Thirteen years ago, EverQuest opened a door that would influence online gaming forever. It taught us how to camp world bosses, how painful dying can be, and most importantly, how to make a ham sandwich and take a shower in under five minutes so you can get back to the game ASAP. It isn't the flashiest or the most beginner-friendly of MMOs, but it was certainly the foundation for games like World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic. And finally, more than a decade and nearly 20 expansions later, it's going free-to-play.
The swap to the F2P model will happen this March. New and old players will start their adventures with a Welcome Pack full of treasure, including experience potions, a decorative house item, a cosmetic weapon augment, and even a Mercenary to help you tackle trolls heralding your demise.
This isn't the first time a Sony Online Entertainment has made the move away from the traditional subscription model. Within the last six months, the switch to F2P increased DC Universe Online's concurrent users by 600% and EverQuest II's new player base by 300%.
As expected, the payment method seems to have the flexibility of the EverQuest II model, with "recurring subscriptions, non-recurring subscriptions, Silver or Free memberships, item unlockers, and more." With 18 expansions, the hardest part to the cash shop could be choosing where to start.