By tekmojo 1 Comments
Turbine Inc. has been preparing for one of the biggest shifts in game services coming from any major developer in quite a long time. As most already know by now, August 4th marks the date in which any new adventurer wishing to take part in the world of Dungeons & Dragons Online, has the freedom to play for free. That's great, right?
Everyone loves free, but Turbine doesn't have any sort of plans of slowing progress with updates either. There will be a fully integrated online store in which players can interact with inside the game, allowing them to purchase new weapons, potions, and even complete new adventure sets.
There may be a few questions concerning why this business model is going to be implemented now, and what it means for pay-as-you go players, as opposed to just playing for free. After reading some feedback from players of the game, and notes from the developers, you should be able to understand a little more about what to expect come August.
First of all, the game came out back in February 2006, and to this date, feelings about the content value of the game have created mixed reactions. The population of players in each of the server realms reflected upon this. While likely only die hard pen & paper players, or hardcore dungeon crawlers would truly appreciate the game for what it is. Because after all, it isn't a bad game by any means.
The problem lies back to the same problem of any MMO out there. Is the content worth the subscription fee. With DDO, some would say yes I have plenty to do out there. Diverse classes to choose from, awesome amount of abilities to learn, and great dungeon crawling experiences.
Others could say no, there is just not enough content to keep me involved in the world. The game is in fact true to its predecessor pen & paper origins, as it is primarily a small group oriented questing system. Even with many solo-options available, the game may not cater to all audiences equally.
On to the next question, can it be implemented well enough to be received by incoming players, as well as older players? Well the answer will be found out soon enough, but Turbine thinks that anyone interested in the online item shop will have no trouble jumping in and occasionally purchasing a few new adventures to play through.
Players will have easy and instant access to the in-game store through a single click from their menu bar. From there, they can browse the top purchased items, search for a particular item, or just browse by category. Instead of showing actual money, DDO has adopted a coin-in system where you will need to subscribe to more coins if you want to buy more things within the store. Makes sense.
This is all fine and well, but if no one plans on using the store, is it all for nothing? Turbine says there are enough incentives for regular players to check it out, but they also say it is a system in which they will not enforce on all players in the world. You need a extra rest shrine for a particular difficult dungeon? Go ahead, take as many as you need. It's also worth mentioning that any player, even the non-subscribers can still earn coins in-game, it will just take longer to accumulate.
Lastly, mention has to be made about gameplay balance due to the fear of some players buying their way to the top. An important issue, but developers say that the best items can not be found inside the online shop. Their are powerful items, but they have tried to keep the item shop focused mainly on new content to expand, and create a more enjoyable experience.
Personally I welcome the changes, they obviously are in need of a change. They are allowing more content for old and new players, while still providing an experience that hasn't changed the core of what D&D means to gamers.