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General: Expanding the World of Subscription-Craft

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  • PalebanePalebane Member RarePosts: 4,011

    Not a very good value in my opinion, considering normal adults require 8 hours a day to sleep. Casual players even moreso are getting very bad value considering many of them play less than 10 hours a week. It sounds more like a bait-and-switch technique to me.

     

    I've often thought that a pay by the hour/day/miniute would be neat, but not if they are going to actually limit the number of times per day/week/month/year you are able to do it.

    Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  • NifaNifa Member Posts: 324

    I think it perhaps it would be a better idea if they'd consider letting you choose the days - say 3 Saturdays out of the month.  72 hours straight, considering the recent rash of people who lack common sense in monitoring their own gaming in other countries doesn't seem to me to be the brightest idea SOE's marketing team has ever come up with.  Still the overall idea is a good one:  three days of play for a reduced subscription rate at a time when money is tight everywhere and many people have fewer hours to spend logged in (and with summer rapidly approaching) is really quite brilliant, in my opinion.

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  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 41,536

    I'm all for alternate sub models (such as pay by the day) but SOE's plan is just plain bad...... but we've come to expect this from them.

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  • TolrocTolroc Member UncommonPosts: 111

    This is a step in the right direction, but like other have stated as a casual player I'd ather have three days of play time scattered through the month rather than a three days block. Most casual gamers like myself play a couple of hours at a time many times a month rather than a lot of hours once a month.

  • NesrieNesrie Member Posts: 648

    A dollar a day might be a good idea for those of us who are mildly interested in a game we used to fork out 10-15 for a month but then got pulled into other games. I am not sure 5 for three straight days is great though. I'd much rather be able to ask my friends on a weekend if we all want to play xyz game today and pay a dollar to do it.

    Of cousre if this happened... I can see a lot of potential for cash stores to start filling up trying to nail us for more cash or worst yet, trying to do it by day instead of say 24 hour period so if you happen to play late at night instead of the afternoon you wind up doing 2 instead of 1 for the same amount of play.

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  • wahala99wahala99 Member UncommonPosts: 147

    I think it is a dumb idea designed to make more money for the company .. who can play 72 hours straight.   to put it in better perspective, 15 bucks a month comes down to about 50 cents a day.  If you have trouble comming up with fifty cents that you can throw away for a few days out of the month (or a whole month for that matter) then you need to quit playin and go out and mow lawns or something.  Even work at walmart ...... sheesh ... a big to do about nothing if you asked me (which by inferrence you did).

    If Ya Ain't Dyin, Ya Ain't Tryin

  • BlazzBlazz Member Posts: 321

    terrible idea. $5 for 3 days straight... zzzzz... maybe for players who only play on the weekends... but that will still likely get up to $10, $15 or $20 for some people, if the consistently play on the weekends.

    But whatever...

    I'd prefer an option for $1/Day, or maybe $0.25/Hour. If you could go out and buy a $10 Time Card for a game that gives you 40 hours (perhaps time that expires within a month? Or within 3 months?) would be better for a lot of people in the West - I honestly don't see why they don't use it.

    Hurumph.

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  • RasputinRasputin Member UncommonPosts: 602

    Maybe SOE should focus a bit on actually making good games, instead of how to shake down their customers for money.

    That would probably earn them a lot more money.

  • wfSegwfSeg Member Posts: 96

    This is SOE's way of milking the last drops of profit from the game.

    On to the article's second point, there definitely needs to be alternative payment models. Like cell phone plans that has mintues or a monthly flat rate. Heavy users can opt for the flat rate, while casual users can choose to pay as they play (by the minute/hour/days). However, $15/month isn't all that much, and maybe that's why it has worked for so long. Either way, companies just need to give players the options and let them decide whether or not to take that option.

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  • MMO_DoubterMMO_Doubter Member Posts: 5,056

    Originally posted by Rasputin

    Maybe SOE should focus a bit on actually making good games, instead of how to shake down their customers for money.

    That would probably earn them a lot more money.

    I'm sure they have determined that quality is not cost-effective.

    It takes a lot of time and money to make quality.

    "" Voice acting isn't an RPG element....it's just a production value." - grumpymel2

  • pojungpojung Member Posts: 810

    On cost-effectiveness...

