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The seal has been broken

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Fayled Dhreams, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. 'There's no such thing as free-to-play' - EA | Game Development | News by Develop

    Heh! Freemium is the word

    congrats to all those F2P fans ...

    You will not only get your fresh meat ...
    You WILL pay more for the privilege ...

    If you choose to "stay" on top of the pile.

    Tis the golden rule
    The one with the gold MAKES the rules ...

    :thumbup1:Yippie!
    NO More the ___ I have the right to say how the devs go about their business ...

    show me your receipts ... HA!


    :danceb:
     
  2. old gypsy

    old gypsy Grand Poobah
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  3. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    I wasn't lying. What the heck?
     
  4. grig_since98

    grig_since98 Guest

    I haven't decided how I feel personally about F2P in regards to UO, but I think that its probably inevitable. If F2P would bring in more people to interact with while not degrading the quality of the game, I'd be all for it. It might very well work out that way, but either way history has shown that you'll pay more for playing "free". Developers wouldn't be interested in F2P if it didn't have the potential to attract more people who pay more than they would if it was a regular fee, even if it isn't as consistent or "safe" as a regular fee.

    I'm surprised the digital world didn't start this a lot earlier. The precedents were there with shareware and expansion packs for games. In fact, I believe it to be an expression of what has been the case in physical goods and services for some time. Most people seem to be willing to disregard the cumulative cost of small purchases when they'd balk at the cost of a larger purchase that might provide more value over time. This is why some people would think purchasing a quality writing instrument for a couple hundred bucks is a waste of money, but are perfectly fine with buying packs of disposable pens which are lost or destroyed quickly, which might cost more and definitely contributes to clutter and pollution. People will purchase disposable razors, which are actually pretty costly over time, rather than an classic Gillette style safety razor, which only has inexpensive disposable blades. A car can be leased for half the monthly payment to purchase the same car, but in the long run you're left with no actual property.
     
  5. Gheed

    Gheed Certifiable
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    Ya it makes sense. I call'em the gumball machine games. It costs about $5 to produce a metric ton of them but you can sell'em for a quarter each and make a mint.
     
  6. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    You have to look it at this way. UO is a large world. A 2 week free trial with limitations doesnt really give a gamer a chance to really try out UO and what it offers. They may try a few templates but with the vast amount of different templates that are out they never get to try those. They cant even try out SA or High Seas. UO is a complicated game and a 2 week free trial doesnt get that full effect of all what UO offers.

    So maybe they try basic templates that are limited and only get to kill up to ettins. They dont get to try to do bosses or the hard to kill monsters. So it may discourage possible players the game could gain if they cant get the full taste.

    F2P is an excellent way to lure players to your game and try it out. They may invest more then paying a subscription because they want those extra items. Does this mean UO will go in that direction? Who knows besides the one that makes that decision. I think it be good for UO if they did but that is just my opinion.
     
  7. Alvinho

    Alvinho Great Lakes Forever!
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    If this game does go F2P what will it include, access to new lands for X amt of cash for X amt of times, 120 your skill without a power scroll for X dollars, what happens to those who are already 120, tame certain pets for access to lands that they only spawn in, are they tradeable to those without paying the extra, to many what if's and dependent on what is accessible and what is not is dependent on if the game stays viable in the F2P format
     
  8. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    It does leave us with a real quandary though, cause as evidenced by their thinking on how to pay for play, and more over time is okay. These folks want something fun every fifteen to twenty minutes or they are gonna turn it off.

    I can think of lots of little things worth selling, but each purchase is going to need to produce a result. No "normal" person is going to try and fail a thousand times at something and try again to get the RNG to fall their way on the 1008th try. Nor are they likely to want to have to search through every luna vendor and five out of game websites to find a 120 magery scroll on their shard.

    How we get them trained to learn to play from scratch is going to require a bit of thought, and potentially a LOT of carrots to dangle down different paths.
     
  9. grig_since98

    grig_since98 Guest

    But I think there is a difference between "endless trial" and freemium. I'd personally be much more comfortable with an "endless trial" that was somehow limited than with a true "freemium" system with small upgrades instead of a regular subscription price.
     
  10. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    Personally, I don't believe that UO in its current format, will attract more players even if it goes F2P.

    The game is too complex for most new players. There's too much "stuff".

    For any success to be forthcoming, were UO to try the F2P route, they'll really have to go back to basics. Make the game more "pick up and play" friendly, less reliance on "items" and more on characters and their skills. Yes, pretty much pre-AoS. Most "casual" gamers need to be drawn in by simple, effective, but addictive gameplay. Something they can quickly jump into. Once they're hooked by the gameplay, then the desire is built for the "extras".

    What would they sell, if not items then?

    Housing, housing add-ons, by which virtue they're effectively buying a piece of the game world itself. Housing and house customisation, is arguably one of the biggest contributors to the survival of UO. Whatever the failings of other aspects of the game, the possibilities when it comes to housing and customisation, are probably unsurpassed by any other MMO. That's something that UO can really push when it comes to marketing the game.

    Aside from that, you could sell skill perks. 80 cap in any skill playing free, but if you want to GM a skill (forget skills over 100... they're a joke...), then you buy a token that lets you raise your cap from 80 to 100 (GM).

    Plenty of ways you could get UO to work well as a great game for F2P. Sadly though, in it's current messy state, people might come, but I seriously doubt they would stay long, or have the desire to spend any money on "extras".
     
  11. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    Whilst I think on this, you could never implement F2P on existing shards either...

    They're already beyond repair when it comes to the game economy.

    You'd have to start fresh shards, which assuming there's less importance on "items" and more placed on skills, skill perks, housing... you're putting saleable value on things that can't be traded between players, with the exception of housing. But even then, if you wanted to trade a house, then you'd have to do it through "official" channels.

    For F2P to work, they'd have to remove everything and anything that could be sold or traded via third parties. They'd have to have total control over what would be the "assets" a player could accumulate.
     
  12. there is a difference ...
    and the difference, as always
    is calculated via math, on the books.

    the books that pay for the servers and bandwidth and Dev's and and and ...


    The pity is, as it always has been
    math is hard
    and doesn't care about "feelings" :gee:
     
  13. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Yo DO know that article was mostly about games that have little bearing on UO, don't you?

    The FIFA game is on consoles (with a web app that allows you to tinker with your console-based team from the web), and consoles ALREADY have a majority of their playable products as F2P models, as playable demos (some for small areas, some time-limited) that have to be upgraded for full content, and to add expansions. I know some PS3 owners that DON'T OWN any physical copies of games, but keep themselves completely entertained via demos and other free game apps, VERY rarely buying the full download (and those are typically $1-10 games).

    The only reference to Bioware Mythic was the one about SWTOR and it NOT being F2P.
     
  14. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    Yes but I also know EA and their underlying mentality of "what works in one place must be tried everywhere."

    Further they have the lead of D&DO and LoTRO setting the example for them. Try talking sense to those numbers.
     
  15. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    Speaking of those leading FtP games in the MMORPG genre, has anyone visited the DDO boards lately? Sure, they started out like gangbusters when they went freeFREEfree!
    Now their boards aren't any more active than these here. What's that say about their model now, now that you no longer hear anything about their successful model, and their site is full of sales and special prices.

    What remains when the newness wears off?
     
  16. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    F2P could work,even on existing servers.

    1. 3 character cap extra slots = $$$ per slot
    2. ML access and lower
    3. Can't use powerscrolls without cap removal
    4. 1,000,000 gold cap can be raised in increments per character
    5. No housing can be removed through purchase & F2P would require manual refresh.
    6. No arties without restriction removal.
    7. Limited to 5 stable slots max can be raised per slot
    1. Arties
    2. Powerscrolls
    3. Extra bank space
    4. Extra house storage
    5. Old pre-order gifts
    6. Past anniy collection items
    7. Extra house slots for other shards

    Those are just examples.

    Things they could sell other than accout mods people would buy subbies, and freeps alike

    all account bound of course.
     
  17. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    Well
    that >IS< :talktothehand:
    _interesting . . .

    We $hall--see--how this
    plays
    out! :stir:

    ;)
     
  18. Vor

    Vor Grand Inquisitor
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    I could see it working. Existing accounts would need to keep everything they currently have else there would be uproar, make the accounts VIPs like LoTRO did for founding members and those with lifetime subs.

    But restrictions could be placed on all new accounts like have been mentioned above.

    And other items could be added that will tempt those who with VIP accounts into buying things still. All account, or character bound.

    Charging for houses would have to be a must, else they'll all be gone in days.
     
  19. covert

    covert Journeyman
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    I just don't see UO attracting new players. If anything, I'd like to see a sequel to UO that could possibly utilize this option. I don't want UO to die, but I also don't want to see it dragged out for another 5 years.
     
  20. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Yeah, you'd have to do something to UO in general to attract new players who have grown up on the newer MMORPGs.

    That means new artwork/upgraded client.
     
  21. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Until we see an official announcement about Free-to-Play and UO, I'm not going to worry about it.
     
  22. I would vote for F2P in UO for 300 skill point cap, Can't use artifacts or imbued items, Fel only rules set. 50 items in the bank. 1 char per shard. F2P chat ONLY. Can't hold cursed items. I would make major limitations.
     
  23. EA has bearing on all EA games

    :lol: Why yes Basara, I even Read the Full article before posting !!

    How did you acquire your Tower?
    Drove down to the local retail store?

    My Granny Dhreams told "similar" stories

    [​IMG]

    RETAIL was the key word from The EA speaker ...

    For UO I've already supposed:
    (A)hurried opening of flood gates as doing what has not been done before: actually and finally and completely: Killing UO.

    thank you & yw. :danceb:
     
  24. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    Also EQ2e which is the FtP EQ2 ... limited as compared to purchased/subscribed accounts but still playable.
     
  25. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    That's fine, but you and I have differing opinions about the outcomes of FTP meeting UO.
     
  26. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    Not necessarily, a F2P announcement would draw folks as it is. Many old time Vets, others new blood, I've seen games with graphics worse than he EC do ok with a F2P model... Luminary for example, looks more like some of your older Console RPG's. With a Hybrid system in place similar to what LOTRO has done it could be beneficial to UO. LOTRO tripled it's revenue's in 5 months alone, so a well thought out Hybrid system would be the way to go for UO in my opinion. Quite a few people who come F2P to these types of games eventually pick up subscriptions in order to gain the maximum benefit.


    That simply wouldn't work, Limitations on content access or certain types of "High End" equipment is common. But that extreme a limitation on character development is the quickest way to make a F2P game fail. It's all about dangling the Carrot, and we all know that's one thing EA is good at... Dangling the Carrots..... You hold it far enough out they can taste and smell it but not get a bite :p The same holds true for F2P games, you give them access to Most of the things that are common across characters or extremely close too those commonalities. Enough they can be competitive but not quite, that is what gets them to spend the $$$
     
  27. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    Maybe the players are actually playing the game and enjoying it? Could be less bugs/issues so not so many people griping as they are here over issues?

    Not all players post on forums. Some just read them and never make a post. If all current UO players were posting on stratics right now with the active forum posters then I be scared of the future of the game. Cant measure a player base because of who posts or not post on a game forum. Could be many reasons but I highly doubt they are hurting. Plus you have other fan sites of UO that have posters that dont posts on stratics but post on their sites. Flutter runs a site. Lord Chaos has the other.


    I play Voyage Century Online which is F2P. Not many people post on their forums but man do I see alot of people in the game.
     
  28. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    Yup - and the more I read up on things I find myself more on the fence than on the "oh hell, let's try it" side. For the mentioned games (levelers) it seems to work ... but as we know UO is not the street-corner leveler.

    I would love for a pre-AOS classic/custom shard to be made ... but what if they did a F2P one instead as a marketing experiment. This is just skulling and I can't argue for or against it with any real vigor ATM.
     
  29. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    The biggest problem with FTP, besides the potential for turning uogamecodes into an unholy nightmare of dozens upon dozens of listings for everything, is that it's a very short-term solution.

    It may bring an increase in revenue over the next six months or a year, but you'll still end up right back to where we are right now at some point in the near future, which is to say no long-term plan or means to ensure that UO will keep chugging along or have the ability to attract new blood. There are too many MMOs coming out in the next few years. Maybe the antiquated look can hold on a while longer, but it's going to get tougher and tougher.

    I will say that I was impressed with Virtuebane last night and if they can get the artist behind that to do work elsewhere in the game, they'll be moving in the right direction as far as the future.
     
  30. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Something else to consider, and what will probably work against UO becoming FTP anytime soon: the Star Wars MMO.

    UO is a very steady revenue stream. FTP could shake up that revenue stream and introduce some uncertainty into it. People point to other MMOs, but FTP is not a sure bet in EA's mind and when EA is not sure of something, they usually botch it or are too cautious (see them allowing the two-client thing to continue for years).

    Because UO is a very steady revenue stream, EA is not going to rock the boat, given how much money they've poured into the Star Wars MMO. If the Star Wars MMO fails like Warhammer Online, then they are going to get incredibly conservative everywhere in the company, but especially within the MMO division under BioWare.

    It kind of worries me, what with Warhammer Online falling apart, and the potential for the Star Wars MMO to not make its money back. The pressure on UO would rise, because there would be executives within the BioWare group relying on UO to help their revenue stream, with the added problem of people looking to cut costs (which usually means people at this point since they've slashed everything else).

    You can't do the FTP model too well if you start slashing costs like crazy in the very areas that FTP would rely upon (more pixel crack).

    UO's worst enemy is still EA, and after the last year, if the Star Wars thing doesn't work out, well I don't even want to think about it, but a helluva lot of jobs would be cut all over the company.
     
  31. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    The law of averages almost always prevails.

    Plus, I have real doubts about the proclamations of success. I'll explain. But first, understand that the people responsible for the FtP switch have everything riding on it being successful.

    With that in mind, I'll explain my doubts.
    With everything said, none of it conclusively shows any real improvement, from what I've noticed.
    For example:
    They (DDO) say that their "revenue" increased by 500%. Gamer blogs and so called "news" people turn that into "profits". There's a big difference between "revenue" and "profit". In other words, if their revenue was 600% below what they needed to be profitable, then a 500% increase doesn't do it. I'm sure they are making money, just saying that maybe it's not as good as it looks, and may not be all that good in perspective, because DDO was desperate enough to make this move in the first place.
    They say they gained "1 million more users", but fail to say that any of these users gave them any money at all, or played the game for more than an hour. I number in that figure. I created an account just to see what it was like, downloaded the game, and it wouldn't work. I didn't even waste any time finding out why, I simply uninstalled and blew it off. Yet there I am, a number.
    They say their subscribers doubled. What's that mean? If they had 200 subs, they then had 400? It means nothing without real numbers.

    I have no doubts that they were doing ok, when it was new and freeFREEfree!. But what is it now, after the newness has worn off? Have they said anything?
    And what about LoTRO? Same exact thing (except it was a 300% increase). They say "revenues", gamer blogs turn it into "profits".

    Revenues, in case anyone doesn't know, is what you bring in before you take out for expenses. And if you went from a revenue of $1 to $6, you had a 500% increase. And if your expenses are $7, you still lost money.

    And we don't see any new claims from either as to how good they are doing, if it's continued or not.

    But I'm not saying they lost money or are going to fold. I'm saying that what they've said leaves lots of room for questions. And I have to wonder why they are leaving it that way. Why not say what percentage of profits?

    But I didn't exactly do a full effort here. I might have missed something. I might be all wrong and maybe they are world beating it all to hell. You see, I don't care. I am not playing games that sell "win" and accomplishment. I'm not playing a game that sells skill/level gain boosts, stat boosts, healing ability, and half of what's worth gaining in said game....while soaking it's players for all they can, while not making said game any better because, hey, they have no incentive because there's a sucker born every second.

    None of this means UO is definitely going FtP. I think they will from what I've seen, but I don't know for sure. Nor do we have any idea what model it would be, since UO is so unique. We'll see when we see.
     
  32. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    I should correct myself here. They obviously didn't have a profit to report an increase on.
     
  33. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    *Nods*

    Someone mentioned a hybrid model for UO more like LoTRO which makes sense, inasmuch as the boundaries would need defining.

    I have no doubts that DDO now has less active users than they did when first making FTP available. Many many more titles have been released or made that route available. When they first opened the door they were cutting edge for a major MMO to do so. It was an iffy game and now people have choices. There is a lesson there.

    Mainly I look forward to folks feeling like others are trying it and they might too, some of those will find something challenging and not like anything else they have played. Maybe there will be other more mechanical reason for them to play by then as well, maybe not. Its speculation yes, but every passing day makes it look much more likely.

    Hopefully we will not find our parent company resign to grabbing just as much cash for as little development or maintenance cost as possible.

    It might be interesting for example to turn ToT on for your client for 24 hours for a dollar.
     
  34. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Even if they overhauled the artwork and did try the FTP thing, if they don't have a better new user experience lined up, it will not go well for UO.

    You can't get peoples money if they don't get too far into the game, or get bored or confused.
     
  35. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    F2P can be as simple and non-invasive to current subscribers as a Permanent Trial. Limit Housing. Limit access to SA / HS Content. Limit access to Factions.

    People are going to want to have Housing. People are going to want to see the rest of UO. And at that point he or she can opt for the 12.99 Subscription.

    It does not need to be any more complex than that.
     
  36. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    I agree with what you say Trebr. I dont dipute the fact.

    EA doesn't release what UO makes a year or how many subs it has. We guess what the numbers are but they dont release it. Should other games be any different?

    They (LoTR and DDO) did announce the difference after they went to a F2P model but should they always announce how well they do monthly/weekly/daily/yearly? It fluctuates every month. If they have investors they get a report on how profit and revenues are going. I say in a year the general public gets news of how well they are still doing by game articles.

    Rappelz has been around since Nov 2006 and I dont hear how much they make just being a F2P model but they do advertise. So going on 5 years as a F2P game is pretty good in my book. I even have an account.

    Now I can compare some of my daughters online games she plays. They would be similar to EA's P2P + micro transactions. She has a Club Penquin account. Costs 5 bones a month. Plus I buy any of the toys that gives her tokens to acquire special items in the game you cant get through regular game play. They vary on prices depending on the toy but an average of 5 to 10 bones a toy I buy. I pay more for club penquin in 6 months then I would UO for a year.

    She also plays Wizard 101. I buy game time cards and I usually get her the 2 month one which is 20 bones. Now they also sell credits in the game for special items and mounts that you can use for a period of time. Now they do give you chances to get mounts in the game but the special mounts you can buy it through credits. They also allow you if you dont want to pay a subscription to buy areas in the game. Meaning you can access only areas you paid for. The subscription lets you have access to all areas in the game. I can go on and on but in the end I average for her Wizard 101 game about 25 bones a month. Now thats 2 months of UO for one month I pay in Wizard 101.

    Both of her games I dont see articles on how well they are doing or profits. It's none of my business what those companies are doing as long as she enjoys playing them I will pay for them. When she decides she is not having fun or enjoying the games anymore then it becomes my business and I quit paying for them :)
     
  37. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    I agree with that.
    There's problems. They've all been mentioned.
    Who knows, I wish they'd get that video out.
     
  38. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    I'll add something stupid and far fetched examples if UO went F2P. Going to use a credit system that some games use.

    1000 credits costs $10.00


    Super Enhanced Agility Pot cost is 20 credits per pot
    Description: Gives the user +40 dex for 30 mins. (What pvper dexxer would pass up an extra 40 dex :) )

    Super Enhanced Bandages: 100 bandages costs 50 credits
    Description: Gives the user to heal 75 hit points everytime. ( I know unbalanced just saying)

    Super Stamina Potion costs 20 credits per pot.
    Description gives the user 30 mins of full stamina and wont lose any during the effect.

    One day ( 24 hours) access to the Abyss costs 400 credit. ( this is for players that dont have access to the Abyss)
    Description; User gets a token that allows access to the abyss for 24 hours of use. So if you start at 12 noon on one day you have till 12 noon the next day.

    Like I said crazy ideas but UO is so diverse and mathmatical the devs at least could figure something out if they even went to F2P
     
  39. Mongbat137

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    LOL, it's pretty funny watching you try to nitpick statements that amount to "OH MY GOD SO MUCH MONEY, F2P IS THE BEST THING WE EVER DID, AHAHA MONEY" and make them sound less than successful.
     
  40. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    Tell you what they may never state "profits" but I know of at least one F2P game that's given out everything from High End laptops to new Chevy Camaro's for their anniversary events, the previous year it was a Scion tc... So the model must not be too awful....

    Just because these "F2P" games don't state "profit" doesn't mean they aren't making money, you don't give away two $20,000 + cars over the course of 2 years to people just because....

    Kinda makes Pixel crack seem petty doesn't it.
     
  41. Zyon Rockler

    Zyon Rockler Guest

    I don't think the concern is so much that it will profit but more that it will take away from the game. Simply giving people opportunity to give money will show a profit. It's something to do with human nature, apparently and our children are even more so affected. The learning they used to receive from their parents, is now taught through computers, creating a more calculating race, point and click attitude.

    If they set up the game the right way where it doesn't affect current players or paying customers, I think it could work for UO. Mini games could be created and implemented, where upgrades could become essential. Tools that allow you to choose from a special list of items that only have one use.

    Just house decor could offer a wide range of items. Special potions could be sold that give a short buff. Suits of armour, special mage sets could all be created just for people to purchace.

    There might be a way to keep both the monthly fee and a free to play version, where if you were free to play, you would have to buy the extra items but if you paid the monthly fee, some of the items would be accessable through loot tables and rewards, such as the BoD system, for example. If you were free to play, some rewards would be completely restricted and you would need some type of redeeming token to be able to use a purchased item. So, you would have to earn the item in some way, not just be able to buy it and use it.

    Another thing, I think they should do with online games, from a business perspective, instead of going free to play, offer a choice to the customer. For example: EA might have 10 online games. Allow us one fee to be able to play any one of these games. When you think about it, you can only play one game at a time. Rather than becoming a customer to the online game title, why not become a customer to EA?
     
  42. One of the biggest differences between UO and other online games that went F2P is that there are a number of free X-servers available right now that people can play for free. EA would have to compete against these illegal servers, and not sure it can draw people away from these servers and expect them to eventually contribute money.
     
  43. Wenchkin

    Wenchkin Babbling Loonie
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    My partner and I have been figuring that some F2P model was on the cards with the additions to the gamecodes site lately. But I don't think it's time to cry woe if that is the way we go. I think the balance on gamecodes is quite good, items can be traded in world so they're not exclusively obtained with RL$. The items aren't so essential that you have to spend on them, in fact I've bought most of my codes in game over the years.

    I find the sub we pay is pretty hefty for any game, so even just reducing that would be a bonus. Making it F2P would be much better IMHO. As long as EAM don't get creative with the restrictions on free accounts. If I'm looking at a new game that's F2P, the first thing I look at are the restrictions for free accounts and their premium sub prices. I see a fair few "F2P" games which are nothing short of a trial version in F2P clothes, I tend to view publishers negatively if they pull one of those. Don't treat customers like they're too thick to notice such things :D

    I understand the negative view some players have that F2P accounts might bring in more brats, however it would also bring in more nice casual players at the same time. Paying more doesn't mean you'll play well with others. Paying nothing doesn't mean you won't contribute to the community.

    Wenchy
     
  44. Santa Claus

    Santa Claus Visitor

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    Actually a big freeshard that opened last week has a item shop.
    Would be interesting how much money it generates.
     
  45. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I don't think EA could draw those people away - first, because a lot of them offer something unique, whether it's UO from a certain time frame, or whatever. Second, a lot of them have built up communities on those free shards, in some cases replacing a sense of community that they found lacking in EA's UO that came about from various changes (Tram, Pub 16/AOS, etc.).

    I see people (not you, but others) talk about the free sharders as if they'll just up and dump whatever free shards they are playing and run over to an EA-run shard if it's classic or whatever. The free sharders can be incredibly dedicated to their shards and their communities and it's a slap in the face to them to just assume they will up and ditch those shards and their friends if EA does this or that.
    I wouldn't be too worried about the restrictions on free accounts, and they could just take the existing trial and add a few weeks to it. I would be worried about them trying this without improving the artwork as well as the new player experience and not having it work the way they thought it would, thereby casting UO in a bad light in their eyes, as far as the potential for future revenue.

    I really worry about them getting creative with existing paid accounts.

    Imagine EA's continued financial problems, up to and possibly including the Star Wars MMO not making it's $300 million or so back. Imagine somebody getting it in their head that they can bump up the revenue from UO by charging all of us a monthly fee for housing on top of our normal subscription. Keep in mind that UO is underneath the same division as the Star Wars and Warhammer MMOs.

    It'd be one thing if 100% of the money from such a system was plowed back into UO. The problem is that it won't be - UO is a cog in the EA machine.

    If we went down that road, there's no turning back, and there is definitely no guarantee that EA wouldn't try and milk UO for all its worth to try and make up any losses elsewhere. UO has suffered in the past due to EA's financial problems. We've already seen plenty of fairly recent layoffs that have impacted UO that were done because of company-wide issues and not necessarily because of UO. People just think CSR is bad now.

    It'd be one thing if EA had not suffered any financial problems in the past few years or hadn't had any high-profile failures, but they have. A scenario where they decide all of these micro-transactions are the way to go and could help the company's bottom line could wind up with us paying extra for a house on top of our normal subscription, paying extra for certain things within the game that we take for granted now, etc.

    EA executives at a certain level don't look at UO and see a community of dedicated fans, they look at UO as numbers in a spreadsheet and they think about how they can make those numbers increase.
     
  46. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Free to play for an MMO appears to be a very particular business model, distinct from "single-player game that happens to also be online."

    Whether or not EA can successfully manage that, I have no idea.

    If they are comparing F2P MMO to single-player online, though, I'd take that as a very, very poor sign about their ability to handle it.

    Also.....If they do go F2P with UO, there is one step they will need to take immediately, and that is to design and implement a largely bug-free, useful new player experience for both clients. Why for both? Because "this will run on just about any working computer" would, I suspect, be an important selling point of a F2P UO. Even the EC can't compete technically with, say, the Middle Earth online game, based on screencaps I've seen.

    But we might get some new, or returning, players if we pointed out that the CC was still an option.

    They need to release the God-Damned video, and soon. This is just beyond ridiculous, the speculation mode we've been boxed into. Why doesn't any dev team ever understand that UO players' engaging in rampant speculation is bad, and that in the absence of communication we will speculate rampantly.

    -Galen's player
     
  47. grig_since98

    grig_since98 Guest

    At risk of going off topic, yes, we need to see the bloody video, even if its just a bunch of speculation by the devs. Normally, I'm on the positive thinking, don't be pessimistic team, and I'll be the first to criticize people who seem to constantly see the glass as half empty on these forums. HOWEVER, this is just ridiculous. It was already very past due when it was announced that the video was "done" right before valentines day. It is the 17th, and its time to show this video whether its perfect or not.

    If EA is pushing an unreasonable schedule on the dev team and they can't produce these videos on time, then EA needs to announce that and make fewer videos. If it is the devs who just aren't meeting schedules, then they need to step up. It would be much better to just release these videos more or less randomly with short notice than to have a release date then repeatedly not meet it.
     
  48. Kim Li of LS

    Kim Li of LS Guest

    The way I see it EA has no reason to go Free to Play with UO, they already have Pay to Play AND a cash shop...

    P2P vs F2P and cash shop is a false dichotomy they are raking in $$ both ways already.


    false dichotomy-a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are additional options

    save some people a google search

    side note: (micro rant, disregard if you like)
    ahhg, and as far as the pay2win concept, cash shop has had functional items sense 11th anniversary!! Two years and people are just taking notice?!
     
  49. grig_since98

    grig_since98 Guest

    Yes, it doesn't *have* to be an either or, but it does beg the question if it would be more efficent to just go to a freemium model rather than have the cash shop. This is basically what EQII did. They had a cash shop for a couple years or so before they just went to the F2P model.
     
  50. FACT :
    EA makes far more money from UO now (ie. monthly subscription model), than it ever would if UO became free-to-play. Free-to-play only works for popular games, and UO isn't one.