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SOE never cared about retention, only box sales.
In case you have not noticed, SOE makes a new expansion for EQ2 about every year, charging $40 each. I have not seen the back of the box for the latest expansion ( Sentinel's Fate ) however I'm sure they made it sound new, fresh and exciting, sucking in new players even if it does not have any content for new players.
People think EQ2 is a rival to WoW in numbers, yet if you log into the popular servers and do a search for players by level you will find that their are not near as many as you may think, add to the fact that their not that many popular servers ( population may be temporally higher because of the expansion ). Everquest boards are always booming here at mmorpg.com, and that's because the same ten people have been keeping it that way for years. My opinion on that is because their is something in it for them, but that's only my opinion.
In real life I worked a job with over 3 thousand people, I moved to another job that also has 3 thousand people, and I've only met one person that had ever played EQ2. Many people join month after month only to get discouraged and quit after 30 days.
SOE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT PEOPLE WAISTING THEIR MONEY. It's all about the box sales, I'm beginning to believe that they don't like paying for servers anyway.
Vanguard.....Now Vanguard..... The world is already big. SOE can't justify a $40 expansion. I'm sure it killed them to fix bugs, and add the Trial Island for no profit but it had to be done, and that's most all you would ever see. Now that EQ2's Sentinel's Fate is released you may see some love coming to Vanguard, but not much.
SOE does not advertise, they don't spend time fixing their old content,THEY DON'T WORK THAT WAY, its all about the box in the stores..... Their greedy !!