    15 bucks for 1 month = 15 bucks for 30 days (rounded)

    5 bucks for 3 days ...

    hrmm... why not make it a week? Those ratios would be a lot tighter, and you're still charging a moderate premium for the shorter time span- which is understandable. 5 bucks for 3 days? Come on. I'd rather pay 25 bucks for 1 TRH. Which, if the sarcasm was missed, I wouldn't do. I'd say the 5bucks/3days is greed. 3 days / mo doesn't offer any sort of 'gaming experience' to speak of.

     

    All we see left and right in the MMORPG community these days are failed start-up indie MMORPGs and new payment plans for the same [crap] that's been kicking around for years now.

    UO/EQ/FFXI/EVE/WOW ... all since 2004 or prior. AOC more recently but not much, and AION if we want to count it. Most other MMORPGs are on life support.

     

    Less concern over getting the cash from the gamer, and more concern with getting a solid game to the gamer, IMHO.

    That is exactly right, and we're not saying NO to save WoW, because it is already a lost cause. We are saying NO to dissuade the next group of greedy suits who decide to emulate Blizzard and Cryptic, etc.
    We can prevent some of the future games from spewing this crap, but the sooner we start saying no, the better the results will be.
    So - Stand up, pull up your pants, and walk away.
    - MMO_Doubter

  • green13green13 Member UncommonPosts: 1,341

    Imagine, a secondary subscription system that allows players to pay-per-day, however, at a rate of $1.00, for example.

    We don't really need to imagine this, because some MMOs already offer this option, eg. Aion in Korea.

    http://www.googaming.com/aion/aion-subscription-fees-announced/

    They wouldn't generally appeal to me, but I think offering players more options is always a good thing.

    Lifetime subscriptions have also become a popular option recently, and they're quite compelling as well.

    Not that I don't like the idea of a lifetime sub, but what exactly are you basing its recent popularity on?


    • Hellgate London? Oh yeah, that shut down.

    • Champions Online? Still operating, but many who fell for the lifetime sub scam were seriously angry about it.

    • STO? Well that's just a third Bill Roper.

    • LOTRO - forced to offer a lifetime sub when they realised they wouldn't meet their subscription targets.

    Have there been more, or is it just the 3 Ropers and LOTRO?

    There are MMOs that I would happily have paid a lifetime sub for - but those are games I ended up subbing to for years. MMO developers are intent on squeezing MORE money out of us, not LESS. They'll only lifetime subs when they think they'll make more money from them than they would from active subscriptions - i.e. they're betting players will lose interest in their game before they get their money's worth OR when they're desperate for a quick injection of cash.

  • HathiHathi Member Posts: 236

    I don't fault SOE for trying this.

    For one game, this approach is less appealing. $5.00 for Station Pass for access to all your games. Well now I am interested. 

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  • DeadalonDeadalon Member Posts: 79

    Looking back at it - this seems to be a "Weekend deal" where a player that sits down on Friday  (wondering what to do that weekend) might get tempted by these sort of deals.  The thing is tho - I dont think it will work.  Its poor buisness to try to lure ppl into paying - instead of just offering high quality gameplay that gamers are after.

    The key here is that subscription based games are balanced around full sub accounts (more you play the more you get out of the game) so deals where the gamer actually pays more per day is not that good buisness for anyone.

    To make these sort of deals actually worth it - you need to throw in something like 500% increase XP gain or extra droprate.  But since these sub based games are mostly about wasting ppls time - that would make the no lifers go crazy - it just wont happen.

  • pojungpojung Member Posts: 810

    Originally posted by Deadalon

    Looking back at it - this seems to be a "Weekend deal" where a player that sits down on Friday  (wondering what to do that weekend) might get tempted by these sort of deals.  The thing is tho - I dont think it will work.  Its poor buisness to try to lure ppl into paying - instead of just offering high quality gameplay that gamers are after.

    The key here is that subscription based games are balanced around full sub accounts (more you play the more you get out of the game) so deals where the gamer actually pays more per day is not that good buisness for anyone.

    To make these sort of deals actually worth it - you need to throw in something like 500% increase XP gain or extra droprate.  But since these sub based games are mostly about wasting ppls time - that would make the no lifers go crazy - it just wont happen.

