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Asheron's Call: Free Trial Returns

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Turbine lets it slip that a 14 day free trial for their debut MMOG will soon be available again. Here is the word from Turbine.




The Asheron’s Call team has been hard at work with some great game improvements and exciting new content. In an effort to continue our commitment to the Asheron’s Call Franchise we are proud to announce the Asheron’s Call 14 Day Free Trial! To show our dedication to this program the upcoming holiday issue of PC Gamer Magazine, which will hit shelves in mid November, will feature a full page ad for the 14 Day Free Trial! Starting next week, we will be opening the free trial site to everyone interested in joining the exciting world of Dereth! This is a perfect opportunity to invite friends and family to check out Asheron’s Call.

More information on this exciting news will be available as we get closer to the launch of the trial program. Make sure to check back here often for more information.

You can read more here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

Comments

  • KalunaKaluna Woodhaven, MIPosts: 4Member

    This is really awesome news! 

     

    I'm eager for more details.  I hope they have all the worlds open, so those of us with friends and family can invite folks over to our cottages and villas for a glass of Ulgrim's finest and a slice of drudge cheese.  However, I don't want them to allow allegiance to be sworn from a free acct. 

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member

    With all the bitching from players on the official forums about all the ways a free trial can screw up their rapidly dying game, don't count on too many new people staying. The trial will end up so watered down, that there will be nothing to make new people want to stay.

  • JenuvielJenuviel Seattle, WAPosts: 960Member

    Originally posted by Zorvan
    With all the bitching from players on the official forums about all the ways a free trial can screw up their rapidly dying game, don't count on too many new people staying. The trial will end up so watered down, that there will be nothing to make new people want to stay.
    I think the trial is a positive step. The only restrictions they'll need to make are with housing and allegiance experience/ranks. Neither of those things are vital (or even likely to be legitimately obtained) in 14 days; it's only later that housing storage becomes an issue, and you can very successfully play the game solo forever, if that's your thing. There's no denying that the game is old, or that it looks its age. Due to limitations of the game's engine (AC was in production before Everquest I, despite its later release), there's not much they can do with the graphics other than what they did in the last expansion pack. Still, at least they're doing their best to improve the other. Are the numbers going to swell dramatically? Almost certainly not, but any new life would still be a boon to both the players and the business.  Whether you love or hate the designers, their company, or their games, it's hard to argue against a free trial. Attempting to do so seems alarmist to me.

    AC wasn't my first MMO, nor was it my last, but it definitely was my favorite. Even if I don't play it anymore, I'm glad a few more people will have the opportunity to wander around the massive and seamless landscape of Dereth, delve some of its 752 dungeons, mess around with the skill and attribute system, experience the pain of Lugian boulders, quest for Atlan weapons, see the seasons change, and wade through swarms of olthoi. Yes, the game is old. Yes, the playerbase is dwindling. No, a free trial won't have a radical  effect on either of those things. It might open the door for a few people, however. If those people can find enjoyment similar to what I experienced, then they win. It's all about the fun, and I think there's plenty of that left in AC for those who've not found it elsewhere.


  • StoiczStoicz south sioux city, NEPosts: 6Member

    Man I miss this game soo much, it was IMHO one THE best games ever to grace the MMORPG market...

     :(

  • GameloadingGameloading NAPosts: 14,182Member
    I don't really understand why Turbine didn't add a free trial to the game more early.
  • JenuvielJenuviel Seattle, WAPosts: 960Member

    Originally posted by Gameloading
    I don't really understand why Turbine didn't add a free trial to the game more early.
    They did, but it was abused. The game wasn't initially designed to support a  free trial, mostly because the vast majority of the world was on 28.8k - 56k modems at the time, so downloading the client wasn't feasible. When they did give it a try a few years ago, the way some of the systems had been originally coded allowed players to use their trial accounts to artificially inflate their allegiance ranks (pledging dummy accounts to their main character) or buy housing with the dummy accounts, then maintain and use them with their main accounts after the trials had expired. None of this was really an issue when people had to buy a box to play the game, but it definitely became an issue when everyone who wanted to could create dozens of Yahoo accounts and make themselves a monarch. As a result, Turbine quickly cancelled the trials.

    While it's always been a goal of the company to make trials available again at some point, the fact of the matter was that the game engine is quite old, has been worked on by dozens of different programmers over the years, and none of the original programmers were still with the live team. People were scared to mess around with core systems because there was just no telling what would happen. That's one reason the Throne of Destiny expansion took so much longer to finish than was expected; in order to upgrade the graphics, they had to do some major surgery on the core code. While they were there, they tried to rewrite some bits and reorganize others in order to make future changes to the engine less problematic.

    The fact that they're announcing the return of the trials seems to indicate that they've managed to come up with solutions for the previous abuse. (If they were more concerned about money than the abuse in question, they never would've cancelled the trial, let alone go several years without one.)


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