| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (88)

Posted: May 30th 2011 9:35AM AoCPlayer said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Ardanwen

If you spend 15 bucks just once (1 month sub) you can have access to any class you want forever. You just need to make that character while on the premium subscription model (you can cancel after just 1 month) and its yours just as long as you want to play it. That is a major point that a lot of posters have missed.

A second major point that a lot of posters have missed is that you can buy access to AA progression through the F2P model. No need to pay a monthly sub to advance in AA if you fork over some money to activate the AA feature through the F2P model.

But in the end, some folks need to realize that FUNCOM is in this for your money and if what they offer is not to some folks liking, then those folks can take their business elsewhere as FUNCOMs F2P model is not for them.
Reply

Posted: May 30th 2011 10:51AM Ardanwen said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The concern a lot of players are having is that when thousands of people try out the game for free, they will stick to one of the four "free" classes when (or if) they go "paying". Which would cause an imbalance in population.

I have no problem at all with paying a sub. What I find disturbing is that while we're paying 15 bucks a month, we'd still "need" to buy stuff in the shop as well. And a 5% discount is hardly making any difference. The fact that we have access to everything isn't really important to us, since nothing is changing for us in that regards.
Reply

Posted: May 30th 2011 3:43PM Celtar said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Wow, I've read a lot of articles by you Jef but this one really is a piece of cake. You come off like the very people you slam in your remarks. It is as if you took a little pill to drop your mentality 10 years or so.

Personally I feel that those who come off as over self entitled are those who want something for nothing. Games even poorly designed ones cost a lot of money to produce and up keep. Those who can't agree that paying a measly sum of cash to play a game aren't seeing the value and bluntly shouldn't be playing said game.

Back to what really bothered me about your article, it comes off as very passive aggressive insulting towards various realities of gaming and those who play.

First let me say that I keep two or three subscriptions at anyone time and play half a dozen various mmos as my mood strikes. Currently I am active in AoC and "still" the game though it is amazing in some ways comes off as half baked. A lot of what is designed is badly designed and I keep hoping that some of these issues would improve over the years, this sadly has not happened.

Which is why I am hesitant in my joy for Funcom's up coming "Secret World", they do a lot of wonderful thing and have some really interesting takes on how to do somethings. That said they miss so often with other important aspects of the game that there games are not of the quality that you have gushed repeatly about.

Try to return to writing articles that aren't so biased, dismissive, and passive aggressive please. I tend to enjoy reading what you talk about... normally.

Posted: May 30th 2011 4:32PM Drfive said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
can i keep my free trial char for f2p ?

Posted: May 30th 2011 5:06PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
F2P is ALWAYS a last gasp effort of a failing MMORPG.

The simple economics dictate it. Your number of concurrently connected users == your operating cost. By all industry measures, return per CCU for subscriptions is 10 times that of micro-transaction.

Games that are designed for F2P have minimal server requirements per CCU to keep costs down (think about Farmville). MMORPGS are not so designed.

Converting an MMORPg from subscription to Micro-transaction ONLY makes sense if you have an existing product whose full development cost is in already and are unable to sell the subscriptions to it.

Posted: May 30th 2011 7:54PM Poordevil said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

"Converting an MMORPg from subscription to Micro-transaction ONLY makes sense if you have an existing product whose full development cost is in already and are unable to sell the subscriptions to it."

But a successful MMO is an ongoing project, so full development cost is never "in". There is always something more to be developed. The job is never done and development costs are never in until the game closes its doors, turns out the lights, and pulls the plug.
Reply

Posted: May 30th 2011 7:58PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
No, actually.

Development is never done until you decide ist time ro ride the decline. Then you milk it til it costs more to run then keeping the lights on costs.

BUt you are still making a mistake.

Content development is much cheaper then initial engine development. You can afford to keep cranking out content on a much lower cost basis then adding features or fixing bugs in the engine.

The important thing is that the engine development cost is already all in and is a loss if you do nothing with it. Even if you cant make back the cost of engine development in the end, as long as operating costs are lower then what you can eeke out of the F2P you might as well try,

But only if its become obvious you cant make the subscription $$ so its F2P or nada.
Reply

Posted: May 30th 2011 7:59PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

AND by definition, if its gone from Sub to F2P... it wasn't successful. Again the economics make that plain.
Reply

Posted: May 30th 2011 10:11PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Tempes Magus

I say you stated a fallacy. LOTRO was *never* financially successful as a sub game.

