Earlier this week, EQ2's producer told Massively that the game would be getting a 25th class this year, and I promptly speculated that it would be headed to the game's cash shop. I was not alone, and I was wrong. This prediction failed out faster than usual because I'm not the only one with a mea culpa - Smokejumper revealed that he screwed up when he disclosed the class so soon.
If he hadn't said anything, no one would have known that it had been a slip-up; developers drop this kind of hint all the time without elaboration. The problem was that the morale of the EQ2 playerbase is so low when it comes to new features that the speculation that the new class was going to the cash shop became widespread in the absence of further information.
During the two evenings after the interview was posted, I saw about half a dozen conversations about the news in general chat. Each one went about the same - someone expressed disbelief, someone provided the link that confirmed the news, at least one person suggested that the new class would be the famous EQ1 Beastlord, and then conversation turned to what the class would cost in the cash shop and whether it would obsolete any of our current characters in order to encourage sales.
It's hard to get an accurate feel of the opinions of the "silent masses" of MMO's, but my experience has been that any subject that comes up repeatedly in public chat channels is much more serious than your average forum thread. My guess is that SOE did not like the way the conversation was going, to the point where Smokejumper had to issue a clarification that the new class - whatever its other merits or issues - will not be in the cash shop.
Time will tell whether the class will be the oft-rumored Beastlord, whether it portends an expansion focusing on Luclin (which was blown up in between EQ1 and EQ2 lore) or how it fits into the game as a whole. If the curtain actually is coming up at Fan Faire, I guess we don't have that long to wait.