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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: Free-to-Play and Schadenfreude

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170 posts found
  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

8/01/12 1:21:00 PM#61
Originally posted by Fearum

Going F2P isnt going to make the game fun, it wasn't fun when it was P2P so why would it change if it was free?

You do know that fun is a matter of opinion, right?  This change isn't aimed at people whose tastes are incompatible with the game's basic design, it's aimed at people who view a mandatory subscription as a negative trait in a MMO, or who enjoy the game but have played enough of it at this point to not see $15/month of value in continuing to play.  Which, as shown by other Freemium conversions, is a fairly substantial market.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  bakabröd

Novice Member

Joined: 4/09/05
Posts: 135

8/01/12 1:40:18 PM#62

fekking just give more alien speicies.

  User Deleted
8/01/12 1:51:19 PM#63

Laughing. I'm laughing!

Please keep side-stepping the real issue with this game and the MMO market in general. Blame the players, blame the critics or "foaming at the mouth" posters but just don't blame the fundamental flaws of a game design. I recall people being called out of trolling and bashing if they wrote critical and well thoughtout pieces on their hands-on with the game. Or when anyone pointed out a dip in server population, they were always either blind or playing at the "wrong time". Now that those people are coming back to say "that's what I was trying to say before", they are once again the bad guys. Whatever.

 

SW:TOR going F2P will not make it successful. The work the new dev team puts into the game will determine its success or failure. Nothing else at this point.

 

Sidenote: A lot of folks are ragging on IGN for giving recent MMOs fair scores because they gave SWTOR an undeserved high score. Me, I respect that they're reigning in their hype and cash-grabbing tendencies in favor of being less of a joke in game journalism.

 
  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

8/01/12 1:58:16 PM#64
Originally posted by friednietz

SW:TOR going F2P will not make it successful. The work the new dev team puts into the game will determine its success or failure. Nothing else at this point. 

Newsflash; on a month to month basis, TOR is already successful.  This change is aimed at keeping it that way.  As for the "new dev team," huh?  When did anybody say anything about them hiring new devs?  They let some people go, but other than Vogel and Zoeller, the team hasn't been reported to have lost a single "name,"  certainly not any of the names responsible for the parts of the game that have been popular.  By most reports, the heaviest hit part of the company in the layoffs wasn't even related to development, it was the community staff.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  GrumpyMel2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1824

8/01/12 1:59:55 PM#65
Originally posted by CazNeerg

The story in TOR (depending on which class you pick) is just as good as in any other BioWare game.  The gameplay is no worse, the company has never been known for exceptional non-story elements.  Judged against other RPGs on the market, it is of well above average quality.  It's only major mistake, as a RPG, was having a mandatory subscription even for those who only wanted access to the single player content.  The decision to go Freemium should have been made before launch, because it is the correct business model for the way the game is designed, but better late than never.  

People who think the problem is TOR, not the subscription model, are missing the point.  The problem isn't actually with either by itself, it's with the combination of the two.  Different business models fit different games, and TOR was always best suited to a Freemium model.


Even if one were to accept everything you asserted in your statement, the simple fact of the matter is that you don't spend $200+  million to build KOTOR 5. 

If you are going to spend $200+ million then you NEED to make something that is going to be able to draw $15 per month over a SUSTAINED PERIOD for a VERY LARGE number of people in order to justify the return for the other types of things that you could get for a $200 million investment.

Putting a "F2P" or "Fremium" label on something isn't going to make the game any more fun or compelling to play over the long term....and it isn't going to make anyone want to spend $15 per month for 24 months or longer then did when it was under the label of "subscription only".....and that's the crux of the matter.

If the game had cost something on the order of Bioware's previous titles to make....or even a "normal" amount for an AAA .....I might say you have an arguement......but not for what they invested in it.  Congratulations you got Chevy Cavalier that ended up costing as much as a Rolls Royce......and people are trying to claim that the "real" problem is they didn't offer a Lease Option instead of an outright buy????   Really....you don't see any other problem with it then that????  You think they really produced $200 million worth of game there?

