Rants tag

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wildstar Loses C.R.E.D.D.ibility

Hey, an early morning post. Taking a page from the Aggronaut Playbook, I am writing early this morning. I even got up early to do so; though by the time I sat down to type, it was already past the time I would normally have been waking up. But as I wait for the telltale gurgle that the pot is done, I am here. After months of training material and software development, I am on the road teaching again. Though I love this part of my job (IT/software instructor), being "on the podium" means I have limited access to the internet, and juicy bits of news, and by the end of the day I am not really in the mood to write much.

GOLD 4 C.R.E.D.D.
I got this news from Ocho. (See? You are a news source!) Carbine (I kept wanting to call them "Chronic" for some reason) has announced their revenue plan for Wildstar. As Ocho said, they have a really great infographic that explains how things are going to go down. I guess there was a lot of heartburn over at Massively as to whether the plan will work.

At first glance, I saw only one problem with the system (which seems similar to EVE if I am not mistaken), and that is that CREDD is more than a subscription. Who would pay for that? It's not like you can't subscribe for a month and then cancel before the month is over. Why would JPHiggenbottom pay an extra five bucks for essentially nothing. So unless Carbine acts to control the market, the in-game gold cost of CREDD will skyrocket due to scarcity, which means it won't be good for Brofessional (the guy trying to go F2P) either.

Looking at it again, it seems that Carbine's thought is not necessarily that the players buy CREDD with RL money with the intent to use it, but with the express intent to sell it in-game. In their example, JPHigginbottom already has a subscription, he needs just in-game gold. Meh, I still don't like it.

I tend to think of the money I spend in terms of how long it will take me to earn it. Is it worth the time savings to spend the money for something I could otherwise do myself? Obviously, in the case of real world items like food, it is worth it, because I could never grow or make all the different foods I want to eat. Game time is a little different. For someone like Cortical Scrub's employers, or for a spoiled kid, that equation is a lot different.

So is the time I spend grinding for gold for CREDD (and trying to keep myself outfitted with those shiny mounts and things) worth the $15 worth of real work at the office? I'm not sure, because they just turned my game into a job. Brofessional is supposedly a hardcore raider (who still wants or needs F2P). But Raiding tends to be a gold sink in most MMOs, which Bro needs to pay for his CREDD from Higsy. It's not the gold sinks that will be a problem in this scenario; it will be the gold resources.

SUB-OPTIONAL IS OPTIMAL

Given their justifiable dig at gold farmers on the business model page, I think they are Carbine's real target with this scheme, and from that perspective, it just might work. I just don't see it working for me.

I think that the subscription-optional (including perks) with an enticing cash shop seems to be the most reasonable business model right now, at least for me. I'd rather pay RL cash directly to the dev, when I feel the item (or content) is worth it, than some oblique RMT auction with other players. I can't help feeling that someone in that scenario will simply not get either their money's worth or their time's worth.

"Just do the sub," I can hear you saying, Dear Reader.

I might just do that. However, then Wildstar is competing with shinies like Rift and TSW that do not absolutely require my time or money for access while at the same maintaining what I currently feel are superb content and features. Right now in my life, that is very appealing indeed.

8 comments:

  1. Since I spent so much time on Real World stuff... I figure tomorrow morning I will be adding my own comments to this whole topic.... there are times I like planning ahead. Essentially for me... I was only passingly interested in Wildstar in the first place. However had it launched as a buy the box or full on free to play model... I likely would have picked it up anyway. My general thought is, I could get in on whatever pre-order goodies existed and then play whenever I happened to get the whim to do so.

    I have many games that function in this capacity for me... The Secret World, Guild Wars 2, Dragons Prophet, Neverwinter, Everquest 2, and Lord of the Rings Online to name a few. In all of those cases I am not paying a reoccuring monthly fee and I don't mind logging in on a weekend when I get the urge to play them. Knowing that I have to pay a subscription to play at all... pretty much rules Wildstar out for me. I am dancing back and forth about whether or not I will be playing FFXIV for the same reason... but at least there it was a game I have always had an interest in.

    I always find Science Fiction titles somewhat lacking. They never hold my interest for the long run, and I feel like Wildstar will be just be a WoW meets Firefly experience for me... that once the novelty wears off I will no longer care about. Especially with Landmark on the near horizon... I feel like that is more than enough Pixar animation style gaming to fulfill my quota. And again... Landmark will be a free to play game.

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    1. I think Wildstar has enough fantastical whimsy that it may hold more appeal than you think, even for something with a "sci-fi" premise. After all, they have Spellslingers, not Gunslingers.

      But . . . as I said, I'm at a point in my life where I prefer a la carte to an all access pass.

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  2. If I am really interested in the game then I want it to be subscription. If I am mildly interested then I want it to be F2P!

    Many games talk about their payment models very close to launch but I bet the first thing they decide is payment model since it really affects lot of game design. Both subscription and F2P models have negatives effects on game design but in my personal experience F2P have far greater negatives effects than subscription hence why I prefer subscription if I am really interested in a game.

    F2P games attracts more idiots (its “free”) and the community get toxic quickly compared to subscription games. However compared to point above this is non issue for me personally..

    I wasn’t really interested in wild star (sci fi puts me off) so I won’t be playing it.

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    1. To each their own, as far as Sci-fi vs. Fantasy, I like both, if there is an interesting story to be told, or and interesting world to explore. I used to be all about subscription, until fairly recently, in fact. But I am no longer so attached to any one game that I want that kind of commitment. As far as toxic communities, the most toxic community I have personally encountered was in a sub-only game, but I am part of several wonderful communities right now that are based in sub-optional games.

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  3. Personally, WS has become even less of an option for me with this move (and there's the 2014 announcement which would basically mean zero reason for me to play it because of more imminent competition). I admit, I didn't see this coming given their earlier talk of hybrid models. it bothers me a little that they would call this hybrid when there's really no way around paying for the box plus subs for any average player. sounds like some wishy-washy marketing move indeed and that's kinda un-Carbine in my book. /eyebrow

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    1. Yeah I don't know how realistic a plan it is. And one of the most interesting things about WS to me was the housing. But now Rift seems to be scratching that itch for me, and EQN Landmark is slated for a December release. No way to predict for sure, but I may still be hot and heavy in both of those titles by the time WS rolls around.

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  4. Haha! You caught me on a whim, writing about new news. I still am anything but a news site. You most likely just check blogs first before actual news! I'm on to your tricksy ways, Rowan. :P

    But yes, I'd be 100% more interested if there was a sub-optional ala TSW. I mean, heck, I subscribe to TSW, but I feel like I get something out of it.

    Buy-To-Play with an optional sub is like a Nightclub with a permanent pass. You pay the cover charge once, can buy drinks and snacks and other assorted goodies at the bar, and are given access to the special VIP area if you pay for that, too, which has free drinks and a fried food bar.

    A Sub is like owning baseball season tickets. You pay upfront to get in. If you can't attend the games, the games still happen and you're still paying for them. If the team decides to take another direction, you're still paying for it until the end of the season. And, of course, cash shops are still prevalent.

    I am a big fan of baseball... but in this instance, I feel like I'm getting more of a value from the Nightclubs. :)

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    1. THat's a great analogy.

      And yes, I got notified of your post through email. But it is timely, and I did my own post out of it. :)

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