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6-30-2010 @ 11:56AM
Would be nice to be free
6-30-2010 @ 12:13PM
It depends on what we would get for free, if there would be still an optional subscription plan and what you would get for it, as well as whether or not they expanded the micro-transaction store. A lot of these “free” mmo’s often turn into games where you get for little for free and then have to keep shelling out clams for run of the mill stuff like multiple characters, more than three character options, and leveling past the starter zones. Having no subscription fees also allows for an entire population of goldsellers and spammers to create accounts without having to even pay for a subscription, whereas currently they have to recreate ten-day trials or steal other people’s accounts. It’s a common problem on a lot of the free mmo’s out there. Mabinogi is apparently plagued with this kind of thing.Of course that’s not to say that with careful grooming and a well-handled transition a “free” option could not be implemented. DDO has been handling it quite nicely. It’s just that changing your subscription model complicates a great many facets of the game and can result in a decrease of quality as well as cost to the player.
6-30-2010 @ 12:18PM
Actually, Free would not be nice to those who like the quality of the game. In all seriousness, if you read what Chilton is saying here, he is talking about end of life conditions for the product.Once they have stopped all real design work, server upgrades, technology enhancements and developers and technicians have moved on to other products, They will squeeze some last coinage out of the remaining players who have not moved on to "the next thing."Want to solo Sargaras? For a simple transaction of $49.99 you will be given the Axe of Hellacious Mangling. Procs: One dead god every 5 hits.The game will not be the dynamic universe we know now. Balance will be thrown out the window. Sure some people will pay for that playstyle, but those are the same people who look for godmode cheats before they get the box out of Wal-mart.
6-30-2010 @ 12:19PM
I agree that it would be nice to be free, but this brings up another problem: the micro-transactions. Obviously Blizz won't sell gold or items, but in the long run, not many people are going to buy vanity pets and vanity gear... at least not over $15 worth every month per player. This means they will have to start selling other things, and the first (and only) thing that comes to mind is experience bonuses: $10 for %100 experience bonus for 5 days... or something like that. Players will still have to work, and it is almost the same as RaF (pay some more money for an exp bonus). But to be honest, Blizzard is making a ton of money atm with name changes, realm transfers, the new mobile armory, vanity pets, licensing deals, not to mention the $15 a month every single player pays. I can't see them being successful in free to play because they just make too much money now./my2copper
6-30-2010 @ 12:25PM
F2P is not necessarily a good thing. Think more gold spam, bots, and your general successes in the game (including your ability to min/max) will be dependent upon how many premium services you buy into. Imagine the restrictions of a trial account but the ability to level to cap. Oh you want to join a guild? That will be 3$, sir. Don't want to wait another week for your raid ID to lock? For just an extra 8$/month you can become a premium member with raid IDs that unlock every 3 days. Now think of gear that has "rental fees" or requires monetary upkeep... do you see where this can go? Icky Icky Baddness.
6-30-2010 @ 6:34PM
@GolisBlizzard has already expressed their desire NOT to sell things that would throw off in-game balance, and I don't see this philosophy ever changing. If WoW were to be free-to-play, the microtransactions would most likely come in the form of things that don't effect the skill or powers of the player, like vanity pets and mounts, cosmetic gear, guild halls, or some other sort of stuff of that nature. This would probably be just as profitable too, considering that the SuperSpecialAwesome Star Pony theoretically made several million dollars withing ten minutes of it being available. Overall, though? Maybe seeing a f2p system could nice. It'd be cool to see me only really paying for what I need or want, rather than paying $15 for some content I don't use all the time. I'm not sure, I haven't really had any good experinces with a f2p model.
6-30-2010 @ 1:05PM
@Golis: Free doesn't directly have to mean introducing a ton of godly weapons like that. Instead I feel Blizzard might already be experimenting with different offers on as to how to monetize their products.For example for WoW they introduced the cash shop features quite some time ago, and are slowly filling it up with more. At first it was the more general accepted features such as realm changes, name changes, etc. Then it became race changes and class changes. Ingame pets started to be sold, then even a mount went on sale. Added to that they're selling remote auction house access these days and thinking about adding remote mail support to that.Premium services, which if used plenty enough can bring in quite a nice share of cash. Maybe one day replace the need for a specific WoW alone subscription.Next to that, they're introducing newer games. In Korea for one SC2 and WoW will share the same monthly sub if you want. Sub for WoW and get to play SC2 for free. Even though SC2 would require no subbing if you don't want it to, the idea of combining is interesting.In a couple of years after all Blizzard shall release their second MMO, a combined subscription could give them a headstart amongst the other players. To Blizzard it'll make little difference, the income all goes to them, and since most only play 1 MMO it doesn't matter whether they cut them off from one of their game or keep them in on both. You will most likely only be spending server time on one at a time, so additional load won't be so much of an issue.If they stretch that out enough over multiple games within their catalogue they will increase their steady flow of cash, whilst each specific game of theirs is technically approaching near free to play standards. 1 game for 15 a month vs 2 or 4 games a month for 15 makes quite the difference to the consumer after all, but to Blizzard it'll matter very little. Keep in mind that box products might be missing, but the return on each sold box in the store for Blizzard is squat compared to those monthlies.
6-30-2010 @ 1:22PM
@Zaber GuardNever say never. Blizzard once expressed the same concerns about allowing Alliance-Horde faction changes, and although people still blame it for Wintergrasp and other bg imblance few players bat an eyelash at it. They may find legitimate methods of balancing that we haven't thought of yet.
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