-popular-spot-in-mmo-survey/ Its interesting in that Guild Wars was the #3 - the top three are have no required subscriptions. I personally wonder if these considered "primary" or "secondary" games? I've got Guild Wars, for instance, but its not my primary game (COH/V is). Worth noting the survey is only for "former WOW players." As such, its only a small fraction of that market (about 19,000 people), not the market as a whole. Still, NPD, so their numbers should be reasonably reliable. Still, that is awesome for them! :) Nice find, zaku101! :D

danielkennedy91
danielkennedy91

stop trying to be WOW, be original! try a ultimate space exploration game?

gt350tsc
gt350tsc

At this point it's not about other MMO's being better then WoW its what I get in return for what I put in. So far I haven't spent a cent on Free to play mmo's like this and DDO and LOTRO and had pretty good time playing rather then WoW feels like rush to 80 then sit in dal wait for heroics or raids to start and daily quests start to feel boring and repetitive after while in WoW also

gt350tsc
gt350tsc

I agree F2P + Microtransactions are the future of mmo's. But what I don't like is pay to play mmo's like WoW. It's not about being able to afford the monthly fee its what I'm getting in return for it. Most patches are minor and major one's don't come out enough to justifies paying the monthly fee. Still I'm just getting my feet wet so far with theses Free to play mmo's and don't seem to bad I like being able to chose what I need and don't need Alot of raid content in WoW I never got to see which just feel's like a waste to me but that problem lies in the playerbase of WoW Over 3 years of playing WoW and just don't it worth the money anymore. I might get cata and play for while again but I don't think I'll stick around for long.See the new 1-60 and 80-85 and be done prob

fillup0
fillup0

I don't mind paying for one MMO since I think it is worth it if they keep patching it. But I think it would work if you were forced to watch a 30 second advertisement before playing the game and then you will be logged into the world. This way developers would still earn money and since it is BEFORE you log in the immersion will not be broken. Who agrees?

Shinkada
Shinkada

I think F2P + Microtransactions IS the future of MMOs. Monthly fees was just too much of a good thing for developers, and too much of a ripoff for us. Buying a game and being unable to play it is just ****ing stupid. This, however, happens to be an awful example of the microtransaction system at work. Some of the things are right, or acceptable. Having only 4 races is dumb, but you can buy the others cheaply without needing to upgrade your entire plan, so that's acceptable. Being unable to start up a Guild is okay. Shared bank slots, character slots, that's all fine. But then you move on to crap like level cap. Class limitations. Equipment limitations. ABILITY LIMITATIONS? ARE YOU SERIOUS? The P2P models and microtransaction options should be additions of ease-of-use, of variety, of aesthetics. Look at City of Heroes; their costume boosters were a great idea. The fact that they stopped adding costumes to the regular updates was rubbish, but the packs themselves were a great idea. Ten levels added onto the max cap is not aesthetic, or ease of use, it's INTEGRAL. Not only will you be slaughtered in absolutely any PvP encounter, but every single endgame area is denied to you. This really is a case of the old Penny Arcade webcomic, of the Gold subscribers riding the Bronze-ers around as mounts. So yeah, tl;dr: Microtransactions/pro models are a great idea, mostly because you shouldn't need to pay more money to play something you've already bought, this is just a bad example.

Hellswrath99
Hellswrath99

SOE has made it pretty clear that they believe the F2P and microtransaction model is the future of MMOs. If they keep with this and apply it to the next one, then I'll be passing on EQ Next.

gt350tsc
gt350tsc

Maybe I don't pay attention enough to advertisements. Haven't really notice them. Guess I'm just too busy questing or I just don't care. Adds are definitely there though.

HappyBB
HappyBB

It's not free as we knew it or wanted it to be after all.

Yajarobi
Yajarobi

yea I played this ASAP. I played EQ 2 for some time a few years ago. I missed it I will admit and I may play for awhile, at least until Cataclysm comes out ^_^

rrcp1us
rrcp1us

@supdotcom, it may be per year but you'll have to pay it at in full at once. So it's still a lot of money to spend in one go.

fillup0
fillup0

I tried this game, good visuals, good character customization and the streaming launcher is quick. The pop ups are an issue though.

supdotcom
supdotcom

lol when i saw 200 bucks i was like wtf? and then i saw per year. phew.

CUPIDANGEL
CUPIDANGEL

@ Tripwolf Thanks for the info and that is kind of what I feared. I have no problem with restrictions on free to play accounts, if I want more out of the game I can buy the extras or upgrade my account. But constant pop-ups reminding me I can upgrade is ridiculous to me. Why offer free to play when quite clearly they want you to pay to play. If they think pop-ups will encourage someone to do that I think they are mistaken.

