/facepalm

1 02 2012

Oh, Trion.

This morning is particularly upsetting for me as I was in the process of writing an article agreeing with Syncaine’s views with regards to how F2P is a tragic thing for the MMO world…and I had cited Rift as an example of a game that saw no real benefit to a F2P model. You know, because, having many players supported by significantly fewer subscribed players will – as a rule – detract from the overall user experience.

So. You too, Brutus?

Is there a cash shop yet? When can we expect it? Because the natural progression seems to now be this:

  • make a game which (hopefully) you love and some people find fun;
  • decide that the number of people who find it fun are not generating enough dollars;
  • make the game F2P to lure in more people who you hope will subscribe;
  • learn (or at least assume) quickly that most of these F2P users will do far more complaining than subscribing, so offer a cash shop where players can buy what you think they will pay for: power and ponies.

Trion. The moment you start selling ponies and power for cash is the moment you fail. Just say no.

F2P is bad, mmkay?

ADDENDUM: While I haven’t yet found a link to support this, Grimnir has ever been a source I rely on. In the comments you’ll see he’s set my mind at some ease. The F2P for Rift is restricted to the trial servers, so there will be no population diffusion and (for now, at least) no weird cash shops. All a slippery slope I constructed in my mind.

I’m trying to breathe a sigh of relief, but I’m not feeling it. C’mon, Trion. Don’t let me down.

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6 responses

1 02 2012
SynCaine

I wouldn’t worry about it. They said they are not going F2P. I’m sure they will stick to it until the last sub. Just look at Turbine and how they stuck to not selling gear. You gotta believe!

(Sorry, this does suck for Rift players)

1 02 2012
Skyrim 2.0, ELO, lies « Hardcore Casual

[…] planning for exactly that to happen. First Turbine backtracks on selling you The One Ring, and now Trion is positioning Rift for the F2P minor leagues. What’s next? SW:TOR releasing content that’s not fully voiced? Is nothing sacred in the […]

1 02 2012
Wilhelm Arcturus

I don’t know. I see this as more “We have to meet or exceed WoW on features” rather than a matter of getting into the LOTRO/EQ2 style cash shop business.

After all, they have been selling special mounts and pets like WoW for a while now, they just bundle them up in a collector’s edition and offer that up for $10. First it was the turtle mount, then it was the spider mount.

1 02 2012
thade

I’m really disappointed in Trion. Honestly, I am. The came out with a good game with some original additions to the genre and some engaging co-op game play. If they stick with this despite the F2P move maybe it won’t be as bad as I imagine. But if they really aim to compete with WoW (which is the stupid mistake all of these companies keep making) instead of simply make and maintain a game in the genre, giant walking non-combat pets as playable races riding atop a sparkly cash-shop-purchased pony is the slippery-slope end I see.

F2P will bring a surge of new players who will have dramatically different expectations and desires for the game. When you need to pay for a license and a subscription, that’s a small barrier of entry: one that you only pass if you want to really give the game a go. If it nets them subs in the way they probably want, great. If it cajoles them into selling crap to speed players ways through the game, well…that is my concern.

F2P ends up being pay-to-win in so many cases, and I hate that model.

/rant #2

2 02 2012
Grimnir (@grimnir_)

Instead of simply decommissioning a large amount of servers that were needed to handle the launch crowd, they’re repurposing them into the trial servers players will be able to use from level 1-20. There’s no dilution of the playerbase here. As a second point, Trion has had some sort of 7-10-14 day free trial offer ongoing since a couple months after launch. Now they have a place to offer a permanent solution instead of re-upping their free trial over and over again.

I’m not seeing a F2P model being used here at all. Just a permanent trial range, much like WoW and WAR both do (IIRC).

2 02 2012
thade

That is very welcome news; info I didn’t find on my initial dig. Thank you, Grimnir.

Possibly my reaction was…a little rash. ❤

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