Saying My Goodbyes to EQ2 #EQ2

I’ve played EverQuest II since release. I never intended on making the switch from EQ1 but after picking up the game on a whim I basically never looked back. I have been a strong supporter of the game, even when others shunned it’s numerous flaws. I stood by it when the station marketplace came out, despite the fact that the majority of my friends are against RMT. I made excuses for things like shoddy graphics that should play far better on great machines, lackluster expansions, and changes that no veteran player was a fan of.

Yesterday the game crossed that ‘imaginary line’ that we all have where we say to ourselves “Ok, enough is enough.”

Don’t get me wrong. I adore the people from the community that I’ve met over the years, but the changes that have taken place in the last year made the decision for me. I won’t be coming back. As a long time veteran player of the game I am absolutely disgusted by the changes that have taken place, and it is very obvious that the game is no longer for me. I’m sure all of the new people that are supposed to be enticed by this new market place will be thrilled, and more power to them. It’s simply not for me. What was it that pushed me over this virtual edge?

Today a vampire race goes live on the station marketplace. It’s $20 for the race for your account – or you have a chance to get ONE Freeblood character in February. Without all the fancy do-dads. Anyhow. It’s $20 for the race. It’s $5 for some animations. It’s $25 for a race-specific mount. It’s $15 for a vampire house. That’s right, for the entire “Vampire Package” it will cost you a whopping $65. This is on TOP of the 15/m you pay for a subscription and whatever extra yearly costs you have for things like character transfers, station cash items, and lets not forget the yearly $40 expansion. How many of us even have a free character slot to try out this new race. You can’t even preview the character design in the character selection screen before purchasing it to decide if this race is something you really want to put down more money for.

There are so many other games out there that do their market place the RIGHT way. When I subscribe to LotRO VIP ($15/m) I have no race or class restrictions. I can quest freely, and lets be honest here the majority of the awesome looking appearance gear is also available IN GAME in case I don’t feel like forking over extra cash. PLUS VIP earn 500 turbine points a month, and you can earn turbine points in game.

Wizard101 also has a market place. They have a subscription. I’m not restricted by wizard type or zone when I am paying a subscription. World of Warcraft – for all of the hating that people seem to do on the game is still one of the only games I know of that supports itself by a monthly subscription and DOES NOT have an item shop per say. Sure, they have a very small handful of companion pets that they sell, but nothing more than that. EVE Online may sell PLEX and they also have RMT but I can fly any ship that I want and again I’m not restricted when I’m subscribed to the actual game.

In case you haven’t been able to tell by now I am INCREDIBLY upset over the path that EQ2 has taken. I feel betrayed as a veteran player. Perhaps it’s silly, but again I’ve played this game for 6 years, and supported it and defended it time and time again. I have spent over $5,000 for two accounts over 6 years including character transfers, expansions, Legends of Norrath, and other items,

I just can’t do it any more.

So. Goodbye, EQ2. I really hope EQ1 and Vanguard do NOT go the same rout. I will play either of those games before I even consider returning to EQ2. Sorry for those dedicated readers who enjoyed my EQ2 posts – I’ll be writing about whatever games I happen to find myself in but they won’t be EQ2 related any more. I suppose it won’t be that hard for me as I really haven’t played EQ2 since before Sentinel’s Fate came out. I just wanted a little finality to it.

42 Responses to Saying My Goodbyes to EQ2 #EQ2

  1. Jaffa says:

    I don’t see it as, “they made a new race and are now expecting us to pay extra when we should be getting it for free.” I see, “the only reason we’re getting a new race at all is because they can sell it on the marketplace.” I’m not personally intereted in vampires, but I’d absolutely be happy to pay a one-off $50-$100 on top of my subscription to have othmir as a playable race, or a lemur race. EQ2 is really the only MMO that has races that I like.

  2. Yogi says:

    HEAR HEAR! Ive always wanted to get into EQ2 after reading your blog, but then things in the game started changing and I just couldn’t stick with it either. But the great thing about players/writers like you: You are more than happy in other games and it comes through in your writing. I look forward to hearing what you say about other games.

    Although I will miss the player housing stuff you did :( More games need that feature.

  3. JesDyr says:

    I agree with you Stargrace. The marketplace (and LON) keep pushing the line little by little. This happens to be where your line was crossed. I wonder what the next move will be. EQ2X was a huge slap in the face for paying subscribers. It has been downhill since then.

    Personally I don’t actually play much anymore. When I do log on it is to chat. EQ2 has been reduced to an IRC client for me.

