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Discussion: UO subscription fees (possibly long?)

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Kratos Aurion, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. I'm not creating this topic in the hopes of lowering the UO subscription fee, but more of a discussion topic of the pros/cons of lowering the subscription fee, and general viewpoint and thoughts of the UO populace, which we can probably agree that the vast majority of the American playerbase is aware of or visits stratics regularly.

    My question is: Why is UO, a decade (and then some) old game still cost as much (and more) than when it was first released in '97? (was 10.99 when I started, now it's 12.99 + some states charge a tax).

    My argument is: I don't believe Ultima should cost this much ($12.99) to play. (it's a debate topic, not a flame each other and troll fest)

    My reasoning: The variety offered in the gaming world over the past decade has vastly increased since UOs debut back in '97. Today, we see what some people would call a plethora of choices - World of Warcraft, Guild Wars (soon be have a second release), Dungeons and Dragons, Rune Scape, Star Wars: The Old Republic - just to name a few of the more renowned titles.

    That short list is only but a fraction (if even that) of the available titles available to play. More frequently, there have been an advancement in TV advertisements for other types of attractive games such as Toon Town and Wizarding 101 (or w/e the hell it's called) which are relatively easy for anyone to play, enjoyable according to the reviews, and most of all, cheap.

    Even two of the titles mentioned above, Guild Wars and Dungeons and Dragons Online, offer free gameplay altogether. While Guild Wars requires that you purchase a license to play, DDO offers true free gameplay with the availability of item/content purchasing. These games, both far newer and more attractive to the modern day gamer, offer expansive environments and beautiful graphics for the small price of almost nothing, or at least a one time investment fee.

    Even other games have taken this approach, as noted here http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm that free gameplay, or substantially lower subscription fees (potentially) attract a larger audience.

    What would be the pros and cons of this approach for EA with Ultima?

    Pros:
    - Attracts a larger audience, and even the opportunity for players to invest in multiple accounts (worst case scenario is they would break even with their previous sales history)
    - Expands sales in content marketing (if priced right, EA would come out ahead
    - Re-establishes a community and brings new (and returning) players into the game who can immerse themselves into the world of Ultima

    Cons:
    - In the short term, I could see how the revenu could potentially cause the game to struggle
    - It could encourage cheaters and scripters to open multiple accounts although it probably wouldn't change the state of the game according to its present condition.
    - More GM trolling (implied humor)

    What I would like: I'm not suggesting that UO should be free by any means because look what you get out of it:
    - The most classic, fun and entertaining mmo that I have encountered
    - A multitude of skills, combinations and professions that anyone can pursue
    - The ability to create custom housing (this alone is attractive to gamers) and secure tons of house wares
    - One of the best guild systems available
    - One of the better available PvP systems (if cheating is corrected, THE BEST)
    - One of the best expansive environments (although it is 2D) available - could still use some work though.

    So what would I like? It would be great if EA would consider lowering the cost of gameplay to a reasonable amount, say $5.99? That's $6 a month, a little less than half of what they currently make. How many people have quit and gone to other games due to the price not being 'right'? - probably can't be determined by any statistic:gee:

    Although it's merely a suggestion, I would like to hear your opinion on this idea, or alternative suggestions as to how you think EA could improve the overall game experience of Ultima (please no obvious fix cheating solutions).:thumbup1:
     
  2. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    Its cheaper already. $60 for 180 days
     
  3. Yen Sid

    Yen Sid Guest

    Cutting the price in half would be far too much; with no advertising there won't be enough subscriptions coming in and UO would close for sure. Perhaps a slight decrease in cost per month to say $9.99 USD. With a slight decrease in cost, people on the fence about joining or opening another account may decide that it would be a good idea to do so. Or maybe a discount in price if you pay for 3, 6, 9, or 12 months at a time, a slightly higher discount depending on how many months you pay for at a time.
     
  4. I was completely unaware of this. When did this happen? Although that is nice, $6 a month for a pay-as-you go approach is my prefered payment method. I don't like spending in bulk due to the fact if I were to purchase 60$ worth of game time, I have no idea if I will still be playing ultima at that point in time (actually I'm on a hiatus right now taking care of other business lol). I know it's a cheaper solution, but then you're more responsible for fulfilling the use of that game time versus if you were to invest $6 a month.
     
  5. I understand where you're coming from, but it worked out for other games just fine (DDO prime example). I know Ultima isn't that game, but the end result of DDO switching to a completely free environment was that users spent a hellava lot more money in game content increasing the overall revenu that Turbine (game owner) actually came out ahead.

