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No more buying MMOs without trial or test account!
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
4/18/08 10:59:32 AM
This isn't as a big of a deal on console games where you can usually rent the game before you buy it. You also don' t have the pressure to buy a console game right now since you'll probably be able to buy it used for less than $20 around 3 months after launch.
PC games can't be rented and they can't be resold. Therefore you're left with demos and trials to determine if you really want to spend your money. The catch-22 is that a demo will only display what elements of the gameplay a developer want to sell you on and may not represent the overall experience. Ever play a demo that was awesome only to buy the game and find out that the level featured in the demo was actually the only good section of the game? Yeah, I think we all have. Free trials can actually pull this shit too. The free trials for EQ and EQ2 are both set on areas and servers that are separate from the actual game.
Of course, there isn't any reason why MMORPGs can't have offline demos or limited MORPG demos. Guild Wars could probably show off much of it's gameplay with one town hub and a small quest map. Age of Conan has... What?... The first 60 levels or something offline. Why not just make a single-player demo then?
As far as how long a free trial should be....
I think that three days is pretty good for a game that just launched. Give me one good weekend to put the game through it's paces and I'll have a good idea of whether or not I want to continue to play. Older games may require 14 days, but only because they generally have much more content and you want to give the player a sense of just how much content is actually there. If you blew through FFXII in two weeks, then you need to know that you won't be able to do that with The Everquesting Lords of GrindCraft.
When it comes to media "try before you buy" is the norm. You wouldn't buy and album from a band you never heard play before. You wouldn't watch a movie that you hadn't seen a trailer for. Why would you buy a game that you hadn't even spent five minutes playing? Why roll the dice?
When you just lay your money down based only on word of mouth and reviews, you're always taking a gamble. the demo-less game may turn out to be like Oblivion.... Or it may turn out to be like Neverwinter Nights 2....
BTW, How does everyone feel about games that want you to hand over your credit card information before letting you into the trail? This is the main reason why I haven't played DDO yet. I'm not cool with auto-billing scams.