As is clear from the updates to the site, I have not been playing Everquest 2 for some time now. I found it hard to explain – even to myself – why I didn’t feel the thrall of one of my fantasy worlds any longer. When I saw that Stargrace of MMOquests had posted a goodbye to the game, I asked her to share her thoughts as to what went wrong. Having read her reasonings, I was impressed: she puts into words what I had not been able to express. She’s kindly agreed to write a guest post for MMORPG-Info on the subject which I’m pleased to be able to share with you.
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I started to withdraw from EQ2, but I know it happened sometime between Ruins of Kunark and Sentinel’s Fate. I had been raiding as my illusionist in Echoes of Faydwer back in 2006/2007 and then quickly switched to my troubador in RoK. That was probably the first sign of things to come and it really had nothing to do with the game so much as my play style. The fact that I had 10 level 90s a few months into Sentinel’s Fate was another indication. I wasn’t actually concentrating on a character any more, my attention kept drifting. I never pin pointed exactly WHAT was causing this disinterest, I only knew that it was there … lurking in the background of my play sessions.
If it were not for other sources of dissatisfaction, I would probably still be playing. It started with Legends of Norrath – not the game itself but do you remember when Sony offered players the chance to obtain access to a dungeon through booster packs? That one little event blinked in my mind and I should have seen it as a warning of things to come. As time wore on and the station marketplace was introduced I noticed that there were fewer and fewer items being added to the base game and everything new required you to spend extra money outside your $14.99/m subscription. All of the newest appearance gear, weapons, even jewelry can be found on the station marketplace these days. The coolest mounts, the most beautiful furniture. My little carpenter felt the pinch as players would shift ever so slightly to the new goodies. Not in huge amounts – after all not everyone can afford to pay $25 for a virtual living room set – but a few.
As Sentinel’s Fate progressed I grew visibly worried. I had played this game extensively over the course of six years – what was happening to it? I have over 1,500 posts dedicated to EQ2. I have spent more than $5,000 between two accounts, and here I was, not wanting to play. After 3,000+ hours played recorded by Raptr.
Finally, after months of sitting on the fence in my decision regarding the game, it came to a head. The Freeblood race was introduced to the marketplace – and with it a total cost of $65 if you wanted the extras. That single action made the final decision for me. After debating with myself for months whether I should just wait things out and see if it would get better, I came to the conclusion that the game is no longer for me. It has changed to appeal to an audience that I am not a part of. I also found out that I’m not the only veteran player that feels this way which was quite comforting.
I feel confident in saying that the station market has taken away from the base game that I knew. The only announcements I see these days are for you to spend extra money with the rare extra post in here and there. I do spend, $14.99 a month + the cost of expansions.
You should know that I am not against RMT or the station marketplace. I just feel that the value of what I get for my monthly subscription is now less than what I can get elsewhere. By adding a race to the station marketplace, they are removing something that should come with the very basic game. When frogloks were introduced we quested to unlock them, we didn’t pay extra.
Eventually we all have to put our foot down and it was just ‘that point in time’ for me. As gamers, one of the few voices we have is to vote with our wallets. It may not seem a significant vote for a popular game making a lot of money, but if the game is struggling, it will be noted. If I continued playing a game that I spent 90% of the time complaining about, found very little pleasure in, and could no longer see myself getting $15/m worth of play out of it – why would I continue to support it?
This decision was NOT easy for me, I spent months arguing in my head waiting for things to get better. I waited and saw that the game was just going to keep heading down a path that I didn’t approve of. While I know a fair population of players are content to keep shelling out the extra money – I can’t.
There you have it. A huge thank you to Tay for granting me the opportunity to guest write here on MMORPG-Info.com, I’ve been a big fan of the site, and look forward to reading future posts!