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

Reader Comments (120)

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 8:48AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
At least they showed their true face now, instead of letting people get settled in and then jacking up the prices. Some one wasn't using their noggin.

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 12:12PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I forgot...

I expected to buy stuff from the cash shop and I knew the bags wouldn't be cheap, but $20 is beyond overpriced.

What is with all the MMO companies making dumb marketing decisions lately?

They're just making WoW and Blizzard more appealing.
Reply

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 9:20AM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
I really can't understand the business model of these guys. Sure they want to make money -- as much as they can! -- but this isn't going to do it.

Right now, players are evaluating whether they want to jump into this game with both feet. To do that, they understand they'll have to pay some real world cash, but that's okay if it will alleviate a bit of the grind and some of the frustrating limitations they're starting to run into. They're deciding if the time/cost/fun balance will work for them. Something likes this just screams: NO!

I had my credit card out yesterday and was prepared to make some purchases. I was going to plop down $50 which would (I naively thought) last me a few months. But there was no exchange rate listed on the web site that I could find before entering my number so I got suspicious, and poked around before finding out the horrible truth. I will give them no money, and probably will not play any more. I'm sure there are many others that feel the same way.

There's no marginal unit cost to make the goods they're selling in the shops. If they lowered the prices by 75% they'd probably increase sales tenfold. That works out to more money for them and good PR as well. And if they keep paying customers in the game longer, those customers will likely be willing to pay more for bigger ticket items later in the game. They will be willing to pay to maintain the investment they've made in the game. As it is -- and especially after this "we care but we're not changing anything" response to player concerns -- many enthusiastic players will shrug and walk away before wasting anymore of their time on something that doesn't have a future.

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 1:22PM Saylah said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Like Dreadskill said, I alos had my credit card ready. I wanted bigger bags as a priority and a couple of talent respec potions so I could experiment with the builds I'd done in a talent estimator. I almost fainted when I saw the prices. Bloggers posting or not the conversation is RAGING IN GAME. Every few minutes someone logs in and sees the prices for the first time and the whole debate erupts in chat again and again and again. This is not going away. It doesn't matter if another website or blogger posts nothing. Game chat is over-run with this drama every 30 minutes or so.
Reply

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 9:34AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Wow : /

At most I'd think stuff like that would be maybe 5-10 bucks... yeesh.

And their only real response is: "Yeah, we'll be looking at feedback. Also, we'll be throwing in more helpful things into the shop soon."

... >_>

That doesn't really solve the problem of the ridiculous pricing...

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 9:39AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I mean, I'd happily buy stuff from the cash shop if the prices were lower. They'd probably make WAY more money if they reduced the prices, because they'd most likely be getting more people willing to pay, which would make up for the lower pricing.

Oh well, they probably will reduce the prices at some point. I doubt they'll be getting many purchases currently with prices like that.
Reply

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 9:47AM Wensbane said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
Gala, Inc: Burying MMOs since 1993.

PS: Oh, and stop calling the company gPotato! That is just the name of their gaming portal. It's Gala Group (Gala, Inc.) or Gala-Net, for the North American subsidiary.

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 9:49AM Pingles said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
Maybe they are trying to invent a new word: MACROtransactions

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 10:30AM Joshua Przygocki said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Well I was really excited for Allods... and I was willing to spend money in the shop not $20 though.I think I'm just going to re-sub to WoW or maybe sub to Fallen Earth or something else all together I cant decide... Any suggestions?

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 1:18PM Holgranth said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Fallen Earth sounds like an excellent plan.
Reply

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 10:53AM (Unverified) said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
From a PR perspective, it's fascinating. I'm sure their PR folks are desperately trying to look like they know what is going on by explaining the nerdrage to the developers. What is amazing is that somehow Blizzard gets away with the faction and server changing fees...I have to imagine it is a huge amount of money, but the rage isn't there. Now you have a game that is free and people are ready to dump the game over this.

EVE has also perfected the art - finding a way to sell and buy ingame ISK (though the PLEX system). Once again, without the rage that is associated with stores.

Nerdrage is a unique phenomenon to the gaming community. The only other example outside MMOs is when they decided to change the flavor of coke "New Coke". Nerdrage cannot be measured with surveys or focus groups. It is led by a few thousand opinion leaders that live in forums and change constantly. Nerdrage destroyed SWG and Planetside.

If people are willing to leave a game because of $20 six slot bag, doesn't that indicate the game wasn't that good to begin with.

What makes Blizzard immune to nerdrage. Is it because WoW is actually a great game, or is their PR people better at it than most other games?

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 12:08PM breezer said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
I can't remember a more flawless reputation from a game in beta/launch than Allods before this fiasco.

It's a shame. Allods is such a great game.
Reply

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 12:54PM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
You are making a huge, huge assumption, and an incorrect one, in saying that Blizzard is immune to nerd rage. For one thing, server transfers are not an integral part of the game. You don't have to do them. Same goes for faction changes, etc. These are truly optional choices that many players never use.

Charging $20 bucks for a 6 slot bag increase is different, as is the FoD mechanic. You are, as a developer/publisher, forcing players into a model that makes them feel trapped, and makes them feel that they must spend alot of money to even enjoy the game.

As to your nerdrage assumptions regarding Blizzard--have you been in the WoW forums? Swing by and take a look. It is nothing but an endless sea of pissing, moaning, bitching, crying and screaming anytime they so much as tweak a class or a game mechanic. Nerdrage may have been invented somewhere else, but the WoW forumgoers perfected it.
Reply

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 1:30PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@T - then the question is, why does nerdrage have such a detrimental effect this game while WoW continues to sail on as the #1 MMORPG out there and ATVI as the only game stock currently going up. In what case did massive nerdrage cause a massive number of people to quit WoW and if that actually happened, where did they go? Warhammer? Aion? AoC? Their subscription numbers do not support any evidence of that happening.

