Free to play


Pathfinder Online


I certainly hope Paizo follows the free-to-play with an item shop model of Lord of the Rings Online.

Silver Crusade

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Turbines move from monthly to free-to-play. Killed the game for allot of long time player. It allowed new players coming in to the game a vary easy start if they had the money. Along with making it almost a requirement for casters of any kind to carry 100+ power pots. Then use them for every thing. So if you did not have allot of money there was a big difference in play styles. This is a good way to go for profits. A very bad way to go for even playing field for gamers. I rather pay a monthly fee.

I starting playing DDO on day one. I have see it go from a very good base. And then turn in to a game I don't feel like playing any more. The (Free-to-Play) model really killed the game for me.


calagnar wrote:

Turbines move from monthly to free-to-play. Killed the game for allot of long time player. It allowed new players coming in to the game a vary easy start if they had the money. Along with making it almost a requirement for casters of any kind to carry 100+ power pots. Then use them for every thing. So if you did not have allot of money there was a big difference in play styles. This is a good way to go for profits. A very bad way to go for even playing field for gamers. I rather pay a monthly fee.

I starting playing DDO on day one. I have see it go from a very good base. And then turn in to a game I don't feel like playing any more. The (Free-to-Play) model really killed the game for me.

The change significantly grew the player base and has made Turbine a lot of money. There was a bit of an adjustment with the old player base at first, but that all quickly smoothed out.

Further, I'm not sure where you're coming from with your commentary about power potions. My character uses lots of power, and I've very seldom used any power potions. You have to learn how to balance your power usage. Further, if you wanted more power potions, you don't need to buy them from the item shop... I don't know if you even can buy them from the item shop, I haven't checked... you just use in-game silver to buy them from a vendor. But I've never needed to even do that because you find so many on mobs in the game.

Further, since the Isengard update I believe all the power-centric classes now have ways to refill their own power using a skill.

The long and short of it is, you absolutely do *not* need to spend a single dime to be able to fully enjoy Lord of the Rings online. Heck, you even get awarded free Turbine Points just for playing. If you want to spend some money you can, and you get good value and good extras for your money.

So, the free-to-play model of Lord of the Rings online is win-win for everyone. The game gets more players, Turbine makes more money, and the players don't have to spend any money to fully enjoy the game, and if they want to, they get good value for that money.

I would by far prefer Paizo follows this model for Pathfinder Online. In fact, as much as I love Pathfinder, if they use a monthly fee model, or a model where the game is only free 'till a certain level, I won't be playing it.

Whereas if they use the afore-mentioned free-to-play model, not only will I be playing it, I'll even throw a couple bucks at it from time to time, which means they'd be making more money off me than they'd otherwise be making.

Dark Archive

I also hope that Pathfinder Online uses the free to play/pay for premium model that most MMOs are using these days.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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From the Pathfinder Online FAQ:

Will there be a cost to play Pathfinder Online?

We are planning a hybrid subscription/free-to-play model. Players will have the option to pay a flat monthly fee for complete access to all standard game features, or to play for free with certain restrictions, using microtransactions to access desired features and content on an a la carte basis. Pricing details have not yet been finalized.

Sczarni Goblin Squad Member

Vic Wertz wrote:

From the Pathfinder Online FAQ:

Will there be a cost to play Pathfinder Online?

We are planning a hybrid subscription/free-to-play model. Players will have the option to pay a flat monthly fee for complete access to all standard game features, or to play for free with certain restrictions, using microtransactions to access desired features and content on an a la carte basis. Pricing details have not yet been finalized.

So I can play my main character with full sub and microtransct my craft character!

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

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This game is dead before it lives if it is going to be free to play, or any variation there of.

Name one notable free to play mmo that continuously makes head lines? None! There are no free to play WOWs or free to play EVEs.

Free to play is another way to say, decent into mediocrity.
Free to play games survive, but they do not live.

Every single free to play game out there is infested with some kind of farmer trying to make real world money.

I am very disappointed.

Liberty's Edge

Triga wrote:

This game is dead before it lives if it is going to be free to play, or any variation there of.

Name one notable free to play mmo that continuously makes head lines? None! There are no free to play WOWs or free to play EVEs.

Free to play is another way to say, decent into mediocrity.
Free to play games survive, but they do not live.

Every single free to play game out there is infested with some kind of farmer trying to make real world money.

I am very disappointed.

Triga is right in one aspects. Every time you see a MMO going from montly to free-to-play the first thing that comes to mind is "s~!+... they have troubles"

Happened to Champions, happened to City of Heroes, happened to Age of Conan...

free-to-play and microtransactions is a good way for this mmorgs to still give something back, so its hard to see a Pathfinder MMORG as serious if you see it as "free-to-play", a mixed composition of subscriptions and micro-transactions could be the way to go, and I understand the reasons... you need a big player base to support so big investment... and Pathfinder while it has become a big name in roleplaying community... well the roleplaying community is not that BIG. And not every roleplayer will be immersed into this game (because they don't have a computer that will run it, or they don't like mmorgs, os they play already other mmorgs, etc), so they need to check all the options.

