Everquest 2: Enter the Copykats

SC Mounts Body

We asked for it. Apparently.

Ugh. “You like, you buy, you ride”.

I have dubbed these the Copykats, on account of them turning up almost exactly a month after WoW brought in RMT mounts, for the exact same price. It may seem, to the ignorant, that this is a flagrant attempt to repeat Blizzards success with the Sparkle Pony. It turns out it’s just a spooky coincidence!

1. I actually concepted this mount a year ago and have been waiting to make it, just have not had the time due to making all the cool stuff we make for the game allready that is not station cash. So we are not following anybody on this one.

2. Price is a tough one to decide, I think the price is good because it gives some exclusivity to the mount. At 5 bucks everyone would have it and it would no longer be special.

Anyhows, I find the idea that the reason the mount is priced at $25 instead of $5 to make it “exclusive” to be highly objectionable. To deliberately exclude players based on their disposable income does not seem right to me. If it would have worked at $5, they should have gone with that to maximise the number of people that could enjoy it. Naturally, being the unpleasantly cynical creature that I am, I am far more inclined to think that the real reason they’re charging $25 is that WoW has shown them that they can get away with it, and it will maximise profits.

These three mounts will be around for about a month, we are told, before being replaced on the market by new mounts. A sort of Mount-of-the-month club. Could get rather expensive. Things like this must be so difficult for parents who have multiple children who play.

Honestly I’m tired about raging about RMT in EQ2. There has been a long pattern of SOE saying they’ve gone as far as they want *, and will not go further. Some segments of the playerbase, and the popular EQ2 bloggers, accept it and shout down those of us who see where it is leading, and then once folks are used to it, the boundaries are pushed further again. We get the MMOs we deserve, and if the players are not willing to stand up to being treated as an exploitable resource, that’s how it’ll be. It’s tiring and probably pointless, shouting like Canute against the unstoppable tide of corporate greed. I love EQ2, and I am not angry with it. Just disappointed. And I do not think EQ2 loves me; just my money. It is not a relationship that will end well.

So here’s some old posts on it:

The launch of Station Cash.
Profits and Prophecies: DDO and EQ2, and their money-making schemes.

* For instance, when the Exchange servers (which allow players to buy and sell items and characters with real money) were implemented, players were concerned it was another slidey step down a slippery slope. This is what we were told:

22nd of December, 2007.

We aren’t going to be allowing RMT in any way, shape or form on the non-exchange enabled EQ II servers. Period. End of statement. If we catch people, we ban them and have been for a long time now. The truth of the matter is it’s very difficult to combat them, but we have people at SOE who fight the good fight each and every day. In the near future you’re going to see us becoming a lot more public about this then we ever have been. I think we’ve done a bad job at communicating just how seriously we take this fight.

We’re interested in working with LiveGamer because they are unique in the RMT world due to the fact that they are pledging (and are putting technology behind it) to not buy from farmers. Farmers are the bane of our existence at SOE. They cause us endless amounts of grief and do real financial damage in a meaningful way.

What do I mean by that?

Many of them use stolen credit cards, obtained by unsuspecting users who give them credit card #’s to purchase in-game gold. I’m not saying all of the RMT shops out there use stolen credit cards, but a LOT of them do. Your credit card is absolutely not safe in their hands.

In addition we recieve large scale (over $500k so far) fines for chargebacks that these scumbag farmers routinely do. They purchase a new account.. use it for a month and then call the credit card company to say “I never paid for this”. Over time, as the # of these incidents rise we get fined by the credit card companies. And it’s not just us, other large MMO companies are seeing exactly the same problem.

In any event, I wanted to stop in and at least set the record straight – you aren’t going to be seeing RMT allowed on the non-exchange enabled servers.

John Smedley
President, Sony Online Entertainment

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