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Reader Comments (93)

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 5:35PM archer75 said

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On a F2P game you don't pay money. So I don't know how they will get money out of you. Once you start paying it's not F2P now is it?

In guild wars you have to pay the game and expansions at full price. Here you don't have to buy anything at all. Nada.
Also, Guild Wars 1 isn't a true MMO. And the developers even state that. Their hardware requirements are nothing compared to a true MMO and thus no monthly fee.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 6:00PM Randomessa said

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"Also, Guild Wars 1 isn't a true MMO. And the developers even state that. Their hardware requirements are nothing compared to a true MMO and thus no monthly fee."

archer75, your final statement here is not true: ANet's developers have stated more than once that their hardware requirements had nothing to do with the ability to avoid charging a monthly fee. GW2 will still be free to play after purchase and it will feature a persistent world.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 6:09PM archer75 said

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Guild Wars 2 will also be heavily instanced though not to the degree of GW1. Also, unless you can provide a link to a developer stating that, I cannot believe that lower hardware requirements and bandwidth as a result of the type of game GW is don't impact their ability to offer it for no monthly fee.
The hardware and and bandwidth requirements for a traditional MMO are massive.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 6:32PM Randomessa said

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PC Games: "How do you plan to do this? Building such a complex world which is shared by all players without having monthly fees?"

Strain: (laughing) "A very good question! Interestingly many people believe that the completely instantiated world was the reason for Guild Wars 1 to not need monthly fees. This is completely wrong! The existence or lack of a persistent world is totally unrelated to the running expenses which are needed to maintain an online roleplaying game."

PC Games: "What do you mean by that?"

Strain: "Really important are the innovative technologies which we developed for Guild Wars 1. They allow us to keep the running costs very low which then results in the huge advantage for the player: the absence of fees. We continue with that principle for Guild Wars 2: as soon as the game is available, we will begin our work on new content. Such content for which the player is free to decide if he wants to have it or not. Maybe that will be add-ons or complete campaigns or online-extensions with costs, we don't know. But one thing is very certain: we will again have in Guild Wars 2 the comprehensive support our fans are already familiar with!"

Also -


"I hear you mention world vs. world. Guild Wars currently doesn't have separate realms or servers, so does this mean there will be different factions in the game?

Mike: The way it works with Guild Wars 2 is, because we'll now be using a big persistent world, we're not sticking everybody into the same copy of the world map, because obviously you can't have hundreds of thousands of people stomping all over each other. We do split this up into different worlds, like you would see in other MMOGs, but a key difference is that, because we have one global database, which we built for Guild Wars 1, we use that to allow people to switch between worlds."

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 6:38PM archer75 said

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"So what if you pay the box price for Guild Wars 1 and 2?"

Development costs. You are paying for the years it took them to create those games. After the game is sold they have to run thousands of servers and provide bandwidth so that every time you move on screen that info is relayed to ever single person on the screen. It's very expensive.
You can run an instance on a old computer. The only information being sent is to the few or only person on the screen. Thus they use less bandwidth.

"What about all those single player games you buy? Are those P2P? Hell no!"

They have no servers to maintain. No bandwidth. You just pay for the years of development.

And I have read on Guild Wars 2. It will be more instanced than you think. Though not to the degree of Guild Wars 1. But that's irrelevent to the discussion at hand.


Posted: Jul 27th 2010 6:42PM Randomessa said

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I would like a citation from you, archer75, as to the operating costs of both ANet's or SOE's servers (common sense is not a citation), and also where you find information about how instanced Guild Wars 2 is going to be outside of PvP, personal storyline, and dungeons. Heck, even a citation that the instanced personal storyline comprises most of the land mass in the game will suffice.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 6:55PM archer75 said

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You know full well that SOE and Arena net don't publish their operating costs. Common sense will have to suffice. The costs to running a full traditional MMO and a instanced game more closely related to a multiplayer shooter map are very different. That's not exactly news.

