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ESO Lessons Learned

rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon

So I came across this article because of another thread and it got me wondering. 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/08/01/five-lessons-learned-as-swtor-surrenders/

So this article discusses the change of subscription model with SWTOR from subscription to free to play.  A lot of the reasons/lessons are in bold print for eases of finding them.  Though this article is about EA and SWTOR one can't help but recognize the major similarities with ZOS and ESO.  Do you think any of these lessons apply to ESO or is it immune to the same situations that a bigger studio has dealt with?  Do you think ZOS took any of those lessons into consideration before announcing their payment model? 

Overall I'm not so sure that free to play would work for ESO unless it was setup similar to Rift's, but I do think B2P would work nicely.  Who knows?  Maybe they can avoid every pitfall that each and every other western studio (with exception being Blizzard of course) hit that caused them to change their payment models too.

Thoughts?

"If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

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Comments

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,024Member Uncommon

    If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

    As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

    If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

  • CrusadesCrusades Columbus, OHPosts: 480Member
    Changing payment models today is not based on pitfalls. Yesterday it was and when that happened, it turned a profit, and it opened up a new can of worms for what revenue production looks like with respect to the lifespan of games. Back to my first sentence, changing payment models today is planned.
  • neobahamut20neobahamut20 ste-julie, QCPosts: 336Member
    Not the same issue. Elder Scrolls is nowhere near as big as Star Wars, or even Warcraft for that matter. The main issue for ESO is that it is an RPG game at its base. So people wanted to play that kind of RPG, online. It just is not the case and people feel it is not up to par with Skyrim (for the most part). The issue is not the business model, it is the game. Why did WoW work? At its base its an RTS game, so they could do whatever they wanted in an RPG setting. ESO could not and failed to meet expectations.

    Boycotting EA. Why? They suck, even moreso since 2008.

  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666

    If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

    As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

    If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

    That's the thing though.  Obviously there are people who feel the game is fine and just want bug fixes.  Those are the people who are most likely still subbed.  However, obviously there are people who think the game still needs a lot of work to be worth the box price + subscription.  Some of those are still subbed but probably most who feel that way are not.  So the question is, which group of people is larger?  The current paying customers or their previous customers who canceled their sub, and would it be economically feasible to favor one group over another?   It seems like their are obvious warnings signs that ZOS refuses to see.

    MMO's, rather being sub based or f2p, need players to make money obviously.  So I wonder (not the same as wishing or hoping) if a payment model change would bring more players in and give them more potential income quicker to work with to add those systems that they talk about such as their justice system, dark brotherhood, thieves guild and housing much sooner.

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by rodingo
    Originally posted by Loke666

    If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

    As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

    If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

    That's the thing though.  Obviously there are people who the feel the game is fine and just want bug fixes.  Those are the people who are most likely still subbed.  However, obviously there are people who think the game still needs a lot of work to be worth the box price + subscription.  Some of those are still subbed but probably most who feel that way are not.  So the question is, which group of people is larger?  The current paying customers or their previous customers who canceled their sub, and would it be economically feasible to favor one group over another?   It seems like their are obvious warnings signs that ZOS refuses to see.

    MMO's, rather being sub based or f2p, need players to make money obviously.  So I wonder (not the same as wishing or hoping) if a payment model change would bring more players in and give them more potential income quicker to work with to add those systems that they talk about such as their justice system, dark brotherhood, thieves guild and housing much sooner.

    Zenimax is not EA. Zeni are privately owned, so they are not compelled to wash their dirty laundry in public (no quarterly investor calls).

     

    We have no idea what exactly their expectations are for ESO. We don't know if they need a quick return on the investment or whether they are taking a long view on the franchise.

     

    Nobody knows how the game will be received in the console market.

     

    And don't forget that there will be future single-player ES games. Each time one of those releases, it gives ESO a potential player boost. It also opens new opportunities for cross-marketing (free ESO goodies as a bonus if you pre-order the next ES SPG, etc.).

