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Reader Comments (35)

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 12:11PM pcgneurotic said

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I do actually own a copy of AoC, but just can't justify the sub on top of the amount of money I spend with Turbine, Cryptic and SOE in their item shops. If AoC did go F2P I would be thrilled, and I can almost guarantee Funcom would get a small slice of my paycheck now and then.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 12:23PM (Unverified) said

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F2P is a bad model, it does not and never has had any sucess. alot of the games with dying pop, died because the games were broken. That's the same notion as beat your septic pipes with, and the battery in your car is dead. There seperate issues, and players have a very set look on F2P in general, it means poor quality, and low to no expanison.

I have a army of guildies that have answers on why AoC died; hackers and third party programs make a few player cheat gods; major bugs not fixed, and most important Dev ignoring players.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 1:20PM Utakata said

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@(Unverified)

I will agree that F2P is questionable in fairness to the consumer and the main reason why I am opposed to it. But claiming it's unsuccessful is full on bunk. I bet you dollars for donuts that Funcom are licking their lips over Turbine's success with freemium'ing DDO and LoTRO.

As the rest of your opinion...I think I will leave it to your "interesting" imagination.
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 6:18PM DiscordSK said

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@(Unverified)
From Cryptic about their f2p conversaion:
"Champions Online went to the free-to-play route in late January and so far the switch for the super hero MMO from developer Cryptic Studios has proven, at least so far, to be a big success. According to a press release from publisher Atari, the game has seen increases in “online concurrent user, unique login and revenue totals by over 1,000 percent” since the switch. (Specific numbers were not revealed)."

Free Realms is also the most successful game SOE currently has out, much more so then SWG, DCUO, EQ2, Vangard, etc.

F2P while not the payment model you seem to prefer, is far from a failure.
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 12:24PM Dril said

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I actually think adopting LOTRO's systems (sans pay-to-win stat tomes and heavy character limitation) would be the best bet. Why?

Because AoC, with its instanced zones and all the quests within them, is a really easy way to sell points and hence make money. Think about it: Tortage would be free, as it is now, as would Conall's, Wild Lands, and that other place in Stygia for the 20-37 level range. After that, people either buy some zones, sub, leave due to not liking the game or leave due to being the typical "I want everything for free pl0x" cheapskate arses.

Then, of course, they could add in appearance and sell mounts at the store. Along with the other things on the Veteran Vendor.

It all sounds pretty easy to develop and actually not that bad a system. And for the love of god, I hope they do implement it.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 12:54PM thedoommarine said

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You're an idiot if you believe that F2P doesn't work.

Champions Online has gone up over 1000% in revenue since it came out as a F2P game.

Star Trek Online is next on the F2P list because Champions did so well.

A few of my friends have been around since the start and they all believe the game would be much better if it went F2P.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 12:54PM Ardanwen said

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On the other hand, the problem you're having here is something that most MMO's that are out for a while have. Even the more popular ones.
You don't see people swarming around in the low-level area's of WoW either.
That said, you do of course have much less chance to encounter people in low lvl zones in AoC than in the more populated WoW servers, but still.

If you're in a guild the low level instances are still often played by the way. Many guilds do low-level dungeonruns for their new or alt-characters. Granted, you won't easily find a team with 5 level 40's (the way it's supposed to be played), but you will be able to see the areas thanks to helpful level 80 players.
It's not the same of course, but still. And again, I don't think you can find full teams (with the targeted levels) for low-lvl dungeons in more popular MMO's that easily either. It's simple fact that most players (definitely with alts) want to get to max-lvl asap.



The game really does need a "player-injection" though. After taking a "break" of two years, it's really noticable what wonders Funcom did with the game. And how friggin good the games has become. The recent engine-update is also incredible, I'm suddenly able to actually run the game with acceptable graphics (which are better than most other MMO's highest setting graphics tbh) on my 3year old laptop. Including Khitai.

This game deserves a lot more players. To all those who got "scared" of the bad name the game has, forget it, and give the game a try. Don't go racing to level 80 though, AoC has one of the best "levelling" worlds out there. Experience all the game has to offer, and you'll stick around a long time. And I'm saying this after swearing two years ago that I would never, ever, play this game again. Alas, I'm hooked again and have just bought the expansion :).



