Yep. EQ2 has, unsurprisingly, jumped on the F2P bandwagon and has announced a separate F2P service.
Secondly, I recommend keeping an eye on EQ2Wire as they are providing excellent commentary, highlights, updates etc.
Well, on paper, our world isn’t going to change. The free to play service will be on different servers (apparently we can transfer to there, but they can’t transfer to ours). We carry on paying our monthly sub and get the same game as usual with assurances that updates will be made simultaneously with the F2P servers and we will get the same content.
However, my big worry is that this will lead to our servers slowly dwindling in population as new players go to the F2P servers rather than subscription servers and that players will transfer as (ok, if) the population starts dwindling. I guess we can only wait and see.
I hate the idea of buying armour, weapons etc rather than earning it through your own efforts. As well as making achievements feel a little pointless* (oh this sword? yeah got it down the high street… my gloves? oh, little stall on Romford market! 😛 oh you got yours by fighting a ton of really nasty monsters and THEN you killed a really really BIG dragon which took some skill and you did it with a load of your mates? hmm). I guess I also hate the RL financial aspect of it – I have loadsamoney AND A REALLY BIG SWORD NOW. It just smacks of Thatcherism lol. I know a lot of other EQ2 players feel the same way, which is clearly why its been launched as a separate service. But yeah, theoretically at least, I don’t need to change the way I play.
Why they couldn’t launch a F2P model which would bring new people onto our current servers, which gives them enough of a world to dabble in and get a taste of the game and community, I don’t know. Well I do really, it will always come down to which model will be the most profitable.
I guess I’ll carry on playing the game for as long as I enjoy it and for as long my guildies play.
*edit. Just read up on what should be available as bought items and it seems that the ‘best’ items will still be quested / loot drops. Plus I have to admit to not having played any F2P MMOs so have no idea what really goes on there… but I’ve left it in as the (my county of origin) Essex references make me laugh 😉 I did actually use to work on a handbag stall at Romford market… in the eighties… 😀