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Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online 

General Discussion  » ESO Lessons Learned

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65 posts found
  rodingo

Elite Member

Joined: 1/18/07
Posts: 1766

 
OP  6/24/14 11:44:32 AM#1

So I came across this article because of another thread and it got me wondering. 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/08/01/five-lessons-learned-as-swtor-surrenders/

So this article discusses the change of subscription model with SWTOR from subscription to free to play.  A lot of the reasons/lessons are in bold print for eases of finding them.  Though this article is about EA and SWTOR one can't help but recognize the major similarities with ZOS and ESO.  Do you think any of these lessons apply to ESO or is it immune to the same situations that a bigger studio has dealt with?  Do you think ZOS took any of those lessons into consideration before announcing their payment model? 

Overall I'm not so sure that free to play would work for ESO unless it was setup similar to Rift's, but I do think B2P would work nicely.  Who knows?  Maybe they can avoid every pitfall that each and every other western studio (with exception being Blizzard of course) hit that caused them to change their payment models too.

Thoughts?

"If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16710

6/24/14 11:52:26 AM#2

If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

  Crusades

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/14/14
Posts: 494

6/24/14 11:56:36 AM#3
Changing payment models today is not based on pitfalls. Yesterday it was and when that happened, it turned a profit, and it opened up a new can of worms for what revenue production looks like with respect to the lifespan of games. Back to my first sentence, changing payment models today is planned.
  neobahamut20

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 359

We can only show them the path, but they have to be the ones to take it.

6/24/14 11:59:20 AM#4
Not the same issue. Elder Scrolls is nowhere near as big as Star Wars, or even Warcraft for that matter. The main issue for ESO is that it is an RPG game at its base. So people wanted to play that kind of RPG, online. It just is not the case and people feel it is not up to par with Skyrim (for the most part). The issue is not the business model, it is the game. Why did WoW work? At its base its an RTS game, so they could do whatever they wanted in an RPG setting. ESO could not and failed to meet expectations.

Boycotting EA. Why? They suck, even moreso since 2008.

  rodingo

Elite Member

Joined: 1/18/07
Posts: 1766

 
OP  6/24/14 12:57:00 PM#5
Originally posted by Loke666

If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

That's the thing though.  Obviously there are people who feel the game is fine and just want bug fixes.  Those are the people who are most likely still subbed.  However, obviously there are people who think the game still needs a lot of work to be worth the box price + subscription.  Some of those are still subbed but probably most who feel that way are not.  So the question is, which group of people is larger?  The current paying customers or their previous customers who canceled their sub, and would it be economically feasible to favor one group over another?   It seems like their are obvious warnings signs that ZOS refuses to see.

MMO's, rather being sub based or f2p, need players to make money obviously.  So I wonder (not the same as wishing or hoping) if a payment model change would bring more players in and give them more potential income quicker to work with to add those systems that they talk about such as their justice system, dark brotherhood, thieves guild and housing much sooner.

"If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  SpottyGekko

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 2940

6/24/14 1:16:29 PM#6
Originally posted by rodingo
Originally posted by Loke666

If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

That's the thing though.  Obviously there are people who the feel the game is fine and just want bug fixes.  Those are the people who are most likely still subbed.  However, obviously there are people who think the game still needs a lot of work to be worth the box price + subscription.  Some of those are still subbed but probably most who feel that way are not.  So the question is, which group of people is larger?  The current paying customers or their previous customers who canceled their sub, and would it be economically feasible to favor one group over another?   It seems like their are obvious warnings signs that ZOS refuses to see.

MMO's, rather being sub based or f2p, need players to make money obviously.  So I wonder (not the same as wishing or hoping) if a payment model change would bring more players in and give them more potential income quicker to work with to add those systems that they talk about such as their justice system, dark brotherhood, thieves guild and housing much sooner.

Zenimax is not EA. Zeni are privately owned, so they are not compelled to wash their dirty laundry in public (no quarterly investor calls).