Making the game free to play to get more population? Yes, I've pondered about it as well. But I'm torn about it. I really don't think F2P would be good for the game design-wise and I'm in general not a F2P fan.
At the moment, I don't think I would want it. Maybe if the higher level population would sink, then maybe. Else, no thanks.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 1:06PM Utakata said

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Perhaps creating a server mechanic switching similar to GW would be better, presuming the Hyberia is instance opposed to seamless. Therefore, one doesn't have to worry about server mergings, finding groups to do mid level content (or other population issues) and/or switiching over to dubious invasive business models to compensate.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 1:08PM wondersmith said

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Doing F2P right is tricky. What's crucial is to make it clearly possible to get everything for free while making it challenging enough to do so that enough players will opt to spend money instead. It's also hard to decide exactly where to start "encouraging" players to pay. Turbine apparently found that it was better to give away more of the game than they originally planned. So they changed Lone-Lands to be free after the F2P launch.

Get the balance right, and you can succeed like Turbine. Get it wrong, and you'll fail like SOE. I myself hope AoC goes F2P, and does it as well as Turbine did. If so, I'll definitely play.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 1:24PM Mhaer said

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They should use their own model for AO, with the base game being free and expansions paid/subbed.

Even a blend of that with 1-70 being free with raids and level 80 content being subbed and expansion content being bought + full sub fee.

It is a big issue right now for the game in my mind since it really is barren per-80. Not just due to the game being a bit old now. The problem is also due to the expansion making alts less pratical and all the vet rewards, offline leveling, and item packs making leveling simply way too fast.

In order to avoid wall-o-text here, I will just link a post I made on the forums trying to suggest some ways to help the barreness of AoC's mid level areas: http://forums.ageofconan.com/showpost.php?p=2922677&postcount=1

There is lots they could do, and I would actually expect a change in this way sometime near the new PvP server's release. I hope they do, since the mid levels of AoC are quite good.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 1:25PM Paradigm68 said

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If AoC went f2p, I'd reinstall and log in now and then just to see how it looks cause its so pretty, but I wouldn't actually play it.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 2:50PM pcgneurotic said

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@Paradigm68

Just downloading and reinstalling it could take half your lifetime to complete. :D
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 1:40PM spamero said

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No, the game sux, move along, nothing to see here.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 2:11PM (Unverified) said

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Seriously, this F2p talk is getting sickening...

#1 - Do F2p game devs NOT REALIZE that by going F2p they are actively admitting that their game isnt good enough for a subscription?

#2 and most importantly, EVERY SNGLE MMO GAME can easily Quadruple their subscriptions and playerbase by doing one very very VERY SIMPLE THING....

PROMOTE THE DAMN GAME! And I dont mean promote(like they allllll do) to the same spoiled, biased, jaded, burnt out pool of 15-20 million players that THEY ALL promote to on gaming and mmo websites.

I'm talking about promoting to the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of potential players that are either a) non-gamers or b) gamers that dont play mmos.

Its soooooo simple yet they are so freakin lazy its sickening. All they do is promote to the SAME players that are already subbed or playing other games, So a game will lose 100-200k players, and another will lose players, and then gain players from another game and so on and so on. ITS THE SAME AMOUNT OF PLAYERS THAT ARE ALREADY PLAYING MMOS. Which is also why some of these games communities are full of the biggest pieces of human trash in existence, We need new blood!

All they have to do is promote to non gamers and non-mmo players and they will EASILY double their subs within a month!!!


Now, as for AOC, if they go F2p, at least half the current players will QUIT, obviously noting the laziness and failure of the devs, And even though players will fill the ranks, these are the CHEAPO players. The players that dont care about the games they play and ONLY pl,ay to rush and reach level and play because its FREE.

If AOC goes f2p it will die within 2 years. Right now AOC is one of the most complete and epic games on the market, but barely anyone even knows it exists!

STOP PROMOTING TO THE SAME PLAYERS idiot devs!

Look at WOW - they have over 13 million players(subscribers) BECAUSE more than 75% of them played WOW as their first game or mmo game. So the player stays with that game becaus they dont know anything else.

