haven’t read it yet. Just found out, oh I’m glad. The way it was marketed was daft – well done SOE on rethinking it.
(I have read it now). Well, there goes another one of those cosmic thingies, or rather two of them!
A short while ago, I remembered I had an SOE all access pass and since I’m mostly playing two SOE games and have been very tempted recently to sub, I checked it out. It’s still there. So I subbed. I only have Vanguard and EQ2 on it, which is fine because that’s what I play. I cannot add any other games without joining ProSiebenSat – oh well. Too bad. That devalues the all access pass somewhat, but I’m not doing that. Then, I played a bit as a now supposedly much wanted gold/full member on both games for a while. I hated it.
The full games are nice, but I don’t like being held to ransom for them. I also very much didn’t like not waking up in the morning with an open horizon for gaming time- “what shall I play? who shall I be?” No, instead I start the play session with “I payed for x, must play x.” That sense of “oh – no choice” dimishes the expectation hugely and made my days poorer. I didn’t look forward to the end of the day anywhere near as much. Subs make gaming dreary. (even when I’m actually enjoying the games!) …And SOE still throw lockboxes at you, and the SC allowance is nothing exciting. I just didn’t like it at all. So I unsubbed. About 3 days later. The thing will still run it’s month and I’ll use it more than I want to. Bleh. But after that I’m free again!
So then, cosmic cosmic – I find out ProSiebenSat7 was hacked, and boom SOE improve their f2p. I am cosmic Av! . I should maybe stay home under the bed for a week or two. (I also was going on about credit unions and people shifting their money to them two days before NatWest customers’ IT went down). Lot of coincidences lately. Or maybe the chat on the bus is even more current than I already know it is. Back to games…
One thing that I’m noticing is how uncomfortable the mainstream games make you feel. I can’t name one where I actually feel comfortable – it’s all nag, nag, nag either to spend or log in or join a guild or PvP or blabla. The independent games I’m trying out make that even more apparent. It’s quite clear that the Indies step out to welcome you and draw you in. It’s just a whole different outlook and far more enjoyable.
SOE’s new f2p is actually a little more like that. A little more welcoming. Can try all the classes, will not struggle for bag space or have to delete quests. It’s good. Not totally there, but good. Maybe even good enough. I do think though that the 2 character limit is silly – people will just make extra accounts. There is also no doubt in my mind that the unlocks on the weapons are annoying, they feel wrong on about 100 levels. Even though you are f2p you earned that Ubersword of Ubernessby slaying something mighty, it doesn’t feel right to then need to pay to use it. Or… You already payed for subs, expansions, cash shop items, but log in after an absence and find your gear is now being held at ransom. Nah. It might just be a feely-weely thing, or it might (I suspect) just be one monetisation too far. Monetizing for the sake of it. The AA sliders – another one. Errr, they seem more a personal choice/customisation thing to me and naturally part of the base game. I think they could still adjust those 3 things because:
The money! Is to be gained from skins, mounts, houses! House items. I’m not as excited about housing in Vanguard, but nobody gets even close to EQ2 for great housing, and it’s so perfect for cash shop sales. I want drapes!! They have a complete and functioning gold mine there, and that’s just the houses. Their cash shop is now even better with player-made items being added and if I was them that’s where I’d concentrate my efforts using all the stuff in the above paragraph to draw people in. They actually have a very nice cash shop. Prices still on the high side, but a pleasure to browse through and treat yourself now and again. Cash Shopin in EQ2, in fact, is a very enjoyable aspect of the game. Not many can say that!
But that’s maybe too simple a model for those clever marketeers eh 🙂 EQNext is coming – some goodwill from a happy playerbase is also a very good move. Keep it coming SOE, right now, I’m very almost a happy customer.
All in all I’m glad they did this. I hope it works out for them and brings in lots of extra players and money – so that they’re encouraged to keep making people welcome in their game and less tempted to try and force sales by gimping the experience.