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Reader Comments (30)

Posted: Jun 9th 2009 9:59PM Ergonomic Cat said

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Per the faq, old subs will get 4 slots, not 2, and will keep Drow.

They also say that they free content will be plentiful at lower levels, and will get scarcer and scarcer as you get higher level, but there will be content up to level 20.

EQ pioneering the adventure pack idea, and it seemed to work pretty well. It is gonna be funny the first time you get something like "okay, we finished X quest. Let's go take on Y." "Uh, sorry guys - I didn't buy that one." "Dude, go get it!" "But I don't have any money." "But we need a healer!" "You gonna buy it for me?"

Posted: Jun 10th 2009 11:16AM (Unverified) said

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There will be "guest passes" that VIP players can give to F2P players to unlock a quest for one time only. Hopefully this will help avoid situations like this.

Of course it might still happen if all, or the majority, in the party are F2P:ers and some have bought the content but not all.
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Posted: Jun 9th 2009 10:08PM (Unverified) said

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Great idea - I wouldn't have expected as much from Turbine.
It's a pity that other flagging titles weren't able to be continued in the same manner (Tabula Rasa, MxO, et al).

Still, the biggest gripe I had with DDO was the 'Spandex Armour Syndrome'. I know it's not all about the looks, but it's fairly awful..

Posted: Jun 10th 2009 1:59AM (Unverified) said

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Guys, Runes of Magic is an amazing free-to-play MMO, closest thing you can get right now to playing WoW for free. You can pay to get sweet loot, or earn it the old fashioned way via the grind. I've been playing it for a week now and I'm getting totally cracked-out on it. Need to play more...

Posted: Jun 10th 2009 2:30AM (Unverified) said

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A fascinating business move in an industry that is reluctant to move towards anything new. On the American side, anyways.

This would be a good thing if there was no content restriction area-wise. If your newly formed group of friends cheerfully runs through the game as a "free" player and you get to the end of the Stormreach stuff, what happens? You'll all be forced to decide whether or not to pay for extra content, which is cool if its a tabletop game cuz one guy just has to buy one book and everyone can share. Not so here. What if one or two people feel that they don't wanna shell out? Do you break up the group and try to fill their roles with others (mind you that DDO tends to be rather punishing on ill-composed groups)? Do you just hang around and rehash the old content? Big turn off in the end, I think. Seems to me that you're forcing social complexity in the form of choosing between budget or friends, and that can't be a good business move.

Paying a one-time unlock fee for bank slots, races, classes, etc. that's all fine, but don't restrict your player base in where they can move to as a group, which is assuming that the tendency for people is to ~want~ to find one or two others to play with.

Also, Turbine, buddies, just do what they Asians have already beaten our whole country to doing. Make a big item mall with tons and tons of cosmetic junk and other knick knacks. I'm hoping this is already in the works and that you've brilliantly thought ahead to this. If you absolutely must continue to have a subscription fee, then lower it because, lets be honest, DDO isn't worth $15 a month. Its a game with content and features comparable to Guild Wars, and that game's free and is very enjoyable (your claim to being the first AAA MMO to be offered free is questionable if you compare these two games side-by-side, but I digress). Relying on an item mall for a large portion of your revenue isn't such a bad thing, as, I think, American MMO companies are underestimating a person's need to express themselves through the virtual appearance of their avatars and their willingness to pay for it. Wanna look more pirate-like? No problem! We got peg legs and parrots and all kinds of good stuff like that. Maybe a feather to tether to your sword. Maybe now we're all stuck up and are set in the mindset of "Its unfair that she can pay $1 for a glow-y green effect that makes her toon look 6x more awesome than my toon! Why can't I spend 15 hours grinding away some mob for free???", but give us older-types time and remember that a newer, fresher, more cosmosexual generation is already playing in FreeRealms. Its only a matter of time before they come looking for you, my sweet, sweet DDO.

