Elder Scrolls Online Going Free to Play?

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Posted by spiralcut (116 posts) -

The expectation that something is going to go FTP because most others have done so is based upon the idea that NO MMO can succeed in the market. This is obviously false as WoW is still subscription and still claims around 8 mil subs (7.8 reported by Kotaku in February). What this means is that there is a market, but experience has shown that most MMO subscribers only play one game at a time. In other words, we know that there are at least 7.8 million people currently playing MMOs, and for ESO to be competitive it needs part of that market share.

However this is facially wrong because WoW's sub numbers at one point were around 13 mil, that's 5 million players that have gone missing! These are free agent MMO subscribers floating in the nether, just waiting for a good hook. You ask for a reason why this MMO should succeed? I gave you three yesterday, but I'll give you one major one. It's because these dev's actually care about the game they are creating. I love BioWare, but EA hasn't had the best track record in the last few years. Remember microtransactions in Mass Effect 3, SimCity, BF4? Its because they see themselves as a business first, and an entertainer second, rather than visa versa.

Bethesda/Zenimax has a track record that shows they give a damn about their product, and the changes from beta to release even over the past month shed light on this fact for me. It doesn't have the hype train behind it that SWTOR/Rift/GW2 had, and that's what will make it successful. Instead of people burning out in the first month, this game will give a slow burn to players who are dedicated to the content, and I predict this will drive new people to sub. It took WoW almost 6 months to hit 3 million subs, and at that point the firestorm was underway and they quickly shot up to 7, then 10 million subs. ESO doesn't need these numbers to be successful; an MMO needs roughly 1 million to start exponential growth, but no more than 100k to stay in the black. While it's future is far from certain, this game feels like it has real legs under it.

Now, I do actually believe they will incorporate some sort of storefront within the first year, ala WoW's new store feature, because its a great way to make gobs of cash on the side. Horse armor baby!!! (As an aside, the horse armor marketing guy came to George Mason last month and said it was an hilarious experiment, and that it was the single-most profitable DLC they've ever released!) But seriously, I bet they do not go too far beyond cosmetic items and pets.

I could be horribly wrong. Zenimax could be a bloodsucking vampire just waiting to sell out and make a cash grab. Only time will tell. What matters now is this; ESO is a great game with an epic story, and if you don't play it you are missing out on one of the finest MMO experiences yet created.

#1 Edited by StrainedEyes (1331 posts) -

I fully believe it will, give it 6 months. Going F2P isn't a "cash grab" it's a dying grasp at life which seems to work.

#2 Posted by geirr (2709 posts) -

Give it a year or two. There are many Elder Scroll fans and I'm sure they'll manage to keep some of them entertained for a while. Some of my friends will play it just because, and I quote "It has to be good! It's Elder Scrolls!" and this they repeat to themselves over and over and over.

#3 Posted by HansKaosu (757 posts) -

they already said they will go f2p if sales are bad or if subs are not meeting expectations

#4 Edited by spiralcut (116 posts) -

@hanskaosu: Citation? If you are referring to this article, it's from an outside analyst and not an executive within Zenimax. Also the question isn't if it will go FTP to stay in the black, it's a question of if it will need to. I honestly don't think that will be the case here.

Edit: In fact, the VP of marketing at Bethesda has said that subscription MMO's only fail when they don't meet user expectations. In this case he believes it will, and so do I based off the changes from a month ago until today.

#5 Posted by Random45 (1279 posts) -

I'm one of those 5 million people who stopped playing WoW, and I can assure you that I will never touch another MMO again. I may try it out if it's free to play, but not another subscription based one. I know that doesn't account for the other 4,999,999 million, but saying that there's that many people waiting for a good MMO to latch onto is just not true.

I'm also one of those guys who thinks that this is gonna go F2P within a year or so. The reason WoW can pull it off is because a massive number of those players played the game for years. Hell, I played the game for over seven years, and it became sort of an addiction. Plus, the Chinese Market accounts for like half of the 8 million playing, if I had to guess, so that further reduces the pool that TES:O can pull from, since they haven't released the game in China, if I recall correctly.

