Bethesda Exec Defends Elder Scrolls Online's Subscription Model

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Flutterguy:
Still looks better then MMO I've played. Just being able to PvP in an elder scrolls game is enough to make me a happy customer. I'm sorry guys, it doesn't look that bad to me.

Just out of interest have you played it? Because while it has promise, it's certainly not in a state to be released in 3 weeks. Because the combat for starters is really clunky and awkward. The main issue is that nothing is solid, thus attacking will 50% of the time, move you through the enemy and out the other side, meaning combat because very fustrating as you're having to readjust for moving through a sodding enemy, makes the combat feel as floaty as a feather, with no meat or satisfaction at all. The enemies don't even have a "reaction" animation to you hitting them.

Clipping through enemies is fine in a standard MMO seting is fine, because you don't really move around a whole lot in PvE, or at least not in a toe to toe sense, but here it feels awful.

It still feels like it's in heavy beta, and really, really needs to be pushed back if they don't want to shoot themselves in the foot, (which they can't, as it's doubtless shipped or at least printed by now) or they're going to have to pull a FF14 and rebuild the damn thing from scratch. I mean FF14 is good fun now, I'm playing it at the moment, but you should /need/ to go down that route with an MMO, the launch is everything.

immortalfrieza:

AJey:
You can justify subscription model only if you have a service to provide. It this case, service is the potential content that will come in the future. So here's the question: why would I want to pay for something that is not yet ready? Not even that; why would I want to pay for something that I know nothing about? Cable is a service, right? Or interner. I pay monthly for it and I know what I get every single time. What am I getting from this service? A DLC-ish type of content? Okay, what if I dont like it? Or what if I dont care for it? What then? I am certain no one will refund me. I mean there is no way that every single "content update" will appeal to everyone. And yet I have to pay for it. I dont have to pay for my neighbor's cable? Or his car insurance. Or his electric bills. Honestly, I just dont understand this model.

However they try to justify it, the subscription model is, has been, and always will be solely about greed. It doesn't matter how good the game is either, it could be the best video game that ever has or ever will be made and it still would not be worth a subscription. The simple fact is, I paid money to buy this game, it is my possession, and it is the publisher's responsibility to ensure that it works in full now and in the foreseeable future, doesn't matter if it's an MMO or a single player game. The subscription model is the most blatantly obvious ripoff in the entire industry and no other industry could get away with selling their customers a product in full and then taking it away after a month or 2 unless you paid more.

I wouldn't say that myself. At least in a sub scription model, I'm on level ground with everyone else, most F2P mmos, now /they/ are greedy. Sure you can play for free, but can you do anything worth a damn? Most of the time no, you're hamstringed at every turn just so they can get you to pay for stuff, and it's not like League of Legends where buying stuff is just a time saver, a lot of the time you just flat out can't access stuff. Or even then it ends up being cheaper to just buy a sub to the game if it's available than just micro transactions.

SWOTOR for example, in F2P mode you can only have one profession, which is almost pointless as you need a second one to do anything with professions, you have to pay to hide your hat, you have limited bag space and wallet space in DC Universe online. And I'm not fucking paying for that on principle, ergo, those games can do one.

If F2P functioned more like LoL, then I'm more than happy to pay for stuff, because I'm not cut off from anything aside from cosmetics by playing for free. And because I don't constatnly feel like I'm being prodded and poked(or kicked and punched) to pay, I will do to get those cosmetics, or the odd character, because I want to support them for making a decent product.

I'm not playing WoW anymore, but I always felt like my £8.99 a month was worth it, as for 656 hours worth of playtime, that's pretty fucking good, works out at about 10p an hour. Barely anything else is that cheap, I mean if you can't afford that little a month on leisure time, then don't pay it. When I was poor, WoW certainly played last fiddle to paying the rent, food, etc. Then when I was working, I could afford 8.99 a month. Because it's not that much.

-oops misposted instead of adding to my original one-

StewShearer:
"We're not trying to make a game that everybody who plays games will automatically buy," he said. "It is a certain kind of game. There's no shooter elements. There's no aliens. It is a massive, 'Go where you want, do what you want' game that we think offers the kind of experience that's worthy of a subscription."

Is this true? I haven't played the game, but I'd really like to know if I can move to a small town and start an inn, running that by taking care of weary travellers, brewing mead and maybe hire another player to be a bard. Can I really go where I want and do what I want?
Or does he mean "Go where you want, kill what you want, with a selection of medieval weaponry."

Hawkeye21:
1) You have to pay 60$ to buy it
2) You pay 15$ a month to play it
3) It has a real money shop in game
4) Some content is locked behind a paywall (aka collectors edition)

It's pretty obvious they are milking it for more than its worth. After playing beta for 4 hours, I was so bored, I don't think I would be picking it up after it goes f2p 6 months from now.

There's a lot of people who mention this in game cash shop. None of those people work for ZOS. They said they'd offer quality of life stuff like name changes through your account management, they've never mentioned an in game cash shop.

elvor0:

I wouldn't say that myself. At least in a sub scription model, I'm on level ground with everyone else, most F2P mmos, now /they/ are greedy. Sure you can play for free, but can you do anything worth a damn? Most of the time no, you're hamstringed at every turn just so they can get you to pay for stuff, and it's not like League of Legends where buying stuff is just a time saver, a lot of the time you just flat out can't access stuff. Or even then it ends up being cheaper to just buy a sub to the game if it's available than just micro transactions.

SWOTOR for example, in F2P mode you can only have one profession, which is almost pointless as you need a second one to do anything with professions, you have to pay to hide your hat, you have limited bag space and wallet space in DC Universe online. And I'm not fucking paying for that on principle, ergo, those games can do one.

If F2P functioned more like LoL, then I'm more than happy to pay for stuff, because I'm not cut off from anything aside from cosmetics by playing for free. And because I don't constatnly feel like I'm being prodded and poked(or kicked and punched) to pay, I will do to get those cosmetics, or the odd character, because I want to support them for making a decent product.

I'm not playing WoW anymore, but I always felt like my £8.99 a month was worth it, as for 656 hours worth of playtime, that's pretty fucking good, works out at about 10p an hour. Barely anything else is that cheap, I mean if you can't afford that little a month on leisure time, then don't pay it. When I was poor, WoW certainly played last fiddle to paying the rent, food, etc. Then when I was working, I could afford 8.99 a month. Because it's not that much.

Those F2P games that lock away stuff needed to be able to actually play the game like you mentioned are really no better than a subscription model. It doesn't matter how little per hour the fees come to in the end, the truth is all that stuff should be available to the player just for playing the initial purchase price for as long as they possess the game like with single player games. I have gotten hundreds of hours out of single player games just for the initial purchase price and not a cent more, and that's the way it should be with MMOs. The Pay 2 Win and Subscription models exist solely so the people who made it can sit on their asses and pretty much do nothing especially nothing to justify the cost while people throw money at them endlessly, at least that's what they're all going for.

Zac Jovanovic:

Subscription fee is the ONLY way to have a successful MMO of quality and longevity though constant development,

Stop... think... and then think some more.. and THEN write.

Guildwars and Guildwars 2, Everquest and Everquest 2.. heck what about LOTRO?

Yeaaaah.. not really versed on what is actually going on in the MMO scene are you?

Elderscrolls online is allready nothing but another by the numbers mmo.. it simply has nothing to offer to varrant a subscription fee that other f2p or b2p titles allready offer... theres nothing unique about it that sets it apart from the rest of the over saturated market.

the27thvoice:

Is this true? I haven't played the game, but I'd really like to know if I can move to a small town and start an inn, running that by taking care of weary travellers, brewing mead and maybe hire another player to be a bard. Can I really go where I want and do what I want?
Or does he mean "Go where you want, kill what you want, with a selection of medieval weaponry."

The later one ofcourse. And only in THEORY you can go anywhere you want.. its a theme park mmo afterall complete with questhub and level apropiate content zones. Dont expect to be able to freely travel the world like in normal Elder scrolls games.

immortalfrieza:

elvor0:

I wouldn't say that myself. At least in a sub scription model, I'm on level ground with everyone else, most F2P mmos, now /they/ are greedy. Sure you can play for free, but can you do anything worth a damn? Most of the time no, you're hamstringed at every turn just so they can get you to pay for stuff, and it's not like League of Legends where buying stuff is just a time saver, a lot of the time you just flat out can't access stuff. Or even then it ends up being cheaper to just buy a sub to the game if it's available than just micro transactions.

SWOTOR for example, in F2P mode you can only have one profession, which is almost pointless as you need a second one to do anything with professions, you have to pay to hide your hat, you have limited bag space and wallet space in DC Universe online. And I'm not fucking paying for that on principle, ergo, those games can do one.

If F2P functioned more like LoL, then I'm more than happy to pay for stuff, because I'm not cut off from anything aside from cosmetics by playing for free. And because I don't constatnly feel like I'm being prodded and poked(or kicked and punched) to pay, I will do to get those cosmetics, or the odd character, because I want to support them for making a decent product.

I'm not playing WoW anymore, but I always felt like my £8.99 a month was worth it, as for 656 hours worth of playtime, that's pretty fucking good, works out at about 10p an hour. Barely anything else is that cheap, I mean if you can't afford that little a month on leisure time, then don't pay it. When I was poor, WoW certainly played last fiddle to paying the rent, food, etc. Then when I was working, I could afford 8.99 a month. Because it's not that much.

