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Looks like SoE is slowly learning that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. The new F2P model for Vanguard is looking a lot better than before:
The only thing still remotely restrictive in there is the gear quality, which is fair enough I suppose, you won't need it until you reach 55 and by then you probably should be contributing to future development either with a sub or cash payments.
Lets hope they update EQ2 to this model as well and get some life back into it.