General News
SOE Black Friday Sale

Sony Online Entertainment has announced a one-day double Station Cash sale on Black Friday! This Friday, November 28th, when you buy Station Cash on the web, in-game, or with an SOE Game Card, the amount of Station Cash you get will be doubled! Double Station Cash will only awarded between 12:00am PT (U.S.) to 11:59:59pm PT, so don’t miss out!

Naturaly there will be in-game Marketplace deals on Cyber Monday, and special deals for All-Access Members that have yet to be announced. Stay tuned over the weekend for more information!

Fine Print: Cyber Monday deals and All Access member benefits apply only to SOE titles currently included in All Access. Promotion does not include Landmark, Dragon’s Prophet, or DC Universe Online (PSN Version).

General News
CES 2009: Exclusive Interview with John Smedley

Some of you may remember a recent editorial that was published here at Allakhazam about my concerns with Station Cash. Obviously, there were people at Sony Online Entertainment who disagreed with me. During my time at CES last week I had the opportunity to sit down with John Smedley to let him know why I decided to write the piece and our conversation quickly turned into an interview opportunity. Mr. Smedley was both rational and receptive during our off the record talks and clearly understood my opinions, regardless of his own. He even went out on a limb to let me know that he'd like to take some of the concerns that I had back to the EverQuest II development team. You don't have to have a very big imagination to know that those remarks put a smile on my face.

During the interview, which is nearly ten minutes in length, we talked about Station Cash, Free Realms, EverQuest's ten year anniversary, and the EverQuest movie which has been rumored for years.  I have to admit, some of the Station Cash products that Sony Online Entertainment is going to be rolling out are exciting. I even found myself saying 'I'd buy that' during the interview. As far as my opinions of Station Cash are concerned, as long as the experience potions available for purchase are where they draw the line, I'm willing to co-exist.

'Imagine being able to open up a book with every member of your guild, and have that physically mailed to you as a part of station cash. Our goal is to be able to buy both in game items, and those kinds of items, but be able to do that among all of our games in the future.'

Please check out our interview with John Smedley which we've transcribed for those of you who don't want to see John Smedley and me stare into each other's eyes for ten minutes. Also, please tell us what you think about the interview, Station Cash, the EverQuest movie and anything else that comes to mind, in the comment box below.

General News
Station Crap

The following editorial contains views that are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views of Allakhazam.com

Last week Sony Online Entertainment announced Station Cash, which was met with an uproar from the community. Station Cash is a new virtual currency program that gives players the option buy in-game items from their virtual wallet. This has been seen by many as a short sighted attempt to put money in their pocket without consideration of tomorrow. I don't know about you, but my letter to Santa didn't say anything about getting screwed by Sony. That's how I feel though. I feel somewhat betrayed by the company that I've always talked about as one that listens to their players. It seems that this is no longer true of Sony Online Entertainment.

This isn't the first time that SOE has pushed the same kind of envelope. The launch of Station Exchange back in July of 2005 was met with the same criticism. So what's different this time around? Everything! First of all, we're not getting the choice this time. With Station Exchange they only implemented it on select servers that players had the option to transfer to. The same was true with the introduction of PvP into EverQuest II. First there was discussion which resulted in the creation of dedicated PvP servers because this was what the fans indicated they wanted. This time around it's being forced on everyone, and it was done that way no discussion, no warning and no choice.

My biggest question is why they decided to ninja implement such an important "enhancement" if they didn't already know it was going to piss people off. It's my opinion that they did know; they just simply didn't care. It seems that a simple compromise, like creating specific Station Cash servers for people to transfer to, would have been held with higher regard in the community. So why didn’t they go that route? That's a question as enigmatic to me as their choice to continue PS3 MMO development.

EverQuest II
New Items in the Station Marketplace!

The introduction of Station Cash, a pay-for-stuff micrortransaction service offered by SOE for EverQuest and EverQuestII, caused less bruhaha than one might expect.  At first glance the program looks quite controversial, but the first week has been successful enough for new items for EQII to be added to the Station Marketplace!

 

See all the EQII Marketplace items on the EQII Station Cash page.

See the announcement of these new items at EQII Players.

General News
Station Cash: What Would You Like to See Next?

Craig "Grimwell" Dalrymple, SOE Senior Community Relations Manager, posted on the official forums :

The initial response to Station Cash has been a success for SOE and we are looking forward to new offerings for both EverQuest and EverQuest II in the not too distant future.

In fact, the response has been so strong that game teams are adding new employees dedicated to Station Cash, to allow us to continue to add new and exciting items to the marketplace, without having to pull from the core development.

In addition to strengthening our development teams with new staff; we want to be very open to you and your ideas for future items in the marketplace. Which is the purpose of this thread, what would you like to see in the marketplace next?

Please share your ideas for things you would like to see that fit within the spirit of the marketplace (please don’t ask for Epic’s…). I’ll be tracking this thread and reporting internally on the things that you guys ask for. While I can’t guarantee that every single requested item will make it in the games, and can’t set a schedule from your idea to delivery as a game asset, I want you to know that we are quite serious about not only hearing your input, but putting it to work if it’s viable.

Jennifer "Kirstie" Gerull, EQII Associate Producer, commented in the December 11 Allakhazam EQ2 Developer's Chat that real life posters of your characters are already in the works.  What else would you like?

EverQuestII players can comment here on the EQII Official Forums

EverQuest players can comment in this thread on the EQ Official Forums.

EverQuest II
Station Cash - on The Ravecast

Join Leonai_art and Luxx this evening for The Ravecast which airs every Friday, 6:30 - 8:30pm Pacific

Topic: SOE's Station Cash
Guest: SpyderBite from the Zam network
How to Listen : Click Here

General News
Station Cash is Now Available in EQ and EQII

In a move bound to send ripples through the MMO world, today SOE annouced a new service, Station Cash.  This new microtransaction service is available in EverQuest and EverQuest II. 

Station Cash, Sony Online Entertainment’s new virtual currency, is now live in EverQuest and EverQuest II . Station Cash can be used to purchase items that will provide convenience and customization in game, providing everyone the opportunity to create a unique gameplay experience.

Want to learn more about Station Cash? You can learn more at the Station Marketplace, and by reading the Station Cash FAQ. Please note that Station Cash will not be available for customers in Europe until Wednesday, December 10th.

So far the items available for Station Cash are fairly limited. For more information, see the Station Cash website.