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Subscription required for Beta? WTH!?!

Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLPosts: 4,523Member Uncommon

I was inching ever closer to actually clicking to support this game, even though I have sworn off pre-orders since the Mortal Online disaster.  Then I read that they are charging subscriptions for Early Access Beta and Open Enrollment Beta... right up to release at which point they will ALSO add an RMT store.

 

I just do not think that I can support this as it is yet another step down the slippery slope the MMO business is heading.

 

I mean.. on PAPER this is the ultimate game.. it has features which make me drool and it's coming from a company that is established and has recruited actual developers (unlike other indie companies).  There is obviously still a low likelihood that these features will all come to fruition though.

 

Yes, I fully understand that nobody is FORCING anyone to pay to play in the beta, and yes I understand that betas are costly for companies.  That's why  they develop a business plan and get funding to support that plan.  This company is REAAAALLLY asking their fans to pay a huge chunk of the cost of creating the game.  Crowd funding is one thing... this is taking it even one step further.

 

 EDIT TO ADD THE LINK:

https://goblinworks.com/blog/index.html#20121130

 

"I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

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Comments

  • DrakadenDrakaden Quebec, QCPosts: 133Member
    I didn't take any informations but if what yer thread title says is true, it's really a new low, hey guys, pay us monthly to help us test our games and brings feedbacks about bugs! Yeaaaaa... No.
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member

    Hasn't this been coming for awhile, now? It seems most new games now require a player at the least "pre-order" in order to test their game for them.

    Beta-testing has moved from a service provided by players to iron out the bugs to a more lucrative "let's make players pay us to work for us" debacle.

    And we players eat it right up, don't we? Just so we can say "I played this game since beta." That lends our opinions more "board cred."

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,396Member Uncommon

    In the end, customers are the only ones who can decide what a game's worth. Sure, the devs can ask you to pay for the beta. Some will think it's worth the price, others will not. Maybe it's even more entertaining for some people. I know I really enjoyed GW2's beta and its special events, but of course that one was practically free and I wouldn't have paid for it separately. I won't pay for this beta, either, but hey, if someone else will, I don't see a real problem.

    Cash shop + sub, on the other hand, sounds bad and having radom dudes from the Internet be your testers and advisors doesn't sound like a great idea, either. I highly doubt this game is going to be great, but I think they're free to try doing things their way.

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLPosts: 4,523Member Uncommon

    Well one thing to keep in mind is that your skills go up when you have a sub (offline training) so anyone who is in the early beta will have a 9+ month headstart come "release".   Especially since there is no way they can WIPE the servers for release if people are paying subs.  So in a FFA PvP game... how is that gonna work out?  I'd have to guess pretty badly for those joining at "Release".

     

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,396Member Uncommon

    Yeah, I know. I just don't think how they call it matters. I'll just jugde it as a sub-based game, as will any other smart person. What they call it is of no importance and doesn't impact me in any way. If it's worth whatever they want per month, it's worth it. If it's not, I've got other games I can play.

    Yes, some people will have an advantage. Not because it's a beta, but because of limited access. That advantage may or may not be problematic, but we don't know enough about how the game will work to decide.

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    Well one thing to keep in mind is that your skills go up when you have a sub (offline training) so anyone who is in the early beta will have a 9+ month headstart come "release".   Especially since there is no way they can WIPE the servers for release if people are paying subs.  So in a FFA PvP game... how is that gonna work out?  I'd have to guess pretty badly for those joining at "Release".

    It's a lower power-curve; it's more about longer subbed players having more horizontal skill-training advantages (& eg connections and so forth). Also it's not FFA-pvp; pvp has contingencies: See: 

    PvP in Pathfinder Online: Community thread summary

    Limited-open PvP

    =

    Beta for sub is probably necessary as it's a smaller mmorpg release than most therefore the players it does succeed in attracting WILL be satisfied to pay for beta - those unconvinced won't. But that is not such a demand as you'd expect normally for Themepark mmorpg releases: See Themepark Trap thread.

    Sure there is risk, but if I have cash I'd like to invest in a mmorpg and can only see 1 or 2 choices I'm satisfied to try, then Pathfinder Online is one of them, it's not such a opportunity-cost. I might try PfO and decide I hate the eg combat, and then it would be in terms of spend on the MMO about $40 sunk cost assuming the value of the ks goodies offsets the rest. Not too bad then.

  • VarthanderVarthander BarcelonaPosts: 471Member
    they want the money, easy as that.

    image

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by Varthander
    they want the money, easy as that.

    That's true, but they can increase their headcount from 11 to 20 with the KS and increase dev time and scope of dev to early enrollment, all of which improves their dev/cost efficiency of making the mmorpg. Once early enrollment occurs and there is a game there - it's about a growth cycle of revenue to scale up for making the game grow and become more feature full for more players.

    The paying players get their skill-training and the new players get more features: Seem reasonable enough.

  • RictisRictis UnknownPosts: 1,231Member Uncommon
      As much as I hate paying for beta's I can see the companies side as well. The company wants to have as much retention as possible even after releasing the beta. The way I see it is, that if you register and play the beta for free up until level 20 lets say then your initial oooo look its so cool will die out by launch. If that happens then you are less likely to purchase the game since you already got a good chunk of it. On the flip side you could consider a beta to be a form of marketing to get players to buy the game that otherwise would not have. It is a double edged sword, I think if the company is willing to entice its players to pre-order or to start subscription then its fair game. Companies just need to make the beta package worthwhile for the players.
  • SharzuSharzu Baltimore, MDPosts: 5Member
    Originally posted by Varthander
    they want the money, easy as that.

    Actually it is more about seeding the game with player run settlements and kingdoms. I do not consider it beta in the sence of it not being a complete game. The players will be helping with filling the world and help the developers with building a awesome game! I do however see why some would be a little put off on the word beta. It really is "Early Enrollment". 

    Valinar of The Empyrean Order

  • stori11stori11 KlippanPosts: 26Member

    This is just ludicrous. They have a kickstarter, with a goal of 1 milion dollars. Now knowing kickstarter it might go beyond that, if they are lucky they will end up with maybe 2x the amount of money they asked for. But its not enough, they want you to pay a subscription, starting in beta, purchase the game AND there will be micro transactions after release. I know the micro transactions and kickstarter are both optional, but bear with me. Than go look at their webside, clicky on investors. They are on top of it all looking for investors willing to give ATLEAST 100 thousand dollars in investment. What the fuck do they need all that money for? I can't help but feel like they are trying to milk people for money, before the game even comes out on top of it. Now I don't know anything about mmorpg development and what not, but this all looks least to say very suspicious.

     

    Also their kickstarter bonuses and all that already to me looks like a shop with micro-transactions, except the products you purchase will come after a couple of years.

     

    Also to the poster above, its not early enrollment, its beta. While they promised to have all the bugs ironed out before the paid beta, all the bugs they can iron out obviously, they do say that most features will be added during the beta and they will be using it to balance out the game. So that is not early enrollment, its a bug-free beta. But since it will be missing features it still is nothing more than beta.

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,618Member Uncommon
    Yes it is a disturbing new trend but at least it's more honest than releasing a game that is at best, beta and possibly alpha and charging subs for that. (Reference: WarZ)
  • grimfallgrimfall Missouri City, TXPosts: 1,155Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by stori11

    This is just ludicrous. They have a kickstarter, with a goal of 1 milion dollars. Now knowing kickstarter it might go beyond that, if they are lucky they will end up with maybe 2x the amount of money they asked for. But its not enough, they want you to pay a subscription, starting in beta, purchase the game AND there will be micro transactions after release. I know the micro transactions and kickstarter are both optional, but bear with me. Than go look at their webside, clicky on investors. They are on top of it all looking for investors willing to give ATLEAST 100 thousand dollars in investment. What the fuck do they need all that money for? I can't help but feel like they are trying to milk people for money, before the game even comes out on top of it. Now I don't know anything about mmorpg development and what not, but this all looks least to say very suspicious.

     

    Also their kickstarter bonuses and all that already to me looks like a shop with micro-transactions, except the products you purchase will come after a couple of years.

     

    Also to the poster above, its not early enrollment, its beta. While they promised to have all the bugs ironed out before the paid beta, all the bugs they can iron out obviously, they do say that most features will be added during the beta and they will be using it to balance out the game. So that is not early enrollment, its a bug-free beta. But since it will be missing features it still is nothing more than beta.

    MMO development can cost $100 million or more, so trying to raise $2 million dollars and get another $200K in some early subscriptions isn't really being too greedy.  If it takes 10 people 2 years to make a game at $70K per person that's $1.4 million, right off.  They want a staff twice that big, and they are buying middleware and they need to buy hardware as well.  If you could make Rift for $1 million everyone would do it.

