Thursday, 7 October 2010

EQ2E: A five year plan

I've been building my EQ2E accounts with a view to having the ability to play it while not paying for the game.

My original idea was based around 3 silver accounts which would give me 9 character slots, enough to pick up one of every crafter. It's also enough to pick up most of the classes as per EQ2's original definition of class.

EQ2 originally had 4 archetypes split into 3 classes each. Then each class split into 2 subclasses for a total of 24.

In my opinion there are few classes where it's worth playing both subclasses. They're too similar. Even ones that sound rather different actually play pretty similar. For instance you'd think Ranger and Assassin are ranged and melee - but they're not, to dps effectively at end game on a Ranger you need to stand in melee range so you can use both melee and ranged attacks. And the Assassin has a number of powerful ranged arts.

Another aspect of using 3 silver accounts is that race packs come as a set of 3. 3 character slots + 1 race pack gives you the option to roll 3 different non-free races on your silver account.

In addition I've set up a private guild to get around space and gold storage limitations.

So here's the plan for 3 accounts worth of characters:

Account #1
Human (Free) Inquisitor (Free) Provisioner
Barbarian (Free) Berserker (Free) Woodworker
Erudite (Free) Wizard (Free) Alchemist

Account #2
(Sarnak, Troll, Dark Elf race pack purchased, 3 character classes to be purchased.)
Sarnak Fury Sage
Troll Shadowknight Tailor
Dark Elf Assassin Jeweller

Account #3
(Ogre, Ratonga, Iksar race pack purchased, Dirge purchased, other classes to be purchased)
Ratonga Dirge
open, will make this one an Armourer

I also have some Bronze mules, mainly as a way of sorting inventory.

I've decided to omit two of the crafter professions from my scheme. Weaponsmith makes very little that Woodworker doesn't cover. There are wooden versions of most types of weapon - Mage staff, Priest hammer, one handed Fighter, two-handed Fighter, etc. And Carpenter is mainly for the home decorators, for people like Saylah who have an artistic eye and a love of design.

Regarding the classes I have
Fighter: Warrior Crusader (Brawler is the missing one)
Priest: Druid Cleric (Shaman is the missing one)
Scout: Predator Bard (Rogue is the missing one)
Mage: Sorceror (Summoner and Enchanter are missing)

I've got two open slots so quite easy to round out the selection if I decide I'd like to try something I haven't got.

So how much will all this cost?

I inherited 1100 Station Cash on my old EQ2 account and have dipped into Free Realms on the others, you get 250 for setting foot in the game.

Total SC cost =

One Guild Charter @ 1000
3 upgrades to Silver @ 1000 each = 3000
2 race packs @ 750 each = 1500
4 character unlocks @ 750 each = 3000

Total 8500

Additional cost
1 copy of Sentinel's Fate for £4.95

So after the free points it's costing me about £58. If I find myself in the position of wanting to raid I'll probably go Gold for as long as I'm actively raiding for another £9 per month.

That's a pretty good deal for 5 years of EQ2. If I had wanted to I could have gone to EQ2 Live and had less restrictions but those same 5 years would cost me almost 10 times as much (about £540).

And I've actually spent a little more than the plan as I tried Gold for a month in the process of figuring everything out.

There's a truism that people who spend money in a free to play game spend more than if they had just subbed.

I also like just having it there if I want it. I don't have to argue with my conscience about whether I'm allowed to try Minecraft or free Lotro when it would be wasting my EQ2 sub to do so. I'm finding subs these days to be something of a straightjacket.

I planned this and implemented a lot of this before the recent announcement that you can buy extra character slots. I think if I were starting now I'd do a 7 slot Silver account with private guild. Slightly more expensive but any upgrades such as Sentinel's Fate or Gold would apply to all characters.


  1. Interesting breakdown. Will be curious to know how it turns out for you. I've held off buying any character slots so far because I don't want to take too much time away from my current main. I'd also have to get at least two slots, since I'd likely branch out into melee (one for alchemy, one for an armorsmith).

  2. In terms of the current business model concentrating on your main is always optimal.

    More alts = more cost.

    Thing is I know I'm an altoholic so I thought I'd plan it out in advance.

  3. Thanks for the link to the garden but it's Saylah, not Stargrace. She is indeed a fabulous veteran decorator while I'm just starting out on my alter ego Alysiaa.

  4. "I also just like having it there if I want"

    There is a very important point in there that is often overlooked in the whole hype about "Free (as in beer) to play."

    In the long run I think that the freedom to play the game the way you want when you want is a much bigger and more important issue than the fact that you can under some incredibly tortuous route play for free.

    I don't want to pay a monthly sub for a game I only log into once a week.
    I want to be able to play another game for two weeks without feeling that I am wasting my sub
    I want to be able to advance at my own time and in my own way without hitting artificial blockages.

  5. @ Saylah Fixed, sorry.

    @ Mbp Quite. It's just bizarre to me that having played Diablo 2 for 4 years and WoW for 4 years I can look in on the first game any time I want but I can't so much as check what characters I have in WoW (now that Armoury has expired) without a full commitment to playing intensively.