  4. Akely says:

    ad to see you leave the game, and long-time in-game friends. But I can’t blame you. The game have changed over the years and for some it is better, others not so much.

    But now that the first hype have settled and that your temper have calmed a bit…:

    Could you try to find it in your heart to figure out what it would require to get you BACk into EQ2? The reason for me asking is that I got that questiopn from my wife, who still plays. I quit… months ago.

    I found myself unable to be unable to specify exactly what those changes would be. After getting back into EQ2EX a little (and playing that for oh one hour per month(?) ) I *think* that what I did like in EQ2 was the old stuff. Anything and everything before Rise of Kunarc. RoK whas where the gear inflation really started, something that SOE will never be able to dig the game out off.

    But ENOUGH about me. What do Star think? If you where to be put in charge of EQ2… what would the changes be? Short-term and long-term? Or is everything EQ2 now taboo?

  5. Sol says:

    Hate to see you go Stargrace, but you are right. My subscription ends in February. I think I’ll finishing getting 2 of my toons to level 90 and possibly retire my EQ2 account. Still not sure where to go from here though as I haven’t found another MMO/guild to call home =(.

  6. Bhagpuss says:

    Sorry for double post but I also meant to say there were fewer than 500 people online on Vanguard’s one remaining U.S. server last night. I will be there until they close it down, but if they do have some plan for it, and Smed keeps hinting they do, they really had better get on with it.

    Whichever way up, I’m not too desperately concerned because I’m off to Rift, or EQ 2.75 as I like to think of it, as soon as it launches. I’m pretty sure I’ll be comfortable there for a while.

  7. Bhagpuss says:

    I’ve played EQ2 since mid-beta. I don’t have any particular problem with the current direction. Some of it I like, some of it I don’t, but that’s always been the case. I certainly prefer things now to the depths of the previous administration.

    That said, it’s certainly turning into a different type of game. I’m of the opinion, however, that the choice was never between the old-style “all-in” sub model or the current “spend as much as we can tempt you” model. Since they changed SoE’s reporting for SoE from the US-based film division to the Japan-based home office a couple of years back ( ) I’ve been expecting the whole MMO operation to be either completely overhauled or closed down.

    I’m just glad they went for the overhaul option, although I know some poeple would prefer the alternative.

  8. Jeremy S. says:

    Vanguard, Vanguard, Vanguard!… :D

  9. Genda says:

    When RMT started sticking it’s Camel-nose under the tent a few years ago, this is exactly what I feared. It’s an escalating business plan to make MMO’s more like CCG’s.

    I quit playing MTG years ago and sold all my cards because I just couldn’t stand by idly and allow them to bleed my wallet a little at a time, but in an accelerating fashion.

    I haven’t played EQ2 in a while, basically since the SC thing came around. I haven’t agreed with their business principles in an even longer time. It’s particularly disappointing to me since I have several friend who work for SOE in development, and I hate to see their work made so mercenary by SOE management.

    Ever doubted that you were just a number in SOE’s P&L? This should let you know once and for all that there is no love for the player at SOE.

    I don’t always agree with Stargrace on everything but I think this article is right on the money. Pun intended.

  10. Catbriar says:

    The question of unlocking the race is being discussed in the forums now. The consensus is that the free version of the race unlocks the ability to make as many vampires as you’d like. I wish you’d stay with the game, of course, but I’d would really hate to see you go if this is simply a misunderstanding of the free version. Who wouldn’t be steamed if the pay-for-now and get-free-later versions were presented with such a disparity?! But it’s being assumed they work the same, since it’s not an item that appears in your inventory–it just makes your account able to make a vampire from the creation screen. How many you want to make is up to you and your available character slots. I hope you can get this confirmed by an official source and it tips the scales in the game’s favor! I do understand how difficult it is to walk away and that sometimes it is necessary for one’s peace of mind, but again, if you can have all the vamps you’d possibly want in February, I would be tickled blood red if you consider sticking around for it! ^.^

  11. stargrace says:

    @Lomax – the “free” race is only for those who 1. Have active subscriptions Dec/Jan/Feb and purchase Velious in 2011. For anyone else returning to the game, or who wasn’t active, or who doesn’t buy velious – they will have to purchase it. Also, it does NOT unlock the race – it gives you ONE. To unlock it you will still need to purchase.

    Like I said, I’ve played EQ2 since release, I’ve posted 1,150 posts about EQ2, and I’ve never spoken ill of the game before now. Not even when it may have deserved it. This really wasn’t an easy post for me to write, and I don’t take it lightly.