Goblin Squad Member

Triga wrote:

This game is dead before it lives if it is going to be free to play, or any variation there of.

Name one notable free to play mmo that continuously makes head lines? None! There are no free to play WOWs or free to play EVEs.

Free to play is another way to say, decent into mediocrity.
Free to play games survive, but they do not live.

Every single free to play game out there is infested with some kind of farmer trying to make real world money.

I am very disappointed.

DDO IMO is probably the best MMO I've played, paid or free, its model was fair (actually sounds alot like what they are planning for PFO, I don't recall a single gold spammer/seller/bot in the 7 months I played it. Yes there are alot of bad F2P MMOs, there are also a ton of terrible pay to play MMO's. Honestly WoW IMO is very overrated, but really there are so many MMO's out there, any MMO making head lines other then WoW or Eve is extremely unlikely. The only problem with the f2P MMO's, is that there are 10,000 of them out there, so finding the 5 or so decent ones isn't easy, but I would say runes of magic matches WoW in almost every aspect of quality.


I loved Guild Wars. I hated WoW for the monthly fee. I feel like once I purchase a game, I should be able to play it without having to pay for the privilege forever thereafter.

I'd be content with an offline version you can access without a monthly fee alongside an online version you can access with the fee.


Notable F2P MMO that makes headlines...Guild Wars 2 anyone? O.o

Goblin Squad Member

Randall Jhen wrote:
I loved Guild Wars. I hated WoW for the monthly fee. I feel like once I purchase a game, I should be able to play it without having to pay for the privilege forever thereafter.

Why do you feel like that? There are cost realities associated with the upkeep of an online game, not to mention the continued development that needs to go on in order to keep the customer base invested. Companies cannot survive without revenue.


A CR20 Seagull wrote:
Notable F2P MMO that makes headlines...Guild Wars 2 anyone? O.o

Guild wars 2 isn't going to be free to play it's going to be buy to play just like every game that isn't a mmo. I would much prefer that model to the one that DDO uses because after a certain point you run out of things to do in that game unless you want to sub.

Silver Crusade

Atari all but killed DDO due to the legal battle. Atari wanted to kill off DDO before NW MMO realized. They where more or less forced in to a free-to-play model. After they found out they could make more money from the FTP module turbine changed over LoTR to the same.

I don't know what server or how long you played DDO. After playing DDO for 4 years I can say there is a very large difference in the player base from before and after the FTP model. They reduced the difficulty of so many of the quest and raids for the new people coming in to the game. It lost all interest to me. There was no real challenge except how fast can i get to 20, or how fast can I level a TR 2 to 20.

I'm for a FTP model if.
1: They limiter what you can buy to modules, Ascetics(Like armor and weapon skins), Expanded Races, and Expanded Classes.
2: They do not sell in game items. (Any items that effect game play.)
3: They do not sell in game benefits. (Buffs, or other items that will make one character better for spending $XX.)

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

justsomebard wrote:
A CR20 Seagull wrote:
Notable F2P MMO that makes headlines...Guild Wars 2 anyone? O.o
Guild wars 2 isn't going to be free to play it's going to be buy to play just like every game that isn't a mmo. I would much prefer that model to the one that DDO uses because after a certain point you run out of things to do in that game unless you want to sub.

exactly, and also it dose not follow the open world that true MMOs follow. GuildWars is an online co-op rpg.

I just hope Paizo puts the development dollars and time into this game so it dose not fail, or stagnate.

Every free to play MMO I know of is like and untended garden. It still bears fruit, but only because the rotten fruit from last year dropped its seeds.

(edit)It also worries me because as of late there has been a growing discontent among the pc gaming community with developers releasing broken and unfinished games, and I think with a small company, and as a result a small name, if Paizo dose not get this right the first time out it will take a lot to come back from.

Big names can afford to piss people off and release crap games, they have some killer titles in their past to keep customers, Paizo dose not have that.

Goblin Squad Member

Some comments about Free To Play (F2P) / Microtransaction (MTX) games:

In the West, we're not seeing the kind of successes that pure F2P games have shown in the East. So far, the bulk of MMO revenues are coming from subscriptions, not microtransactions.

However, there have been several games that have done well with F2P/MTX business models. Runescape from Jagex is the canonical example. It has more than 5 million players, 1 million who pay to play.

On Facebook there are billions being made in MTX. There's a huge audience of people who are happy to use MTX to play those games and they're going to migrate out of Facebook to every other platform.

