Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nice things about Turbine making DDO Free to Play

1. I love that Turbine didn't let the game die but instead applied creativity and took a risk in turning it into a F2P.

2. I am delighted that the move seems to be working for them. 

3. Perhaps the best news of all for customers is that Turbine , just like Valve before them seem to be discovering that reducing the price of games actually makes you more money. Please let more game developers get this message. Quote:
""All aspects of our business are growing. Hundreds of thousands of new players in the world are playing for free, with a very high percentage using the store." The internal projections for growth were doubled. Even more surprising, subscriptions have gone up 40 percent since the game has gone free-to-play."

4. I like the fact that Turbines micro-transation model has a large element of pay for content rather than pay to skip the grind. Its much better to pay for stuff you like rather than to have to pay to avoid stuff you don't like and it removes the moral hazard which encourages F2P companies to design grindy games.

For balance I shoud mention a few not nice things:

1. Dungeons and Dragons Online Europe is still not Free to play :(.

2. In addition to adventure packs (pay for content) there is still the usual gamut of faster XP scrolls and other pay to skip the grind stuff in the item shop. These things are always a warning sign to me that parts of the game must be awfully boring if people are willing to pay to skip them.

2. Going a micro transaction rich model removes the ceiling on how much a game costs you. Committed players will probably end up spending more in the long run than in the old subscription only days.


Thallian said...

actually I like the way they put it best: "When you let players pay on their own terms, they are happier, they invite their friends to come play", and the effect is like a landslide. I am still waiting for ftp World of Warcraft in 2015... :P

Thallian said...

btw I played DnDOnline and it really is fun, you or anyone who reads this should definitely try it out. Friends are a must.

Cap'n John said...

It's always puzzled me why so many players want to skip or fast forward the "leveling grind" just to get to the "challenge of end game", when the end game not only doesn't end (and so, like the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy, is inappropriately named) but is just another grind. And not only is the end game still a grind but it's an even slower, more tedious grind, where gear upgrades can be few & far between.

"Man, it took three weeks, and I must have run that damn Instance 15 times, but I finally got my chest piece."

Leveling is a grind, yeah, but you still upgrade your gear a darn sight faster than you do during "end game". Oh, but it's not Epic gear, it's not Purple. Well la de fucking da! If I don't have a level 80 Sugar Daddy bestowing severely overpowered gear on my low level toon then any of the Greens I get from taking down Dun Morogh's Vagash would be greatly appreciated.

You want a challenge? Take on Vagash when you're level 8.

Want a challenge? Take on Hogger when you're still level 10. You can take him, depending on your class.

Want a challenge? Try to recover the four boxes from the mine in Loch Modan when you're just level 11 or 12. Those damn Kobolds have a fast respawn rate, they hit hard, and they love to run when they're low on health and come back with a couple of mates.

Want a challenge? Solo Chok'sul, Loch Modan's Elite Ogre boss, when you're still a level 20. It's possible, even wearing nothing but quest greens it's possible, depending on your class.

I cannot understand why people are in such a rush to get to the grind of end game, when there is so much more to see and do during the leveling game.

Cap'n John said...

And yeah, I know we were discussing DDO and not WoW but my point is still the same. Why do people want to rush through the leveling game and get to the boring grind of end game, when the leveling game is so much more interesting. So what if the rewards aren't epic and I'm not spending 3 hours fighting trash Mobs with 19 other people (any one of whom can make a mistake and ruin it for the other 19 of us) just for a shot at spending 10 minutes pressing keys fighting a huge Mob who may, or may not, reward me with something I can use. Then I have to hope my luck is still with me and nobody else wants 'my' Loot, or if they do, that I outroll them, or have more DKP, etc.

Actually that's another awesome thing Turbine did with DDO. A Boss will drop something for you, and for everyone in the party. Whether or not it's an upgrade to your current item is a different matter, but if you group up and hit an Instance and defeat a Boss, you WILL be rewarded.

With Blizzard's upcoming switch forcing players to merge their WoW Account with a Battlenet account, I'm not sure why I'm not playing more DDO and less WoW. I have the account and a couple of characters, maybe it's time to ignore the 2-ton gorilla and pay more attention to the 150-lb orangutan :)

Sorry for the rant and the double-commenting.

mbp said...

All your opinions are most welcome Cap'n John - comment away.

With regard to levelling up being just as enjoyable as end game - I fully agree particularly if circumstances conspire to force you to play solo a lot. In Lotro I do enjoy end game content and the grouping opportunities it provides, the first run through anyway but I am not a fan of running instances multiple times just for loot.

With regard to all the DDO love I am tempted to start an account on the US severs just to try it out. Hopefully lag won't be too bad, Ireland is the most Westerly country in Europe after all, but I will be in the wrong time zone for grouping.

Elric said...

mbp, you can definitely play on the US servers. A ton of European players have started to play DDO F2P and you will find players around the clock. I play from France on the Argonnessen server. I have no lag and no problem grouping any time I play.

mbp said...

Thank you Elric. That is very interesting to know - I must download a client and try it out.

Tesh said...

Not much to add here, just chiming in with a "I heartily agree" and "go, Cap'n!"

I really like DDO, and will play it more in the future... and give them some money. (As I did for Access Passes in Wizard 101, Guild Wars and Puzzle Pirates.) Blizzard doesn't have any of my money. ;)