WoW Goes Free Forever (Except Not)

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F2P WoW... Granted not a reality yet but... just scary to think that I might soon have $30 more a month back in my pocket without having to quit again.
Probably would be F2P but pay for expansions/races/level caps and non-gameplay affecting gear (vanity).
Or even pay for premade toons... which would kill the game.

John Funk:
Hell, you could stop at level 19, twink yourself out, and engage in low-level PvP for free as long as you wanted.

Nope. As far as I know, trial accounts can't trade with anyone. So there's definitely no twinking unless you're REALLY lucky with the drops. As in, "win the international lottery" type of lucky.

no can do. I fear digital crack cocaine.

rembrandtqeinstein:
Good job blizz, I hope this hastens the death of the subscription model. Just introduce microransactions and be done with it.

I think there's still plenty of support for subs if the game deserves it. I feel like the general perception is that being successful with a subscription indicates a better game than being successful without. This is not necessarily the case with every game, but when going F2P is basically a marketing gambit for games going downhill, it's hard not to see it as an inferior option. Personally, I just prefer making one small payment per month and getting the whole game instead of having to make a separate purchase decision for every game enhancement.

Feriluce:

GW2 however has a fresh take on the genre, and it doesn't even require a sub to play it.

I think this goes several ways. In a sense GW2 is not competing because no-subscription means players don't necessarily need to drop a second game. So people can play TOR and GW2 and only pay one sub a month. Also, GW2 is high fantasy while TOR is sci-fi, so they may appeal to different groups. And of course, the IPs have different fanbases. Assuming both games are at least reasonably fun in their own ways, I'm not sure if we'll see a whole lot of direct competition, at least not any more than you see from any other game release.

But then I've never seen this as a zero-sum game. There's room for more than one game out there, as evidenced by what I see as a rather healthy assortment of options still surviving. With WoW on what appears to be a decline, I think we'll see an MMO market with several high-profile titles instead of one aging behemoth.

Well, that's neat...the article title got my hopes up for a free(ish)-to-play WoW, but oh well...maybe one day

I would honestly try WoW if it wasn't for the graphics. I was a big sucker for Aion before it was released because of the graphics and aesthetic. But when it came out, well, let's just say 15 euro a month is quite a bit.

I'm guessing WoW goes free to play a month after TOR releases.

Definately will play WoW once again, the free trial I played 2 years ago was quite fun as long as it lasted.

mfG diebane

Even if the entire game were free, I still don't think I'd play it. I did buy WoW and I got to lvl. 37 on a hunter and then it really started to drag so I quit. My friends agreed.
Of course, I know I am in the minority. I always preferred City of Heroes to WoW.

Oooh! Level 20! That'll take about.. 5 hours at most. I guess without the auction house, mail system and player transactions it will take longer seeing how you wont be able to afford decent gear. 6 hours then. Good luck "exploring" the world with a level 20 character with vendor trash gear.

Blizz must be getting desperate.

If WoW goes F2P that's it - the P2P MMO market dies that day. Even if it doesn't yet, there's so much choice in the F2P market that new MMOs hoping to base their revenue on subs are going to have a hard time selling that to a substantial playerbase. There's just so much more competition now.

3 or 4 years ago, F2P meant the ubiquitous Korean grindfest. Now we've got Dungeons and Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Champions Online, Age of Conan, City of Heroes (soon), Fallen Earth (soon)... That's a sizeable chunk of the western MMO market.

Have to wonder what EA is making of all this. I seem to recall that a few months ago they were talking about TOR keeping 100K+ subscribers for ten years. The way things are going at the moment I don't think subscription based MMOs will exist in five years, let alone ten.

Time to rewrite that business plan I think...

aww monkeynertz, my trial ended last thursday. well, hooray for Bliz. one problem is level cap: in 10 days (although i only got in about 2 hours gameplay each day) i reached level 15. if i get unlimited freeness, i'll cap and be stuck there.

Wow, that's the first time I've even thought of trying WoW. Nicely done!
Really smart move considering the competition in its way!

If they had done this a few years ago I may have tried it out, but speaking personally this is too little too late.

I'd be very surprised if WoW went F2P. However I wouldn't be surprised if they released a new MMO and bundled accounts so a single fee got you an account on both. This would help entice people to pick up the new game (if you're paying for WoW the second subscription looks like a bonus) and if Bioware is giving them a run for their money every little bit will help.

Of course after their atrocious recent trailer I'm more than a little skeptical of Bioware's upcoming MMO.

F2P can never destroy P2P and P2P can never destroy F2P. I could see in future P2P games with lower subscription fees that sell vanity items that affect game play in no shape or form to make up for lower subscription as future. A F2P game with micro transactions to unlock 100% of the game play just doesn't look appealing at all and neither does a P2P game where you have to pay high subscription fee for mediocre content when a lower one would be more appealing.

Maybe i'll try it, i'd only pay for WOW if they made it one big payment and then free forever however

mattaui:
Between this and them raising the refer-a-friend XP from level 60 to level 80, they're definitely making a big push. I wish they'd do something for us six year veterans rather than just handing out Vanilla WoW keys.

No shit. How about working on retention instead of bringing in more new people to bugger up LFD?

Erana:
And for roleplayers, having the game at all is half the experience.

Good GOD, they've made Goldshire even scarier.

May i ask what was and what is scary about goldshire?

Domehammer:
F2P can never destroy P2P and P2P can never destroy F2P. I could see in future P2P games with lower subscription fees that sell vanity items that affect game play in now shape or form to make up for lower subscription as future. A F2P game with micro transactions to unlock 100% of the game play just doesn't look appealing at all and neither does a P2P game where you have to pay high subscription fee for mediocre content when a lower one would be more appealing.

Any game changing items sold in P2P games will lead to massive revolts by the players of that game. That would be the biggest mistake Blizz could make.

Meant to say no shape or form, accidentally put in the w on end.

fare777:
i've tried wow, it's horrible, nothing but a worthless grind.

Why on earth would I want to play it? nothing has changed, nothing will.

If you are going to troll - at least troll with SOME dignity. For god sakes - use some punctuation! Why even capitalize the W on Why if you didn't on I've or Nothing? Good lord, you make all trolls look bad!

OT - WoW has always been a great game, even better in Cata, people give it shit even when they haven't tried a fourth of the content the game provides.

Also - how much do you want to bet that 99% of the people who 'hate' WoW will get this and play now?

When does this change take place? I totally want to download it now that the trial doesn't suck.

tehweave:
I WAS FREE! I WAS FREE YOU IMBECILES! I HAVEN'T PLAYED THE GAME SINCE JANUARY AND NOW I CAN GET TO 20 FOR FREE? NOOOOO!

(cries)

Alright... I'll start up my account again.

Resist it or all is doomed! But seriously your not going to get much this game is still a skinner box in disguise. I'm glad to leave it behind and get onto something else.

Wow (the noise of suprise, not the game) thats kinda cool, I may just give it a try until my laptop catches fire and I remember Im more of a console fella for a reason. Still color me interested.

WoW is one of the worst games I've ever played.
Same goes for other MMO games. I have jet to see a game that would be worth all the grinding and hours and hours of playing. I don't want to play a game for a month to see SOME progress. Especially not if those 30 days are all in the same locations.

And NO, I don't have time to play 3 hours a day a game, nor do I want to farm creeps for 3 hours.
The 14 days trail was enough for me. Even if it was for free, I wouldn't play it.

I tried the trial a long time ago, i'll try it again if it goes F2P.

Considering what Blizzard already has in the ingame store, they should just go to the F2P model completely. But I have to say, this is a good step in the direction. I have to wonder with the restrictions, if trial players can purchase items out of the store for ingame, or if the mailbox restrictions discourage that. Hopefully not as otherwise Blizzard would be hurting itself more.

Zeriu:

Erana:
And for roleplayers, having the game at all is half the experience.

Good GOD, they've made Goldshire even scarier.

May i ask what was and what is scary about Goldshire?

Not sure if we should shatter your innocent mind, but Goldshire on many servers pretty much became Bourbon Street of New Orleans, only seedier.
Lately, though, I have heard that it isn't so much. I guess the carnival found somewhere else to be. Probably Shattrath.

To be honest I have only heard negative reports about the old republic.
I really dont think old republic will steal all of the WOW players away.
It would have to be revolutionary better then World of Warcraft to even scratch it. Some of that fanbase is bloody loyal.

and a huge chuck of that fanbase is bloody "casual" and not.

this is a bushiness response to the fact Cata was supposed to increase player retention and encourage player returns and instead its resulted in the company admitting for the first time to shareholders its lost over half a million players from the US/EU regions (the subs where the vast majority of the profits come from)

subscription growth for WoW has basically been stagnant since 2008.
now its going in reverse.
hence marketing or whoever comes up with an extended trial...

imo its doubtful its going to reverse the trend that has started.

Wait, so the trials let you download ALL of WoW? Wow (no pun intended), I thought I would be stuck to the shit, 7 year old vanilla WoW. Or be forced to use 2 characters.
Now I'ma try it, eventually.

Generic Gamer:
Stick this on Steam and it'll be downloading in ten minutes!

they wont, no blizzard games are on steam, blizzard has its own online store that is worse then steam, I wouldnt be surprised if activision abandoned steam to just put games on it at some point

obviously blizzard is scared of guild wars 2 and how much ass it is going to kick

A wise business move would be to make the MAIN game free none of the expansions. Then as new expansions come out possibly add an expansion to the F2P.

That's actually a very fair deal tbh. I used to play WoW and I think it's a great game. Really my only complaint is that it takes too much time do anything. I kind of wish they'd hire more writers and jam in more content and less grinding. /endrant

Must. Resist. I've been curious for ages but have never taken the plunge... Now that I can essentially play for as long as I want with no strings attached...

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