Those F2P games that lock away stuff needed to be able to actually play the game like you mentioned are really no better than a subscription model. It doesn't matter how little per hour the fees come to in the end, the truth is all that stuff should be available to the player just for playing the initial purchase price for as long as they possess the game like with single player games. I have gotten hundreds of hours out of single player games just for the initial purchase price and not a cent more, and that's the way it should be with MMOs. The Pay 2 Win and Subscription models exist solely so the people who made it can sit on their asses and pretty much do nothing especially nothing to justify the cost while people throw money at them endlessly, at least that's what they're all going for.

Okay not that I'm defending the actual price, as I'm sure for games like WoW, it could be lower and still cover the necessary fees at this point but a single player game is completely different to an MMO. Once a single player game is finished, it's finished, short of DLC, and the devs can wipe their hands of it, MMOs on the other hand require:

In Game Customer Support, Out of Game Customer Support, account management, billing, Server Upkeep, constant patches/updates, extra content, purchase of new servers,(should it be necessary), data management and back up (people get mighty pissed if you lose their max level character in the best gear), maintainence, marketing, teams of Artists, animators, programmers, alpha and beta testers, money to develop /other/ games, etc etc.

All of these they need from day 1, till the day the MMO dies or they stop supporting it, and for something the size of WoW, that's a fuck ton of salaries. Where exactly do you think all of that money is going to come from? Do you think WoW would've survived purely on the money it made from box sales for 10 years? And we can't count SC2 and Diablo 3, because they money from those box sales needs to cover the development costs of those games first. Even for all the doomsayers, WoW still has almost 8 million subscribers, which is a /lot/ more than any other MMO.

The initial sales of the game first need to break even then make a profit regardless, so you need that sub to cover the constant expenses that keep the MMO going after the initial sale spike, and if you want to make it work.

Nytkin:

You say a subscription fee is fool-hardy, but I say it is foolhardy to ignore the elephant in the room: Blizzard's MMORPG behemoth - World of Warcraft (WoW)- which has continually boasted (for ten years in November 2014) high PAID subscription levels ($2.3 billion in subscription revenue reported in 2013.)

Yeah, but WoW already had the fanbase willing to pay for that in the game since it was normal to be priced that way and MMO survive out of the dedication of the player and the friends he has in it, everyone knows that.

People dont quit WoW so easily has they already spent so much time and money in it and all their MMO friends are in it too.

People dont straight out join any other MMO (even free) as they dont have much reasons to stick around other then the true quality of the game. WoW was the first of its kind (not first MMO) and a lot of people got into it and ever since that they WoW has had the highest subscription number.

Blizzard doesnt need to lower the subscription as people are still willing to pay for it to keep playing with their characters in their guilds with their friends.

Karadalis:

Stop... think... and then think some more.. and THEN write.

Guildwars and Guildwars 2, Everquest and Everquest 2.. heck what about LOTR?

Yeaaaah.. not really versed on what is actually going on in the MMO scene are you?

No, just no. GW2 is exactly my point! The game has some great features but it has zero longevity, the fact that you CAN log in whenever you want means nothing when there is no incentive to do it. Miniscule content updates every couple weeks add next to nothing compared to continuous rolling development funds from monthly fees can provide.

B2P is a bullshit middle ground for shortsighted people, you get the same deal when you buy a game with a subscription without paying the first month if you're actively playing, minus the borderline abusive item shop.

It was a while ago but I think LOTRO was developed and marketed with a subscription model. About EQ, admittedly, I know very little.

Edit:
And don't even get me started on things outside the actual game, I waited 11 days just to get a response from GW2 support on the most urgent type of issue (not being able to log in + password reset on the site being broken), and whooping 27 days to get access to my account and I wasn't even hacked or anything.

Yeah, this seems like the typical pre-release fluff. Very similar to how the KotOR-guys defended their system. Or the STO-guys. Or any other game developer ever.

I played the game during the last beta weekend, and as soon as I found out that I couldn't horribly murder people (or myself) by throwing two-wheeled carts at them (or myself), I became rather indifferent about the whole affair. I mean, what's an Elder Scrolls game without all the awesome glitches? Also, I like my Elder Scrolls without people called Dickmeister or Zackbraff or such nonsense clogging up my screen.
Call me snobbish.

Hawkeye21:
1) You have to pay 60$ to buy it
2) You pay 15$ a month to play it
3) It has a real money shop in game
4) Some content is locked behind a paywall (aka collectors edition)

It's pretty obvious they are milking it for more than its worth. After playing beta for 4 hours, I was so bored, I don't think I would be picking it up after it goes f2p 6 months from now.

Yeah, back when I first heard it was $60 to buy and then $15 a month on top, I almost completely wrote it off. It's way too much, and when I look at how there's the money shop and pre-order/collector edition content, it seems to me like they don't have enough confidence that their product will recoup its costs, so they're trying to squeeze all the money they can out of early adopters before shifting to a Buy-to-Play with optional subscription, then F2P with optional subscription, that way they get tons of money out of the super-fans, rich folks, and idiots, and then when they drop down a peg they catch a lot of the people waiting for the drop, but still get a bunch of money from them, and then eventually go F2P once sales dry up.

Of course I could be wrong. It could be amazing. But based on what I saw in the beta, I can't believe there's even a chance that the finished product could possibly be so good as to justify the purchase+subscription. One, yes, maybe even a purchase and a smaller subscription, but in order to justify what they're charging, it would have to be staggeringly amazing, and I got nowhere close to that.

elvor0:

Okay not that I'm defending the actual price, as I'm sure for games like WoW, it could be lower and still cover the necessary fees at this point but a single player game is completely different to an MMO. Once a single player game is finished, it's finished, short of DLC, and the devs can wipe their hands of it, MMOs on the other hand require:

Doesn't matter if it's an MMO, a single player, or any other product for that matter. A product which is purchased by the customer is owned by the customer and should function in full for as long as the customer owns it, whether it be an MMO or not. The fact that this kind of blatant ripping off of the customer is even allowed not to mention people are defending it is the main problem with the video game industry.

In Game Customer Support, Out of Game Customer Support, account management, billing, Server Upkeep, constant patches/updates, extra content, purchase of new servers,(should it be necessary), data management and back up (people get mighty pissed if you lose their max level character in the best gear), maintainence, marketing, teams of Artists, animators, programmers, alpha and beta testers, money to develop /other/ games, etc etc.

All the publisher's fault that they are even necessary. Out of everything you mentioned, the only thing an MMO should require is servers and everything that goes with that, and those can be paid for by other means. Everything else? The customer support? Patches? Those are the fault of the developers that either is necessary, and if they had built it well the first time around they wouldn't be needed. The marketing is a business expense necessary to promote the game, same as any other game. If the development team wants to make new content, then they make a bunch of content and release that as a $15 or so expansion pack and get their salaries from that. If the initial purchase price of the game isn't enough to pay the developers and publishers, that's again their fault, for dumping too much money into a game that wasn't going to sell enough, and that's true of any game. In fact, even the servers could be taken off the table as an excuse if offline modes were made available.

All of these they need from day 1, till the day the MMO dies or they stop supporting it, and for something the size of WoW, that's a fuck ton of salaries. Where exactly do you think all of that money is going to come from? Do you think WoW would've survived purely on the money it made from box sales for 10 years? And we can't count SC2 and Diablo 3, because they money from those box sales needs to cover the development costs of those games first.

No, it would have survived off of expansion pack sales and any advertisements they could stick in without screwing up the game's atmosphere. They don't need to charge for anything aside from the initial purchase price and all expansions if the customer wants them. The claim that it's necessary is merely an excuse the creators throw out to try and justify bulking their customers.

The initial sales of the game first need to break even then make a profit regardless, so you need that sub to cover the constant expenses that keep the MMO going after the initial sale spike, and if you want to make it work.

Constant expenses that only exist to begin with because of the publishers and developers put them there.

Karadalis:

Zac Jovanovic:

Subscription fee is the ONLY way to have a successful MMO of quality and longevity though constant development,

Stop... think... and then think some more.. and THEN write.

Guildwars and Guildwars 2, Everquest and Everquest 2.. heck what about LOTRO?

Yeaaaah.. not really versed on what is actually going on in the MMO scene are you?

Elderscrolls online is allready nothing but another by the numbers mmo.. it simply has nothing to offer to varrant a subscription fee that other f2p or b2p titles allready offer... theres nothing unique about it that sets it apart from the rest of the over saturated market.

the27thvoice:

Is this true? I haven't played the game, but I'd really like to know if I can move to a small town and start an inn, running that by taking care of weary travellers, brewing mead and maybe hire another player to be a bard. Can I really go where I want and do what I want?
Or does he mean "Go where you want, kill what you want, with a selection of medieval weaponry."

The later one ofcourse. And only in THEORY you can go anywhere you want.. its a theme park mmo afterall complete with questhub and level apropiate content zones. Dont expect to be able to freely travel the world like in normal Elder scrolls games.

Star Trek Online has also been doing very well since it went F2P a couple of years ago, they actually do updates for the game now which they didn't for a long time.

