The All-Access Subscription from SOE has to be the most interesting and potentially game-changing advance in the community-developer relationship within the world of MMOs.
I’ve never been a big player of any of SOE’s many MMOs over the years. This certainly isn’t an aversion to SOE’s games, but instead it was always simply timing or distraction. Everquest hit it’s heyday during a rare period when I barely played games aside from Smash Bros or Goldeneye with friends between D&D sessions. Star Wars Galaxies was past the NGE by the time I had created a trial character who was quickly forgotten due to intense lag on my old, sad Inspiron 6000. By the time I began playing WoW, the king had already cast a long, dark shadow over the likes of Everquest II and The Matrix Online. All this is a good thing.
When SOE announced their “All-Access Subscription” back in January, I perked up.
The “pass”, as of May 6th, covers Everquest, Everquest 2, Planetside 2 and DCUO (as well as 5 booster packs per month for the Legends of Norath TCG and access to the now free-to-play-no-additional-benefit-for-subbing original Planetside). SOE’s other titles Dragon’s Prophet, Landmark and H1Z1 are slated for addition to the pass in the future. For the “standard” price of fifteen bucks you get subscription perks and 500 station cash ($5) for use in any game. All these games are free-to-play, so in essence you’re paying for additional perks which may and may not be useful.
I want to chronicle the process of trying out SOE’s All-Access pass. I love playing new games and seeing how different systems and approaches effect my experience. In the case of SOE I have never really played any of their games seriously before, so I’ll be starting from scratch almost everywhere. Already I’ve brought my Planetside 2 character from BR3 to BR12 rather quickly, but I have also been pouring a good amount of time into my superhero in DCUO during the past few days.
This is a catalogue of games I often overlooked in favor of others, and jumping on this subscription is something I have a lot of interest in. I’d love to see the same approach, even in part, from Square-Enix allowing access to both Final Fantasy XI and XIV. In that case, I’d love to go back to XI to poke about from time to time, but I’d never justify starting a subscription even for a month.
So far it seems Planetside 2 and DUCO have my interest in the largest portion, which may be unsurprising as they’re the newer titles amongst the bunch.