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Reader Comments (27)

Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 12:28PM mysecretid said

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Does Age of Conan need F2P or does it simply need the post-80 progression fixed? That's a really good question, Jef.

I like AoC, but I don't feel qualified to say. I begin to worry that F2P, in general, is being regarded in some quarters as the "fix of choice" for any MMORPG which could use a profit-boost.

Not saying that it's a bad idea across the board, only that sometimes going F2P may only (temporarily?) distract from aspects of a game which contributed to its decline in the first place -- such as the post-80 problems in AoC.

With absolute respect, sometimes saying "F2P will help boost this games fortunes, if done right" is rather like saying "a relationship where both people love each other, and are motivated to make it work , will likely be a lasting one". It's very true, but success is conditional on a lot of elements which are difficult to guarantee easily.

So, sure, F2P may raise AoC's profile and profits in some ways, but fixing the wonky bits may help it long-term even more, yes?

I'm also concerned that, once enough full-featured MMORPGs go F2P, they'll end up competing with each other for gamers' available gaming time in an increasingly-crowded F2P market -- thereby lessening the positive impact of going F2P.

But that's a post for another day. Thanks for your thoughts on this subject. Cheers.



Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 4:31PM Jef Reahard said

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@mysecretid

Thanks for your insight. I don't disagree with you at all, I think a F2P conversion will have a lot of effects that people haven't considered.

I guess I'm a little bit fatalistic about it. I'm not so much calling for F2P as I am preparing myself for it. I see it as not a matter of "if" but "when," and when the "when" rolls around, I'd prefer to see it go as I outlined.

In a perfect world, I'd much rather Funcom fix the post-80 problems and keep AoC as a sub game, but I'm not holding my breath for either of those things to happen.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 12:47PM BORODA said

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No damn way! I don't want AoC to become F2P. In any way! NEVER! I just reactivated my sub and i'm really enjoying the game and i don't want it to become another f2p shit.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 12:53PM Dril said

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@BORODA

Your informative, thought-provoking and utterly selfless viewpoint has convinced me, without a single slither of a doubt, that F2P is bad.

Bravo!
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 1:00PM Lateris said

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I have to agree that after 80 when you hit the expansion most are thrown for a loop on the token system. For me I don't mind it much. Once you hit rank 3 you begin to see more content for the faction of choice and before you know it you have enough esteem tokens to trade in for mark of acclaims and can run 6 mans, and hit your XP for AA. The design was made to keep lvl 80's busy in PvE content. So they are keeping us busy which is true.

If AoC will go free to play which I think it will, this studio needs to be able to handle it. We are talking about a shopping mall that needs items on the fly, new content on the fly, servers that can handle the load, faster loading screens, and performance improvements. None of which can be accomplished on the fly with a staff of 50.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 1:12PM uberman3000 said

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yes.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 1:15PM pcgneurotic said

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Ok, I tried AoC earlier this year and I really, really liked it, but I didn't get beyond the trial period for one reason, and that is that the installation size of the game was huuuuuuuuge! It was something like 12 Gb+ for the unexpanded game, which I think WoW had just got to after 2 expansions, EQ2 was at after around half a dozen... I'd love to give AoC some mone and love, but I'd have to invest in new drives just to accomodate it! Can anyone say what the install size is now, with Godslayer on board?

Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 1:34PM chum said

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@pcgneurotic Hard Drives are pretty cheap and if you're worried about space, it's probably time to upgrade anyways.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 1:23PM wondersmith said

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Jef, your plan for F2P AoC sounds great to me. It'd bring in lots of new players, treat them fairly, and be easy to implement. My friends and I have only played F2P games since we departed WoW more than 3 years ago, and we'd love to give AoC a try.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 1:53PM Ayenn said

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I get it, Jef. Your just a trouble maker :D It must be because you feel resentment for your parents not giving you the second F in your name ;)

F2P is probably not in the cards for AoC. Something being on the official forums only means that it is on forums supported by the game company that operates the MMORPG. It does not constitute an official statement.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 4:41PM Jef Reahard said

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@Ayenn

I bet Funcom is at least considering it, given the publicity generated by Turbine and SOE. AoC is also already F2P in Korea. Granted that's a totally different market with a totally different set of customer expectations, but the technical infrastructure is already in place.

I guess I am a troublemaker, lol, but hey what's an opinion column for if not speaking your mind, amirite?
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 2:07PM Valentina said

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I think it needs to go F2P. I love the game but they could do so much more with it with a F2P title, look at what it did for DDO. One of the biggest game flops on the market for years became an extremely successful cash cow for Turbine, and LOTRO which was a successful subscription MMO was switched to F2P and they manage to make an even bigger profit with the switch.

Age of Conan remained barely moderately successful for a while, but with new games coming out, and old games getting cooler expansions they're going to struggle to keep the players they have right now. I don't think that re-structuring the expansions progression will be enough to save them in the long run. The game has such potential to be huge, and if they went F2P and did it right they could become one of the top games on the market and possibly the best F2P game of all time.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 2:17PM juanele said

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I'll be honest. I quit playing because of the Khitai grind. If they do something such as what you suggested to limit that grind then I would return. Irregardless, they need to fix that end game. It's funny that you mention Aion. I found the faction grind in AoC worse than the grind in Aion, and that says something.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 3:41PM Lateris said

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@juanele they did a little bit. Instead of 180 mark of acclaims for an item it is now 90. And it upscales. But the faction system still stands.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 4:43PM Jef Reahard said

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@juanele

They're about the same to me. I'm currently slogging my way past 50 on my Aion sorcerer, mainly because I've got friends there that love the game and don't want to leave it.

The frustrating thing to me is that both Aion and AoC are really fun in spots. The whole grind-your-eyeballs-out mentality really gets to me though. I don't play these games to be on an eternal treadmill.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 4:44PM The Minn said

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@juanele yes it does sine Aion really isn't much of a grind anymore if you play it and are a vet.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 7:03PM Lateris said

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@Jef Reahard I cant find the Korean link on the official site anymore. They are going to go F2P- CONSPIRACY!
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 5:32PM Graill440 said

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You mean MMT? Microtransaction stores that all supposedly F2P games have. After all, there isnt a single misbranded F2P game out there that doesnt make money by restricting some or all aspects of its "free" title.

Would have figured with the new year folks would have gotten tired of looking at a nekkid emperor and nodding in approval like zombies, but apparently not.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 7:57PM Ayonyx said

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Just for everyone to freak out a bit. Fire up Age of Conan and type: /loadclip ItemShop.swf

They already have the framework under development for the Korean launch of the game, it wouldn't be a stretch to see it make it's way to North America and European versions of the game. Though, I doubt it will happen any time soon.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2011 9:23PM Lateris said

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@Ayonyx And it is in English. Well Jeff I guess we were right about the expansion design. ;)
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