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11-11-2010 @ 8:27AM
This is purely ignorant. LOTRO and D&D Online still offer a sub that means everything stays the same as you'd expect. The fact is that all these MMOs are going after the same players. All of them. How many people in the world do you think want to play an online fantasy MMO? Going free to play means that if you decide today that you want to log in and fart around with LOTRO, you can do so without buying a month of game time. As a publisher, it also eliminates any and all trepidation people have about playing your game. Players get to test the waters for free and only when they hit a ceiling do they need to spend money. 15 bucks a month or 10 bucks here and there. What's the real difference?Champions Online is a game I had a lot of fun with, but once I finished my trial and the prospect of playing that or quitting WoW was staring me in the face, I had to move on. When Champions goes F2P, I will be back in there. F2P lowers the barrier of entry and allows more players to truly give your game a try, as opposed to free trials which are almost always painfully limited in scope to the point that you don't feel like you're playing the real game.Do I think WoW will or can go free to play? Nope. Most of these free to play games do a lot of instancing and zoning, which makes it easy to lock out content until you've paid for it. There is no load screen when you go from Westfall to Duskwood. However, to assume that all F2P games are instantly inferior to games like WoW is foolish. LOTRO was a fine game when it was 10 bucks a month and I am sure it's still a fine game, now.
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