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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How do you feel about sub MMOs going F2P afterwards?

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  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2300

 
OP  1/09/14 12:33:36 AM#1

With so many going F2P the odds are you've had a MMO you've played make the switch to F2P. Did the switch improve or harm your game experience? Were you glad to have played it in the time that it was subscription based or do you feel ripped off that you were part of it? Does the possibility of a F2P switch make you less interested?

Without a doubt the payment model they choose is a business decision but is making the switch worse for business than choosing F2P from the start?

Let's build the ultimate MMO 1 feature at a time
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/398555/page/1

  Kevyne-Shandris

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/08
Posts: 1980

You can't † BURY † ¤¤ Holy Paladins ¤¤ As we will always __.- ASCEND -.__

1/09/14 1:31:41 AM#2

Didn't like it in EQII when it was done. It created complicated tier schemes which I'm sure folks had to contact SOE to revoke payments for the new sub model, as they were that confusing.

 

It also fractured the community, as EQII kept sub and free in different sides of the game, and only one way transfers of toons.

 

If WoW ever goes that route, never ever make payment schemes like EQII had, nor isolate pay and free. If F2P is offered everyone is together, just the free guys won't have the same account perks (i.e., more toon slots and such).

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4816

1/09/14 2:06:17 AM#3

Tera is the game I have the most experience with switching and it was almost all positives. I tried STO and really didn't like their set up so I quit playing. So I guess it really can go both ways and it's just a personal thing.

I think EQN is going to be the first real test of how well a game can do..or fail starting out f2p. Neverwinter is doing well I hear but I don't think it's hugely popular...although when you don't like a game you always tend to think that about it :P

There's a saying about evolution and why we have two eyes and two ears but only one mouth. Clearly it didn't see the internet coming or it never would have given us ten fingers to type with.

  greenreen

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1447

1/09/14 2:20:33 AM#4

After seeing what it did to LOTRO, it made me give up on Vanguard once they suggested they were going to do it. I made forum posts explaining why I thought the idea was bad. They continued so I left. There was no chance I was going to login to see the flood of players and the eventual leaving of them along with the complaints about having to pay etc. It was just easier to put it behind me as a game I used to play.

Ryzom when I first played it was sub only but I gave it another chance after the bankruptcy and re-subbed while they had players in the game free. That one wasn't nearly the drama of LOTRO but it's because they didn't have the cash shop, it was basically unending trial with limitations but it was a sub game.

Wurm, man every other comment sometimes in the general chat was people complaining about how the game would cost them money to secure a settlement and how it wasn't fair. That disgusted me that people were not only in the game for free but they wanted more, more, more. I left that game because of a security issue but I left it with 60 bucks on the record of money unspent. I don't goof around with security but when I think about it, I funded one of those gimme players and that doesn't make me happy that I enabled them by leaving funds in the coffer.

GW2 was my buy to play test. As expected, the same as free. Worse though because in that game anything you brought up as a problem that needed review someone would say - what do you expect for free. So that's how it works huh, accept things because it's free - well shit on that idea. I'll pay the fee if I can get a game that cares about fixing the problems. It's not going to break me, another one bit the dust. I barely lasted 3 months in that game. Must have rubbed them really the wrong way too because they banned me from their forum. My first ban on any forum in around 20 years of web surfing and participating. They let me know I was unneeded in their game if I wasn't giving praise and shooting rainbows out of my eyes about their idea of introducing a gear grind after they sold the game on no gear grind. That's what buy to play taught me, get out if you aren't paying because we already got the box fee and you don't fit in here - skeedaddle.  I'm content that I did not use their cash shop at all and I hope it's the reason they banned me after giving me infractions for ridiculous things like posting the PVP scores while people were at work or saying thank you to someone who had a long researched thread calling it "bumping".

Since all this stuff came out with the free trend I was skeptical. No one can say I haven't given it a chance but since I always seem to be the one paying while others are using it for free it bugs me in a way that they aren't contributing. I understand that people have short term financial problems and that kids want to play but at the end of the day I know that I was able to work for $9.00 an hour at my old office job while going to college and I could still afford a piddly $15 bucks a month for a game. For kids, I used to mow lawns and help senior citizens for spare cash, also sold candy at school sometimes for more than I bought it for in big bags because everyone had lunch money given to them. There are ways to get cash so there isn't an excuse really.