    Exactly. If it were an honest deal, it would be something akin to 'play 3days, 4x a month' for 5 bucks. 3 standalone days per month is absolutely laughable. It's caterring to company money-making, not gamer consumption-customization.

    That is exactly right, and we're not saying NO to save WoW, because it is already a lost cause. We are saying NO to dissuade the next group of greedy suits who decide to emulate Blizzard and Cryptic, etc.
    We can prevent some of the future games from spewing this crap, but the sooner we start saying no, the better the results will be.
    So - Stand up, pull up your pants, and walk away.
    - MMO_Doubter

  • IllyssiaIllyssia Member UncommonPosts: 1,507

    Originally posted by Blazz

    terrible idea. $5 for 3 days straight... zzzzz... maybe for players who only play on the weekends... but that will still likely get up to $10, $15 or $20 for some people, if the consistently play on the weekends.

    But whatever...

    I'd prefer an option for $1/Day, or maybe $0.25/Hour. If you could go out and buy a $10 Time Card for a game that gives you 40 hours (perhaps time that expires within a month? Or within 3 months?) would be better for a lot of people in the West - I honestly don't see why they don't use it.

    Hurumph.

    I have always wondered why weekend only semi-casual guilds haven't sprung up in grater numbers in mmo? This type of thing might lead to it. I think it would be quite  wild and fun to be in a guild that did mmo end-game on 3 days per week, Blizzard should definitely look into this option...it might work. The philosophy for semi-casual should be, we don't have a schedule in our lives to play all the times, but we can concentrate out effort on about 2-3 days to achieve in gaming.

  • DeadalonDeadalon Member Posts: 79

    Originally posted by Illyssia

    I have always wondered why weekend only semi-casual guilds haven't sprung up in grater numbers in mmo? This type of thing might lead to it. I think it would be quite  wild and fun to be in a guild that did mmo end-game on 3 days per week, Blizzard should definitely look into this option...it might work.

    The philosophy for semi-casual should be, we don't have a schedule in our lives to play all the times, but we can concentrate out effort on about 2-3 days to achieve in gaming.

    What you dont seem to get is that these games are balanced on more than 1 weekend or even 2-3 weekends per mounth (thats 15 USD for you already !)  These games are balanced on alot more game time.  THus... the MMO devs and publishers are talking about great value of MMO SUB price compared to movies...  

    Now.. I dont see anyone paying half the price to see just half a movie....

    But ofc  - the Devs are also hiding the fact that their games cost more than just a sub... Its not like they are free to download... but thats totally diffrent matter. 

  • ryuga81ryuga81 Member UncommonPosts: 351

    i frickin' hoped they (SOE) were on the right track for once, but then i continue reading and my hopes crush...

    72 hours of playtime @5$ would be wonderful but... it's just 72 hours when you're probably gonna use just 6 or so (maybe somewhat more if you use it during weekend)... why the heck do i have to pay for a game even when i'm sleeping if it isn't a kind of monthly "flat" subscription but something very "limited" (and overly costly)? -.-'

    i mean, i'd be paying 3 times the usual per-hour cost, let me at least choose WHEN i pay -.-

    there are plenty of games i'd visit more or less often if there was a pay-per-playtime option but... no way i'll pay $15 a month for just a few hours spent on that game...

  • Molo2366Molo2366 Member Posts: 5

    Why can't there be an MMO where all you have to pay if $15 a month? $15 a month should cover new content (expansions), server transfers, etc.

    image

  • just1opinionjust1opinion Member UncommonPosts: 4,641

    Originally posted by bobfish

    Originally posted by Amathe

    This payment plan is not available to everyone. It states:

     


    "Vets Only, No Newbs Allowed!



    This subscription option is only available for inactive or closed accounts. Visiting Norrath has never been so simple or economical. This is the most convenient option available for casual accounts."

     

    So what this really is is an invitation to former players to come back and play a little while, to intice them to return for good, WHICH MOST GAMES DO FOR FREE. But of course, in Smedleyville, they charge you for it.

     

    Also, I have played mmos for 10 years and have never met anyone who plays three days in a row, then doesn't play the rest of the month.

     

    Seriously, you can never take anything SOE does at face value. You have to read the fine print.

    SOE is the only company I know of that has offered 30 days or more of free game time to ex-players when they invite them back. Usually you only get a weekend or week, but SOE usually gives an entire month.

