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EverQuest Next's monetization model will be phased in during alpha testing

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Sony Online Entertainment will gradually phase in EverQuest Next Landmark's microtransactions throughout the game's testing phases, taking cues from players regarding what should be changed, director of development Dave Georgeson wrote on the Sony forums.

Georgeson stated that although EverQuest Next Landmark is free-to-play, the game requires some sort of economy to support itself. This kicked off with the initial offering of Founders Packs, which granted players access to the game's closed alpha in January. Towards the end of the alpha, SOE will begin "selling stuff," offering players paid in-game resources and character clothing. Georgeson also noted that the current template for resource progression — namely purchases — will change with the final release. Being able to buy resources is just a "time shortcut" for now.

"Currently, our progression game is limited by resources, so selling those resources may seem like we're allowing you to pay for power," he wrote. "But our current game progression is not the intended real progression. Very soon, you'll only need handfuls of resources to make picks and other tools. Tool and item progression will be limited by activities completed and achievements gained...not by resources."

"We strongly believe that we can support the game...without compromising the game's balance."

SOE will gradually add more time purchase options as the alpha wraps up, including options for potion effects and other crafting shortcuts, home upkeep and market stall renting. Georgeson noted these conveniences will not affect game balance and can be bypassed completely by taking the time to do them in-game.

Early in the closed beta phase, SOE will launch Player Studio, allowing players to submit and purchase templates through the in-game store. Another round of buyable items will also hit around this time, including cosmetic pets, sound and music packs, name and gender changes and other "bigger-ticket items."

"There will be additions/subtractions from this plan as we go, but we strongly believe that we can support the game well in these positive manners without compromising the game's balance, economy, or fun," Georgeson wrote.

EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next Landmark were initially announced for Windows PC, but SOE president John Smedley said in a recent Reddit AMA the title is "absolutely" coming to PlayStation 4 as well. Smedley also suggested the game was pushed back from its intended launch window of 2014 to 2015.