 

 

  GrumpyMel2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1824

8/01/12 2:07:52 PM#66
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by friednietz

SW:TOR going F2P will not make it successful. The work the new dev team puts into the game will determine its success or failure. Nothing else at this point. 

Newsflash; on a month to month basis, TOR is already successful.  This change is aimed at keeping it that way.  As for the "new dev team," huh?  When did anybody say anything about them hiring new devs?  They let some people go, but other than Vogel and Zoeller, the team hasn't been reported to have lost a single "name,"  certainly not any of the names responsible for the parts of the game that have been popular.  By most reports, the heaviest hit part of the company in the layoffs wasn't even related to development, it was the community staff.

 


"Month to Month"..... Yeah right....you give me $200 million and I'll create a business that can meet it's monthly operating expenses for awhile too.... we'll see how happy you are with that.

Don't feel too bad though....at least your beating out EA's Tiger Woods Golf game.

 

 

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

8/01/12 2:09:31 PM#67
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2
Originally posted by CazNeerg

The story in TOR (depending on which class you pick) is just as good as in any other BioWare game.  The gameplay is no worse, the company has never been known for exceptional non-story elements.  Judged against other RPGs on the market, it is of well above average quality.  It's only major mistake, as a RPG, was having a mandatory subscription even for those who only wanted access to the single player content.  The decision to go Freemium should have been made before launch, because it is the correct business model for the way the game is designed, but better late than never.  

People who think the problem is TOR, not the subscription model, are missing the point.  The problem isn't actually with either by itself, it's with the combination of the two.  Different business models fit different games, and TOR was always best suited to a Freemium model.


Even if one were to accept everything you asserted in your statement, the simple fact of the matter is that you don't spend $200+  million to build KOTOR 5. 

If you are going to spend $200+ million then you NEED to make something that is going to be able to draw $15 per month over a SUSTAINED PERIOD for a VERY LARGE number of people in order to justify the return for the other types of things that you could get for a $200 million investment.

Putting a "F2P" or "Fremium" label on something isn't going to make the game any more fun or compelling to play over the long term....and it isn't going to make anyone want to spend $15 per month for 24 months or longer then did when it was under the label of "subscription only".....and that's the crux of the matter.

If the game had cost something on the order of Bioware's previous titles to make....or even a "normal" amount for an AAA .....I might say you have an arguement......but not for what they invested in it.  Congratulations you got Chevy Cavalier that ended up costing as much as a Rolls Royce......and people are trying to claim that the "real" problem is they didn't offer a Lease Option instead of an outright buy????   Really....you don't see any other problem with it then that????  You think they really produced $200 million worth of game there?

They made eight (partially) distinct single player experiences.  With the exception of the origin stories in DA:O, none of their previous games has offered more than one.  So yes, I do think there is 200 million worth of RPG value in the game, because you certainly aren't going to get eight different character stories from any other single RPG.  You would normally have to buy eight different games for that.  Is there enough single player content to justify paying a sub if that is the only part you want to play?  Probably not, which is why the game should have been Freemium from day one.  As for what they "need" to be successful, neither one of us knows what they need, we can only guess.  But even if the game *never* made back all of it's development cost, it could still be a successful revenue generator on a month to month basis.

As for your argument that it isn't going to make more people pay a subscription, past Freemium conversions show trends which contradict it.  Generally, subscriptions actually increase over time as free players who enjoy the game decide they want to experience everything without buying it a piece at a time in the cash shop.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  busdriver

Novice Member

Joined: 5/17/06
Posts: 923

8/01/12 2:13:53 PM#68

"I know this sounds like I’m using a scapegoat to excuse the game for all the myriad deficiencies of which some of you are clearly convinced, but honestly, EA’s biggest mistake with Star Wars: The Old Republic was a financial one, not necessarily a design one."

Does EA pay MMORPG.com to publish this sort of bs, or do you guys just prefer writers that talk out of their ass?

