Microcosms – Just Fell Off the A’la Carte

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style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 204, 51);">Top
Free-to-Play Games

of Sep 26th- Oct 2nd, 2010


2. style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://allods.gpotato.com/" target="_blank">  href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo">Dungeons
and Dragons
Online: Eberron Unlimited href="http://allods.gpotato.com/" target="_blank">

href="http://everquest2.station.sony.com/"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://allods.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro">The Lord of the

4.  target="_blank"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2553"
target="_blank"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2553"
target="_top"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2553"
target="_blank"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2553"
target="_blank"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2553"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://us.runesofmagic.com/us/index.html">Runes
of Magic

5.  target="_blank">  href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/856"
target="_top"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2394"
target="_blank">Allods Online

6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2553"> style="text-decoration: underline;">Star Wars: Clone Wars

 7.  target="_blank">FreeRealms

8. target="_blank">Aika href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/856"

9. target="_top"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/771">Perfect
World International

10.  target="_blank">Atlantica Online href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/581"
target="_top"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2433"
target="_blank"> href="http://heroesofgaia.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://www.gamersfirst.com/swordofthenewworld/"

style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://www.freerealms.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://atlantica.ndoorsgames.com/center/default.asp"
target="_blank"> href="http://allods.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://us.runesofmagic.com/us/index.html"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://allods.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

Here it is, your weekly reminder that free-to-play games are not only
here to stay, but are indeed the way of the future. If you are a fan of
open beta is only a week or so away, so stay tuned for the

This past week has been filled with incredible highs and shattering
lows for me on a personal level. The wife and I finally closed escrow
on a house we had been pursuing for a while, but with renters ready to
move into our former residence (and us motivated to get out quickly so
we could capitalize on the juicy rental income) our move was one that
could only be described as hectic. While my spouse may consider the
broken china our worst loss of the whole affair, I have to think that I
was the biggest loser in going almost a week without an internet
connection. I haven’t had game withdrawals like this in nearly a
decade, and once again an SOE game is to blame. My relationship with style="font-style: italic;">EverQuest II Extended
has reached that dangerous addiction stage and I just can’t help it. I
did, however, come across something that got me fired up. You will have
to keep reading to see what it was.

It’s no secret that the world of Norrath holds a special
place in my heart. I cut my MMOG teeth in style="font-style: italic;">EverQuest, learning
the ropes of hardcore raiding and forging friendships that have lasted
to this day. The shattered version of the future that is style="font-style: italic;">EverQuestII has
been one of my favorites since its first day of closed beta, and the
opening of EQ2X has elevated its status from that of a fallback game to
being my main MMOG. Last week I wrote a pretty glowing overview of my
experience with the first 20 levels or so, and while I still stand by
that analysis, I have stumbled upon something that has really gotten my

EQ2X has four different levels of membership available: Basic, Silver,
Gold or Platinum.  Each level ramps up the available content,
with Basic being limited to only the most rudimentary aspects of the
game. This is pretty common practice so far in pay-to-play turned
free-to-plays, and compared to the other examples EQ2X gives their
lowest level players the most to do by far. Silver level is attained by
purchasing any amount of Station Cash and opens up even more access to
the world, while Gold and Platinum levels are only available to players
who purchase a subscription plan. Gold is the access level given to
month-to-month subscribers or Sony Station Pass subscribers, and
Platinum is for those who purchase their game time in one year chunks.
I chose to go for the Gold via the Station Pass option, because I have
characters on nearly every game that SOE offers in the package and I
enjoy firing them up from time to time. Now I am certainly guilty of
not reading the fine print, but when I discovered the main difference
between the final two membership levels, gold and platinum, I was not a
happy camper.

EverQuest and style="font-style: italic;"> EverQuest2 split
their races up by alignments with choices of Good, Evil and Neutral.
Players of every membership level, except for Platinum, must purchase
the Good and Evil aligned races. I understand a company’s desire, and
need, to make money to continue to support their game, but I really
felt that having to purchase such a basic component of the game after
ponying up a subscription fee was a bit over the top.. If you wanted to
open up all of the unavailable races, the cost would come to about $45,
an amount that while not astronomical is still a hefty chunk of change.

EQ2X offers so many items in their cash shop, and has such a compelling
product with extremely high levels of character attachment, that gating
such core content is an unnecessary step.  I think a better
incentive to get players to commit to a one year subscription plan
would be to include a monthly deposit of Station Cash into their
accounts. Enticing a player base that has already shown a willingness
to spend by giving them “free” money seems like a great means of
positive reinforcement.

Even if no adjustment is made to the existing pricing structures EQ2X
is still a great deal that is worth checking out. What’s your take on
the various pricing structures being used in free-to-play games
currently? What works for you and what doesn’t? Let us know in our
forums and keep checking back with Microcosms for more on EQ2X and all
the latest in free-to-play gaming

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style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(255, 204, 51);">Not a
playable race, but if it were you can be sure it would be an expensive

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EverQuest II Game Page.

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