    I know not all users require the use of additional accounts, but lowering the price to $5.99 would still be enticing enough for players to open multiple accounts where it would be more reasonable to own 3 accounts at $18/mo versus $39/month. EA would still come out ahead because more users would be potentially investing in multiple accounts versus a few (it's a marketing ploy which attracts users to spend more on the game tbh).
     
  6. Fink

    Fink Guest

    I think if it dropped from $13 to $10 standard rate, I'd get a third account, so.. they would get more money and more subscriptions from me.

    I guess they would lose a lot from people with 10 accounts? It's hard to know if they would likewise spend more.
     
  7. Yen Sid

    Yen Sid Guest

    I was thinking this as well actually. I would probably get another account if it were $10 per month (wtih discounts for buying 6 or 12 months at a time).

    And I do know of a few (legit) people that have 10+ accounts so that would also be a lot of lost revenue because I'm sure they would not get more accounts to equal the cost of what they already have.
     
  8. I don't disagree with the $10/mon reduced rate, but if you apply the concept of reducing the fees to outside the scope of the current subscription base, are you likely to attract newer gamers to a game that's 13 years old at $10?

    Negotiating the reduction is a great way of getting a more satisfied playerbase, but I don't believe at $10 you're going to make a significant impact on player/gamer subjection.

    Within the scope of UO though, I could see many players willing to pay the $9.99 fee because "we" already know what a great game UO is because to us, it's worth it. We're the loyal fan base, but what reducing the price is suppose to do is attract potential new business. Note it's not a guarantee, especially at the age of the game, but that's why it's a discussion:D
     
  9. As I mentioned in my OP, there may be a financial loss in the short term, but what amounts to 10 accounts for 1 person could become 10 accounts for 100 people. You're making up the revenu by influencing a greater amount of the playerbase to find worth in opening multiple accounts. Look at all the people who don't want to pay $26/month for 2 accounts just to own 2 houses. If the cost was reduced enough to entice those players to create 2 (or multiple) accounts, that would actually increase the overall profit EA is currently making on Ultima. Not to mention new players entering the game. **as well as your friend is still happy owning 10 accounts at a severely reduced rate, so they aren't going anywhere**

    Although a con out of this situation would be a greater lack of housing for legitiment players who want or need a house for storage. That would also have to be something considered along with a solution.
     
  10. Babble

    Babble Guest

    I see no reason why they should go chaper than $13 with their current modell.
    Assuming that the ones that play are addicted to their houses one could say charging $15 might be more profitable.

    If UO ever wants to grow again they would need the free to play modell and work from that on.
     
  11. I don't disagree that the vast majority of dedicated players wouldn't even argue against EA for an increase in pay, but it certainly wouldn't inspire new players to join or existing players to open even more accounts. If anything, most people owning multiple accounts (2 or more) would probably just close some (or all) of their double accounts.
     
  12. popps

    popps Always Present
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    My opinion ?

    I think that niche games, i.e. games of interested to a limited number of players, might benefit from a reduced subscription fee.

    Why is that ?

    Because if the fee is considered as marginal, chances are that players might want to keep the account as active and keep coming back to play it a few days a month while they still play mainstream games, the novelty, the hit of the moment.

    If, instead, the fee is high for the niche game, chances are that players on a limited budget might close the account in order to have funds available to play some other game out there more of interest.

    Bottom line is, if the fee is reasonably low it might still, possibly, bring revenues to the company while if the fee is at market's levels, this might have players have to make choice to play either this OR that game with consequentiall total loss of that subscription fee for the account closed.
     
  13. Popps! your business logic mindbeards me! So your theory is if the game is moderately priced (lets say $10) then the gamer is then forced to make the decision between game a and game b. But if the price is reduced, lets say my original proposal of $6, it is more than likely their clientel will reach UO. But at the same time, these individuals are constantly seeking new experiences and their business is not guaranteed.

    That sounds reasonable, but I have no idea if I interpreted what you said right (or wrong). :thumbup1:
     
  14. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    I have been paying US$64.79 for a 6-month subscription since shortly after I started in 1998. This price includes taxes for NY State - base cost is $59/95 I believe.
     
  15. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    Actually UO was $9.99/month when I started ... cost went up with the promise of improved hardware/stability and customer support. One out of two (hardware and stability) is satisfactorily handled as far as I am concerned.
     
