| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (17)

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 4:39PM Russell Clarke said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
What I find really interesting is the way you're talking about 'free' costume parts in a game that people have to pay a monthly subscription to play.

Yeah I know that there's the C-Store, and all that sort of thing, but I just find it fascinating how the language is beginning to change around the business models the MMOs are using, and how all of a sudden something that is part of the standard package is being described as 'free'. It ain't free. We're paying subs for it.

Not making a dig at all here - it just amused me :)

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 5:05PM dudemanjac said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I don't know why it's so amusing it it something that you are getting without any added cost to you. You are already paying a sub. The only ppl who can claim to be paying for it are the ppl who resub on the exact same day the patch hits. And even that is a stretch. On the other hand, if you have a lifetime or 6 moth sub, you just got more value... free.
Reply

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 5:22PM Russell Clarke said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I won't even try to engage with that sort of logic.
Reply

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 5:40PM dudemanjac said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Why not? I can be convinced. What's wrong with the logic of saying "This is what you were getting for this monthly amount. Now you are getting this plus that for the same amount." To that end, what's wrong with saying, "You paid $200 to get these things. Now you will get this at no additional cost."

Where is my logic wrong?
Reply

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 5:52PM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
Well in all seriousness you monthly fee is paying for access to the service. Nowhere does it state that have to add new content to it. They could save it all up and release it as a paid expansion 3-6 months down the road.

I am fairly certain that it does not state anywhere in the Eula or anywhere in your monthly subscription agreement that they are required to give you "free content".

So yes this is Free content they are giving you. It's above and beyond that monthly fee you pay.

I think people have developed this strange idea that there monthly fee makes them entitled to content additions for the game forever. Thats not the case and I think you are going to be sadly brought into reality when the future of MMO's revolve around you paying an extra fee for any type of content addition above and beyond what comes in the box. It's already started for single player games (DLC) and MMO's are already starting to make that move (World of Warcraft RMT with additional mini pets and character changes) with RMT. It's just a matter of time tell the dev's and companys catch on and move full into the system.
Reply

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 6:03PM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
In the context of a subscribing person, this content comes free. Why? Because it costs nothing beyond the regular subscription fee.
Reply

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 6:04PM toychristopher said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Yes these things do get a little fuzzy in a game with a subscription and a item store.
Reply

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 6:29PM Sente said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It is certainly interesting how it is phrased, but not anything new. MMO companies have been doing that for years now and for Cryptic is is business as usual. All the new issues (content updates) in City of Heroes/Villains were for a long time labeled as "free expansions".

Since it is not well defined what is actually included in the subscription fee, the message will be adjusted to whatever fits the situation.

In this case it is "free" because the marketing wants to point to particular items. Another situation could be arguing about haveing a subscription fee at all and in that case it would be pointed out how much is "included" in that fee.

Reply

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 7:26PM Its Utakata stupid said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
I believe the term you maybe looking for is "nickle and diming," Russell. Because a real games would emphasize that subscribers are valued customers and not after-thoughts that only get the good stuff only after you pay more for it. But apparently many are okay with that. ("Progressive business model" I believe was the term used to describe this, though it looks pretty regressive to me.)

Also, you are corrected if you feel this is an indication that most of the new costume pieces released after in CO will likely not be for free.
Reply

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 8:41PM Russell Clarke said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Tom316, thankfully Bill Roper doesn't believe that subscribers just 'get access' to the game (well, at least, not in public.) Read of his plans for content releases, and how much of the content has been changed so far based on player (read: subscriber) feedback...

http://rpg.boomtown.net/en_uk/articles/art.view.php?id=18879

Mr. Roper knows that regularly releasing new and updated content is just the way MMOs have to work to stay competitive, and to keep their easily-bored subscriber base. They don't do it to be altruistic.

Question is, where do we as subscribers draw the line between what a company should be morally obligated (yeah, I know I mentioned the words 'company' and 'morally' in the same sentence!) to release, and what a company could release if they were feeling generous. Cue flames about not living in the real world, yada yada yada.

I'd certainly be interested in understanding a little more about what everyone expects out of their subscription fees. Seems there's some differing opinions. Personally, while I don't expect the CEO to give up his/her first-born as a sacrifice, I do certainly expect some value-add above and beyond 'getting access to the service'.

Anyone?
Reply

Posted: Nov 22nd 2009 12:14AM dudemanjac said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It wasn't until the CoH that I started to expect regular free updates. Every time a new issue came out, I felt like I was getting something ettra. Between that Eve,and WoW, I came to expect that to be the norm, those being the only games I spent lots of money on. I don't know what it was like in the everquest days, but I kinda like it this way. Sure I fully expect at some point for a full fledged expansion to come out and them to charge for it, but I think a decent balance has been struck.

