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Perhaps it's Time

Discussion in 'UHall' started by MalagAste, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Ok Perhaps it is time to consider UO going Free-to-Play.

    I know the DEV's have said NO. But I been thinking we REALLY need to get folk to try UO again. We all know how addicting it can be and how much fun it is. But if no one will give it a try it's rather hard to get folk to look at UO.

    So at one time I thought they could build a Free to Play shard.... but my thought is maybe they don't have to.

    So what if they allowed F2P and it was very limited. Such as bank only holds 50 items. Backpack only holds 50 items.

    They only get 3 characters or can only play 1 char on 3 shards. Total of 3 characters period.

    They can only be in Tram. Can't go to Malas or Tokuno or Ter Mur or Fel. They can go to the lost lands... and Illsh.

    This gives them plenty of dungeons to check out and all but they can't get in trouble.

    They can't be awarded artifacts outside of New Haven Quests. So doing the new Despise would not benefit them much...

    They can't use powerscrolls, SoTs or SoAs. Their accounts will NOT age.... though it will credit them later if they become a paid account for time played.

    They can not be traded with. Just like newbs you can't give them stuff. They can't stack anything more than 1k except gold.

    They can not own a home unless they pay 20 bucks then they can have a 8x8 max home with only 500 storage. They can not friend or co-own anyone to their home. They can not be friended or co-owned to anyone elses house either. They can't have vendors.

    They can not turn in or get BoDs. They do not receive gifts. They can not mine or lumberjack anything other than plain wood and iron ingots.

    They would not have any expansions so they can't use the new boats, get the new fish or do the new fishing quests.

    They can not enter Heartwood.

    This would get folk into the game..... get them to see the game, learn much about the game.... hopefully get hooked and then pay for an account.

    This would also keep them from being worth anything to scripters and such because they can't trade
    or anything they wouldn't be able to get much of anything worthwhile. So they can't do much to harm the already tragic economy... I'm sure folk could use them to farm cheap wood and ingots but it would be a pain to trade with them. Since they would basically have to drop whatever on the ground to give you stuff and vice versa.

    But I think it would give folk enough of a taste to want to pay to play.

    Any thoughts?
     
    Taylor likes this.
  2. Merus

    Merus Babbling Loonie
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    IMO it comes down to returning vets with old accounts vs real new players. For true new players I think all they need to do is extend the trial period to 30 days instead of two weeks... More important for new players is making sure that first two weeks or 30 days is truely a good experience.

    As far as returning vets... I would love to see a perm return to UO subscription. Something that is like 3.99 per month but is restricted to no house. While $15 really isn't that much, I still think it is a barrier to getting old UO players back to check things out. I say if you want to play without a house let them do it at a reduced cost... Again this change would be fairly useless without some sort of promotion to let them know it is available.
     
  3. Speaking the Truth

    Speaking the Truth Lore Keeper
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    That's not how free to plays generally go. You can have access to all the same places but you buy other things.
    Instant pet bonding, full skills for a char ect.

    Not reducing where you can go, or what you can hold.
     
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  4. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    I've heard that when Lord Of The Rings went free to play it is making more money now then when it was a subscription. I think it should be considered for UO if nothing else. Something to at least draw people into play.

    How long do you need to play before you have a fair impression of UO? It took me awhile. I don't even remember why I left the game, though I am happy I am playing it again.
     
    #4 Gameboy, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  5. cazador

    cazador Crazed Zealot
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    6.99 a month and add tons more to the origin store..like ALOT!

    Make it just like the search sites with better prices

    Ingots/boards/regs/potions

    Gold- I know but if you can't beat em..well beat their prices the economy already sucks but at least EA should be making the money not random people

    Suits that have a 4 week timer..I'm talking sick suits for every template submitted by players..9.99

    Imbuing ingredients..I think you get the point..

    I know I for one who don't have time to farm but still want to compete will pay to play..I'd much rather personally support the game by purchasing from EA then 3rd party
     
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  6. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    I'd pay for suits. Not sure what else. Maybe home decorations, maybe pets too not sure.
     
    #6 Gameboy, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  7. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    My ideas:

    Subscriptions:
    Standard Subscription: Subscription is just like UO is now, but drop price to 7.99. Same as Netflix or Hulu+.

    Gold Subscription: Same as standard, but price is 9.99. Gold subs also get access to special larger than 18x18 custom homes, first access to any beta testing, and a small monthly allowance of UO bux (or whatever) for the cash shop.

    Vet rewards, 3rd story custom houses, towers, keeps, and castles are for subscriptions only. Subscription players also get access to some sort of direct feedback system, where developers offer polls or whatever for development.

    Free Accounts:
    Character slot 1: Can buy more.

    Race humans only: Can buy access to others.

    Skill cap 500: Can pay for +20 skill cap increase to get up to 720. Subscription members can buy up to 720 if they don't want to wait.

    Powerscrolls, pinks and blues no use: Can buy access to power scrolls in stages 5, 10, 15, 20. Access to pinks and blues each as well.

    Follower Slots 3: Can buy monthly boost to 5.

    Stables minimum: Can buy permanent increases 1 slot at a time. Subscription members can buy more too.

    Housing 0: Can buy land permanent ownership permits. First permit allows prefab 7x7 only. Second adds access to all prefab except for Towers, Keeps, and Castles. Third allows any 2 story custom houses. Increasing in price. (so biggest house is 13x13)

    Land access, can go any overland. Can travel and hunt any overland spawn, and any minor dungeons, like solens and orc dungeon etc.

    Dungeon access- no major dungeon access: Can buy monthly access to virtue dungeons, Ilsh Dungeons, Doom, Tokuno, T2A, Peerless dungeons (including labyrinth), underworld/abyss.

    Artifact access none: Cannot equip artifacts, cannot be awarded artifacts. Can buy monthly or permanent access. Includes bags of sending and similar items.

    Bank 50 item limit: Can buy more. Subscription members can buy more too.

    Fishing quest, and Bulk orders- none. Can buy monthly access.

    Skills restrictions-

    Premium skills: Taming, Discordance, Provocation, Imbuing, Mysticism, Bushido, Ninjitsu, Necromancy, Chivalry, Stealth, Stealing, Snooping. (up for debate). Premium skills can only get up to 75. You can pay to unlock them each.

    All other skills can go up to 120 if they have the scrolls.

    Item shop:
    First of all improve the store site, and integrate it into the game client somehow.
    From there add in more items like already exist in the store like deco packs etc, but add in no-repair arti and event replicas, bless deeds, special limited time boost potions (extra luck, general skill gain boost, stuff like that), and add in unique cosmetic wearable as well.

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

    This way current subscribers not only get a price drop, and more people to play with, they also get access to a new larger custom house plot, first access to beta tests, and some free item shop cash. Or if they want to drop the price even lower it will be exactly like it is now at nearly half the price.
    New players would be drawn in by the free admission, and would have enough to do for free to keep them occupied and get them into the world, with cheap add-ons that are just annoying enough to encourage upgrading toe a sub.
    I would bet dollars to donuts that a set up like that would bring in a TON of new players, and a TON more money. AND... we would have full shards again. Wouldn't that be nice?
     
    #7 Uvtha, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  8. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    Skill cap 500: Can pay for +20 skill cap increase to get up to 720. Subscription members can buy up to 720 if they don't want to wait.

    I don't like this. I think the skill cap can be 500, then just unlock the 720.
     
  9. Gospel

    Gospel Seasoned Veteran
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    Eh not gonna bother too much with this reply since this will be locked soon anyways. This gets brought up WAY too often and always has the same result. If you feel like you're going to make a difference in opinions by restating the same crap over again, youneed to get in touch with reality.

    "Perhaps it's time" to stop making the same dumb threads over and over and just play the game. Put your creative energy into something more productive. (And no, this doesn't mean make another thread about dyeable pets.)
     
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  10. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    You could do both. You want to give people a small jump option so that they would be less hesitant to purchase. You could do it in chucks. Like .99$ for 20 skill points, 4.49 for 100, 8.99 for the whole jump. There's plenty of wiggle room.
     
  11. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Whats the big deal? Some of us like to think out these kind of things. It's not an unrealistic thing to muse on (considering the fact that subscription games are clearly no longer the norm) and while I know the team has said no, that doesnt mean I want to stop talking about it. It's just fun to think about and plan. If you don't feel that way, the back button is at the top of the screen there.
     
    #11 Uvtha, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
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  12. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Oh I've tried putting my creative energy into many things... However for the game to get ahead and do better the FIRST and Foremost thing they need to do is quit being managed by EA.

    Since that's not likely to happen I guess we can just wait for the slow death. Customer service has dropped once again to an all time low...

    I'm sorry but it should NEVER take 3 days to get a stinking response from a GM. It shouldn't even take 3 hours. In 2 hours things decay and vanish... whatever is going to happen needs to be done before things are permanently destroyed and beyond saving.

    My thought was only to think of ways to get new players since all I see anymore is people flocking away....
     
  13. cazador

    cazador Crazed Zealot
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    How about pvp balance? Or EC vs CC? Or pancakes at devs? Or another FTP? Or a post about how the mods do a bad job? You pick ..I thought it was a discussion forum..you could always just not click on the link if you don't want to participate..
     
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  14. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    I think dropping the sub price without offering a free option would be a bad idea. As it is now UO is driven almost 100% by die-hards. People like me and you who have been playing for 10+ years and probably wont ever fully quit. There is no way that I would believe that UO is bringing in a substantial amount of new players, and I doubt very very highly its because of the subscription cost.

    What UO needs is hits. Free to play set ups have been proven time and time again to get you many many hits. Once you have enough new players that will eventually be lured into subscription status, THEN you can start thinking about dropping prices.

    Honestly I think you can bug squash and fancy up the website all you want, but these are not the things that are keeping people away from the game. It's not like people are downloading the client, hitting a bug and saying "No more!" and unsubscribing. Stuff like that keeps players, it doesn't draw them in.

    Lets face it, UO is an antiquated game. That by no means equates to a bad or inferior game, I think those of us here clearly know that's not true (or why are we here talking about it), BUT it looks old and plays old. The new client plays better but the hodgepodge of old and new graphics is even more off putting that the simply old regular client.

    What UO needs is that "why the hell not?" factor. Bored guy looking for something to get into, probably low on cash, sees free game, game that can be played pretty well for free, so... why the hell not?

    I really think that to do it right it would require a whole heck of a lot of work that probably none of the developers of those who pay them are willing to undertake, but I have zero doubt that it would be a good change.
     
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  15. CovenantX

    CovenantX Babbling Loonie
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    trial accounts can't be traded with how would one stop that? you could always drop items on the ground or in corpses and have no-trade characters loot it... There is already a 14-day trial that has No limitations Other than housing. its good enough, but there's no advertising to get people to Try UO in the first place. plus starting up or re-activating an account can he such a problem people don't feel it's worth going through half the time.

    F2P option wouldn't work so easily with UO because it's too much to be-able to limit accounts like that.

    I would much rather EA to start advertising for UO... it would do much better than going F2P imo.
     
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  16. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Meh... I doubt it. It's not a modern game. Advertising would help i'm sure, but once people see that its 13 bucks a month, most wont stick around.
     
  17. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    I think EA could advertise all they want but until there is some sort of New Player Guide or such we aren't gonna get any new players... the game is getting very difficult to play. It's extremely complex now and without some sort of new player experience I seriously doubt anyone would pay for the frustration of trying to figure the game out.

    We don't think it's that difficult because we know where everything is. Even returning players know how to work the bank, that they have a bank..... how to gather wool and wood and such.... new players don't have that luxury and the new player experience is sadly lacking. Just trying to teach someone who does play how to use the EC with Pinco's UI it took about 6 hours of going over in Vent. 6 HOURS. And that is to veteran players not newbs.

    If we aren't careful we could lose more folk. How many people do you think quit after the 15th anniversary? How many came back for it then left again?

    How many quit after pub 80?

    If the economy in RL doesn't improve soon how many of us will still be here in the next year? With threats of increasing taxes and more expenses how many of us can afford the 12.99 a month?
     
  18. CovenantX

    CovenantX Babbling Loonie
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    you see products advertised on TV? take the Snuggie for instance. it could have been UO! lol just not as cheesy & ridiculous. re-invention is where it's at.
     
  19. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    It took me about 30 min to setup EC with Pinco's UI. It did require some reading. Maybe if everyone just said play UO on there Facebook page? um.
     
  20. cazador

    cazador Crazed Zealot
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    One of my accounts is still in Limbo due to me not remember the 11 year old email lol
     
  21. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    I do think the problem with the account management is a big issue. I was more concerned about loosing my UO account then just any other online game I've played. I did lose my Dark Age Of Camelot account info, but that's OK.
     
  22. Speaking the Truth

    Speaking the Truth Lore Keeper
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    Sorry but these ideas are not appealing to those of us who already have a lot of characters/scrolls/suits ect.

    Why would I want to pay for suits when I took the time to build ones, it's already annoying enough replacing faction parts. Then having 1 character and things like that..

    No thanks, ideas like these are horrible. The only part of any idea I could agree with is lowering the price a little for the sub, that's it.
     
  23. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    I think it's defiantly a problem that the best interface is a) player made, and b) in need of documentation. UO does need a comprehensive guide, no doubt.
    But again, I personally think that the major problem isn't once people get IN the game (it absolutely could be made easier and would help retain the few we get), but the fact we cant GET the people to come a face the crap newb experience.
     
  24. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    You wouldn't. But maybe others might? Possibly?
     
  25. Speaking the Truth

    Speaking the Truth Lore Keeper
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    I think all but the reduction of sub fee will be like the idea to have IDOCS go up for auction as a gold sink..
     
    #25 Speaking the Truth, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
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  26. Gospel

    Gospel Seasoned Veteran
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    Excellent idea if the thread title actually stated what was inside (as is their purpose). Discussion is fine. Bringing up the same bs every 3 weeks and arguing about it til the thread gets locked is not. Bad suggestions in December will still be bad suggestions in January.

    Carry on with the "Without this.. UO will slowly die" nonsense. It's been dying since what, 2006? and will continue to do so. It's old. Get over it.
     
  27. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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  28. Good Grief

    Good Grief Journeyman

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    Yeah threads like this should just be locked.
     
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  29. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    I like old.
     
  30. Gospel

    Gospel Seasoned Veteran
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    Well aren't you just young justice today? Here's a tip; posting things on the Internet on a discussion forums opens them to....you guessed it (you probably didn't), DISCUSSION. My opinion is every bit as valuable as yours, and in the same way I'm "welcome to not participate" or use that back button, you're welcome to not respond to, or even read my posts. The scroll wheel is right on your mouse there.

    Next?
     
  31. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Clearly I must as well, or I wouldn't be here for 15+ years. But I also know most other people don't, or at least are not ready to pay to play.
     
  32. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Yikes...lol
     
  33. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    But why? Other than the fact that it attracts a dozen off topic posts by people who don't even want to discuss the topic.
     
  34. Gospel

    Gospel Seasoned Veteran
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    Can't say I expected any better than this. Well done.
     
  35. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Yeah well, you come into a thread, act like a jerk, and when people call you out on it you puff up like someone challenged you to a fight... it just makes ones eyes roll.

    Ask yourself what you expect when you come into a thread and post like you do. Because you just come off as yet another overly sensitive internet tough guy.

    But that's all I'm going to say about it since the thread has already been derailed probably beyond the point of recovery. But by all means if you actually want to talk about the topic rather than berate those who do, feel free.
     
    #35 Uvtha, Jan 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
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  36. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    I have thrown my 2 cents before on this topic in other threads. I'll say it again. Yes sub fees guarantees EA money each month but why would they want to limit themselves to an x amount from one person that may spend more money that just paying a sub fee. There are pros and cons. Most vets wouldn't buy much but if the game did go F2P, all shards could see a possible growth in the popultation of actual new players. Thats the market that would spend more than $10 to $14 bones a month for one account in a subscription fee. These new players could possibly spend on average of $200 to $250 bones a year buying items and such versus paying a subscription fee of $170 bones

    I think UO should go F2P. There is many many many options that EA could maximize profits with an item store.


    Just a few made up ones below with made up prices.

    1) Items that could not be gained in the game could be sold only in the tem store. I will just use a made up option as an example. Sell a token that gives 10 points in any skill for $3.00

    2) Sell gold

    3) Sell items that can be achieved in the game. Again just one made up example. Crimson cinature can be sold for $7.00

    4) An extra house on an account that can be placed on same or any shard for $50.00

    5) Crafting tokens with 10 uses with a 40% bonus to succeed for $5.00



    UO is an item based game. There are many items that could be added and used in the game like deco, skill gain, and ect ect ect to really feed the EA machine so the fat cats can have more money while the population of the game itself grows.


    Remember this is just my opinion and it's not a popular one. Mythic has already stated they wont go that direction but when I see dieing population in War, DaoC and UO while other games that went F2P or the B2P have healthy and bigger gaming populations then there is some truth to it.


    Gameboy, I don't know what channel you are watching but I see many online games advertsied on TV. Not just WoW and maybe your definition of an MMO game may differ which is ok, but my daughter plays many games that have sub fees. Wizard 101 runs $10 bones a month is one and they are boasting 30 million players. She also plays Club Penquin which is $5 bones a month. Now they do use game cards for these 2 games alone. Recently they also have been advertsing a Pirate 101 game. Runs the same price as Wizard 101. I still see Pirates of the Carribean online from tiem to time. Truthfully games like that can justify a fee with graphics and game play and when you have millions of adults and kids around the world paying to play these games imagaine how much they are truly rolling in.

    These may be consider "kiddy games" but these kiddy games are the future gamers that these companies will want and need in the future. They are already exposed to higher graphic games at a younger age. Heck, my daughter and I would sit beside each other when she plays Wizard 101 and I will admit it was addicting and fun to play. My daugter plays one of my two GW2 accounts. That doesn't cost me anything besides paying for the game itself which was $60 bones and no monthly fee.


    It's the players choice in the end if they want to pay for a game which is nothing wrong with that. I just cant see the justification for UO which is just my opinion
     
  37. Gospel

    Gospel Seasoned Veteran
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    I expected exactly what I got, hence my response. Your cliche internet comebacks are as predictable and generic as the rest of your posts. Be smart like many others and just "like" the posts of other people when they try to go after me rather than attempt it yourself and fail.

    And since that was "all you were going to say about it (I bet it is...)," I'll let you carry on before you make yourself look any worse.

    As to the original topic, I think people need to start seeing UO for what it is and stop looking for that magical way to reel in thousands of new players. With high-res graphics and a decent UI, and an astronomical amount of bug fixing, it might get some players in. But as it stands now, even for free... why would anyone want to play this?

    We all kind of "grew up" looking at this game and we're used to looking at it, used to the UI, etc. Even as a F2P game, this is just going to head straight to the bottom of the list the second someone sees a screenshot. I know there are exceptions, but they only prove the rule. Not many people, especially with the MMO market these days, are willing to play a game with retro (read garbage) graphics and UI just because the tiny playerbase swears up and down it has "great gameplay." So while it may be fun for some of you to think about things such as the topic of this thread, you're really missing the big picture.

    Look, let me put it in simple terms. You can play NES and SNES games (for example) free of charge on an emulator. How many people do you know that play NES and SNES games on a regular basis? They are fun for a while for nostalgia reasons, but if you want to get some solid hours of entertainment you go to Best Buy or Gamestop and you buy the new thing. That's what people do. That's where the market is, and that's the market that you people seem to hold to the illusion that UO has a chance to compete in.

    The same goes for most of the other genius ideas people throw around constantly about how to "save" UO and "bring it back" and whatever. Advertising UO is advertising a 15 year old game! Let's see; know anyone still playing Resident Evil 2? Mario 64? Metal Gear Solid? Tomb Raider 3? How far do you think even the almighty Blizzard would get if they started trying to sell the original Starcraft game? Advertising like crazy even, they'd not get very far.

    Tired of typing. If you don't get the point after 15 years and all this typing, you're probably never going to get it. Enjoy your thread and good luck "saving" the game.
     
  38. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    um, I will post this to get the agrro out of the thread so it can stay on topic :)


     
  39. Speaking the Truth

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    In all fairness NES, SNES, and N64 Do have some games that are fun to play ever now and again.
     
  40. Vor

    Vor Grand Inquisitor
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    If it's going to be F2P it needs to be proper F2P, not some hybrid limited trial system. But.. do the devs have the resources to turn the game F2P? I don't think so. But maybe they do.
     
    #40 Vor, Jan 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  41. Sauteed Onion

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    I don't think F2P games are what they are cracked upto be.. I've played some rather extensively, and every single one is flooded RMT, not that UO isn't, but at least it isn't a 24/7 spamathon of go to www.randomvirusriddenwebsite.com to buy your gold/kinah/adena/bits/etc but I assure you it will be in the first 3 months of it's Free to playness. Additionally the lowest of the low will be the norm for the community, every hack cheat and bot imaginable will make a return (not that many have been dealt with in the first place), every dupe (still causing problems) and every type of scam will happen tenfold, and the dawning of UO's last moments will finally settle in for all to see. It makes enough to survive thus it should "survive" rather than expedite it's demise. It can survive and get better, but needs direction and funding it's parent company won't give. I'll shut up meow. Back to making pancakes and hoping cinnamon rolls show up ingame.
     
  42. Orgional Farimir

    Orgional Farimir Lore Keeper
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    No..... No F2P. There is a reason when I go to basball games I buy the $80 tickets and not the $10 tickets.
     
  43. swroberts

    swroberts Journeyman
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    Having a 17yr old son who insists on playing League of Lengends over UO....

    Step 1 is to finally kill the wishy washy Classic Client and move into some decent graphics.....

    The foundation of the game is still better than almost everything out there, it just looks like a 1995 Atari game....based on first looks......gets a pass
     
  44. virtualhabitat

    virtualhabitat Lore Keeper
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    I don't see FTP working for UO. Someone else suggested the trial be extended and I would be all for that.

    I believe targeted advertising would go longer and deeper in securing new players than a FTP scheme ever would.

    Although I primarily play classic client, I do agree that we need a serious upgrade. The cc should be retired.
     
  45. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    I don't see anyone applauding the arrogance of the tone in your posts. For all your sarcasm and derision I have yet to see one idea expressed by yourself for the game that was your own and meaningful.

    On the other hand your insight can be fairly keen. It's a shame you don't put in the effort to make yourself more readable, like this.
    It takes somewhere between three to five times the amount of effort and resources to regain a customer after losing them than it does to attract a new customer. And, we just had a small bit of a fiasco with our last publish. Besides that we have a highly divided loot system, and... no...world...events.

    It is very true that the game is deep and challenging. We like it like that, and we would like to share it with others. FTP would be an excellent way to accomplish that, and there are some decent stratification ideas in this thread. But in order to retain customers we need to get them to fall in love with the world we play in. I can't see this happening anytime this year. In fact, in the near future, while we are smashing bugs and building some cohesion for the game (all very good goals for Mesanna and her team)it might be worse to bring folks in and turn them off. Maybe it would be a laudable goal for the twentieth ani.
     
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  46. DerekL

    DerekL Certifiable
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    Seriously this. The EC needs some significant graphic love, and the CC needs to be relabled "Legacy" or some other term to discourage the unwary from downloading it.
     
  47. virtualhabitat

    virtualhabitat Lore Keeper
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    I found myself in a game store the other day. Not a video game store, mind you, but an old fashioned chess,/board/rpg game store. They devoted a considerable amount of space to analog games. Custom chess boards and pieces, checkers, scrabble, you name it. They rent rooms in the back for old fashioned rpg gamers. You know, war games, d&d, and others. It occurred to me that while none of these games would be considered 'the latest craze' or 'the newest thing' or even 'where the gaming market is currently', there are thousands of people still playing them. -Hundreds of thousands -millions perhaps.
    Why do they continue playing them?

    Why is chess, arguably a centuries old graphic-deficient has-been, still popular around the world to this day? Because, in part, it allows the player freedom to employ strategy and tactics in virtually limitless variety against a live opponent doing the same.

    UO is not chess of course, but is it unreasonable to believe that an electronic mmorpg could not have the longevity of some of its analog predecessors? D&D has been with us now since 1974 and it seems to be holding its own in the age of Best Buy and Gamestop.

    Why not UO?
     
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  48. DerekL

    DerekL Certifiable
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    Because electronics and computers (and really anything modern and recent) are expected to always be the "latest and greatest". The D&D you can go buy today is no more like the D&D you could buy in 1974 than UO is like LOTRO (in terms of graphics. UI, etc...).
     
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  49. virtualhabitat

    virtualhabitat Lore Keeper
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    You obviously never played D&D
    Actually, in 1974 the entire D&D game came in a little box with a couple of soft-cover manuals. The game has evolved tremendously over the years. From the original 'basic' set, to Advanced D&D, to 2nd edition to 3rd edition to 4th edition, Tons of books have been published over the years. Monster manuals, maps, player manuals, dungeon master manuals etc.. Countless dungeon modules have been created over the decades as well. Not to mention the ability of DM's and players to create their own dungeons.
     
  50. Shakkara

    Shakkara Slightly Crazed
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    The reason free to play works is because in all games that use it, your experience is scripted and on rails. The game is set up in such a way that everyone has more or less the same progression, the same experience, and goes through the same path. Content is gated or locked behind level and gear checks. The developers optimize the progression curve towards monetization, they deliberately get the players addicted first with a lot of free content but as they progress down the carefully laid out path they are funneled into a situation where forced to pay increasing amounts of money to progress at a reasonable pace.

    Game designers, armed with spreadsheets and metrics carefully craft and adjust the experience so that a maximum amount of people get addicted and a maximum amount of users converts to paying user and that each paying user pays the maximum amount of money. It's not about a great game experience, it's about making the best mousetrap that churns out the highest ARPU (average revenue per user).

    Sure free to play can increase revenue. But if you want to do it 'right' (and you know how EA is!) the insidious cost that it comes with is way, way higher than the monthly subscription fee we're all paying now. Because for F2P to be succesful, the paying users will have to pay a multitude of their current subscription money to make up for all the non-paying users. Average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) of F2P games often averages will over $25 per month. And if you're not at least an average paying user, you'll be a third rank citizen and a fun endgame will be something that will be out of your reach, forever.

    Also, to get money from F2P games, all the players must actively play and be addicted. Why would UO want that, when they can just get bags full of money from people that don't play, but only pay to maintain their houses? From a developer's perspective, the best player is a player that doesn't play, but still pays.
     
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