 

We have no idea what exactly their expectations are for ESO. We don't know if they need a quick return on the investment or whether they are taking a long view on the franchise.

 

Nobody knows how the game will be received in the console market.

 

And don't forget that there will be future single-player ES games. Each time one of those releases, it gives ESO a potential player boost. It also opens new opportunities for cross-marketing (free ESO goodies as a bonus if you pre-order the next ES SPG, etc.).

  Crusades

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/14/14
Posts: 494

6/24/14 1:26:26 PM#7
I can tell you how it will be received in the console market, poorly. Sub games outside of FFARR do not work on consoles. Buy to play does, console players pay a sub fee for online play already and expect to be able to play all of their games online for that fee. Why does FFARR work? FF has deeper roots on ps consoles and it is crossplatform.
  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7247

6/24/14 1:52:14 PM#8
Originally posted by SpottyGekko
Originally posted by rodingo
Originally posted by Loke666

If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

That's the thing though.  Obviously there are people who the feel the game is fine and just want bug fixes.  Those are the people who are most likely still subbed.  However, obviously there are people who think the game still needs a lot of work to be worth the box price + subscription.  Some of those are still subbed but probably most who feel that way are not.  So the question is, which group of people is larger?  The current paying customers or their previous customers who canceled their sub, and would it be economically feasible to favor one group over another?   It seems like their are obvious warnings signs that ZOS refuses to see.

MMO's, rather being sub based or f2p, need players to make money obviously.  So I wonder (not the same as wishing or hoping) if a payment model change would bring more players in and give them more potential income quicker to work with to add those systems that they talk about such as their justice system, dark brotherhood, thieves guild and housing much sooner.

Zenimax is not EA. Zeni are privately owned, so they are not compelled to wash their dirty laundry in public (no quarterly investor calls).

 

We have no idea what exactly their expectations are for ESO. We don't know if they need a quick return on the investment or whether they are taking a long view on the franchise.

 

Nobody knows how the game will be received in the console market.

 

And don't forget that there will be future single-player ES games. Each time one of those releases, it gives ESO a potential player boost. It also opens new opportunities for cross-marketing (free ESO goodies as a bonus if you pre-order the next ES SPG, etc.).

Yeah something tells me Zen is not in it for the "quick". Sure you can wish for f2p, but I wouldn't hold your breath. When a developer has tons of cash and no share holders to answer to, it doesn't bode well for f2p enthusiast.

 

I could be wrong though. Hold your breath if you like ;)

When I eat chocolate chip pie it just doesn't feel like chocolate chip cookies. The texture, the consistency, it's just not the same and this is disappointing.

  rodingo

Elite Member

Joined: 1/18/07
Posts: 1766

 
OP  6/24/14 2:28:03 PM#9
Originally posted by SpottyGekko
Originally posted by rodingo
Originally posted by Loke666

If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

That's the thing though.  Obviously there are people who the feel the game is fine and just want bug fixes.  Those are the people who are most likely still subbed.  However, obviously there are people who think the game still needs a lot of work to be worth the box price + subscription.  Some of those are still subbed but probably most who feel that way are not.  So the question is, which group of people is larger?  The current paying customers or their previous customers who canceled their sub, and would it be economically feasible to favor one group over another?   It seems like their are obvious warnings signs that ZOS refuses to see.

MMO's, rather being sub based or f2p, need players to make money obviously.  So I wonder (not the same as wishing or hoping) if a payment model change would bring more players in and give them more potential income quicker to work with to add those systems that they talk about such as their justice system, dark brotherhood, thieves guild and housing much sooner.

Zenimax is not EA. Zeni are privately owned, so they are not compelled to wash their dirty laundry in public (no quarterly investor calls).

 

We have no idea what exactly their expectations are for ESO. We don't know if they need a quick return on the investment or whether they are taking a long view on the franchise.

 

Nobody knows how the game will be received in the console market.

