Free For All: Aion And Everquest

Aion and on and on
I’m starting to view the paid-for period of an MMO’s life as the pre-pubescent stage: the inevitability of growth into F2P is starting to look like it’s in the DNA. Both Everquest and Aion are noticing other MMOs, worrying about their acne and taking an interest in clothes. Aion in particular is experiencing a growth spurt, finally readying version 3.0 for everyone to play.

Both games have feature comparison charts for their various models. Aion’s goes into a lot of detail on the varying amounts of access the tiers receive, down to the time you’ll spend waiting to return to instances. Those seem the most crippled stats, with the rest being relatively generous. It seems all free to play games disallow freemium types the ability to send items to friends, which both games limit, but the rest is rather generous in Aion. Everquest seems a bit more restrictive in its offerings, mostly because there are two paid for tiers rather than Aion’s one. If I was a paying customer of the $5 tier, I’d be pissed off that they only offer limited customer support and you’re still hit with adverts. Especially with the leap to the next level being $15.

A long, long, long time ago, in a magazine far far away, we all gathered to look at NCSoft’s Aion 3.0 vision trailer. Ever since viewing the bonkers update, I’ve kept one eye on Aion for it’s fabled 3.0 release. Now that day is soon: no more walking into the wrong toilets or bashing nose-first into lampposts for me. I can use both eyes again. With my newly restored depth perception, I have looked at the trailer that accompanies the release of the actual, non-visionary 3.0.

Pretty, but it wasn’t worth going cross-eyed for. It’s not quite ready for Europe, but Americans get 3.0 on April 11th. It lands in Europe in the Spring.


  1. skyturnedred says:

    Looking forward to trying out Aion.

  2. Icyicy9999 says:

    I’ve been playing Aion with friends for a while now since it went F2P.
    It’s pretty awful, but it’s better than nothing until GW2 comes along, I guess.

  3. GenBanks says:

    I can’t believe Everquest is still going!

  4. Flukie says:

    I don’t get why they didn’t just close down EQ, Its sequel is free to play already aswell as other quality free to play MMO’s why would people go back to such a old game.

    The only reason I could think is people with ancient PC’s of which there is quite a large market.

    • ffs_jay says:

      That doesn’t really work either though. EQ at this point is such a mess of graphic and content updates that it runs like garbage on low-spec machines. I remember having more luck with (comparatively) recent stuff like GW and WoW on my netbook, for example.

  5. jack4cc says:

    “growth into F2P” – eh?
    I’d describe that using the word “demise”

  6. Jenks says:

    I’ve been playing Everquest on it’s Mac server since it went free to play a month or so ago. That server hasn’t had a content update in 8 or so years, it only has the original game and the first 4 expansions enabled. The short time I’ve been there, immediately finding myself as part of a community, has confirmed what I already knew – that I’m not wearing the rose colored glasses of nostalgia, MMOs really were better back then. If what you seek is some type of streamlined soloable loot delivery system with no sense of world, in terms of both geography and populace, then the more recent entries in the MMO genre are certainly lightyears beyond this relic.

  7. Alaric says:


  8. Njordsk says:

    Old gameplay is old. I’ll pass on EQ.

  9. frightlever says:

    The $5 silver level of access for EQ is, I believe, given to anyone with a lapsed EQ account for free and if you’ve never played before it’s a one-time payment, not a recurring charge, unlike the $15/month for Gold – which is nuts.

    EQ still has a ton of content and atmosphere, but the UI makes it pretty much unplayable for anyone who has played a modern MMORPG.

  10. Bostec says:

    Bah, nevermind Everquest what they should of be doing is making Vanguard F2P. Theres a game worthy of it. A shame, I don’t think they update it anymore, i think the last major update was the tutorial island and that was what? 2-3 years ago. I think it only has 4 servers and has been left to rot. It brings a tear to my pretty brown eyes, it really does.

    • Arglebargle says:

      They have had some movement on Vanguard. There’s something on the way, from what I have heard. They apparantly reassigned some folks as SWG was going down the tubes, upgrading from the one or two people that were keeping VG going. The real problem with it is that it doesn’t have a structure easily adapted to ftp money making.

      I’d play it for free though, despite the rough spots.

      • Bostec says:

        oo that does sound promising. I always thought they didn’t do anything beacuse the engine was such a bastard to work with, anyway lets hope its soon and it is a push to F2P. I got a MMO itch and it needs a scratch fast.

  11. namad says:

    this article is extremely unclear on one matter… the everquest tiers are TOTALLY FREE, 5$ ONCE EVER, and 15$ per month… so to write 5$ and 15$ is just silly and misleading!

    furthermore anyone who ever played before gets the 5$ level automatically. Aion also has 3tiers! they both have three tiers! the author of this article just misread the websites he linked to… I think the main article should receive an edit from the author or site editor to correct this mistake. Also Aion isn’t going into more detail out of the generosity of it’s heart… Aion goes into more detail because there are flat out MORE LIMITATIONS! anything not referenced by everquest’s chart is just available.

    somehow this article was written about an update and FAQ on two websites, and yet the author didn’t really read either FAQ.

  12. marvelza says:

    tried to download aion, had to restart the entire thing twice, went to the forums, lots of ways to fix it involving 20 step self help programs but just felt like too much trouble.

    shirley you make your patcher bug free before anything else…

  13. po says:

    I’m starting to view the paid-for period of an MMO’s life as the pre-pubescent stage: the inevitability of growth into F2P is starting to look like it’s in the DNA

    I just love how this paradigm would see WoW in the position of being a late developer compared to everyone else in the class, but not being very well endowed at all regarding it’s F2P.

    (All they’ve done is take the time limit off the old 20 day trial, and throw a couple more restrictions on it)