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Reader Comments (88)

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 5:01PM (Unverified) said

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Some games don't need voice acting to be good, Bioware.

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 5:09PM Bizlipkick said

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@(Unverified)

Your right. But bioware chose to use it to make their game more immersive. And they can't fund that by nickel and diming people on vanity lightsabers. I am so tired of this whole F2P thing. If more games had a 30 day trial, or did it like eve where you can pretty much sign up for unlimited 2 week accounts for free but are capped on what you can train/etc, f2p would die like it should. Even in this economy, if you can't spend 15 dollars a month to pay for a quality MMO, then you need to do some soul searching on WTF happened to your life.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 6:39PM Makovorn said

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@(Unverified) I agree with this short piece of absolute truth, but in the same breath, I also believe a company can make an awesome game with a mix of some voice acting and some text if used cleverly. Heck, ArenaNet has an army of voice-over actors lined up, some of who falls in the highest pay/demand bracket ... 60 full-length feature film's worth of voice and it's a B2P (buy once, play forever) game i.e. no sub and only a "cosmetic" item store.

Guild Wars 2 will have lots of voice, lots of story, amazing lore, an immense world and more ... and it's B2P. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that there is at least one other company that "do the things" Bioware can (and possibly more in the long run) for no subscription.

So I'm sorry, I'm not buying Bioware's argument. Bottom line for me, is that SWTOR was an *insanely* expensive game to make - no doubt about that and no doubt their investors would go for the quickest, easiest and most steady money grab they can get - box sales and subs.

In essence, I don't have a problem with the sub model for SWTOR. What I do have a problem with, is when they try to sugar-coat their explanation for using it.

In any event, I think in 2012 ArenaNet will prove that an open, persistent-wold AAA MMO title can launch and exist with no subscription fees and no shady "pay-to-win" shop mechanics. The future for MMO pay models looks ... interesting.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 6:51PM Utakata said

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You know when the F2P fanboi's out in full force when the thread derailing troll gets upgraded and anyone else crtical of F2P get's *downgraded to the ground.

...yes, folks there's lots of good things about the F2P model depending on how it's done. But there's a lot of faults with it too. And it's certainly not the be all and end all of all MMO's business models. As well, I can't see that model working for SWTOR currently. Maybe down the road...when BioWare is not pulling the numbers they need, perhaps a Freemiun conversion would be more suited. But not now. If BioWare does well with this game and continue to do well, going F2P will never be necessary...expecially when they're making gobs of stable money on the subscription. Just saying.

*Note: I don't exactly agree with Bizlipkick's slagging of F2P's either. But rather than openly disagree with the merrits of his/her aguements...it's likely been downgraded simpley due to being disagreeable with F2P's.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 7:36PM Makovorn said

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@Utakata I think the general disagreement with Bizlipkick's post might have been because it implied to a point that subscription models makes games more immersive (or at least afford developers the funds to make it more immersive) ... which I don't think is really accurate. Immersion is a highly subjective thing.

I also don't believe the upvoted post was a troll attempt. I think if you'd throw a very casual question out there and ask what comes to mind first when you think of SWTOR and how it's different, I bet certain the words "story" and "voice-acting" would pop out first. Every MMO needs at least a decent story for it's foundation, however voice-acting doesn't make or break a game, nor does it justify a subscription model ... not always anyway.

All this said, I don't actually disagree with you. The sub model is probably the only thing that would work for SWTOR right now. I mean, can you imagine what the costs of the intellectual property rights alone had to be ... it's mind boggling. Good thing it's in alliance with LucasArts.

I love the game - I love Star Wars and I don't mind the sub model. Can really great MMO's be made without this model? Of course it can ... and the best is yet to come. :)
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 8:06PM Alph said

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@(Unverified)
...and if those games _did_ have voice acting imagine how much better they would be.
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Posted: Dec 29th 2011 12:58AM Ecto said

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@Bizlipkick The key word being "quality". I think at this point, a lot of MMO players have been burned by poor quality games that failed to live up to their expectations and are therefore hesitant to shell out the initial $60 investment as well as commit to a recurring subscription plan.

I have no problem paying for a quality MMO, but to be quite honest, a lot of the MMOs to come out in recent years - I wouldn't even play for free.
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Posted: Dec 29th 2011 2:58AM ShivanSwordsman said

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@Ecto

I don't mind playing for free, but if it rams the cash shop into your face, or cuts you off in such ways where you have to Pay To Enjoy, I stay away. Conversely, I will say the SWTOR beta was one of the best games I ever played recently, at least for PvP. However, I've tired of paying a ransom fee every month for my characters, and $50 for the expansion that my money is supposedly being used to create.

Frankly, I'd have bought the thing box price if I could at least play some form of the game/my characters after buying it. No free to play here mind you, I just want to be able to PvP and only PvP for free. Mainly because PvP has absolutely no lore/questing/companions/voice acting invested in it, thus explaining a subscription is needed for it is very much moot. Give me the starter area and PvP for free, and I'd dole out the $60 in a heartbeat. If not... well, there's Guild Wars 2.

Frankly, I've been burned by too many P2P games. Subs are inexcusable to me, as I feel obligated to play, and to play as much as possible to get my money's worth. Not a good system.
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Posted: Dec 29th 2011 4:46AM Utakata said

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@Makovorn

I'm not sure I entirely agree with you, but thanks for taking the time to explain your position. It's far better than those faceless individuals who spam the vote button either way without giving a reasonable discourse of disagreement or agreement ...which I've always positioned in many ways is worse than trolling. Least you did explain yourself in a wonderfully reasoanble manner. And I tend to be more persuaded by good arguement than a downgrade. /shrug
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Posted: Dec 29th 2011 4:57AM Lionhearted said

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@Bizlipkick

There's no need to be a jerk about it and put people down. All the power to you if you haven't seen the nasty underbelly of this jobs crisis in this country, but to some people -- eminently qualified, hard working though they may be -- $15 a month is meaningful in their lives.