The economics are plain. It all comes down to peak concurrently connected users as that drives how many servers you have to pay for. (CCU)

A *successful* micro-transaction game generates $3.00 to $15.00 per DAU per month. A DAU is about 10% of MAU, and 2 to 4 times the peak daily CCU. So, thats somewhere between $1.00 and $7.50 per peak CCU.

On contrats a subscription game generates $5.00 to $15.00 per month per *account*. Peak CCU is realiably no more then 10% of the total accounts, So that is $50 tp $150.00 per peak CCU.

As I say, this is whay games that are actually built for micro-transactions have minimal server involvement. To make the casual agem numbers work (this is my business) you need in excess of 1,000 user per server.

In contrast your typical MMORPG uses a real server per zone per shard, and each server handles more like a hundred or or hundred users.

The economics just dont work. The *ONLY* reason to go mocrp-transaction on an M MORPG is if you are alrady all in for your game development costs ($30M plus) and you dpn't habe a significant subscriber base to pay it back.

It is a classic "hall mary" play where you have little to lose and you can always pray you c\an fill the spare capacity on the servers you have already invested in with additional players who add some token to the bottom line.
Reply

Posted: May 30th 2011 10:13PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

That was "a hundred to five hundred users." its late and Im typing in bed.
Reply

Posted: May 30th 2011 10:14PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

And I dropped a 0. You need in excess of 10,000 users per server to make a casual game work economically.
Reply

Posted: May 30th 2011 10:18PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Tempes Magus

And I don't see any MMORPG conversions "thriving"... I see a few surviving with minimal new investment. That is the hail mary catch you aee hoping for when you do this,

WOW is thriving. You notice they aren't F2P.
Reply

Posted: May 30th 2011 9:35PM Verus said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The way I see it when you are forced to go free to play you have a dying game and are trying to squeeze the last bit of life out from it.

I´m sure this will have a short term positive effect for Age of Conan but after a short while people will realize once again why they left the game in the first place.

Posted: May 31st 2011 8:09AM Fabius Bile said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
kids thought they would get AoC for free
kids rejoiced
kids learned their expectations differ from reality
kids rage because they arent getting as much as they thought for their...nothing

kids cry

music to my ears...

Posted: May 31st 2011 10:17AM Poordevil said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Jef

This is kind of off topic but I can't help admiring those two screens you have posted with this article. Those two guards by the entry way... what kind of rig does it take to get that kind of detail? That is a gorgeous shot, it almost leaps out in 3D! You seem to have the gama, contrast, and brightness dialed in perfectly. What kind of res are you running and on what monitor?

And that shot overlooking the grassy hill. Where is that taken from? I don't recognize that area at all, lol.

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 7:14PM Jef Reahard said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Poordevil

Sorry for the delayed response, I lose track of comment threads after a couple of days.

The hill shot is in the northern grasslands over there by the rez pad, kind of up the hill from the brittle blade compound and toward Warmonk.

Monitor is an Apple Cinema Display running at 2560x1600. Machine specs are toward the bottom of this column. http://massively.joystiq.com/2010/08/08/the-anvil-of-crom-building-a-khitai-pc/ It's year-old hardware (I haven't upgraded any of it since that article), but it handles AoC pretty well.
Reply

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 7:19PM Jef Reahard said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Jef Reahard

Forgot to mention that the Dreamworld update did bump my frames up a little bit too. I was still having some slowdowns in Khitai last summer but that doesn't happen now.
Reply

Posted: May 31st 2011 12:57PM Paradigm68 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
A p2p game not designed to go f2p, suddenly goes f2p IS a failure. However it doesn't mean it will continue to be a failure once it goes f2p.

Posted: May 31st 2011 8:33PM Paradigm68 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Tempes Magus

Lotro was beginning to fail. The move to f2p was to stop that failure.
Reply

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 6:24PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Tempes Magus

Your assertion is comforting to you Im sure.

Totally wrong.

But comforting.

In april 2008 LOTRO controlled a whopping 0.9% of the MMORPG market.

http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart7.html

Much like AoC it had a strong out of the gate showing and then faltered and bled users. It hit 100,000 accounts at its height and then fell rapidly, to less then half of that within 2 years:

http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart2.html

And here is some more evidence that AoC is also faltering badly...

http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart2.html



Reply

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW