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Thread: Rift: Free to Play?

  1. #61
    Ascendant Laeris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    I was thinking more along the lines of a Guild Wars model. Buy the game and play. Not so much cash shops and all.
    You do realize the industry standard for sub-based MMOs averages that the average account age is only 3 months old. Ok, so, that is 50 bucks for the box and 45 for the sub. That is right on point for about an annual MMO cost of 100 dollars for the average gamer.

    The GW model is much more expensive. I always chuckle when I see people bring this up. 50 bucks for the game (69 for the collector's edition). Then, 3 expansions per year at roughtly 30 dollars each = $140 USD.

    Thus, the average MMO player ends up paying 40% more for their MMO... not taking into account things like the GW cash shop where players have to pay to get new dungeons in addition to the boxed content.

    What it boils down to is that they are capitalizing off of the less intelligent people on the planet by making them think its free. Sub-based MMOs (all of them currently aside from WoW) do not charge for expansions. A casual gamer saves a lot more money by buying a subscription. A more hardcore gamer who has a lengthy sub will end up paying more than under the GW model... but, then again, the MMO industry generally markets for 3 month blocks because, the last time I checked, about a third of an MMOs subs are 1 month only, half are around 3 months old, 25% greater than 6 months and less than 2% are a year old.

  2. #62
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    While i'm not an advocate of the F2P model unless it's needed in a pinch (ie, the game is struggling) or that it is accompanied with a P2P model (ala LotrO), it can be successful.

    But the success comes from micro-transactions, which is how Runes of Magic played their hand, and I believe it is going strong. But to see micro-transactions in Rift would be a slap in the face imo. It just seems to have had too much work spent on it to have in-game purchasable content. As high-brow as it sounds, F2P does tarnish a game's reputation and this would not have positive applications for a game that is attempting to be not only mainsteam, but a powerhouse as well.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laeris View Post
    You do realize the industry standard for sub-based MMOs averages that the average account age is only 3 months old. Ok, so, that is 50 bucks for the box and 45 for the sub. That is right on point for about an annual MMO cost of 100 dollars for the average gamer.

    The GW model is much more expensive. I always chuckle when I see people bring this up. 50 bucks for the game (69 for the collector's edition). Then, 3 expansions per year at roughtly 30 dollars each = $140 USD.
    Well, I got the complete set (all campaigns and the expansion) for $40, so I made out like a bandit. Of course, I played it long after it was released.

    Even without that, your logic doesn't work out. You say the average account lasts 3 months, which is $100, then extrapolate that to a yearly cost of $100. Am I missing something, or does that come out to more like $400 for a year of MMO play, if players are switching games every three months? Probably more like $300, since the first month is usually included with the box.

    If the GW player gets three months of play out of each campaign and the expansion, they've only payed $140 for a year's play. They've still cut their MMO costs by over half.

    You also haven't accounted for the fact that games with subscription models often charge for expansions as well.
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laeris View Post
    You do realize the industry standard for sub-based MMOs averages that the average account age is only 3 months old. Ok, so, that is 50 bucks for the box and 45 for the sub. That is right on point for about an annual MMO cost of 100 dollars for the average gamer.

    The GW model is much more expensive. I always chuckle when I see people bring this up. 50 bucks for the game (69 for the collector's edition). Then, 3 expansions per year at roughtly 30 dollars each = $140 USD.

    Thus, the average MMO player ends up paying 40% more for their MMO... not taking into account things like the GW cash shop where players have to pay to get new dungeons in addition to the boxed content.

    What it boils down to is that they are capitalizing off of the less intelligent people on the planet by making them think its free. Sub-based MMOs (all of them currently aside from WoW) do not charge for expansions. A casual gamer saves a lot more money by buying a subscription. A more hardcore gamer who has a lengthy sub will end up paying more than under the GW model... but, then again, the MMO industry generally markets for 3 month blocks because, the last time I checked, about a third of an MMOs subs are 1 month only, half are around 3 months old, 25% greater than 6 months and less than 2% are a year old.
    Funcom charged for their AoC grindfest expansion.

  5. #65
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    You know it worked for DDO. IF they had more content I don't see why that wouldn't work.
    F2P seems to be the way to do nowadays.

  6. #66
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    I plainly stated that the average MMO gamer's account lasts 3 months. I said average... not every. That is a fact of life in MMOs.

    I also stated that the only pay-for-play MMO currently on the market that charges for expansions is WoW (AoC did too... but they're now F2P). DCUO, LotRO prior to F2P, DDO prior to F2P, STO, and Aion... all do not charge for expansions.

    Now, another thing wrong with your comparison is this: GW is not an MMORPG. It has multiplayer available content and a social hub where you can see other people... but the quest and adventure areas are solo unless you enable a matchmaking option. There is no true massively multiplayer to the GW model. So, in essence, you can't compare the two because they don't use the same infrastructure, don't have the same overhead, and have a dev staff about 1/100th the size of a mainstream NA release MMORPG.

    They can afford to operate under such conditions with reliance on retail sales for revenue.

    An MMORPG is a different beast. Web-enhanced games like Rift, Aion, DCUO, WoW, and STO take a huge team of developers to monitor and keep current. Their infrastructure is much more complex (where the GW model largely relies on peer-to-peer connections via player PC hosting to run its adventure zones). In essence, you can't run a true MMORPG on a GW model. You'd bankrupt yourself on ISP bandwidth charges in a month or two.

    As far as F2P games go... as others have said, it is a last-ditch life support measure to keep a title current. LotRO, for example, is an exercise in maintaining positive degrees of failure. Sure, they cite they made more profit since going F2P... but what they don't admit in press releases is that they laid off 90% of their employees and farmed out all of their support services to India and Sri Lanka. Ongoing development on new content is about 1/5th as fast as Farmville. They may be making profit, but it isn't because the game is successful.

    AoC will be the same way. In the past 3 months, they've downsized their labor force at Funcom Quebec. They have released their veteran developers and hired on < 50 Canadian high school and new college graduates to maintain the Dreamworld 3 engine code. The vet developers, as of April, those responsible for the upcoming new content in AoC's "Unrated" version... are now working solely on The Secret World.

    So, what you now have with AoC is a game that is for all intents and purposes, done. They will slowly add 1-2 content updates per year as their junior dev team learns how to write in Python... but as has been reported, the 50 they hired are making less as a group than 10 of their veterans they let go.

    F2P is never a good thing for the developmental life cycle of a game. As where AoC is concerned, if you look at their financial reports (they're open source on the web... google it), they have not made 1 USD in profit from subs with AoC since early 2009. They've been in the red every quarter and recently had to take out a 10 million USD loan to cover operating costs until TSW's release next year.

    F2P is and always will be a last-ditch effort for a company to save face and avoid bad press for being a newly crowned member of the failed MMO club. That's the only reason F2P is used.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    Hi, I was just curious when Rift was going to go F2P.

    Thanks guys.
    When Rift goes FTP, can I have your gear for free please?
    Never give a sword to a man who can't dance (Confucius)

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laeris View Post
    You do realize the industry standard for sub-based MMOs averages that the average account age is only 3 months old. Ok, so, that is 50 bucks for the box and 45 for the sub. That is right on point for about an annual MMO cost of 100 dollars for the average gamer.

    The GW model is much more expensive. I always chuckle when I see people bring this up. 50 bucks for the game (69 for the collector's edition). Then, 3 expansions per year at roughtly 30 dollars each = $140 USD.

    Thus, the average MMO player ends up paying 40% more for their MMO... not taking into account things like the GW cash shop where players have to pay to get new dungeons in addition to the boxed content.

    What it boils down to is that they are capitalizing off of the less intelligent people on the planet by making them think its free. Sub-based MMOs (all of them currently aside from WoW) do not charge for expansions. A casual gamer saves a lot more money by buying a subscription. A more hardcore gamer who has a lengthy sub will end up paying more than under the GW model... but, then again, the MMO industry generally markets for 3 month blocks because, the last time I checked, about a third of an MMOs subs are 1 month only, half are around 3 months old, 25% greater than 6 months and less than 2% are a year old.

    For GW for what I payed over the course of the time I played that game it would work out to $1.94 a month lol.

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/29640/
    Thats a link to the Aion xpac for 29.99 on Steam.
    Last edited by Psytic; 05-28-2011 at 03:57 AM.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khelendross View Post

    Your definitely wrong on the last part. Its far exceeded what was expected of it, mostly because as you stated above, it came out of nowhere. And I think we have maybe lost 10% at best of the subs. That is not "alot". That percentage will surely rise if GW2 or SWTOR happens to take off (as I said, I'm fairly confident given how long I have been playing MMO's that SWTOR is gonna bomb horribly) to the 25% or higher area but that still going to be more than enough to be viable well into the future and at the rate WoW is bleeding subs, RIFT will gain faster that it loses for awhile until any of the competitors come out with workable product.
    I find your entire opinon (and it's just that, an opinion) to be completely biased. I don't think you know as much as you think you do. However, arguing with you won't change anything, and frankly I have better things to do. I think we'll both see who's right and who's wrong in a year or two, and until then, it's your opinion against mine. Naturally each of us think we have the right of it.

    However, you claim here we may have lost 10% at best of subs...on what do you base this? No numbers have been released. You can't tell the number of people who don't sub or sub, or the number of people who subbed long term and upon reaching end game regret it and will never renew. In fact, this number is simply an invention on your part.

    It's all very nice to be a fan of a game, but pulling numbers out of thin air is where I stop arguing.

    Good day to you.
    Last edited by nagennif; 05-28-2011 at 03:59 AM.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    Hi, I was just curious when Rift was going to go F2P.

    Thanks guys.
    About the same time that wow becomes F2P i reckon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pokket View Post
    I doubt it'll go F2P It *appears* to be doing quite well as a sub-based game.
    That's only because the 7 day free trials keep boosting the numbers which aren't real. When the 7 day free trials run out or stop you'll see another mass population drop like after the first month.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psytic View Post
    For GW for what I payed over the course of the time I played that game it would work out to $1.94 a month lol.

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/29640/
    Thats a link to the Aion xpac for 29.99 on Steam.
    I calculated my time on GW to cost about $1.64 a month, but I played it a lot. People don't get it. They have all the answers.

    And, as pointed out, Guild Wars wasn't a true MMO, it was a CoRPG. Guild Wars 2, however, will be a true MMO. When asked about costing, the Anet devs said, and I'm paraphrasing here...

    the cost of running an MMO today is a fraction of what is needed to run an MMO when WoW started. In fact, WoW spent a small fortune on advertising. We're basically paying advertising costs, in additon to other costs, in order so they can get more subs.

    But the games end up being grind on grind. So yes, a lot of people are going to tire of grind and are going to walk away from the old image of the genre. And as many people never got into the genre for precisely the same reasons.

    The naysayers can say what they want. Guild Wars 2 has had massively successful playable demos at cons with play areas larger than many games. And that's just the demo.

    Guild Wars 2 will have 25 zones at start, and RvR. And Guild Wars, the original, was also known for it's PVP. People took it very seriously.

    I don't see Guild Wars 2 being a blip on the radar, I see it as being a successful franchise for a long time...even if it ends up costing more than a pay to play game (and I don't think it will).

    But with 7 million GW accounts sold, and probably a million fans waiting to buy it straight out of the box, I think that Guild Wars 2 will be a major threat to any MMO.

    And that doesn't count any of the other games coming out. Diablo 3, Tera, The Secret World, Star Wars TOR. It's just not that simple an equation.

    I've said repeatedly Rift will do fine. I'm just thinking a million accounts is a big ask for ANY game right now, that hasn't been around for a long, long time already.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by nagennif View Post
    I calculated my time on GW to cost about $1.64 a month, but I played it a lot. People don't get it. They have all the answers.

    And, as pointed out, Guild Wars wasn't a true MMO, it was a CoRPG. Guild Wars 2, however, will be a true MMO. When asked about costing, the Anet devs said, and I'm paraphrasing here...

    the cost of running an MMO today is a fraction of what is needed to run an MMO when WoW started. In fact, WoW spent a small fortune on advertising. We're basically paying advertising costs, in additon to other costs, in order so they can get more subs.

    But the games end up being grind on grind. So yes, a lot of people are going to tire of grind and are going to walk away from the old image of the genre. And as many people never got into the genre for precisely the same reasons.

    The naysayers can say what they want. Guild Wars 2 has had massively successful playable demos at cons with play areas larger than many games. And that's just the demo.

    Guild Wars 2 will have 25 zones at start, and RvR. And Guild Wars, the original, was also known for it's PVP. People took it very seriously.

    I don't see Guild Wars 2 being a blip on the radar, I see it as being a successful franchise for a long time...even if it ends up costing more than a pay to play game (and I don't think it will).

    But with 7 million GW accounts sold, and probably a million fans waiting to buy it straight out of the box, I think that Guild Wars 2 will be a major threat to any MMO.

    And that doesn't count any of the other games coming out. Diablo 3, Tera, The Secret World, Star Wars TOR. It's just not that simple an equation.

    I've said repeatedly Rift will do fine. I'm just thinking a million accounts is a big ask for ANY game right now, that hasn't been around for a long, long time already.
    I don't think Rift will keep a steady 1 million either. It doesn't have the Korean grind fest appeal of the Lineage series ( don't think its released in Asia any way) and its not fresh and original like WoW was when it came out in the midst of games like EQ and Daoc. It is a copy cat game and the only reason any one is playing it is because it reminds them of a game they once loved but with a fresh coat of paint. When they all realize its WoW in new skin they will flock to the next mmo hoping to rekindle the feeling they had when they first whether it was UO, EQ or WoW etc etc.

    This is why so many mmos fail they have all been fundamentally the same since WoW and until someone breaks the mold again like WoW did people are going to get bored. In 2004 questing and the ability to solo was new and fresh. being able to steam roll lvls and content was also new and fresh. It isn't anymore.

    Maybe game devs will have to do a throw back niche game thats hard as ****, unforgiving and has a massive dangerous world and your not welcome in every city. Or Maybe its a game thats story driven instead of quest driven. Maybe they go totally sandbox again and there is no goal you just do what ever you want including robbing and breaking into peoples houses who knows.

    Actually continuing with my rant I felt that WAR was a better game then Rift is but Rift has just happened to release at a time when everyone is sick of WoW and theres nothing else to play mmo wise. That game had more zones and things to do and people couldnt help but talk about how ****ty it was. Rift releases with half the content and it is okay for some reason lol.
    Last edited by Psytic; 05-28-2011 at 04:23 AM.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psytic View Post
    I don't think Rift will keep a steady 1 million either. It doesn't have the Korean grind fest appeal of the Lineage series ( don't think its released in Asia any way) and its not fresh and original like WoW was when it came out in the midst of games like EQ and Daoc. It is a copy cat game and the only reason any one is playing it is because it reminds them of a game they once loved but with a fresh coat of paint. When they all realize its WoW in new skin they will flock to the next mmo hoping to rekindle the feeling they had when they first whether it was UO, EQ or WoW etc etc.

    This is why so many mmos fail they have all been fundamentally the same since WoW and until someone breaks the mold again like WoW did people are going to get bored. In 2004 questing and the ability to solo was new and fresh. being able to steam roll lvls and content was also new and fresh. It isn't anymore.

    Maybe game devs will have to do a throw back niche game thats hard as ****, unforgiving and has a massive dangerous world and your not welcome in every city. Or Maybe its a game thats story driven instead of quest driven. Maybe they go totally sandbox again and there is no goal you just do what ever you want including robbing and breaking into peoples houses who knows.

    Actually continuing with my rant I felt that WAR was a better game then Rift is but Rift has just happened to release at a time when everyone is sick of WoW and theres nothing else to play mmo wise. That game had more zones and things to do and people couldnt help but talk about how ****ty it was. Rift releases with half the content and it is okay for some reason lol.
    WAR had great potential, but it also had a terrible release. Too much pre hype and too many canceled features and bugs. WAR was barely playable for a long time.

    Rift is playable, it's just too derivative for my taste. The people who love it think no one is leaving. The people who don't love it think lots of people are leaving...the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

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    WAR had great potential, but it was a buggy cluster**** nightmare that they never really did seem to fix. Shame, I rather enjoyed the RVR in it.

    Rift is technically solid, but it's vapid. Take away the novelty of souls and invasions, and it's a prettier and more linear 2006-era WoW. They still have time to add stuff to it, though -- but they better hurry.

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