  16. Personally if you ask me, the game should work natively with hardware and should be stable to begin with. That's a terrible business practice to increase the price of a product just so that it will work on your computer. I don't ever recall this being an issue though, but I was too young at the time to know what was going on with billing practices.
     
  17. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    If the game wants to reach out and attract more new and returning players, then either the subscription price has to fall, or they need to head towards a free-to-play model.

    If the number of active subscriptions is holding steady, then there's no real reason for them to change anything. It's only if subscription numbers are declining quickly that I would see them use the FTP model, whilst if numbers are holding steady, they have no reason economically to change anything.

    Ultima Online is a niche product. It has a relatively small player base compared to the plethora of other games out there today. That will never change, unless one (or all) of the following things happen:

    · Free-To-Play model.

    · Sequel, using the latest gaming technology or Huge upgrade to current game with more "polish", 3D isometric similar to games like Baldur's Gate.

    · Strong marketing campaign, primarily using the internet, but also other traditional mediums.
     
  18. slaveone

    slaveone Guest

    They should really consider doing two things.

    First make it so you can play UO for FREE thats right i said FREE. BUT if your playin on a free account you can only play in Felucca. Second you still have to put in a credit card info into the account page which would track these accounts allowing only ONE free account per legit credit card used also do away with ALL trial accounts at the same time.

    Second lower the price of UO subscriptions for paying players from $13 a month to $10 a month and then if there is more than one account on a particular credit card the cost would be something like $8 a month per account.

    Eventually the pricing at $13 per month will probably cause UO's population to dwindle more and more. With newer better graphiced MMO's coming out almost monthly it's just a matter of time before even old Vets like myself find other newer online type games to play that will likely be more enticing than UO "price wise" the Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic online and DC Universe Online are both looking pretty cool right now to me. In order to keep UO relevant without a "REAL" 3d graphics upgrade the pricing is gonna have to come down at some point. They've already implemented the pay for item thing with the UO store which gives them extra income from transfer tokens and the like. They should expand that model and drop the monthly fees to a realistic cost based on the age of the game. Or maybe even institute a model where if your a "REAL" UO vet based on account years per account the cost is dropped maybe $1 every 3 years or something to that kinda a $$ vet reward in effect to try to entice old players to stay with the game.

    In the end $13 a month is really a high price for this old of a game. I continue to pay it for my two main accounts but would like it to be less. 3 months ago i canned my third account due to cost and may consider canning the second at some point in the future if the cost stays the same as i'm sure alot of others may consider as well. It would be nice if EA would listen to it's playerbase on issues like this but i won't hold my breath.
     
  19. Evlar, the free to play model as you described in my opinion would only work if EA was as productive at releasing content on a consistent basis as other games such as Blizzard or Turbine. For the most part, content is released frequently, but not quick enough for EA to continue to "profit" enough off of that content to sustain a relatively steady source of income by sheer content. I'm not suggesting that you're wrong because I may be completely wrong, but that's the way I would see it. EA would have to direct its attention to generating massive amounts of new content to sell to keep people buying.

    Lowering the price attracts existing (new accounts), returning, and possibly new players to the game. People are closing accounts because they feel it's too expensive, and for the most part, I agree. Just determining what the magic number is that will revive interest and economy into the game is the question. To me, that number was $6, but to other players, $10 seems to be the answer.

    Slaveone, you bring up an interesting idea. You propose to have free game play, but the catch is that player in particular is limited to only felluca ruleset sections of the game. I like that idea actually, but then you have to conisder that EA will be at a loss if they make that change. Consider how many fellucans play UO that never venture to tram. Would it be fair to allow them to play the game for free at the cost of having a non-fel zone for trammies?
     
  20. slaveone

    slaveone Guest

    The thing is tram ruleset zones have the most vendor areas and for people to compete in Felucca they will need access to those items. This one aspect will probably cause "most" players to eventually pay for the account for access to if nothing more luna and its vendor mall. But some people could get around this with a second account but the whole FREE account Fel only option would only work for "NEW" accounts that were created after this had been put into effect. So these LeEt DoOd accounts would have to start over from scratch if they wanted to play for free which would probably cause most of them to just continue to pay for their own account while still giving new players a way to check out the game and bring some life back to Felucca. Another thing i really like about this idea is this would totally ELIMINATE the need for trial accounts as the game is free per say just with limited access of Felucca only. The whole trial account thing has been a bane to UO ever since it was implemented and this would do away with that nonsense while possibly reinvigorating Felucca with players who want to try out the game and maybe just maybe give a small classic element back to those players who say if they build it they will come. Well give everyone free access to Felucca and lets see if "they" come. True it's not totally "classic" in the sense it's talked about in these boards BUT... with no way to escape the Felucca ruleset on the free accounts it would give at a minimum an idea of how popular something like that might be.
     
