is the premier daily MMOG newsletter, only from Ten
to the 1,413th
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/loading/2010/"> style="font-style: italic;"> II Extended, Sony
Online Entertainment's free-to-play with microtransactions game
launched a few short weeks ago. Ben takes a look at the soft
launch of the game and evaluates the value of the product today in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/loading/2010/sep/7">Loading...
You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse (What
is The Pulse?).
top 5 Pulse results:
of the Rings Online (UP 1)
Online (down 1)
- UP 2 to #17
- UP 1 to #14
- down 1 to #15
for Speed World
- href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2" target="_blank">StarCraft
II: Wings of Liberty
of Heroes: Going Rogue (release)
II Extended (release)
style="font-weight: bold;">9/7 -
Assault on Balaurea (free
30, 2010 - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ffxiv" target="_blank">Final
Universe Online (release)
style="font-weight: bold;">10/5 -
10/8 - GDC
style="font-weight: bold;">10/8 -
10/10 - New
York Comic Con
style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y" target="_blank">BlizzCon
style="font-weight: bold;"> 3/24
3/26 (2011) - target="_blank">CCP
Loading... digesting MMOGs so you don't have to.
As the MMOG world moves steadily forward and more games move towards
alternate revenue models a few companies stand at the front paving the
way for other Western developers. Obviously we've seen huge
breakthroughs from Turbine with href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo"> style="font-style: italic;">Dungeons & Dragons
Online: Eberron Unlimited and the soon to be
free-to-play options of style="font-style: italic;">The Lord of the Rings Online,
but Sony Online Entertainment has taken a big step and said: "hey, we
have some ideas too."
A few short weeks ago SOE brought us a soft launch of href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/88125"> style="font-style: italic;">EverQuest II Extended:
the EverQuest II
we all know and love but with different pricing models from
free-to-play all the way up to a $200 per year Platinum membership. So
how is it? Is it worth checking out?
Resident dedicated EverQuest
II writer, Savanja, wrote href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2/editorials/trying-eq2x">a
good column yesterday on the top reasons to try it
out. I agree with all her points. It can be played completely free; you
can spend only what you want to fit any budget; it's a solid game (and
dare I say one of the best on the market); there are tons of players on
the server; it's as casual or as hardcore as you want it to be; you can
try before you buy; and it's easy to talk friends into trying something
free. I'd like to expand upon my experience of style="font-style: italic;">EverQuest II Extended
Let me start out by saying I have an active style="font-style: italic;"> EverQuest II
account. I have since launch because I invariably end up going back to
the game. Even with that in mind though, I couldn't stay away from
EQ2x. Why? For me, it was simply due to the population. On my live
server leveling up a new character can get pretty lonely. As good as
the game is, I think we've seen its peak of subscribers. There simply
aren't many new players coming into the game apart from some friend
referrals here and there. With EQ2x it's a whole different ballgame.
There's only one server and it's jam-packed with players. This makes it
particularly fun when you want to check out a dungeon or complete a
tough quest and need backup. Sure, many of us have guilds, but let's be
honest: there's not always enough players of the right level online to
do what we want and/or need to do in most guilds. In EQ2x that problem
simply doesn't exist. There are lots of players to fill out groups and
it's quick and easy to make new friends because of it.
The community is unlike many popular MMOGs. For the mostpart it's a
friendly, helpful and courteous crowd. Obviously there are some
exceptions but I can say with conviction that I don't remember the last
time I logged onto a game and enjoyed the company of almost everyone
I've had contact with in the community. I'm guessing the quality of the
community comes from the fact that many of the players on the server
are like me: old EQ2 players who are making a new home on the server.
The good thing here is that a friendly atmosphere is contageous and
soon enough the vast majority are fun and friendly.
The game hasn't been cheap for me though. While I do know several who
have yet to pay more than $10, I have invested a lot of money into the
game. I'm lazy, don't like harvesting, but really want to level up my
weaponsmith. So having the ability to buy crafting supplies direct from
the EverQuest II
marketplace is convenient, but it's starting to add up in price. Yes,
this is completely optional as I could harvest the materials myself, or
buy them from other players. I'm just saying that while you can
shortcut aspects of the game, it will add up in cost over time...
pretty quickly in fact.
Other expenses that may be hard to resist are unlocking races and
classes. 750 Station Cash ($7.50 USD) will get you three races
unlocked or one class unlocked. Alternatively you can upgrade to a Gold
account for $14.99 per month which will unlock all the classes (but
you'll still have to buy race packs if you don't like the default
options). Or $200 per year will get you a Platinum account which will
have all races and classes unlocked.
Inventory space is a bit on the unrealistic side even for free-to-play.
With only 2 bag slots available with Bronze membership (free-to-play)
and very few bank slots free, it won't be long until you simply have to
upgrade to get more. The biggest problem here is that currently there
are no marketplace options to unlock inventory space apart from
upgrading to a gold or platinum account. A silver account (one time fee
of $10) will unlock an additional slot, but that still isn't much.
Hopefully we'll see more options for inventory space become available
Overall EverQuest II
Extended has once again renewed my interest in the game. I
think SOE still has a way to go yet to optimize the efficiency of
purchases and the availability of services and items on the marketplace
but we are seeing a good start. Even though the characters created now
will never be deleted and servers are up 24/7 (apart from regular
weekly patches) the game still is in beta, meaning SOE is still
figuring these sorts of things out. Once they're content with
everything we'll see the game promoted to a greater extent. In the
interim though, hop on in and give
it a try. And, more importantly, give SOE your feedback.
Free-to-play games are still a developing concept with Western
audiences so the only way they'll improve is for you and me to let the
developers know what we think.
Have you been playing EQ2x? Let us know what you think in the forums.
Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features from Ten Ton
8 new Ten Ton Hammer features today! 16 Ten Ton
Hammer features in September! 971 in 2010!
FROM PAX 2010
style="color: red;">HOT! Guild Wars 2 -
Hands-On at PAX Prime Part 1
weekend at PAX Prime in Seattle, Ten Ton Hammer was fortunate enough to
get plenty of hands-on time with the live demo for Guild Wars 2. In
fact, we even managed to play through full demo sessions of both the
low level human experience in and around the village of Shaemoor, as
well as the mid-level charr content including the epic Shatterer event
and a whole lot more.
Since the overall breadth of content to
consume in the Guild Wars 2 demo encompasses far more than what a
single article could properly cover, we have a two part look at the
game in action. First up, Ethec shares his thoughts and experiences in
his first hands-on impressions of the game, specifically as a low level
human ranger. How is the game shaping up so far? Read on and find out!
style="color: red;">HOT! PAX 2010 Hands-On
Preview of Torchlight II
Ton Hammer joins Executive Producer Travis Baldree for our first
hands-on session with the multiplayer morphed sequel to the best action
RPG of 2009, Torchlight II. Travis tells us a bit about two announced
classes and their skills, how pets will change, and what kind of
changes to gameplay and the world will make multiplayer not only
possible, but worthwhile. It's all in our newest Torchlight II preview
from PAX 2010.
Firefall Game Trailer
from PAX 2010
Firefall piqued your interest? It has ours. We got our hands on the
trailer from PAX 2010 to tease us a little more with this exciting
upcoming MMO shooter from Red 5 Studios. Strap yourself in, turn off
your safety, and enjoy the official Firefall trailer direct to you from
Firefall Gameplay Video
from PAX 2010
of the most pleasant surprises for us at PAX Prime 2010 was Red 5
Studio's announcement of their upcoming MMO shooter, Firefall. This
team shooter game promises to have big fun attached from the early peek
we have seen. In this video we see some of the actual gameplay of the
game and it's hard not to get fired up for Red 5's newest project.
WoW Weekly Report - Beta
Patches, Hunter Pets, Zones Changes, and More
week we look at some of the recent Beta patches, new Hunter Pets, the
changes to Tanaris and a lot more. In addition, the network launched
the open beta of a great new tool PlayerScore, and our WoW forums got a
complete face-lift. You'll also get all the news regarding World of
Warcraft so you don't miss a thing. All this and more in our WoW Weekly
Report every Tuesday.
FEATURES & GUIDES
EVE Online -
Single-Planet Business Options
out what can be made on any single planet is pretty complicated.
Thankfully, we have Space Junkie, who has braved these stormy waters,
to show us what we can make on any given planet.
Top Reasons to Try the
EQ2 Extended Server
you haven't tried the newest free-to-play server that SOE has
introduced for EverQuest II then you are missing out! EQ2 Extended
offers a whole new way to experience the popular world of Norrath and
judging by the holiday weekend traffic in the newbie areas, it has
become the place to be. Still not sure if EQ2X is for you? Read up on
the top reasons why everyone should give at least give the F2P server a
StarCraft II - Campaign
think with a reputation like Jim Raynor's, you'd get the best in the
galaxy to fight for you by default. Such is not the case though, for
the best of each unit in the land command a hefty price. With an
instant build time and huge bonuses compared to their normal version
though, buying the right mercenaries will give you a major edge in the
campaign and enable you to breeze through otherwise hairy situations.
We break down who is worth your hard earned credits in our Campaign
Today's Top 10
style="font-weight: bold;">Guild Wars 2 -
Hands-On at PAX Prime Part 1
2010 Hands-On Preview of Torchlight
First Look at Red 5's Firefall at PAX 2010
Reasons to Try the EQ2
Elves, Time Travel, and a Demonic Vultron? - A PAX 2010 Video Preview
of DDO Update 7
Start Your Engines! - A First Look at Racing in LEGO
Universe from PAX 2010
Video Q&A with Rift's
Scott Hartsman, Part 1: Just for Starters
Up Your Nukes! An End of
Video Q&A with
Executive Producer Gary Wagner
of Warcraft Cataclysm Preview: The Stonecore
Senior Producer Answers Community Concerns - An Exclusive Q&A
for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!
- Benjamin J. de la Durantaye
and the Ten Ton Hammer team
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EverQuest II Game Page.