By _k1_ 4 Comments
SOE revealed "EverQuest II Extended" as a free to play service with optional micro-transactions and optional subscriptions. There have been a number of titles going F2P, most recently LoTRO, but unlike Turbine, SOE seem to want to add F2P alongside their traditional subscription model.
Free players in EQ2x will have access to all of the game except for the most recent expansion (which mostly focused on end-game content) and eighty character levels, though with limited race and class selection. There are also limited levels of spells and gear, as well as bag and coin restrictions. Some of this can be alleviated by purchasing new races and classes; it also looks like paying a one-time $10 fee will lessen some of the restrictions.
The only way to totally unlock all content is by subscribing -- either $15/mo ("gold") or $200/yr ($16.66/mo) ("platinum"). The higher figure for the yearly subscription seems odd, but platinum subscribers do get free access to the Sentinel's Fate expansion, as well as $5 in Station Cash (SOE's micro-transaction currency) each month. That said, I don't see anyone paying that.
What's more is that according to the membership matrix, gold members, who pay the same $15/mo cost as subscribers to regular EQ2, won't be able to have access to Sentinel's Fate, and neither gold nor platinum will have access to more than 4 races (out of 19 total races in the game) without paying for them. It just doesn't seem like a good deal. And although subscribers to 'regular' EQ2 will be able to copy (not transfer) their characters to EQ2x servers, the reverse is not true -- much like EQ2's LiveExchange-enabled servers, character movement is one-way.