  21. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    Only problem I have with free to play is it's an open invite to so many noobs...eh, you know, there's something to having a game in which you need to get a CC to play. I mean I loved playing Diablo II, but that game was cracked like crazy as well so I don't know. Cracked if you do, cracked if you don't I guess.

    If they ever made a Classic shard though, it would be a very interesting idea to make it free. Then if players wanted to play on the other shards, they would have to pay. The idea would be the Classic shard would never be updated with any sort of content; it would just be a static playground.
     
  22. Slaveone, you have just received +1 kudos point from me. That makes a lot of sense. The only other thing I could think of that would still hurt the game in that sense is account tailgaters (yes I made that up). Most fel guilds run the tram vendor setup, and the guild leader or vendor shop owner would HAVE to keep his account paid for in order to keep those vendors up. Any items that need to be transported can be done so by asking them to bring them from tram to fel vice versa. I suppose the owners of vendors in tram would also need to do so.

    G.V.P, this game once thrived on noobs. Those noobs soon became veterans, and now that's really all that's left. Wouldn't it be nice to see some new faces for once? Teach noobs how to play the way the vets do, and create a devasting force to annihilate all that is order! I love playing new games for the sole purpose of feeling like a noob again, although that's just me. I would hope that others like me would be willing to play and get to know UO the way we know it.
     
  23. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    I usually just start a new char on a new shard in UO to feel more noob ;P and keep in touch with how skill gain works and what new methods are available so I can help others get started. Eh, playing with a bunch of 12 year olds does not excite me though.
     
  24. I would like to see them open a new server, free to play. Make it so you can't transfer into it or out of it. Make it fall under a new set of rules, no RMTs. Set it up under a pay for content model. Charge for gold, expansion content, ect. I don't know that I would want to play there, but it would be a new revenue stream.
     
  25. Out of your idea spawned another idea out of my head. Why the hell didn't they do this with free trial accounts? Restrict accounts with a specific association marked against their account (free, or trial) to a particular shard? That would eliminate all of the problems on production shards that scripters cause problems with (using these accounts), and people would still obviously play the shard because it's free. The only problem though is introducing one free shard and then everybody swarms too it. It would further decrease the community in production shards. The no transfering though would help with some people.

    You bring up an interesting idea though :thumbup1:
     
  26. Well, my sons played Adventure Quest for a while. It is brouser based and free to play. Compared to UO it's very simple. They make money by charging for extras, like armor and content. I think there could be a market for a game like UO in the free to play world.

    If they built in advantages into staying on the regular shards, they could limit the damage a free version would do. It's interesting to consider, and EA has probably considered it already.
     
  27. Would be interesting if they have and or are considering it. It's too bad we can't get a developer in on the discussion to knock around their two-cents ;)
     
  28. Serafi

    Serafi Babbling Loonie
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    I don`t think subscription fees will draw in more players. Whenever I have chosen to play or not to play a game, the monthly fee was never a dealbreaker. It was whether I enjoyed or didn`t enjoy the game itself. I like the subscription model far better than content/item/expansion purchasing in a free to play game.
     
  29. I don't disagree with a free to play game, I just know it will never happen as long as EA owns the game (I would love for them to prove me wrong though ;) ). UO though has somethings that most other games do not, and that is a dedicated fan base and a history.

    If the price is significantly reduced, most people who know about Ultima would be far more willing to invest their money into it knowing they aren't spending a whole lot. For instance, I've played several independent MMOs that require $3 subscriptions just because they were cheap and looked interesting. I wasn't afraid to blow $12 across 4 games because it wasn't going to hurt my wallet significantly.
     
  30. Percivalgoh

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    If it was free, I would have 10,000,000 accounts or something :)
     
  31. Well, they could tie a fee to the ablity to own a house. That would keep many of us paying.
     
  32. Jackson

    Jackson Guest

    If they did drop account fees to say 6-8$ I would be back in a heartbeat.
    With 2 accounts maybe 3.

    I am really on the fence right now if I want to come back.
    Its not like $13 is going to break me, but I just dont feel as though the game is worth that much with so many other game out there.
     