But now we have this microtranaction business. It seems like for the most part they are selling things that ppl really weren't entitled to to begin with. Who are we to demand additional character slots, race changes, retcons, etc? They weren't a normal part of the deal to begin with but slowly it has come to the point where we are willing to pay for things like the ability to lvl faster, snazzy duds, pretty weapons, all things we used to have to work for.

I don't blame a business for seeing an opportunity to make money and taking it. I blame the suckers who made it profitable for them. To date I have yet to spend a dime on any of these miscrotransaction. No server changes, costume slots, Mighty Swords o' Swingin'. The only reason I picked up the cyber set in CO was because I had points given to me when i bought the game

At least I think so. I may be a big hypocrite and just don't remember. Can't imagine what else I would have spent those point on. But Assuming I am wrong, look how long I held out. And those wings are so cool...
Reply

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 6:26PM dudemanjac said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'd just like to thank Cryptic for not doing what a lot of ppl initially feared and that is saving ALL extra costume pieces and the like for the C-Store. I hope they continue to spread that around. I have only bought one thing from the C-Store (the cyber set) and the funny thing is I haven't even used it yet. I plan to though.

Posted: Nov 21st 2009 6:26PM Russell Clarke said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
Well, I eagerly await the next ad for all the bug fixes we're getting at no extra cost! ;)

Posted: Nov 22nd 2009 1:46AM Russell Clarke said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
dudemanjac (and apologies for 'not engaging' earlier - bad day, etc!), I believe it should be the norm to expect regular content updates as part of your subscription. I think that's what keeps the game interesting for the players. And from a developer viewpoint, interested players = renewed subscriptions = $$$.

An MMO company charges a subscription not so their product will stay the same, but so they can afford to put the hours in to make it improve over time (and therefore continue to interest the subscribers, = $$$ etc.) How do they improve it? By incrementally adding and improving content (like capes & missions & shit) and improving quality (like fixing bugs & rebalancing & shit). Retcons, extra slots and race changes - to me that's just MMO botox. If people want to spend their extra dollars on that crap, good luck to them, and good luck to the companies that can make extra dollars out of it. However I think updating game content is a bit different from that, and I think the MMO companies know that, and in the case of Cryptic, Bill Roper seems to know it. That's why they update the content regularly, to stay competitive. And therefore there's no reason we should be grateful for it, or treat it as a special gift. And it ain't free. Our subscriptions are being spent on creating it. Hence we should expect it, and should be taking advantage of it.

As for this particular example of Cryptic releasing some costume parts and claiming that they're 'free', the way I see it, it's far too close to the CO launch date for them to be claiming they're giving anything away free. It's more likely to be stuff that missed the launch date. So I don't think it's 'free'. I just think it's 'late'. I know it's just the marketing guys doing what they do, but they annoy me because...well they're marketing guys.

Finally, I say let the MMO companies fight it out and offer all the things they can to their subscriber base, because they should need to fight to keep our dollars. The more competition there is, the better it is for the customer. But if they try to tell us we're getting stuff for nothing, I'll call bullshit every time.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2009 9:58AM dudemanjac said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think the only place we are disagreeing is verbage and semantics for the most part. Maybe I didn't stae it clearly in my last post, but I do expect these updates where it comes to content and the occassional costume set. But I have to ask myself how much is my life improved buy this new cape? Would I be upset if it was never offered? If it is truly something that was just late it could have very well just ended up on the cutting room floor, sold in the c-store, save for a full expansion or saved for a major update.

In this particular case, no one is going to argue that there aren't enough costume pieces in CC, so they are in no way obliged to give us this little update right now. You see it as something we deserve and shouldn't be overjoyed or look at is as a gift. I think it should be loked at plainly as something that we know is going to happen.

Did marketing hold off on it to give us stuff in drips to keep ppl interested? Maybe, but that's what they do and I can forgive them for that. Was it something that was late and they just added it now? Possibly. But when I consider how it could have gone, I'm just happy we are getting it for free. In today's climate, and with a game that has a system set up to sell syuff for real money. I'm happy to get free stuff, especially less than a month after an update thtagave costume pieces, missions and a powerset.
Reply

Posted: Nov 22nd 2009 4:59AM Psychotic Storm said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Personally I like this update, it needs the "free" as label so not to confuse the update with the CStore.

the mannequins with the costume pieces are great I can't wait to see them expand to all the costume pieces in CO.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2009 11:49AM Russell Clarke said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Agreed, the capes look great. Not sure how well my toon would fit into his Toyota Echo though, with those sticky-out bits at the back though ;)

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW