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Subscription required for Beta? WTH!?!

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  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,221Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

    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.

    I agree that many, if not most, current mmo players use that as an opportunity to try out the game.  However, I think companies saw a revenue opportunity and took advantage of it.  They aren't seemingly interested in testers and their feedback and bug reports any more than the gamers just using it as a free trial.  The gamers who are just using it as a trial are still providing good metrics for load, stress, logins, etc.  This is one part where I feel the studios and publishers are out of line.

    I sort of miss testing but I'm not willing to pay to do that or just to have a free trial.

  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHPosts: 3,058Member Uncommon
    Friends don't let friends play indie.

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

    image

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member


    Originally posted by Torvaldr

    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

    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.
    I agree that many, if not most, current mmo players use that as an opportunity to try out the game.  However, I think companies saw a revenue opportunity and took advantage of it.  They aren't seemingly interested in testers and their feedback and bug reports any more than the gamers just using it as a free trial.  The gamers who are just using it as a trial are still providing good metrics for load, stress, logins, etc.  This is one part where I feel the studios and publishers are out of line.I sort of miss testing but I'm not willing to pay to do that or just to have a free trial.
    You do have a point. The last couple of betas I participated in, the devs did not seem to care what the testers said. The last one was SW:TOR.

    I guess it is coming down to "No more free trials?" lol

    - 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

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLPosts: 4,525Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

     


    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.

     I have never had a job as a beta tester.  I have certainly volunteered my time to help various companies complete their projects.  They are the beneficiaries of the work I put in to fix their game so it is in a state where they can sell it.  There are benefits to testing as well, but lets not get confused here by confusing a volunteer tester to a paid QA person.

     

    As I said earlier though, I actually respect the fact that the company was upfront and said we are going to charge you a sub to test our game.  Other companies like StarVault  release a game in a barely beta state and automatically started people's "free" gametime and subsequest subscriptions.

     

    GW has even said that you can hold any and all of your free months until release or some time after.  I respect that.  I think they are going to get my money.

     

    "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 :-)

  • BlueMountainBlueMountain Philadelphia, PAPosts: 147Member

    I think it makes a difference that they are crowdforging the development process. They are talking on the pathfinder online forums with the people enough interested in playing that they are willing to front GW money based on the design concept. Once the game is released it is to be F2P, but until it is released they still have to pay server space and all the other operating expenses so they are requestig subs until release. After release your character will still gain experience over time, but you may have to wrangle some training using what htey are calling 'starmetal bits'. These starmetal bits can be bought with RL money or secured in-game from other players for in-game currency.

    The design looks like a potential winner to me. We just have to come to terms with how they are going to make money.  

    To dream, perhaps to be.

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

    I think it makes a difference that they are crowdforging the development process. They are talking on the pathfinder online forums with the people enough interested in playing that they are willing to front GW money based on the design concept. Once the game is released it is to be F2P, but until it is released they still have to pay server space and all the other operating expenses so they are requestig subs until release. After release your character will still gain experience over time, but you may have to wrangle some training using what htey are calling 'starmetal bits'. These starmetal bits can be bought with RL money or secured in-game from other players for in-game currency.

    The design looks like a potential winner to me. We just have to come to terms with how they are going to make money.  

    It's not "strictly" F2P, though they have used that term before, I think they will avoid in the future. Though via the PLEX/ISK system aka in Pathfinder Online "Sky Metal" you'll similarly be able to earn enough "coin"/"Sky Metal" to buy Skill-Training essentially for free as per EVE. They will also be a MTX option so players can tailor what they pay aside from a sub option (a package at a discount).

    To sum: A Hybrid Payment option

    I agree, the design races off to a roaring start with this one. But they need to get to the growth cycle a-sap and then it will come good/more possibility of it being a flier, I reckon.

    Secondly the beta = Early enrollment ; more of a delta (less testing for a smaller feature release and more player live feedback). So that raises the value potentially also (and skill-training will carry over and improvements from revenue will be reinvested back into the game).

