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The Daily Grind: What's the ideal subscription rate for an MMO?

Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Subscription

Massively reader BlackArmsAkimbo recently opined that WildStar wasn't worth a $15 monthly sub but he'd seriously consider paying $5. On the surface, it might seem silly -- why quibble over $10? You can barely buy a burger and fries for that in a big city. But maybe we don't think of subs in terms of money at all -- subs are being compared not to the value of fast food but to the value of other MMOs that charge the same price.

The traditional MMO sub sat at $10 for several years before jumping up to $15, a number that World of Warcraft adopted and cemented as The Standard for the industry, which means that nearly every sub MMO that's launched in the last 10 years also charges $15. Every MMO is ultimately compared to WoW in terms of value for that sub. And every game that does charge less is assumed to be lesser, which is hardly fair -- consider how much content RuneScape's £4.95 a month gets a sandbox gamer.

I know I'd be more likely to keep up a bunch of subs if they were cheaper, but that's because I've mentally moved on to comparing an MMO's value to Guild Wars 2's, not WoW's, and I get a lot for my box fee from GW2. What about you? What do you think is the ideal subscription rate for an MMO?

[Edit: In a complete but ironic coincidence as this post was written last week, RuneScape just announced a subscription hike today.]

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Stream Team: Through Warlords of Draenor's Dark Portal

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Expansions, New Titles, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Now that the server carnage has died down and everyone's off running dungeons and farming loot, Massively's Mike Foster is ready to pick up the Warlords of Draenor story line to see where it takes him. Tune in tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST as Mike ghost-wolfs his way through Draenor and catch a glimpse of the World of Warcraft expansion responsible for bringing over three million players back to Blizzard's content buffet.

Game: World of Warcraft
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Monday, November 24th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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MMO Week in Review: WoW's rebound

World of Warcraft, MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

WoW
At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

After a shockingly long content drought and disappointing expansion previews, World of Warcraft proved that no one cares about content droughts and disappointing expansion previews by resecuring over 10,000,000 subscriptions, just in time for its 10th anniversary celebration. To compensate for the trainwreck launch of Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard granted the entire playerbase five extra days of gametime.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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WRUP: Lucky Korea

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Lost Ark
Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you remind us how sad we are that Korea is getting a crapton of MMOs we'll probably never see.

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Betawatch: November 15 - 21, 2014

Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

Betawatch - Lineage Eternal
Lineage Eternal wowed G-Star attendees with the news that it will beta in 2015 and hit its worldwide simultaneous launch in 2016. What else is new in the land of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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The Daily Grind: Do special currencies in MMOs annoy you?

Business Models, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

A reader discussion in a past Guild Wars 2 update article made me realize, once again, how much I loathe special event currencies. You know the type: It's patch day, and here's an event, and if you want the rewards, you have to grind a shiny new currency to get them! Never mind that you already have a pile of gold (and in Guild Wars 2's case, karma and gems) earned through your adventures up until now; those credits are mysteriously useless at the new reward vendors, who accept only some new currency.

Commenters rightly pointed out that if modern devs did what old timey devs did, players would just rush in and buy everything on day one and not do the grind. But so what? Why should it bother us that people get to actually use the currency they've already earned and banked? That's the whole point of gathering money in MMOs in the first place. And if there's so much existing currency in the world that everyone could buy everything without additional grind, that's the studio's problem for providing insufficient sinks and a poor economy in the first place, not ours. In fact, special events themselves could be an awesome gold sink! Instead, event currencies signal to players that their existing achievements and savings matter not at all and that the event isn't really going to be much fun on its own merits.

What do you think? Are you also sick of special currencies in MMOs? What would you prefer to see in their stead?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Think Tank: Assessing Draenor's launch

World of Warcraft, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

WoW
World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor launch has come and gone, driven by the chaos we've come to expect from this year's MMO launches. Was it a bad launch... or the baddest launch ever?! In today's Think Tank, I asked the Massively writers, as players or industry watchers, how the launch and Blizzard's response stacked up next to those of 2014's other offerings.