As to the persistence, Arena Net still says GW2 will not be like Traditional MMO's in the persistence term you come to expect in them. Dungeons and PvP as you know will be instanced. As will personal storylines. But they also say your missions will be instanced as well.

Mike: We're going to have a combination - in Guild Wars 1 everything was instanced, and of course, there's a lot of really cool things you can do with instancing. It allows players to change to the world as they're playing the game, but there are some things we want out of persistence that you can't get with instancing, like the ability to meet new friends as you play through the game. So in Guild Wars 2 its both persistence and instancing. The big, over world will be persistent, but when you go into missions and dungeons it will be instanced.

Jeff: When we say we're adding persistence, we're really talking about the technology more so than how we use that persistence to add gameplay elements to the game. Guild Wars has always had its own unique flavor of play, and we certainly don't intend to make it more like traditional MMORPGs. By adding persistence it gives us the ability to persue more unique gameplay elements, for example, we've been talking a lot about event change - to us, persistence is something that lets us create big, zone-wide events that effect the entire area that you're in, that everyone can really play together. We don't see persistence as a tool to allow us to introduce a lot of that kind of... problematic components of traditional MMORPGs, like spawn camping and loot stealing and endless regeneration of monsters in the area in you're in. We're going to use it as tool to develop a Guild Wars style of gameplay, so no, I don't think it's going to be closer to a traditional MMORPG.

And from the Guild Wars 2 FAQ:

“Guild Wars 2 provides a massive, online persistent world…. While Guild Wars 2 adds a persistent-world experience, it retains the unique characteristics of the original game, including strong narrative, extensive instanced gameplay, anti-grind design philosophy, and strong support for competitive play.”

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 7:11PM archer75 said

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"So you admit the box costs cover development that you denied int he first part of your post about guild Wars?
You don't realize that they also make more than enough to cover development of the next game and still have profit leftover."

Of course it covers development. I never denied that. And of course it turns a profit for them, as it should.

And most developers pay their programmers shit and after a title is released that is typically followed by layoffs for all but the largest development houses. I was in a guild in WoW with the folks who work in a popular development studio that no longer exists. And many of whom found employment in other studios. So what I hear I hear from people doing the job.

"By the way, many single player games have many servers for multiplayer matches. Just look at any FPS game."

True. But those servers are cheap. I ran servers for several shooters back in the day. As well as several NWN worlds. Off old pentium 2/3 systems. It doesn't take much power at all to host a server for a shooter.

"No mmo ever has such expensive maintenance or support costs that they ever would need a subscription price more than $3 per subscriber, yet they charge $15 per month."

So you know what their operating costs are? They are expensive. Though I am sure they make a profit on that monthly fee. Not arguing that at all.

"3) Information only needs to be relayed to people within viewing distance of one another, usually in the same zone too. That reduces loads a lot."

That's what I said.
Data from you hits the servers, it then get's sent from the servers along with the NPC response to everyone there. How those players react hits the servers and gets sent to everyone there as well. Your personal bandwidth covers your data to the server and then data back to you that applies to you. The server needs bandwidth to cover everyone not only for just who is on the screen at that moment for you but it also needs bandwidth to cover all the other actions on the server(or rather shard as a game world is made up of hundreds of servers) for those playing in different zones, instances, wherever. That is an enormous amount of bandwidth. And that's only one shard.

"You are so misinformed that it is beyond funny and into sad. I pity your ignorance(not insulting, just meaning lack of knowledge)."

How am I misinformed? The years i've played MMO's and been involved in the community or my developer friends are misinformed as well?

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 7:24PM archer75 said

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"1) Both companies have stable games and still make a profit on them, Guild Wars and Everquest 2.

2) One company charges absolutely nothing and has a very limited cash shop of only one-time purchases that can't be repeated(ArenaNet, Guild Wars).

3) One company charges $15 monthly and has an extensive cash shop with repeatable purchases(SOE, Everquest 2).

4) Guild Wars has sold more game boxes, and likely has more players, than Everquest 2. That means more servers and likely more support staff given equal internet protocol coding.