    It's a good plan I think.

  • randomwalkerrandomwalker BergenPosts: 1Member
    Originally posted by MumboJumbo

    Secondly the beta = Early enrollment ; more of a delta (less testing for a smaller feature release and more player live feedback).

    Early enrollment is not beta, it is the start of the game. The stated plan is to start small and add players incermentally so to make sure hardware and support teams can handle the stress. Everything built, gathered and learned in the early period remains when the game goes full public - the only difference is that access is no longer restricted.

    The crowdforgers (kickstarter backers only) start in an 'empty' world with no player settlements (mostly random wilderness). Basically they have to start building the world for the later players. This is not a traditional 'beta' but a totally different gaming experience which appeals greatly to some of us.

    By the time the game opens to the general public there should be much more variety in zones to adventure in: different types of settlements (or kingdoms), different levels of civilization, an established economy to play with etc etc.  And of course you also get to enjoy the bug fixes, rebalancing and polishing you expect after a game has been live for several months.

    As was said on the Paizo forums, "if you want to play, wait for normal enrollment; if you want to build, become a crowdforger".

    (if you are at all into pathfinder/DnD, the other kickstarter reward alone are also seriously worth checking out).

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by randomwalker
    Originally posted by MumboJumbo

    Secondly the ""beta"" = Early enrollment ; more of a delta (less testing for a smaller feature release and more player live feedback).

    Early enrollment is not beta, it is the start of the game. 

    re Title: Subscription required for Beta? WTH!?!

  • ComanComan Hattem, AKPosts: 2,035Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

    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."

    If the game seems fun in beta I would not mind paying in beta. It's about me having fun in a game and me finding it worth it. Do not really care what stage a game would be in.

  • hardiconhardicon jackson, MSPosts: 358Member

    its not really paying for a beta though.  if you read the blogs what you are paying for is slot to play the game, the full release game.  its not going to be a beta in the traditional sense.  no character wiping and the community is going to be very much a part of the games development stage.  they are doing a mmo the only way they can, they dont have lots of investors or money to throw into the game, they are going to build it up slowly.  the lead developer was a guy that was with eve and is building it kind of like eve, slowly and not spending 100 million dollars on a game that turns out to not make money.

    im still kind of torn about whether to support it or not.  i like everything they say they want to do, i like the design so far, but until i see something concrete like their technology demo they talked about, I dont feel comfortable paying money.  they have been talking about this demo for months now and still havent shown it, even though their first kickstarter ended months ago and they say it has been completed.

    yes they are asking the community to fund the game, but they also listen to the community and seeing as how they are trying to be responsible with their finances it doesnt seem like such a big deal.  your skills improve in real time just like eve so anyone that gets in early will have more skills than someone who doesnt but if it is done in true eve fashion that skill jump wont be so bad on new players.  time will tell but i like the way they are making this game so far, just would like to see something concrete before i decide to spend money.

     

  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,536Member Uncommon

    Meh... this happen back in the days of SWG and Entropia already.

     

    Simply no need for people to play the BETA if they do not want to. In fact if you really love the game staying out of the beta is most likley the best path as you will not get burnt out that way.

  • KanethKaneth Posts: 1,930Member Uncommon

    Could be taken in the same vein as paying for MineCraft in alpha and beta phases. Sure you had to pay, but you were also playing and considerable improvements came to the game from the people who were playing, making mods, making let's play videos, etc. Considering the expense, this might be something we see more of from indie developers. Get cash flow boosts from people purcashing and playing.

    If the game turns out to be completely freaking awesome, the expense might be very well worth it, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

  • winterwinter El Paso, TXPosts: 2,276Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by azzamasin
    Friends don't let friends play indie.