  33. canary

    canary Guest

    Yeah, when you can play EQ2 and LotR for FREE potentially... well, EA needs to really take a clue from where the tide is turning and get on board.
     
  34. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    F2P sound wonderful don't they? But how much would it cost in cold hard cash to buy the stuff from their store or whatever? I bet you'd pay a lot less for UO if you tallied up the cost in that regard.

    I doubt seriously that ANY UO player going to F2P will remain on the free side too long. They will either return to UO or go subscription (to get rid of the ads if nothing else). You did notice the fine print on account comparison, right? In-game ads ... popup type.
     
  35. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Of course, at one time UO had something in-between the F2P & subscription models - the Korean shard that was set up for pay-by-the-hour use in gaming parlors. What was its name? something like "Baekdu"??

    I Imagine that shard was really weird, in terms of housing.

    How does this sound?

    1. Have Free to Play be limited to ML Ruleset, on a specific few currently-low-population shards in the US only. An additional 1-time fee would allow access to SP & Mugen for free accounts. Upgrade to SA would be limited to paid accounts (though would be allowed to free accounts if and when another expansion was released)
    2. Free to Play would have limited privs. For example, they could not own or co-own a home, cannot account transfer on the shards that allow it, do not get Veteran rewards (nor use any other than those already usable by characters under a year old, like the crystal portal), and have to be a certain age to be able to mine and use colored ore. Guilds could only contain Free players or paid players, not both, though the two types can form a mixed alliance.

    3. Paid accounts prior to the switch will be assumed to have already paid the one-time SP/Mugen fees.
    4. Only Paid accounts can own/co-own houses and use all veteran rewards.
    5. Free Accounts that become paid accounts after the grace period would have to pay an additional 1-time fee to have the ability to place a house on SP or Mugen (while those paid accounts at the time of the change get that for free).
    6. Any additional "Classic ruleset" shards added would require a subscription fee over and above that for the normal shards, to pay for the overhead of maintaining the different rulesets, and require a paid account.
     
  36. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    The point of f2p is to get new players, and it works like a charm. They can still have the exact same subscription so the game is exactly like it is now, AND they can have different options for subscription as well.

    The whole point of f2p that that the players DON'T stay on the free side, they try the game because its free, keep telling themselves they can keep up on the free plan, then eventually (because they like the game) they end up buying one small thing... then another etc.
     
  37. Demonous

    Demonous Rares Fest Host | Ches Jul 2010
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    the $60 for 6 month option has been available for years, i pay for all of my accounts with that because im not quitting until the servers shut down permanently, i wish they would make some option like $90 or $100 for a year subscription :(
     
  38. It would be great for some people, but not for everybody. I love to pay as I go so I am in control of my play time. I don't want to spend $100 for a years subscription if I know there's a potential for me to lose interest (hiatus) and leave for another 4 months. That's money lost on my end, but it's not like EA would complain.

    I don't disagree with limited privileges, especially if it attracts most of the players back from other free shards. But taking away generic rewards such as veteran reward titles and such to me is not necessary. Regardless of your account status, if you've put in 10 years on a game, you effin deserve that title (lol).

    Also, your idea comes with a lot of catches such as the additional housing cost feature. I would wipe that out of the equation as well because if you're going to play a game, you don't want to be overwhelmed by hidden fees that you'll later regret because you decided to play for free (trial period) before investing.

    If EA were introduce a F2P type account system, I would probably consider the following restrictions

    1) 1 free account per authorized CC (account requires cc authorization, but does not get billed)
    2) 3 characters per free account
    3) housing cannot be purchased, but F2P accounts can still be co-owned/friended to other players' homes
    4) F2P accounts content wise are un-restricted, or as Slaveone posted previously, restricted to Fel ruleset areas only.

    And then probably some other considerations. That would be enough to draw back most of the old Ultima players, and then there would be much more investment over time, especially if they were to lower the subscription fee at the same time.
     
  39. The ol' bait and hook technique. I almost fell for it with Turbine and DDO. But I know that inevitably I lose interest quickly with games like DDO (in comparison with GW and WoW) and I wouldn't really need a subscription to have the fun that I needed while it lasted. UO though on the other hand offers a lot of niches that attracts people to stay.
     
  40. the 4th man

    the 4th man Lore Master
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    Don't be such a cheapskate, even worse is you tell all of stratics you are, then try to justify it with fluff n stuff.