#6 Edited by spiralcut (116 posts) -

@random45: I'm wondering if there is going to be any draw for past Elder Scrolls players. With 20 mil units sold for Skyrim, a portion of those players should transition over to the new game under that IP.

#7 Posted by Random45 (1279 posts) -

@spiralcut: It's probably a good assumption that it will draw some of them in, but I think a lot will be turned off by the nature of how an MMO plays compared to how a game like Skyrim played. Combat is completely different, leveling up is different, etc. Plus, there's also the barrier of the subscription, which I think a lot of people who play single-player offline games like Skyrim will be really turned off by.

#8 Edited by ThatOneDudeNick (746 posts) -

It'll be over a year. Closer to two is the number I pulled out of my ass. I like subscription MMOs, just because the free ones are all terrible (in my opinion). That being said, the genre doesn't appeal to me anymore. There are too many games out now, and I'm way more busy than I was back when I was hardcore into the genre. Planning to be online at a specific time and committing to a chunk of time with a guild to raid or PvP just doesn't work for me.

Also, WoW can lose more people than other MMOs ever see and still be fine. Their fluctuation before and after expansions is more than a lot of other MMO games have period. Their subs have definitely dropped, but that's going to happen to any game after 10 years. There aren't as many new people trying it out for the first time, but their player base is getting older and less willing to do the MMO thing. Some people have spent nearly 10 years in the same gameplay loop of "Fight dudes to get better gear so you can fight better dudes to get better gear." Between my work schedule, and being better off financially that I can buy more games, I don't need or want to put in the amount of time required to enjoy any MMO.

#9 Edited by BaneFireLord (2957 posts) -

@geirr said:

Give it a year or two. There are many Elder Scroll fans and I'm sure they'll manage to keep some of them entertained for a while. Some of my friends will play it just because, and I quote "It has to be good! It's Elder Scrolls!" and this they repeat to themselves over and over and over.

Speaking as an Elder Scrolls fan who doesn't want to touch this dreck with a ten foot pole, I find your generalization offensive.

#10 Posted by Berserker976 (388 posts) -

Someone brought this up in GB chat yesterday and the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. The main reason I'm not getting the game is the monthly subscription. However, that doesn't mean I'm opposed to putting a large amount of money down for the game. I just hate the idea of adding yet another monthly charge to my bank account.

So what if ESO went the Star Trek route and offered lifetime subscriptions? I'm sure that would draw some people in like myself that are put off by monthly charges, and it would guarantee a certain amount of money from people that stop playing early. (also known as "The Jeff Gerstmann effect.")

#11 Edited by Jack_Lafayette (3463 posts) -

Look, I just can't justify paying a subscription fee for a single game. It's no longer about server maintenance, or quality assurance, it's simply an easy way to squeeze a bigger profit margin out of a player base for however long you think you can. TESO may be successful in that regard, and hell, I wouldn't be surprised if WoW continues to pull it off for decades to come. The fact is, though, that there are both more entertaining and more dense gaming experiences available for far less money.

#12 Edited by GunslingerPanda (4858 posts) -

I tried it in beta and I wouldn't play it again even if it were free-to-play.

#13 Posted by spiralcut (116 posts) -

@geirr said:

Give it a year or two. There are many Elder Scroll fans and I'm sure they'll manage to keep some of them entertained for a while. Some of my friends will play it just because, and I quote "It has to be good! It's Elder Scrolls!" and this they repeat to themselves over and over and over.

Speaking as an Elder Scrolls fan who doesn't want to touch this dreck with a ten foot pole, I find your generalization offensive.

Calling something "drek" when you haven't even played it seems like a very radical generalization. Which is ironic.

