Well it seems that I will never be returning to EQ2 now, no matter what happens in the future. The game may as well be dead to me now, and it makes me sad.
First of all there was the move to a free-to-play service for all servers. At first this seems like a good thing, but in my experience the move to a free-to-play service (for example in both DDO and LoTRO), whilst increasing population levels, always leads to a breakdown of server communities and artificial limitations being imposed (for example, I wouldn't be able to use half of the gear I have on my toon unless I resubscribe fully, so what's the point?).
Then came the odd design decisions with things like player wings and flight. The game world is becoming even more of a hodge-podge of bad art direction and design.
Finally, the last straw. SOEs crazy decision to split their player base and subcontract server and account management for Europe to German media company ProSiebenSat1. That in itself isn't the bad news. The problem is that all European account holders will be forced to move their accounts to the new service and will not be able to play on the US servers (and vice versa). My characters are all on a US server. My guild is on a US server. My friends are on a US server. And I will no longer be allowed to play with them.
SOE have responded to all the fury on the game's official forums with a vague "we're looking at it" statement. Even if they do eventually back down and allow people to play on servers across territories, it's too late. SOE have shown a basic lack of understanding about why people play MMOs - friends and community.
It takes years to build a decent community, and seconds to destroy it. SOE have nerfed their own game and I'm more glad than ever that I decided to leave it when I did.
It still makes me sad though :(
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