  • stori11stori11 KlippanPosts: 26Member
    Originally posted by grimfall
    Originally posted by stori11

    This is just ludicrous. They have a kickstarter, with a goal of 1 milion dollars. Now knowing kickstarter it might go beyond that, if they are lucky they will end up with maybe 2x the amount of money they asked for. But its not enough, they want you to pay a subscription, starting in beta, purchase the game AND there will be micro transactions after release. I know the micro transactions and kickstarter are both optional, but bear with me. Than go look at their webside, clicky on investors. They are on top of it all looking for investors willing to give ATLEAST 100 thousand dollars in investment. What the fuck do they need all that money for? I can't help but feel like they are trying to milk people for money, before the game even comes out on top of it. Now I don't know anything about mmorpg development and what not, but this all looks least to say very suspicious.

     

    Also their kickstarter bonuses and all that already to me looks like a shop with micro-transactions, except the products you purchase will come after a couple of years.

     

    Also to the poster above, its not early enrollment, its beta. While they promised to have all the bugs ironed out before the paid beta, all the bugs they can iron out obviously, they do say that most features will be added during the beta and they will be using it to balance out the game. So that is not early enrollment, its a bug-free beta. But since it will be missing features it still is nothing more than beta.

    MMO development can cost $100 million or more, so trying to raise $2 million dollars and get another $200K in some early subscriptions isn't really being too greedy.  If it takes 10 people 2 years to make a game at $70K per person that's $1.4 million, right off.  They want a staff twice that big, and they are buying middleware and they need to buy hardware as well.  If you could make Rift for $1 million everyone would do it.

    Well as I said I know nothing about the development of mmorpg's, but its all looking suspicious and worrying to me. But I guess that might change depending on how the subscriptions and micro transactions work in practice and how much they will cost.

  • SharzuSharzu Baltimore, MDPosts: 5Member

    Well just have an open mind about it. I can tell you I was a little put off about it in the begining. I have read what they plan for the Early Enrollment and I am actually excited about having the oppurtunity to be at the entry level of a game that I will make a diffrence on how it is developed.

    Valinar of The Empyrean Order

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    They way I see it, it is not in beta if I am paying a sub. Were starting to see a lot of this, and well when I see it, they are on the no fly list.

    I blame the folks who are foolish enough to do this, hopefully folks will wise up and not pay to be in beta and this practice will stop.

    All I can say is I get worried when I see this and think wow they are about to defraud folks.

  • LizardoneLizardone baltimore, MDPosts: 93Member
    there is money to make in beta testing; just follow the money
  • skamperskamper Houston, TXPosts: 252Member
    Originally posted by erictlewis

    They way I see it, it is not in beta if I am paying a sub. Were starting to see a lot of this, and well when I see it, they are on the no fly list.

    I blame the folks who are foolish enough to do this, hopefully folks will wise up and not pay to be in beta and this practice will stop.

    All I can say is I get worried when I see this and think wow they are about to defraud folks.

    I love it. Then when you point out any flaw in the game, the instant you do, the crowd will be on your screaming "It's just beta!".

  • PieRadPieRad Odense MPosts: 1,108Member

    Right now... MMO's are pushing as hard as they can on the moneygrabs, and they'll keep pushing the limits, cause the majority just accepts it, and even defend it.

    Everytime they introduce a new moneygrab "feature", a couple of people will complain, but the majority will be like...

    "Oh my god that's cool! I get a title, and a forum badge for paying 250$ in crowdfunding, and then a sub until release! I'M SO SPECIAL!"

    image

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by stori11
    Originally posted by grimfall
    Originally posted by stori11

    This is just ludicrous. They have a kickstarter, with a goal of 1 milion dollars. Now knowing kickstarter it might go beyond that, if they are lucky they will end up with maybe 2x the amount of money they asked for. But its not enough, they want you to pay a subscription, starting in beta, purchase the game AND there will be micro transactions after release. I know the micro transactions and kickstarter are both optional, but bear with me. Than go look at their webside, clicky on investors. They are on top of it all looking for investors willing to give ATLEAST 100 thousand dollars in investment. What the fuck do they need all that money for? I can't help but feel like they are trying to milk people for money, before the game even comes out on top of it. Now I don't know anything about mmorpg development and what not, but this all looks least to say very suspicious.

     

    Also their kickstarter bonuses and all that already to me looks like a shop with micro-transactions, except the products you purchase will come after a couple of years.

