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So... trial. Plain and simple :)

Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingMember RarePosts: 4,508
After the record lengthy Buddy key thread, and discussions about why don't they just simply put up a trial, well, here it is :lol:

At first, with the membership upgrade they removed the buddy keys (kept available but only for a very limited amount and not automated). Had a post about it back then:
Po_gg said:
An another change, buddy keys were pulled off, until they adjust it to the new model.
Suzie ( @SBFord ) can you get off the Announcement sticky from the buddy key thread?
I think it had collisions with the new membership benefits, and they had to smoothen the issues. Just a guess, don't take my word for it :wink: 
It took some time, but finally they made it, and they're not simply giving back the buddy keys, they're launching a trial option instead.

Was announced in the Streaming Ones last night, anyone can just go to  and signing up, then try out the game for 10 days (instead of the former 3 days from buddy keys).

In the light of this trial, the pre-loading client change with the update yesterday makes even more sense (now there's an option to quickly download only a minimal client with Kingsmouth, and downloading the rest while playing the game). I wondered, how many new or returning players are out there, to justify the dev time and money of this change, but if there will be a constant stream of new players, it's more worth it I guess :wink: 

Tested myself (not the new client download mechanic, it's more than 50 Gb, no thanks :wink:  the trial option), and it's pretty good. The mail you receive after sign-up has the info about joining the Sanctuary channel, which is a very good advice for new players and was told to Funcom numerous times to add the info somewhere into the new player experience - now at least it's in the mail.
Gameplay-wise, it's like playing with an existing non-subscriber account (no discount in the store, no xp bonus, longer mission cooldowns, etc.), I think that was one of the reasons they had to change the buddy keys, those had discounts. There's a faint TSW Trial Account text displayed in the upper left corner, even through the cinematics, that's a change too :lol:  And on the top bar it's listed as well, aongside the remaining time of the trial.

In-game store always opening up with an offer page, and the same offer page occasionally pops up with loading screens:  buying a membership during the 10 days of trial (even a 1 month) unlocks the game. So if there's no sale somewhere on the web for the base game, it's cheaper to grab the trial and sub for a month. (though I guess this means from now on the box price will always be lower than $15)

Another change, buddy key gave the xp-boosting ring at the completion of Polaris, it's not tied to the dungeon anymore, trial players get the ring automatically when they arrive to Kingsmouth. There was also a $10 worth of bonus points in the buddy keys, I'm pretty certain they removed that offer too :lol:  Not 100% sure though, so when I finish the 10 main mission which was the condition for that bonus, I'll update this part.

There. No more buddy keys, just a mail address and 10 days of play. I think that's maybe enough time to play through the whole Solomon Island region. Hope they know what they're doing at Funcom...  (but I was against the b2p change too, and that turned out quite nicely, so maybe I'm wrong again. I mean, there's no point for goldsellers to come here, PAX is useless :wink: )


  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingMember RarePosts: 4,508
    There was also a $10 worth of bonus points in the buddy keys, I'm pretty certain they removed that offer too :lol:  Not 100% sure though
    Update: checked, no $10 bucks in it, so even less reason for farmers / sellers to mass-create accounts  :lol: 

    Seems they nicely removed every part of the buddy keys which could've cause issues with the new membership option - except the ring. But on the other hand they quite messed up the ring, to the plus side: you can get it twice :wink: 
    When  trial player gets into Kingsmouth the ring is delivered automatically and can be claimed, and after the first mission completion there's a nicely drawn splash screen, informing about this cool xp ring - and gives it again. Since it's a unique ring and can be equipped only once, the second one is just trash...

    In short, based on my test play, the trial has no restrictions, beyond the 10 days limit of course. Has no bonuses either, which the buddy key had (the bonus points, the item of month, the discount, the xp boost, and the veteran points for the inviting player).

    Trial simply gives the base game for 10 days, with the ring, the Trial watermark on the screen, and the sub offer with the splash screen at startup. Since there are no box sales currently on the web (except on GMG I think), it's cheaper to start the game through the trial atm - and can start it based on actual play, not just on reviews. :wink:

    and on a sidenote, I think the watermark is pretty cool. In bright places it's barely visible. I'd like to have it (without the trial part, just the TSW) on a toggle for screenshots or videos...

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingMember RarePosts: 4,508
    Sorry, aonther lengthy addition, because I was a bit carried away with the trial option (apparently :wink: ) and missed to cover the rest of the stream... and it had a lot, next to the trial announcement.

    Firstly, Issue 15. Issue 15, called The Sleuth's Gallery, will be here in a few weeks. May seem a bit odd since 14 just came out recently, but there's an explanation: 15 will be only a Sidestories bundle. True, with a new (and quite long) investigaton mission on top of the Sidestories, but still.

    (background: Sidestories were content updates FC released in-between Issues, they're just mission packs, without a strict storyline. There are 3 Sidestories packs in game, FA is an investigation mission bundle, L&L has action missions, and LP has a mix from every mission types. Sidestories also have unique item rewards, like the first Tokyo teleport item was introduced in the LP Sidestories pack)

    Now that "Season 1" is over, and also for straighten up stuff to the new players coming (hopefully) with the trial, FC decided to put a stop to the Sidestories, removing them from the store, and putting them back bundled as Issue 15. (I admit it was a bit confusing for new players, under Content section in the store there were issues and sidestories... what's the order among them, what's the difference between the two categories, etc). With this change, there will be the base game, and the content updates as Issues.

    So, everyone who has any of the Sidestories, will get Issue 15 for free. If you have all 3, you just get the new investigaton mission. If you have only one, you get the other two and the new mission for free. That's cool :wink:
    Those without a single Sidestories pack currently, will be able to buy all of them at once, for much cheaper than before (I think SS costed about 2/3 of an Issue, so getting all 3 for one Issue price is nice).

    Fusang. They're working on it, kinda reverting back from the latest changes, and focusing more onto the kill-kill-bloodshed gamestyle instead of the side missions in there. Since I don't pvp, /shrug. :lol:
    They're also planning to merge Fusang onto 1 instance, that's a bit more interesting, as that was the last criteria of server selection. If the merge happens, we'll be able to more easily say to questions like "which server to choose": it doesn't really matter. (Instead of the current: doesn't really matter, except if you want to persistent pvp in Fusang)

    Smaller stuff and infos. Now that the buddy key issue is solved (and turned into a trial), they're working on somehow making accessible the veteran reward items as well.
    They will continue working on revamping the Elite abilities and making them more "tempting", so players would choose others too and not just Bombardment :wink:
    Story-wise they have the base lines and directions written for years ahead, and not just what Ragnar left during the initial writing, they also added new stuff into it after Ragnar moved to RT and Chapters.

    In July, at the Anniversary they're planning a new event (but the golden Blingzillas will return too). Also in July they will release the next batch of Loyalty rewards (the 18 months bracket, lifers will get it right away)

    I think that's all... (except maybe that Tilty played Dark Souls and Ratchet&Clank, while Odo played Overwatch recently :lol: )
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