Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

General: Champions FFA & Age of Conan Rumors

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In The Free Zone this week, MMORPG.com columnist, Richard Aihoshi takes a look at the strong numbers that Champions Online has garnered since the Free for All version went live. In addition, Richard has picked up some tendrils of rumor surrounding Age of Conan and a F2P iteration. Read on!

As always, many things related to Free to Play caught my attention during the past week or so. Among these, two that I found rather interesting involved games with a common heritage; they both launched using the subscription business model. One recently shifted. Champions Online: Free for All launched four weeks ago. The other, Age of Conan, is currently the subject of rumours that it will do so as well. This is the latest renewal of talk has come up and subsided a few times before.

Read more of Richard Aihoshi's The Free Zone: Champions FFA & Age of Conan Rumors.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

image
«1

Comments

  • Adhesive33Adhesive33 San Francisco, CAPosts: 227Member

    AoC is a no brainer, it's ideally positioned to make the switch to "freemium." If I had to choose one game, outside of LotRO, that I believe could find success in the F2P arena, it would be AoC. I just hope they make the switch before it's too late.

    The one thing I worry about is that, unlike LotRO, which was financially succesful before making the switch to F2P, Funcom may not be willing/able to invest the amount of time and money it will require to make a smooth conversion to F2P. It's all speculation on my part, but I can see Funcom dragging their feet and dipping their toes in the water with "free extended trials" and a limited cash shop for so long that it ends up pleasing nobody, and they continue to bleed customers.

  • JeffreyBisonJeffreyBison Boise, IDPosts: 2Member

    I'm waiting for Mythic to announce that WAR is going to be F2P. The game is practically dead as it is... save for the T1 zones where the "Free Forever" trial players are.

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon

    Well first off, your mention of the anti-f2p group made me chuckle :3 It would be less funny if it weren't true.

    As for AoC, that game desperately needs the f2p conversion. It's not going to last much longer on its own. There are some die-hard fans that stick with it but I have a strong feeling even they stay because it feels like home to them, and not because it's actually a top-notch game. It's not a bad one, I've played those and Conan is not that, but it's not something that justifies the payment plan. Not by a long shot. 

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • LyulfeLyulfe Parksville, BCPosts: 213Member

    I have little faith that Funcom could make a smooth transition. For whatever reason (I beleive funding/slash being spread to thin across projects) they are very slow on new content and it is usually pretty bumpy after it is deployed.

    image

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,041Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by JeffreyBison

    I'm waiting for Mythic to announce that WAR is going to be F2P. The game is practically dead as it is... save for the T1 zones where the "Free Forever" trial players are.

    WAR wouldn't really fit as a F2P game. They would have to sell stuff, like gear, dungeons or quests. And frankly does it have too few dungeons, and I don't think quests would work that great either. It is doubtful that they can sell the scenarios, unless they are free they wont generate enough new players.

    That leaves gear and selling gear in a PvP focused game equals pay2win.

    AoC would work somewhat better, it is not that far from LOTRO and could in many ways use the same method. They should still be careful with selling good gear however, the PvP servers could still easily become Pay2win if they aren't careful.

    The more PvP focus a game have the harder it is to make it into a good F2P game.

  • GruugGruug Chillicothe, ILPosts: 1,311Member Uncommon

    Simply put....if ANYONE has to pay for something in game then that game is NOT free so it should not be advertised as "free to play". To me, it is false and dishonest. It gets a lot of attention from a lot of weak minded folks that think they can actually get much for nothing. The point is, there is not one so-called "f2p" game that is in truth free.

    So, MMO companies why don't you come up with a more accurate label? How about LIMITED PLAY?

    Let's party like it is 1863!

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    Well Funcom might be comtemplating the transition, but AoC has one huge problem of a download, it is huge, last time I looked about 30gb game space, it will be compressed in a download but going to be at least a 15gb download..  I certainly won't be downloading anything that large. 

  • GhostGeishaGhostGeisha AlbufeiraPosts: 286Member

    Funcom going F2P? hahaha. Look at AO its crap and empty for years and still P2P sub.

    BLC is F2P i know but its not a MMORPG.

  • GoodAfternoonGoodAfternoon Aberdeen, NCPosts: 252Member

    Originally posted by Gruug

    So, MMO companies why don't you come up with a more accurate label? How about LIMITED PLAY?

    Hmmm,

    What sounds more enticing? Come play our "Limited Play" game, or our "Free to Play" game. It is not dishonest since you can download the game, log-in, create a character, and play the game without paying anything. That is free, not if you wish to continue and play more at a certain point, or fit your character out in cool looking stuff then you have the option to pay more for that. 

    Rift

  • JakdstripperJakdstripper logan lake, BCPosts: 2,126Member Uncommon

    AoC going F2P?! 

    :O

    ...i might have to start playing again.

  • ZoeMcCloskeyZoeMcCloskey Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,148Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Jakdstripper



    AoC going F2P?! 

    :O

    ...i might have to start playing again.


     

    This this this this, yes if it does some kinda free or hybrid model I will definitely be playing it some again :)

    image
  • markt50markt50 DarlingtonPosts: 132Member

    Honestly, who actually cares what they call it, F2P, FFA, Fremium whatever.... We shouldn't get caught up on the label, but rather whether the implementation has been done well, i.e. a good implementation in my books is LOTRO, a very bad implementation is EQ2. Both games are F2P, FFA, Fremium or whatever, but done very differently.

    I still find it interesting that as far as 'Western' games go, those that are making the transition are stil games that have failed. It was basically a choice between turning the games off or switching to a different finance model.

    I also find it interesting the way in which this 'Western' games feel completely different to any true 'F2P that I've tried in the past, they all still basically offer the monthly subscription and they are all trying to balance the ingame item shops so as not to become Pay to Win.

    Finally, i still think is worth noting that most Western MMO's are still looking to launch as subscription based games and there has to be a reason for that. I know for a fact that I prefer to pay a subscription, heck some uber new 'F2P' game could launch tomorrow and I wouldn't play it for free, if it had the subscription model as an option I would pay the subscription or simply not play (And it would all depend on the fact that they only sell fluff in the ingame store).

  • WSIMikeWSIMike Catskill, NYPosts: 5,564Member

    Originally posted by GoodAfternoon

    Originally posted by Gruug

    So, MMO companies why don't you come up with a more accurate label? How about LIMITED PLAY?

    Hmmm,

    What sounds more enticing? Come play our "Limited Play" game, or our "Free to Play" game. It is not dishonest since you can download the game, log-in, create a character, and play the game without paying anything. That is free, not if you wish to continue and play more at a certain point, or fit your character out in cool looking stuff then you have the option to pay more for that. 

    So that would make it... Limited Free Play? Free Limited Play? Play Limited Free?

    That said, I think AoC would be a good candidate for a hybrid system, though not something like AO. AO has in-game advertising - of real world products, mind you - that free players can not disable.

    It's feasible in Anarchy Online, because it's a techy world and such things aren't really 'jarring' or out of place to anyone playing. In its time, Matrix Online (RIP) did something similar, advertising movies on billboards and such... Again, in that game, in that context, it worked - even better than in AO, because the Matrix is supposed to be an artificial version of the modern world.

    In AoC, which is an entirely different setting, very low-tech (no tech?) world and such... It just wouldn't work, without really disrupting the theme of the game. I think they'd have to come up with some other way to implement such a system as they have in AO.

    "If you just step away for a sec you will clearly see all the pot holes in the road,
    and the cash shop selling asphalt..."
    - Mimzel on F2P/Cash Shops

    image

  • KyngBillsKyngBills Charlotte, NCPosts: 449Member Uncommon

    I know this much...IF AoC did got F2P I can get at least 7-10 people who never played it before to at least try it...I would LOVE to see this because I've been trying to get my Guild to check that Game out for a while now...image

  • DwarvishDwarvish Stratford, CTPosts: 208Member

     AOC going FTP...   I might give it a try!

      Had to chuckle at the very true comments about 'branding' games FTP or Hybrids but no name

    mods to the monthly fee games that also sell items...which is somewhere around 100%

     

       Sure does look like an old prediction you made Richard...FTP i s here to stay...and then some.

  • XerithXerith Richardson, TXPosts: 970Member

    AOC actually lends itself quite well to a F2P changeover. The zones are all instanced, as are a great deal of the quests. This could open up a very similar system to how LOTRO did it in that you purchase "packs" in order to continue on after Tortage. 

  • WorstluckWorstluck the valley, CAPosts: 1,269Member

    I'd try out AoC if it went to something like their Anarchy Online sub model.  I really hope that it is not a 30gb download like someone said, there is no way I am bothering to download that much.  Still to this day though, the only thing I think about when I hear AoC is this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-rl3RPC_Mw

    image

  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 87.18.7.148 1, NJPosts: 6,690Member

    Notice that all games going f2p or rumored to go f2p all failed to meet their expectations to the masses so how does a game become better just because there is no monthly fee ? I mean, it isn't like these companies are fixing the game, all they are doing is adding microtransactions to a failed game. 

    30
  • wildtalentwildtalent Huntsville, ALPosts: 380Member

    Originally posted by SaintViktor

    Notice that all games going f2p or rumored to go f2p all failed to meet their expectations to the masses so how does a game become better just because there is no monthly fee ? I mean, it isn't like these companies are fixing the game, all they are doing is adding microtransactions to a failed game. 

    Well, a lot of time the failure comes from being pushed to early releases leading to unfulfilled promises in turn leading to poor subscription numbers.  Or, for one reason or another (usually finicial) the games start losing dev support etc.

    Anyway my point is by jumping into this new format more people play the game.  Because of item shop sales and new paid subscribers coming on board as well the companies start making enough money on their game to start working on it full time again.  this leads to new material and improvements, which leads the game away from "failure".

    image
  • bpraswidbpraswid JakartaPosts: 7Member

    I still have AoC installed in my hard drive. Looking forward for F2P

  • ManestreamManestream PrestonPosts: 633Member Uncommon

    But F2P usually end up costign alot more per player than a standard monthly fee does (though it doesnt look like it from the start) you tally you game points you buy in a month and you will see it would cost 3 or 4 times more, yet people do it and complain about them being P2P, i have to admit, i just don't get it

  • Adhesive33Adhesive33 San Francisco, CAPosts: 227Member

    Originally posted by Manestream



    But F2P usually end up costign alot more per player than a standard monthly fee does (though it doesnt look like it from the start) you tally you game points you buy in a month and you will see it would cost 3 or 4 times more, yet people do it and complain about them being P2P, i have to admit, i just don't get it


     

    There are those of us who don't mind spending money, and don't begrudge a company for making money, we just don't like being held hostage to any one game via a subscription based system. There are benefits to the P2P system, no doubt, but it's just not every consumer's preference.

    That being said, I think your argument that F2P usually ends-up costing more isn't entirely accurate, at least in my experience.

    I've been competitive in a number of F2P games over the years, and have never once paid more than $100 per game in a single year, which is far less than the cost of a boxed game, the $15/month subscription, and any expansion along the way. I've spent exactly $65 in LotRO so far, and I have every possible thing I could want unlocked, including all classes, 5 character slots, every quest pack, and all the expansions. I will never have to even think about paying another dime until the Rise of Isengard expansion is released next year (and by then I should have earned enough free TP to cover it, anyway).

    I know F2Ps have the potential to cost just as much, if not more, than a subcription-based game (I knew a guy who dropped $10k in Runes of Magic), but rarely do they necessarily cost more. The vast majority of the time one can play and enjoy all of the content available for far less than the cost of a subscription based game. The few F2P games that do require more money than a P2P are simply bad games with poor cash shop implementation.

  • DayzonDayzon maple groev, MNPosts: 55Member

    Isn't AOC ftp(or whatever) in Korea? So they allready have that model built?

  • MerchantKillMerchantKill Las Vegas, NVPosts: 5Member

    /agree 100% Adhesive33, my experience with f2p games (including LoTRO) has been identical.

    Which isn't to say I haven't known many people who spend ridiculous amounts of money on f2p titles. A well-implemented f2p model most certainly offers avenues for - and appeals to - players who want to power-level through content, have the leet-est gear in the shortest amount of time, have the flashiest avatar, etc etc - and will gladly pay any price to achieve those goals.

    However, just because a game offers those options does not mean they must be utilized to comfortably enjoy a f2p game from start to finish. It really comes down to a matter of personal play styles (if the model is polished, well done and balanced - example: LoTRO). Do you play mmo's for the journey, not the destination? Or are you impatient, easily vexed and or made jealous by other players who obviously spend more money on the game? Do you want to power through and be capped in a month or two? Or do you prefer to take your time, commit to the "long game," and jump through some hoops to keep your entertainment on-budget?

    Of course, this perspective necessarily ignores "pay to win" f2p models. Which I think most f2p fans can admit are just shoddy money-grabs - but those titles are becoming fewer and farther between as the formula is perfected.

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,057Member Uncommon

    I payed for Mirkwood expansion in LOTRO with credits i got in game (and i am casual player)

    I never payed for anything else

    Same goes for DDO

     

    If you are casual player , you dont have to pay nothing.

    If you are hardcore player you pay 15$ like every other P2P game , but you have benefit of playing with much more people ?

    image

«1
Sign In or Register to comment.