  • CrusadesCrusades Columbus, OHPosts: 480Member
    I can tell you how it will be received in the console market, poorly. Sub games outside of FFARR do not work on consoles. Buy to play does, console players pay a sub fee for online play already and expect to be able to play all of their games online for that fee. Why does FFARR work? FF has deeper roots on ps consoles and it is crossplatform.
  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,280Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SpottyGekko
    Originally posted by rodingo
    Originally posted by Loke666

    If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

    As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

    If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

    That's the thing though.  Obviously there are people who the feel the game is fine and just want bug fixes.  Those are the people who are most likely still subbed.  However, obviously there are people who think the game still needs a lot of work to be worth the box price + subscription.  Some of those are still subbed but probably most who feel that way are not.  So the question is, which group of people is larger?  The current paying customers or their previous customers who canceled their sub, and would it be economically feasible to favor one group over another?   It seems like their are obvious warnings signs that ZOS refuses to see.

    MMO's, rather being sub based or f2p, need players to make money obviously.  So I wonder (not the same as wishing or hoping) if a payment model change would bring more players in and give them more potential income quicker to work with to add those systems that they talk about such as their justice system, dark brotherhood, thieves guild and housing much sooner.

    Zenimax is not EA. Zeni are privately owned, so they are not compelled to wash their dirty laundry in public (no quarterly investor calls).

     

    We have no idea what exactly their expectations are for ESO. We don't know if they need a quick return on the investment or whether they are taking a long view on the franchise.

     

    Nobody knows how the game will be received in the console market.

     

    And don't forget that there will be future single-player ES games. Each time one of those releases, it gives ESO a potential player boost. It also opens new opportunities for cross-marketing (free ESO goodies as a bonus if you pre-order the next ES SPG, etc.).

    Yeah something tells me Zen is not in it for the "quick". Sure you can wish for f2p, but I wouldn't hold your breath. When a developer has tons of cash and no share holders to answer to, it doesn't bode well for f2p enthusiast.

     

    I could be wrong though. Hold your breath if you like ;)

  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SpottyGekko
    Originally posted by rodingo
    Originally posted by Loke666

    If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

    As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

    If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

    That's the thing though.  Obviously there are people who the feel the game is fine and just want bug fixes.  Those are the people who are most likely still subbed.  However, obviously there are people who think the game still needs a lot of work to be worth the box price + subscription.  Some of those are still subbed but probably most who feel that way are not.  So the question is, which group of people is larger?  The current paying customers or their previous customers who canceled their sub, and would it be economically feasible to favor one group over another?   It seems like their are obvious warnings signs that ZOS refuses to see.

    MMO's, rather being sub based or f2p, need players to make money obviously.  So I wonder (not the same as wishing or hoping) if a payment model change would bring more players in and give them more potential income quicker to work with to add those systems that they talk about such as their justice system, dark brotherhood, thieves guild and housing much sooner.

    Zenimax is not EA. Zeni are privately owned, so they are not compelled to wash their dirty laundry in public (no quarterly investor calls).

     

    We have no idea what exactly their expectations are for ESO. We don't know if they need a quick return on the investment or whether they are taking a long view on the franchise.

     

    Nobody knows how the game will be received in the console market.

     

    And don't forget that there will be future single-player ES games. Each time one of those releases, it gives ESO a potential player boost. It also opens new opportunities for cross-marketing (free ESO goodies as a bonus if you pre-order the next ES SPG, etc.).

    Your right Zenimax Inc, being a private company doesn't have to let their sales numbers out to the public.  For them right now it's probably for the best.  You are also right about nobody in the general public knowing what ZOS needs in order to keep Zenimax Inc happy with them.  Who knows other than the Zenimax Inc owners whom I'm sure want to make a profit just like any other owners of companies do.

    I also agree (man 3 for 3 image) that future ES games could help give boosts to ESO player numbers.  However keep in mind that there is usually about a 4 to 5 year gap of development between ES games and as far as I know nothing new was hinted at this year at E3.  So there could be a while before ESO gets any help in that form from a new Elder Scrolls game.

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member
    Originally posted by Loke666

    If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

    As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

    If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

    exactly.

    A game doesnt become more fun because it costs less. Its no like buying a boat where cost really does have an impact on choice

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • reeereeereeereee Posts: 1,203Member Uncommon

    While the article is spot on most of it doesn't apply at all to ESO.  For example ESO didn't remotely copy WoW to the extent SWTOR did.