Wait, nevermind, after firing Danny Wojcicki because he wrote an honest SWTOR review (only one in this site), it's quite clear where the money comes from.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10635

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

8/01/12 2:17:27 PM#69


Originally posted by CazNeerg
The story in TOR (depending on which class you pick) is just as good as in any other BioWare game.  The gameplay is no worse, the company has never been known for exceptional non-story elements.  Judged against other RPGs on the market, it is of well above average quality.  It's only major mistake, as a RPG, was having a mandatory subscription even for those who only wanted access to the single player content.  The decision to go Freemium should have been made before launch, because it is the correct business model for the way the game is designed, but better late than never.  

People who think the problem is TOR, not the subscription model, are missing the point.  The problem isn't actually with either by itself, it's with the combination of the two.  Different business models fit different games, and TOR was always best suited to a Freemium model.




I don't know about that. I do agree with you about the story. I also agree that a subscription for the content that could be played as if the game were single player is too much. Allowing players to go through the single player content for a box purchase or even for free will definitely get people into the game.

I disagree with the idea that the game play is no worse than any other RPG. The character progression was nearly a copy of WoW's progression model. The only difference was having a Class, then an Advanced Class. Some of the skill tree items were verbatim copies of WoW skill tree items. The skill trees themselves functioned nearly the same as WoW's skill trees. At least Rift let you swap skill trees out on the fly. SWToR locked players into a set of skill trees, and didn't give players anything new to see. The combat was standard MMORPG combat. Nothing new. It was bad, but it wasn't at all interesting either. The only reason crafting was tolerable was because players could have their companions do it while they did something else.

I do agree that the F2P model is the right idea. I don't see SWToR as a long term game...but I don't see many MMORPG at all as long term games. They need to lower the barrier to entry to get new people into the game on a regular basis. I think F2P will help to do this now. It really depends on exactly how they do the F2P model. EA might be better at that than subscriptions.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  miscrpgdude

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/22/08
Posts: 28

8/01/12 2:29:39 PM#70

That was, to be blunt, a stupid stupid stupid article.

Rift is still a very viable economic entity with a fraction of the budget that was used on star wars, it had no name cache to bank on and was from a realtively unknown company.

SWTOR(I played at launch for 2 months and some beta) was a TERRIBLE game, it was obvious from the begining that whoever was behind the design decisions simply had no understanding of the genre at all.

They continuely ignored beta testers, and by all accounts even their internal testers. This was the worst managed game development since EQ2.

Whats really sad is that SWG is going to turn out to have been the longest running stable and successful iteration of a star wars MMO and even that game had many terrible design elements.

Chalk this one up as an epic failure.

  User Deleted
8/01/12 2:36:25 PM#71
Originally posted by Denambren

Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t necessarily experienced a decline in subscribers as sharp as we’ve seen  solely due to any particular failure on BioWare’s designers to create a solid MMO but more on Electronic Arts’ failure to recognize (and perhaps significant levels of arrogance) of what is clearly a strong trend away from subscription based MMOs. I know this sounds like I’m using a scapegoat to excuse the game for all the myriad deficiencies of which some of you are clearly convinced, but honestly, EA’s biggest mistake with Star Wars: The Old Republic was a financial one, not necessarily a design one.

This is the biggest logical fallacy i've seen thus far. basically the writer is saying "oh it didn't matter that the devs promised one thing and delivered another, or that they claimed their game would have features in it that weren't found anywhere else, or that they were told that their game wasn't up to par by the beta testers in the forums on their very own website before they launched or anything, it's really the fault of EA for making it a subscription only model in the first place."

Is that what other people are seeing? because that's what i'm seeing. It doesn't make a difference what feel is the issue, the real problem is right there staring you in the face in the claims they made in their dev talk videos about their title pre-release, as well as the game itself and no there aren't any secrets.

People are tired of mediocrity, and no amount of blame switching will make a difference. BW knew this was going to be a problem, they didn't listen to the beta testers who warned them, they didn't listen to the players post launch, they didn't listen to the people who refused to spend any money on their game due to their oversight and their false claims about their title. This is the result, so now they are scrambling to get the profits back together.