Posted: Jun 10th 2009 11:59AM (Unverified) said

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You will earn free "Turbine Points" (the DDO Shop currency) just by questing, as you get them when you earn Favour in the ga,e. So if you are dirt poor and dont want to spend money on the Adventure Packs that unlocks additional quests you might grind for some of it.

However, they have said that you will be able to quest to the level 20 cap (that's the equivalent of level 80 in the generic kill-twenty-rats-and-bring-me-their-hats MMO's) for free.

I think this is a great way to get more people to try this in my opinion very different but very fun action MMO. It can be hard to get people away from their main sandbox MMO when they have to pay an additional subscription. Now people can come when they feel like running some cool D&D adventures with twitch combat (jumping - blocking - dodging), hand made quests and option-rich (if you want) character building (you actually choose your stats and can multiclass into max three classes instead of following a pre-set path) - aspects mosly missing from the generic MMO's based on the EQ concept.

Then when they had their fill of adventure they can go back to fishing and skinning pelts in their main sandbox game of choice. Win - win.
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Posted: Jun 13th 2009 6:01AM (Unverified) said

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Sounds quite a bit like Runescape to me. Free accounts with limited access, or a subscription to unlock all the real content.
Of course, I'll still give it a try, I've wanted to play this game for a while, but lacked the money for another game sub.

Posted: Jun 18th 2009 2:37PM (Unverified) said

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This'd get me to load DDO on my box for a casual hit now and again definitely.

Posted: Jun 19th 2009 1:56PM (Unverified) said

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I play guild wars right now, id love to try ddo but with all the limitations gw is still the better option. Seems to me gw has it down pac, even comming out with guild wars 2! it has always been free to play and yet they still make enough money to make a sequel game. so, take a que fro guild wars and spice up ddo that way, then ill buy it.

Posted: Jul 25th 2009 1:49AM (Unverified) said

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At first I was excited about this change to DDO and the new players that it was promised to bring.

Unfortunately right after this announcement Turbine also announced a slew of other changes to the game that were met with much resistance from many in the community. Turbine wants everyone in game to be equal and wants to eliminate the power gamers or at least stifle them through game-changing mechanics. Turbine has even gone so far as to blame power gamers and zergers for the crippling lag that plagues the servers, because zergers are "aggroing" too many monsters at once and apparently Turbine's $10 servers can't handle the load.

So instead of fixing their own server problems they came up with a new system called "Dungeon Alerts" that hits you with stacking movement speed penalties when you "aggro" too many mobs and literally forces you to stop and fight every monster in the dungeon.

Another very unpopular change is called "grazing hits" which ignores armor class and makes it so if an enemy rolls high enough they hit you anyway, regardless of armor class. This change broke many builds that people spent months grinding out very rare gear to get the highest armor class possible to never get hit by enemies. Many many people who took the time to perfect these very complex builds just had all their work thrown out the window.

Many also argue that microtransactions could also impact the community negatively if people become too overdependant on them, leading to severe game imbalances and even speculation that Turbine could in the future design dungeons that would nearly force players to spend real-life money to complete quests.

Also thrown on the table was a slew of nerfs to quest XP, quest difficulty, many pieces of rare and useful equipment, many many changes that a lot of experiences DDOers see as Turbine "dumbing down" the game in preparation of a "mass influx" of F2P players.

Not to mention that the F2P model is an extremely restricted way to play the game, almost all the content worth playing must be bought, versus the old trial version where the world was yours to explore. Unfortunately unless you are someone who will only be playing DDO for a couple hours a week, you will be near forced to pay for a monthly sub if you want to run any of the better content in the game.

There seems to be a serious disconnect when it comes to Turbine and their customers and many are leaving the game because of it, and these veterans take with them vast game knowledge that could have been passed down to the new players. Unfortunately it seems DDO is at a crossroads, and I'm not sure if I will be around to see this drama unfold.

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