     

    Also it's not like they gave up making new single player ES games to make ESO, they used a completely different set of developers to make ESO. (Which perhaps was it's undoing.)

     

    Payment model is largely irrelevant at this point.  I think Zenimax has all eyes on console release, the PC version is really nothing but glorified alpha so not having enough subs right now doesn't effect anything long term.  Now if console release meets with lackluster sales then things may change rapidly.

  • AmegashieAmegashie naPosts: 282Member Uncommon

    The most important lesson is missing. Heavily story-driven MMOs don't work with a sub payment model, because it is absolutly impossible to deliver enough high quality content of that kind continuously.

     

    LotRO still did ok for a while, but it released a long time ago in a completely different market and most of its quests by far are of the kill 10 rats variety. The books and chapters, the actual quality story content, were few and far between over the years and they had to embrace f2p eventually.

     

    SWTor failed, TSW almost ruined FunCom. The jury is still out on ESO.

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666

    If a game tanks because it can't keep players interested or isn't fun enough making it F2P is just putting a band-aid on the problem. Most of us have limited time and while we might try out a F2P game it still needs to be fun to keep us interested.

    As I see it, ESO have serious issues it needs to fix. Making the game F2P could give the devs a second chance but they still need to fix those issues. Phasing, bots and really lame dungeons is a disaster no matter what payment model you use.

    If I were Zenimax I would worry about getting the game better, once that is done you can talk about if changing payment model is a good idea or not.

    Pretty much this ^.

    People (and companies) put too much emphasis on business model nowadays. The truth of the matter is that you can make just about any business model work. It's a question of finding what is 'best' for the game you want to make. This isn't to say that there isn't a very clear trend towards F2P currently (both in popularity AND potential revenue), but it's not as simple as just slapping the phrase 'F2P' on a game and adding a cash shop. It has to be done right.

    The one huge benefit of F2P is that it completely removes barriers of entry (as long as you have a decent computer, ofc). However, that benefit does not matter if you haven't made sure your core gameplay attracts players. If people arent enjoying your game, they will leave a F2P version of it just as much as they won't buy a sub. So making the game fun is priority #1, then you can worry about the best way to monetize it.

    Problem is, many companies try and do this backwards, and it's even worse for those that let themselves get into a position of desperation before making the tough decisions.

  • JDis25JDis25 Posts: 715Member Uncommon

    I am still subbed, but don't play too often. It's fun to hop on and explore and do some quests here and there. The combat is fun and the world is pretty. I like experimenting with different builds and PvP a bit.

     

    However, I have the time, but don't have the urge to log in very often. I quit Wildstar just recently, so here I am back at ESO trying to play again and this is what NEEDS to and CAN change right now;

     

    Vet Levels: fix this shit, it's rediculous. The Endgame is just more quests, I want to do different activities and be competent! I want to be able to create an alt to max level, but I don't want to play all the same quests all over again. I am currently Vet3 and do a quest here and there and its taking a damned long time.

    PvP: give players some incentive to PvP, currently almost no xp is granted unless you complete dailies but with the lack of players, it isn't easy or effective.

    Imbalances/bugs: I heard the new patch was looking into the NB bugs and balancing issues, but I have yet to play it.

    Dungeons: they need to give more xp for mob kills so that there is incentive to repeat them. for those that want to quest, they will still be there.

  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by reeereee

    While the article is spot on most of it doesn't apply at all to ESO.  For example ESO didn't remotely copy WoW to the extent SWTOR did.

     

    Also it's not like they gave up making new single player ES games to make ESO, they used a completely different set of developers to make ESO. (Which perhaps was it's undoing.)

     

    Payment model is largely irrelevant at this point.  I think Zenimax has all eyes on console release, the PC version is really nothing but glorified alpha so not having enough subs right now doesn't effect anything long term.  Now if console release meets with lackluster sales then things may change rapidly.

    I don't know.  I actually think most of those lessons/reasons definitely apply to ESO except for the one we agree upon which is copying WoW.  I don't think anyone will say that ESO is a WoW clone without intentionally trolling.

    Again, I'm not saying that this means that ESO will go free to play, but look at the similarities:

    1) A Beloved Brand Can Only Carry You So Far...    The Elder Scrolls is a very popular IP, we all know that.  However, just because you call it a duck, doesn't mean it's going to walk or act like one.

    2) The Development Costs are Too Damn High...  We don't know if their costs for ESO were "too high" and we probably never will, though there are estimates that they went to at least $200 mil. which is almost how much was estimated for SWTOR.  So have they recouped that cost yet?  If not, what are their plans to do so?

    3) Don’t Rely on an Aging Model...  This speaks for itself due to recent trends over the past 6 or 7 years.

    4) What Fans Want is Not Necessarily What You Think They Need..  A lot of us can read that particular section of the article and not help but nod our heads.

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • InnkwellInnkwell Reno, NVPosts: 59Member

    I really wish people would stop making these BS posts about ESO and how it should go F2P/ B2P.....

     ITS OBVIOUS THAT THIS MEANS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CHECKING IT OUT, stop trolling and just buy the game plus the .50$ a day  it costs to play and STFU already.

     

    So sick of this generation ( and I'm only 29)  wanting everything for free, and when they get it they want all the access and rewards handed to them on a silver platter.

     I'm sorry to post in this thread specifically because I don't feel like the OP hates the game, but for f**ks sake this has got to be the one millionth post about how people want to check out ESO but don't want to pay for it.

     

    "Guess what,  I want to live in your mansion and have someone wait on me all day and use the Aston Martin in the garage... Can I just try that out for a few months at one of your guys' house and then make my decision ... also is it cool if I sleep with your wife?"

     $.50 a day people ...

     FIFTY CENTS!!!!!!

  • GregorMcgregorGregorMcgregor FalkirkPosts: 222Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Innkwell

    I really wish people would stop making these BS posts about ESO and how it should go F2P/ B2P.....

     ITS OBVIOUS THAT THIS MEANS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CHECKING IT OUT, stop trolling and just buy the game plus the .50$ a day  it costs to play and STFU already.

     

    So sick of this generation ( and I'm only 29)  wanting everything for free, and when they get it they want all the access and rewards handed to them on a silver platter.

     I'm sorry to post in this thread specifically because I don't feel like the OP hates the game, but for f**ks sake this has got to be the one millionth post about how people want to check out ESO but don't want to pay for it.

     

    "Guess what,  I want to live in your mansion and have someone wait on me all day and use the Aston Martin in the garage... Can I just try that out for a few months at one of your guys' house and then make my decision ... also is it cool if I sleep with your wife?"

     $.50 a day people ...

     FIFTY CENTS!!!!!!

    This site needs a "like" button. :)

    No trials. No tricks. No traps. No EU-RP server. NO THANKS!

    image

    ...10% Benevolence, 90% Arrogance in my case!
  • RandaynRandayn Sellersville, PAPosts: 883Member Uncommon

    Don't understand...Im having fun in ESO despite it's flaws....it feels like an Elder Scrolls game (especially if you didnt just hop on the bandwagon once Oblivion came out....)

     

    image
  • CouganCougan DoncasterPosts: 394Member
    Originally posted by rodingo
    Originally posted by reeereee

    While the article is spot on most of it doesn't apply at all to ESO.  For example ESO didn't remotely copy WoW to the extent SWTOR did.

     

    Also it's not like they gave up making new single player ES games to make ESO, they used a completely different set of developers to make ESO. (Which perhaps was it's undoing.)

     

    Payment model is largely irrelevant at this point.  I think Zenimax has all eyes on console release, the PC version is really nothing but glorified alpha so not having enough subs right now doesn't effect anything long term.  Now if console release meets with lackluster sales then things may change rapidly.

    I don't know.  I actually think most of those lessons/reasons definitely apply to ESO except for the one we agree upon which is copying WoW.  I don't think anyone will say that ESO is a WoW clone without intentionally trolling.

    Again, I'm not saying that this means that ESO will go free to play, but look at the similarities:

    1) A Beloved Brand Can Only Carry You So Far...    The Elder Scrolls is a very popular IP, we all know that.  However, just because you call it a duck, doesn't mean it's going to walk or act like one.

    2) The Development Costs are Too Damn High...  We don't know if their costs for ESO were "too high" and we probably never will, though there are estimates that they went to at least $200 mil. which is almost how much was estimated for SWTOR.  So have they recouped that cost yet?  If not, what are their plans to do so?

    3) Don’t Rely on an Aging Model...  This speaks for itself due to recent trends over the past 6 or 7 years.

    4) What Fans Want is Not Necessarily What You Think They Need..  A lot of us can read that particular section of the article and not help but nod our heads.

    That article was a bit quick to denounce SWTOR as a failed game seeing as it is doing well 2 years on from when it was written with a sub base and no doubt earning its money back as a F2P.

     

    The reason I highlighted that point in red was I'm sure it meant something differently but its spot on for my personal opinion. I feel like some wanted a co-op/ FFA, dragon riding, npc killing chaos lobby type Skyrim experience and was happy with the way they went instead.

     

    ESO does RPG better than any of the others I've played in the genre, just falling short on memorable characters. I treated it like 3 solo RPG experiences in one - 1-50 and the 2 Veteran factions with faction pvp at the endgame. I quite liked leveling, looting and questing at any level with the tougher VR mobs to follow although I had to take a break in between factions. Solo was just my personal preference.

     

  • JDis25JDis25 Posts: 715Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Innkwell

    I really wish people would stop making these BS posts about ESO and how it should go F2P/ B2P.....

     ITS OBVIOUS THAT THIS MEANS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CHECKING IT OUT, stop trolling and just buy the game plus the .50$ a day  it costs to play and STFU already.

     

    So sick of this generation ( and I'm only 29)  wanting everything for free, and when they get it they want all the access and rewards handed to them on a silver platter.

     I'm sorry to post in this thread specifically because I don't feel like the OP hates the game, but for f**ks sake this has got to be the one millionth post about how people want to check out ESO but don't want to pay for it.

     

    "Guess what,  I want to live in your mansion and have someone wait on me all day and use the Aston Martin in the garage... Can I just try that out for a few months at one of your guys' house and then make my decision ... also is it cool if I sleep with your wife?"

     $.50 a day people ...

     FIFTY CENTS!!!!!!

    I agree with you. BUT

     

    ESO devs have gone the route of milking your sub with endless quest / vet content. It's just as bad as AION or other grinder games. The quests are nice, best of any mmo, but you will want them to end.

  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Innkwell

    I really wish people would stop making these BS posts about ESO and how it should go F2P/ B2P.....

     ITS OBVIOUS THAT THIS MEANS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CHECKING IT OUT, stop trolling and just buy the game plus the .50$ a day  it costs to play and STFU already.

     

    So sick of this generation ( and I'm only 29)  wanting everything for free, and when they get it they want all the access and rewards handed to them on a silver platter.

     I'm sorry to post in this thread specifically because I don't feel like the OP hates the game, but for f**ks sake this has got to be the one millionth post about how people want to check out ESO but don't want to pay for it.

     

    "Guess what,  I want to live in your mansion and have someone wait on me all day and use the Aston Martin in the garage... Can I just try that out for a few months at one of your guys' house and then make my decision ... also is it cool if I sleep with your wife?"

     $.50 a day people ...

     FIFTY CENTS!!!!!!

    Well I didn't make this thread to justify why I think it should go f2p/b2p.  I just wanted to point at the writing on the wall, so to speak, and discuss how the author of that article made some points that also apply to ESO.

    BTW, I did buy the game and actually played for about two weeks and got one of my characters up to his high 20's.  Maybe 28?  Just long enough for me to make enough money to buy a 42K gold horse because a guide recommended that was more cost effective than buying the 17K horse and I also didn't spend the extra $20 for the imperial edition so I didn't have the white horse to start out with.  The reasons I don't play anymore though are for another topic.

    Like I have said before.  I'm not wishing nor hoping ESO goes f2p/b2p but I do feel it's a big ass elephant in the room and it's not going to go away if people ignore it or if others try to bury it.  I think there are plenty of ways for ESO to avoid this whole thing, but who knows?  It's like watching a scary a movie and yelling at the screen trying to tell the girl not to go walking into the woods at night without a flashlight, lol.  You know what's probably going to happen, just like all of the other movies before it that put the girl in the same situation unless the director changes things up and actually surprises you.

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • InnkwellInnkwell Reno, NVPosts: 59Member

    I understand your concerns, as I to have addressed them in these very forums. also I didn't mean to offend you personally, its just one of those things that finally gets to you.

    I'm well aware of the issues this games faces and I totally agree with your "horror Movie"  analogy, unfortunately I feel like the number of posts that don't emphasize the good aspects of the game are only going to push it in a direction that most of us paying subscribers don't want it to go.

    I wish there was more positive posts about the game, but as someone who knows all to well the majority of "critics" on places like yelp usually don't go there to sing their praises of some place they just ate at, they only take time out to speak ill upon things they DON'T like.

    Anyways, I'm halfway through VR levels now and as much as I am feeling the degraded XP gains I don't feel like its anywhere near as bad as some games I've experienced in the past. Tera for example post level 30 is a nightmare, at least ESO has the value of storytelling on their  side... which I think a lot of people just leave by the wayside.

  • ZhirocZhiroc X, NHPosts: 220Member

    I am not a fan of F2P because I do not believe it incentivizes the game in the right direction. If you focus on getting your revenue from cosmetics and removing various painful restrictions, then where do you think a lot of that money is invested?

    Likewise, I'm not really a fan of B2P because I don't think it makes for a very good business model. An MMO has a lot of costs involved, and you get zip from your players... until you can milk them with another expansion. It also incentivizes investment in mostly the next expansion. However, it's not all bad. It's rather up-front about you buying a set amount of content, that you can play whenever. However, these games rarely have great sales, and usually limited trials--so I think it does make them less likely to be bought. I'm a big fan of buying old games at huge discounts, so a $10 game sounds pricey to me :) (Let me go check out that Steam sale for a minute...)

    But, and it might be surprising for you to hear this after the above, I also think that the sub model no longer makes sense. At current prices, which is typically $13-15/month, that is a LOT of money over time: $157-180 per year on a single game. If I'm going to pay that much for a game, I better be expecting to play it almost exclusively. For what I pay for Steam games on sale, that's like 3 or more per month :) But even so, that's a newly released game every 3-4 months. Plus, if I'm going to be doing that, I'm probably not going to sub anywhere else as I won't feel like I'd "get my money's worth" for both subs. If my intent is to play with RL or online friends, I'll be much more likely to sub where the majority of them are--and to me, THIS is why WoW has 7 mil subs still. It's what I call the "Facebook effect". No one is going to knock WoW down until it no longer is the place where your friends are, and thus, a sub-based game has a huge hill to climb. Add to that a $60-100 box cost, or with the new consoles, a sub to the console vendor's "online membership", and it gets even worse.

    So, what kind of payment model makes sense? To me, it should 1) Let people try it for free; 2) Let people play a little, like a couple hours a week, for very little; 3) Cap out it's monthly cost somewhere around what a current sub is, or maybe a little more; . In other words, "pay what you play", pro-rating your fee with some scaling to your play "depth". Note that I did not exactly say "playtime" as I'm not sure your online hours should be a countdown either. I can't say that I really know exactly how this should be done, but my feeling is that it is a fair balance between the player and the company, it promotes people to try the game, and also, that it makes companies feel like that improving the game itself, rather than a new armor skin, gets them rewards.

  • Yoda_CloneYoda_Clone Harker Heights, TXPosts: 219Member

    I am not a fan of F2P; I saw what it did to LotRO (it destroyed a good game over time), and I've also seen what it did for AoC, EQ2, and SW-TOR (where it gave the games time to recover from poor releases).  In every case, I've subbed to the games rather than play for free; in each case (except SW-TOR) I bought the game originally at release, played for an extended period of time as a subscriber, and then quit playing for one reason or another (I only downloaded SW-TOR a couple of months ago and then subscribed).

