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The Secret World officially abolishes subscriptions


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Yeah. Imo Lifetime in Lotro that gave long years of free sub in pay-to-play game was something that won't happen again. I mean there surely will be lifetimes offered, but imho all games that offer lifetime subsciptions will go freemium in max 12 months. Mmorpg's are after all about continuous payment from companies point of view. Lifetime sub is something that is totally opposite.

STO in example went freemium very fast and also sold lifetimes.

TSW had lifetime and unlimited by any means (like limited time or pre-order offers) lifetime + cash shop. It was destined to go freemium.

I am just surpised that it was 5 months only. I was expecting something like a year or so.

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What's this? A F2P model that actually offers something to subscribers?

Sounds like the right way to segue into a F2P model to me. It seems quite similar to the GW2 B2P model, but with an optional sub to 'future-proof' your game and to get big piles of goodies.

It keeps the purchase of the original box essential. Good. I think that's a monumental error in all other F2P models. Mostly because you have to retain at least some barrier to play, otherwise you open your doors to an army of players who have nothing invested in your game, and no interest in it either beyond idle curiosity.

It also keeps subs relevant, and dare I say, preferred. You might get to play for free, but by subbing you get more than the paltry allocation of store points you get elsewhere - you actually get stuff. Some of it could be called advantage, sure, but a sub is the right place to put advantages. By tying advantage to a sub instead of a store, you not only place that advantage out of reach of people with no interest in committing to your game, you also make the sub more attractive and players will be more likely to subscribe. People will see the advantage of subscribing and will want to subscribe to get the benefits, rather than subscribe and wonder why they are bothering when it doesn't get them anything worthwhile. It's a two-tier system similar to what is offered in Champions Online, where subscriber is the preferred status and the only other thing subscribers are asked to pay for is pointless tat.

I'm hopeful this will lead to greater success for TSW - it deserves more than it's gotten so far. It's quite a breathtakingly good game, and so different in feel to other MMOs out there. I'm also hopeful because if it turns itself around we might actually see more research done into how to make F2P systems more palatable to all players. If that happens we can be guaranteed a greater variety in F2P systems beyond the smash and grab mentality of Turbine, which is regrettably spreading like wildfire.

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I mentioned this was so likely back on the main board for the game and got a ton of flack from ppl for saying it. Now I can officially go back and say I told you so, suckers. Just like LOTRO....so glad I didn't jump on board that game, just did some beta testing.

It looks like I shouldn't have bought that Grandmaster pack (Lifetime sub) before the game even launched.

I hear ya brother!!

I wish more ppl had listened to my semi-rants in those forums warning about this obvious-to-me direction they were going. The fact you couldn't get a clear response from them on those issues should have been sufficient warning to all about their actual plans.

Granted, it is nice to see the sub go away since they have the store, at least now it's more honest and proper treatment of customers about what they wanted to do all along, which was use a store based game model similar GW2. I do hope they get it right, but I'm not holding my breath. Current companies seem to be going that way with the only exception seeming to be GW2.

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drul, If that happens, then TSW's B2P business model will have failed, and their store will immediately become rubbish, just like all the others. I thought my opinions on that matter were implicitly stated in my previous post, but I do apologise if they weren't. If TSW's model fails, it will be a shame.

It's a good thing that different games are trying different models. Different models means different strategies, and not all of those strategies will default into dickish stores run by dicks. Of all the models we have seen, a B2P model that favours subscribers is at the very least less likely to be run dickishly. Which is why I hope TSW succeeds using this model. Because if it does, then more games will follow suit and hop on the bandwagon of undickish stores. The more undickish stores that flourish, the less room there will be in the market for dickish stores to prosper, and so Turbine's gouge-happy model invented by dicks will be finished.

With that in mind, we should all be rooting for TSW's success.

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Sorry Hajile. I did not mean to be trying to undermind your post or opinion. Well it is not bad to try new models - that's alright. I just personally don't believe that Funcom will be able to resist to continuesly expand cash shop to help their revenue in their Buy2Freemium model.

Guess wel'll see how this pan out.

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Sorry Hajile. I did not mean to be trying to undermind your post or opinion. Well it is not bad to try new models - that's alright. I just personally don't believe that Funcom will be able to resist to continuesly expand cash shop to help their revenue in their Buy2Freemium model.

Guess wel'll see how this pan out.

No problem, mate! :)

We shall see what the future holds for TSW. Their model looks a bit more promising than the ones we have seen in the past, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed it works out for them.

Top notch game, too.

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The really irksome part, is that points expire. It's like telling ppl that the gift card they misplaced around christmas time but found now has no value anymore (By the way, no longer legal in Canada, it's considered robbery). Money (lifetime) has been taken in by FC, but your value is no longer recognized, if you try to save your points up, too bad. That almost guarantees that store items are going to be VERY highly priced.

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With that in mind, we should all be rooting for TSW's success.

True. I still hope for TSW to succeed, if only for two things:

1) I paid $250 before the game even launched to preorder it and the GM pack.

2) I named it "MMO of the Year 2012" just a couple of days ago on my podcast.

Obviously, I'd like it to succeed because it is a fun game in a unique setting, with a unique playstyle to boot. I know suddenly a few of my friends in GW2, who laughed at TSW when I showed it off at our last Guild Party, are suddenly thinking of buying a copy and giving it a try. It seems Subscriptions are the hurdle they cannot cross any longer, so B2P games are exactly what those types players are looking for (even if in the end they spend more money on B2P than they would with a subscription-only game).

The only thing I wish Funcom had done is give Grandmaster's like myself the option of requesting a refund on that GM pack purchase, should we want one. Funcom is giving 1200 Funcom Points to all players who bought the Initiate's Pack (which includes some nice bonus items), because that pack is being given for free to all who buy TSW before the end of the month. The GM pack now provides what Subscribers get, plus an addition 10% off Store items, and both of these benefits can be stripped off of an account. So it should not be that difficult to refund GMs a number of Funcom Points equal to $200 (24,000 FP), although a cash refund should also be allowed. Of course Funcom will fight a cash refund to the bitter end, and it would damage the game significantly to lose that money if all GM demanded a cash refund, but we should be given that option.

I for one am okay with staying a GM right now. I'm not happy about the change, mostly because I don't like that Funcom sprung this on us without any warning. It comes off as sneaky and underhanded, and was frankly a kick in the balls to GMs. If the game had made it over a year, then I would say "Okay, we got our money's worth out of that GM purchase", but that isn't what happened. Our GM purchase helped buoy the game in the early days when they missed their sales targets, and kept the game afloat. And after 5 months, how is that investment rewarded? An additional 10% off in the TSW Store?

Want to know how many things I have bought on the TSW Store thus far? Nothing. Why? Because the prices were too high to make it worthwhile. I did consider buying a Leet pet (Anarchy Online players know what that is), but the price was way too high for a per-character purchase, so I decided to keep my credit card in my wallet. Now I'll be getting 1200 Funcom Points per month, most of which will be spent buying the monthly content updates (which all players have to purchase), starting with the February update (January's is unlocked for all who own the game prior to the end of the year). Yay.

I looked over the TSW Store this morning, and it is exactly what I saw before: Cosmetics, Pets, with a couple of new Perks (XP Boosts and Run-speed Boosts), all of which were too expensive in my view. With my 20% off, simple character titles are now only 96FP, which wouldn't be bad if it were account-wide, but at a per-character purchase it is unacceptable. I'm not paying almost a dollar to put the title "Offline" on a character, sorry.

What I see is Funcom has been very evasive in how much future Issues (DLC) will cost. January's is valued at $5 right now (although current players get it for free), but what will February's be priced at? Funcom says the prices will vary based on how much they include, and I can see that, but will they always cost less in FP than what Subscribers and GMs get as our monthly stipend? Because I can easily see Funcom creeping those prices up and up and up, until soon those 1200 FP a month aren't enough to get the monthly content we were promised we'd get for free as part of our subscription/lifetime account.

Again, I hope Funcom sticks to a B2P model with optional Subscription, and I hope they keep that Subscription meaningful. But I can't help but fear things are going to get bad, Turbine-bad, in relatively short order. I suppose that is probably because every single game I have a Lifetime subscription has gone to some form of F2P model, and that Funcom seems rather strapped for cash right now, so a Turbine-like turn seems almost pre-ordained, but I could be wrong.

So if you haven't bought TSW, it is only $30 right now, with no subscription anymore, so now's the time to join the game! Just keep telling yourself "They aren't Turbine, they aren't Turbine!", and you'll be fine!

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The really irksome part, is that points expire. It's like telling ppl that the gift card they misplaced around christmas time but found now has no value anymore (By the way, no longer legal in Canada, it's considered robbery). Money (lifetime) has been taken in by FC, but your value is no longer recognized, if you try to save your points up, too bad. That almost guarantees that store items are going to be VERY highly priced.

Wait, WHAT?! Funcom Points expire? I did not know this, how long are they good for?

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What I see is Funcom has been very evasive in how much future Issues (DLC) will cost. January's is valued at $5 right now (although current players get it for free), but what will February's be priced at? Funcom says the prices will vary based on how much they include, and I can see that, but will they always cost less in FP than what Subscribers and GMs get as our monthly stipend? Because I can easily see Funcom creeping those prices up and up and up, until soon those 1200 FP a month aren't enough to get the monthly content we were promised we'd get for free as part of our subscription/lifetime account.

I would not worry that much about DLC prices althrough imo they will be more than 5$ for sure for most of them.

Cash Shop will be gradually but consistently expanded. After all game companies don't want you to to fund whole game game with your LT account and want / need to players that subscibe spend more money than just subsciption to even out those players that will just buy box and not spend a dime more. Remember no company has a goal to earn less than before transition. Prefereably even more average per player. There are terms for those like ARPPU (Average Revenue Per Paying User) and other similar and those are used to measure revenue and as goals for developer / monetization teams working on a game.

Remember if each month in f2p/ freemium games only like 5-10% of people are paying and most of those games do not get 10-20x more players than before transition from p2p then math is really simple. In example Lotro atm have around 2x times more logins per hour than before transition. Now let's say that 10% of players (which is generous) pays each month. Let's say that 30% of p2p players were lifetimers. (which is insane, propably not more than 10%).

That still require ARPPU in freemium to be more than 3x higher than in p2p game (subsciption+expansion price every 12-18 month which would total to something like 14-18$ depending on how much people sub for long-term cheaper per month subs and how often expansions release and how expensive they are ) just to be even.

Now of course they want higher revenue and need to pay investments made to prepare freemium / f2p / b2f, etc models. Average paying user in Lotro propably have to pay over 40$ per month for them to break even with p2p. Since most paying user don't want / can't spend that much - it require whales spending dozens upon dozens and hundreads of dollars.

That's why cash shop have to be expanded alot and game monetized alot. If you get "stipend" for LT / subs then you need to monetize game even more because for people using "free" points to buy things you don't get extra revenue.

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Wait, WHAT?! Funcom Points expire? I did not know this, how long are they good for?

As far as I can see Funcom points do not expire, but I could be wrong I suppose. If there is something that states the contrary I'd be interested in a link to read up on it myself.

Apparently it's the bonus points that people were awarded for beta testing etc that expire. Those are held separate from your Funcom points though.

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Wait, WHAT?! Funcom Points expire? I did not know this, how long are they good for?

according to the FAQ here

http://forums.thesec...ead.php?t=62789

points are good for 6 months.

]

For those dedicated to the game there is an optional Membership available which also includes some great items and services:
  • 'The Time Accelerator'. This clickable item increases experience gain for defeating monsters by 100% for 1 hour and has a 16 hour cool-down. This item can only be used by Members and Grand Masters.
  • $10 worth of Bonus Points given out every month which can be used towards any product in the Item Store of The Secret World (bonus points are valid for 6 months).
  • Membership Item-of-the-month gift (given out every month).
  • 10% discount to everything in the Item Store except Content Packs or other Packs (discounts to the Item Store do not stack with other offers).

i bolded the pertinent bit

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Ironically, I was planning on trying out TSW's free trial, but things got too busy at work and I ended up losing a few weekends. Now it's no longer available. No free trial means no sale as far as I'm concerned.

I respect the whole B2P model, but the original GW taught me that investing up-front in these things is very risky. I'm quite certain that I never got my money's worth from that particular purchase. I much prefer "unlimited trial" models, like LOTRO, AoC, EQ2, etc. If I like the game (and the company), I'll invest the money.

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  • 2 months later...

I went out and bought TSW last week just take a little break from GW2.

I really can't see any improvement since closed beta. The game at times is laggy as hell. It crashes, A LOT!! The combat system is still clunky. The crafting is pure shit. The character creation is lackluster at best.

I do really like the story, it's really right up my alley with the whole survival/horror genre. I will play it just like a console game, which in essence is exactly what it is. Once I'm done with the story I'll most likely be done with the game.

PvP doesn't interest me in the slightest in TSW because of the lag, the crashes, and the clunky combat system.

Another bright spot, the store doesn't seem intrusive or P2W at all.

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I never crash or lag at all on TSW, what server are you on?

Cerberus. Fresh install, nothing left of my beta install since I OSRIed a few months ago. I think the crashing has something to do with AERO since both TSW and LOTRO make you go to basic when they launch, but if you eliminate the LOTRO crashes due to ROI's launch bug, I can count on 1 hand how many times I've crashed in LOTRO. The lag, I have no idea what's causing that, the only time I lag in GW2 is when I'm surrounded by 100's of players in particularly nasty WvW battles, and then, everyone else is lagging too.

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