Cryptic Undecided On Neverwinter's Payment Model

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Cryptic Undecided On Neverwinter's Payment Model

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Cryptic Studios' upcoming Neverwinter won't be an MMORPG, but it will probably still require a unique payment model.

Atari and Cryptic Studios announced Neverwinter this week, a Dungeons & Dragons licensed game rumored to be an MMOG before its announcement, but revealed as an online co-op game instead. Despite the change, Cryptic says the game isn't planned as the type of product it can put a retail price on and forget about.

In an interview with Gamasutra, Cryptic co-founder Jack Emmert compares Neverwinter's mechanics to Borderlands, which made co-op an easy experience, and says that he hopes to create a game as good as Dragon Age or Oblivion. Both of those RPGs have what Cryptic calls "vignettes," or fun quests that players stumble upon. It's these vignettes that drove the game away from the MMORPG space, as Cryptic didn't feel they fit with the typical "kill 10 orcs" model, and that to make an MMOG with vignettes requires not only talent, but a huge amount of resources.

Emmert still plans for Neverwinter to constantly grow as Cryptic adds to the experience, and may offer a microtransaction or subscription model to support its expansion. Emmert says Cryptic hasn't announced a final business model for Neverwinter yet, but when asked if he was going to "slap a price on the box and forget about it" he replied: "No." Emmert indicates his resistance to a subscription model, as he believes it's "extremely demanding" because "gamers are very picky, and they should be.

"We envision this as an online product that will continue to grow over time, that we continue to add content to," Emmert revealed. "So whether it's subscription fee, whether it's free-to-play, whether it's microtransactions, whether it's pay-by-the-minute [laughs], whether it's some sort of Ponzi scheme that I haven't figured out, I don't know. None of that has been announced."

RPG fans looking forward to Neverwinter might see a regular payment model as a negative, but it really isn't. This only means that Cryptic plans to make Neverwinter a game that will continue to provide content to players, and it can't work for free. Emmert says Neverwinter is a "new direction" for Cryptic, and I'm looking forward to seeing what it comes up with. We'll find out more as the game gets closer to its 2011 release on the PC.

Source: Gamasutra

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I hope they just make it, you buy the game and then its free.

You know, I think they have Bill Roper on staff (it may have changed, I dunno) but old bill was apart of another game where the payment methodology was undecided. Hellgate: London, anyone? Pick a payment model and make sure everyone knows it early. They should stop faffing about and decide already.

At the moment a subscription based neverwinter nights would be competing with the various other DnD based games, not to mention DnD itself.
Why pay a fee to play this when you could pay for something else that has been doing it for longer? And microtransactions for nwn?! THAT won't be abused, noooo.
Horse armor.

The strength of the NWN games have been the community that builds adventures for them all for free. I mean we've had persistent player run worlds for free. Hundreds of mods that add anything from classes to monsters to items to fully fledged campaigns that equal or outdo the ones it is shipped with. Why can't they just craft an extremely well made single player campaign instead of going this pseudo MMO crap?

How about they put it on a box in game shops which you can then play without logging onto the internet. No creating ten linked user accounts. No tech support department that is halfway between the Stazi and McDonalds. No monthly payments. No paywalls in the middle of the game. No charging extra for digital "items" that are literally worthless and are only in the game because 1% of people are stupid enough to buy them.

Cryptic butchered Star Trek with Star Trek Online and they are microtransaction crazy so I am disappointed they have anything to do with a Neverwinter Nights game since they've always been a favorite of mine.

I don't see why it should be a subscription model. There is another way to add content and make you pay for it. It's called an expansion pack. I don't like the idea of a subscription based single player RPG.

oranger:
At the moment a subscription based neverwinter nights would be competing with the various other DnD based games, not to mention DnD itself.
Why pay a fee to play this when you could pay for something else that has been doing it for longer? And microtransactions for nwn?! THAT won't be abused, noooo.
Horse armor.

And it would lose to DnD itself. Sorry, but you can take DnD and make it digital, but you miss ~75% of a campaign when you're not with an actual group.

Naheal:

oranger:
At the moment a subscription based neverwinter nights would be competing with the various other DnD based games, not to mention DnD itself.
Why pay a fee to play this when you could pay for something else that has been doing it for longer? And microtransactions for nwn?! THAT won't be abused, noooo.
Horse armor.

And it would lose to DnD itself. Sorry, but you can take DnD and make it digital, but you miss ~75% of a campaign when you're not with an actual group.

Absolutely, nwn didn't really come alive till I played it online, with some of the cleverer DM mods.

edit: by that I meant in a more traditional DnD setting/style, online with nwn.

double edit: Has anyone ever noticed how irritating it is to dual wield two katanas in nwn? I can do it effectively in RL, with low str/dex stats, why can't my nwn character do it? is it a balance thing?
I can't see 2 1d8 weapons doing an extreme amount of damage, especially later on in the game when your basically going up against a horde of golems, liches and other supposedly rare monsters.

For some reason that I can't quite put my finger on, every time I hear about this game, I like it less and less. I generally dislike games focused on co-op, since they tend to be weaker for single players, I dislike the whole "can't make up our minds if it's an MMO or something else" thing, now the talk about payment models, small self-contained quests instead of a large epic story... It all just rubs me the wrong way somehow. I'm all for fantasy RPGs and I'd love to see 4th ed DnD in action, but somehow I've got a bad feeling about this game...

Honestly, the best route for them would be to go the way of Guild Wars 1/2 - box the final and well TESTED game, charge nothing for it, make sure all of the player created content is part of a good voting and delivery system, then charge NOMINAL fees for developer created story content like Bioware did for Neverwinter Nights. Think about it, it worked out for Bioware for years and there should be no reason for them to divert from that sort of setup, online or not!

Cryptic please do the gaming world a favour and let someone else develop this.

Cryptic should just change it's name to "Cashing in on MMO's". Seriously, have they ever made a non-MMO? Seems like they will do just about anything to charge you a sub.

"In an interview with Gamasutra, Cryptic co-founder Jack Emmert compares Neverwinter's mechanics to Borderlands, which made co-op an easy experience..."

I'm sorry, which Borderlands was he playing? The one that fucked PC gamers over?

Cryptic countinues to miss the point. Sigh.

JaredXE:
"In an interview with Gamasutra, Cryptic co-founder Jack Emmert compares Neverwinter's mechanics to Borderlands, which made co-op an easy experience..."

I'm sorry, which Borderlands was he playing? The one that fucked PC gamers over?

Can you explain how it....err, "fucked" PC gamers over? I am not saying you are wrong, I am just curious beacuse I didn't play Borderlands.

Anyway, the more I hear about this game, the more I think it is an MMO in everything but name. Notice how he didn't even mention a retail release with payable DLC, a model which would fit the kind of game they are describing the best, as a possibility. It clearly shows that they are looking into more permanent types of payments....types that are used by MMO's.

Honestly, this almost reeks of damage control; an attempt (albeit a poor one) to call it something other than an MMO in order to not anger long-time fans of the series. It kind of reminds me of the time Blizzard proclaimed StarCraft: Ghost to be "indefinitely postponed" instead of cancelled, even though everyone and their dog realised that nothing is going to come out of the project.

Tom Phoenix:

JaredXE:
"In an interview with Gamasutra, Cryptic co-founder Jack Emmert compares Neverwinter's mechanics to Borderlands, which made co-op an easy experience..."

I'm sorry, which Borderlands was he playing? The one that fucked PC gamers over?

Can you explain how it....err, "fucked" PC gamers over? I am not saying you are wrong, I am just curious beacuse I didn't play Borderlands.

Anyway, the more I hear about this game, the more I think it is an MMO in everything but name. Notice how he didn't even mention a retail release with payable DLC, a model which would fit the kind of game they are describing the best, as a possibility. It clearly shows that they are looking into more permanent types of payments....types that are used by MMO's.

Honestly, this almost reeks of damage control; an attempt (albeit a poor one) to call it something other than an MMO in order to not anger long-time fans of the series. It kind of reminds me of the time Blizzard proclaimed StarCraft: Ghost to be "indefinitely postponed" instead of cancelled, even though everyone and their dog realised that nothing is going to come out of the project.

YOU SHUT YOUR DIRTY MOUTH, STARCRAFT GHOST WILL COME OUT ANY DAY NOW, IT'S GONNA..gonna..*sobs and curles up in corner*

Sorry. I still have vietnam flashbacks. WHY NOVA, WHHHYY ;_____;

JaredXE:
"In an interview with Gamasutra, Cryptic co-founder Jack Emmert compares Neverwinter's mechanics to Borderlands, which made co-op an easy experience..."

I'm sorry, which Borderlands was he playing? The one that fucked PC gamers over?

never played pc borderlands but xbox borderlands i saw at a friends house seemed pretty easy

also is that piro in your avatar?

Eh, it might be too early to pass judgment on this game, but I think I'll just stick with playing the first Neverwinter Nights.

To be honest, I find it hard to swallow any comapany's line about fees if it's not an MMO and needs giant servers and the costs that go with that. But then I loathe that too, so that's not saying much.

If it's very good, Ill play it, and pay for it. But they should know that Ill have higher expectations, and be more picky and more critical, if I have to pay by the month, even if It ends up being less of an extent.

Quick Psych lesson: Buying stuff is a behavior. As a business, you want to encourage this behavior. MMOs are basically a social service that requires constant maintenance, so a pay monthy scheme is a necessity. However, a monthly fee is the least effective form of enforcing purchases. See, from the players view, your using positive punishment: Pay this monthly fee, or you lose the game. Punishment is the least effective form of behavior modification, and the necessity of it being a fixed schedule makes this even worse. A person who has played this game is, if anything, motivated to quit the game to stop the fee. Re-enforcement is far more effective, particularly if it isn't on a fixed schedule. Release a string of DLC, and people will view the purchase as being rewarded, and the person will continue to play. Yes, this means constant support and regular updates, but it sounds like that's the plan anyways. Borderlands is an interesting comparison. I think the DLC system was a great one. I was motivated to buy every one, and I would have bought it monthly. Do a DLC system, and you will have a bigger player base, more motivated to keep buying.

Tom Goldman:
RPG fans looking forward to Neverwinter might see a regular payment model as a negative, but it really isn't. This only means that Cryptic plans to make Neverwinter a game that will continue to provide content to players, and it can't work for free.

Yeah? Tell that to ArenaNet. Guild Wars has no subscription fee. Three paid expansions plus multiple free content updates were released for it. And unless I'm mistaken, Guild Wars 2 will not have a subscription fee either.

If this new Neverwinter game has subscription fees, I'll never buy it.

A co-op RPG with a subscription fee?

I can't wait to hear the number of sales.

Tom Phoenix:

JaredXE:
"In an interview with Gamasutra, Cryptic co-founder Jack Emmert compares Neverwinter's mechanics to Borderlands, which made co-op an easy experience..."

I'm sorry, which Borderlands was he playing? The one that fucked PC gamers over?

Can you explain how it....err, "fucked" PC gamers over? I am not saying you are wrong, I am just curious beacuse I didn't play Borderlands.

Second patch, every version of the game, introduced SecuROM. I paid $50 for a DRM-free game BECAUSE it's awesome AND it has no DRM. Then they punched me in the face. And Steam buyers, since they had no choice but to update the game to play.

Well, I just continued to pirate DLC, since I didn't need a pirated stand-alone to use third-hand add-ons.

Also, Cryptic sucks, anything new? "NEW CHARACTERS WITH EXOTIC WEAPONS - ONLY $5 for 5 characters!! Mages too soft, warriors too slow, rogues too reliant on stealth? BUY POTIONS OF FORTITUDE, HASTE AND GREATER INVISIBILITY TO GAIN AN UPPER HAND! $10 A BUNDLE!!"

God, I'll just install NwN and play persistent worlds.. oh, wait, I never uninstalled NwN.

Why the fuck does this keep happening? Why do companies insist on raping franchises I actually like, instead of coming up with their own generic piece of crap shell to hide their obscene payment system?

I was so up for the prospect of a new NWN RPG, I went back and played some of NWN2 the other day, but since then all the anticipation has been sucked out of it. First, we find out it's Cryptic doing it, a company notorious for taking existing franchises and fucking them up. Then it's going to be one of these shitty "co-op focused" titles, which inevitably have an unplayable single-player campaign, if they have one at all. Now we find out it will have an "alternative" payment model, which is Cryptic-code for "making customers pay out the arse for stuff that should really be part of the original game".

Looks like I'll pass thanks.

As a person who makes $0 an hour, I can't afford a subscription for a game that I'll only play sporadically, but I'd still like to play it. Borderlands, the game that he compares the whole co-op to, didn't require any kind of fee, so wtf?

I really don't like MMOs of any kind, but I must admit that Guild Wars 2 drew my attention after watching a couple of preview videos. Also, you buy the game and you get to play it for free on official servers. Is that concept so difficult to grasp? You release new content? Well, you charge for it, of course. Many MMOs failed due to publisher's unreasonable greed.

They want to do what was sugegsted for games like Modern Warfare and Call of Duty, charge people a subscription for using their servers for a group game, not an MMO. Which only the people who would be paid are eager to implement. It will be great to watch Cryptic fail horribly again. The only bad part of Cryptic is that we will not see a GOOD Star Trek MMO for years, if ever, because of their flop.

I thought about this a little bit more, and although I've never played a Neverwinter nights game, I have played tabletop D&D. Wizards doesn't charge people a monthly subscription to use their books to play group games, and if Cryptic does, they'll just screw themselves over. I'll just go play tabletop for free! Wooo!

Riobux:
A co-op RPG with a subscription fee?

I can't wait to hear the number of sales.

Same here.

Way to ruin one of the best RPG games ever.

Hey maybe the game will work this time and not refuse to acknowledge that my keyboard actually exists!

Seriously, happened in NWN1 AND 2...

"whether it's some sort of Ponzi scheme that I haven't figured out, I don't know. None of that has been announced."

you know, now that you mentioned it...

Hasn't everything about Cryptic just been one big ol' Ponzi scheme?

Fuck them. I'm so sick of these companies trying to milk players until we're dried out husks. I can't barely stand (though can understand) that MMOs do it to cover server costs. This game is not an MMO and so has no excuse for this bullshit. My new biggest fear is these kinds of ideas catching on so companies can afford to hollow out Mt. Everest and fill it with money.

If they're going to require subscriptions, or micro-transactions, or whatever, they have to also learn one important thing. The incoming money should then be put towards expanding the world frequently, and not just by paid for expansions.

If they're going to release new, high quality content on a regular basis, and hotfix, and patch when needed, it might just be worth it. But if they're just trying to cash in, it's going to be a dismal failure.

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