 

And don't forget that there will be future single-player ES games. Each time one of those releases, it gives ESO a potential player boost. It also opens new opportunities for cross-marketing (free ESO goodies as a bonus if you pre-order the next ES SPG, etc.).

Your right Zenimax Inc, being a private company doesn't have to let their sales numbers out to the public.  For them right now it's probably for the best.  You are also right about nobody in the general public knowing what ZOS needs in order to keep Zenimax Inc happy with them.  Who knows other than the Zenimax Inc owners whom I'm sure want to make a profit just like any other owners of companies do.

I also agree (man 3 for 3 ) that future ES games could help give boosts to ESO player numbers.  However keep in mind that there is usually about a 4 to 5 year gap of development between ES games and as far as I know nothing new was hinted at this year at E3.  So there could be a while before ESO gets any help in that form from a new Elder Scrolls game.

"If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  SEANMCAD

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 5322

6/24/14 2:30:34 PM#10
Originally posted by Loke666

If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

exactly.

A game doesnt become more fun because it costs less. Its no like buying a boat where cost really does have an impact on choice

Correlation does not imply causation

  reeereee

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/13
Posts: 707

6/24/14 3:42:26 PM#11

While the article is spot on most of it doesn't apply at all to ESO.  For example ESO didn't remotely copy WoW to the extent SWTOR did.

 

Also it's not like they gave up making new single player ES games to make ESO, they used a completely different set of developers to make ESO. (Which perhaps was it's undoing.)

 

Payment model is largely irrelevant at this point.  I think Zenimax has all eyes on console release, the PC version is really nothing but glorified alpha so not having enough subs right now doesn't effect anything long term.  Now if console release meets with lackluster sales then things may change rapidly.

  Amegashie

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/21/06
Posts: 280

6/24/14 4:55:09 PM#12

The most important lesson is missing. Heavily story-driven MMOs don't work with a sub payment model, because it is absolutly impossible to deliver enough high quality content of that kind continuously.

 

LotRO still did ok for a while, but it released a long time ago in a completely different market and most of its quests by far are of the kill 10 rats variety. The books and chapters, the actual quality story content, were few and far between over the years and they had to embrace f2p eventually.

 

SWTor failed, TSW almost ruined FunCom. The jury is still out on ESO.

  aesperus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4758

6/24/14 5:08:27 PM#13
Originally posted by Loke666

If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

Pretty much this ^.

People (and companies) put too much emphasis on business model nowadays. The truth of the matter is that you can make just about any business model work. It's a question of finding what is 'best' for the game you want to make. This isn't to say that there isn't a very clear trend towards F2P currently (both in popularity AND potential revenue), but it's not as simple as just slapping the phrase 'F2P' on a game and adding a cash shop. It has to be done right.

The one huge benefit of F2P is that it completely removes barriers of entry (as long as you have a decent computer, ofc). However, that benefit does not matter if you haven't made sure your core gameplay attracts players. If people arent enjoying your game, they will leave a F2P version of it just as much as they won't buy a sub. So making the game fun is priority #1, then you can worry about the best way to monetize it.

Problem is, many companies try and do this backwards, and it's even worse for those that let themselves get into a position of desperation before making the tough decisions.

  JDis25

Elite Member

Joined: 4/27/14
Posts: 288

6/24/14 5:47:49 PM#14

I am still subbed, but don't play too often. It's fun to hop on and explore and do some quests here and there. The combat is fun and the world is pretty. I like experimenting with different builds and PvP a bit.

 

However, I have the time, but don't have the urge to log in very often. I quit Wildstar just recently, so here I am back at ESO trying to play again and this is what NEEDS to and CAN change right now;

 

Vet Levels: fix this shit, it's rediculous. The Endgame is just more quests, I want to do different activities and be competent! I want to be able to create an alt to max level, but I don't want to play all the same quests all over again. I am currently Vet3 and do a quest here and there and its taking a damned long time.