Also this is pretty obviously a cash grab MMO, it is basically wow wrapped in a ES skin and not even a good one. The combat feels just weak especially magic its like throwing shoes at people not spells.

It will go f2p after about a year I would imagine just like SWTOR and many others who all do the exact same thing as WoW.

It's probably wrong to do so, but is anyone wanting to run a betting pool of when they go 'Oops, better go to Free-to-play model?'

Zac Jovanovic:

Karadalis:

Stop... think... and then think some more.. and THEN write.

Guildwars and Guildwars 2, Everquest and Everquest 2.. heck what about LOTR?

Yeaaaah.. not really versed on what is actually going on in the MMO scene are you?

No, just no. GW2 is exactly my point! The game has some great features but it has zero longevity, the fact that you CAN log in whenever you want means nothing when there is no incentive to do it. Miniscule content updates every couple weeks add next to nothing compared to continuous rolling development funds from monthly fees can provide.

B2P is a bullshit middle ground for shortsighted people, you get the same deal when you buy a game with a subscription without paying the first month if you're actively playing, minus the borderline abusive item shop.

It was a while ago but I think LOTRO was developed and marketed with a subscription model. About EQ, admittedly, I know very little.

Edit:
And don't even get me started on things outside the actual game, I waited 11 days just to get a response from GW2 support on the most urgent type of issue (not being able to log in + password reset on the site being broken), and whooping 27 days to get access to my account and I wasn't even hacked or anything.

Oh you mean paid for expansions that you have to spend another 40 to 50 dollars for?

That constantly rolling out of quality content? The one that ONLY WoW has done in the past couple of years and NO OTHER MMO because they failed with their subscription models before they could even make it to their first Expansion pack?

Dont even think for a moment that subscription fees go towards the development of Expansion packs. The price for developing xpansion packs is covered by the price you pay for them when they come out. You dont even get a free month of play like you do when you buy the base game for crying out loud! You pay 40 to 50 dollars for an expansion that in most cases isnt even feature complete when it comes out with entire dungeons and raids not even in it yet.

And all the content that usualy shows up after a X-pac is released like you see in Wow? Thats suposed to be content thats part of the Xpac to begin with but its much better to scrap feed your player base the content of an Xpack over a year or three to string them along and pay more subscription money!

It isnt called carrot on a stick for no reason.

Meanwhile in GW2 you have a constantly evolving storyline that has changed quite a bit from the beginning of the game till now and makes a big deal about your characters involvment in everything, essentially for free... while as in WoW you can be glad if your character shows up during cutscenes after YOU killed the big bad and Blizzards own Mary Sues (hi there thrall aka. green jesus!) grab all the glory and completly ignore your ass.

However i will give you the atrocious tech-support of GW2 wich is really atrocious, but that has less to do with subscriptions and more to do with the company itself.. LOTRO never had support problems.

For me the game isn't worth $15 a month fee, it just felt like another generic MMO with Elder Scrolls stamped on the side of the box. If I want to play an open world game that is part of the Elder Scrolls universe I will just go back and play Skyrim again.

For some people the monthly fee is going to be fine and other it will be a deal breaker, but what bothers me is that the statement almost feels like we are getting a guilt trip to buy their game. Of course I might not feel as negatively towards the monthly fee if Zenimax didn't say the reason why they wanted the player to experience all the content and not get nickel and dimed with a free-to-play model and what they are offering (especially the Imperial race) feels like we are being nickel and dimed.

I have enjoyed the times that I have played in the beta. As long as I continue to like it I don't mind purchasing a subscription for it.

I'm totally neutral on this game, gonig to play this upcoming weekend beta and the headstart and then see how I feel about it then before i go into pick up my copy of the game. I have seen the first two zones and while they were funish I must admit it wasn't everything I hoped for... Wildstar has been more enjoyable for the two beta weekends i've played of that.

But we'll see how the beta feels this weekend, otherwise I may just get myself the Diablo expansion this month and wait for Wildstar.

LordMonty:
I'm totally neutral on this game, gonig to play this upcoming weekend beta and the headstart and then see how I feel about it then before i go into pick up my copy of the game. I have seen the first two zones and while they were funish I must admit it wasn't everything I hoped for... Wildstar has been more enjoyable for the two beta weekends i've played of that.

But we'll see how the beta feels this weekend, otherwise I may just get myself the Diablo expansion this month and wait for Wildstar.

I decided to get the expansion for Diablo 3 after being in three beta tests for ESO and I enjoyed Patch 2.0 more then my time with Elder Scrolls online. I still have issues, but I think to fix those they might have to go back and rebuild sections of the engine.

I have not played the beta on this I am only going on my WOW experience and basing what seemingly every mmorpg has done in the late last couple years. I did play wow for a few years and felt justified by my expenditures of the 40 buck game purchases for expands and 15 dollar monthly payments but I also lived and breathed WOW. I work 40 hours a week and I would come home and put the rest of my time into WOW, so much so that I had more time per week on WOW than I had in my 40 hour weeks! I have since then quit WOW and now base how much I want to spend on a game on the fact that I wont be playing that much ever again. Given that attitude NOTHING is worth paying for a full price game and 15 buck monthly fees and having a stupid pay shop!

The other thing with them justifying the monthly fee as a needed expense to support updates and expands and whatnots. Almost all mmo's that launch with monthly pay have converted over to free to play even ones that were touted as popular enough to stand with the monthly fees. It basically looks as if it has become an industry standard just to gouge out as much as possible the 1st year with monthly fees if deemed popular enough with the idea that WOW still exists with it. The deal here is WOW already has a strong back and everyone playing it already has adjusted to the monthly feeing over 10 years. Anybody wanting to play something new expects the new status quo of gaming which is the free to play model.

Karadalis:

Oh you mean paid for expansions that you have to spend another 40 to 50 dollars for?

That constantly rolling out of quality content? The one that ONLY WoW has done in the past couple of years and NO OTHER MMO because they failed with their subscription models before they could even make it to their first Expansion pack?

Dont even think for a moment that subscription fees go towards the development of Expansion packs. The price for developing xpansion packs is covered by the price you pay for them when they come out. You dont even get a free month of play like you do when you buy the base game for crying out loud! You pay 40 to 50 dollars for an expansion that in most cases isnt even feature complete when it comes out with entire dungeons and raids not even in it yet.

And all the content that usualy shows up after a X-pac is released like you see in Wow? Thats suposed to be content thats part of the Xpac to begin with but its much better to scrap feed your player base the content of an Xpack over a year or three to string them along and pay more subscription money!

It isnt called carrot on a stick for no reason.

Meanwhile in GW2 you have a constantly evolving storyline that has changed quite a bit from the beginning of the game till now and makes a big deal about your characters involvment in everything, essentially for free... while as in WoW you can be glad if your character shows up during cutscenes after YOU killed the big bad and Blizzards own Mary Sues (hi there thrall aka. green jesus!) grab all the glory and completly ignore your ass.

However i will give you the atrocious tech-support of GW2 wich is really atrocious, but that has less to do with subscriptions and more to do with the company itself.. LOTRO never had support problems.

I never said anything about paying full price for expansion packs. It's as inexcusable as content paywalls and item shops when there is a subscription fee set.

I also don't think any game fully justified the "standard" 15$/m pricetag up to date, though it was devalued significantly through inflation since it was first implemented so we might just get there.

The GW2 content updates are all well and nice but they provide a couple of hours of gameplay per month at best, which satisfies no one's MMO appetites .It's a game everyone praises and no one plays.

Mhmm, yes, an outdated model of payment surely must be defended. Just like how EA defended it with TOR. Oh, but then it became F2P 6 months after release. And from what I've played so far, I can't say I'd be surprised if this game does the same.

I mean let's face it, sub models aren't going to attract the majority of people who played any of the Elder Scrolls games; whether they were a casual fan that started with Skyrim or a lore junkie and hardcore fan that's been with it from Arena. More casual fans will be put off by the sub model (why pay every month just to play Skyrim Online?) and the hardcore fans of a series that thrives off of immersion and story probably won't be interested in a multiplayer experience to take them out of the world (and they probably don't like the lore rape done to the series either).

So really, who's left? The MMO crowd? Good luck wrestling them from WoW.

I wasn't aware that people wanted it to be free to play. If I were interested at all in this generic reimagining, I'd want it to be freemium, buy once, or at the very least, longer and less expensive subscriptions than 15 dollars monthly. Being confident you can deliver content is one thing, justifying a quarter of a new game (in the US) every month is another.

The problem isn't the subscription model. The problem is TESO. It's just not worth 15$ a month when it can't provide 15$ more content than GW2 or any other MMO provides.

'cause it's "just another MMO" with no USP or revolutionary design choices. The world is small and awfully linear, it's theme-park style quest-hub-galore and even Hellgate London did the realtime fighting way better nearly 7 years ago.

Save your money, buy Dark Souls 2.

Zac Jovanovic:

I never said anything about paying full price for expansion packs. It's as inexcusable as content paywalls and item shops when there is a subscription fee set.

I also don't think any game fully justified the "standard" 15$/m pricetag up to date, though it was devalued significantly through inflation since it was first implemented so we might just get there.

