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Everquest had 450,000 subscribers in 2003, Everquest 2 when it was subscription based had over 500,000, since going ftp it has tripled in players. World of Warcraft had 12 million subscribers in late 2010.
If you are reading this and saying that I'm trolling this message board, think again. I played EQ 1 and loved it, I played it day one for three years. Everquest 2 I played for a year, SWG i played for 2. I also played WOW for 2 years. Personally I think WoW was really easy but Im sure any EQ player would agree with that, I digress from my point.
When a very large company designs an MMO they will obviously go after their largest possible player base, if you played EQ 1, 2, or SWG you probably arent their target market, heck if you post on this forum you probably arent their target market. If you play WOW, COD, Guild Wars 1 or 2, wear a hat backwards while playing texas holdem watching UFC in your friends basement your probably their target market. Im sure at this point your saying Im generalizing but the fact is to even get 1 million subscribers their not going to make an updated EQ 1 (although Im in the category wishing they would), they will build a more mature WoW with EQ lore and new enough game mechanics that although they will be familiar they wont be stale.
Im sure everyone at SOE knew that after the release of that concept art the hardcore community would have a fit, but lets be honest they care way more about the people who think that WoW was the first MMO ever created. Look on the internet at how much other websites post on rumors of EQN, they dont at all, but they do post tons of rumors on Titan and pointless news on WoW, this just shows how the majority of PC gamers are now a days.
I will play this game regardless of how grim many people think it looks, including myself. The reason why? If MMORPG and Ten Ton are getting pretty hyped about so am I. Yes there has been lots of hype about other games, SWTOR being the main one(which I thought was pretty fun as a single player game lol), but EQ is ftp so what the heck why not hold off try it. Maybe when its all said and done the nostalgia of seeing festering hags in unrest and icebones in lower guk will at least give us a smile and want us to keep exploring to see what other tidbits we find which all those WoW players looking for a new home wont understand.