Free?

#1 Posted by Phr4nk0 (350 posts) -

Yeah, I know the game is free, but I want to know before I start is it truely free. By this I mean will I be able to play this game without ever putting down any amount of money or do you come to some point in the game where to continue you pretty much have to pay. Also the recent Farmville videos on giant bomb have got me wondering if this involves some sort of social element where you'll need to harrass your friends to join to give you items and stuff.
 
To clarify I don't consider myself cheap, it's just I have no real draw to the age of empires universe and was thinking I'd like to check it out but if it comes to a point where I need to pay to continue I just won't bother. Also playing into this is I'm a bit of an achievement whore/completonist so if anyone has any idea on if any of the achievements require money spent that would be cool to know. Also I have no friends that would be willing to play with me; "it's a strategy game... where's the headshots? derp!" and all that. 
 
Just looking for some info from the people who have played it.
#3 Posted by Phr4nk0 (350 posts) -

@Marz
Cool thanks for the link, some information there to ease my apprehensions though they are a bit vague with saying certain things are limited and stuff. Only allowing you lower gear could see you get steam rolled quick once the people that have paid have their hands on those. They have to hold some stuff back to make it worth paying for so I understand.  
 
I guess I'll end up downloading it and trying it myself, though if anyone else has actually played it I'd like to hear some feedback.

#4 Posted by JoeyRavn (4983 posts) -

There is a shitload of Achievements that force you to have the premium content if you want to get them, though. If you're into Achievement hunting, it's kinda a bummer.

#5 Posted by Silver-Streak (1382 posts) -

Also, the paid content is /expensive/. The free civs are pretty playable, but they're not "complete" per the in-game verbiage, to get the complete versions, you have to pay $20 /per civ/ to get the "complete" versions. The least expensive "microtransaction" is $5 in their store.

On the other hand, it's still pretty fun, and I don't see anything wrong with the free Civs, but I haven't tried PvP yet.

#6 Posted by Dblueguy (36 posts) -

Paid version lets you play competitively against friends, get all of the units and skills/talents for an empire and lets you actually use rare and epic items. The free part of the game is really limited and just feels like a demo. Each civilization costs $20 each and if you wanted to buy the season pass to have everything it would cost $100. It really seems like they got the whole free 2 play model wrong even though there are tons of F2P games out there that do it right. This game will be very disappointing if you aren't looking to spend any money.

#7 Posted by JoeyRavn (4983 posts) -

@Dblueguy said:

Paid version lets you play competitively against friends, get all of the units and skills/talents for an empire and lets you actually use rare and epic items. The free part of the game is really limited and just feels like a demo. Each civilization costs $20 each and if you wanted to buy the season pass to have everything it would cost $100. It really seems like they got the whole free 2 play model wrong even though there are tons of F2P games out there that do it right. This game will be very disappointing if you aren't looking to spend any money.

Yeah, it's mind-blowing. When I saw "8400 MSP" for the Season Pass I had to pick up a calculator and divide that by 80: $105. While the free version of the civs is playable, it's still a truncated experience. They completely killed any chance of me playing this game with such ridiculous prices for the DLC.

#8 Posted by avidwriter (665 posts) -
@Eujin said:

Also, the paid content is /expensive/. The free civs are pretty playable, but they're not "complete" per the in-game verbiage, to get the complete versions, you have to pay $20 /per civ/ to get the "complete" versions. The least expensive "microtransaction" is $5 in their store.

On the other hand, it's still pretty fun, and I don't see anything wrong with the free Civs, but I haven't tried PvP yet.

Well this is M$, I'd be surprised if this was any less.
#9 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

Its a glorified demo. Its like when you download an MMO demo, certain things are capped off until you pay in. There is no complete game here with just the free elements.

#10 Posted by Nomin (983 posts) -

Do you think it would've been better if they just went with the usual model of, say, $10 a month (it is not an RPG with constant updates to contents), rather than having you to pay piecemeal to enjoy the game as it's meant to be played? In the end, you pay the same (or more), but the expense is spread out over a longer period, and I just think the commitment to pay up first seems to cast the product as something that would not have the longevity or value often expected from online games.

#11 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@Nomin said:
Do you think it would've been better if they just went with the usual model of, say, $10 a month (it is not an RPG with constant updates to contents), rather than having you to pay piecemeal to enjoy the game as it's meant to be played? In the end, you pay the same (or more), but the expense is spread out over a longer period, and I just think the commitment to pay up first seems to cast the product as something that would not have the longevity or value often expected from online games.
Yes. With that, you sign up and the money just leaves your account. You don't think about it anymore. Doing it the way they do it, you're constantly being hassled in the game to buy more chunks of the game.
#12 Edited by Turambar (6888 posts) -

I just hit lv 7, so here's a list of things a free account limits you to outside of things like the Crete booster pack or whatever they are calling it.
 
You can only have 2 store houses total, which is total of 28 slots for your crafting mats, consumables, and unequipped loot. 
- Various missions will reward you with blue loot which cannot be equipped, but will still take up an inventory slot

Only two work shops can be built, which auto produce crafting mats. 

Only one crafting school can be learned, which can craft equipment and consumables for that particular type of unit or building.

A number of powerful units will be locked out that will be featured in various missions with a tool tip that tells you to pay money for them. 
 
Various green equipment that can be bought or crafted from your capitol city are also locked out from you.
 
That said, there isn't anything too egregious about how they are locking out premium accounts.  The core game play is still fun.  What is wrong is the way in which they advertise the premium items.  Quest rewards that you can't equip and essentially exhibition missions for premium units all serve to deter me from actually giving them money.  And more on just how the game is paced, the first 5 levels were a gigantic pain as it forces you through a RTS for Dummies course instructing you in the usage of the attack button and building farms.  It isn't fun, and I dread having to go through that again if I decide to play newly released faction later on.

#13 Posted by DonPixel (2621 posts) -
@Phr4nk0 It's neither free nor any good.
#14 Edited by Ulong (447 posts) -

The games pricing is insane. 100 dollars for 6 months of content, assuming they keep up that pricing model, it's essentially 200 dollars a year for all content.
I love age of empires, and would totally just buy this exact game if it was 50-60 bucks and came with everything, with no f2p option at all except maybe a demo.
 
Now, realisticly, for 20 bucks you can buy a "premium" civilization, and essentially get a pretty good experience, you'll get all the content you need to be 100% competatively viable with that civ.
The problem with this is there are only 2 civilizations out now, so you can't really make a strategic descision as to which civ you actually want to play based on their differences. Right now you can pick Greek or Egyptian, but what if a month from now they come out with a civ that would be perfect for your play style? You'd have to pay another 20 bucks, and you'd have to start all over from scratch, presumably go through all the pianfully drawn out tutorial missions, reaquire gear, etc. Hours of fresh grinding.
 
They aren't getting a cent out of me because I'm waiting on the Babylonian's (assuming the civs are going to be in line with what they were in Aoe1), and frankly, by the time the babylonians come out (if they do) the competative scene will probably have majorly dried up, and it'll feel like "what's the point of spending money and time on a civ."
 
 It's really dissapointing because as a fan of AoE, the core gameplay here is really good. it's essentially AoE2 in AoE1's setting, and it plays and handles really well, but there's just too much going against it for it to be a good investment of your time or money probably. I'm going to keep my eye on it though, and see if I luck out and they release babylon (or an equivalence in racial units/passives) really early in the games lifespan, or maybe drasitcally overhaul their price model.

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