    It has been as a subscriber that I have seen the impact of F2P on the games, and it's based on that I have formed my opinions.  The in-your-face attempts to get players to buy things even when you're a subscriber (most obvious with LotRO and somewhat obvious with SW-TOR) can be annoying at the very least; when coupled with unethical business practices (so very obvious in LotRO) it drives subscribers away because it makes the game both tedious and unenjoyable.  Reduced revenue certainly hampers growth; for instance, for all that AoC improved, they're still waiting on the promised crafting revamp... years later?

    EQ2 and SW-TOR certainly benefitted from the hybrid F2P/sub business model.  While SW-TOR is still a brain-dead game (typical BioWare-style turn-off-the-brain-and-follow-the-quest-markers-on-the-map game), there are very few bugs; there's a decent GUI; and the game has all the functionality you could ever want (although crafting IMHO sucks, but it does in most games); just don't expect to need to engage your brain while playing the game...

    All four of those games have decent, if not necessarily large, populations.  It should also be noted that all four are more focused on solo than group play, so a F2P model doesn't hurt them that much (you don't need tons of players around in order to complete quests).  PvP suffers in all except SW-TOR (which seems to have a very healthy PvP population).

    Nor am I a fan of B2P; it worked with the original GW because of all of the expansions; that's the only game in which IMHO it has worked well.  I don't think it's working quite as well for GW2.  The "personal story gimmick" used by GW2 -- at least for me -- doesn't really work; the game needs real expansions and I don't see them coming... and I have to believe it's because of funding.  I don't think their gem stores provides enough revenue.

    All that being said, I doubt that ANY game nowadays isn't released without plans to convert to either B2P or F2P.  The hype out of the development teams and the marketers is just that: HYPE; and we already know that ESO's devs and marketers (in particular) are a little shy in the integrity department; like, is the glass one-tenth full or ninety percent empty?

    My bet is on a hybrid B2P/sub business model coinciding with console release.

    In the FWIW department, for the BS'ers saying ESO doesn't have pressure from investors, so it doesn't have to worry about monetization:   Zenimax received $300M from an investment group in 2008, most of that money going towards the ESO project.  That information is available on-line.  Quit putting out misinformation.  The game was not self-funded and the project has just as much pressure on it as SW-TOR and others had.

  • sumdumguy1sumdumguy1 avondale, AZPosts: 962Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Yoda_Clone

    Nor am I a fan of B2P; it worked with the original GW because of all of the expansions; that's the only game in which IMHO it has worked well.  I don't think it's working quite as well for GW2.  The "personal story gimmick" used by GW2 -- at least for me -- doesn't really work; the game needs real expansions and I don't see them coming... and I have to believe it's because of funding.  I don't think their gem stores provides enough revenue.

    All that being said, I doubt that ANY game nowadays isn't released without plans to convert to either B2P or F2P.  The hype out of the development teams and the marketers is just that: HYPE; and we already know that ESO's devs and marketers (in particular) are a little shy in the integrity department; like, is the glass one-tenth full or ninety percent empty?

    My bet is on a hybrid B2P/sub business model coinciding with console release.

    In the FWIW department, for the BS'ers saying ESO doesn't have pressure from investors, so it doesn't have to worry about monetization:   Zenimax received $300M from an investment group in 2008, most of that money going towards the ESO project.  That information is available on-line.  Quit putting out misinformation.  The game was not self-funded and the project has just as much pressure on it as SW-TOR and others had.

    You mentioned Guild Wars 1 and 2.  I get what you said and agree, but Guild Wars 1 came out at a time when we had lesser expectations.  As a community, we were much more patient and our expectations were nowhere near where they are now, not to mention the growth of MMO's over those years.  When GW 2 came out, I felt unless it was perfect, it would never stand a chance due to the expectations and changes within the MMO community.  Still I do agree with your assessment and  think ESO will eventually have to succumb to a model change for survival and new growth.

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,769Member Uncommon
    If I have learned one thing from my years of gaming, my years of being alive it is that you never learn the lessons of the past. Regardless of that I think it is too early to be talking about leaving P2P, but I am sure every couple of weeks it will be suggested again. :)
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