The other part of this article that is ridiculously false, is the notion that they aren't going F2P because they lost an enormous amount of players. going from 112 servers to 18 speaks for iteself. The math is there people, the only people who don't want to accept the math are people who are too far gone into the wilds of fandom. F2P isn't a trend it's an economic future.

  User Deleted
8/01/12 2:47:08 PM#72
Originally posted by friednietz

Laughing. I'm laughing!

Please keep side-stepping the real issue with this game and the MMO market in general. Blame the players, blame the critics or "foaming at the mouth" posters but just don't blame the fundamental flaws of a game design. I recall people being called out of trolling and bashing if they wrote critical and well thoughtout pieces on their hands-on with the game. Or when anyone pointed out a dip in server population, they were always either blind or playing at the "wrong time". Now that those people are coming back to say "that's what I was trying to say before", they are once again the bad guys. Whatever.

 EXACTLY! did you get one of those notices on this website too? For a while there, that's all anyone was doing was reporting every naysayer's post no matter how well thought out, how full of facts as trolling even when someone was being nice about it by saying things like "I don't enjoy any game companies failure but...." But when someone complains about completely unfounded nonsense like what we've seen for months in the GW2 forums, they do nothing.

SW:TOR going F2P will not make it successful. The work the new dev team puts into the game will determine its success or failure. Nothing else at this point.

They might have a boost of membership from people trying it once again since they had many people drop the game since launch that might be curious about it's changes but other then that there won't be a huge degree of changes I agree with you. Never again will they get the population they need. It's also smart to point out that people in the mmo community might never buy another mmo title by BW in the future due to this oversight.

Sidenote: A lot of folks are ragging on IGN for giving recent MMOs fair scores because they gave SWTOR an undeserved high score. Me, I respect that they're reigning in their hype and cash-grabbing tendencies in favor of being less of a joke in game journalism.

    I have to say that the publishers that put out false numbers for games like SWTOR will be well remembered and will most likely lose many  a subscriber themselves because even tho people aren't very good with their money (as evidenced by the SWTOR initial sales and WoW's continued success despite their combined mediocrity) people do not like liars notably liars that are lying for the sake of profit. I for one won't be treating their reviews as anything but fluff from here on.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5785

8/01/12 2:47:24 PM#73

I like the article and analysis.

I do think part of the problem is the business model and that there are more and more people that aren't willing to pay a subscription to play a game.  The game isn't worth a subscription to me, but neither is RIFT anymore.  I aree with Mike that RIFT has been successful despite the business model, not because of it.  I think RIFT would be a lot more popular and a lot more financially successful if it adopted NCSoft's "Truly Free" model like Aion.

I don't really like the Freemium model EA is setting up.  Again, I think EA has missed the big picture by adopting a dated F2P approach.  They are looking at what Funcom, Warner-Turbine, and SoE has done with games like AoC, LotRO, and EQ2 and then projecting that on to TOR.  Those games current success, in my opinion, is in spite of their F2P - Freemium model not because of it.  Fewer restrictions with optional boosters, buffs, bonuses, and items are more inviting than trying to suck players into a forced subscription.

Anyway, I'll give the game a spin when it releases F2P and, if it's decent enough, buy some game cash.

Curse you AquaScum!

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2300

8/01/12 2:49:27 PM#74

Mike, what's the deal man? Are you really talking to us like we are some dumb angry negative mob of gamers? Would you be saying the same if in person and not as the voice of MMORPG.com?

EA’s biggest mistake with Star Wars: The Old Republic was a financial one, not necessarily a design one.I’m not saying this to discount anyone’s criticisms of the game. You’re more than welcome to them. But the reality is that SW:TOR should have never launched as a subscription based game.

Clearly the mistake was in designing the game as-not-so-mmorpg AND marketing it as THE MMORPG. I don't know why you won't(or can't?) say that. Payment method really doesn't matter. Yes, it would have been better as anything but a subscription based game from the start but with the game's design there isn't much room for longevity.

I enjoyed the game (solo) up to a point and can foresee that the necessary and prompt F2P switch will do SWTOR more good and harm(staying sub-based) but there isn't much more fun I can get out of SWTOR regardless of content updates(I would like feature updates) and that is because of the way the game was designed.