I think free suits some people and can save them money if they like to play more than a single game but I'm a monogamous player, I want one game and one focus point. I get that for them they are always going to want free games but for me - no benefit is noted. That's why I research a game heavily is because I expect to stick around and with that I want to simply have a flat fee and avoid all the payment discussion. For me all I get from a free game is a sense that anyone next to me could be a leech or paying to win but no one is in the middle because as a cynic I expect the worst of others.

  Kevyne-Shandris

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/08
Posts: 1980

You can't † BURY † ¤¤ Holy Paladins ¤¤ As we will always __.- ASCEND -.__

1/09/14 2:50:29 AM#5
Originally posted by greenreen

Since all this stuff came out with the free trend I was skeptical. No one can say I haven't given it a chance but since I always seem to be the one paying while others are using it for free it bugs me in a way that they aren't contributing.

That's how I feel as well.

 

F2P is a nice concept if it's a trial format (much like WoW is experimenting on), as it gives players a taste of the game. If they like it they'll play the free version and eventually sub. It's not nice when it's the whole game (as seen in browser games like Farmville2, where they aggressively push buying items over and over and over, to the point of frustration as it's worth isn't what the player think it's worth or need).

 

The other factor is cash shops and what they offer. Too often they sale things that really looks out of place in the game and cheapens it -- water guns; clown suits and junk like that, which in periodic games turns it into a visual mess -- want that do it in a true themepark style game, not a medieval one).

 

Just because it can be done and the companies can get money from it, doesn't mean it should be done. It needs to fit the game, and what the game is about. If WoW started offering cars in the game, for example (which they can as the Druids have some parked on the docks) it would be out of place, and I think they realized it after the chopper. They pulled back some and look like they're keeping more to the game theme, which is welcome, as the pets in itself are ridiculous enough.

 

So if a new game came out (like EQN and ESO) please for all things holy, if you go the cash shop way keep it theme based. Don't alienate the legacy for cheap frills.

  crack_fox

Novice Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 398

1/09/14 3:53:50 AM#6
Originally posted by mmoguy43

Were you glad to have played it in the time that it was subscription based or do you feel ripped off that you were part of it? Does the possibility of a F2P switch make you less interested?

I am glad that I played LoTRO when it was a sub-game. I tried it after it went F2P but the implementation of the cash-shop felt heavy handed and intrusive and I just couldn't tolerate it. I sometimes miss the game but I will never go back to it. 

With upcoming sub games like ESO, I am very conscious of the threat of F2P. Knowing that it is a possibility - even a likelihood - means that I would always be playing the game with one foot in the exit, ready to leave at the drop of a hat. That, more than any other single factor, is likely to keep me from buying the game when it releases. 

  Kiwidream

Novice Member

Joined: 9/01/13
Posts: 12

If you arent in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? - TS Elliot

1/09/14 3:57:59 AM#7

Experiencing this in Rift I then went and played a ton of different F2P games  to understand it more clearly and really I think it comes down to the model used and what Trion uses I really like - how much you can still get without spending real money.

I think having a player base that was there before F2P also  creates a more helpful community as this loyal player base have already contributed to a game with subscription and remain loyal to it. (If that makes sense)

F2P at release also seems quieter on the community front which doesn't suit an MMORPG.

  greenreen

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1447

1/09/14 4:27:15 AM#8
Originally posted by crack_fox
Originally posted by mmoguy43

Were you glad to have played it in the time that it was subscription based or do you feel ripped off that you were part of it? Does the possibility of a F2P switch make you less interested?

I am glad that I played LoTRO when it was a sub-game. I tried it after it went F2P but the implementation of the cash-shop felt heavy handed and intrusive and I just couldn't tolerate it. I sometimes miss the game but I will never go back to it. 

With upcoming sub games like ESO, I am very conscious of the threat of F2P. Knowing that it is a possibility - even a likelihood - means that I would always be playing the game with one foot in the exit, ready to leave at the drop of a hat. That, more than any other single factor, is likely to keep me from buying the game when it releases. 