So, I ask you:
Why does ArenaNet succeed and grow with a F2P game and very limited cash shop while SOE supposedly needs $15 per month and a hefty cash shop revenue stream to succeed and grow?"

Actually we don't know what each companies revenue is from the particular games you are mentioning. Arenanet is spending money to operate GW1 every month. We don't know how many new sales they are getting anymore, I bet it's not that many as it's now an old game. And thus they are creating the sequal to bring in more cash.

SOE and most other MMO's products require more servers and more bandwidth. Which costs more money. These companies can continue to operate on their monthly revenue.
Arenanet must charge full box price for each expansion as their business model is different and that is where their cash comes from.
SOE can release an expansion at a lower price and include all previous expansions in that one box. Not a bad deal.

Is one business model better or worse than the other? No, just different.

"Common sense says SOE is ripping you off and ArenaNet is being honest."

A company can't rip you off if you don't give them any money. They can't take your money from you. Thus they can't rip me off. I can choose to participate or not. Up to me.
And i'm getting the impression from your posts that this isn't about F2P, it's about you not wanting to pay a monthly fee for an MMO. Which is really a different argument and thread entirely.
If traditional MMO's aren't for you that's fine. Don't play them. No body can then "rip you off" as you put it.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 8:17PM archer75 said

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"You idiot!
They publish that information. They publish revenue and profit numbers for stockholders and the general public."

Hey idiot, they don't publish the breakdown of that revenue. How much comes from an individual game.

"Do you think they don't make enough money to keep those games going? If those games are costing more money to keep running than they are making then they kill the game, they don't keep it running."

Of course, never said otherwise.

"How the hell does one game run on just game box purchases and limited micro-transactions while one game needs $15 every month on top of the game boxes and micro-transactions?"

One isn't an MMO and one is. Operating costs are different. With no monthly fee eventually the profit you made runs out and you need to make another game with the profit from the first one. Basically they tread water from game to game.

"You want to tell me how $15 per month is equal to $0 per month?
I would love to see the math and "common sense" that proves that."

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 5:16PM archer75 said

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It boggles my mind that people are upset about no support on something that is free. Most of what you pay for is support and you aren't paying for anything here! I would not expect them at provide you with support at all.

I think it's a great idea. Having a free to play option is always great and you can't really complain about free.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 5:29PM archer75 said

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Yeah, it's free. Thus no support. You can't expect it. If the servers go down, they go down. I'm not paying for any support so I don't expect much. If I can't play for a day, two days, a week, big deal. Again, it's free, so I just don't worry about it.

If you don't like the yearly sub, don't pay it. If you don't like the monthly sub, don't pay it. They can't take your money from you. I admit those 2 things on the extended server are stupid but i'm not getting my panties in a bunch over it. Those things don't affect me at all.

If you want everything the game has to offer you play on the regular servers. Otherwise play for free on the extended server. There. Everyone gets what they want.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 5:34PM Lateris said

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Now we know why the old producer left SOE>

No offense to anyone here or to Massively. But if the next trend is to put a nail through my palms will I jump on that as well? Of all the companies that will gouge your eyes SOE is the leader in obtaining your body organs and will sell them on the underground market to the highest bidder in terms of management and leadership and store items. Don't be so quick to jump on the trend wagon with SOE. They are into it for the money. The greed of the nations is upon the lands of Ever Quest II. I bet SWG goes next and Vanguard will be shut down.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 5:55PM Randomessa said

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I am SO pleased to see this! I will absolutely be returning to EQII now, and my better half will likely join me from time to time as well! Color me tickled pink.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 6:42PM archer75 said

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Then you just play on the regular servers for the subscription price. Why is this so hard for you to understand? The standard servers with the monthly $14.99 sub isn't going away. It's not changing at all.

Just because there are things on a F2P server that you can spend money on doesn't mean you have to. You can completely play for free. Exercise a bit of restraint man! They can't take your money if you don't give it to them!

It's not greedy at all. They are giving you something for free. And optional payment options should people want that. It's giving the consumer choice. Don't want to pay? Then don't! You like the regularly game and want to continue with that? Go right ahead! You like the microtransaction model? You can do that too.