One of my best friends is a research scientist and worked at Harvard for about 5 years, until her project ended. After that project ended, despite having glowing reviews, it took her over 6 months to find her next job, which was technically a temp job, to take over for someone who was out on an extended leave. She ended up getting a permanent job out of it, but it was basically another six month interview process, working there with no assurances a job would be there for her, only vague promises from her boss that he'd try to do something since they wanted to keep her -- doing his best to tie her up with no guarantees of a permanent job placement.

My point being, of course, is this: when someone like her could have trouble getting a stable, decent job, even in this economy, things are really, really screwed up. When things are that bad, it's generally no individual's fault.

I imagine in those six months or so she was unemployed, $15 a month was very meaningful, when living in a big city off a very, very meager unemployment check and having bills to pay. She couldn't afford her health insurance and we stopped going out.

She isn't a gamer, but if she were, I imagine she'd have stopped any active subscriptions she had. Had she done so, it wouldn't have meant she'd need to do any "soul searching on WTF happened" to her life. It simply would have been her getting swept up in a worldwide economic jobs crisis. And, honestly, given how bad this jobs crisis is, especially for twenty somethings, she was one of the lucky ones!

I will never get the need for some to put others down, especially when no one can understand the unique circumstances other people may have or what's going on in their head.

Maybe someone has a sick parent or child that they're taking care of, so they can't work as much as they need? Maybe someone went through a bad divorce, and found themselves having to find a home they can afford to live in while giving away half their paycheck in child support? Maybe some idiot 18 year old went to a college where they'll have $100k in debt, without any life experience to tell them what that $100k really means, and coming out of it at 21 or 22 with no guaranteed job to pay it off. Maybe someone's in their late 50s or early 60s and just found themselves laid off -- at an age in which odds are they'll *never* find another decent job again.

You just don't know -- which, all in all, probably means it's a good time not to speak. So, instead of putting those people down, why don't you have a tiny shred of human decency and to observe what was my father's #1 rule when growing up: don't speak, unless you have something nice to say.
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Posted: Dec 29th 2011 8:58AM KaronT3 said

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@Bizlipkick and ho has said you that the people can´t pay 15 dollars suscription? the question is, do i want to pay all the month by the face? The unswer is NO, with microtransactions i pay when i want for something, and if i don´t need nothin specially, i don´t pay. A lot of People like me play APB, and i have not spended an euro on it. Idye a lot of times more than a person that have paid for better equipment, but i don´t care about it, i enjoy with the game, as in World of tanks, you can buy gold ammo for money for making more damage, but i have not spended an euro on it. If i like a game i can play it for free, and i don´t have to pay for it if i don´t whant. that doesn´t happend in a suscription fee game, you must pay by the face.
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Posted: Dec 29th 2011 4:49PM RogueJedi86 said

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@Makovorn

Wait, Makavorn. You said GW2 is "Buy and you own it", then said it has a cash shop for cosmetic stuff. That makes it a F2P game, not just a "buy and own" game. Only being cosmetic items puts it in the same category as many other F2P MMOs, except for those you don't pay anything out of the box. I wasn't aware of GW2 having an item shop before this, and it turns me off majorly. I don't care if it's "only" cosmetic, I happen to like cosmetic items and don't want to pay extra, so count me out on GW2. I'll stick to TOR where there is no cash shops of ANY sort, thanks.
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Posted: Dec 29th 2011 6:49PM KaronT3 said

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@RogueJedi86 What a simple excuse, GW2 cosmetic costume will be available months later from the official launch. And if you don't want them you don't have to buy them. If you preffer to spend 15 dollars each month is your choice, maybe a costume could be 8 dollars as much and then you will be happy forever whit it without paying never more, in SWTOR you are going to pay 15 dollars each month. What is more expensive?
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Posted: Dec 30th 2011 11:06AM RogueJedi86 said

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@KaronT3

But if I want the item, I'd have to pay for it. I can keep buying cosmetic items that I like to look cool in, adding up to over $15 a month, or I can buy anything I want in TOR and only have to deal with a $15/month fee.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 5:06PM Fakeassname said

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jade dynasty is the only thing that comes to mind that isn't out of there hands (DnD) or accounted for (DA / ME).

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 5:07PM Fakeassname said

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@Fakeassname

"their"
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 8:00PM Saerain said

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@Fakeassname

*Jade Empire
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 10:13PM Fakeassname said

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@Saerain

shows how memorable I found it ...

$10 says that it is Jade Empire that they turn into a F2P game, and that their logic is because it's Asian themed and lots Asians like F2P games, so it must be a perfect fit.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 5:13PM (Unverified) said

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Hubris.

Again.

Are Bioware ever going to STFU about how awesome they think they are?



Posted: Dec 28th 2011 5:48PM aurickle said

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If you actually read what they said, their statement is accurate and not arrogant. The reality of today's market makes what they said true. To do f2p right you really need to design the game with that payment model in mind. Yet the reality of today's market is that you're not going to get the funding to build a AAA title with a f2p payment model. Investors won't take you seriously.

There is only one title I can think of that was designed for f2p and even tried to come close to a AAA level of quality. That is Allods online and... well... 'nuff said about that game! ;)

Maybe the industry will change over time as more games show the kind of success that Turbine has seen with their freemium conversions. However, while I once supported LotRO's change to f2p I have since become less than enamored with the results.
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