     

    Also to the poster above, its not early enrollment, its beta. While they promised to have all the bugs ironed out before the paid beta, all the bugs they can iron out obviously, they do say that most features will be added during the beta and they will be using it to balance out the game. So that is not early enrollment, its a bug-free beta. But since it will be missing features it still is nothing more than beta.

    MMO development can cost $100 million or more, so trying to raise $2 million dollars and get another $200K in some early subscriptions isn't really being too greedy.  If it takes 10 people 2 years to make a game at $70K per person that's $1.4 million, right off.  They want a staff twice that big, and they are buying middleware and they need to buy hardware as well.  If you could make Rift for $1 million everyone would do it.

    Well as I said I know nothing about the [Edit: Financial] development of mmorpg's, but its all looking suspicious and worrying to me. But I guess that might change depending on how the subscriptions and micro transactions work in practice and how much they will cost.

    Exactly the budget of this mmorpg is an order or so below. Here's an update on the cost of the Tech Demo for an inside view of how much dev costs and you can scale that up with the headcount and the number of months in dev (no big marketing budget remember for independent developers: Though Kickstarter has a wider reach is also a bonus):

     

    A Busy Week for Goblinworks

    So imagine a team of 50< developers or so working over 5 years and with a big marketing budget...

    You have to remember kickstarter backers are the ones who are making judgements: Some will come good others won't but as per Brian Fargo et. al. who went to publishers and were turned down and went to Kickstarter and hugely popular: It's directly gauging the market.

    MMORPGs are especially very risky, and the more you pledge the more you expose yourself to risk. Everyone should make that decision for themselves.

    On the one hand people will declaim it's going to crash & burn and on the other "where are all the good sandbox mmorpgs" with real investment/polish/dev experience...

  • StuntieStuntie BradfordPosts: 17Member Uncommon

    I've beta'd a number of games and wih MMO's it is rarely proper beta testing.

    Beta testing is testing - finding reporting and helping test bugs. Some do help - on the beta forums and in game, but for the majority it is instead treat as a free game to play until release, which they then often ditch the moment it goes live and subs apply.

    The majority of the posts on a beta forum are the same kind of posts you get post release - moaning about balance or what their class needs (usually in the 'I want an I win button' form.). Showing that to the majority it is not a test but a free preview of the game.  An extended trial they use to decide if they want to continue and actually buy he game. It would be interesting to see the figures if they exist on how many try in beta but decide not to buy - beta tester equals lost sale in that case.

    The rest split between actual beta testers giving bug feedback and a bunch of clueless numpties whining about the bugs they encountered spoiling their enjoyment . Ok that can be helpful to the devs, but the infamatory and derogatory  language they often use demonstrates that they don't believe they are there to test but to play for free.

    So half or more have signed up to play a free preview not to test. A sub would help rule the majority of the freeloaders ho had no intention of buying, and help up the number who are there to test, and who understand the nature of a beta.

    I'm on the side of the pay to beta. I see it as a positive step with games like Pathfinder as they are planning on running the beta on a professional level. You get to play and the knowledge of the game - so handy at launch. I get to play for hours and hours as well with little if any formal testing being required of me. I have never yet had any testing duties in an MMO aother than the occasional event try out etc.  - I'm playing so why should I expect it to be for free?

    But I do worry that with a precidence set the next half baked cash greedy company   (like the recent one with a game with Z in the title...) will use beta as an extra cash cow. But then they often release a buggy beta build to live anyway and expect you to pay for it. So no great change there really.

    Cheers
    Stuntie.

  • timtracktimtrack StockholmPosts: 416Member Uncommon

    Yet, the main reason people complain about such thing is because they don't get a "free trial". Not pointing at OP personally, just the trend.

     

    See the irony?

  • WinterizerWinterizer Fuzzy Wuzzy CavePosts: 65Member
    Pay to play a beta....good luck with that.
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member


    Originally posted by timtrack
    Yet, the main reason people complain about such thing is because they don't get a "free trial". Not pointing at OP personally, just the trend.See the irony?
    I generally agree with this sentiment. There are still a few of us that realize what a beta testers job is all about. We report the bugs and fill out their questionnaires. We communicate with the company and let them know about our experiences while testing their game.

    Unfortunately, a good many players just see a beta test as a free trial. They are the reason companies feel can charge for beta testing.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • watchawatchawatchawatcha LIC, NYPosts: 960Member

    They say it's not a true beta, but more like gmail beta.  Where the game is fully functional and no character wipes.

    here's my problem with it.  They have nothing done.  How would they know what their beta is going to be like?  

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