#14 Edited by Veektarius (5013 posts) -

They'll stick with their business model until it doesn't work, which I'm sure will be for at least a little while. Pointing to WoW and using that as an anecdotal example of how the model works is exactly why the past five years are littered with failed MMOs, however, some of which I liked quite a bit (WAR being foremost among them, I guess). RIFT went F2P after about a year. TERA went F2P after 9 months. Probably the last MMO with real anticipation behind it was TOR, which went F2P in 11 months. While TOR isn't without its problems, it is a very polished game with some cool features in a universe easily more beloved than the Elder Scrolls, and TOR didn't suffer from the same misplaced expectations that ESO will.

So I think that people predicting a shift in 6 months are probably overly pessimistic (or optimistic) but you should consider the objectivity of your opinion and the recent history of similar projects before you argue against the likelihood of it happening within a year.

#15 Posted by Christoffer (1921 posts) -

Some MMOs make a lot of money being F2P, as I understand it. So it isn't necessarily a failure if ESO would go that route. In fact, grab subscription money from early adopters for as long as you can, and when the income is windling down as they get bored, open it up for everyone else and turn on the microtransactions. Seems like a pretty solid plan to me.

I would give it two years before its F2P. A wild guess. Maybe a while after a big expansion.

#16 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

Suggesting that ESO can stay subscription because Blizzard can do it with WoW ignores one tiny little fact: Things have changed. The market that Blizzard plays in has dramatically shifted away from "Theme Park MMOs". Players and customers are moving away from multi-hour, monolithic, difficult to setup experiences for faster and easier games. Before we saw Blizzard pull resources off of things like Diablo 3 to make the next expansion in time but now resources are being dispersed into other projects (Hearthstone and HoTS).

So far ESO is showing they really think people will pay a subscription just because it is "The Elder Scrolls" where history is littered with failed MMOs which have better ideas and better IP. So far I am not seeing how ESO understand strengths and weaknesses inherent in "The MMO Design" which why the successful ones stand. It is great that people like playing it today but in a month are they going to do the same things? History shows that never works out well.

In the end, I am confused given the history of the whole industry why people believe ESO is going to suddenly succeed.

#17 Edited by Morningstar (2238 posts) -

@veektarius: RIFT went free to play after more than 2 years.

Online
#18 Posted by Veektarius (5013 posts) -

@morningstar: You're right. I was checking against Wikipedia and misread the entry.

#19 Edited by Marokai (3143 posts) -

I really don't think it will take that much time. At this point people have the expectation that it will become free to play. The Old Republic took less than a year to become some sort of hybrid F2P game. Star Trek Online took a little under two years. I don't think it'll take longer than, or at least much longer than, a year for ESO to turn free to play. The only new MMO that seems stubborn about breaking the trend is FFXIV, and that only seems to be working out because it has a large Japanese fanbase and that market has completely different expectations for MMOs.

#20 Edited by Krullban (1062 posts) -

@banefirelord said:

@geirr said:

Give it a year or two. There are many Elder Scroll fans and I'm sure they'll manage to keep some of them entertained for a while. Some of my friends will play it just because, and I quote "It has to be good! It's Elder Scrolls!" and this they repeat to themselves over and over and over.

Speaking as an Elder Scrolls fan who doesn't want to touch this dreck with a ten foot pole, I find your generalization offensive.

Calling something "drek" when you haven't even played it seems like a very radical generalization. Which is ironic.

Every MMO is the worst game of all time that nobody could possibly have fun with, even if you haven't played them. Remember that.

#21 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

If someone loves The Elder Scrolls but hates how MMOs work, are they wrong to be skeptical about ESO? I don't think so nor do I think need to play ESO to confirm their hatred of MMOs.

#22 Posted by Grimmie92 (151 posts) -

@extomar: It depends entirely on what they liked about TES games and what they hate about MMOs

The lore, the environment, the crafting, the fully voiced dialogue, the living/evolving world is all still here, villages are razed as part of side quests, and when i went back a day later they cheered whe i walked through the gates, and they were chopping up wood and carrying stones to rebuild the town i had rescued - the best parts of TES games are all still here, and that should be enough for most people, you get a free month with any copy of the game so the barrier to entry is no higher than normal games, if you dont find yourself having fun, dont sub.. but shitting on the game is helping nobody

In most cases the uninformed hatred for this game is driving away people who were maybe considering looking into the game, ive seen countless threads on reddit about people who were thinking about picking it up and people were just like "this is a generic fantasy world skin for WoW, doesnt feel like TES at all" but if you actually asked someone who had played the game, the response would be quite the opposite.

If you dont want to play the game, you shouldnt be on forum boards for the game
If you havent played the game you shouldnt be "reviewing" it

#23 Posted by Grimmie92 (151 posts) -

@spiralcut: I feel like not enough people know that Zenimax is already working on the 3-4 weekly content packs, i heard in an interview that they have the first 10 or so packs designed already - i assume these need extensive testing before theyre actually ready, but they seem confident that they can keep the content rolling.

Theres also been written articles lately saying theyre planning up to 5 years ahead with content so their dedication seems legitimate, and i hope we can keep them well funded to ensure they stay true to their word

#24 Posted by MB (13090 posts) -

This conversation is giving me some serious SWTOR deja vu. One could practically replace all instances of ESO/Zenimax with TOR/Bioware and it would all still make perfect sense.

Moderator
#25 Posted by Ares42 (2796 posts) -

People just need to look at EVE. It's a subscription MMO that's been going on since before WoW, and it's still going strong. Why ? Expectations. The big problem with the MMO market these days is that everyone sets their goal for "WoW numbers" while the market just isn't there. The core MMO market is still there, and it's not going away, and if developers made games for that crowd they could easily make subscription MMOs that were successful.

The prevalence of f2p MMOs comes from the simple fact that most of these games are made to chase money, not make MMOs, and to that effect f2p is designed for a much more lucurative market. So the only relevant question is, was ESO made because they wanted to make an MMO or because they wanted to chase the MMO money ? I think we all know the answer.

#26 Posted by HelicopterSpy (148 posts) -

Final Fantasy XIV still charges a monthly fee. Elder Scrolls Online will be fine for a while.

#27 Posted by Karkarov (3273 posts) -

@marokai said:

I really don't think it will take that much time. At this point people have the expectation that it will become free to play. The Old Republic took less than a year to become some sort of hybrid F2P game. Star Trek Online took a little under two years. I don't think it'll take longer than, or at least much longer than, a year for ESO to turn free to play. The only new MMO that seems stubborn about breaking the trend is FFXIV, and that only seems to be working out because it has a large Japanese fanbase and that market has completely different expectations for MMOs.

I will bet you good money there are more people playing FF14 in the States than Japan. Also as a guy who has played more MMO's than well .... I have a played a metric ass ton of them, I can tell you the best "WoW clone" I ever played was easily FF14 realm reborn. For all intents and purposes gameplay wise it is basically closer to WoW The Burning Crusade than WoW itself is anymore. As the polls on this site at least suggest lots of people think The Burning Crusade was the best WoW ever was.... considering the new expansion is also basically Burning Crusade mark 2 Blizzard maybe agrees.

So no it isn't a mystery at all why FF14 is doing well, and is in absolutely no danger of going free to play. It doesn't have a damn thing to do with weird Japanese tastes either. Unless you count their crazy semi racial/sex offender jokes which no one seems to notice. There is actually one town in the game where you can watch NPC's argue, the issue? Two of them are "camp girls" and one of the NPC's is warning people about them saying they gave them the I #*&$ you not "crotch rot". Stuff like that is literally all over the game.