     Because God knows all the "Good" games are made by the suites at the big name developers. Good luck waiting on them to turn out a decent Sandbox game. (I imagine you'll be waiting a real long time)

     

       What exactly was the last decent Sandbox game made by Big name developers? SWG i imagine and that lasted what 2 years before it was basically destroyed and remade as a theme park with the NGE. Color me as slightly less then trusting of Big name Developers like EA/bioware that brought us such great games as SW;TOR

  • BombzawayBombzaway operaPosts: 78Member

    Thats what Ea did with Swtor: we payed to beta test their game for the upcoming Swtor F2P

  • KabaalKabaal Edinburgh, ScotlandPosts: 3,012Member Uncommon
    It already sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen. Kickstarter itself is in it's infancy and nothing but a gamble right now, to add a subscription for the beta really is taking the biscuit.
  • winterwinter El Paso, TXPosts: 2,276Member 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.

     Be realistic. they have 5 days left and are only at 66% of their goal. On average they are bringing in less then 30k a day.  Even if they get a HUGE increase on the last day they will be lucky to make their goal. (they made 660k in the first 25 days and need 340k more in the next 5 for goal as of this post) 

  • winterwinter El Paso, TXPosts: 2,276Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kabaal
    It already sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen. Kickstarter itself is in it's infancy and nothing but a gamble right now, to add a subscription for the beta really is taking the biscuit.

     Every game put out currently by the Big name companies (SoE, Blizzard, EA/Bioware) is a gamble IMHO, and most of them

    require a subscription or preorder to beta (GW2's case)

      Always much more fun to complain about poor games made by clueless Suites at the big developers, and the general lack of sandbox games then to actually take a chance on something new right? 

  • KabaalKabaal Edinburgh, ScotlandPosts: 3,012Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by winter
    Originally posted by Kabaal
    It already sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen. Kickstarter itself is in it's infancy and nothing but a gamble right now, to add a subscription for the beta really is taking the biscuit.

     Every game put out currently by the Big name companies (SoE, Blizzard, EA/Bioware) is a gamble IMHO, and most of them

    require a subscription or preorder to beta (GW2's case)

      Always much more fun to complain about poor games made by clueless Suites at the big developers, and the general lack of sandbox games then to actually take a chance on something new right? 

    You can't really compare the two. When you pay a big name company for a game there is a guarantee you'll get said game and none of them that i've ever seen have required a sub during the beta, with kickstarter there's no guarantee the game will even make it to release. Projects by small companies shut down all the time, some restart back up and eventually complete but many don't even with investors. That's what i meant by a gamble, not that it's a gamble whether the games will be any good or not.

    Kickstarter has yet to prove itself one way or the other which is why i think that then adding a subscription on top of that for the beta is dodgy as heck.

  • BlueMountainBlueMountain Philadelphia, PAPosts: 147Member

    Unless you are content iwith the same old game with a fresh new skin you are going to need some way for new outfits to secure funding at startup. Bootstrapping is pretty much inadequate these days. If investors are unwilling to risk big money in innovative designs and there is no other way to fund, you will have nothing fresh and original.

    I'd rather have a few gold nuggets mixed in with the pyrite in my pan than only the fool's gold of what we've been seeing from the already established companies. If we get a few really successful indie games maybe the big money will start to flow more freely for AAA companies and we will get some healthy diversity in their product portfolios again.

    To dream, perhaps to be.

  • DakcenturiDakcenturi Nashville, TNPosts: 29Member

    Keep in mind what they are shooting for here is early enrollment (they should have never used beta) is more like what you would see with a standard MMO launch where the majority of functionality is there, there may be some bugs but they are minimal and everything you do during early enrollment carries over to the released game.

    The alpha period is going to be more like what you would see in a normal MMO beta where you are doing all the bug hunting.

    The reason to get in on early enrollment is two fold:

    1) Help build a strong community for the rest of the players to come

    2) Help prioritize game changes/additions going forward as well as have input on how those changes/additions should work.

    A perfect example of this is the capstones they were planning. This was an initial design to discourage multi-archetyping as being as powerful or more powerful then single archetyping. Now after much discussion from the community, with logical changes they've gotten rid of the capstone and now instead have a dedication system where the skills you slot, if all of the same archetype, give you a small bonus (to show your dedication to an archetype) but still give the flexability to multi-class if you wanted. Ie going from a limiting system to a more flexible system.

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by Kabaal
    It already sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen. Kickstarter itself is in it's infancy and nothing but a gamble right now, to add a subscription for the beta really is taking the biscuit.

    This link is a good update on Kickstarter MMORPGs at massively fyi: 2012: The year of the MMO Kickstarter

    As for the Goblin Works: The CEO, COO and CTO all have some good business experience and mmorpg experience between them for eg: Ryan Dancey: 20 Questions with… Ryan Dancey from Goblinworks about Pathfinder Online

     

     

    LDG: Mr. Dancey, many of your accomplishments in the past years have been behind the scenes of many people’s beloved games. Would you be so kind as to tell the audience a bit about those games, and their accomplishments?

    Ryan Dancey: I co-created Legend of the Five Rings, make the joint venture between ISOMEDIA and AEG work to produce the Imperial Edition of that collectible card game, and got Five Rings Publishing Group created when we spun the game off into a stand-alone company.  At Five Rings Publishing I greenlit and oversaw the development of Doomtown, the Deadlands CCG, Legend of the Burning Sands, a second game set in the L5R world, Rage Relaunched under license from White Wolf, Dune, and the Star Trek Collectible Dice Game.

    I was partially responsible for the deal that allowed Wizards of the Coast to acquire TSR, and Five Rings Publishing was acquired by Wizards of the Coast when it bought TSR.  At Wizards I greenlit BattleTech Commander’s Edition.  In 1998 I was asked to become the business manager for the tabletop RPG division, and the Dungeons & Dragons brand manager, and in 1999 I was named Vice President of that division.

    My team was responsible for producing and marketing the third edition of D&D.  I developed the Open Gaming License, the D20 System Trademark License, the System Reference Document, and created the Open Gaming Foundation.  My team also licensed produced and marketed the Star Wars Roleplaying Game using the D20 mechanics.  We produced Pokemon Jr., the RPG with the biggest on-release unit sales in the history of the industry.  We produced and marketed the Dune RPG, the D20 Call of Cthulhu RPG, and the Wheel of TIme RPG.

    After leaving Wizards of the Coast I started a company to provide organized play services to game publishers and worked as a consultant for large toy companies seeking to enter the hobby gaming market.

    In 2007 I joined CCP Games, and lived in Reykjavik Iceland in 2008.  CCP is the developer and publisher of EVE Online, DUST 514 (now in beta), and World of Darkness, the MMO based on White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade.

    It's a big confidence vote with KS. Also they have private funding: The current KS is for increasing the headcount from 11 upwards of 20 approx.

  • GwapoJoshGwapoJosh Auburn, INPosts: 991Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by azzamasin
    Friends don't let friends play indie.

    Indie games are our only hope..

    "You are all going to poop yourselves." BillMurphy
    image

  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,645Member Uncommon

    I will pay to beta this game.

    Why?

    Because the more money that can be provided this way (and kickstarter etc) the less they have to go to VCs and other heavy investors to secure, and the less influence those investors have on the game.

    I personally will pay to support anything I want to believe in or want to see happen.

  • Ambros123Ambros123 Neverneverland, TNPosts: 877Member

    Subscriptions are for finished products and not in the works products.  Especially since they have nothing to show, everythings is talk and we all know that all talk is exactly what we'll get in the game...

    If I was ever remotely intrested in the game, now I am waiting till launch.  Plenty of games out there that are finished products.  Kickstarter and investors should be more than enough for the game.  Charging subs for beta stages is just milking their consumers imo and serious question what the fundings are going to and if they are not giving themselves glorified paychecks.

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLPosts: 4,525Member Uncommon
    I bit the bullet and pledged. It seems like the most legitimate option for a true fantasy sandbox with all the features I could ask for. I need to be in on day one to help shape this world.

    "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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