    @Niall I am going to keep my library, it’s in a free house so anyone can access it at any time – however it’s in a Mistmoore craig estate on the Oasis server. I wouldn’t want to give up the 300+ player-written books I’ve accumulated.

  12. Lomax says:

    One thing, the vampires are $20, and all subscribers get them free (unlocked) come February, the mount (cloud of bats) and house to me would be total fluff, although the barehand weapon attack looks cool.

    For someone who hasn’t played for 9 months I think the reason you haven’t is more due to the gameplay then what you cannot buy via a cash shop?

    For me I’m not a fan of the cash shop at all, but if its fluff, and if there is an alternative route to getting the item in the game then I can see the development driving the game. Since GU58 that’s been getting better, but it does still feel to me like the cash shop funds more cash shop items right now.

    As for Sentinels Fate, it was a average expansion that really didn’t inspire, it wasn’t as bad as WotLK which was the one that nailed the coffin down on WoW for me, but without the ability to go back to RoK and TSO group/raid stuff with a reasonable difficulty it might have done.

    Kind of hoping that Velious will refresh the gameplay and bring something new, so far the focus has been relentless on the cash shop, yet I feel if they focussed as heavily on the gameplay things will be good, I guess February will tell.

  13. Niall says:

    If you do not have a change of heart, may I recommend that your collection of books remain intact and perhaps donated to Jazabelle’s library or possibly to Rapha’s Athenaeum. It would be twice cursed to lose such a collection with your departure. Please do reconsider.

  14. Pip says:

    Unfortunately, I have to agree.
    While I’m not technically quitting, I’m not currently playing and can’t really see myself coming back. I have felt a general malaise while playing EQII recently partly due to the lacklustre expansions (which you mentioned). Looking ahead, Velious looks to be the same again: two new zones and several dungeons and more than likely not enough quests at launch.

    I agree with those who can ignore the cash shop, as I argue too that it doesn’t affect me. However it feels as if devs are concentrating on the cash shop more than the subscription game. The vast majority of the news on the website is about what items are new in the marketplace. I remember it used to be about so much more.

    I have enjoyed reading your posts about EQII, but I’m sure I’ll continue to enjoy reading about your adventures in other mmos.

  15. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    @Vortex – You are fooling yourself if you think companies don’t have money in mind when making any sort of decisions.

  16. RC says:

    Oh and I just saw your new post….see ya in Telara :D

  17. RC says:

    Congrats to you. I look forward to the day that I can break away cleanly too. The last so many months I’m gradually backing off but need to do what I did with EQ1…wake up one day, uninstall and remove everything related to it from my pc.
    I think the cluster that is soon to be the Velious expansion will be the impetus I need to sever ties with the Everquest franchise.

    I will miss your posts though as this site is one I’ve visited frequently during the 3 years I played the game. Thanks and best wishes.

  18. /e Cry…/e mourn…Stargrace, i completely understand where you are coming from on this topic and its a sad day for the Eq2 Community to lose you as a valuable resource!! You will be missed!!!

    Keep up the great job on the other MMO’s!


  19. Niall says:

    I am very sorry to hear of your decision. I understand your point of view, and I sympathize. For me, there is simply no other MMO that provides the depth of lore and the opportunities to personalize my character to the degree that EQ2 does (albeit at a price). The ammount of money I spend compared to the entertainment I receive is still a bargain for me. And even though there are many other MMOs out there that also provide years of entertainment at a less expensive rate, never-the-less, EQ2 does the best job for me, (even at the higher costs), and so I will be staying.

    I hope you will reconsider, but I wish you well wherever the winds of change may blow you.


  20. Vortex says:

    I tried to warn everyone, I tried to attempt to make it seem dire, and it won’t end where it’s at.

    It’s best to just leave now if anyone feels that if the marketplace hits a certain point they would leave, because it won’t keep climbing to new heights.

    They’ve proven time and time again, that it’s just about the money to them now.

  21. stargrace says:

    @disgruntled – I agree about the company changes. I enjoy GW quite a bit, and love the fact that there’s no monthly fee. EVE Online provides their expansions free of charge, every single one of them. There is a monthly fee of $15 but they have already stated that every game expansion will be free. They have a big one that’s been slowly releasing this month (Incursion) and will finish up in January. These companies show me every day that there are options out there, and that if I personally don’t enjoy something, I CAN move on to something else. Sure, none of those games have quite the same thing EQ2 offered me (housing, and player created books in specific) but I’m content.

    I don’t believe that I’m over reacting to this situation simply because I have supported EQ2 for so long. It’s not common for me to get angry or upset about any changes and I certainly spent the majority of my EQ2 blog posts praising the game rather than complaining. This post in fact is my 1,150th EQ2 related post. It wasn’t easy for me to write, and it’s not a decision I took lightly.

  22. Disgruntled says:

    I feel your pain Stargrace. Over a year ago I got bored of the game because it felt like players weren’t being listened to, and balance issues weren’t addressed. We players were being lied to about Station Cash, and SOE kept pushing the envelope of what we’d accept on the Marketplace (as they still do). I quit playing aside from raids, then when I started vocational school I quit raiding. I kept on as a volunteer guide, because it was the only fun I had with EQ2 any more, and it allowed me a free account so I could pop on and keep up with changes. But as time wore on, I had no desire to log on at all.

    It’s ridiculous how SOE is treating their customers. Paying for a monthly subscription, yet nickel and diming them with increasingly bold items on the Marketplace. Ignoring protest threads 75+ pages long, such as the campaign to keep the starter isles in game. Lying by telling us that the Station Cash stuff wasn’t taking away from live team time. Using the Station Cash money to buy artists dedicated to Station Cash, instead of improving the game. I 100% agree with you: SOE is not a wise or caring company. There are better games out there to play.

    Personally, I went and tried Guild Wars. It astonishes me that Guild Wars, where you pay once for an expansion then pay NO monthly fee, is able to offer very little, and most of it fluff, on their Marketplace, when SOE feels the need to drown us in marketing. It seems to receive updates about as often as EQ2 nowadays. The devs of GW interact with players on the wiki, and give us detailed posts on WHY they changed what in an update. They care about balance. They care about their players. That, SOE, is how a company should be.

  23. Rebecca says:

    Stargrace, I’ll enjoy reading your posts no matter what games you’re writing about, so if EQ2 is only one game you won’t be writing any more about, then so be it.

    I’m still having fun in EQ2 for now, but it’s mostly because I still have friends who play, a great guild, and I play very casually and haven’t been paying much attention to the high-level game lately. I’ve been irked about the marketplace for a good while myself. I’ve bought a couple small appearance items and some character slots, but no way in any form or fashion will I be paying the extortionate fee for this vampire race + another new character slot. Nope, not going to do it.

    Even though I will get the race with the expansion in February for having an active subscription, I disagree that the race should be limited only to people who pay out the ears for it or for people who aren’t new to the game. The race should work like the introduction of the froglok race long ago where eventually it would be unlocked and everyone could have access to it with the subscription.

    I haven’t yet crossed the line, but who knows for the future? I am not happy at all with this RMT direction this game has been going, particularly for those who pay a monthly subscription. And the marketplace items are *way* more expensive than they need to be. When you’re paying nearly the proce of the subscription for the month for one outfit, something is really messed up.

  24. Because I’m NOT a longtime loyal customer, it’s easier for me to take a more mercenary view of this game. EQ2 probably dishes out $40 per year worth of entertainment. If I have to wait eight months for the expansion boxes to go half off, subscribe for one month to burn through the content and leave, I’m okay with that.

  25. oakstout says:

    One of the main reasons I left EQ2 was they always wanted to nickel and dime you to death. Want to play this additional content? 10.00 please. Want to do these extra dungeons with friends? 10.00 please. People complain about WoW, but they don’t try to squeeze every bit of cash out of the player. Wanna raid Ice Crown? Free. Want to kill the Lich King? Free Want to enjoy 5 extra dungeons and additional story content? Free.

    Its silly to make players pay for extra character slots, extra gear and extra content that isn’t a full expansion. Especially since your paying a monthly sub that should be taking care of all that. What is Blizzard doing that they can afford to give away so much for free that SoE isn’t doing?

  26. stargrace says:

    @Robert – yes, when I already pay $15/m for the game + yearly expansions, having another cost of a race that I can’t play unless I pay for it does remove my enjoyment. A race is not a pet, or a mount. It’s what I consider to be the very basics of the game. If I’m being charged extra for the basics of the game then what am I paying $15/m to play for. I will go elsewhere, where my $15 gets me more. I think that’s pretty easy to understand.

    This is me standing up saying enough is enough. I don’t agree with the direction the game is headed, and I won’t support it. The only “voice” we have as gamers is to vote with our wallets, and that’s exactly what I’ve chosen to do. I have no issues with RMT as I already stated, in fact I play many games that do implement a market and I enjoy them a lot, as I mentioned. $65 on top of a monthly fee is not something I support, no matter what game it is.

