EverQuest II Free-to-Play Interview

Ten Ton Hammer has slapped up the results of a conversation they had with SOE's David Georgeson about the company's plans to switch EverQuest II over to a free-to-play business model next month. Here's a bit on how they plan to break the accounts into bronze, silver, and gold classifications:
"From our perspective, there's a couple nice things that come out of this as well. Chiefly, a simplification of message," Georgeson explained. That simplification will occur in several ways. First, the game's multi-tiered subscription model will be reduced to three tiers - free (formerly bronze), silver (for a one-time payment of $US 5 - down from the current $US 10, and silver purchasers within 60 days of launch will be refunded the $US 5), and gold (race pack purchasers within 60 days of launch will be eligible for a refund as well).

The platinum level and current subscribers will be rolled into the gold level, which will now have access to all races. Gold subscribers will also have the option of purchasing a non-recurring subscription to avoid automatic charges at the end of the subscription period. ). If you're still as confused as I was about membership options past and present, take a look at the current EQ2 membership info matrix.

Second, the previously separate marketplaces for the free-to-play, exchange, and legacy servers will be rolled into one marketplace that, according to Georgeson, will most closely resemble the legacy marketplace. That is, no "power items" such as health potions will be available in the item shop, and items and characters will no longer be available for real-world currency purchase.