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Reader Comments (39)

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 6:13PM bobfish said

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Do I have to open my eyes again? I like this pretend... :(

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 6:30PM wildtalent said

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@bobfish me too bobfish, me too
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Posted: Feb 17th 2011 3:49AM BigAndShiny said

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@wildtalent
why? why can't it happened. Disneyland told me dreams could come true
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Posted: Feb 16th 2011 6:35PM Space Cobra said

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First off, I am glad someone responded first, to get that out of the way, because this is sorta off-topic, but I am curious.

So here is my second and third questions wrapped up in this quote (well, third point is more an observation, but it does go against the "Let's pretend" theme):

"This is the brilliance of the freemium model. I never thought I would see the day when players cried out for free-to-play to come rescue their favorite dying game. I also never in a million years thought I would see the day when players who might normally shun "those crappy free-to-play games" plunk down dollar after dollar to buy colored saddles and special titles in the cash shop. Beggars cannot be choosers, though, so I'll take the ironic twist that left Vanguard with much more hope than it has now. "

2) Did someone post something on the Vanguard threads? I know there is a push, in general, to make games like this more popular with a f2p/freemium model and I know you like Vanguard, but it seems something sorta inspired you to write the article. Maybe it's as simple as you've been thinking about it for some time?

3) All people are hypocrites, including myself. We want the "best" and we settle. We have "high standards" and we let ourselves "get away" with things while complaining about other people not meeting such standards. Sometimes you can get a united front and sometimes such a front crumbles. Case in point, Cash Shops. Still vilified by some, but really, most people are stuffing themselves at the buffet table, all the while they are talking with their mouth full and complaining about being charged for all this food, the service, etc.

People Psychology...it can be a wild and kooky thing!

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 6:36PM Space Cobra said

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@Space Cobra

And I guess my first topic was also more of a statement, so excuse that right there! :p
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Posted: Feb 16th 2011 6:38PM markt50 said

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As much as I dislike F2P I actually Pretty much agree with most of this article. Whilst I do often refer to this western version of F2P as nothing more than a safe haven for the failed mmo's of the past, it is simply a far better alternative than a world without Vanguard if they just decide to turn it off instead.

The only condition on my playing would be the contents of the ingame store, I would want to see cosmetic and fluff items only. Some convenience items like xp pots would be ok but it would have to have no stat based items that were not obtainable through gameplay. I.e if they put up a mount for £15 that was twice as fast as any ingame mount obtained through questing or ingame money then I wouldn't play. If it had the same stats as one I can get ingame, but just looked really cool then I'd be fine with it.

But yeah, if the game was to go F2P and done right I would find myself in the strange position of not only supporting a move to F2P for the first time but actively looking forward to returning to the game. The only reason I don't play now is the low population and if the move to F2p fixed that then I'd be back in a shot.

It's a heck of a dream, just a shame that I don't think SOE will ever do it, but if they did I would certainly regain some of the respect for them as a company that has been lost over the years.

Posted: Feb 18th 2011 8:31AM Karii said

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"The only reason I don't play now is the low population" ....

If everyone i've heard say that over the past couple months came back and started playing Vanguard, the low population would cease to exist and wouldn't be a issue...

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Posted: Feb 16th 2011 6:42PM madcartoonist said

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I keep almost trying out vanguard, especially after Massively's article on it a couple of weeks ago. The level of exploring sounds great and I absolutely love that in a game. It really has just come down to the fact that I already play other MMOs and having to switch subscriptions while I play this. If it goes freemium it will at least get me in the door. If the game hooks me then I won't be able to stop playing and will be willing to drop the money for the fee. If anything would worry me it is that I prefer the f2p model that turbine uses then what SOE used on Everquest 2. I couldn't make the character I really wanted without already paying the monthly subscription which kept me from really giving it a chance. I know there should be stuff that free only players can't get, but it seems like every aspect of my character was unavailable (I can't remember what I wanted but both the race and class were for gold members). To be fair to Everquest 2 I didn't give it much of a chance and I don't even know all the details of the free players vs gold, but other f2p games have done a better job at sucking me in. Oh, and I hope SOE doesn't put the free players on a separate server. Have a payer only server as an option for paying customers but let the free and the pay play together on some server. They will talk us free loaders into buying more stuff.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 6:47PM Coolit said

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I love this game. I would pay to play it if it had the population, so free to play is the only way to go. If our eyes are closed can we bring back the pvp server as well.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 6:51PM Rialle said

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I was curious as to why SOE decided to use EQ2 for their F2P experiment and not Vanguard.

Regardless, I am disappointed with current "freemium" implementations. I think tiered subscription models would be more palatable to many players. For example, if the game client were free and I could pay $5 a month somehow with the limitation being something such as one character only, I might be willing to try out Vanguard again.