CUPIDANGEL
CUPIDANGEL

I am curious for feedback by anyone who has actually played EverQuest II Extended with a bronze or silver membership. Just how often and potentially distracting are the "In-Game Pop-ups Advertising Frequent Upgrade Reminders"? I am definitely interested in trying this out, but the idea of frequent pop-ups encouraging me to "pay to play" sounds really annoying.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@ zaku101 Got numbers to back that up, by chance? Because before DDO went freemium, it was a "does anyone play this game?" game.

zaku101
zaku101

Turbine knows what they're doing and it shows as their DND online is the third most played MMORPG. Sony on the other hand has no idea what they'e doing and this can be seen in all the limitations that drive off new users and current users. Turbine however seems to be making the same mistake with lord of the rings online.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@ ElevenHandMan And with the advent of Playstation Plus it looks like Sony realized they were leaving money on the table :p

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

Even with all the limitations on free play this could still be fun if you like to world pvp with friends or find weird stuff in game or grief the enemy lowbie bases. I assume you could still do all that even with limited spells and such. I really think EQ2 may get a boat load of free players who will do more harm than good in the game lol cuz of the limitations on free play. Oh and instead of getting me to play their game this kind of move makes me look at playing WOW again more and uhmmm Guild Wars 2.

sammoth
sammoth

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ElevenHandMan
ElevenHandMan

Why is it when a monthly subscription is involved in the mix, Xbox Live comes up. Defend, defend, defend; I'll be on PS3. :D

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

sammoth
sammoth

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

athenian29
athenian29

*shrug* Worth a look, perhaps. Doesn't sound like the best of models, though, judging by what @Blitz8529 has to say.

Blitz8529
Blitz8529

I tried it out the last 2 days. The model is horrible. A Gold membership which is a subscription has less than a subscription on a regular server. You still have to pay to open races.You have to pay $35 each character to move them to the extended server. The broker/market Only Gold/Platinum members can use it. 80% of the players can't buy your stuff. Its pointless to craft because no one can buy anything. They have restricted the crap out of the game. Everything is limited. Even the subscribers are penalized. The prices of the stuff in the store is stupid high. Cosmetic armors with no stats are $17 each. Consumables are $1 - $10 for 1-5 uses that last 1-2 hours. Furniture sets for your house $17. Even the Sims didn't charge this much.

drokmore
drokmore

Smart business model. Most MMORPGS are pretty simple at first but as they get more complext people will want access to everything. You know give an addict some free drugs theyll come back as paying customers....

OrientExpressMB
OrientExpressMB

I tried this "free version" as they call it, and the full game is anothr thing. Cheap things are cheap, like in real life. As someone as already sad, there isn't free lunch. That's the truth. It's like most of the "free" to play MMORPG, you must pay good money to full enjoy the game and get the full content.

Delius
Delius

@ svaubel Oh, that's not too bad then, thank you for clearing that up, much appreciated :) . I've played EQ2 off and on for the last few years, I love the game to be honest. Your probably right, the system does seem geared to get to players to just give in and sub. I'm pretty interested in this Everquest Next project they have on the go aswell.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@ CaptainAhab13 I've been told that EQ and EQII are better for hardcore gamers, so you might well enjoy it!

CaptainAhab13
CaptainAhab13

I've always wanted to try EverQuest, or EverQuest II. Maybe I'll wait for EQ Next? Meh, might as well give this trial a shot... getting tired of WoW.

Jah_Glow
Jah_Glow

It's a World of Warcraft Free Trial you can do indefinitely! Everyone seems to wanna jump on the bandwagon because they know that for some people, the best way to make a sales pitch is to give 'em a taste and reel 'em in.

johanngg
johanngg

#ToughCritic28 I agree with you completely, but did you think Sony would really see this as anything else than a promotion for the full game. There is no such thing as free lunch, of course the free version was going to suck.

goez3000
goez3000

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ToughCritic28
ToughCritic28

As a veteran EQ2 player who enjoyed it for years I can say that I am way beyond disappointed in this free-to-play version of everquest; it's basically a complete rape of the original game. It's as if the developers were sitting in a room going: "Hmm, what do people like about everquest 2? 20 races to choose from, yes we'll take all but 3 of those away. What else do they like? 32 classes to choose from, yes we will take most of those away as well, while we are at it lets restrict them from talking to anyone, take away their trade, and leave them with no space in inventory or bank..." "Now what do people dislike about the game? Grinding, yes we will leave that in. What else do they dislike? Crafting without the possibility of earning any money, yes let's leave that in as well, and while we are at it let's take out pvp. Perfect! The people will be so bored and angry with this free-to-play version, that they will be forced to pay the full monthly fee or be subjected to a truly horrific gaming experience... mission succeeded" Sorry for that long tirade, but I simply had to vent. Take my advice: do not play the free-to-play version of everquest. I understand if you don't want to pay the fee, but if you have a shred of respect for the gaming industry you will not buy into this marketing catastrophe.

blueggdestroyer
blueggdestroyer

Built my pc for $750 including Vista. Playing ME2, Fallout, and LD2 on highest settings. I Already own an HDTV so I use that as a monitor. The keyboard and mouse were free but cost $60 total if you can't "borrow" them from a friend. I could have built a non-gaming computer for around $450 and purchased an xbox for $200-300 - Comparable. It just depends on the type of games you like to play. I'm and RPG nerd and I love Mods. Would have never finished Oblivion without them.

Ringx55
Ringx55

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]