Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

NO SUB!! liminal Message

So it seems the hiatus I spoke of yesterday will be rather short lived. Karl, Hinageshi, and Samantha are rarin' to go. Much like Syp, I am doing a bit of a happy dance today. I just need to patch, which may take a while given that I went on a business trip this morning and have only a hotel connection. Which is also why I didn't scoop anyone on this.

I have said repeatedly that TSW's mechanics and skill/ability progression system is my personal favorite of all the games I've played. The grimdark meant I would only play occasionally and I couldn't justify the subscription when I was spending so much more time with the no-sub Guild Wars 2. There are a lot of other people who have said they'd play if it were sub free. Given that there don't seem to be any restrictions on non-subbers, only perks for those who are still paying monthly (or did lifetime subs), Funcom seems much wiser than EA/BioWare at this point.

As MMOGC pointed out, we've known Funcom had the infrastructure for F2P in place from the get-go. They tried subscriptions, and struggled for a couple months. Then came GW2, with its box-only pricing plan (with cash shop). It was only a matter of time, sez HZero. I think this may be the way to go for MMOs going forward. They need to have a plan for making their money from box sales and cash shops, not subscriptions. And I'm glad I haven't sprung for any lifetime subs (for STO, Rift, SWTOR, or TSW). I haven't played any of them for long enough to recoup the expense. As Arkenor has pointed out, lifetime subscriptions increasingly seem like a bad bet, even with perks given to lifers when the games go sub free. Now, paying a box price (dare I say, $60+) isn't too bad, if I play for a while.

I'll probably be running with the TSW branch of the Knights of Mercy on Monday nights; I wonder if Sctrz will want to join in.

4 comments:

  1. I would argue the lifetime subs are not a bad bet, particularly if you are intending to put money into the cash shop. Could you play for cheaper? Of course - but that's not the question. The question is will you get your money's worth. In this case, players have already recouped, what, $75 of their $200? And will be in the black in one year's time from their in game credit.

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    1. Perhaps, but as soon as the games go sub-free, it becomes a lot harder to figure out the break-even point on that investment. I guarantee it won't be in $200/$15=X months. Meanwhile, I personally have become bored or disenchanted with each of the games I named long before I would have broken even on the monthly versus lifetime sub fees. The only game I played for such a long time was WoW, which has no lifetime plan.

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  2. "Funcom seems much wiser than EA/BioWare at this point."

    Indeed. A 'Pay For the Box' business model would seem to be ideal for SWTOR.

    Mike.

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    1. The attempt to monetize even "quality of life" items like action bars and insisting that "promised" veteran reward cartel coins be contingent on one more month of subscription turned me off to to any return to SWTOR. I have better places to spend my time and money.

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