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Serious question for Mesanna

Discussion in 'UHall' started by solembow, May 4, 2014.

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  1. solembow

    solembow Adventurer
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    Is this how Broadsword/EA and the rest of the team feels? This is such a short sighted viewpoint, and screams to me that you all are simply focused on barely keeping the doors open by maintaining subs and trying to lure a few stragglers back to paying you for a few months here and there.

    If this game is to survive, I think we all know that we need New players to flood these servers ( not that they could handle it) , not simply a smattering here and there of "Returning players. It should be top priority for your team as it is what will keep the existing people playing the game.

    Why would you advertise this game on Steam in it's current state? Even to former players, all they have to do is log in and run around on a dead shard to see that nothing's changed for the better. You're not even offering a solution to the population problem...all I have heard around here is xfer to Atlantic or Great Lakes....that is no solution.

    What is it exactly that you all fear from dropping the subscription model for a F2P system? Have you looked at any modern MMO's who have done it? They are making revenue hand over fist and boast easily ten times the population we have.

    I am honestly asking a serious question, as a subscriber with 5 accounts, I want to know why you and your team seem resigned to the fact that we will not attract new players...and are not designing the game to appeal to anyone other than a few nostalgic players who may want to return only to leave again a month or so later?
     
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  2. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    How will a bunch of n00bs make us keep playing, exactly?
     
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  3. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    Yep thats the situation. In all honesty UO could be a very popular free to play game and attract many new players if it had a superb new player experience, however the dev team is so small that only enough can be done to "maintain" the game and keep it trudging along. If any life giving changes are to be made, next 2 or 3 years are a realistic goal. otherwise the game will die off like most of us expect it to. Current state considering our resources, i give UO 5 more years tops.
     
  4. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    I understand you point, but I do agree that their primary market will be former players and freeshard players. With the 14 day trial, launch on Steam, a new UI, hi-res art update, etc., I'm not sure it's charitable to say they're “resigned" to anything. Those things are investments in longevity. Sounds like they're just starting where their biggest potential market is first, which agrees with me from a business perspective.

    I also hope to see a broader player-base, but I sort of think this is the best place to start. It's where I'd start.
     
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  5. solembow

    solembow Adventurer
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    How many of the responses on Steam lauded the subscription model and said that they would LOVE to return but only if it were free to play? There's absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain from going F2P. these games still have subscriptions for those who want all of the content and so our Ultima wouldn't change a bit. If you like your sub...keep it and nothing changes. However, for those who want to do it by microtransactions it's there for them as well. As I have stated in a previous thread, all of these items,tokens,etc are being duped and sold anyway...so why not take a hard line against these sites, while actually selling the items at the official store and get the money back into the (I guess now) Broadsword coffers where it belongs?

    We were all "Noobs" once. If we went F2P we would have hundreds if not thousands of players joining our shards daily. Even if a handful of them remain and become subscribers/regular players ( As stated above most F2P games have a sub option) our beloved game could live another 17 years. But keep treading water and only trying to attract those who have come before, and we wont make the 5 year mark. Servers are dead, people are beyond frustrated and nothing innovative is being done. Just the same ole' hurry up and wait development. Promising the moon, and delivering broken updates and or shallow content patches. Ask yourself how long these updates have been in the works. The economy, Vice and Virtue, Loot revamp, etc etc etc...it's all been promised for years.

    We need a change.
     
  6. popps

    popps Always Present
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    I think the developers are on the right track by counting first on returning players to increase the available resources. THEN, as more resources are available, perhaps an entire new expansion can be worked on and THAT, with proper advertisement could also bring in new players and quite many of them.

    Steps need to be done a littloe at a time especially, is there is no large investment resource available...

    It is necessary to rely on the scarce resources currently available to lay some stable foundations that may increase the available resources through returning players and then, when the money is more, hit the target to get brand new players to Ultima Online.

    And for that, only an entire new expansion with proper advertisement could work, IMHO.....

    So, personally I think that the current approach is logical and understandable as long as there is also a long term plan that includes new players, brand new expansion and brand new advertisement, not just a short term plan.....
     
  7. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    If we went F2P we'd have clogged servers and a bunch of freeloaders who aren't paying but are still taking up bandwidth and processing cycles vs everyone playing regularly (free trials excluded) is paying for it.

    I don't want to play the UO that has no subscription and is supported by tons upon tons of junk being sold in the Origin store.
     
  8. Yadd of Legends

    Yadd of Legends Certifiable
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    I was going to say F2P for UO in its current state makes me extremely uneasy - there are some serious downsides that we all don't want - but then I thought we really don't want to revive the F2P argument again and get yet another thread locked, do we? How times do we have to be told they have considered it and are not going to do it?
     
    #8 Yadd of Legends, May 4, 2014
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
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  9. solembow

    solembow Adventurer
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    So instead we have the choice of playing on a single cramped server or an empty one. Scripters flooding what little there is of a market and a laggy poor performing game on computers that are capable of playing AAA titles well over 60fps....and paying 13 dollars a month for the privilege.

    That Junk you speak of is being sold hand over fist anyway, so why not support the game with those sales instead of scripters/dupers websites?
     
  10. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    I'm not at all opposed to a f2p model. They've just said emphatically that they won't. I think SOE has an interesting idea with that all-access subscription: $15/mo. for premium access to all their games.
     
  11. Lady Michelle

    Lady Michelle Sprite Full SP
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    I wouldn't mind free 2 play if it was separate from the shards we have now, and I could still pay for my accounts like I have for the last 13 years. no interference for me and others everything would stay the same.

    free 2 play uo coded accounts.
    only shards you would see is free 2 play ones.
    free 2 play will only come in the enhanced client. I think the 2d client might be to old to code free 2 play.

    tired of playing free 2 play buy a code for a uo subscription pay 1 month 3 months, or 6 months.

    This would be ok with me only because this could bring in more money for uo if it was done this way.
     
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  12. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    What? Why do you think the client has anything to do with account permissions on the server side?
     
  13. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    Theres a reason F2P comes up alot tho. People on stratics do like to argue and blab. but this one does actually come up for a very good reason. Most modern gamers would be very surprised that UO is still around without having embraced a FTP structure. im convinced players and revenues would increase by 20 to 30 perecnt under a modern f2p structure.
     
  14. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    I'm convinced players would temporarily increase, and then revenue would drop like a brick.
     
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  15. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    nothing would really change under FTP tho. the payment structure would just change.

    Simplest example:
    UO is free to play
    but you have to pay 10 dollars a month for a house.
    nothing would change for the current player in an ideal f2p model.
     
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  16. Yadd of Legends

    Yadd of Legends Certifiable
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    Well, if you could make it free to play only in fel and give all those PvPers who are always complaining they don't have enough action some more people to kill, maybe ...
     
  17. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    F2P isn't happening.
     
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  18. Lady Michelle

    Lady Michelle Sprite Full SP
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    .........................
    pay 10 dollars a month for a house, and then have to pay so much for this so much for that.
    I already pay 10 dollars to have a house, and I really do not want to have to pay more to have to claim something in the game. if I want more and to pay more that is what the UO store is for.
    Yes things would change for current player, if you seriously think we would be handed things for free while f2p would only pay.
     
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  19. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    I think the developers should make it a vote, put a ballot box in some neutral area like test center, then advertise it heavily. then they will see the opinions of the majority of UO players on this subject instead of just the 10% or so of us who post on Stratics.
     
  20. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    No, I don't think the players should make a business decision for Broadsword. lol double you tee eff.
     
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  21. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    I didn't say the vote decides what they do lol, I just said they should put it there so they see the numbers and can decide for themselves more accurately.
     
  22. Yadd of Legends

    Yadd of Legends Certifiable
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    Lol, seriously, deciding a crucial business decision by a vote of the masses?
     
  23. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    once again, I did not say the vote decides it lol, its just another statistic for them to look at. plus if half their current players would quit if they went free to play...yes that is something they should be aware of while considering this.
     
  24. Lady Michelle

    Lady Michelle Sprite Full SP
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    LMAO why go f2p will just start new player accounts in fel. Make it to the gate before the reds get ya.
     
  25. Yadd of Legends

    Yadd of Legends Certifiable
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    OK, if they even think it's feasible enough to bother to solicit our opinion on it, which may not be the case. I'm not pretending to be an expert on gaming business models.
     
  26. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    *Sigh*****************************
     
  27. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    well..not to point out the obvious here...but the only reason any of us are talking about it here is that we are hoping a developer see's it and likes our idea lol :)
     
  28. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    *sigh* *sigh* ;)
     
  29. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    I Agree! finally something we agree on today.
     
  30. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    How about free accounts get access to fel, paid accounts get to go to tram/malas. :)
     
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  31. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    I love that idea!
     
  32. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    Also make it so anyone who's into PvP get forced into their own General channel with nobody else but F2P players.
     
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  33. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    We have now agreed on 2 things today Aran :)
     
  34. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    i would expect to pay the same amount as i do now, at about 10 dollars a month for "necessities" (house and access to all lands)
    where the success of the model would be is that addtional players who would not ever consider playing uo for the sub fee would also be drawn in to the game and find out it really is worth the money.
    That 14.99 per month barrier is Huge. its business decision if the current payment model is to be updated to attract modern gamers, or only focus on keeping current players paying. Doesnt matter to me personally either way.
     
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  35. Dol'Gorath

    Dol'Gorath Grand Inquisitor
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    SOE already tried that once. It doesn't work. When EQ2 went free to play, they created a service called Everquest 2 Extended. Which was access to a F2P server while the rest of the servers remained behind a pay wall. What happened a year later? A year later the free to play server, Freeport, had more players than all the pay servers COMBINED and was also generating more profit than all the subscriptions...COMBINED. Eventually all the pay walls were torn down and EQ2 went full F2P.

    As others have said, if you like your current subscription you can keep it. F2P players would be limited in what they have access too including housing. If you want a house you can either buy a monthly subscription or a "housing permit deed" on the online shop that keeps your house refreshed for 3 months at a time and it would cost like $29.99 a pop.
     
  36. Lady Michelle

    Lady Michelle Sprite Full SP
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    I pay the 6 month sub cost me 10 a month. True 14.99 a month is alot, but f2p would pay less than someone paying for a month sub. there would be no reason to go f2p when all that has be done is have everyone pay 10 a month instead of 14.99 for housing and access to all the lands.
    F2p accounts get everything a 14 day account gets :D mostly nothing I would be fine with that to
     
  37. Lady Michelle

    Lady Michelle Sprite Full SP
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    As others have said, if you like your current subscription you can keep it < I think I heard something like this in real life, um lol.
     
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  38. Dol'Gorath

    Dol'Gorath Grand Inquisitor
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    You can

    Yeah that's the new Mesannacare that everyone is angry about. =]Mesanna is gonna take your choice in subscriptions away and only leave you with subscriptions she mandates.
     
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  39. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    Right, F2P but Fel only ;P

    The main problem w/ F2P is you have legit players right now taking advantage of boxing multiple accounts. Boxing for subscribers would only increase, and the way this game is, with no filters set in place to catch people cheating (or at least, no real watch dog taking action, even if they can tell when players affect the stream), why open a wound further with F2P?

    UO would need to change structurally for F2P to exist on our current shards. People would need to be held accountable for their actions. Otherwise the economy would get even worse. Maybe things will change if they fix up the gold system and have all gold tied to an account rather than by the item, but i just see too many problems based on the problems we have currently.

    The only way F2P would work, in my opinion, is if they made a new shard/server just for F2P players.
     
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  40. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    Also, F2P should have guns :p. I got this idea from another thread ;P.
     
  41. Dol'Gorath

    Dol'Gorath Grand Inquisitor
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    I think with Counselors coming back to UO, they will now take some pressure off the GM's and the GM's can get to work cracking down on these scripters. Since the GM's don't have to answer petty questions or other minor things a Counselor would be able to handle.
     
  42. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    Point is, UO could be a great game but it would take much much more development resources than we have now. So be happy with what you get i suppose.
     
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  43. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    Or you start with your most realistic market vertical, then reinvest to develop for a broader market.
     
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  44. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    agreed. Broadsword has been taking excellent first steps, even hiring someone new. The Dev team is currently focusing on PVP updates, which will give a very good reason for many of those who left the game to come back. UO is on the right track.
     
  45. startle

    startle Siege... Where the fun begins.
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    What I'd really like to see is for XenForo to add the long-overdue Dislike option right beside the Like one... (And yes, it was the above quote that made me think of this once again)..
     
  46. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    Indeed, while we certainly would get a lot of players, new and returning, it's no guarantee of revenue. None are going to stick around just because of F2P, but they will for good content. Some point to the "success" of free shards, but how many would be playing if they had to pay for it like UO? Anyone would naturally pick up a shiny apple to look at it, perhaps get the first bite free. But would it be good enough to merit payment per bite, or to buy the entire apple outright? Without a major graphics upgrade, I don't see how UO can attract enough new players to make it worth the effort, whether it's subscription-based or F2P. However, it's easier to attract previous customers, who perhaps remember the apple as sweeter than it really is.

    I've pointed out before that F2P games by nature do not have anywhere near the longevity and variety of UO, and F2P is a risky revenue model when EA wants stability. Do we really want to risk EA pulling the plug after a bad quarter? UO has never been the kind of game to buy a lot of things initially to get going, while the developers rush to create a new game (not necessarily a sequel) before players get bored. F2P is about player rotation, not year after year of faithful play. UO's expansions and boosters were a good hybrid of subscriptions and F2P, since the rest of the game remained the same. When I think of what SA gave me for $30 per account, what a bargain. I'd happily do that once a year. Unfortunately it seems the Devs are too few and too stretched today, unless that job listing is a sign of something good.
     
  47. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Even the excerpt cited states pretty clearly that they do have a new player experience in-mind, they are just doing something else first. That is an intelligent decision on her part, for the reasons she cited. It may well be that they will just never get to the new player experience but guess what? They never got to finishing the Virtue system either. This is not a new thing in this game. It could happen to any priority. At any time. For any reason.

    However even from the quote as presented this thread proceeds from false assumptions. But it's far from alone in that regard. Frankly I wonder if it isn't a bad idea for UO to link to here from its main page.

    -Galen's player
     
  48. CovenantX

    CovenantX Babbling Loonie
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    That would involve the game going F2P though...

    I've said this before, Chat should be set up to where your chat channel changes upon switching facets, from Trammel Ruleset to Fel depending on which facet you enter/are in.
    This would separate the pvpers from the traders, sellers, & pvmers so that their chat doesn't get spammed with the pvp chat that you and many others do not enjoy seeing.
     
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  49. Zerbee

    Zerbee Journeyman
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    Disagree.
    Plently of us that go into Fel and do not use the chat channel to spam with pvp chat. What you are seeing is just an overly loud vocal minority. If you were to actually spend a good amount of time even around Fel Yew Gate you would see that a majority of people PvPing do not spam general chat.

    Plus you have PvMers who do PvM in fel. Champ spawns, increased resource amount in fel, more isolated content in fel, etc. What if a non-pvper has several crafters that have a home in Fel? You just separated them right there.
    There is absolutely no need to separate the channels.
     
  50. Ender

    Ender Crazed Zealot
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    I don't really have any ideas of what they could do to get old players to return aside from a classic shard, and unless the "new" team feels different that isn't going to happen. And new players at $14/mo? Won't happen.

    F2P most likely won't hurt the game at all, especially if they have separate shards for the free players (and allow subscribers to access it too; I'd rather play with more people) and I don't quite understand why some people are so vehemently against it.
     
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