Check out this video if you want. I think it's funny, he looks almost mad when people keep asking why sub, why not free for ESO. They have got to be sick of hearing that by now. I think they have a low chance like he mentions because it would ruin the game and it's not like they didn't have the chance to start that way. They could have went buy to play and sold the box so it's not just for the box price. Think about it, they are saying they have hundreds of hours of content just to level. At 25 hours a week gaming, that puts people at about a month just to cap. Then they have all the stuff to finish off molding the character. In another video they said you would only have about 30% of your skills maxed by max lvl so it's not over then. It sounds legit if they are already expanding on what they consider to be hundreds of hours of content already.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwsc_VknApg

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 2035

1/09/14 4:44:11 AM#9
Originally posted by mmoguy43

Did the switch improve or harm your game experience? Were you glad to have played it in the time that it was subscription based or do you feel ripped off that you were part of it? Does the possibility of a F2P switch make you less interested?

I never understood that "I was ripped off" statement from players...

 

Since all my games went f2p under me, I guess I'm used to the feeling :)  As for my game experience, it depends of the actual model the game implemented. But in overall I think I'm quite ok with the f2p switches.

 

Among those games which went f2p after I already cancelled (with the option of subbing back for a month occasionally if I'm in the mood), the result was two-fold:

-Either it was welcomed and bring me back for a bit more often into the game (mostly CO and the late CoH, but I'd put here Vanguard and Rift as well, Rift has an awesome f2p model, though I'm not very fond of the game),

-or, on the other hand, I was unaffected / had the "who cares"-effect (Tera and SW:TOR - but I went back to finish a class story :) very lame f2p model, even after it got improved).

 

Among those games I was playing during the switch, I haven't felt any harm, strangely :)

With DCUO I was planned to cancel anyways, so it was a nice gift that I can keep log in without being Legendary (and later we've handed over to P7S1, so I haven't subbed back since then).

With TSW I was a bit worried about the b2p change, but it turned out it didn't harm my experience, and it was even benefitted the game decently.

With AoC, their initial model was so lame (maybe even worse than SW:TOR's initial model if that's possible :) ), that it didn't affect anything at all in game. True, I still play it as a sub, but if I'm in an another game with AoC cancelled, I still can hop in to greet the buddies, which is a good thing.

LotRO is a strange one, that was the first to switch f2p (after DDO), everyone was worried about the future. Checking back this more than 2 years, the game got easified, cash-shopped, in some parts even getting dangerously close to the border of PaytoWingdom. On the other hand it got 2 more servers, a lot of new players, 3 expansions (with decreasing quality, but still...), lots of new events, etc. My personal game experience is pretty much the same on the bottom line.

And finally STO. In STO's case it's obvious, the f2p change (and every other change around that period) pushed the game onto the right track. True, that track has a bunch of frikkin' lockboxes on the side, but still, the game is in a much better state now than it was before the switch.

  romerok

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/22/05
Posts: 104

1/09/14 4:48:37 AM#10

Terrible If I was made to buy a gamebox first, and then lateron have to pay manually for the content once again.

like swtor, its completely rubbish.

"You resist. You cling to your life as if it actually matters. You will learn."

  Kabaal

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/02/05
Posts: 2954

Haggis Humper

1/09/14 4:50:39 AM#11
It's fine by me. I get bored of every mmo within 2 or 3 months these days anyway, regardless of revenue model. Going F2P at some point after that just means i can pop back in at a later date to check how things are for free.
  Kevyne-Shandris

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/08
Posts: 1980

You can't † BURY † ¤¤ Holy Paladins ¤¤ As we will always __.- ASCEND -.__

1/09/14 5:25:14 AM#12
Originally posted by greenreen
Originally posted by crack_fox
Originally posted by mmoguy43

Were you glad to have played it in the time that it was subscription based or do you feel ripped off that you were part of it? Does the possibility of a F2P switch make you less interested?

I am glad that I played LoTRO when it was a sub-game. I tried it after it went F2P but the implementation of the cash-shop felt heavy handed and intrusive and I just couldn't tolerate it. I sometimes miss the game but I will never go back to it. 

With upcoming sub games like ESO, I am very conscious of the threat of F2P. Knowing that it is a possibility - even a likelihood - means that I would always be playing the game with one foot in the exit, ready to leave at the drop of a hat. That, more than any other single factor, is likely to keep me from buying the game when it releases. 