    This new payment offer is to help those who WANT to play but can't commit to a full month of play, not an incentive to return to those who found something else to play.

     

    This is true, BUT...people that don't play EQ2 don't realize it because they have never gotten a veteran Legends of Norrath invitation and don't have any idea what you're talking about.

     

    This new option is not for new players. It's for veteran players, like MOST of what they offer in the way of options. Personally...I like that.  I also like that they reward my years of patronage with veteran rewards every year....boxes chock FULL of things that other players can't get in ANY way. For instance, my buyers only pay a percentage (HALF, actually) of the broker fees (which are not cheap..in game gold)  that anyone buying from someone starting the game in the past 4 years pays, therefore....I make more platinum. People would rather buy from someone where they don't have to pay twice as much in broker fees, if they have the option.

     

    I am rewarded for my length of time with them. I get crafting xp and combat xp potions that give me a 50 percent increase. You can't get these in any other way. Plus there are assorted other items, housing items, appearance gear, various things that can be obtained in no other way than having been an EQ2 veteran. No other game does this to this degree.  Oh sure....WoW gives you a non-combat pet once a year....oh wait....nvm.....that little penguin was only for the FIVE year anniversary.  And I think I remember a little white polar bear...that was for something...I don't remember what, but I don't think they DO give you anything annually. Pffft. If they did...apparently it didn't impress me too much. To me....that was jack compared to what SoE gives me.

     

    Oh...we also get free LON cards every month. These are decks and booster packs of the card game. I have gotten many loot cards from those. I've never seen Blizzard giving away free loot cards from their card game. I don't even play the card game, but I still get free booster packs and when they have loot cards....I redeem them in game for....free mounts (the fastest speed mounts, the coolest looking mounts, something other companies with card games wouldn't likely consider making available to everyone if they're lucky enough to get them in the free pack), rare appearance gear, potions that are not available elsewhere, etc. I don't have to buy booster packs. I don't even have to play the game. Just log in and check my sets each month and redeem anything I get.

     

    I know SoE is HUGELY unpopular on these forums, but they're still the ONLY company I have ever pre-paid a year or more subs to, and if they HAD a lifetime sub, I would have gladly paid it years ago.

     

    Until some other game company can make a game that I, personally, like as much as EQ2....SoE will continue to get my money and I know that most of the active subscribers feel that way.

     

    For some odd reason....it's generally ASSUMED on these forums that only WoW has dedicated players. Yes....even companies that some of you LOATHE....have players that love their games and happily pay to play them. 

     

    What SoE GETS....that other companies don't....even if they initially implement it "wrong"....is that most players WANT OPTIONS. The more OPTIONS....the better. And veteran players...should be rewarded for their long time subscriptions, in a way that is meaningful to them in the game.

     

    Yes, I've often played 2 (or even 3) MMOs at the same time, but....anytime there is a financial crunch (like medical bills right now)....SoE is the ONLY company that continues to get my money.  I drop the other subs like a hot potato.  We'll see what the future holds in MMOs, but right now....other than Fallen Earth...there isn't even another MMO that I sub to when I DO have extra money, nor one that I would seriously consider starting up in.

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  • japojapo Member Posts: 306

    Originally posted by Deadalon

    I think maybe we all need to take a good look on what the genre is becoming.  The focus seems to be on how to get gamers to PAY rather than how to get them to PLAY.. not mentioning having fun !

    Most of the innovation today goes into new payment modules...  But the games are exactly the same crap as before.

     ^ Very well said. ^

     

    What I don't understand is how games like Vanguard, WAR, AoC, WoW, EQ, EQ2, LoTRO, etc all have the same monthly pricing.  I have no problem with some of them....but EQ is very very dated, Vanguard has very few players and gets zero SOE support, and WAR is.....well....WAR.

    These three games should be about $8 - $10 bucks a month at most.  It's like paying the same for a used Kia as you do for a new Mercedes.  WTF?

    But...as long as gamers continue to pay for crap, the companies will continue to charge for crap.

     

  • DerWotanDerWotan Member Posts: 1,012

    Well its Smedley so how can anyone be surprised? Why should people pay 5 $ for three days? Eq2 messed up big time, no translation, no customer service and nothing from the great Everquest 1 feeling. Also the combination of p2p + RMT meant mass exodus. I talked to some mates (former Eq2 players) they wouldn't even consider paying 1 $ to return.

