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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 5:15PM Azzura said

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Do a look at EQ2's F2P also - a game that did it wrong. Useless to vet players. I can't play any of my old characters without subscribing due to all the restrictions.

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 6:06PM Beau Hindman said

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@Azzura Cool, that's a good idea. It's sometimes hard to break them down unless I play at certain levels, you know, and my Necro is only level 50. Still, would be worth a breakdown. Thanks!

Beau
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Posted: Jan 18th 2012 7:51PM Braiks said

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@Azzura I think they went fully f2p some time ago.
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Posted: Jan 19th 2012 9:07AM BaronYiffington said

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@Azzura What do you mean? The only restrictions on what characters a returning player are character slots. I haven't played EQ2 in over four years, but when I returned to check out the F2P style I was able to play all of my old characters - even the ones who were races/classes that I had to "unlock."

And I wouldn't call the new system "useless" to Vet players. It wasn't meant to give you a bonus if you were a vet - the system was designed to give you exactly what you had before, and I think they were fairly successful with that. If you were a vet player and come back and pay the $15 a month ("Gold" level), the game is exactly the same as it was before plus a cash shop.

The only concerns EQ2's new F2P style is that they are loading everything onto the cash shop. I get that they need to put unique things on the cash shop or veteran players would never buy it, but they aren't giving anything to crafters or in game vendors to craft in the past two updates. Just cash shop stuff.
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Posted: Jan 19th 2012 9:39AM BaronYiffington said

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@Braiks No, EQ2 went "fully" F2P last month. Prior to that they had free servers split apart from paying servers.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2012 6:29PM KTrell said

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thanks for this Beau and massivly, you should do this for all F2P games!

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 6:50PM alucard3000 said

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"Don't get me wrong; even $30 a month is a great deal for access to a virtual world. I'm just not a fan of tiered services."
Thanks I needed a good laugh today.=)

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 6:57PM arodriguezc said

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I am a FE player and I think that the F2P conversion that G1 did was one of the better ones. I have not seen a F2P game where you can access all of it with out having to drop money in the cash shop. It is true, you can buy wardrobe slots and cosmetic items but it will not slow down your gaming. Now having said that, F2P is for casual players, that log in once a week or once every two weeks and it makes sense for them to have some penalties (which you admit did not feel), if you are complaining about the slow crafting or gathering then you are playing the game enough to be able to drop 10 bucks for the month. That is my humble opinion.

By the way I love your columns.

Posted: Jan 19th 2012 2:42AM Space Cobra said

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@arodriguezc

"if you are complaining about the slow crafting or gathering then you are playing the game enough to be able to drop 10 bucks for the month. "

I have done this in the past, at least held this perspective, toward games in the past. Even though I hadn't been playing CoH at the time, I kept subscribing and "giving them money" during that time as a show of "support for the game". I even bought some content/costume packs.

I don't think it is a common view. especially when you throw in the word "free" into the mix; people have certain immediate expectations that aren't considered. Really, I think Utakata and others point out, they probably should get away from the term "Free to Play", although that part can be true; it's all "up-selling" a sales slogan.

Maybe "Tiered Subscription-based model with a Free to Play option" would be more honest. It depends on the game. I certainly understand "F2P" is a shorter phrase and "catches" people's attention, but there are weary folks and some honesty might be more like "fresh air" to them.

Of course, I am speaking as a guy with a steady job to pay for things. I suspect if I were younger, like a struggling college student, I'd probably appreciate any freebies I could lay my hands on.
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Posted: Jan 19th 2012 10:20AM Beau Hindman said

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@arodriguezc Thanks!

Beau
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Posted: Jan 18th 2012 7:00PM (Unverified) said

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Personally I love Fallen Earth's F2P model, certainly in comparison to say that of City of Heroes - which is putting most of the new content, the loot and gear system (salvage and inventions) and the entire endgame behind into the cash shop.

By sticking solely to items that are convenient and/or cosmetic, I never feel that Fallen Earth is forcing me to pay up to get the best of the game, and that makes me more ready to spend a bit of cash on quirky things that I just want, like my Praerie Chicken mount.

My only worry about FE's F2P model is that it's too generous for them to make a profit on it.

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 9:43PM JuliusSeizure said

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@(Unverified)

Different goals, though. FE just wants to let people play their way and find a way to make a profit without forcing anyone to pay. CoH uses F2P as an enticement to try out the game and then subscribe to get most things automatically. One only needs to look at the content that premium players can't buy into no matter what to see that. Considering how much gets unlocked permanently just for reaching certain reward tiers, they're being pretty generous to people who have given them money but don't feel like doing it right now.

I like the models both games have. Both could be improved a lot, but they do what they set out to do without screwing over the customers they want.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2012 9:45PM JuliusSeizure said

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@(Unverified)

@(Unverified)

Different goals, though. FE just wants to let people play their way and find a way to make a profit without forcing anyone to pay. CoH uses F2P as an enticement to try out the game and then subscribe to get most things automatically. One only needs to look at the content that premium players can't buy into no matter what to see that (including that entire endgame you mistakenly thought was available from the cash shop). Considering how much gets unlocked permanently just for reaching certain reward tiers, they're being pretty generous to people who have given them money but don't feel like doing it right now.

I like the models both games have. Both could be improved a lot, but they do what they set out to do without screwing over the customers they want.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2012 7:44PM Facial Tentacles said

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You can buy real books, which require more work to create than any of these character items, for less than the price of many of these games' digital goods. People's value systems these days are whack.

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 7:59PM emikochan said

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@Facial Tentacles You can only read a book once, you can enjoy an item forever :P
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Posted: Jan 18th 2012 9:27PM JuliusSeizure said

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@emikochan 'You can only read a book once'

...
...
...
...What.
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Posted: Jan 19th 2012 2:29AM Space Cobra said

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@JuliusSeizure

From Facial Tentacles : "People's value systems these days are whack."


I think that applies in this case. ;D
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Posted: Jan 18th 2012 8:50PM (Unverified) said

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Isn't it quite common for freemium games not to provide customer support to free players?

And also, I would say, isn't it quite reasonable for them not to provide customer support (which costs them real money for staff) to free players?

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 9:34PM josephwillmon said

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@(Unverified) (I work for G1) We've actually tried ,on previous games, to give free players the same service we give paying players.

Ultimately what it does is annoy everyone though. With the inclusion of free players, GMs were supporting an audience many orders of magnitude larger, and everyone got slower service. If there was a way we could extend CS to everyone without impacting the service we give to players who pay to support the game, we'd do it in a heartbeat (I also don't think we're done exploring ways to do this, but for the Fallen Earth transition, with all the numerous ways things could go wrong, we needed to make absolutely sure that we could guarantee service to supporters first and foremost).

All of this only refers to ticket support though -- if you contact a GM in-game with an in-game problem, they don't first check to see if you've paid or not; they just solve your problem. If you get yourself stuck in a post-apocalyptic rock, we'll get you out. If your mount does a nosedive, we'll get it back.
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Posted: Jan 19th 2012 1:07AM Barrikade said

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@josephwillmon

I always thought people were supposed to keep their company affiliation on the DL on sites like this. If you do work at G1 though, I'm happy to see you here sticking up for your game!

The F2P switch was a little confusing at first - mostly because I didn't understand where I would fit in as a former subscriber. As it has been mentioned, articles like this would probably be helpful for a lot of F2P games.
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