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

  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7244

8/01/12 2:53:10 PM#75

Imo, it didn't have anything to do with subscription fees. Atleast not for me.

 

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.

  Paradigm68

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/24/11
Posts: 879

8/01/12 2:57:35 PM#76

It's not just schadenfreude. A given percentage of the mmorpg player base dislike the direction mmorpgs have gone, and we realize the only thing that might swing mmorpgs back to where we think they should be is spectacular failures of AAA titles. Especially ones like SWTOR where it was obvious during the development cycle this game wasn't providing what players wanted.

  Burntvet

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2757

8/01/12 2:57:51 PM#77

EA did not spend $200-$300 mil to make a F2P game.

Investors would not pay for it and EA wouldn't have done it: they do nothing for "free".

 

This is truly the largest financial debacle in the MMO space thus far.

 

  Mors-Subita

Novice Member

Joined: 7/04/04
Posts: 463

8/01/12 2:58:52 PM#78
Originally posted by lifeordinary

By the way SWTOR still hovering around 500K subs, did WAR had same after 6+ months of release? how many P2P themepark MMOS you know right now holding half a million player base?

 

There is marketing and then there are actual facts... and math...

Facts: there are currently 16 live servers.

Marketing: There are more than 500k subs(they said they are under 1000000 but over 500000)

Math: 500k/16 is more than 30k.

Conclusion: There is no way their servers are supporting more than 30,000 players each... Especially not with their stated concurrence... Without people seeing queues. Have we heard anything about login queues for SWTOR since they dropped down to 16 servers? anyone?

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

8/01/12 3:10:59 PM#79

 

Originally posted by miscrpgdude

That was, to be blunt, a stupid stupid stupid article.

Rift is still a very viable economic entity with a fraction of the budget that was used on star wars, it had no name cache to bank on and was from a realtively unknown company.

SWTOR(I played at launch for 2 months and some beta) was a TERRIBLE game, it was obvious from the begining that whoever was behind the design decisions simply had no understanding of the genre at all.

They continuely ignored beta testers, and by all accounts even their internal testers. This was the worst managed game development since EQ2.

Whats really sad is that SWG is going to turn out to have been the longest running stable and successful iteration of a star wars MMO and even that game had many terrible design elements.

Chalk this one up as an epic failure.

No understanding of *which* genre?  You come across as yet another poster who insists on ignoring half of what TOR is in order to make his argument.  It isn't just a MMO, it is also a RPG.  And regardless of what you think of it's merits as a MMO, it is *easily* an above average RPG, all things considered.  Which is why a subscription free option for the single player portion of the content is long overdue, because it isn't reasonable to charge a monthly fee for access to single player content, and the way the game is designed is clearly with more of a focus on pleasing BioWare RPG fans than on pleasing traditional MMO fans.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  WoW is a fluke, game developers need to focus on doing a good job of serving specific niches, rather than a bad job of trying to serve "everybody."

EDIT: And it isn't F2P, it's Freemium, there is a difference.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  adamch29

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/05
Posts: 71

8/01/12 3:25:28 PM#80
Originally posted by miscrpgdude

That was, to be blunt, a stupid stupid stupid article.

Rift is still a very viable economic entity with a fraction of the budget that was used on star wars, it had no name cache to bank on and was from a realtively unknown company.

SWTOR(I played at launch for 2 months and some beta) was a TERRIBLE game, it was obvious from the begining that whoever was behind the design decisions simply had no understanding of the genre at all.

They continuely ignored beta testers, and by all accounts even their internal testers. This was the worst managed game development since EQ2.

Whats really sad is that SWG is going to turn out to have been the longest running stable and successful iteration of a star wars MMO and even that game had many terrible design elements.

Chalk this one up as an epic failure.

Same thing as others here. You played a game you thought was TERRIBLE (Gosh!) for 2 months???? Why? Did you think it would suddenly change game mechanics if you kept playing? I think you just got sick of it. People do get sick of playing the same game after 2 months without it being a terrible game. And if it was that bad, well you were out 50 bucks but why re-sub? 

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