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Gold Pieces: Everquest II Extended Open Beta

As previously reported, Everquest II is adding a Free-to-Play option. The story is no longer true. It's gone into Open Beta, so now totally has a free-to-play option. The unique twist is that it doesn't touch the traditional game at all, instead offering a parallel Everquest II Extended free-to-play option. So if you want to play a sub game you can, and if you want to enter a more micro-payment option, you can do that too. You can download the client here, which has Guild-War-esque streaming tech to allow you to start playing rather than waiting for Gigabytes of stuff to squeeze out of your internet-pipe. Also, according to the FAQ, despite being a Beta, there won't be a character wipe when it goes live properly, so all your progress (and expenditures) will carry across into the full launch. This free-to-play second-life for 3rd-wave MMOs is very much a trend of the year, and you can see the Gamescom trailer below...

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