I keep looking at this chart (http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart1.html) for the massive dip in WoW subscriptions that would indicate the nerdrage and ragequit that you mention...but I fail to see it. Or are you saying that Blizzard has mastered the proper response to Nerdrage by responding to it correctly...by not having an store...or having one and giving half the profits to charity? The question is, what is Blizzard doing right?

Granted - server and faction changes are not integral to the game. The six slot bag can be achieved through quest, correct? $20 is simply a faster way to get it. In EVE, you could grind your way to carrier (~650 Million ISK) or you can buy 3 PLEX and sell them in game. It's pretty much the same concept except that the player market is setting the price vice the developers. While there has been some nerd rage involved - it has been minimal and has not had a negative effect on the game. Why is EVE let off the hook? Because you can't buy the ship direct? What is it about game stores that causes nerdrage to violently explode?

On the other hand, DnD online seems to be doing it right...but they went from a subscription based service to a free to play so perhaps there is more latitude given to them.

One fact that PR will never be able to get through to the forum masses is that MMORPGs are very expensive to develop and implement. WoW was somewhere between 40-50 million to develop. Conan was 25 million. I feel bad for this company. They want to make a good game but are stuck with a player base that doesn't want to pay for it. Now they are in a no-win situation because even though they quickly changed their policy, the nerdrage was so great that it led to a massive ragequit. The icing on the cake was the flurry of online postings of the poor crying out of the horrible injustice of it all.
Reply

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 3:25PM Sephirah said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
"I keep looking at this chart (http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart1.html) for the massive dip in WoW subscriptions that would indicate the nerdrage and ragequit that you mention...but I fail to see it."

To prove your point about WoW paid server transfer you're showing a chart that hasn't data for the years paid server transfer has been introduced?
Reply

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 3:45PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It's up to T to prove the point sephirar - are you claiming that subscriptions have dipped since the introduction of paid server transfers? If you are, prove it. Subscription #s are a difficult thing to track and I really wish companies were mandated by the SEC to release that data in their quarterly reports. My point is that WoW has been so wildly successful that no amount of nerdrage has seemed to affect it.

When did server transfers kick in? Maybe you are correct because at some point ATVI took a big dip in OCT 2009. http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=ATVI#symbol=ATVI;range=1y

Hard to tell what it was related to though. I stand by my claim that Blizzard has managed to get customers to pay ludicrous amounts of money without having to suffer the nerdrage related wounds other companies have suffered.

Reply

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 5:13PM Kemikalkadet said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@mpdivo's original post

I think the main reason this game got such an uproar about the price is the way the publisher went about charging it. Plastered all over their site is the claim of a "A completely free to play online game!", then when you look a bit deeper: yes you can technically ply for free, but in a completely inhibited way tht puts you at a major disadvantage to paying players. This gives the impression that you're being tricked out of your cash. It's a reccuring theme i've heard a lot in the comments: people expect to pay a little, and are fully prepared to spend a few bob in the cash shop, but to be expected to pay for fundemental items (and at a cost which exceeds p2p games) leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Compare this to warcraft (or similar p2p titles), they're very open and honest about pricing: buy the box, pay X a month and if you want these extra services (name change, a pet etc) you can pay Y amount for them. This openess ensures the consumer don't feel conned/lied to, and even if the majority don't go in for these extra services, they're generally not bothered about them because the company has been up front an honest. I wouldn't mind betting that if allods had gone the traditional p2p route but stuck to it's current pricing, people would be fr more willing to accept it.
Reply

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 10:57AM Averice said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
So the cash shop is a little out of whack at the moment, that isn't stopping you from leveling up your characters and playing the game without buying anything. If you're enjoying the game then you should keep enjoying the game and just ignore the cash shop for now, it's obvious to everybody that the shop isn't going to work, even the gPotato guys, so it's obviously going to get changed.

Also this isn't really worth a $15 sub, maybe a $9 sub.

If it doesn't get changed, then go play another game, but until it's make or break you might as well enjoy it. Really sounds like whoever wrote that statement of theirs could have done a better job.

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 3:59PM sandwiches said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I don't think you understand what Fear of Death is and why the Cash Shop is so important. Go find out and then tell us that we can play without having to buy anything.
Reply

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 11:05AM Averice said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@mpdivo

WoW gets away with it because it's considered an unnecessary service. It was added into the game after the game had existed for 4 years. For 4 years a players only option to switch servers was to reroll a new toon, and a lot of us did. Paying $15 or $25 or whatever it is to keep all your gear and gold and achievements feels like a pittance compared to having to start over. Actually players could also hope that their servers came under a free xfer service. There was some outrage at Blizzard for charging for this service, and their explanation was just as funny "We don't want players moving back and forth all the time so part of the high cost is a deterrent to abuse the system".

The real reason nobody cares though, is because it isn't a requirement of the game. F2P games are notorious for selling you things that effect game play, sub games don't do that.

That's why there's a bit of a minor uproar at Blizzards recent announcement to allow players to access the Auction House from the WoW Armory, aka you can manipulate the Auction House without actually logging into the game as long as you pay a subscription fee for the access. That's crossing the line from cosmetics and ease of life to actually effecting the game itself more easily by exchanging money for in game bonuses. I kind of doubt they go through with it, but if they do there's going to be a lot of fallout if they don't majorly limit access features, but if they do what's the point of paying the fee.

If WoW ever crosses the line, it will be a sad day for MMO lovers.

Featured Stories

Leaderboard: Which dead MMO is your favorite?

Posted on Jul 30th 2014 12:00PM

The Daily Grind: Do you prize MMO stability?

Posted on Jul 30th 2014 8:00AM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW