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Vanguard F2P: Restrictions and Its Consequences --- But a Better Way

F2P: THE FUTURE

Free-to-Play (F2P) is really an option more than a model, which inherently creates its own weaknesses. It is a world within a world that limits players' ability to fully experience that world. As an incentive to get players into the world, more than a free sample, players can pursue F2P. 

 

 

SOE EMBRACES THE F2P TREND HALF-HEARTEDLY 

The market overall seems to be trending toward this direction, but SOE seems to embrace this option as only half full (or half empty, depending on your perspective). 

 

 

F2P RESTRICTIONS AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

SOE's restrictions/limitations (items, platinum, among others) have two practical consequences that prevent both the F2P option from achieving success and the larger paying players from benefiting from the F2P option:

  1. The F2P option cannot succeed due to the limitations/restrictions; and
  2. The paying option cannot benefit from the F2P option due to the limitations/restrictions
  • The F2P players are simply too weak, too broke, and too limited from making a valuable contribution in overcoming the challenges in the world.

The paying players have all the "pumped up kicks" while the F2P can have none of them - not even one pumped up item. Why should F2P players bother, and why should paying players bother with them?

 

 

A BETTER F2P OPTION

This Vanguard F2P option is the worst I have yet seen as it is designed to fail from THE VERY BEGINNING. Instead, allow the F2P players to fully experience the world, develop characters, and reach a point/level in which they must pay to continue to play.  Tthe F2P players reach this crucial point after which they have made a significant commitment. 

The Vanguard F2P option prevents players from being able to even make that commitment or reach a point that they feel they are committed. The current Vanguard F2P option prevents players from being committed because they cannot fully experience the worlds. In MMORPGs of this kind, items are one of the most exciting aspects of the game.

SOE seems devoted to reinforcing stereotypes that it hoists itself with its own petard.

 

"The truth is EA lies." - Youtube User

Sim City. Everquest. Civilization. Dungeon Keeper. Vampire: The Masquerade. These are the games that I love and cherish.

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Comments

  • RictisRictis UnknownPosts: 1,231Member Uncommon

    I agree with a majority of what your saying, but can you be more specific as how exactly they are limiting you? I understand the faq and the matrix, but have only played to level 6. So I do not know how harsh the restrictions are on lets say just common items. Or 1 pp money cap. If the money system works the same way as EQ then 1 pp is a rediculous limitation. But aside from that can you breakdown exactly why f2p is doomed?

  • EverketEverket MiddenheimPosts: 240Member Uncommon

    Yes please do enlighten us on exactly what limits us. Because you can explore the whole world and reach max lvl for free. That is a pretty big deal and not something you see in every free to play game.

  • notsurenotsure ,, ABPosts: 39Member

    Honestly it falls to you to do your research, its very easy to see why this new "ftp" chokes non paying customer until they pay. Its a shame they dont learn how to do it right, how do they think real ftp game prosper ? its not like most of these new p2p turned ftp release much more content than your average ftp.

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member

    People said the same crap about EQ2 before it launched

    EQ2 f2p was a success (server activity doesnt lie)

    conclusion: SoE knows more about making a f2p model than the average MMORPG poster

     

    This notion that you cant fully play the game because you cant equip great gear and are merely restricted to good gear is pure idiocy.

     

     

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon

    I really dont' see the big deal.

    Pay the 5 or 10 dollars to unlock whatever it is you need to unlock and then never have to pay anything again.

    Or have we come to the time in history where game companies are expected to make games for players and never ever charge them again?

    Or even worse, make it so thtat a small group of people foot the bill for the large group that doesn't pay a dime?

     

  • DarkholmeDarkholme Wolfeboro, NHPosts: 1,201Member Uncommon

    I agree with the OP, it's blindlingly obvious to anyone that takes a second to look how restrictive the F2P model is and how it's not even worth bothering with. IMO the right way to do it is to make everything available in the cash shop on an a-la-cart, character by character basis and either do away with the sub fee totally or lower and/or tier it. They would attract an exponentially larger number of people and make a ton more money. As it is, if you weren't tempted to pay the $15 subscription fee now, there is nothing here to tempt you to do so now...

    -------------------------
    "Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places..." ~ H.P.Lovecraft, "From Beyond"

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Darkholme

    I agree with the OP, it's blindlingly obvious to anyone that takes a second to look how restrictive the F2P model is and how it's not even worth bothering with. IMO the right way to do it is to make everything available in the cash shop on an a-la-cart, character by character basis and either do away with the sub fee totally or lower and/or tier it. They would attract an exponentially larger number of people and make a ton more money. As it is, if you weren't tempted to pay the $15 subscription fee now, there is nothing here to tempt you to do so now...

    In that case, can you present me with the amount of money it would take to unlock one race, gold cap, better than common items?

  • arctarusarctarus nilPosts: 2,570Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Darkholme

    I agree with the OP, it's blindlingly obvious to anyone that takes a second to look how restrictive the F2P model is and how it's not even worth bothering with. IMO the right way to do it is to make everything available in the cash shop on an a-la-cart, character by character basis and either do away with the sub fee totally or lower and/or tier it. They would attract an exponentially larger number of people and make a ton more money. As it is, if you weren't tempted to pay the $15 subscription fee now, there is nothing here to tempt you to do so now...

    In that case, can you present me with the amount of money it would take to unlock one race, gold cap, better than common items?

     

    Right now, $15.

    What will makes a player that dont wana pay this amount in the first place to pay it now?

    none.

    Unless they change the restriction, nothing gona change for this game f2p or not...

     

     

    RIP Orc Choppa

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    I really dont' see the big deal.

    Pay the 5 or 10 dollars to unlock whatever it is you need to unlock and then never have to pay anything again.

    Or have we come to the time in history where game companies are expected to make games for players and never ever charge them again?

    Or even worse, make it so thtat a small group of people foot the bill for the large group that doesn't pay a dime? 

     

    Maybe when, unless I missed it, they announce what is unlockable and what isn't, people's opnion will change.

     

    One of the big turn-offs is the limit of only being able to use "common" items. I think that is viewed as a severe gimping of anyone's character and, from what I have seen posted from others, cuts you off from participating in a lot of the game.

     

    Hopefully the horrible restrictions will be unlockable. I don't think people would be as upset if they can pay a few bucks to unlock them. But the current matrix / faq makes it look that the restrictions apply for free accounts...period.

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member

    To the naysayers:  answer this question:

     

    Is it not possible, under the proposed model, to level to max level in all three spheres, and explore every quest and dungeon below level 51?  (hint: the answer is yes for those who don't know the game)

     

    Is it exceedingly more difficult or time consuming to do so? (hint: the answer is no, just wait an extra level or 2 later to do things)

     

     

    The model is not designed to be f2p at max level.  But it will take the average person (at least in VGs target audience of old school MMO gamers) several months to get there.  

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Psychow
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    I really dont' see the big deal.

    Pay the 5 or 10 dollars to unlock whatever it is you need to unlock and then never have to pay anything again.

    Or have we come to the time in history where game companies are expected to make games for players and never ever charge them again?

    Or even worse, make it so thtat a small group of people foot the bill for the large group that doesn't pay a dime? 

     

    Maybe when, unless I missed it, they announce what is unlockable and what isn't, people's opnion will change.

     

    One of the big turn-offs is the limit of only being able to use "common" items. I think that is viewed as a severe gimping of anyone's character and, from what I have seen posted from others, cuts you off from participating in a lot of the game.

     

    Hopefully the horrible restrictions will be unlockable. I don't think people would be as upset if they can pay a few bucks to unlock them. But the current matrix / faq makes it look that the restrictions apply for free accounts...period.

    I agree, that is gimping your character and in a way that prohibits playing.

    I feel safe in saying that removing that limit will be a purchasable option. Espeically because not including it means that players will come to a point have have to quit.

    f2p games are about offering bits for sale. they used to be about offering convenience and extra perks. Now they seem to be about cosmetic items/pets/convenience and in several cases, unlocking things such as inventory limits or being able to use the Auction House.

    And it's only certain races that are "special" races. So one can feasibly spend very little to unlock one or two things and then that's it.

    A f2p player in LOTRO has to pay to unlock a gold limit, the Aucion House, and two classes. One can say "sure but you can earn points in game".

    And you can. But it's going to take you a little bit to actually earn those points. Especially if you are determined not to spend a dime. or...

    You can spend a few dollars to unlock them "now".

    Both versions are made to get players to spend money. Turbine's just assumes that people will lose patience and not wait for their points to accrue.

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member
    Originally posted by Psychow

     

    Maybe when, unless I missed it, they announce what is unlockable and what isn't, people's opnion will change.

     

    One of the big turn-offs is the limit of only being able to use "common" items. I think that is viewed as a severe gimping of anyone's character and, from what I have seen posted from others, cuts you off from participating in a lot of the game.

     

    The VG devs have said they want to have unlockers similar to eq2, which are I think 50 cents apiece.

    And they are currently doing a pass to make sure common items are up to the task, much like they did with EQ2.

     

    It only remotely becomes an issue 50+ (which is about 5% of VGs content), unless you are unrealistic and think you should be able to do level 25 4 dot mobs at level 25 solo, that you wont be able to do with common gear.  

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    A f2p player in LOTRO has to pay to unlock a gold limit, the Aucion House, and two classes. One can say "sure but you can earn points in game".

    And you can. But it's going to take you a little bit to actually earn those points. Especially if you are determined not to spend a dime. or...

    You can spend a few dollars to unlock them "now".

    Both versions are made to get players to spend money. Turbine's just assumes that people will lose patience and not wait for their points to accrue.

    The huge difference with Turbines system is once you are done with Bree, you are out of content, outside of the main storyline which isnt remotely enough to level you.  No dungeons, no quests, just pure grind which is awful in LOTRO.

     

    The two versions are actually set up with different goals in mind.  Turbines is the nickel and dime method.  They dont mind if you stay f2p, but you cant do so without sending a lot of money unlocking not just quests, but also character power (deed slots and such).  Yeah, you can earn points in game, but you are better off mowing someones lawn and using that money to buy stuff, its faster and more fun.

    The SoE model is more of an extended trial, where you can play the game for months and months for free (and maybe buy a few extra classes along the way), but once you get max level they want you to sub.  Its not intended to be a f2p game for max level folks, and people fail to grasp that notion (although the unlockers in EQ2 are so cheap that there are people that play at max level under the model and just buy unlockers)

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member

    I hope you guys that are defending the current F2P matrix are right and the unlockables are usefull and fairly priced. I tried Vanguard at launch and, although I didn't have any technical issues with the game, my friends and I were still too addicted to WoW to give it a fair try and canceled before the first month was up.

     

    Now is our chance to give it a try again. If we can pay a few bucks to remove some of the high priority restrictions, I could see us playing quite a bit (just not enough to justify paying a monthly subscription).

  • BerikaiBerikai Columbus, OHPosts: 162Member

    The problem I have with the restrictions compared to EQ2 is,that if they use the same method you won't be able to unlock the 1 plat cap or the missing inventory bags.That's how EQ2 is last time I played.Yes you can unlock gear at a reasonable price per piece,but not money or bag caps.

    I could work with the system and buy classes and such.It would be tougher but doable.

     

    Here's what I see as a major hurdle.I think it's safe to say that the majority of gamers already have invested in other ftp games like Lotro.EQ2 and EQ etc.What can Vanguard offer me and others,to cause me/us to invest in VG and get away from another ftp?Especially when a major game that is b2p lurks on the horizon?

     

    The restrictions need to be lighter imo or this just might not work.

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member
    Originally posted by Berikai

    What can Vanguard offer me and others,to cause me/us to invest in VG and get away from another ftp?

    Its not targeting people looking for 'another f2p'.  

     

    But why bother even asking the question anyway?  Try it, you dont have to pay a cent to enjoy the game until level 55 anyway. Thats what it offers that LOTRO and other non-SoE games dont offer.  And at that point, just sub.  The truth is if you can spend enough free time to get to level 55 in Vanguard and cant afford to sub, you shouldnt be playing Vanguard so much in the first place.

  • BerikaiBerikai Columbus, OHPosts: 162Member
    Originally posted by teakbois
    Originally posted by Berikai

    What can Vanguard offer me and others,to cause me/us to invest in VG and get away from another ftp?

    Its not targeting people looking for 'another f2p'.  

     

    But why bother even asking the question anyway?  Try it, you dont have to pay a cent to enjoy the game until level 55 anyway. Thats what it offers that LOTRO and other non-SoE games dont offer.  And at that point, just sub.  The truth is if you can spend enough free time to get to level 55 in Vanguard and cant afford to sub, you shouldnt be playing Vanguard so much in the first place.

    I asked because that's what the thread is about right?

    I won't try it because I played it before and that's why the restrictions are not worth it.You say it offers lvl 55 and that's what it offers over Lotro and other non SOE games.Last I chaecked you can lvl to cap in Lotro without spending a dime.You don't get all the quest's but you can lvl to cap for free.

    At the end of the day they want $15 a month and it just isn't worth that,if it was people would've stuck around years ago.That's why I feel they need to loosen restrictions.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Berikai
    Originally posted by teakbois
    Originally posted by Berikai

    What can Vanguard offer me and others,to cause me/us to invest in VG and get away from another ftp?

    Its not targeting people looking for 'another f2p'.  

     

    But why bother even asking the question anyway?  Try it, you dont have to pay a cent to enjoy the game until level 55 anyway. Thats what it offers that LOTRO and other non-SoE games dont offer.  And at that point, just sub.  The truth is if you can spend enough free time to get to level 55 in Vanguard and cant afford to sub, you shouldnt be playing Vanguard so much in the first place.

    I asked because that's what the thread is about right?

    I won't try it because I played it before and that's why the restrictions are not worth it.You say it offers lvl 55 and that's what it offers over Lotro and other non SOE games.Last I chaecked you can lvl to cap in Lotro without spending a dime.You don't get all the quest's but you can lvl to cap for free.

    At the end of the day they want $15 a month and it just isn't worth that,if it was people would've stuck around years ago.That's why I feel they need to loosen restrictions.

    I don't really see these as huge restirctions. Oh yes, it's necessary to remove them to experience the game later in the leveling but how much money is that really going to be? negligible. $20?

     

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member
    Originally posted by Berikai
    Last I chaecked you can lvl to cap in Lotro without spending a dime.

    You can level to the cap but you cant do any dungeons or quests outside of the book quests.  So you can level, but you cant do content (and you are restricted in power as well due to having to buy deed slots)

     

    VG doesnt restrict any content.  You will never, ever find a spot from 1-50 in VG where you have to pay to do a quest or explore a dungeon at its intended level range.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by teakbois
    Originally posted by Berikai
    Last I chaecked you can lvl to cap in Lotro without spending a dime.

    You can level to the cap but you cant do any dungeons or quests outside of the book quests.  So you can level, but you cant do content (and you are restricted in power as well due to having to buy deed slots)

     

    VG doesnt restrict any content.  You will never, ever find a spot from 1-50 in VG where you have to pay to do a quest or explore a dungeon at its intended level range.

    That's not exactly true.

    One can earn Turbine Points over time to purchase the quest packs. It will take a while but one can do it. I also believe you have your standard deed slots but can purchase addtional slots. Having said that, one can do quite a lot without having the deed slots/trait slots maxed. LOTRO is more forgiving with that stuff.

    The thing about the LOTRO system is that it will take one a long time to level to cap if they don't buy anthing. Additiionally, one can by one item and then you get a monthly allotment of points. Not a huge amount but it does take the edge off.

     

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    One can earn Turbine Points over time to purchase the quest packs. It will take a while but one can do it.

     

    And this is done by rolling a new toon, grinding low level deeds, and then deleting that toon to do it over again.  Its possible, but its not remotely fun to the average person.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by teakbois
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    One can earn Turbine Points over time to purchase the quest packs. It will take a while but one can do it.

     

    And this is done by rolling a new toon, grinding low level deeds, and then deleting that toon to do it over again.  Its possible, but its not remotely fun to the average person.

    Well that's the insanity that some players came up with. You don't have to do that.

    I still earn Turbine points from various deeds that I complete while playing normally.

    But that's not the point. The point is, if one wanted to, over a long period of time, they could earn points as they play. And, if they buy one thing they will get some points each month.

    This is not a thumbs up or thumbs down on their system but just stating how it is.

     

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,778Member Uncommon

    they are using the same models (or similar) to EQ2 which is the worst hybryd model ever..... Apparently they didnt learn from the success of DCUO F2P where the limitations dont screw up the free players while they still can buy (and a lot of them do) new content and some locked features like unlocking the money cap, etc..

    IF they are going to keep forcing players to subscribe to lift every limitations then VG can go to hell holding EQs hand. DCUO has a smarter Free model.

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  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

    As with everything SOE does the FTP they offer isn't worth investing my time into. Far too restricted.

  • notsurenotsure ,, ABPosts: 39Member

    Lets not forget all the problems the game had while it was p2p, will those be fixed or left in the game for years to come as they were in the previous model. Thats one reason i dont support a company right away, i take the wait and see approach playing for free until i see more development. ( p2p players supported for years without any change so dont think my little contribution would change much ) 

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