Everquest II Extended, the free-to-play parallel version of the MMO grandaddy's only child, has shed its beta tag and opened its microtransaction-funded doors to all comers. Which means it's a bit more spit'n'polished since the earlier version, plus you get a free flaming staff if you sign up before end of play on Sunday.
"An unmatched quality and quantity of content and adventure that no other free-to-play massively multiplayer online game can offer," it claims, though I have no idea how you measure that kind of thing. DDO and LOTRO probably have quite a lot of content and adventure too, I'd imagine. I'll have to get out my content-and-adventure-o-meter to know for sure, though.
Wouldn't mind looking into this, as I've heard from a few places that Everquest II's a fairly interesting prospect, launching as it did relatively untainted by the WoW-copying frenzy that gripped so many of the games that arrived in successive years. One of these days I'll take a nose.
Its relaunch (well, co-launch - the subs-funded version remains alongside it) also leads me to wonder, once again, how many other MMOs will switch to the free model before too long. Warhammer Online seems a prime candidate, as does City of Heroes and or Champions Online. The appearance-tweaking of the latter two seem ideally (or terrifyingly, depending on how you perceive F2P) well-suited to coughing up micro-bucks for new costume parts.
Out of interest: who here is still paying for an MMO sub, with the exception of EVE's curious micro-climate and, of course, WoW?