PvP: give players some incentive to PvP, currently almost no xp is granted unless you complete dailies but with the lack of players, it isn't easy or effective.

Imbalances/bugs: I heard the new patch was looking into the NB bugs and balancing issues, but I have yet to play it.

Dungeons: they need to give more xp for mob kills so that there is incentive to repeat them. for those that want to quest, they will still be there.

  rodingo

Elite Member

Joined: 1/18/07
Posts: 1766

 
OP  6/24/14 8:07:10 PM#15
Originally posted by reeereee

While the article is spot on most of it doesn't apply at all to ESO.  For example ESO didn't remotely copy WoW to the extent SWTOR did.

 

Also it's not like they gave up making new single player ES games to make ESO, they used a completely different set of developers to make ESO. (Which perhaps was it's undoing.)

 

Payment model is largely irrelevant at this point.  I think Zenimax has all eyes on console release, the PC version is really nothing but glorified alpha so not having enough subs right now doesn't effect anything long term.  Now if console release meets with lackluster sales then things may change rapidly.

I don't know.  I actually think most of those lessons/reasons definitely apply to ESO except for the one we agree upon which is copying WoW.  I don't think anyone will say that ESO is a WoW clone without intentionally trolling.

Again, I'm not saying that this means that ESO will go free to play, but look at the similarities:

1) A Beloved Brand Can Only Carry You So Far...    The Elder Scrolls is a very popular IP, we all know that.  However, just because you call it a duck, doesn't mean it's going to walk or act like one.

2) The Development Costs are Too Damn High...  We don't know if their costs for ESO were "too high" and we probably never will, though there are estimates that they went to at least $200 mil. which is almost how much was estimated for SWTOR.  So have they recouped that cost yet?  If not, what are their plans to do so?

3) Don’t Rely on an Aging Model...  This speaks for itself due to recent trends over the past 6 or 7 years.

4) What Fans Want is Not Necessarily What You Think They Need..  A lot of us can read that particular section of the article and not help but nod our heads.

"If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  Innkwell

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/04/14
Posts: 55

6/24/14 8:58:48 PM#16

I really wish people would stop making these BS posts about ESO and how it should go F2P/ B2P.....

 ITS OBVIOUS THAT THIS MEANS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CHECKING IT OUT, stop trolling and just buy the game plus the .50$ a day  it costs to play and STFU already.

 

So sick of this generation ( and I'm only 29)  wanting everything for free, and when they get it they want all the access and rewards handed to them on a silver platter.

 I'm sorry to post in this thread specifically because I don't feel like the OP hates the game, but for f**ks sake this has got to be the one millionth post about how people want to check out ESO but don't want to pay for it.

 

"Guess what,  I want to live in your mansion and have someone wait on me all day and use the Aston Martin in the garage... Can I just try that out for a few months at one of your guys' house and then make my decision ... also is it cool if I sleep with your wife?"

 $.50 a day people ...

 FIFTY CENTS!!!!!!

  GregorMcgregor

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/13
Posts: 206

6/24/14 9:08:03 PM#17
Originally posted by Innkwell

I really wish people would stop making these BS posts about ESO and how it should go F2P/ B2P.....

 ITS OBVIOUS THAT THIS MEANS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CHECKING IT OUT, stop trolling and just buy the game plus the .50$ a day  it costs to play and STFU already.

 

So sick of this generation ( and I'm only 29)  wanting everything for free, and when they get it they want all the access and rewards handed to them on a silver platter.

 I'm sorry to post in this thread specifically because I don't feel like the OP hates the game, but for f**ks sake this has got to be the one millionth post about how people want to check out ESO but don't want to pay for it.

 

"Guess what,  I want to live in your mansion and have someone wait on me all day and use the Aston Martin in the garage... Can I just try that out for a few months at one of your guys' house and then make my decision ... also is it cool if I sleep with your wife?"

 $.50 a day people ...

 FIFTY CENTS!!!!!!