Check out this video if you want. I think it's funny, he looks almost mad when people keep asking why sub, why not free for ESO. They have got to be sick of hearing that by now. I think they have a low chance like he mentions because it would ruin the game and it's not like they didn't have the chance to start that way. They could have went buy to play and sold the box so it's not just for the box price. Think about it, they are saying they have hundreds of hours of content just to level. At 25 hours a week gaming, that puts people at about a month just to cap. Then they have all the stuff to finish off molding the character. In another video they said you would only have about 30% of your skills maxed by max lvl so it's not over then. It sounds legit if they are already expanding on what they consider to be hundreds of hours of content already.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwsc_VknApg

Hundreds of hours of playtime only? I had days (months actually) of playtime in one WoW expansion alone! I'm past 1 year of playtime, not just sitting AFK ingame.

 

Hundreds of hours is what you can get out of an offline RPG like Skyrim, but for a MMO, it has to have a year worth of content to keep people busy (and not painfully behind grinds).

 

It's why to wait on MMOs to play them, as the first expansion never has enough content. You'll max out, get bored and leave despite taking time to level.

  Dibdabs

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/29/08
Posts: 2460

1/09/14 6:21:47 AM#13
It's a non-issue to me.  The game would fail if they couldn't get money by charging small amounts for vanity items, xp potions and extra content, etc.
  BeansnBread

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/19/06
Posts: 5550

1/09/14 6:41:28 AM#14

It's a massive bait and switch. Over the last 5 or so years, it appears that it's becoming common practice. Release with full price + sub, have a cash shop in place and convert to F2P in order to maximize early profits.

 

There are so many people starving for a sub model and they appear to be almost proud to pay one. "Look, I'm paying a sub, that means it's going to be a great game with a ton of support" and all that nonsense. It's a really strange thing to watch because every time they are rewarded with another F2P.

 

The really crazy situations happen when they offer "lifetime subs" and then promptly go F2P. I would feel bad for lifetime subscribers that drop like $300 on a new MMO in this market, but they should have seen it coming at this point.

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  aleos

Novice Member

Joined: 1/02/07
Posts: 1896

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1/09/14 6:47:08 AM#15

It's just a life raft for a sinking ship.

 

Don't care to write a business report.

 

Here to play games.

  Ice-Queen

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 2435

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1/09/14 6:48:25 AM#16
I only play mmo's that are subscription based, unless I am bored and just want something to play for a few weeks. If I'm playing an mmo that goes F2P, then I just leave it. It usually means it's not worth a subscription and it's just going to be a cash shop, greedy game, and that's not for me(ugh, reminded of GW2 black lion keys). I'd rather pay my subscription and get more support/more updates/and I don't mind paying for expansions.

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  Lyrian

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/23/07
Posts: 249

1/09/14 7:00:53 AM#17

To me the mark of a F2P game (or going F2P) is when the developers don't have enough confidence in their product to be a long term game.  Instead they want to move to a model that will allow for impulse purchases to pad out the game and to allow for a lower barrier of entry for the 'tourist' type gamer.

I will stand by the statement saying that the only reason why F2P is popular, is because the mediocre quality of the games we've had lately and the general gaming populace is tired of having their money wasted. If the quality of the subscription games went up, and stayed up for a period of time then the idea of F2P, in the west at least, would drop drastically.

I've never experienced the change from Sub to F2P, mostly for the reason that I've already seen the writing on the wall and may my way out of the game by that point. To me the idea of playing a F2P game is the same as pirating a movie. "I'm bored and I want to play something so I'll play this, but I don't actually like this enough to pay for it."

  nilden

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/26/05
Posts: 904

1/09/14 7:05:32 AM#18
Originally posted by colddog04

It's a massive bait and switch.

Couldn't agree more. They just cash in on box + sub promising all the while they will never go free to play then switch within the first year like it was the plan all along. There's the same song and dance with every bait and switch. It's so predictable now it's like the sun coming up.

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  zymurgeist

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/24/04
Posts: 5186

1/09/14 7:12:06 AM#19
It didn't harm my game experience. It ended it. Increasing the level of suck doesn't make a poor game better.

"Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  User Deleted
1/09/14 7:26:44 AM#20

It is excusable for older games, but the new games coming out its a pretty blatant bait and switch.  The CEO of Pathfinder even came out and said he was planning on doing box + subscription and then moving on to F2P (in a recent Massively article, for some reason I cant copy and paste onto this website so you'll have to look it up yourselves).  I personally think that is dishonest and mean spirited to early adopters who want to support the game.

I don't think that deliberate bait and switch tactics foster community or trust from the customer, and will result in most of those early adopters leaving the game.

 

 

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