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I'm worried about Ultimate RPG being free to play.

Discussion in 'Ultimate RPG Discussions [Archive]' started by Bombadil, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Bombadil

    Bombadil Guest

    The devs have to make money some way. Either via paid subscription like most mmos or from in-game purchases.

    If Ultimate RPG goes the second route then it will seriously dis-balance the whole game. It will become another Travian with "pay to win" as strategy.

    I think there should be a subscription plan. You pay and you get equal treatment, the same as every other player.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    Eh, I'm not really worried. Playing a few F2P games right now. Even with microtransactions, I don't sense imbalance in my current games. In Combat Arms, for example, you can rank up to buy weapons or you can shortcut rank requirements with microtransactions; in TF2, most microtransactions are purely aesthetic.

    Also, in the interview on Sunday, Richard Garriott specifically mentioned that the transactions wouldn't be pay-to-win. Instead, he predicted that payments would occur when it felt appropriate, such as opening a skill path or storing more items on their server. I think it'll be alright.
     
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  3. senescal

    senescal Adventurer

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    Watch the interview Syrus mentioned, it will probably calm you down although they are still not sure about how they will monetize the game.
     
  4. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
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    I'm about to write up a summary of that interview, but the piece that might be relevant to your concerns:

    Richard Gariott is someone who plays F2P games, and doesn't mind paying for them. However, he hates the fact that most of them always "have a hand out", meaning, "Sure.. You could do it the hard way, but if you'd rather save time and spend a little money....". He's more in favor of what he calls the "Fair Handshake", where you let people play for free, originally, with the understanding that some will never pay. But you don't do anything to push them out, because those people can still bring in others to the game that MIGHT be willing to pay.

    They're going to see how the genre develops these payment methods and adapt accordingly. They're pretty sure even 3 months before release, they'll still be figuring out how to go about it, and what fits the game best. What he wants to be certain of is that what they ask you to pay for is a reasonable and fair request, like to access new areas of content, or perhaps they will let you get some skills (any) to a certain point, but then if you want to go further, or access elements of the skills that they develop later, it might cost a very small, nominal fee.

    He doesn't want the paying to be a surprise, but they have nothing set in stone. It might be free at release, or an impulse purchase price, like a buck or two. They may sell things like Cloth Maps for added revenue. But what you can be sure of is that it will be F2P or practically free, because he sees that low barrier of entry as a way to draw in more people.

    I hope this addresses your concerns.
     
    #4 Coldren, Aug 28, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  5. Bombadil

    Bombadil Guest

    I predict there might be some limitations for free players.

    Think limited and full versions of the game.

    You can play for free, but can't build a house or buy a ship, or use certain skills.

    If you want full access, buy the game for $9.99.

    Sounds fair to me.
     
    #5 Bombadil, Aug 28, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2012
  6. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
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    He didn't give any indications of limiting access to anything for free players, at least initially.

    If you want to think of it on those terms, the impression I got from the interview is that, what is there is there for free and for all to use. Everything. But as they add to the game, or "catch up" to what the players demands and requests, and as they add to the world, those things may have a price, or outside elements, like cloth maps. It's more like, "Here, have Ultima Online and everything therein for free. But every expansion pack and additional skills we add in the future may cost you something... MAY." Again, that's just my impression, and it makes sense given the way he's described how he sees the industry moving forward in previous interviews.

    I am personally in favor of paying a price for something like owning real-estate, and think it would be a great element to monetize because it is also going to be a major draw of the game, but that is neither here nor there. And actually, as I review my notes from the interview, there may be a reason they wouldn't do that. More to come!
     
    #6 Coldren, Aug 28, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  7. FatMagic

    FatMagic Journeyman
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    As a business model, Free To Play is the "in-thing" that is making companies more money than a subscription based model (i.e. Turbine w/ DDO & LOTRO is a perfect example). And there is no-entry cost for a player to get into the game. I see why Richard wants to do it, and why it makes sense on both sides of the equation (business & players). It doesn't make sense for him to switch to a subscription model.

