Trials - Why aren't they more common in MMO's?

CredinusCredinus Dacula, GAMember Posts: 32

The title pretty much says it all.

There are some valid arguments against trial accounts in MMORPGs, such as usage of trial accounts by gold sellers for spam bots, and uh... Well, I can't think of any valid ones beyond that.

Honestly, every MMORPG that requires a retail/digital purchase and not just a subscription to play -needs- to have a trial account option. To counter the aforementioned issue, just make a sort of "trial island" like some games have. This trial area would give players and idea of what the game has to offer but won't be connected to the global chat system. The key here to make this actually work well, though, is instituting adequate tutorials on the island so that new players don't need to ask old players how to do something (like how to set up diplomacy decks in Vanguard before they implemented their island >.> ). I can't even count the number of times my friends and I have looked at an MMO and said, "Hey, that looks like it could be pretty fun" but never tried it because we weren't willing to pay 30-50 bucks for something we very well wouldn't like at all. By offering trials, many of these MMO's could bring in all those players who want to give it a try, but just don't want to throw down the money on a game that's part of a genre whose notoriety for poor quality under the guise of greatness is second only to anime.

And to those of you in the "MMO's should not have trial versions," why do you feel that way?

 

Edit: For clarification, I'm referring primarily to launches of MMO's, in addition to MMO's that have been out for extensive periods of time and still don't have trials offered.

Comments

  • RajenRajen Atlanta, GAMember Posts: 689

    I think games don't have trials because they aren't confident enough in the game to get people to buy it after they try it. The company wants you to have to buy the game so they atleast get that money out of you even if you don't like it afterwards, if you have a trial and don't like it then they get nothing from you.

     

     

    edited for spelling.

  • bond284bond284 west haven, CTMember UncommonPosts: 22
    Originally posted by Rajen


    I think games don't have trials because they aren't confident enough in the game to get people to buy it after they try it. The company wants you to have to buy the game so they atleast get that money out of you even if you don't like it afterwards, if you have a trial and don't like it then they get nothing from you.
     

     

    This, also you end up using a nice chunk of their bandwidth by downloading their enourmous game.  Free trials eventually happen in almost every mmo, it just takes about a year.

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  • John.A.ZoidJohn.A.Zoid jiiiiigMember Posts: 1,531

    With myself I always want to have everything if I;m to get into an MMO and theres a vertain status for playing from day one. So if I can't play it from day one then I'm not gonna play it and thats why a trial or a beta is important to me because I'm not gonna buy an MMO on pure faith anymore after WAR. There was a time you could and you'd get something out of it. I bought EQ2, WoW, SWG, Planetside, EVE etc etc. all out of pure faith and I atleadt had fun with them for awhile. Now MMOs are just fucking shit and let me down every time.

    It's the same reason why I don't like Free 2 Play games or Micro Transaction games.



    With a monthly fee it takes away all the people who arn't serious about the game and it makes me feel a part of the community. SWG used to have the best community out there before SOE pissed everyone off and you just wouldn't of had that experience if there was thousands of free 2 play noobs running around griefing everyone.



    Mico Tansactions put me off an MMO cause I want to complete everything about an MMO and once you start adding things like TCG in SWG where you have to put down $400 just to get an item on pure luck then ain't interested. I don't have that money to waste and instead of being about the gameplay it becomes about whoevers richer.

    I also have to buy the Collectors Edition just so I get those special items that make you feel superior to people who join after the games launched and don't have them. Thats another reason why I want a trial or beta before the games launched so I know if I'm gonna buy it or not.  Otherwise i wont buy the CE and I'll never play the game again.

     

  • CredinusCredinus Dacula, GAMember Posts: 32
    Originally posted by Rajen


    I think games don't have trails because they aren't confident enough in the game to get people to buy it after they try it. The company wants you to have to buy the game so they atleast get that money out of you even if you don't like it afterwards, if you have a trail and don't like it then they get nothing from you.
     

     

    This is a very good point and is very likely true for many cases. My statement to the publishers who fall under this category:

    "The more people you have trying the game, the more people you can have telling you what's wrong with it."

    Criticism, specifically the constructive kind, is a -good- thing. Unfortunately, I fear that publishers get terrified of negative reviews in launch failures and find themselves struggling long after to recover. Solution: Longer periods of open beta. Honestly, no MMO should even -consider- going into release until it's been in open beta for at least long enough that a decent portion of the beta testers are able to make it all the way to the "end game" content and try it. How many times do we see a game go in closed beta for a few months, hit open beta for a few weeks, and then get released with design choices and bugs that make you wonder, "Did they even have an actual beta?"

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504

    Um...what?

    WOW: 10 day free trial
    COX: 14 day free trial
    EQ2: Free trial island
    DDO: 10 day free trial
    AOC: 7 day free trial
    LOTRO: 7 day free trial
    GW: 14 day (10 hour) free trial
    WAR: 10 day free trial
    EVE: 14 day free trial

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • John.A.ZoidJohn.A.Zoid jiiiiigMember Posts: 1,531
    Originally posted by bond284

    Originally posted by Rajen


    I think games don't have trials because they aren't confident enough in the game to get people to buy it after they try it. The company wants you to have to buy the game so they atleast get that money out of you even if you don't like it afterwards, if you have a trial and don't like it then they get nothing from you.
     

     

    This, also you end up using a nice chunk of their bandwidth by downloading their enourmous game.  Free trials eventually happen in almost every mmo, it just takes about a year.



     

    I think it's mainly because they don't see much of a return from trials when hype and reviews make people buy the game and then try it once they've paid for it. They don't care if people quit before the 30 days because they've just made £30 off a sale. Then once sales start drying up they put down the price and release a trial for the people who wont put down money without playing it first. Then you start to see promotional offers for people who want to get their friends involved and they start sending out buddy keys to their mates and offer them unique items to get their mates to sub. What happens though is you get some sad git who makes like 3 accounts and subs to them all himself to get the items. However the company doesn't care cause they just made money.

    Thats what pisses me off the most because in MMOS now its whoever has the most real life money gets everything. Where as someone who pays the sub and can play more gets the shaft just because he isn''t being suckered in to buying all the little things.

    You get them fucking promotional offers with expansions like with SWG where you have to buy the Digital download and the retail version just to get both.

  • CredinusCredinus Dacula, GAMember Posts: 32
    Originally posted by bond284

    Originally posted by Rajen


    I think games don't have trials because they aren't confident enough in the game to get people to buy it after they try it. The company wants you to have to buy the game so they atleast get that money out of you even if you don't like it afterwards, if you have a trial and don't like it then they get nothing from you.
     

     

    This, also you end up using a nice chunk of their bandwidth by downloading their enourmous game.  Free trials eventually happen in almost every mmo, it just takes about a year.

     

    Bandwidth is another valid argument, but nowadays most MMO's use third party mirrors for their client downloads anyway. Heck, I'd be willing to pay 5-10 bucks a month for a subscription to a specific mirror that exclusively hosted MMO client downloads if publishers would start hosting all of their games on there. I imagine a lot of people would if there were enough MMO's doing that to make it worthwhile, for that matter... But I digress.

  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 26,864
    Originally posted by Axehilt


    Um...what?
    WOW: 10 day free trial

    COX: 14 day free trial

    EQ2: Free trial island

    DDO: 10 day free trial

    AOC: 7 day free trial

    LOTRO: 7 day free trial

    GW: 14 day (10 hour) free trial

    WAR: 10 day free trial

    EVE: 14 day free trial

    Yeah, I was thinking the same, what games don't have a free trial.

    Oh, the OP meant at the launch of the game.  Understandably they wish to maximize their revenues by selling as many copies as they can before letting people trial it.

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  • CredinusCredinus Dacula, GAMember Posts: 32
    Originally posted by Kyleran

    Originally posted by Axehilt


    Um...what?
    WOW: 10 day free trial

    COX: 14 day free trial

    EQ2: Free trial island

    DDO: 10 day free trial

    AOC: 7 day free trial

    LOTRO: 7 day free trial

    GW: 14 day (10 hour) free trial

    WAR: 10 day free trial

    EVE: 14 day free trial

    Yeah, I was thinking the same, what games don't have a free trial.

    Oh, the OP meant at the launch of the game.  Understandably they wish to maximize their revenues by selling as many copies as they can before letting people trial it.

     

    And the revenue portion is a major reason, but at the same time, the designers could very easily piece together what they and their beta communities agree to be the "best" parts of their game to incorporate them into what trial area they have. Compare it to standard video games, which take a part of their game that is thoroughly enjoyable and release them as a demo prior to the game's launch. All the mystery of "will I like or dislike the game?" is cleared up... Yes, you might not like it, but more often than not, demos help games more than they hurt them. And when the developers design the demo/trial around enjoyable portions of their game, it makes it that much easier to sell. Heck, crappy games can have demo's that make you say "I MUST BUY IT!" The same can be done for MMO's with a little work on the development side.

    Or how about this option for some games: Offer a digital download where you pay for a 1 month subscription, getting that 10-15 bucks out of the potential customer... And then make them have to purchase the game to continue using that account past the first month. Sure, it may not be that 30-50 bucks, but I'm willing to bet that you'll still come out ahead since a lot more people would be willing to pay 10-15 bucks to try something rather than 30-50 bucks.

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Sarasota, FLMember RarePosts: 3,186

    This is where open betas come in. Peopel who want to try it ahead of time have the opportunity to then.

     

    It's also not solely some money grab on box sales at release, although I can see how that can be part of it.

     

    If you want trials at releases, you can take your pick:

     

    a) server queues for the first month or two because of the trial users piling on

    or

    b) plenty of servers set up to accomodate the subscribers and freebie guys, inevitably resulting in dead servers and thin population a month or two after release

     

    Neither one is a good option for the developers. Having to add additional resources and manpower for a bunch of people that want to play free for a week at release just doesn't prove to add any value to either the players who subscribed or the developers.

    The argument against that is that if it's a good game the trial people will subscribe. Well, that's what open beta and the previews and the reviews and gameplay trailers are for. The people that couldn't decide Yay or Nay in that year or two prior aren't going to suddenly change their mind during 6 hours of farting around on a 7-day trial.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Hammertime1Hammertime1 Lewiston, IDMember Posts: 619
    Originally posted by Rajen


    I think games don't have trials because they aren't confident enough in the game to get people to buy it after they try it. The company wants you to have to buy the game so they atleast get that money out of you even if you don't like it afterwards, if you have a trial and don't like it then they get nothing from you.
     
     
    edited for spelling.



     

    DFO comes to mind here. Tasos talked about a trial, but it never happened .

    Bummer.

     

     

     

  • FishSeaManFishSeaMan Okaly, ALMember Posts: 8

    Most good Mmorpgs have a trial. It's just some publishers that aren't too sure of their product or don't like trials don't do it.

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Sarasota, FLMember RarePosts: 3,186
    Originally posted by FishSeaMan


    Most good Mmorpgs have a trial. It's just some publishers that aren't too sure of their product or don't like trials don't do it.

     

    Which MMOs didn't offer a trial after the initial sales/release period?

     

     

  • arthen999arthen999 lansbergMember Posts: 183
    Originally posted by Axehilt


    Um...what?
    WOW: 10 day free trial

    COX: 14 day free trial

    EQ2: Free trial island

    DDO: 10 day free trial

    AOC: 7 day free trial

    LOTRO: 7 day free trial

    GW: 14 day (10 hour) free trial

    WAR: 10 day free trial

    EVE: 14 day free trial



     

    even better eve has a 21 day trial via steam :) 

  • tokenizertokenizer BucharestMember Posts: 106

    usually crap games dont have trials.... judge for yourself..

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaMember EpicPosts: 13,188

    I think EVERY game should offer a free trial,but exclude trial players from the actual gaming world.Sure it is a fake environment,but it is the only way to keep exploiters and RMT away or at least limit their access to the game.

    The free trial instance or island,whatever you want to call it ,can still give a very realistic feeling as to how a game works and plays,the only thing missing is the actual paying players.

    What i would like to see is sponsors get involved in trials.Say for example Microsoft sponsors one instance or island for a game and gives out rewards to players who go on to register a paying account.The rewards could be from quests or just a random reward based on your player or heck anything useful in game.It could be some bad ass large sword with the name Microsoft pasted onto it.Or maybe every player who goes through the sponsors trials get their name into a draw for several in game rewards,lots of possibilities.

    This would offset the cost of running the trial servers and give free marketing to the sponsors.

    What i do NOT like is the current wave of developers bribing players to pre order on the premise they get some special treatment over all other players.There will always be the dummies who feed this sad marketing ploy,we need to get rid of it.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • ReklawReklaw Am.Member UncommonPosts: 6,495
    Originally posted by Credinus
     
    Edit: For clarification, I'm referring primarily to launches of MMO's, in addition to MMO's that have been out for extensive periods of time and still don't have trials offered.



     

    It would be kind of foolish for a MMORPG to have a trial at launch in my opinion , unless you know of many MMORPG that launched perfect, when MMORPG's are released PERFECT, I might expect them to have trials from the start, meaning no issue's what so ever, all promises made implimented into the game in a working fashion.

    A trial should come when the people playing since launch and the developers are confident that the game works as intented, so that would be between 6 months to a year before I feel a trial should be released, else what use is a trial at launch when we all know how much still can be changed/added/removed/nerfed.

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