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Reader Comments (58)

Posted: Mar 12th 2011 6:03PM WriterGuy said

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"However, the company certainly wanted to avoid some of the pitfalls it identified. The largest fear among MMO players, Paiz said, was that a F2P/microtransaction model would lead to unfairness as the rich player would buy the best toys and dominate the poorer players."

Okay, nice setup ... but shouldn't there then be a part about how that largest fear was addressed?

Posted: Mar 12th 2011 8:34PM Keen and Graev said

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@WriterGuy That part doesn't exist. ;)
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Posted: Mar 12th 2011 11:06PM Icemasta said

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@WriterGuy
I guess it's answered in the 5Cs part. I play a lot of LOTRO, the biggest selling points are :
#1 Content/classes, you spend points to unlock complete zones, skirmishes and instances.
#2 Optional Character upgrade such as more inventory slot (+2 bags max per character, 3 are free) + Bank slots (+20 bank slots, 120 for in-game gold as party of the game). Stuff like that. BTW, you gain points by playing, so you don't even have to pay to unlock everything if you play the game A LOT.
#3 Fast consumable sales, this is for the richer folks. Player that don't feel like grinding to buy consumables can buy them right off the store.
#4 Cosmetics

Basically, you can play the full game, without much disadvantages, for free. Of course you're lock by content, but it's not really that bad. Let's say you spend 15$ a month on LOTRO as if you paid for a P2P, starting for an account with nothing, you can unlock maybe 2-3 zones at a time, and unlock all zones for maybe 60$. Then you can buy each expansion, which is 15-20$ if I recall. Remember that this game has had 2 expansions and those aren't offered for free.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 3:09AM Ordegar said

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@WriterGuy

"...it was vital to keep the subscription and F2P community together..."

His point is that having the subscription option, which unlocks everything important and gives you points to spend for less important things, gives you an equal footing with someone spending a bunch of money in the cash shop.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 9:56AM Galahad said

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@Icemasta
And what about stat tomes which are basically selling pieces of gear?
Runkeeper items recepies which again boost clast by some bits?
Upcoming scrolls that are cash shop only and remove relics?

Convenience gotta love how broad is this word, huh? Frankly after next update I can't see a difference between so called hybrid LOTRO and full F2P Runes of Magic.
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Posted: Mar 12th 2011 7:10PM Utakata said

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I fail to see how this gives me any choice than that a subscription model would offer. Perhaps an illusion of choice, but unlikely any real meaningful choice. Calling it a "faux revolution", would be more accurate.

...and speaking of which, I wish they stop using the term "free to play" because it's not actually free. It's misleading at best and reaks of doublespeak at worst. It's the industry trying to pull a fast one over it's customers threw phrasing. Because it if truely is free, then one would not have to pay and still have access to all content, including gear, potions and all the other five C's nonsense.

Posted: Mar 12th 2011 7:29PM (Unverified) said

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@Utakata I take it you've never played LotRO... Aside from a few little convenience things you CAN access everything in LotRO completely for free, it takes a lot of grinding but it's most definitely possible and honestly way easier than I expected it to be when they announced the concept.
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Posted: Mar 12th 2011 11:40PM Utakata said

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@(Unverified)

Yes I have. But long before it went Freemuim. There are other reasons I have not returned to LoTRO, but it would be considered off-topic for this discussion to talk about it.

It's good to know that they are fairly liberal of what you can play for free there. Thank you for informing on that. However, my frustrations and concerns are directed F2P industry in general....which the Turbine presenter was calling a revolution. And not at LoTRO or Turbine specifically.
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Posted: Mar 12th 2011 11:48PM kalipou134 said

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@Utakata
I agree, instead of free-to-play they should use the therm "Cheap-ass-compatible"

9.99 a month is ridiculously cheap AND you get 500 turbine points for free every month.

It's litteraly a steal, if you can't afford that you have no business owning a computer and an internet connexion.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 12:07AM Utakata said

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@kalipou134

The only problem with that it becomes a more a measurement of a F2P game than an industry type. As in what do call Allods then; Screw the Pooch Expensive? So we would have to come up with a better name that decribes F2P, while dropping the dubious "Free" part.

As whether I can afford LoTRO, that isn't the point of my contention either.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 3:28AM Ordegar said

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@Utakata

I agree. It's really "Pay As You Go", but not quite. We need a different name for it.

Like with cell phone service; you can subscribe with a monthly plan, or you can buy minutes in various chunks; that's "pay as you go". But what we have with mmos is more like having free minutes to talk, but if you want to text you have to pay for that, and accessing the web has a fee, voicemail and caller i.d. have fees, etc.

I've seen it called Freemium. Free, but you pay for premium content.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 9:25AM JaySpeed said

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@kalipou134

I recently dropped from VIP to Premium. Not because I can't afford my founders price plan. But because I didn't see the value in paying $10 a month any more. Turbine puts out one new region a year and one expansion every 18-24 months. I'd rather spend $20 on points once a year than $120 on sub fee's every year. I only lost old SoA regions that I didn't play in anyway since all my toons are 65. I lost some skirmishes but most of the ones I run are from book quests so they're free anyway. I only have 5 AH slots but that's enough to sell some jewellry, cloaks, armor each week especially if you have multiple toons selling gear. I lost PvMP access which was the main reason I didn't drop to premium sooner but I don't PvMP much anymore. I'm waiting for Isengard to see what improvements they do with PvMP. All I had to buy was Eregion for School/Library runs and Enedwaith for the new raid cluster coming with Update 2. Playing for free with most of my old content seems like a steal to me.
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Posted: Mar 12th 2011 7:24PM PiOmega said

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Problem is, DDO is not a real mmo, just like GW isn't. They are multi-player games with a 3D game lobby. DDO should have never had the subscription model imo, and they should really stop trying to call their game an mmorpg.