Everyone has an option for them.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 6:33PM Randomessa said

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Oh, I won't be paying a cent, and if we feel too restricted we'll stop playing - that simple. Normally I would make a few purchases to show my support of a model I approve of, but in this case I just want to play because I found EQII fun in the past.

I will admit to being disappointed to find that broker access is restricted on the F2P side :(.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 10:32PM wjowski said

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F2P companies are the real crooks. Then again SOE's laughable attempts at trying to ape their 'business model' should tell you that already.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 7:42PM archer75 said

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"The hard thing to understand is why they are charging $15 per month while other games have lifetime subscriptions or $5 per month subs at most?"

Most MMO's cost a monthly fee. Most are $15/month. The free ones usually have a lot of microtransactions to cover the costs. A lifetime sub is not free. It costs around $200.
Arenanets business model is different than your traditional MMO. But then it's also not a true MMO.
But the costs are irrelevent. This article is just about a F2P option for EQ2.

"How can one company charge less and yet make a profit while another company charges much much more?"

Different operating costs or different business models or both. At some point Arenanet won't bring in enough off of box sales to cover server expenses.

"That means we should stop paying for their inferior product until they make it as good as the other games that charge less, or nothing, for access because they don't need as much money to run."

Businesses don't operate to just get enough to run. They must turn a profit. Otherwise business wouldn't exist.
If you feel the product is inferior then don't play it. Simple as that. It's not for you to tell everyone else what they should or should not pay for.

"I'm not going to pay more for the same quality of game.
If one game can be great, like Guild Wars 2 should be and Guild Wars 1 is, for only $5 a month, or no fee at all, then why can't another game be great with the same prices?"

I don't like Guild Wars 1. Great is not a word i'd use to describe it. But i'm glad you enjoy it. And if you don't want to pay more for what you feel is the same or less, don't. In fact you shouldn't. Either way I really don't care what you think is a good value or not.

"Look at the profits Blizzard and SOE report every quarter or every year. They're ripping us off, and doing it so obviously that we would be fools to not see it"

Of course they are turning profits. I would hope so. Otherwise they would be a failure as a business. And how are they ripping me off? I don't pay them any money. Are you paying them money? No? Then they aren't ripping you off either.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 7:59PM archer75 said

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"You never read and understand do you?"

Right back at you

"Guild Wars 1 and 2 prove you don't need a subscription or any cash shop(since theirs is so very very limited) to succeed.
All a game needs to succeed is the box price for the original box and expansions. That way developers get paid for fun content, not making things take longer, and they make plenty of profit even after the server operating costs to support making a new game and then some profit leftover after that even."

Box sales cover the costs for the past few years of developing a game. They need to pay off credit. It also turns a profit for them(hopefully). They use that to run the game. That runs out eventually. Thus they sell another box.

"SOE is lying and you're just eating it up.
They're ripping you off and you just love it."

I don't give them any money. In fact i'm not currently subbed to any MMO so how are they ripping me off? Nor do I feel ripped off. I get lots of content and enjoy playing.
I know that the massive amounts of servers and data centers and bandwidth cost a lot of money even if you don't. And I know that a business must turn a profit and i'm fine with that.

And they do release a ton of free content. As does WoW and others.

What MMO's out there are free and don't have microtransactions and are a true MMO(guild wars is not an MMO)? Most are Korean and are horrible games but still have microtransactions to some degree.

You are on some personal crusade here and just pissed off that people like something you don't. This really isn't the place for that.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 7:38PM Existentialist said

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I do not believe this is the case. If you buy the Sentinel's Fate all-in-one pack then you are subbed to the "Regular" server instead of the "Extended." On the other hand if you don't buy the Sentinel's Fate all-in-one pack or any other EQ game and just download the Free to Play Client then you will be on the "Extended" server and those "plans" will apply to you.

For regular subscribers it seems nothing is changing except that in the future you will be able to spend 35$ to transfer your character to the extended server *though I have no idea the reason why you would do this.*

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