  27. Ryver says:

    I have not played EQ2 in about 9 months. When SF came out, I got tired of the zone lag which hurt me on my Swash, and just never went back. I was thinking about it for later in 2011, but with the vampire race marketplace showing SOEs hand, I’m ignoring EQ2 and SOE in general. If they were even somewhat reasonable in their marketplace prices, I would have still considered playing one of their games.

  28. I can kind of understand why you’re incensed, but why would you quit the game over it? Does Station Cash remove your enjoyment? I think the MMO universe is adapting to the economics and change. WoW charges for pets and mounts, are you quitting that too?

    I’m sad to see you leave EQ2 at all, but it’s very unfortunate that your decision to quit is based on a “slap in the face.”

  29. Maybe they’ll change the pricing? I dunno. I’m guessing you might be the first of many to make an exit from EQ2 due to their rather extreme pricing model for a race and feartures,

    Anyway, a big hug from me to you for saying enough is enough. *bighug*

  30. pkudude99 says:

    Sad to see you go. I’m still having a blast in the game and I don’t worry about the SC. I can get a 65% mount in-game easily enough, so I don’t need to drop cash for it. I don’t care about decorating so no worries on the housing items. Appearance gear sometimes draws me in to dropping a bit of cash every so often, but that’s rare — plenty of in-game items looks great too. And I have no free character slots and also don’t care about vampires, so I don’t care that a new race is being released either. I also don’t care that we have Fae, Half-Elves, Frogloks, Wood Elves, Erudites, Trolls, Ratongas, Kerras etc becuz I don’t have any characters of those races either.

    So yeah, for me, the SC Marketplace isn’t a net negative.

    Add to it that I’m having a blast on my 2 month old Ogre Wizard with which I’m taking the game very slowly, and… I’ll be sticking around EQ2 for a while yet. SWTOR may drag me away, but we’ll see how it goes when that time comes.

    And darnitall, I’m finally on Oasis due to the merges and was looking forward to being able to play with you at times and you leave :-( Ah well. Perhaps I’ll come find you in EVE sometime instead. I think I remember the systems you mostly hang out in, and I’ve got a jump clone close by iirc. . . .

  31. Plaguerat says:

    I agree with you, Star. And I’m sad to see you go. I’d have left when Free-to-Play (or rather Pay-to-Play) came out this summer, but the idea of missing my friends made me sad.

    I plan on visiting the library now and then to remember the things you did for the community.

    Be well wherever you go from here!

  32. Rob says:

    I haven’t been keeping up with EQ2 for a long time now so I had no idea what was going on, but hearing this coming from you Stargrace is pretty surprising! Your blog posts have been responsible for the vast majority of the times that I have resubscribed to EQ2. I totally understand where you are coming from. The EQ2 community has lost one of its brightest stars today.

  33. d.g. says:

    EQ2 was my very first MMO. I began playing in late 2007 shortly after I met my husband. I have played on and off since then, often taking long breaks, but always returning. I left for the last time at the end of the summer and I WON’T be back this time… it really bums me out, too, because it could be such an amazing game if only it was moving in the right direction. It WAS such an amazing game and now… blah. $ $ $ $ $… and what do the players get in return?? All the best-looking items are available for Station Cash only, and the good mounts, and prettiest house items, and most interesting pets, and now… races too?!?. So incredibly irritating, and also, incredibly rude of SOE to treat their loyal player base so poorly.

    Sigh. At least I’ve still got the Sims 3 until something else comes along…

  34. Olphas says:

    I haven’t played EQ2 in over a year now, but some of my friends still do. Or better – still did. Recently the last one jumped of the wagon. The changes they did these year, including the expansion, were not well received. I always wanted to come back one day, but after hearing and reading so many things that went wrong I just don’t feel it anymore. I’m not going back either. There’s no one left. Not even my server! We had two german servers these past years and Innovation, the one I have all my characters on, will be merged with the other server in January, I think.

    On a happier note, I started reading this blog years ago, because I was looking for a nice EQ2-Blog. And though I don’t play EQ2 or any other MMORPG anymore I just stuck around and immediately click on the link, when my Twitter-feed tells me about a new blog post. I always enjoy reading them. And it’s a nice distraction from work :D

    Olphas (a.k.a Orlando_Talbot on Twitter ;) )

  35. Ysharros says:

    Ouch. Can’t say I disagree though. :(

  36. Hudson says:

    Sucks I know. They should just go free to play for the WHOLE game. With Sony at the helm and losing money on most of their titles I bet it and EQ1 and Vanguard will go F2P or VG will simply close down

  37. Slurms says:

    The WoW Sparkle pony pales (get it, pale, vampire….no?) in comparison to this. 65 bucks?!? That’s just insane.

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