The GW2 content updates are all well and nice but they provide a couple of hours of gameplay per month at best, which satisfies no one's MMO appetites .It's a game everyone praises and no one plays.

You said that subscriptions where the only way to have success and longlevity in MMOs... wich i have proven to be false.

Or where are all those succesfull subscription MMOs youre talking about?

Guild wars 2 is succesfull and has longlevity despite your personal tastes.

So does Star trek online (kudos to Zipa for bringing that up btw)

Or the Everquest games, or LOTRO.

Heck or the best f2p offer i have seen so far in the western mmo market namely RIFT.

All successfull Titles in their own right that still get content that you dont have to pay for. Sure they arent WoW Expansion pack types of content but then again those expansion packs arent exactly free now are they? Infact they are the price of an entirely new game.. while offering less content then a full game.. go figure.

Just because you dislike the content doesnt mean they are not sucesfull and have no longlevity.

Subscriptions are an archaic remnant of a time when it was indeed very expensive to run MMOs from a technical standpoint... in an age where people where still using 56k modems. Nowadays thought? If it really had anything to do with server cost they would have lowered the fee.. you cant really tell me that the same price as from almost 10 years ago is still justifiable.

Hold on horse hopping minute.... Did he say "DLC"? I am just going to assume they will charge:

Hawkeye21:
1) You have to pay 60$ to buy it
2) You pay 15$ a month to play it
3) It has a real money shop in game
4) Some content is locked behind a paywall (aka collectors edition)

+ Possible DLC?

(Btw the Euro prices are 1€ = $1. When currency is around 1€ = ~1.4$ (rounded))
I am O.K with paying for EXPANSIONS, but not for DLCs considering what I pay already. But slapping small DLC contents on the side is starting to get ridiculous. I don't mind paying monthly if the content has the value.

But what I have also seen is that there isn't much content for PvE players. And everything people seem to talk about is the damn PvP. I am not going to pay that much for Fantasy 3rd person zerg rush PvP.

Also... I kinda understand where the big shoes of the company are coming for you. They have spent over 200 million for a game, you'd be crazy to denounce the development now.

It's not a better game than WoW dude. You all piss and moan you want, but to be worth a sub, you're going to have to convince every single last player that your game is superior. And it's not... it's really really not. There has to be miles of potential and future content on display to convince people it's worth sticking around and...what I got there was a barebones MMO... I saw nowhere it could go but... increase the level cap, add a new zone/story.

I know this was mostly Zenimax's production but...Bethesda...really? You didn't get 100% behind this project and you're now deciding to throw it a bone? Comaaaan guiz. Give us a break. You know this isn't your best foot forward.

I've beta'd the shit out of this game, I just can't see it holding a niche.

LOTRO has the hardcore Tolkien fans hooked

WoW has the majority fantasy MMO market cornered

EvE scratches the space/fiddly micro management itch

SWTOR has the space in a more hands on approach market

And I just...think Wildstar is a better attempt at digging a hole in WoW's crater of a niche.
I could be wrong. I could be way, way wrong. But... I've seen what happens to Rift, Tera, Aion, ...They're alive but wearing floaties. None of them are swimming. For a fantasy MMO to make a dent, it has to be a tactical nuke of innovation. And this is jut not it.

Karadalis:

-

I get what you're saying, but you misunderstood my point.

By longevity I don't mean that game survived a number of years. I mean longevity relevant to us players, a game that you can keep playing for years without giving up on it.
Sure, GW2 is doing reasonable well a year and some, but virtually all active players are relative newcomers. I've nearly a thousand people in my guilds lists in GW2, there's like 5 that logged in this year. And those are accounts, not characters.

Also, it's not a question of disliking content. It's a question of there not being remotely enough of content.

As fruit of this conversation I'd like to revisit my original and somewhat controversial initial point to correct it.

There are two ways to have an MMO of quality and longevity, one is monthly subscription fees and the second is annual or closer payed expansion packs.
Games that do both, or any combination of those and microtransaction shops and content paywalls should be sent to suck a bag of dicks.

March 2014
"This game is 100% worth the subscription fee, it is better value than a free to play model and we will continue large scale support"

December 2014;
"Elder scrolls online is now Free to Play! Better value then ever, we can support so many different things now. It's so much better than that stupid subscription model and in now way reflects desperation. Buy your gold here! Please don't let our user numbers get any worse. Wwe spent so much money on this... please don't leave... please... *cries* "

I wouldn't count on it going F2P, it's probably gonna focus on console markets who are gonna swallow it whole and ask for more.

I guess it's possible to make it F2P on one platform but I'm not sure they would do it rather than just shut it down if it's not working and focus on the platforms that are bringing in the moneys.

