Monday 18 October 2010

EQ2E: More SOE Marketing nonsense

I'm thoroughly enjoying EQ2 but their Marketing department continues to marr the enjoyment.

This time it's a Catch 22 situation created inadvertently by the ongoing design of the business model.

I had purchased a month's Gold sub on an account. As this account allowed me to create all the non-free classes I made several. I also purchased a substantial amount of Station Cash so that I could unlock them once my account reverted to Bronze.

After a month my account reverted to Bronze. I couldn't log in because the characters displaying were not free. I couldn't buy them, despite having plenty of Station Cash on the account, because the shop is inside the game and I couldn't log in. So I couldn't log in and because I couldn't log in I couldn't unlock what I needed to to be able to log in. Catch 22.

I posted on the forum, Smokejumper, Senior Producer of the game, posted to say I could fix it by subbing to Gold or by using some website. I couldn't find this website. Nor could the very expert Zam community manager for EQ2. Nor could the Senior Moderator for SOE. It didn't exist.

Ha ha, it gets worse.

I decided to pay for another month of Gold so I could at least get into the game and buy the classes. However when I entered the game and checked the SC shop character classes are not for sale - presumably it wasn't anticipated Gold level subscribers would need them.

I petitioned it and I got some half-arsed answer that there wasn't a problem since I was Gold now. Believe you me I sure as hell won't be Gold in a month's time.

It's a super game and I'm enjoying it but their Marketing nounce wouldn't fill a gnat's thimble. If I get too hacked off I could go and try Lotro for free - or could I? Nope, Codemasters still haven't released it in Europe. That particular debacle has lasted so long now that it's hard for people interested in European Lotro to have faith that Codemasters will ever get their act together - after all, they eventually passed the DDO ball back to Turbine after a year of dropping it.

Is it any wonder Blizzard is top dog? Sony, test out your systems as if you were customers yourselves. You can't keep asking people to endure account management hell just to play your titles. Codemasters, hire a minimum wage 17 year old with a GCSE in German to translate Lotro so you can get the game out. Or just push it out in English with an apology to speakers of other languages.


  1. Yike! That is a nightmare and I'd be hella pissed off. They are very slack on testing and quality. Every single patch without fail has broken some aspect of my gaming that results in serious crashes that seize the whole processor forcing a hard boot. When the launcher fails to launch the game, irony there, getting the EQ2.exe out of memory is near impossible it's so dug in like a tick. But at least if it doesn't launch I can do a graceful shut down,

    My plan is the same as yours but I started it in the opposite direction. That's probably what they "assumed" people would do and didn't bother testing the opposite. I unlocked the races and classes first while I wasn't even a gold subscriber. Then I created placeholder chars to test it out and secure names. Then I copied over 2 lowbie Live chars since there was no point in doing the low zones again for every char I wanted.

    Then I sub'd gold because I'm doing the crafting mania and wanted broker and chat access for now. It remains to be seen if when I'm more focused on adventuring and drop to Silver or Bronze if all will go according to plan but I thinking it will based on the order I did things and they free chars in non-free classes and races worked just fine at the time.

    I hope it all works out for you. For my tastes, I prefer EQ2 to LOTRO. And yes, Blizzard support is actually top notch. I've dealt with them a few times and their response and assistance was flawless.

  2. Well I can buy my way out of it. I just put a free class to the bottom of the character list when my sub elapses then buy an extra character slot to make the third class I actually want fit on a Silver account.

    I'm not so much annoyed about having to fork out more money (in addition to the month's gold sub I paid for trying to fix it) as I am annoyed that their terrible marketing will cripple the game.

    My long term investment in EQ2E is better if a)lots of people play and b) they keep the servers open a very long time (I'm thinking 20 years +).

    Clearly the more they screw up the less people will play and the game won't last as long.

  3. Wow, talk about frustration.

  4. Somehow, the portion of SOE's systems that insure that they get paid on time never seems to break, just the parts that ensure things work as advertised.