This site needs a "like" button. :)

No trials. No tricks. No traps. No EU-RP server. NO THANKS!


...10% Benevolence, 90% Arrogance in my case!

  User Deleted
6/24/14 9:08:03 PM#18

Don't understand...Im having fun in ESO despite it's flaws....it feels like an Elder Scrolls game (especially if you didnt just hop on the bandwagon once Oblivion came out....)

 

  Cougan

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/04/08
Posts: 373

6/24/14 9:20:30 PM#19
Originally posted by rodingo
Originally posted by reeereee

While the article is spot on most of it doesn't apply at all to ESO.  For example ESO didn't remotely copy WoW to the extent SWTOR did.

 

Also it's not like they gave up making new single player ES games to make ESO, they used a completely different set of developers to make ESO. (Which perhaps was it's undoing.)

 

Payment model is largely irrelevant at this point.  I think Zenimax has all eyes on console release, the PC version is really nothing but glorified alpha so not having enough subs right now doesn't effect anything long term.  Now if console release meets with lackluster sales then things may change rapidly.

I don't know.  I actually think most of those lessons/reasons definitely apply to ESO except for the one we agree upon which is copying WoW.  I don't think anyone will say that ESO is a WoW clone without intentionally trolling.

Again, I'm not saying that this means that ESO will go free to play, but look at the similarities:

1) A Beloved Brand Can Only Carry You So Far...    The Elder Scrolls is a very popular IP, we all know that.  However, just because you call it a duck, doesn't mean it's going to walk or act like one.

2) The Development Costs are Too Damn High...  We don't know if their costs for ESO were "too high" and we probably never will, though there are estimates that they went to at least $200 mil. which is almost how much was estimated for SWTOR.  So have they recouped that cost yet?  If not, what are their plans to do so?

3) Don’t Rely on an Aging Model...  This speaks for itself due to recent trends over the past 6 or 7 years.

4) What Fans Want is Not Necessarily What You Think They Need..  A lot of us can read that particular section of the article and not help but nod our heads.

That article was a bit quick to denounce SWTOR as a failed game seeing as it is doing well 2 years on from when it was written with a sub base and no doubt earning its money back as a F2P.

 

The reason I highlighted that point in red was I'm sure it meant something differently but its spot on for my personal opinion. I feel like some wanted a co-op/ FFA, dragon riding, npc killing chaos lobby type Skyrim experience and was happy with the way they went instead.

 

ESO does RPG better than any of the others I've played in the genre, just falling short on memorable characters. I treated it like 3 solo RPG experiences in one - 1-50 and the 2 Veteran factions with faction pvp at the endgame. I quite liked leveling, looting and questing at any level with the tougher VR mobs to follow although I had to take a break in between factions. Solo was just my personal preference.

 

  JDis25

Elite Member

Joined: 4/27/14
Posts: 288

6/24/14 9:45:41 PM#20
Originally posted by Innkwell

I really wish people would stop making these BS posts about ESO and how it should go F2P/ B2P.....

 ITS OBVIOUS THAT THIS MEANS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CHECKING IT OUT, stop trolling and just buy the game plus the .50$ a day  it costs to play and STFU already.

 

So sick of this generation ( and I'm only 29)  wanting everything for free, and when they get it they want all the access and rewards handed to them on a silver platter.

 I'm sorry to post in this thread specifically because I don't feel like the OP hates the game, but for f**ks sake this has got to be the one millionth post about how people want to check out ESO but don't want to pay for it.

 

"Guess what,  I want to live in your mansion and have someone wait on me all day and use the Aston Martin in the garage... Can I just try that out for a few months at one of your guys' house and then make my decision ... also is it cool if I sleep with your wife?"

 $.50 a day people ...

 FIFTY CENTS!!!!!!

I agree with you. BUT

 

ESO devs have gone the route of milking your sub with endless quest / vet content. It's just as bad as AION or other grinder games. The quests are nice, best of any mmo, but you will want them to end.

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