Having played the beta I felt so utterly underwhelmed I think I'd have to seriously consider playing if it was Free to play, let alone the horrendous B2P+P2P+Premium items (at least one of the races is exclusive to the collector's edition, and I believe there have been mentions of a shop) model...

Zac Jovanovic:

Karadalis:

-

I get what you're saying, but you misunderstood my point.

By longevity I don't mean that game survived a number of years. I mean longevity relevant to us players, a game that you can keep playing for years without giving up on it.
Sure, GW2 is doing reasonable well a year and some, but virtually all active players are relative newcomers. I've nearly a thousand people in my guilds lists in GW2, there's like 5 that logged in this year. And those are accounts, not characters.

Also, it's not a question of disliking content. It's a question of there not being remotely enough of content.

As fruit of this conversation I'd like to revisit my original and somewhat controversial initial point to correct it.

There are two ways to have an MMO of quality and longevity, one is monthly subscription fees and the second is annual or closer payed expansion packs.
Games that do both, or any combination of those and microtransaction shops and content paywalls should be sent to suck a bag of dicks.

That sounds more reasonable then what you said before about GW2

However your latter point is again simply false. Since there are no "sucessfull" subscription games besides WoW and EvE.. and maybe Final fantasy.. but that one is a topic for itself.

There also does not exist a single MMO that finances itselfe simply through expansion packs besides GW 1... since 2 didnt had a paid expansion yet to my knowledge.

So tell me where does this standard you raise here come from? Name some examples please to back up your point.

All you do here is make a statement and expect people to take it at face value without backing it up.

So do you get a free month with your full price game or are you being charged straight away day one? Thing is charging you full price for a game that you then have to pay more money again for is stupid. Why not charge $30 for the game and then people might then buy 2 months subs for another $30 - total paid $60 and you can play it for 2 months.

From what i gather Guildwars 2 is f2p and supposed to be amazing from what i saw from the Angry Joe review.

Isalan:
When you boil it down, its a hotkey based 3rd/1st person MMO, just like all the rest.

You only have 5 attacks/abilities available at any time. And one of those is almost guaranteed to be allocated to the soul steal ability (think battery recharger for your magic weapons).

I was excited for this game, I really liked Oblivion & Sykrim. I am a big believer in 'you get what you pay for.' I have no problem with a subscription model. I ponied up the $$ for the imperial editon. I soon got in a beta, along with a few friends and familiy, and we discovered two deal breakers (for us) with the game.

1) Group questing is broken by design. You have to complete each part individually. Its like down syndrome questing. While this is annoying, its bearable. But when you get to quest dungeons, you are own your own. This totally sucks when you have been playing with a group and each member has tightly defined specific role (tank, healer, dps). The healer is totally screwed, and the tank and dps are mostly screwed.

2) You have 5 action hot keys (4 in reality) and 1 potion hot key. You can hold down the potion hot key and a 'wheel of potions' pops up. Trust me, when you have three three imps handing you your ass, it might as well be a stripper popping out of a cake, for all the good it does you.

Another annoyance: If you have a combat pet (which i think is only an option for mages) its uncontrollable. You can't send it in to attack something, it only attacks things that are attacking you or it. Sometimes it attacks things for no reason for no descernable reason.

There are a lot of pluses to the game: the stories are interesting, its fully voiced, the graphics are great and you have a lot of flexibilty (dual sword weilding plate wearing mage? no problem!). But the group questing and limited hot keys were a deal breaker for me, my wife, and my friends. We got refunds for our pre-orders.

I'm still getting invites to beta weekends, and I read the patch notes each time. If they fix those issues, I'll buy back in. I don't think I'd play it even if it went f2p if those issues still existed.

SonOfVoorhees:
So do you get a free month with your full price game or are you being charged straight away day one? Thing is charging you full price for a game that you then have to pay more money again for is stupid. Why not charge $30 for the game and then people might then buy 2 months subs for another $30 - total paid $60 and you can play it for 2 months.

From what i gather Guildwars 2 is f2p and supposed to be amazing from what i saw from the Angry Joe review.

1 month free is industry standard and part of the initial buy price of ESO too.

Guild wars 2 is not free to play but Buy to play. You buy the game and then can log onto their servers whenever you want without having to pay for that "service"

The game finances itselfe through an ingame store that mostly sells stuff like additional character slots (wich you wont need if youre not a compulsive twink maniac that needs over 6 characters) Boost items to level faster, costumes, shiny mounts and vanity pets and some other stuff you dont really NEED to enjoy the game to its fullest.

Did i mention you can buy their premium currency with ingame money? The exchange is expensive as hell but its still possible to access the real money stuff simply by playing the game... if you have the time and patience that is.

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