I raved about The Chronicles of Spellborn a few hundred million times on the show. I was so excited to actually log in and play it. I even "flew to Europe" every other day to play it when it was just open to them. I got to level 16, then my subscription ran out.
No biggie, I would just wait for the North American release.
So, when it DID come, I was excited to get back in. They revamped the newbie starting area and added a neat intro instance. All in all, things were looking good. Then, since I played the same character, I noticed how UN-fun it is to play through the same story quests to raise your character. One of the reasons I hate alts is that I hate leveling. Well, I shouldn't say that I hate leveling; I mean to say that I hate leveling several times. Rare is the activity that will hold my interest for months and months. Normally, I like to have one main to build it up over a long period of time.
So, I played with my new alt until level 7 and decided to wait until the F2P client. I couldn't wait!
Then, just today it I found out that not only were the EU servers being shut down and merged with the NA ones, but that the game was going completely FREE for anyone to any level, to make up for having no more development until the F2P client comes out in early '10.
I merged my accounts and VOILA! There was my level 16, waiting for me to play him. And I have been, for sure. I am glad I get to just pick up where I left off, and very glad that it won't cost me a dime until the cash shop comes out. (I will more than likely spend more money on cash shopitems than I ever would on a sub.)
Why did the game not fare so well? One good reason seems to be that a power leveler could tear through the entire story/levels in about 5 days. 5 DAYS. Now, I know that Spellborn should have more content to level through, but what kind of nut-job is going to play that MUCH? It does happen, I guess.
My thoughts? I think the game didn't give enough time-sucking activities to do BUT level. Crafting, sure. But that was about it. The game is PERFECT for role-play, and I am trying to get together a role-play group, but the game just had too little to do. That will kill a game before anything else. If your player-base just has nothing left to conquer, than for many of them there will be no reason for logging in. I, for one, do not think that the "leveling" has to be all there is to do, there could be better crafting, live events, collecting things or customizing your character, but there has to be something.
I just don't think that Spellborn had those extra activities needed to keep people entertained, at least not enough.
BUT, that's where a cash shop comes in. The game is perfect for one! Love them or hate them, everyone has to admit that a cash shopactivates that same impulse reaction in all of us. That same reaction makes us pre -order games that we KNOW will have plenty of copies left to buy, and it makes us do things like hunt after titles or rare, but useless, items. If they play their cards right, a cash shop could give players that little extra something that encourages them to slow down a bit and to enjoy the game a little more.
Give the players something to do, developers. It doesn't have to just be combat.
If you want to find me, I am on the PvE server under the name Beau. I am the only super skinny rogue that doesn't wear a hood!