    Tell you what, if you can't handle $13.00 a month, hang it up. There's players that spend an arm and a leg on bogus gold, transfers and pixel crack from EA's store.


    later
     
  41. I hate to say it, but Ultima Online is already free to play for thousands and thousands of players.

    At this very moment, at 6.45 am east time, more than 2000 players are connected to a UO free server :-( That is probably far more than all the EA servers toghetter.
     
  42. i always thought that UO would do ok as a free to play MMO, although i can't quite think of that many perks for subscriptions, or worthwhile one-time micro transactions. the only draw i can see is housing and storage (bank, housing, stables), and perhaps increased skill/stat guarrantee gain bonus. perhaps the vet rewards would have a subscription-based rewards earned through the varying subscription tiers.

    i would have free accounts could have the following restrictions:
    3 character slots
    bank account limit of 25 items
    no housing privileges -- cannot co-own, or friend a private house
    cannot join thieves guild
    cannot create a guild, but can join guilds up to ronin rank
    does not accrue account age or subscription points

    a $4/month 'citizen' subscription could give:
    4 character slots
    bank account limit of 75 items
    housing privileges, can own 'small house plot' with moderate storage/lockdowns
    extra stable storage +2 per character
    slightly decreased GGS timer
    accrues account age
    accrues minimal subscription points

    a $8/month 'noble' subscription could give:
    5 character slots
    bank account limit of 100 items
    extra stable storage +3 per character
    housing privileges, can own 'large house plot' with large storage/lockdowns
    moderately decreased GGS timer
    accrues account age
    accrues moderate subscription points

    a $12/month 'lordship' subscription could give:
    6 character slots
    bank account limit of 125 items
    extra stable storage +4 per character
    housing privileges, can own 'huge house plot' with maximum storage/lockdowns
    noticably decreased GGS timer
    accrues account age
    accrues maximum subscription points

    i guess some one-time micro transactions could be:
    increased character slot (+1)
    increased bank account (+25)
    increased house storage (+25%)
    increased stable storage (+3 slots)
    existing tokens
    existing item packages
    custom paperdoll titles
    access to newer content sooner (like current model)
     
  43. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    I would switch that around you see.

    Classic shards (free of AoS item-centric content) as subscription based. If they generate enough interest, revenue and the players would actually like it, then sure, add further (non-game-play destroying) content.

    All the existing shards, free to play/reduced subscription. Players can top up what they play from buying all the latest pixel crack "must haves". EA can keep on churning out that pixel crack to keep the junkies happy. :lol:
     
  44. And don't insinuate that I am a cheapskate. I have played free shards in the past but the best community resides on the production servers. I've taken many breaks away from UO, and to be honest, don't judge people if you don't even know their financial situation. Try juggling two jobs on top of full time college while trying to pay bills at the same time. $13 a month ontop of all that is a big deal.

    And like I said this is a discussion topic, not an ultra-troll topic like you just did. The game is 13 years old and has only increased in price, and declined in playerbase. EA needs to loosen the reins if they even want to retain a playerbase. Just because $13 a month isn't a big deal to you doesn't mean it isn't a big deal for other players for various reasons. I believe due to the nature of modern gaming that $13 is over kill, and EA knows that. They just herd the sheep for as long as they can control them.
     
  45. I like the idea of options. Those are some good suggestions, however I still disagree with item restriction (based on bank storage) and the guild roster thing (being restricted to a ronin) probably isn't necessary. Ranks don't really do anything for your character with the exception of War Lord and Emissary which you can actually perform functions (oh and voting for all levels member and up). If there was going to be a guild based restriction, F2P accounts I feel would be better being restricted at the "member" rank.

    The GGS on the otherhand is already messed up in so many ways that implementing any source of membership control into the equation probably wouldn't work. It's a nice suggestion though, and I kind of like it.
     
  46. i think item storage would perhaps be the biggest incentive to 'upgrade' an account, perhaps not as drastic, but especially with the increased itemized nature of this game. while housing is perhaps a much larger part of this (especially larger plots), this definately reinforces an advantage of subscription accounts.

    for guilds, i agree, i just chose an arbetrary lower rank. free players should be able to enjoy guild membership, but not take part in the higher functions.

    i'm not sure how poor GGS is handled, but as it already has certain defined limits based on total skill %, it shouldn't be too much of a break. of course, with soulstones and such, it's kinda moot.
     
  47. I think if the developers were to ever implement a F2P game membership option with the addition of skill gain controls, they'd have to implement a new system altogether, probably unrelated to GGS, but a similar gain system and maybe even a power hour implementation. <-massive runon :D