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Reader Comments (18)

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 8:25AM Chuck Bartowski said

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I find it more desirable to test out a new game with the unlimited free trials as i dont have to burn through as much content as possible in a short period. I also dont have to worry about my trial time being used while im downloading the game (im looking at you LOTRO europe).

ATM im tempted to try out champions online just becuase it something different. The only thing keeping me away from the warhammer online trial is all the recent info about it going downhill which is a sham as i love the warhammer universe...oh well ill have to wait for the WH40k mmo.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 8:26AM Chuck Bartowski said

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*Shame
Reply

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 8:37AM Alarie said

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The biggest benefit for me with unlimited trials is I don't have to rush to try all kind of things out in the game. My time is limited these days.

@Pur3Gamer if you're interested in WAR you should still try it. You may enjoy it. It costs you nothing.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 9:26AM LaughingTarget said

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It makes sense to do ulimited trials. Standard game demos are the same thing. Limited set of features to get you hooked and they don't delete themselves, just stop right when it gets good. Plus, MMOs are long haul games, only allowing 15 days, especially for casual players, fail to give the player an idea if they want a sub or not.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 9:45AM Bri said

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I am far more likely to download an unlimited-time MMO trial. This allows me to poke and prod at the game at my own pace. Even if I don't buy it, I'm more likely to keep it on my hard drive and periodically keep the game patched as an occasional diversion from whichever games I'm playing fulltime.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 10:13AM HalfGamer said

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I think unlimited trials are absolutely the way to go. Game companies should want everyone possible trying out their game, but time limited trials can put a barrier up for people who don't have a lot of time to devote to the game.

There have been a lot of times where I've thought of trying a trial of a new game, but didn't because I knew that I wouldn't have enough time over the next 2 weeks to really play it. If I had had the option of an unlimited trial I would have downloaded it without any worries. Who knows, the game might have caught my interest enought to pay for a subscription, but I never tried it.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 10:17AM MtthwRddl said

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For me, unlimited trials don't mean much. Most unlimited trials involve so little content, you'd be done with it sooner than later and you'll be bored.

I think WAR has the best unlimited trial because you can explore roughly one fourth of the game and level to 10.

CO's unlimited trial is ridiculous. Many players will be done with the content in an hour and will be bored trying to find something else to do. Not the best idea a potential customer.

Alganon has a very interesting free trial. Not level/tier limit, but if you don't subscribe, your character gets deleted. The deletion is not a big problem for me. If I don't think the game is worth playing, they are free to delete any and all characters I played around with.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 10:25AM (Unverified) said

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I think its a very good idea. I played Champions online last night (as a veteran of the pen & paper version) and enjoyed the great character creation system. Its one of the best I have ever experienced, if not the best. I have also figured out that CO is really not for me as a purchase.

However this is a great way to get people into a game. There is nothing more annoying that have a "limited" trial end on you and your not knowing if the game is worth buying. This also helps if games have major downtime/bugs/etc during the period you chose to play. I agree the CO unlimited trial is a bit...limited in areas you can experience. However UTs are a good trend and should be encouraged.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 10:59AM CCon99 said

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Unlimited trials don't mean anything more or less to me. I can usually make up my mind in 10-14 days if the game is for me or not.

I do find both WAR and CO's trials to have an odd reception to them. I know of a few remaining WAR guilds who all canceled their accounts just because they felt the Tier 1 scenarios were the funnest part of the game and now they can just play in that Tier for good with no monthly fee. So I wonder if the unlimited trial is actually hurting that game more then helping it?

CO's trial doesn't seem well thought out at all. One of the first features people wanted implemented in CO after launch was to have the ability to bypass the extremely boring tutorial. They should have included the Canada/Desert Crisis zones that come after the tutorial so the players could experience the game with more powers and at least a travel power. Being stuck in that Tutorial for 4-6 levels is boring enough, I couldn't imagine being stuck in there for 10-15 levels with the same 2 powers and hearing "Shut Down ALL Those Beacons!" over and over.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 11:10AM Randomessa said

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For me, unlimited trials are a wonderful thing. The fact is I just don't have enough time to play to get very far in a hard limit of 7, 10, or 14 days - something will inevitably come up and I'll have only experienced the bare minimum of content when the trial is over. Why, just recently I got to experience a whole 7 of 14 days of the Vanguard trial....

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 11:49AM Saker said

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"Traditional" limited trials of just a few days were always a stupid idea, amazing that people haven't realized that before. People just don't have time for those, it has to be much more open ended if you -really- (I strongly suspect many don't) want to give people a true look at what you're selling.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 12:55PM (Unverified) said

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I also think unlimited trials are a better option. I can't even remember the number of games with a limited 10-14 day trial that I've downloaded, maybe played for 15 minutes, and then not had time to get back to again before the trial period was up.

However, the nature of the unlimited trial needs to be well thought out. The Warhammer unlimited trial is a great teaser for the player, as you get to experience all aspects of gameplay but are limited in level. It gives you a chance to get hooked on the game and want to advance beyond the trial cap. The CO unlimited trial is not well thought out, as it severely limits what gameplay you can experience. Having unlimlited access to a very narrowly focused part of the game (the tutorial) is not really much of an incentive to play the game.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 1:31PM UndeadAreGo said

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Unlimited definitely. I play my MMOs exceptionally slowly, exploring every crevasse and milking every detail. With work, social life, etc. 10 days may not be enough time for me to make a decision.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 2:41PM (Unverified) said

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I think these unlimited time trials are a great trend. In my case, between my wife and kids, work, football season (*is it really almost over?*), etc.., I don't get a lot of time to play any game. Hence, an unlimited time trial, even with severe limitations on content/gameplay, is much more tempting to me than a 14 day unlimited access trial. And trials are a must...I simply won't put down $50-60 on a game with a monthly subscription fee unless I am really interested in playing it.

Of course, how you run an unlimited time trial will greatly effect how successful it is.

Warhammer Online and Age of Conan both created excellent trial systems. I've tried AoC before, but I've never actually made it past level 10 or so before my trial expired. With the new trial system, I can work my way through Tortage to level 20, then, if I am really interested in seeing the rest of the game, put down $20 for a key and my first months actual play time. That's not bad at all, and I am much more likely to buy the game now.

On the other hand, the new Champions trial is more annoying than anything else. Yes, the character creator is awesome, and no doubt you can sit there for days just creating characters...but the Millenium City tutorial zone is very small and doesn't really give you a feel for what the game is like at all. I almost think this trial might dissuade me from buying the game, especially with how often it crashes.

But as a whole, this is a good trend, imho.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 10:37PM Ergonomic Cat said

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I think they're brilliant, as long as it's not something stupid like the Champions Online.

"let's take what is arguably the worst section of the game, and let you play it an unlimited number of times! Woo!"

*sigh*.

But WAR's free trial is awesome. Hell, I didn't get most of my toons to level 10 before I quit at launch. And I installed Age of Conan last night, because they have the same idea. At this point, I won't really consider a non-unlimited, just because my play time is very sporadic.

Posted: Dec 23rd 2009 11:09PM Pingles said

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I've gone one step further:

I only play F2P.

I am an older player and struggle to find time to play and it's nice not having a monthly fee hanging over my head that I don't use enough to justify it.

F2P is working out great for me.

Posted: Dec 24th 2009 6:09AM Sente said

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The concept is good I think; more than once I have ran out of time on a time-limite trial due to real life interfering.

Execution varies though and the latest example of a less stellar trial offering is Champions Online. I love the game, but only limiting players to tutorial zone is not a good move. They have set the level cap to 15 and number of characters to 2 - they should leave it at that and remove the zone restriction.

Advancing to level 15 would give a reasonably good taste of what the game is about and people would be able to see 3 of the real zones.

But I suspect that the tutorial zone restriction is more of a quick fix because it was easy to implement. Hopefully they will change that later.

Posted: Dec 24th 2009 2:09PM (Unverified) said

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hi! I like cake! =)

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