    As long as he keeps to the standard he is holding about a "fair handshake" - I believe most of us will be happy with the outcome. Games I currently consider to be using an excellent Free to Play model are the popular MOBA games. League of Legends, DOTA2 & Heroes of Newerth. Their models of monetization are excellent, easy to understand, and are NOT P2W (Pay-2-Win). If you haven't taken a look at these games, look at their models - they are perfectly done. I'm not sure that is workable in Ultimate RPG because it's based upon purchasing characters/classes, skin packs, voice packs or in-game currency boosts (again this does not promote Pay-2-Win if you look at the model).

    In my opinion, a hybrid model would probably work best for all forms of players. Some like subscriptions, some like F2P. Lord of the Rings Online is running a hybrid model which is near perfect. They have a full-access subscription for $10-15 / month, or Free-to-Play with microtransactions to augment your gaming, or purchase locked quest packs to progress. Expansions still cost money, but the rest of the game is available for little cost. Yes there is a tiny bit of Pay-2-Win in play there (stat boosts, xp boosts, but it's pretty nominal and not a major advantage). I think this model would best suit the Ultimate RPG if Richard is considering using major areas of the game or classes to initiate "microtransaction prompts". Or a full subscription to those who don't want to be bothered by the prompts and interruptions.
     
    #7 FatMagic, Aug 28, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  8. S3r1ous

    S3r1ous Guest

    What i am willing to pay for:
    *Equipment in any color/variation stylistically with no impact on gameplay mechanics
    *Extra goodies with general game, like statues, maps, replica equipment(weapons, armor, shields), banners and other insignia, books(guide, tips and tricks), artwork and behind the scenes stuff
    *Uber-optimized PC Graphics Master Race Version programmed in google's Go to machine language with OpenGL renderer in Steel Collector's Box that survives the end of the world (SSE2/3/4/4.1) Runs on netbooks and Windows/Mac/Linux/BSD
    *Real survival gear
     
  9. Vanpry

    Vanpry Visitor
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    fatMagic pretty much nailed it.
     
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  10. Link_of_Hyrule

    Link_of_Hyrule Visitor
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    I would say for me I would rather it be free to play but than if you want to be a full player pay a one time fee of $10 to $50 as opposed to being rapped with monthly fees honestly I love Ultima Online and if it was F2P I would play it I refuse to pay monthly for any game. Another thing they could do is pay a one time fee of like $5-$10 per extra character which is what Phantasy Star Online 2 is doing.
     
  11. Han Telemnar

    Han Telemnar Adventurer

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    Free to Play is the way to go. In all honesty, only solid games will survive this style of gaming. Free will lure people in and create the numbers. You are more likely to get greater amounts of foot traffic if the game is Free to Play as opposed to purchased.

    The biggest positive to Free to play for the player is the fact it keeps the Devs accountable and involved. Take a look at a game called "World of Tanks." It is by far one of the most successful Free to Play games I know of and has recently been awarded some prestigious awards. The Dev's profit comes from purchasable items and premium-account game time. The Devs will have to constantly improve and advance the game in order to keep people wanting to pay. At first I wasn't too sure about purchasable items and premium accounts. I thought it would unbalance the game and make it unfair for those who can't/don't want to spend money on a game. But, I found the Devs ingenuity, extreme interest and involvement with their player-base (via forums and test servers) has kept the game completely fair for both the paying and non-paying player. Keep in mind, people WILL pay, and most often a lot more than some subscription fee, for true, quality gaming.

    What I am getting at is Free to Play causes games to either quickly sink or thrive based on the game itself. IMHO, it is a survival-of-the-fittest environment, and personally I LOVE it!
     
  12. Brian Fullblade

    Brian Fullblade Visitor

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    I agree too that FTP can work well if thought out. As far as pay to win just realize that its going to happen to a certain extent eventually. The players will eventually start thier own RL money trading and I would rather see that go to the developer than some gold farmer. I whould just give a time at the beginning here this is very limited so that the game dont start out unbalanced. And I love the idea of being to buy your account more storage.