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Old 03-18-2010, 02:50 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Old Republic Pricing to Have "Twists"

Last week at Game Developer’s Conference, BioWare General Manager Dr. Ray Muzyka spoke to gaming blog Kotaku about the pricing plan for their upcoming MMO. While he clarified that they have not announced anything regarding their payment model, he commented that it would “be more of the traditional business model with maybe some twists [...]

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Old 03-18-2010, 02:58 PM   #2
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Please no "twists". Just give me a straight monthly fee, no tricks. I don't want microtransactions, MMOs that use that tend to not be traditional in scope(like Free Realms, a hard casual focus). I could accept paid race changes perhaps(like WoW), but I don't want anything involving game items bought for real money.

Unless of course these twists are intended to confound the efforts of goldfarmers, in which case I'd have to see what they have planned so I can properly judge.


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Old 03-18-2010, 03:42 PM   #3
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I don't mind a few micro's(pets, decorations, costumes), I just don't want to see "premium members". I don't want to know that because Joe pays an extra 10 bucks a month, his character is always gonna be faster, stronger and better geared than everyone else.


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Old 03-18-2010, 03:46 PM   #4
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I oppose the pets/decorations/costumes too though, because casuals love that stuff, I love them, and I don't want to pay extra for them. They're no big deal to gear-oriented players, but they are a big deal to the casual types. If you let the casual stuff be buyable, you better let gear be buyable too. You can't just advocate microtransactions for the stuff you don't care about.


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Old 03-18-2010, 06:55 PM   #5
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I oppose the pets/decorations/costumes too though, because casuals love that stuff, I love them, and I don't want to pay extra for them. They're no big deal to gear-oriented players, but they are a big deal to the casual types. If you let the casual stuff be buyable, you better let gear be buyable too. You can't just advocate microtransactions for the stuff you don't care about.
I don't think it's the stuff he doesn't care about, it's stuff that has no effect on the game past aesthetics. There would be a lot of griping about players buying the best gear if that was allowed, but I don't see anything wrong with them giving you the choice between either doing a quest or paying for certain vanity items.


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Old 03-18-2010, 07:07 PM   #6
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Why not statted items? It'd be like legendaries in WoW, eventually you'd outlevel them and have to get more, so the effect had is minimal. Pets have an effect for some people. Like the Blizzard Game Store pets, those count towards the pet achievements, which is an in-game advantage for achievement hunters. Maybe I don't care about where the top level raiders get their gear, be it from super hard mode raids or from just buying them. Whatever floats their boats, it doesn't affect me. If raiders could buy gear, it'd trivialize the achievement of getting gear from bosses, which I feel similarly about pets and other cosmetic things.

So I'm saying you can't do microtransactions for just one group and expect everyone to be happy. Thus I say don't do them at all. I like pets, I like having unique looks, I wouldn't want to pay extra for those. You don't want to pay money for gear, I don't wanna pay money for pets and cosmetic clothing options.

So please, no tricks, let's just do a straight monthly fee and avoid the polarizing controversy of MT.


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Old 03-18-2010, 07:14 PM   #7
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Well who knows if TOR will even have achievements (yes I know it probably will), or maybe any items you get with microtransactions won't be related to achievements. But maybe there won't be any microtransactions at all, from what he said though I do expect there to be something aside from a monthly fee.


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Old 03-18-2010, 07:23 PM   #8
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Technically WoW does have microtransactions, though hidden away in the form of Server Transfers and Race Changes and Character Recustomization. If you count those, I would be fine with TOR having those sorts of things you pay for, even if a sex change seems like it'd be too story-ruining(at least for romance) to allow as an option. But I'd be fine with the usual amenities from WoW that don't have a real effect in the game at all. Just no actual items in the game.


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Old 03-18-2010, 10:48 PM   #9
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I don't mind a few micro's(pets, decorations, costumes), I just don't want to see "premium members". I don't want to know that because Joe pays an extra 10 bucks a month, his character is always gonna be faster, stronger and better geared than everyone else.
This is also how I feel. I don't care if microtransactions only affect aesthetics.


