From SOE's site:
More features, more content and more fun! Free, for this weekend only
(11/19/10-11/21/10), all EverQuest II Extended accounts will be entitled to all
the perks of the $14.99 Gold Membership. That’s full access to seven character
slots, spell tiers, equipment grades, six bag slots, unlimited coin limitations,
eight shared bank slots, 75 journal quests and more!
There are a few quite odd aspects to this. First, it's been announced quietly and with very little notice. I keep an eye on the EQ2E forums and I've only just found out about it after the weekend has already started. There was no notice when I last logged in to the game a couple of days ago.
Next it has the potential for chaos. Sure, you can make new characters. However I don't think they've solved the problem I talked about before where if you're not subbed and the most recently played characters require a SC purchase you can't log in and because you can't log in you can't buy the character. So whatever you do don't jump at the chance of trying alts out and leave your account full of Froglock Paladins - you won't be able to log in when you revert to Bronze or Silver. (The workaround is to make sure your most recently logged in character, or second most recently logged in character is free or of a race and class you've already bought - you won't be able to buy it after your account downgrades but as long as there's a legal character displaying to log in with you can get into the game where you'll be able to buy races/classes/extra character slots).
The Gold upgrade offers three things which are of long-term benefit:
- you can upgrade spells to Master. Normally you can only upgrade spells to Master if you are Gold but if you upgrade them during the free Gold weekend they will stay as Masters after you revert to being a non-subscriber.
- you can use the broker. Fill up a couple of boxes with junk for sale and when you revert to non-subscriber it will stay on the broker listed for sale. As a non-subscriber you can't add to what you are selling but stuff you've listed will continue to be available. Every week or two you can check to see if there's some cash to collect.
- the other very useful thing is that you can tweak your AA slider. So if you want to have more punch than a character of your level would normally have set the slider to 100% and blast through some experience-rich content. Or if you want to accelerate your levels and don't mind being AA-light set it to 0% and grind some exp.