As for lotro, seems to be a ghost town last I checked, I mean compared to when they launched the cash shop system to save a failing game (failing for a reason). A lot of people, even those that were paying something, got fed up with the nickle and dime system. Annoying to log in and have reminders to pay for something you just rather forget about for a time and play with what you did pay for.

What it really comes down to is not that subscription games are failing, but poorly made games are failing, and adding a cash shop to those games only puts a band-aid on that dieing game, to milk it for all it's worth and spin it as it's a good choice. Now if they knew how to make good mmorpg's to start, and economically, guess we would not be having this conversation. But I guess they gotta try to even the playing field by presenting an illusion that everything else is fail just like their own work. It's just more marketing tactics.

They cant make money off their solo/multi-player RPG's, can't make money off their mmo/quasi-mmo's, maybe they should look into another line of work and refrain from telling successful-enough developers that they are doing it all wrong? MMO's are not a well of cash for publishers/developers, never have been, just like most games from any genre are not, but they can provide a living for their developers and a profit for investors.

Game making is an art, it should never be belittled to the marketing analysis it has become; designed to maximize profit potential over creativity, which in the end is void of interest for those that actually like the genre.

Posted: Mar 12th 2011 7:39PM (Unverified) said

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@PiOmega What in the world are you talking about? LotRO wasn't failing in any way when they made the switch. You don't need multi-million account numbers to have a successful game. They saw an opportunity to make more money and they did it.
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Posted: Mar 12th 2011 8:22PM Suplyndmnd said

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@PiOmega "not a real MMO". I remember when people on xfire.com would have this argument like every month or so. It really is a cute argument and can easily be troll bait as those who try to defend it will flame back. However, the topic wasn't if those two games are MMO's the topic was about the "Free to Play" model. LOTR:O failed to live up to expectations but it was still viable. Just like FFXI had falling numbers but it's still a very viable MMO.

Also, i found it ironic that you are telling game developers who are making a boat load of money they are doing it wrong and they shouldn't be calling others wrong. Well, unless you've created, designed, and published an MMO yourself maybe you shouldn't be telling them how to run one either. Please provide a link to your MMO though, if you have one, so we can all check out how it's supposed to be done.
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Posted: Mar 12th 2011 8:50PM Vagrant Zero said

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@PiOmega You wrote stuff, we read Wha Wha Wha.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 12:24AM ThePenIsMightier said

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@Vagrant Zero

Gee, someone is bitter about not having any sensible comeback. ;)
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 3:10PM socialenemy2007 said

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@PiOmega

I agree with some of what you said, mostly that hyper instanced content gives the illusion that you are in a large immerse world, when in fact, it plays exactly like you described; a 3d lobby.

I see a lot of arguments about what is an MMO and what isn't, but the fact is, the masses simply felt that DDO wasn't worth a $15 a month subscription charge.

My hat's off to Turbine for figuring out a way to keep these games alive, and also to expand the player base.

I think more companies should do this with older titles (Sony, you listening?) such as Everquest 1 and Vanguard.

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Posted: Mar 12th 2011 8:53PM Furdinand said

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"Pioneers get the gold!" so start doing the thing we are already doing!

People shouldn't forget that with the choices that f2p games offer, they also are adding the extra infrastructure, maintenance, and gating that goes into separating access between players. When you pay in f2p games you are also paying for those extra measures in addition to the content (not to mention that you are paying for people who don't pay anything to play the game).

It is like going out to breakfast. If you individually order a side of bacon, a side of eggs, a side of toast, and a side of hash browns; it is going to cost you more than just getting the grand slam.

Posted: Mar 12th 2011 9:04PM PiOmega said

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There is nothing mmo about DDO, it's a fully instanced game with a 3D game lobby, be it in towns. It's just another form of Diablo that people got upset when mmo players said wasn't an mmo.

lotro is a ghost town. It's no secret that it was having problems even before the cash shops.
There is no revolution, only marketing propaganda.
So get upset all you want, but that is just how it is.
Why aint Blizzard standing up saying how great f2p is? I'm not a fan of WoW, by far, but Blizzard at least (just as an example) has a successful game and knows better than to promote a marketing idea that they have no need of and no use for. This is purely a failing developer whining about really their failed development practices over recent years.


Previously posted:
Problem is, DDO is not a real mmo, just like GW isn't. They are multi-player games with a 3D game lobby. DDO should have never had the subscription model imo, and they should really stop trying to call their game an mmorpg.

As for lotro, seems to be a ghost town last I checked, I mean compared to when they launched the cash shop system to save a failing game (failing for a reason). A lot of people, even those that were paying something, got fed up with the nickle and dime system. Annoying to log in and have reminders to pay for something you just rather forget about for a time and play with what you did pay for.

What it really comes down to is not that subscription games are failing, but poorly made games are failing, and adding a cash shop to those games only puts a band-aid on that dieing game, to milk it for all it's worth and spin it as it's a good choice. Now if they knew how to make good mmorpg's to start, and economically, guess we would not be having this conversation. But I guess they gotta try to even the playing field by presenting an illusion that everything else is fail just like their own work. It's just more marketing tactics.

They cant make money off their solo/multi-player RPG's, can't make money off their mmo/quasi-mmo's, maybe they should look into another line of work and refrain from telling successful-enough developers that they are doing it all wrong? MMO's are not a well of cash for publishers/developers, never have been, just like most games from any genre are not, but they can provide a living for their developers and a profit for investors.

Game making is an art, it should never be belittled to the marketing analysis it has become; designed to maximize profit potential over creativity, which in the end is void of interest for those that actually like the genre.
(shame on you for trying to blot out the other side of the case/debate)

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