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Old 03-18-2010, 11:19 PM   #10
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What if all statted gear looked like crap, but you could spend real money to upgrade their appearance to look like something cool? Would that be okay? It's pure aesthetics. Just buy an item that you use on your gear to change their appearance to something cool. Aesthetics are optional, we could wear tattered rags so long as they have great stats. *minor edit* (To clarify on my point there, raider-types and other non-casuals also like aesthetic/cosmetic stuff to an extent too. It ain't just the casuals who like to look neat.)

I really would prefer if they just didn't touch the MT stuff at all beyond my previous post's conceits of some of the stuff WoW has done.


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Old 03-19-2010, 08:38 AM   #11
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Please no "twists". Just give me a straight monthly fee, no tricks. I don't want microtransactions, MMOs that use that tend to not be traditional in scope(like Free Realms, a hard casual focus). I could accept paid race changes perhaps(like WoW), but I don't want anything involving game items bought for real money.

Unless of course these twists are intended to confound the efforts of goldfarmers, in which case I'd have to see what they have planned so I can properly judge.
I agree, I don't mind the montly/yearly fee, but I CAN'T STAND when companies make me pay extra for in-game items. It's one thing if it's a free game and then they make you pay real money for certain items (like DDO) but I really hope that ToR doesn't do anything except a normal monthly fee.


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Old 03-19-2010, 10:57 AM   #12
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Hey,
Im new to mmos so bear with me.

I was thinking if they had a monthy fee but it cost less if you are limited to one character. If you want 2 it cost blank. Then it cost blank for unlimited characters.

I dont know if most people have only one character in these or a few.

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Old 03-19-2010, 11:00 AM   #13
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FFXI kinda has that. The monthly fee is only like 12.99 by default with just one character. Each additional character is another $1 a month added to your monthly fee. It helps that in FFXI, you can be all classes on a single character, so you don't even have to make other characters.


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Old 03-19-2010, 11:16 AM   #14
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True, but here they could gain 7 extra dollars a month if person make one character per class unless they pay the monthy that gives unlimite which would give you a savings like when you buy bulk items in a real life store.

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Old 03-19-2010, 11:21 AM   #15
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Now that I think about it, I have a new theory that BioWare could potentially do as a twist on pricing. I'm not one of them "We need a KotOR3 instead of TOR!!!" fanboys, but imagine if you can buy the base game and play through the game like a single-player game with no other players for just the price of the base game, no monthly fee. But to get the periodic content updates and bugfixes and group play that are common to MMOs, you'd have to subscribe up and pay the monthly fee? That could be a "twist" that would appease the single-player crowd. Plus curiosity may even tempt them to go for the full subscription plan and play the MMO part of the game. Hell, that could be the entire basis of free trials for the game(though more limited, like a traditional single player game demo, ie just being able to play the starting world for trials).

I would also suggest possibly limiting you to playing only a single class if you don't subscribe up, unlocking the option to play multiple classes via going the monthly fee route. Either way, I think it's a neat twist of a suggestion.


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Old 03-19-2010, 11:41 AM   #16
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Interesting, but they want to help merge and hold the hands of single players and mmo vets to get each use to and interested in the aspects of both. There will be a monthy fee no matter, it they did not have this TOR would fail, and lose a lot of money. Im sure they are looking to retain as many players as possible, through opional fee systems. Bioware was a good amount of leway since EA has already put so much money in,...EA is trusting Bioware and thier track record.

it will be interesting....

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Old 03-19-2010, 11:46 AM   #17
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I imagine a lot of single player TOR players would get curious about the MMO part of the game eventually though, wanting to check out those sweet content updates the game gets after launch. Other MMOs have experimented with limited trial options, and one way for TOR to do it is to deliver on the RPG and get people to subscribe for all the perks of the MMO. Bridging the gap between MMO and RPG.

I personally would still play TOR as an MMO from day 1, along with all the WoW players who come over, and pretty much anyone who's ever played an MMORPG for any period of time. TOR wouldn't fail with the option I say. But I'm just thinking of Twists on pricing, and since I hate Microtransactions, I see this kind of bridge as another option.


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Old 03-19-2010, 12:03 PM   #18
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I understand your point.

One idea they are looking into i bet is pre order TOR and get some bonus..etc since this has been used in other bioware games. What this could be i do not know.