As far as ESO goes though anyone calling it a WoW clone either never played WoW, never played ESO, or both. The combat is very different, in fact, this is the first MMO I have ever played where someone could argue that first person was the best way to play it and I wouldn't think they were completely full of it. There are tons of skills and ways to build your characters, tons of customization in character design, when you get to the real game it is very much feeling like Elder Scrolls as you have this huge area map and no map markers at all. You just head towards something that looks neat and as you get there other things pop up on your compass like small caves, npc quest givers, areas that are considered "scenic" and really serve no point other than looking cool or giving you a good view of the surrounding area. There are even 256 lore books in the game you can hidden around the world that were written just for this game, and that doesn't count the hundreds of books from the "proper" Elder Scrolls games cause those books are all in game too. All dialog is voiced, even the most mundane and unimportant NPC, of course the voices can get repetitive but that never happened in Skyrim right?

This is very much an Elder Scrolls game, but like they said in the quick look it tries to meet MMO's somewhere in the middle.

#28 Posted by Rafaelfc (1455 posts) -

I certainly hope so, since I won't pay a monthly fee just for one game.

#29 Posted by Christoffer (1921 posts) -

@ares42: I would say that EVE's success with subscription is due to leverage. People can't really go anywhere else for that experience. The fantasy MMORPG market, on the other hand, is bursting. Some games are free, and some of those are even great.

But yeah, the slow but steady route with realistic expectations have probably helped EVE to become successful to.

#30 Edited by Veektarius (5013 posts) -
@karkarov said:
@marokai said:

For all intents and purposes gameplay wise it is basically closer to WoW The Burning Crusade than WoW itself is anymore. As the polls on this site at least suggest lots of people think The Burning Crusade was the best WoW ever was.... considering the new expansion is also basically Burning Crusade mark 2 Blizzard maybe agrees.

Would you care to give a few examples of how FFXIV is most similar to WoW Burning Crusade? Because mechanically it seems very much based on developments that occurred later in MMOs. e.g. group queues, public quests, story-based character progression.

Also, last time I played WoW (a while ago, I grant you) the burning crusade levels were easily the most tedious because they had not been updated with later expansions.

#31 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

Point of fact: FF 14 didn't charge a subscription till sometime in 2012. Square-Enix was running the game for free for at least a year.

The thing with EVE is that they have core game play that is dramatically different than anything else offered (no it isn't the space stuff). That isn't happening with ESO where if it was offering something really unique in system or form to stand out but right now its only claim to fame is "Its Elder Scrolls!" and "It has a subscription?"

This fixation on WoW also shows how skewed defender's perceptions are. Forget WoW: The argument could be made that Tera better comparison and closer to ESO except the setting and story. Does the world need another Tera?

#32 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1894 posts) -

However this is facially wrong because WoW's sub numbers at one point were around 13 mil, that's 5 million players that have gone missing! These are free agent MMO subscribers floating in the nether, just waiting for a good hook.

That's some specious reasoning.

The Wii sold over 100 million consoles. Currently the Wii-U sits at around 6 million sold, according to estimates. Using that logic, that means there are some 94 million free agent motion control players out there, just waiting for a good waggle console.

#33 Edited by Lyisa (390 posts) -

@marokai said:

I really don't think it will take that much time. At this point people have the expectation that it will become free to play. The Old Republic took less than a year to become some sort of hybrid F2P game. Star Trek Online took a little under two years. I don't think it'll take longer than, or at least much longer than, a year for ESO to turn free to play. The only new MMO that seems stubborn about breaking the trend is FFXIV, and that only seems to be working out because it has a large Japanese fanbase and that market has completely different expectations for MMOs.

I'm pretty sure that the fanbase has nothing to do with Square-Enix decision to not go free to play and more to do with the company culture. Naoki Yoshida did an interview fairly recently on the dangers of going free-to-play. If you also look at Final Fantasy XI they have a trend of not going free to play despite a waning playerbase.

As a current FFXI subscriber I don't expect it to go free to play at all, and more expect an announcement of it shutting down within the next few years. If it weren't for FFXIV reportedly exceeding expectations on sales and subscriptions (1.8 Million earlier last month) I would think the expectations would be similar.

On ESO: the trend for western localized releases and western style MMOs lately seems toward going free to play after release, so maybe in a year or two you can get ESO with no cost associated with it. From the quick look it already has a ton of places where it could easily throw in microtransactions if they wanted to (the soul gem revival thing, mounts). It seems like a perfect fit, really.

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#34 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5983 posts) -

I'd be much more inclined to try it if it did go F2P.

#35 Posted by Karkarov (3273 posts) -

@extomar said:

This fixation on WoW also shows how skewed defender's perceptions are. Forget WoW: The argument could be made that Tera better comparison and closer to ESO except the setting and story. Does the world need another Tera?

Except Tera isn't a good comparison either. If you wanted to compare ESO to another MMO honestly the best comparison would either be Wildstar (which is still in beta) or The Secret World. Those are the two most similar to ESO on a character building and gameplay level.

#36 Posted by Animasta (14719 posts) -

Half of your post sounds like a sales pitch.

#37 Posted by spiralcut (116 posts) -

@animasta: It's called normative analysis. I believe it's a good product and my review will reflect such attitude.

#38 Posted by believer258 (12184 posts) -

@animasta said:

Half of your post sounds like a sales pitch.

Or someone desperately trying to justify what they think is a quality product when most people are going "eh, I'd rather play WoW or no MMO at all".

I'm not commenting on Elder Scrolls Online's quality. However, most people who like MMO's peek into every MMO that comes out, and then they go back to the friends and guilds in WoW that they have spent ten years building up. Nothing has the staying power that WoW does because WoW was "the big thing" and now most people and their friends are socially tied to it.

#39 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

@karkarov said:

@extomar said:

This fixation on WoW also shows how skewed defender's perceptions are. Forget WoW: The argument could be made that Tera better comparison and closer to ESO except the setting and story. Does the world need another Tera?

Except Tera isn't a good comparison either. If you wanted to compare ESO to another MMO honestly the best comparison would either be Wildstar (which is still in beta) or The Secret World. Those are the two most similar to ESO on a character building and gameplay level.

In your opinion but that is okay since that was a subjective comparison so I'll restate: Does the world need another The Secret World? Does the world need another Wildstar? We don't even officially have Wildstar yet and I am pretty sure the world doesn't need another spin on it.

#40 Posted by Humanity (10060 posts) -

@extomar said:

@karkarov said:

@extomar said:

This fixation on WoW also shows how skewed defender's perceptions are. Forget WoW: The argument could be made that Tera better comparison and closer to ESO except the setting and story. Does the world need another Tera?

Except Tera isn't a good comparison either. If you wanted to compare ESO to another MMO honestly the best comparison would either be Wildstar (which is still in beta) or The Secret World. Those are the two most similar to ESO on a character building and gameplay level.

In your opinion but that is okay since that was a subjective comparison so I'll restate: Does the world need another The Secret World? Does the world need another Wildstar? We don't even officially have Wildstar yet and I am pretty sure the world doesn't need another spin on it.

Personally I enjoyed Tera for what it was and wouldn't mind another Tera.

As long as Tera 2 has even more extravagant armor that manages to barely cover your body.

#41 Posted by Random45 (1279 posts) -

@ares42 said:

People just need to look at EVE. It's a subscription MMO that's been going on since before WoW, and it's still going strong. Why ? Expectations. The big problem with the MMO market these days is that everyone sets their goal for "WoW numbers" while the market just isn't there. The core MMO market is still there, and it's not going away, and if developers made games for that crowd they could easily make subscription MMOs that were successful.

The prevalence of f2p MMOs comes from the simple fact that most of these games are made to chase money, not make MMOs, and to that effect f2p is designed for a much more lucurative market. So the only relevant question is, was ESO made because they wanted to make an MMO or because they wanted to chase the MMO money ? I think we all know the answer.

I disagree completely with this.

EVE succeeds where all other MMOs fail because it's so incredibly different than any other MMO released that it might as well be its own genre. Comparing EVE to any other MMO is like comparing oranges to apples - it's just not the same other than the fact that there's a subscription fee to play.

Think of any other MMO: Rift, Warhammer, The Old Republic, WildStar, The Elders Scrolls... They all play EXACTLY the same. None of them are innovative other than a few tweaks to the game play, and it's the same damn treadmill grind as every other game of its genre. Furthermore, isn't it insulting to imply that the other devs were just 'chasing money' as you say and not trying to make a successful MMO? The amount of time and resources it takes to build an MMO and then to sustain it for any duration of time is really damn high. Look at ToR - I'm pretty sure Bioware wasn't phoning it in when they made the game fully voice acted, and gave each character their own fleshed out personal story and companions to interact with and learn about as you progress through the levels. Despite all of this, and all of the good buzz it got in the beginning, the subscription based collapsed within half a year, and soon after it went free to play.

TES:O is similar to ToR in that way I think - it made an MMO of a single player game, and a LOT of the initial subscription base will be fans of the game just going through the story, but once they reach max level in a few months, the subscription base is going to take a nosedive. From what I've played, I have my doubts that the game is going to be able to survive long as a subscription-based model after that, but I may be wrong. We'll see in a few months.

#42 Posted by Shadow (4988 posts) -

All MMOs should be F2P from the start. They end up with a larger audience from the get-go and end up making far more money in the long run. I don't want another scheduled monthly payment, so I probably won't end up getting this game. If it was free to play, I'd probably end up playing it and spending far more over the life of the game than I ever would have from combined monthly payments. The problem is that when people make these games free to play, it ends up being poorly implemented and seems shoehorned in because...well, it is. However, knowing how smart the elder scroll developers are, I wouldn't put it past them to already have a solid free to play model prepared that the game is already built to support and that they can put in practice when they eventually (which they most likely will) have to go that route. At least I hope they're thinking that far ahead

#43 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

@humanity:

I always viewed Tera as the first "next step MMO" that I ran into where it was trying to do something systemically different in combat that felt and flowed smoothly. Vindictus was the first I can remember to try this but it had technical issues that Tera polished up and made it really work in a MMO setting. To bad it does have "weirdness" that drove away as many as it attracted.

Coming back to ESO, the issue is that ESO doesn't have either of those things that could be a "claim to fame" and it has a subscription. You've got really be into MMOs or "The Elder Scrolls" to embrace this.

#44 Edited by Humanity (10060 posts) -

@extomar: I thought the active combat system was neat but not nearly as "active" as it could have been. You're still kind of just wailing on doods but the combos were neat. Overall it's a nice concept that keeps a little more engaged in whats going on.

They also introduced a ton of really useful features from a gameplay perspective. For instance highlighting on the map the location where a mob required for your quest is located was a nice touch.

I was never put off by any of the "oh my God pedophiles will love this!" stuff because I just didn't think of it. To me it was hilarious that the better my armor got the more revealing it was. I also found the art design really great. Gear was interesting. When nothing else was coming out I gladly dumped some hours into that game, but then the season picked up and I didn't have time for killing X number of mobs anymore when I could be experiencing brand new worlds and storylines.

Still I think it's an under-appreciated title that unfortunately was pigeonholed as "that game for pedos/creeps"

#45 Posted by Grimmie92 (151 posts) -

@shadow: The problem is gettin the cash hooks in here that are worthwhile, a bunch of people are saying it has perfect gaps for F2P stuff but ALL of those would have a negative impact on my gameplay, making people pay for horses, or crafting styles, or soul gems, each of these would mean exploration is less rewarding, and a TES game where exploration is not rewarded would be an utter abbominatio

@extomar: As a game called elder scrolls online, i would think being a fan of elder scrolls or being online was pretty much implied

@karkarov: i agree with most of what youve been saying but comparing ESO to Wildstar is madness.

ESO has strategic combat, you need to roll, circle strafe, block, stun, tage advantage of enemies after a heavy attack leaves them open etc

Wildstar has, from the 6 hours i played last weekend, totally generic MMO combat with cooldowns, cast times and the usual, tank stands in the middle, which people faceroll the enemy boss combat

The closest to ESO is clearly GW2, except ESO isnt poop

#46 Edited by Steadying (1472 posts) -

@helicopterspy: FF XIV is also a sequel to the incredibly popular FF XI. I wouldn't be surprised if it had a sub fee for years to come. I really hope it does go F2P soon, though. I love XIV, but I just cannot pay that sub fee every month. Also the community is kinda mean.

#47 Edited by Shadow (4988 posts) -

@grimmie92: You don't make people pay for stuff and have that be that. You allow people to earn it in-game, or skip 10+ hours of grinding for the materials to just buy it with real money. Or you sell experience boosters. Or other stuff that saves time, but doesn't give you something you couldn't get anyway through playing the game. What you described is exactly what I meant when I said other companies failed to make this transition by shoe-horning in the F2P features. Just locking out stuff with a gate you can only get through by paying money is not the right way to go about it.

#48 Posted by Ares42 (2796 posts) -

@random45: That was pretty much my point... EVE is a success because they made an actual MMO, not the modern "themepark RPG with multiplayer".

Also, there's no correlation between "chasing the money" and being lazy and phoning it in. I'm sure they all want to make succesful games, and they put a lot of effort into it. But there's no denying that most of these games were concieved because someone saw an opportunity to make a lot of money, not because someone had a great idea for how to do something interesting with the MMO concept (just like we see with pretty much every other popular genre). There's nothing wrong with that per se, but if that indeed is the case it's only natural for the game to develop towards business models that are more successful as well (again, just like we see in other genres).

#49 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

@humanity

To bring this back tangentially to the topic, Tera felt like it had two strikes against it. One was that "weirdness" where I could handle it but I could see exactly how it would easily put off a much more casual player. I do wonder if they should have just embraced it instead of trying the halfway stuff the ended up doing. The other one was the subscription fee where if it was FTP from the start they could have nabbed a lot who casually wanted to try it with no guilt commitment.

@grimmie92 said:

@extomar: As a game called elder scrolls online, i would think being a fan of elder scrolls or being online was pretty much implied

And yet you continue to ignore the history in the industry. In this market, there is a group of highly mobile players that move from game to game from release to release. They don't care what it is and will play it till they get bored of it and then pickup the next game that is released leveraging as many freebie and cheap paths they can to play as many games as possible. There are only a handful of MMOs that have and can capture the attention of a regular group of players who constantly stick with those few games while the rest just migrate from game to game to game. This is why the free to play model works so well the MMO genre where it was always very popular in Asia and now popular all over the world.

I'll give you a blunt direct hint: Star Wars: The Old Republic is both much larger in expense and popularity and tried to pull this and look where it ended up. Many have offered observation and explanations on why it seems to be following the same erroneous mistakes stumbling along this path and you never really offer an explanation on why you think this time, this game is going to buck the trend. What is ESO doing correctly that SWTOR did wrong?

#50 Posted by McShank (1630 posts) -

Game is fun so far as I paid 0 attention to all the beta inv i got. Ill def pay to play this for a while. i still play wow every 4-6 months for a while as I have since its initial launch. MMO's just kill me after a while due to I get to into them and burn myself out. I have tons of other games to play so this will probably not happen as I was in junior high when wow launched and had no money so it was the only thing I could get at the time vs I work and make lots of money and buy everything I want so I have almost to much to do.. MMO's that go FTP turn me off as I think to play something this big, you should have to pay as its a gate to keep out the children who dont need to play it or the people who just sit at home all day as they need to work sometime to get money. If ESO goes FTP, I probably wont play much and it will end for me.

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