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The Solution To F2P.

Discussion in 'UHall' started by WarderDragon, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    Permanent trial.

    It does not need to be more complex than that.

    Allow people interested in the game - interested in joining their friends or testing out the world - to create an account. To develop a character. To hunt. To interact. Half a month is not enough time to become attached.

    Ultima is a Social Game. At some point that person is going to want their own House or Castle. At some point that person is going to consider shelling out $12.99 a month for it. To decorate. To leave their mark.
     
  2. Silverbrook

    Silverbrook Guest

    I fully agree.

    If there are still concerns, they could go as far as stating Trammel was the only part of the game you could travel around and you could not create a guild. Or perhaps crafting skills could only reach a certain skill level (to avoid creating free imbuers, smiths, etc).

    But yes... all the game needs to go F2P is there.
     
  3. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Well here's the trial restrictions that somebody dug up:
    That does address the things that would keep people from ditching their subscriptions. If EA saw a drop in revenue, that would be bad, but the things on the trial accounts should prevent that, while giving people a chance to try things out for an unlimited time.
     
  4. Why do we need yet another FTP thread?

    It wont happen.
    Nothing is free. And there is a thread down there...:eyes:
     
  5. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    What would be nice is an f2p thread where the f2p fans would give actual details about what they think an f2p UO should be. Occasionally a few people will post a few things, but it seems like many f2p fans haven't really thought it through. Too many people say "f2p will save UO" without giving any details, leaving the impression that the f2p fans simply want to save some money by having some of their accounts be free.

    Most have stopped saying that f2p will bring in the free sharders since most know that people play the free shards for a reason that f2p simply doesn't encompass - the most popular free shards are usually running a ruleset that EA does not offer and will not offer.

    It is interesting that the only real fans of an f2p UO that I come across are existing players or ex-players who are hanging around UO-related forums. When somebody makes a comment about UO on gaming sites, it's usually either bashing the graphics or bashing Trammel/AOS. Occasionally somebody will mention UO when discussing an f2p game, but then it turns into "UO graphics :lol:" or "screw EA for messing up UO with Tram/AOS/Ninjas." I don't see posts saying "I'd come back to UO of it was free."
     
  6. heh! your question might be answering itself

    matter of perspective (I will guess)
    here try this: read F2P as

    Free2POST

    what you are asking for
    :lol:
    which will cost them ... A LOT(more than F2Post) ... they will have to
    [pay attention
    [spend time thinking analyzing
    [expend more of both(time and attention) to protect their investment ...

    I could go on ... the analogy is quite sound
    attend the ROI aspects ... :lol::danceb:
     
  7. Madrid

    Madrid Slightly Crazed
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    Another one?!:wall::pancakes::dunce:
     
  8. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    WarderDragon does have a legitimate point. The trial account has the majority of restrictions that most people would associate with subscription options within an f2p system.

    And lifting or extending the time limit could happen now, versus who knows how many months would go into testing of an f2p system. An f2p system would probably be as carefully designed as an expansion since it could affect revenue collection.

    They could extend/drop the time limits on the trial account and move on to everything else they want to do. f2pers get their free accounts, subscribers get what they have already been getting and don't have to worry about paying more than they already are, and EA doesn't have to put resources into designing a new f2p system.

    They already do it for Warhammer.
     
  9. sure ... EVERYONE has a point about a hypothetical that is NOT likely to happen ... be tested ...
    oh! a few might decide to enter the grind to vethood ... pay to get a house ...
    yaa!
    How many BAD impressions from the same herd of undecideds?

    More or Less ... ???
     
  10. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    I just don't see how UO would be a good F2P game.

    Too old, too weird, too counter-intuitive in too many ways.

    -Galen's player
     
  11. Caldwin_DDP

    Caldwin_DDP Guest

    I don't think F2P is out of the question. I'm sure the ppl at Mythic are looking at whats going on. My hope would be that they would use another title to experiment with.
     
  12. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I think if they went in and changed it to be f2p, there is a risk of it losing whatever sandbox feel is still left.

    But there is the endless trial stuff, and BioWare Mythic already uses it for Warhammer.
     
  13. Plant Elemental

    Plant Elemental Journeyman
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    UO is not going to Free to Play anytime soon.

    The reason games go from monthly account subscriptions to F2P is because revenue from subscriptions is low enough to where profits come close to operating expenses. For these games, it's more of last ditch effort to keep things going.

    Games that start out F2P from the very beginning have an advantage. Generally, they're less complex, have lower operating costs, and don't have as much at stake.

    Now in UO's case, lets say you pitch the idea of F2P to the head of EA/Mythic.

    He's going to ask "is UO making a profit right now?"
    You answer: "technically yes"

    Then he's going to ask: "If we go to free to play, how many accounts will not have to pay anymore?"
    You answer: "all of them"

    Head of EA/Mythic: "These current players that will no longer be paying 10 dollars a month for subscriptions, what service are they going to pay us for to recoup the $120 they give us yearly? We can't take away services that they already have."
    You answer: "booster packs, and lots of them. $20 a booster pack"

    Head of EA/Mythic: "You are going to be able to make 6 booster packs a year and assume that every account is going to purchase one just to make our profits even, just as where we are now?"
    You answer: "yep"

    Head of EA/Mythic: "You can't even fix bugs, let alone stop cheaters, dupers, and exploiters. How do you have the personel, the time, and the resources to create these booster packs?"
    You answer: "uhhh....."

    Head of EA/Mythic: "How many new players are going to join UO after going F2P?"
    You answer: "I'm sure a lot of people will join!"

    Head of EA/Mythic: "Do you have any hard evidence to back up that statement? Any case studies? Anything at all?"
    You answer: "Not really. But a couple people I talked to said that they'd come back if it was F2P."

    Head of EA/Mythic: "So let me understand this. You want thousands of players to stop paying $10 a month for thousands of accounts. $120 a year per account. Expect your staff to make 6 booster packs a year, charge $20 each for them and convince every single account to buy it, even though we sell booster packs now to paying accounts. Then, you expect lots of new players to join a game with outdated graphics and a steep learning curve, even though you have no proof that anyone new would be willing to try UO?"


    Point here being is that EA is making a profit right now. Plain and simple.
    If they're not, then they will either go F2P or sell the rights.

    Until then, I don't know why this F2P thing keeps coming up.
     
  14. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    You're not quite right. EA wanted to shut down UO. I posted the links in another thread when Nexus brought it up. At that time UO had more players so they has more cash flow coming in so that alone should prove that it's not all about money profit making from EA. Wasn't for Mark Jacobs it may have happened. Link at the bottom

    http://vboards.stratics.com/uhall/244274-lets-assume-uo-going-f2p-what-would-you-like-see.html
     
  15. Plant Elemental

    Plant Elemental Journeyman
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    Even if they did want to shut UO down, that wasn't the point.

    They're either going to say to hell with UO, shut it down, and move on, or they're going to continue with UO and make a profit as they are now.
    Point was F2P doesn't make sense at this point.
     
  16. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    Are you 100% sure they are making a profit now? Are you their accountant for UO and know their profit versus loss margin? EA loses money on lots of things and continue with sub par products. Dragon age 2 is a prime example how they cut costs by using much of Dragon Age and dressed it up and called it Dragon Age 2. Now Dragon Age 3 was announced and the devs promised after learning their mistakes from Dragon Age 2 they would make it better. This is after they put tons of money into advertising and making the game sound what it wasn't.

    SW:TOR is what EA is banking to top WoW. 300 million or more to make and if it doesnt make the cut and becomes a flop you think that matters to EA. They will keep it open until they recoup their losses and then decide what to do with it. EA will not ever be a BLizzard Entertainment unless they listen to the customers.

    EA will do what EA feels like doing. It's not about the consumer but more about their shareholders. UO needs people plain and simple. If not tomorrow but one day,like all things, it comes to an end. F2P could help but with Warder Dragon topic he came up with the best solution imo.
     
  17. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    I love how a majority of the "negative" responses in this thread clearly didn't either read, or perhaps understand, the suggestion made by the original poster... which is a good idea, as well as answers the question of "how many current subscribers would stop paying for their account?"

    If the current trial account model was expanded to an unlimited time trial, no one that currently has an account with housing would close their account, as doing so would cause the loss of the house. Also, they would lose any accumulated time on their veteran rewards to go along with it.

    The point that someone may not get to the point of enjoying UO in the first 15 days is DEFINITELY valid, as no casual player would have the time to explore much less build much by the way of skill, much less fully understand what makes the game the game -- particularly in the current population state.

    Now, would some people close their paid accounts for trial accounts? Sure... I suppose some would. Would it be worth worrying about? I doubt it. On the flip side, would people who played longer be more likely to then want a house -- which is definitely the clinching factor in an "F2P" system for UO? I think it'd be worth the gamble.

    This thread -- unlike some who seem to have glazed and glanced over it -- isn't about turning UO into an F2P system on the whole, it's more about giving folks the time to get used to the game. Sure, there's an F2P side-effect to it, but... big whoop, honestly.

    I'd only add three caveats to what exists in the system to prevent it from becoming an "F2P" replacement: (1) veteran reward time does not accrue on trial accounts; (2) a trial account has no access to expansion content beyond the present "everyone has it" levels (ie: we all now have access to ML, but we don't all have access to SA or HS); (3) once an account becomes a paid account, it is subjected to normal subscription rules. This way, rather than making UO an "F2P" system, it simply becomes an "unlimited trial" system. Sure, someone might never subscribe and continue to play within the restrictions set -- on the other hand, it does provide a model that allows someone to get "addicted" to the game and find a reason to pay for it.
     
  18. Plant Elemental

    Plant Elemental Journeyman
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    Yes, I am their accountant. Thanks for asking.


    My appologies to WarderDragon for getting this off track.

    Agreed that half a month is not nearly long enough. Even a month is not long enough.
    So why not make a free trial for 3 months. That's how long it took me to catch back up on things after I left UO for 3 years then came back.
    Use Marcus Blackwell's list of restrictions. When the player is ready, they can begin their subscription at anytime within the 3 month range.

    This way, they get a feel for the game mechanics, they make friends, get involved with the community, and get addicted like so many of us are.
     
  19. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Considering that World of Warcraft has an estimated 11.4 million subscribers, and EA initially targeted 1 million subscribers, with a goal of at least 2,000,000, but has since revised those goals to a "mere" 500,000 subscribers as being profitable, aiming for 1,000,000 or more in the long-run, I'd hardly say that they're aiming for Blizzard.

    In addition, it should be noted that while EA is handling the publishing side of SW:TOR, Bioware -- you know, the better half of Bioware Mythic -- is calling the shots on the game, and while I wondered if EA would ever learn from its biggest MMO mistakes, I feel sort of better about the way they're handling SW:TOR. You see, they've let the SW:TOR release date slip by, and currently have a wide window for it.

    It sure seems like they're taking the right approach to SW:TOR... something that UO expansions and WAR could really have benefited from.
     
  20. Siteswap

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    So, a full account costs $12.99 per month, with no restrictions. The proposed unlimited time F2P account would be free but have the following restrictions:

    Removed the 15 day character age requirement for house placement
    Players are not allowed to place a house while on a trial account
    Players are not allowed to co-own or be traded a house while on a trial account
    Trial accounts have travel restrictions –
    Cannot visit Felucca dungeons or Felucca T2A
    Trial Accounts have the following resource restrictions -
    Will only receive basic ores and logs (iron, plain logs) even if they'd otherwise qualify for better types
    Will not receive sand or stone when mining
    Trial Account Misc. restrictions -
    Will not receive ML rewards for resource gathering (jewels, ingredients, and white pearls while fishing)
    Will not receive rewards, monster kill points, or virtue points from champ spawns
    Will not get scrolls while doing champ spawns
    Will not gain Justice virtue points for killing murderers
    Cannot use Valor or Justice virtues
    Cannot Protect or be Protected by another player
    Can not join factions or faction aligned guilds
    If in a guild they will be removed from the guild, if their guild joins a faction
    Cannot use Scrolls of Alacrity, Power Scrolls, Stat Scrolls, or Scrolls of Transcendence
    Cannot use Commodity Deeds
    Cannot do Community Collections
    Cannot use Soulstones or fragment soulstones
    Cannot use Pet summoning balls
    Cannot use Bracelets of Binding
    Cannot use the Bag of Sending
    Cannot do any repeatable quests – even if they are normally repeatable
    Cannot acquire BOD’s
    (also can't have vendors)

    How about a third option for say $5.99 per month which has all of the above restrictions but has the ability to place a house, maybe restricted to classic houses below tower size and with 14 day decay on?

    Housing is a big lure and would be an attractive first step in capturing new players on the road from F2P to full account, plus many existing players would be tempted to create another housing account. The question is would the number of people closing accounts currently open to hold a house be outweighed by the number of new and existing players opening F2P accounts with the housing option for $5.99. I think it probably would...