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Massively Speaking Episode 322: WarStar

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

wow
Call it the Week of Expansions. This past week we saw three major expansions release as well as huge news swirling around one of this year's newest MMOs. It's almost too much discussion to cram into a mere hour, but somehow Justin and Bree will make it fit. Justin will probably sit on it to smoosh it down while Bree latches it shut.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
[Stitcher] Follow the podcast on Stitcher Radio.
Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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MMO Week in Review: Let's hunt some orc

MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

WoW
At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

World of Warcraft's fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor, launched on Thursday, and predictably, the combination of design blunders and brutal DDoS attacks turned the first few days of launch into a circus of clownshoes. So, you know, an MMO launch. Here are the highlights:
Warlords of Draenor's rocky launch saga and Reddit controversy continue
World of Warcraft hit by DDoS attack on expansion launch day
World of Warcraft deals with downtime, bugs, DDoS attacks
World of Warcraft vows faster expansion development
You're too late: People are already 100 in WoW
WoW's Iron Horde declares war on Times Square
World of Warcraft's garrisons 'like a personal guild'
Watch the unboxing of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor's CE
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor launch-day roundup

Read on for the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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Perfect Ten: Lessons I've learned from working at Massively

Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

wildstar
In spring of 2010, I was asked to come on board Massively primarily as a feature writer who would also do a little news on the side. This opportunity was incredible since I was already blogging multiple times a day about online gaming, so why not be a part of the professional side of writing?

Over four years and nearly two million words written since, I've witnessed a lot here at Massively. I've gotten to interview some big industry names, been allowed to take on fun pet projects, gone to conventions as a member of the press corps, and made a lot of good friends. I've also learned several lessons that have helped me to grow as a person and a writer, and I thought I'd jot a few of those down for one of these lists.

Fun Perfect Ten factoid: When I proposed this column to the editors, I had done extensive research on lists that other sites had done (as to not cover similar territory) and drew up about 40 new topic ideas. In retrospect, it might have been overkill. I could have just written in an email, "People like lists."

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WRUP: Epic-quality tinfoil hats

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

WoW
Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you tell us how Blizzard totes lied about those DDoS attacks because that doesn't make you sound crazy at all.

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Betawatch: November 8 - 14, 2014

Betas, Business Models, Expansions, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

EverQuest
World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor launched this week, departing the halls of Betawatch. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? Our complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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The Daily Grind: Have you made use of an advanced character in an MMO?

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind

WoW
World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor expansion launched yesterday, and if you managed to preorder in time, you now have a shiny new level 90 character upgrade awaiting you. WoW isn't the first or only game to offer advanced characters, of course; RIFT, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online, among others, all sell boosted characters so that players can skip over the early game and jump right to the new stuff. This feature has been tremendously helpful to some of my guildies who haven't played WoW in a while and wanted to join us in the new content without catching up an old toon. Without the feature, I'm not sure some of them would have returned at all.

I've taken advantage of the feature in UO especially to avoid the tedium of skill grind. On the other hand, I've still never had the urge to seriously play the cute Gnome Mage I rolled the last time Blizzard offered free character boosts. I just have too many characters with history already (plus my husband mains a Gnome Mage!).

What about you, Massively readers? Have you ever made use of an advanced character in an MMO? What did you think of the experience?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Think Tank: Keeping in touch with the friends in the magic box

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

Earlier this week in the comments of the article about MMO social network ZergID, readers went off on a tear about how MMO players keep in touch and communicate with guildies and friends beyond the game -- as my mom used to say, the people in the magic box. What quickly became obvious is that there's no one accepted method. Social media, forums, chats, IMs, Steam, and this crazy invention called a telephone were all mentioned. I thought we could use a more formal discussion, so in today's Think Tank, I asked the Massively writers how they keep in touch with guildies and MMO friends when they're not playing or when they're between games... if they keep in touch at all.

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Massively Speaking Episode 321: From Titan's ashes

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

When an MMO dies and a game is born out of its ashes, wouldn't the appropriate name for that game be Phoenix? On this week's podcast, Bree and Justin talk about BlizzCon's reveals, a really rough week for a recently released game, and an unexpected shutdown notice for a MOBA in the making.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
[Stitcher] Follow the podcast on Stitcher Radio.
Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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