Sony Online Entertainment has announced EverQuest II Extended, a free to play service coming later this year. Sony will be beta testing Extended on 17th August. The pre-existing subscription offering will carry on alongside Extended. The catch with Extended is that it will restrict access to EverQuest II’s content through both free and optional paid membership levels. All content is free apart from the last expansion pack (Sentinel’s Fate), but some of the game’s features are restricted by level.
There will be four levels of membership: Bronze (free), Silver (one time $10 purchase), Gold ($15 a month) and Platinum ($200 a year). Platinum users will be able to access the latest expansion and everything else. Bronze and Silver can access eight classes for free, whereas Gold and Platinum will have access to all of them. Everyone apart from Platinum members will have to pay to take the level cap from 80 to 90.
As you would expect, there are lots of different restrictions on everything across different membership levels. Stuff like equipment grades, character slots, bag slots, the amount of gold you can carry, whether you can send or receive mail, how many active quests you can have and the amount of customer service support accessible to you.
Extended will also have a new web-based download application. It won’t need a large download or installation before you can start playing the game, with an in-game store selling potions, armour, character classes/races, weapons and mounts amongst others.
On top of all that, both versions of the game will get improved character progression, graphics and user interface.