    Alternate paying with sms would be a good idea. as for the guy saying that lotro (not my cup of tea), eq1 and Vanguard (*cough*Smedley*cough*) are crap and therefore should be less expensive...WTF i know a game that transformed into the biggest crap ever made and its threatening its million players with 15 $ + RMT and you're right its the game that shouldn't be named :-)

    Lifetime subscription are like interest-free presents no one can predit the outcome of a game. Still laughing at all the STO LTA buyers got robbed bigtime by Cryptic again. I've been playing MMORPG's since a long time (8 years) and never ever payed more than 1 month. MMORPG's can change so quick so to me its the best method avoiding frustration.

    We need a MMORPG Cataclysm asap, finish the dark age of MMORPGS now!

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  • someforumguysomeforumguy Member RarePosts: 4,087

    "Despite what forum trolls will tell you, profit, in and of itself, is a good thing for gaming companies. Profit means new games and better games."

    This is simply not true. If a company thinks they can ask more without offering more (lack of competition or easy/loyal customers), they will do it. This doesnt automatically mean that the extra profit flows back to the improvement of the current product or future products that you will use. There is nothing wrong with this of course, but as customer you should be aware that it doesnt have to be in your interest.

    So if a MMO company starts a new business model, you cant simply trust them as customer that the extra revenue will improve the MMO on the same scale or future MMO's.

    SOE's 3day pass is a good example of how it wont work that way. There is simply no guarantee that the extra revenue will flow back to the station game that you play. Or any current game of theirs for that matter.

    EDIT: Just realised that Blizzard proved this with their celestial mount. Its price is that almost of an expansion and you can only use it if you have a sub with their game. So basically you buy an seriously overpriced micro expansion,which only contains a new mountlook. That is what mall items in p2p games are. That company discovered they simply can ask more money then they are used to.

  • jfk35824jfk35824 Member Posts: 81

    this $5 thing isnt a bad idea, but i dont think i would use it. I want to see more companies use the GW model.  I want to buy a box, (save up as long as I have to for it) and then buy expansions as I can afford them.  FtP games dont always offer what i want, and i dont like having to pay monthly sub fees...

     

    I want five or six different pay options, and i want "AAA" level titles to use them.  If i want a sub fee for *all* of a game's immediate content, i should be able to use it.  If i want/can only afford a "buy once" model, a'la guild wars, and then can only buy expansion content say, once or twice a year b/c of budget, i should have that option.  If i think i want to come in for an event one month and want to pay for just the three days, then i should be able to do that too...and yes, if i want a ftp/cash shop option with the option to use one of these other optons later, I should be able too...

    Right now, im playing torchlight b/c its the closest to what i want that i can afford.  I'm not doing mmorpg's unless they are ftp that i can stand (warrior epic or maybe neo steam), or will offer me a "aaa" list experience (titles like say, City of Heroes, or EVE or The Secret World) with payment options *I* like and can afford long term.

    If i dont get it, then i just wont do this kind of gaming anymore. 

    I have some hope for DCU Online, but i'm really cautious....I expect to be disappointed really....i expect a sub fee, even though they have implied there wont be...

  • XerathuleXerathule Member UncommonPosts: 114

    If you can't afford $15 a month then don't play!  I don't know about you but I would rather pay for quality and future expansions to improve the game.  It isn't just a total loss!  There are expenses that MMO's have to pay as well so it can't be totally free without some kind of monthly charge.  

     

    If your a Guild Wars fan then I can understand that.  I think they have a good technical design for making online games free.  It is a good design for where World of Warcraft has ended up with Dungeon queues and Battleground queues.  Most people just stay in the big cities and queue up all day.  What is the difference in doing that and playing Guild Wars where you jump into an instance with others you group with when you leave the cities.  I don't believe you will find a better quality game with character and creativity like World of Warcraft though except for maybe the new Star Wars that BioWare is making.  I think it would be a cheap trend to go down the route of Guild Wars / World of Warcraft Level 80 progression through gear with badges and honor.  

     

    On the flip side, it is important to realize that the more money that is made the better content you have!  If you want to play with rocks live in Afghanistan.  In the US, we play with advanced toys because we pay for it! 

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