On the other hand, having a game constantly remind me about the cash shop like EQ2X and LOTRO are a major turn off. Ads and glaring UI elements for the shop totally break the escapism factor of the games for me. Not to mention that the crippling gold and bag caps are annoying. These types of things reveal "F2P" to be a bait and switch scheme.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 6:52PM enamelizer said

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SOE's complete mismanagement of this game made me cancel my station pass entirely.

It would take a lot to get me to go back to an SOE game in any form.

In my pretend time, SOE has sold the asset to a dev studio that gives a !@#$ about their product instead of letting it languish in MMO purgatory.

VG is a wonderful game and if it was given dev resources I would play it again. But an MMO without a future is just depressing to play.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 6:55PM (Unverified) said

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If SOE can throw more than dust bunnies into the advertising budget to promote VG F2P, I bet it would spark some interest

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 7:05PM jeremy2020 said

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I read this article and when I was finished, I didn't gain anything from it. The comments will hopefully provide value.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 7:18PM Averice said

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I was just arguing with someone last night about f2p vs. p2p with business models and all that involved, and we completely forgot about the freemium concept. So thanks for bringing that up again lol.

I agree with Rialle though. I would much prefer systems to use a tiered sub system. $15, you get everything, even all cash shop items, so if they sell xp pots in the cash shop, you can chug them non stop. If your sub runs out, you still have any item you lifted off the shop saved to your account, you just can't use them. Then if you want to go full f2p and buy cash shop items that, as you said in your article, are "things", but not content enablers, then you can go that route too. Or if you want the whole 10$ for most of the stuff in the shop + some shop points to spend on what your 10$ sub doesn't get you. And you can decide which method you want to use for yourself.

I hate the f2p that's all about locking you out of content, or making the game some ridiculous grind if you don't buy xp pots. Cosmetic designs, bag/bank space above and beyond what is already "good enough" to play the game with. I mean honestly, I'm much more likely spend $5-$10 on an awesome looking mount that I could even customize the color of before I bought it, then I am on an a billion 1 hour xp pots. Whether or not that's a sustainable business model I haven't really thought about it, but the whole "we get more money from 10% of our subscribers in one month than we ever did charging $15 subs" makes me think it's viable enough.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 7:26PM Twisvel said

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EQ2X is a pretty.. discourteous model to say the least... I was appalled when I read the sub tier chart. Locking characters if you unsubscribe even though you spent SOME money supporting the game... Rationing bag slots, gold cap and no access to broker on a free account? It's as if they are torturing you with muddy water and moldy bread until you give them some money.

I would surely support a LOTRO/DDO type "freemium" style more readily than a EQ2X style. At least on LOTRO you can get SOME TP as you play the game and buy some of the "packs." Of course, it takes away from the "immersion" as you walk up to an NPC and a box pops up asking you for your credit card. Reminds me of Dragon Age DLC...

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 7:30PM Rindon said

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Oh that was pure evil.... At first glance of the title, I thought this was actually happening....

I used to be a big advocate of SOE. I know a lot of people have problems with them and everything they have, but in the past 10 years or so I have not had a single problem....That was, until I played their new TCG gem called Magic the Gathering: Tactics. One glance at the forums will let you know how that is going...

Now, if Vanguard did go F2P, I am not sure it would be enough to bring me back to touch anything that SOE has a hand in. They pretty much seem to not give two craps what any of the community says, even when the entire community is in an outrage over the same thing.

Anyway, good read, wish it would happen, probably wouldn't touch it though. Hate that the great game that is Vanguard is with such a terrible terrible company.

P.S. if anyone wants some entertainment, go read magic the gathering:tactics general forums.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 7:51PM CaffinatedOne said

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I'd just subscribed to Vanguard last week after the recent coverage, and anything that breathes life into this gem of a game would be quite welcome.

On the more general theme, I hopped back into LotRO after it went f2p and ended up spending quite a bit more on my "free" account than if I'd just subbed, but I liked the feeling that I wasn't locked in and once I paid for something, that it was mine (I'm a fan of lifetime subs for just this reason ) . I suspect that I'm not the only one.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 7:59PM Crell said

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Lotro and turbine really are 'Free to play' as in 'free to play to the end';

I did it with Lotro, and several others have done it with DDO.; http://lotro.mmorsel.com/2011/01/realizing-free-to-play-dream.html

Yes, I had a small boost, but my secondary account hasn't had any, and has earned more than enough points to make up for that fact.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 8:09PM pcgneurotic said

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Just looking at that last screenshot there made my heart beat faster. Gods, how I love this game, and how I wish it would go freemium. I know for sure it'd get at least a hundred euros from me in the first couple of weeks alone.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 8:45PM notinterested said

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Problem is if they do re release vanguard as f2p it will probably be just like they did with EQ2 probably minus the whole special f2p server thing.

All that will essentially do is cause current players to have to pay more for what they already get and turn away new players.

I dont know how they hit such a home run with free realms because every other f2p venture made by SOE has been a disaster.

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