It’s curious and then again not, why I keep tripping across EQ2 veterans on EQ2 Extended. I was sure we’d see some of them around mostly playing with friends they’re trying to convert or just having a look-see on a low level F2P character. But when I start seeing high level characters, knowing that it costs $30 $35 to copy the character across to EQ2X, that’s more than having a look. I decided to be nosy and whisper a few folks to ask why.
EQ2 Live Newbie Zones are Thin
The most common response was low-level zones on the Live servers are ghost towns. For a time, newly added racial zones will have their starter areas populated but once that wave passes, it’s left to the crickets. As I’ve said for years, even people who enjoy questing solo like populated zones. A good percentage of the EQ2 population is comprised of veterans and even they get tired of mentoring down and repeating content to help alts.
Play with New People
Another common thread was basically, new experiences with new people. Games gain excitement when they have regular influxes of new players. It’s the unpredictable and unscripted behavior of others that make MMOs stand apart from playing RPGs - never exactly the same people, doing the same thing or having same conversations. Sure, it gets rout after a while but the more varied the player-base, the more varied the experiences. Some people are motivated by the opportunity for new social adventures. The more altruistic of them talked about how they gain pleasure from helping new players but EQ2 doesn't see that many "new" players, as opposed to new characters being manned by vets.
Came to Raid End-Game Content. Uh, Wah?
The most surprising response came from two players who were max level. They’d each come over in advance of their raiding guild, that was moving over to EQ2X to raid. I admit to knowing absolutely nothing about EQ2 end-game but I was astonished that a raiding guild was going to PAY to move to the RMT server. At the time, I didn’t think to ask them about their motivations. I was too, “Uh? What?” and by the time I recovered the pair had logged off. The only thing I can think of is content contention? Is it not instanced or something? If anyone has a clue as to why a raiding guild would pay to move, I’m all ears. The most talkative of the pair said that he’d already subscribed Gold on EQ2X and canceled EQ2 Live. He went on to explain that when he wasn’t raiding, he wanted to roll a couple of alts, where he could play in populated zones. Ooooohkay. Hmm.
Not as Crazy as you'd like to Suppose
I should mention that I see a fair share of guilds. I am actually surprised to see them this soon because you have to be at least a Gold subscription to create a guild so... yeah, people are going "gold" on EQ2X. For me personally, it's a small sense of vindication to know that I'm not crazy! I think there are certain play-styles and temperaments that will be happier subscribing on the EQ2X server where you can decide between time versus money, instead of someone making the decision for you.
I’m not exactly fan of the F2P model SOE has crafted. I definitely don't like the idea of crafting materials being available for purchase. But hey, that's what players who don't like purchasable gear feel like so, I have to get over myself and say, to each his own. It's not clear yet how this will impact the ability to sell harvested items to players. Whatever the impact, I'll have to work within the system if I want to stay and craft. I personally have no intention of spending money on crafting components. For me that's just... just... WRONG! I do realize that's how many feel about buying armor and mounts. Ironic little world we live in. *Smile*
I wish there were more combinations/options before having to subscribe to the game. For example, I’d like to see Class Packs or the ability to purchase/unlock certain classes. Right now the only way to get access to every class is through a subscription. But people don’t really want every class; they’re looking to play a specific class or two. It would be great if you could purchase the ones you wanted to play, like I’ve read you can do in DDO.
With Guild Halls, came the ability and frequent inclusion of crafting workstations inside personal/group spaces. The whole keep crafting in the common areas so people continue to socialize is a bit passe now soooooooooooooo... Can we have SC purchasable stations?? PRETTY PLEASE!! You know what's coming the minute I can buy crafting stations versus doing status quests until I want to kill myself. Saylah's Crafting Workshop II. And yes, I'd spend real money to create another one!The Place is Jumping
I’ve only ever played EQ2 in spurts so I’ve never seen 16 instances of a single zone, even on Antonia Bayle. Heck, I don’t even know how to switch zones. I spent of few minutes looking for an option like we had in Aion, simply because I was curious. I didn’t find anything. That many instances also made me wonder if chat is universal to all the instances of a zone. It was in Aion. I would hope that if I was looking for a group or had a question, that everyone reading the Level 1 to 9 conversations was seeing my chat. *shrug*