Once a dev realizes that there are HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of potential players just waiting to hear about a game, you will see millions upon millions of people playing that game, and it wont be a piece of crap f2p game.

Truth is, f2p games are a myth. They make a game "free" so the store junkies end up spending more than the total of subs.

DDO made it work and LOTRO had no choice but to make it work. Allods is doing ok. But when AAA games go F2p, it announces to the world their failure and the community becomes one of the crappies out there.

PLEASE AOC, do not be a failure like teh others. Do not be soooo lazy that instead of promoting and EASILY getting millions of subs, go f2p and ruin your chances of thriving.

Its sad that thats the choice - promote the game (which all should do) or admit failure and go F2p

It would cost tremendously LESS just to promoyte the game instead of reorganizing the entirety of the game for a f2p waste.

WAKE UP DEVS!!!!

As for Massively, PLEASE realize that you are making the problem WORSE and even though only .001% of mmo gamers go on the joystiq websites, it still puts a dent in all games morale.

S! and bite me

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 6:11PM Lenn said

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@(Unverified) The market is getting saturated. Not many people will have the money nor the time to invest in more than one, maybe two, MMOs. Big players like WoW are getting the bulk of gamers, leaving many smaller MMOs in its wake. If a company wants people to play their games, they'll have to take a few from those big players. MMOs are still not mainstream enough to attract the huge "casual" crowd, who are all too busy playing Farmville anyway.

Making an MMO f2p, or b2p, is a smart move. It'll enable people who are already investing in an MMO to try others out, without feeling guilty.

And if ArenaNet, Turbine and Cryptic can make it work, so can others.

Face it: p2p is on its way out, f2p is the future.
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 6:23PM DiscordSK said

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@(Unverified)
While I wouldn't go as far as say P2P is on its way out, I do believe it'll be a payment model exclusive to big name launches. SW:TOR, Blizzard's new MMO, etc. Basiclly games that can guarentee a huge draw will remain monthly fee games.

Other, small titles will start shifting more and more to a F2P model, just because they are more likely to draw in players who might otherwise be sitting on the fence, and then keep those same players through a low subscription fee of absolutely nothing while continuing to earn money from microtrans content.

As said before, its not about admiting failure in fact thats an extremely narrowminded point of view, its more about getting players who otherwise might not be willing to give your product a try, for whatever reason, and getting a slice of the pie.
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 6:47PM jpo said

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That long post you made....wow.
Nothing but a bunch of numbers, statistics, and trash that you simply made up as you typed.

Geez.

But...back on topic. I'd go back if it went F2P. I don't know how long I would stay or how much money I would spend...but F2P would at least get me back in the game.
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Posted: Apr 11th 2011 9:42AM Harley Dude said

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LOL you're wrong on so many levels. It's pretty funny that you think promoting the game will magically conjure millions of new players, and that everyone that plays WoW isn't aware that there are other MMOs out there. AoC sold 800k units at launch. Plenty of people knew about it. The fact that the game was in a shoddy state at launch sealed its' fate. Funcom is something of a joke in the MMO world with two really crappy MMO launches.

Where do you get half the current players would quit? I'm sure a bunch of people quit LotRO when it went F2P, but the new players more than made up for it. Everyone that's been playing since launch despite all the game's problems aren't going to quit because more people are playing now. All those people have accounts full of 80s, are in guilds, and wouldn't associate with or even see the froobs, anyway.
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 2:40PM Seffrid said

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The reason it's difficult to get groups at mid level is partly because you don't need to group and few people want to do so these days (especially outside of guilds), and partly because of the introduction of offline levelling.

It's possible that F2P would work with this game but I'm not altogether convinced, and I'm not sure either that F2P generally is more than a flash in the pan solution for most MMO's. What would probably bring in more players to AoC would be the development of an alternative starting area to Tortage, a lot of players would be tempted back but for the thought of having to go through all that again.

Plus, as Unverified says, do some proper marketing aimed at new players rather than just former players or those already committed to other MMO's.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 3:43PM (Unverified) said

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@Seffrid I might give AoC another try if they added a new starting area. I've only levelled one character through Tortage and hated it; the thought of having to run through it again has always put me off rolling another character.
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