Notice the bearwere and lionwere forms.
Lycanthropy was SOE’s last effort to stop losing players to its competitors. In June, 2004 it came almost 8 months after Frontiers and was sort of the last real expansion in the game. I’m saying this without knowledge of what has happened in the last 4 years. But as far as game play goes and the ability completely alter your character, lycanthropy is up there with the introduction of class mastery.
The problem with getting your “were” form? It was a pain in the ass, a pure lottery system that never seemed to work out for you but seemed just great for your friends. I played for close to 3 months trying to get that damn lionwere form in the hills near Blackwater. I probably saw 1 every hour. Additionally, no one was quite sure how to get the infection. Did it have to hit you? Did you have to kill it? Could groups get infected?
I eventually ditched the lionwere, went to Forkwatch, and got the wolfwere in my 2nd kill. What the hell?
For a warrior that was pretty “uber” in its own level 35 right, I spent 3 weeks going for the gatorwere. This one eventually happened because I had gotten into dual boxing by that point. I didn’t dual box characters but rather played other video games while waiting for the damn weregators to spawn.
It definitely helped your character to have the infection. It also helped me by making new characters in Freeport and pulling the WereHunters to AFK people. The most fun I had in this game was training these WereHunters onto unsuspecting lyncanthropes.
With all that said, SOE extended the lifespan of this game by a few months and also gained some extra cash on the way. Like I said, I spent months getting these things. That’s time not spent getting to endgame content. Pretty brilliant on their part, sortof sucky on ours.