SoE, I Am Disappoint

Posted: January 7, 2011 in Everquest 2, MMORPGs

So I woke up this morning, and my Twitter followers, who have more discipline than I do by waking up early (I decided to sleep in. Day off and all.), were all abuzz over over Destiny of Velious beta forums. In case you’re one of the last to know like I was, or you don’t play EQ2 at all, here is a post describing SoE’s latest faux pas:

Beta Moves to EQ2X, Dev Comments in Tracker

In plain English, SoE deleted the Destiny of Velious beta forums on the live (monthly subscription) forums, created new ones under the Extended (“free” to play model) forums, thus losing all the data and posts collected from the original forums. Oh, and it was viewable to the public aka non-beta testers not bound by an NDA.

This whole situation just reeks of unprofessionalism, blatant stupidity, and, above all else, the push of $med bucks and EQ2X.

Look, I love Everquest 2. Please don’t confuse my love for the actual game itself with the disappointment and hatred for the current team running the operation. The game itself is a masterpiece of the MMORPG genre, in my opinion. I find that it has a great balance of things to do, no matter what kind of gamer you are. Casual, hardcore, progression, crafter, lore-nut, collection king/queen, house decorator ect. This game has it all, honestly. It’s just a god damn shame it never got the respect it deserved from the WoW hungry media.

However, (and this is really big “however” here folks) the current team running Everquest 2 is running it straight into the ground.

The Exchange servers was the first step. SoE saw money to be made via the method of RMT (real money trade aka buying plat/characters with real money). RMT is highly illegal in almost every online game with currency, resulting in harsh punishments such as permanent bans from said game. They enabled Exchange servers, where people could do that at will, without fear of persecution from the community (because they’re all doing it) and without fear of getting banned from SoE’s GMs. Indeed, a smart business move by SoE because they get a cut of whatever is sold, however, it is a slap in the face for us old school gamers who grew up to detest RMT in every form. Those of us who have played games for well over a decade realize that RMT destroys game economies, making whatever the currency of that game (in this case, platinum) obsolete. Why spend all this time farming currency when you can just buy it off some RMT website? The urge to resist was too much for many people (in my experiences, kids with unlimited access to their parent’s credit cards or 20-somethings who enjoyed the fruits of an early career success) and RMT became one of the highest growing businesses. The demand was obviously there. The disappointing thing is that SoE played right into that demand, forgetting about what honest and ethical gamers want.

The Station Marketplace (cash shop) was the second step. After many broken promises that the items on the Marketplace would just be fluff items, we’re seeing more and more items that actually affect gameplay, even if it’s minor. Even after Smedley wrote, in 2007, that Everquest 2 would never, EVER implement RMT into the game, we find out he was only talking about the “other guys.” The ones that supposedly use stolen credit cards and whatnot. (C’mon, Smed, even you’re smart enough to know that companies who use stolen credit cards don’t stay in business long. And sites like IGE have been in business a very long time.)

Then they put EQ2X into effect. EQ2X is the “extended” version of Everquest 2 Live. It’s the joy of EQ2, without the monthly subscription fee. Or is it? Check out their absolutely ridiculous business model for their self-proclaimed F2P version of Everquest 2. EVERYTHING has some sort of restriction. EVERYTHING has some sort of “pay us more money, and you can get less restricted access.” It’s mind boggling how one company can nickel and dime potential consumers and still act like this is some great thing to gaming.

Look, it’s probably because I’m old school, but this type of attitude is seriously pissing me off. I remember when expansion packs cost 20-30 bucks and gave you easily a year’s+ worth of content. Now they cost 40 bucks and you’re lucky to get 3-4 months worth of content. I remember when “game updates” were actually updates to fix really bad problems and give new content and it was all covered by your monthly subscription fee. Now they are nothing more than to fix minor issues easily detected with proper beta testing (which companies don’t do anymore) and add one quest or one item. You seriously spent 6 months on that? Give me a break! I remember a time when developers actually had a passion in what they were making, stuck around for years to see their little “baby” grow up, and things were consistent in story lines, lore, class balance ect. Now a developer does one thing, quits, and moves on to the next game, which causes major plot holes, class imbalance, and an overall feeling of dread as we, the players of the game, realize that said developer really didn’t give a shit about the game that we love at all. They just wanted to make a quick buck and move on.

So this whole thing with EQ2 Live forums moving to EQ2X forums has really pissed off a large portion of the Live community. We’re slowing seeing our beloved game pushed towards the 2 dollar hooker version (where 2 bucks can give you a nice high, but it doesn’t last long, so you have to purchase another 2 dollar hooker to keep the high going). Now people will Live accounts need to make an Extended account to post on the Destiny of Velious beta forums. Doesn’t that seem ass-backwards? Just a bit? It used to be Extended and Live were separate entities, as quoted by Smokejumper himself:

We did not change your subscription service. Everquest II Extended (EQ2X) is a completely separate service.

Different forums. Different servers. If you want to keep playing the way you wish to play, then there is no difference whatsoever. You don’t even have to be aware of it (well…after today anyway).

We’re not changing the existing EQII Live subscription service at all.

I guess because Destiny of Velious is “free” for the moment, that means it should go on the “free” forums?

I’m guessing that’s how Smokejumper will play it.

I don’t know. If I have to log on extended forums to post any DoV bugs, it’s kind of hard to “not even be aware of it.”

SoE, I am disappoint. Truly. You’re not fooling anyone anymore. Just kill off Live servers and be done with it. Then you can fire Smokejumper, who said no one wants to see live servers wither and die, so you can keep your conscious clean of this whole mess.

Situations like these make me miss private server development…

  1. Alik Steel says:

    I think it’s the SOE Asian Overlords that is changing things as fast as it’s going now. Think back when SOE went from being apart of the USA based Entertainment side of Sony to working under the asian gaming side of Sony. At that point is when things started to change.

    I left EQ2 over a year ago now, But always thought that I would be back in EQ(3) and also see some time in there other MMO’s coming out, But seeing what they are doing to the “Flagship” makes me think that my time with SOE may be over for good.


  2. I agree, SoE is selling their souls for cheap income on the behalf of the quality of the game, its sad really. Hoping it would change when the most popular EverQuest Live expansion comes to EverQuest 2, but now i really have my doubt.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog

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