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Reader Comments (73)

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 11:49AM (Unverified) said

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The question to ask should be, which subscription-based games should offer a F2P option?

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 1:38PM HiroProtagonist7 said

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@(Unverified)
Wrong thread - you'll need to go to... well, any other F2P discussion really.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 11:55AM Poordevil said

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I don't care too much about getting games cheap. I really don't. The only thing that matters to me is enjoying the game I'm playing. Because playing a a mediocre title is a disappointing waste of my time, and my time is more valuable than a few dollars.

Payment models are a minor concern, give me a game I enjoy. Give me a game I can sink my teeth into, commit to, and have fun doing it. If a game can deliver that in spades, the payment model is insignificant. What ever payment model keeps the updates coming in and the expansions happening is fine with me, just keep the game fun and fresh, that's all I care about!

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 11:56AM jeremys said

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There's always been talk on the Runes of Magic forum asking for a pay-to-play server -- as long as the current evolution of the game experience runs smoother on computers.

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 1:01PM (Unverified) said

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I can't think of a single F2P game that should offer a sub that doesn't already do so. The reason for that being, that to justify a subscription the game had to START as a AAA title designed for the subscription model.

LoTRO, DDO, Champions Online... soon City of Heroes. They mostly work offering a subscription model because they were intended for the subscription model. Games designed to be supported largely or completely by a cash shop aren't generally worth my time in my experience, much less my money, and a subscription option wouldn't change the underlying quality issues.

As one poster pointed out earlier, the subscription costs are really insanely low when you get right down to it. $14.99 a month? I spend more than that on coffee in a week. If you can't afford that maybe you should reassess your priorities in terms of how you're spending your time anyway.

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 1:03PM (Unverified) said

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forsaken world is rather large and f2p,be nice to use world chat and not need a friggin horn or something that goes away as you use

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 1:21PM HiroProtagonist7 said

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The payment model defines the motivation of the devs.

With an item shop their profit motivation is to sell items from the store.
To sell more items and make more profit they need to fill the game with grind so you purchase buffs to help with the grind. They are motivated to put in boring content so you buy travel and XP buffs to get past it. If sales go down they amp the difficulty of the mobs so you buy more buffs. If you sub to one of these games you are also affected.

In a pure sub game the profit motivation is to keep people around. They are motivated to improve the enjoyability of the game to keep their subs. If there is an area that is too grindy or boring they are motivated to fix it, not use it as an example of a top money generating area to replicate in their next project meeting.

Knowing this, there's no way I'd sub to a game with an item shop at all - analyzing their intentions is basic economics.

If the question was "what game would you like to see switch to a PURE sub model?" then it'd be a different story. If we could assume that the subscription conversion (as opposed to F2P conversion) involved cleaning up the grind and returning the shop items to the mobs that'd drop them it'd be a step in the right direction. Then I'd answer TSW.

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 2:02PM Azaetos said

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@HiroProtagonist7

You are spot on with what motivates the developers.

An example is EVE Online at the moment where the devs sight lack of modelers, texture artists, etc for there being no time to add things like new ships or modular POS (player owned structures) to the game. Those unavailable resources are currently creating more clothing items and environments for the microtransaction part of the game ala Incarna.

It's hard not to be frustrated when you see this sort of shift in focus from game develpers and people just seem to be whistling dixie whilst they completely ignore what is occuring around them. The end result will not be to benefit the gamers, only the company accountants.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 2:39PM Sean D said

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@HiroProtagonist7

Hear, hear!
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 1:31PM Majicebe said

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I like LOTRO's method, but I really hate how they really shove the money shop stuff in your face constantly. Like every other thing you click on is money-related and it detracts from the experience. "Oh, you'd like a horse? You can either do all these quests... or give us $10" Just got to the point where it takes you out of the experience.

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 3:24PM sjet said

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and you should login and play it as it is now, not make up conclusion based on facts drawn from thin air. Gpotato did what they had to because that's what the contract told them to. I would rather have them implant 100 stupid things than changing one patch and tell us that the HQ are not in charge of our game mechanics...

so either login or logoff, stating ideas and facts like yours doesn't lead to anything.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 11:10PM Azaetos said

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@sjet

Interesting ... maybe you should do some research before you accuse me of making up facts from thin air. Tell me exactly where I have lied about what occured with Allods?

So your saying that it wasn't Gpotato's choice to sell many cash shop items for 10x the price they were on the Russian server or okay the mechanics that enraged the community. You are wrong.

The game publishers have control of what is implemented into the game and dictate pricing, etc. Why do you think games such as Tera haven't been released into the US market yet, because En masse (the publisher) have requested changes to the game.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 2:10PM tavtav said

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APB is a prime candidate for this. The original APB failed, but not because of the wonky pricing model.

G1's current business MO of buying failed MMOs and pushing them F2P is a poor one. Just because DDO has seen a turnaround due to the F2P model working well with its format and the old school pen and paper "Go buy an adventure module" thing doesn't mean the same is true of every MMO that fails.

APB:R's transition to F2P has been horribly handled from outrageous pricing, OP cash shop exclusive items, to a drastic reduction in scope for what their "premium" sub gets you, which amounts to "Thanks for the premium payment! We'll remove the artificial XP and money penalties we put on you! Wait, what? You want the features you USED to get for your sub? Haha, good one customer. No, we'll continue to sell each one of those myriad features in the cash shop for $20+ each (car trim kits I'm looking at you) rather than actually generating new content to put in it."

What's more, G1's idea of content is making a custom car with trim that isn't re-released yet, all using in-game editors much less(what players USED to be able to do), and selling it in the cash shop, hoping for sales just because some desperate noob is willing to pay cash for the body kit pieces he wants on the car and bear the atrocious paint job. Then maybe a month or two later, release the body kits one at a time for ridiculous prices so the poor noob can finally make the care he wanted in the first place.

When transparently putting in the minimal effort to create overpriced cash shop items becomes the entire design focus of the game, you have failed as a developer in the way that GamersFirst has.

Studios REALLY need to examine whether or not their design is aided or hindered by a cash shop model before jumping on the bandwagon. All I can say is please put your designers and suits in a room BEFORE you design a game, let them figure out what works well. DO NOT let your marketing department design your game. DO NOT let accounting design your game. Let DESIGNERS design your god damn game. Let marketing sell the game your designers have made.

This all seems like common sense yet it does not appear to be happening in the MMO industry at the moment.

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 2:16PM Bladerunner83 said

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@tavtav

GamerFirst's Joshua Hong is a classic example of a snake oil saleman.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 2:25PM Azaetos said

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@tavtav

Yes I'm waiting to see what sort of a hack G1 make of Fallen Earth now that they have procured it.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 3:28PM (Unverified) said

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@Azaetos There's a reason I dropped my FE sub as soon as I found out about the G1 purchase. I've uninstalled the client, I'll just listen to the friends I have still playing when they sob on my shoulder later.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 2:25PM myself337 said

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I just wish item mall items were priced better than they are. I think devs need to go more for folks buying 5 or 6 cheaply priced items than one big item ever few weeks. currently most (?) item malls sell 600 item malls currency for $5. the most of the times you want cost 750... make most of the 'convienance' items cost 400 points (chips whatever). that way your left over with 200 points and feel hey i may as well pay the extra $5 and get two more! rather than how i currently feel, "ouch $25 bucks for stuff that i will 'need' to play the game" often when i pay this i tend not to pay again cause 'i paid so much last time'... nickle and dime me please! F2P should cost less that sub imo...

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 2:39PM erzabeta said

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It's a good thing this "They get one shot or I walk" mentality wasn't so common when WoW launched. Because it's launch was dreadful. Massive bugs, features listed on the box not in the game, dreadful lag, etc. Hell, even after all these years they still have serious issues. I logged in about a month ago after not playing for a year during a week long "Welcome back event", loaded my toon, and watched as I fell through the world, forever. Had to restart my pc, log in and make a new toon, and contact a gm to get it fixed. Had to make a new toon because my alt also decided to explore the middle of the world in free fall. And this is the game most call the most polished MMO. And no, for all you fanboys that are itching to defend your precious WoW, I have nothing against WoW, played it for years, enjoyed it for what it was, good bored with it's simplicity, and moved on. Just making a point.

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 3:11PM Azaetos said

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@erzabeta

The biggest difference between now and when WoW launched is choice, the market is flooded with MMO's now and it's actually accelerating.

Player expectations are now based on long term MMO's, I'm not saying this is how people should view newly released games but it is just the reality now.

In games where the devs give straight answers as to where they are at and where they are headed, I have no problem continueing to play their game. But when you get situations like the one Funcom pulled with AoC for example then don't expect me to hang around for very long.

At the moment I'm very tempted to get a sub to Gods and Heroes just based on the dev feedback with their customers. I'm so tired of smoke and mirror developers that it's actually refreshing to see.

There is a reason why say SWTOR has taken so long to release, because they realise from watching what has occured in the MMO market in recent years that they can't afford to release a half finished or non-feature filled game. They are clearly more interested in retaining customers long term rather than making money from initial box sales.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 6:17PM ShivanSwordsman said

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@erzabeta

Remember when that Undead Warrior released that video of him mopping up a few strong mobs one after the other, and then Blizzard freaked and nerfed the Warrior into the slowest leveling class ever created? Yeah. I do too. I also remember when the Warriors got together and crashed an entire server demanding they get looked at.

Blizzard's never been on good terms with me, but the arbitrary limits they put in the game, like only being able to raid dungeons/get points for gear so much a day finally broke me, and that was in Vanilla WoW. The points thing is Cataclysm, and possibly before, I never got past Level 70 in Wrath.

The general idea there is, if the class is fun to play, and kills fast, and feels powerful... nerf it. Nerf it with a hammer until it runs screaming anytime a green mob sneezes in it's general direction, otherwise that booger might crit you. Lack of content? Make it so you can't raid more than once a week, or day, or whatever, put reset timers on the thing so when you DO clear it you can't just reclear it...

... Basically, artificially padding out the content of their game, rather than addressing their crappy content. Y'know, like korean companies did with Stamina/Fatigue, one of the greatest middle fingers to the gaming community since paying monthly to play a $50 game you just bought.
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