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Old 03-20-2010, 01:42 AM   #19
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I oppose the pets/decorations/costumes too though, because casuals love that stuff, I love them, and I don't want to pay extra for them. They're no big deal to gear-oriented players, but they are a big deal to the casual types. If you let the casual stuff be buyable, you better let gear be buyable too. You can't just advocate microtransactions for the stuff you don't care about.
Actually, I think I can advocate for anything to be, or not be. My only stipulation is that anything you can buy can also be achieved through gameplay. Sure, in theory I'd be fine with everything you can do in the game to be also buyable, but I know this would make the game unfun.

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Why not statted items? It'd be like legendaries in WoW, eventually you'd outlevel them and have to get more, so the effect had is minimal. Pets have an effect for some people. Like the Blizzard Game Store pets, those count towards the pet achievements, which is an in-game advantage for achievement hunters. Maybe I don't care about where the top level raiders get their gear, be it from super hard mode raids or from just buying them. Whatever floats their boats, it doesn't affect me. If raiders could buy gear, it'd trivialize the achievement of getting gear from bosses, which I feel similarly about pets and other cosmetic things.
In many games, the "achievement" of getting gear is idiotic. Try a Korean MMO sometime. You think running Naxx 10 times over(successfuly, not counting the hundreds of fail raids) is bad? You can farm whole raids in some korean games a thousand times and NEVER get a good drop. WoW practically gives gear away in comparison.

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So I'm saying you can't do microtransactions for just one group and expect everyone to be happy. Thus I say don't do them at all. I like pets, I like having unique looks, I wouldn't want to pay extra for those. You don't want to pay money for gear, I don't wanna pay money for pets and cosmetic clothing options.
Not doing them at all will equally not leave everyone happy. Having a micro-trans option does not force you to use it. So I say: you don't want it? Don't buy it. Play the game normally.

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So please, no tricks, let's just do a straight monthly fee and avoid the polarizing controversy of MT.
It's strange that the United States(and to a lesser extent, Canada and Europe), is the only place where this controversy and objection to MTs exists. Everywhere else has them, and doesn't mind.

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Well who knows if TOR will even have achievements (yes I know it probably will),
They do seem to be the new "flavor of the month" when it comes to gaming. I think achievements are pointless and only a new way for gamers with no life to show off their e-peen.

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Technically WoW does have microtransactions, though hidden away in the form of Server Transfers and Race Changes and Character Recustomization. If you count those, I would be fine with TOR having those sorts of things you pay for, even if a sex change seems like it'd be too story-ruining(at least for romance) to allow as an option. But I'd be fine with the usual amenities from WoW that don't have a real effect in the game at all. Just no actual items in the game.
We are each playing our own stories from what I can tell, much like Guild Wars, and only certain aspects are Massively Multiplayer. So changing something within your own story is relevant only to yourself.

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What if all statted gear looked like crap, but you could spend real money to upgrade their appearance to look like something cool? Would that be okay? It's pure aesthetics. Just buy an item that you use on your gear to change their appearance to something cool. Aesthetics are optional, we could wear tattered rags so long as they have great stats. *minor edit* (To clarify on my point there, raider-types and other non-casuals also like aesthetic/cosmetic stuff to an extent too. It ain't just the casuals who like to look neat.)

I really would prefer if they just didn't touch the MT stuff at all beyond my previous post's conceits of some of the stuff WoW has done.
No MMO would do that. Why? Because it knows the first thing people are going to do is buy the game. The second thing they're going to do is spend a gawd-awful amount of time installing it, signing up, registering, playing with races/looks/ect...and then they're going to play it.

At no point in that equation does "I want to pay more money to look cooler" come into play. If it did, it would kill the game outright in an instant.


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Old 03-20-2010, 04:49 AM   #20
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Most of the Western MMO audience is opposed to Microtransactions. That same Western audience is also the one where monthly fees are well-established. Eastern MMOs may be fine with microtransactions, but they also don't have monthly fee, preferring instead things like "pay as you play" options.

Champions Online tried having both a monthly fee and microtransactions, it ended up pissing off a lot of people. I would think BioWare would've learned a thing or 2 from the backlash of Champions Online doing a mix of both.


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Old 03-20-2010, 06:49 PM   #21
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Most of the Western MMO audience is opposed to Microtransactions. That same Western audience is also the one where monthly fees are well-established. Eastern MMOs may be fine with microtransactions, but they also don't have monthly fee, preferring instead things like "pay as you play" options.
Many "eastern" MMOs have monthly fees in addition to MTs.

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Champions Online tried having both a monthly fee and microtransactions, it ended up pissing off a lot of people. I would think BioWare would've learned a thing or 2 from the backlash of Champions Online doing a mix of both.
Fees and Microtrans did not piss of Champions players. A horridly buggy game combind with bad support from developers paired with unbalanced gameplay, huge content holes, and many of the achievements being grindfests(kill 10,000 of X to get "special helmet"!) are what pissed people off.

Most Champions players don't give two cents about there being a monthly fee and microtrans. They are pissed because they game was terrible and support was nonexistant. I should know, I play CO.


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Old 03-20-2010, 06:54 PM   #22
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Well a lot of potential CO players got angry at the mix of monthly fees and micros. The reason the current CO players don't care is because all the ones who cared quit early on. And either way on the Asian thing, they're more receptive to micros there, but not here. Maybe BioWare can do micros for the Asian-located subscribers, but it doesn't fly in the West. It's hard to name a single mainstream MMO that is popular in the West and also uses micros. FreeRealms is the biggest, with millions of players, but it's still considered a niche casual thing by the regular MMO-ers.


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Old 03-20-2010, 08:24 PM   #23
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Well a lot of potential CO players got angry at the mix of monthly fees and micros. The reason the current CO players don't care is because all the ones who cared quit early on. And either way on the Asian thing, they're more receptive to micros there, but not here. Maybe BioWare can do micros for the Asian-located subscribers, but it doesn't fly in the West. It's hard to name a single mainstream MMO that is popular in the West and also uses micros. FreeRealms is the biggest, with millions of players, but it's still considered a niche casual thing by the regular MMO-ers.
I think D&D Online recently went free-to-play with micros, but I don't know how popular it's become aside from hearing it's doing better than it was w/ a subscription. So I don't think you can say they don't "fly" in the West, most games have just not attempted them (1 example of Champions isn't enough to say they don't work here). I think it also depends on the playerbase, an older (25+) group probably doesn't care either way as a lot of them are in the disposable income group, but micros would probably make it harder for players still in high school and stuff.


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Old 03-21-2010, 12:11 PM   #24
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I don't mind a few micro's(pets, decorations, costumes), I just don't want to see "premium members". I don't want to know that because Joe pays an extra 10 bucks a month, his character is always gonna be faster, stronger and better geared than everyone else.
This.

The monthly fee plus the Micro-transactions for, hopefully, just aesthetic stuff means more money for the developers. This hopefully means more employees, more moderators, more programmers, and so on. If it does well, it can equal more content, more patches, and greater support of the game.

Sure, go ahead. Maybe if some of the stuff is neat enough I'll grab a few things. As long as it, as Web said, doesn't unbalance the game through purchases.

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Champions Online tried having both a monthly fee and microtransactions, it ended up pissing off a lot of people. I would think BioWare would've learned a thing or 2 from the backlash of Champions Online doing a mix of both.
Having played CO, I can say with some backing that the micro transactions were a very small thing off with the game compared to the sea of issues. Like, say, a good game outside of the character creator (which is, admittedly, awesome).

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Well a lot of potential CO players got angry at the mix of monthly fees and micros. The reason the current CO players don't care is because all the ones who cared quit early on.
http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...nd-effect.html

CO started off bad because people realized when it opened that it was just a slightly shiner, buggier City of Heroes with little to no end-game support, grind-tastic missions, and some seriously unbalanced multi-player.

The game is fun, but it just isn't that good.

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Originally Posted by RogueJedi86
Maybe BioWare can do micros for the Asian-located subscribers, but it doesn't fly in the West. It's hard to name a single mainstream MMO that is popular in the West and also uses micros.
D&D Online and World of Warcraft.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:30 PM   #25
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Don't know if its just me but Its been so long and we've had so little real info that I really don't care about any updates or news now... I've completely lost interest. The website is all about Fan Friday, crap comics and 20,000 posts a second (So you cant really discuss anything).

How I pay for it is the least of my worries, as I don't see any information on whether its even a game I'll enjoy lol.


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Old 03-21-2010, 01:11 PM   #26
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Yeah, the official forums really are too big for their own good. Unless you want to "live" there, it's hard to keep track of things. Hopefully we will get some big reveals at E3 this year, since they apparently aren't going to PAX East this week.


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Old 03-21-2010, 02:05 PM   #27
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D&D Online and World of Warcraft.
D&D is free to play. Make TOR free to play and then maybe I'll entertain the micro market for it.

WoW only recently added purchasable in-game items, and I'm opposed to it there too. WoW only did it in a very small way with 2 or 3 items, and I still don't like it because all the other MMOs could copycat that, plus the inevitable "slippery slope" on where it stops from there. I'm fine with WoW's "macrotransactions", of paid server transfers and race changes and stuff like that though, because those are no big deal and don't give any real advantages at all, even for casuals who love pets.

Would it really be that bad for y'all to just not have micros at all? Why end this battle in a compromise when the war hasn't even started?


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Old 04-15-2010, 09:57 PM   #28
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I'm not too familiar with pets in MMOs, since I haven't played an MMO before, but my general understanding was that they were actually used in the game and served more than cosmetic purposes. For example if you had a hunter or ranger class they could use a pet to track down a target or hunt.

I don't think this would work so much in TOR, primarily because there really aren't any pets associated with any of the classes that would make much sense. I suppose they could use droids as pets instead, but I don't think that's necessary because of the companion characters already kind of filling that role as a supplement to the PC's skillset.


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Old 04-15-2010, 10:23 PM   #29
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Star Trek Online (which I currently play) is from publisher Cryptic and seems to be doing fairly well with the monthly fee + microtransactions. The game itself has its downfalls but that is neither here nor there.

The microtransactions that Cryptic has offered so far for STO have been things like ship variants, playable races, extra character slots, character respec, and ship bridge variations. I personally don't really have a problem with it at all. My feeling is if you desire those things then you spend the 6.25, 12.50 etc...for the necessary Cryptic points to purchase them. If you don't care, you don't spend the money.

Reality is that many companies in the gaming industry are moving toward this type of thing to make extra money from their titles. Reality is also that enough gamers have been and are willing to pay for such things otherwise things like the Xbox Live Marketplace would never have gotten off the ground. Sorry to say it folks, but it's the way the industry is moving...you can either deal with it or not...


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Old 04-15-2010, 11:00 PM   #30
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I think being able to buy cool things kind of cheapens the experience of earning them through gameplay, but at the same time I don't really care. My experience won't be cheapened if I choose to not buy anything.


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Old 04-16-2010, 12:45 PM   #31
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I hate that spending my $15 a month for the game doesn't ensure I can get all items. I pay my $15 to keep the game afloat, but then they release items I have to pay extra to get. If they're going to start charging you extra for items, they better lower or remove the monthly fee, since obviously that monthly fee just ain't cutting it for them.


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Old 04-16-2010, 11:43 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueJedi86 View Post
If they're going to start charging you extra for items, they better lower or remove the monthly fee, since obviously that monthly fee just ain't cutting it for them.
Good luck with that...see my post above regarding the Xbox Live Marketplace. microtransactions have proven successful and are becoming the business model for many gaming companies. Paid DLC and and what not are not going away any time soon.


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Old 04-17-2010, 11:06 AM   #33
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And the vast majority of subscription-based MMO customers don't want the addition of RMT, no matter how profitable it may be for the company. If we wanted to play some game where your income determines your game quality, we'd be playing one of those games like FreeRealms. There's a reason we choose to play the subscription-based MMOs.


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Old 04-17-2010, 06:39 PM   #34
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Well..I will say this, I don't know about the "vast majority" that you speak of, but I have no problem with microtransactions. If EA/Bioware wants to toss in costumes, or races or whatever then so be it, it won't bother me one bit.


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Old 04-17-2010, 06:44 PM   #35
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And why stop at costumes and other cosmetic stuff? A buck is a buck, why not sell end-game loot there too? Are you going to say some things are okay to sell but not others? Sure clothing may not be a big deal to you, but it may be a big deal to others. Those others may not care about gear with stats and would be fine with those being sold instead. Who's to say which things should be sellable for real money and which shouldn't? It much better to leave it all alone instead of opening that can of worms and specifying which items don't matter enough to you to be sold for money but not other items that you'd actually want.


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Old 04-17-2010, 06:54 PM   #36
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Yes, I am saying some things are okay and not others. Cosmetic items do not unbalance game play whereas powerful weapons, armor, etc..can and would do so. I would offer up Star Trek Online as an example once again. Cryptics offerings for STO have been limited to the items I mentioned in my other post. (races, respecs, character slots,) They are not offering anything that would unbalance the game play.

Well..to be honest it's up to Bioware what they choose to offer and what they do not. So, to answer the question of who is to say which things are and aren't sellable...the game publisher is.

My opinion is my opinion and of course I respect your opposite stance, I was simply stating my stance on the issue. I think you and I may just have to agree to disagree on this issue RJ


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Old 04-17-2010, 07:29 PM   #37
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If anyone can do the dungeons and loot the items too, it's not unbalanced is it? Either spend $20 and buy it, or do the dungeon and loot it. I'm using hyperbole to justify purchasable loot items because I don't approve of any purchasing.

I'm a pet and clothing fiend and such. I may play an MMO 12 hours in a day, but I'll spend a lot of it goofing off. I love being able to customize my look down to the tiniest detail, and having to spend extra for that does not please me.

What advantages do the companies get from RMT? If they're a successful MMO like WoW they'll be surviving off the monthly fees alone just fine. If they're a failing MMO, then they could probably try it(like SWG has done with the card game). If TOR succeeds like we/they hope it will, I'd hope it can just use the large amount of monthly fees it'll be getting.

Also, STO uses RMT, and STO also isn't very popular. MMOs that use RMT remain a niche thing that mainstream MMOers don't play, even if the game is technically very successful like FreeRealms. FreeRealms may have 10 million players, but it never gets mentioned in the same breath as WoW when it comes to successful MMOs.


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Old 04-17-2010, 10:39 PM   #38
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The RMT sadly is not the reason for STO's unpopularity...STO has other issues, gameplay, content, and whatnot. I play it because I enjoy it and the guild I play with.

Even Blizzard is starting to roll out some RMT stuff. There is a pet store that offers in game pets and even a mount. They've done other things as well with transfers and recharacterization (i.e. gender changes).

At any rate I suspect we'll just have to wait and see what Bioware decides to do. I would imagine the subscription will probably be the standard $15 and maybe some options for longer subscription terms...3 months, 6 months and whatnot.


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Old 04-18-2010, 01:53 AM   #39
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If they have microtransactions, so be it. Think of it this way, if it's content you don't want, you're not paying for it as part of your regular monthly fee, at least.

As long as the microtransactions (which is what I'm assuming is probably one of their 'little twists') only involve costume changes/minipets/different skins of armor-outfits-weapons-ships-whatever/larger house, and it has no influence whatsoever on game play stats, I'm fine with it.


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Old 04-18-2010, 02:51 PM   #40
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I want all the content though. I'll raid a dungeon and then put on a nice outfit and walk around town with my pets. Why can't they sell statted gear with MT too? It has no impact on the gameplay of the minipet/costume fiends. You're assuming your gameplay area is more important than other people's, and that as a result it's fine to charge them extra for stuff they like and not you. That's hardly fair.

Plus casuals are more likely to play the game in the longterm than raiders who leave the second they get bored of a lack of new content. I'd say start MTing the raiders instead, since they'll be around for a lot less time than the casuals. Better to get more money out of the people who will be there less than the ones who will be there for the long run.

Like the SWG types who love crafting will stay long after the dungeon-runners quit, content in creating and maintaining their economic empire in the game. And a lot of them are upset that many new items(like buildings/houses and outfits and pets) are only attainable through the card game and not via recipes that they so desperately need after years of nothing new. When you make things attainable only via a method that requires real money, you piss off the people who've been around for years working their damndest. At the least make the items easily attainable in-game as well. Buy it from the store for $10, or in the game for 500 gold.


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