Updated Tue, Jan 07, 2014 by Martuk
Update: John Smedley has answered a number of questions about SOE's upcoming subscription changes.
Original Story: SOE is making a rather large change to its Gold membership subscriptions for several of the MMOGs in its growing library. And some of this has gotten a little confusing, so I’ll try to clear this up by posting all the information that I’ve managed to coral on this topic.
Starting on February 3rd, 2014, subscribers to EverQuest, EverQuest II, and PlanetSide 2 will no longer receive a 500 Station Cash stipend each month as part of their subscription. Instead, subscribers will have the option to pick from one of several items in the Station Marketplace that costs 2000 Station Cash or less. Subscribers will need to exercise this option each month as it will not carry over to each following month. Here’s the official announcement from the EverQuest II forums:
"Dear EverQuest Gold Members,
We regularly evaluate our offerings at SOE to ensure we are consistently delivering great games and products, while also offering exceptional value to our players. Given that we just started a new year it seemed like the perfect time to add more value!
The week of February 3rd, 2014 we will be making a very important change to the Gold Membership level in EverQuest The current benefit of receiving 500 Station Cash (SC) monthly will be replaced with a new program that allows you to select one single item valued up to 2000 SC each month. Nearly all items within the games’ Marketplace will be available for this selection. Players Studio, bundles and additional exclusions may apply. This new benefit must be claimed each month that you are a member as it will not carry over to subsequent months.
We appreciate our customers, especially our valued members, and therefore are excited to bring you this additional value."
DC Universe Online will be making changes to its Legendary subscription the same day, which will do something similar to the PlayStation model by removing the 500 Station Cash stipend and replacing it with a new currency that will be distributed each month known as Loyalty Points. Each month players will be granted what equates to $5 in Loyalty Points, which, unlike the EverQuest options, will stack month to month. Loyalty Points can be spent at special Loyalty Vendors to purchase items from the Station Marketplace minus DLC packs. A snippet from that announcement is below.
"The week of February 3rd, 2014 we will be making a very important change to the PC Legendary Membership level in DCUO. The current benefit of receiving 500 Station Cash (SC) monthly will be replaced with a similar program that grants a form of in-game currency called Loyalty Points. Each month you will be granted $5 USD worth of Loyalty Points that you will be able to use at a special Loyalty Vendor to purchase Marketplace items. Your Loyalty Points will stack – meaning you can save up Loyalty Points in order to make larger purchases – but you must log into the game at least one time each month in order to collect them. DLC packs will not be purchasable with Loyalty Points."
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will continue to receive its monthly 500 Station Cash stipend, but only if you’re “not” an All Access subscriber as that payment option is having its Station Cash stipend clipped completely according to Vanguard Community Manager Yaviey.
"Once again, Vanguard Gold members are not being affected. However yes you are correct that the 500 SC grant is being removed from the All-Access pass. Right now there isn't any plan to give compensation in Vanguard to All-Access members so thank you for double checking on that."
From the looks of it, SOE is pushing its single subscriptions much harder with this change. As it stands with the current planned changes, it appears that All Access subscribers will be able to opt for one big 2,000 or less Station Cash item from EverQuest, EverQuest II or PlanetSide 2 per month while keeping their Loyalty Points for DCUO (we think). Vanguard, however, gets the short stick as an All Access account actually proves less beneficial with no bonuses aside from your usual subscription perks.
SOE is still tweaking the final bits of the plan, so you can voice your feedback on the appropriate game forum if you like or dislike where the changes are headed. We’ll try to get some additional details about these changes and update you once we have them.