Turbine really blazed the path when they converted first Dungeons & Dragons Online then Lord of the Rings Online to a hybrid model. That transformation basically saved DDO, and it made Lord of the Rings start to grow after a long period of stagnation. The industry took note and there are a lot of companies who are working towards emulating this model.

It's hard to build MTX into a game that wasn't designed for it. If you do it wrong you sell too little to justify the effort, or make it so expensive to play that you turn off players. The balancing systems in most subscription based MMOs are derived from time sinks, not money sinks, so they tend to be very tricky to make work when you introduce MTX.

Our goal for Pathfinder Online is to build a game from the ground up where MTX "just makes sense", and the decision about being a subscriber or a MTX purchaser is one that people make as a preference as opposed to a strategic gameplay choice.

A few words about the economics of F2P/MTX as well.

In the subscription model, you define a fixed group of prospects who can be your customers and you define a fixed amount of revenue you can derive from those customers.

Anyone who could pay less than the subscription but not the subscription price is excluded.

Anyone who would like to pay more than the subscription price doesn't have a way to do so.

That creates two populations of prospects who are not well served by fixed-price subscriptions.

F2P/MTX means we can sell some game to the folks who can't spend the full subscription amount - a potentially very long tail. Getting even a bit of revenue from a long tail of customers can add up to big money, and having those players in the game makes the social experience richer for everyone - MMOs thrive when they're busy, and die when they're empty.

F2P/MTX means we can also offer stuff to people with money to burn so they can reward us for the hard work we do by giving us more of their money than the subscription limit. If you have the money, and the interest, in buying expensive items, we'd like to ring up that sale. We just have to ensure that you're not "buying win" - using real-world money to get an in-game advantage unavailable to subscribers.

Unlocking the revenue potential of these two types of customer adds value to the Pathfinder Online game and that makes it a better business.


Triga wrote:
justsomebard wrote:
A CR20 Seagull wrote:
Notable F2P MMO that makes headlines...Guild Wars 2 anyone? O.o
Guild wars 2 isn't going to be free to play it's going to be buy to play just like every game that isn't a mmo. I would much prefer that model to the one that DDO uses because after a certain point you run out of things to do in that game unless you want to sub.

exactly, and also it dose not follow the open world that true MMOs follow. GuildWars is an online co-op rpg.

I just hope Paizo puts the development dollars and time into this game so it dose not fail, or stagnate.

Every free to play MMO I know of is like and untended garden. It still bears fruit, but only because the rotten fruit from last year dropped its seeds.

(edit)It also worries me because as of late there has been a growing discontent among the pc gaming community with developers releasing broken and unfinished games, and I think with a small company, and as a result a small name, if Paizo dose not get this right the first time out it will take a lot to come back from.

Big names can afford to piss people off and release crap games, they have some killer titles in their past to keep customers, Paizo dose not have that.

for clarity's sake Guild Wars 2 will be persistent, and an open world just like WoW, which is a common misconception many make because it is Guild Wars' sequel. I will certainly try this game out but honestly I won't have much time outside of GW2


Ryan Dancey wrote:
We just have to ensure that you're not "buying win" - using real-world money to get an in-game advantage unavailable to subscribers.

Thanks for the explanation.

Could you say more about this point? Specifically, where would the line be drawn between MTX and "buying win?"

IMO, Blizzard recently crossed the line with its Guardian Cub--a vanity pet that they sell in the Blizzard store that can be sold to other players in game for gold. To me, being able to purchase game currency, directly or indirectly, unevens the playing field.

I'm not asking you to make any kind of statement about Blizzard, but I'm very interested in how you will define the line in PFO.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Hudax wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
We just have to ensure that you're not "buying win" - using real-world money to get an in-game advantage unavailable to subscribers.

Thanks for the explanation.

Could you say more about this point? Specifically, where would the line be drawn between MTX and "buying win?"

IMO, Blizzard recently crossed the line with its Guardian Cub--a vanity pet that they sell in the Blizzard store that can be sold to other players in game for gold. To me, being able to purchase game currency, directly or indirectly, unevens the playing field.

I'm not asking you to make any kind of statement about Blizzard, but I'm very interested in how you will define the line in PFO.

Some of the examples they've given are cosmetic options, i.e. clothing, or things that enhance the visual or role-playing aspect of the game without actually giving a mechanical advantage.

Usually such things are locked to your account, so you wouldn't be able to sell them to others for gold.

Goblin Squad Member

Hudax wrote:

Thanks for the explanation.

Could you say more about this point? Specifically, where would the line be drawn between MTX and "buying win?"

I don't want to speak for Mr. Dancey, but I think he's probably referring in large part to cosmetic items, as Count Buggula noted. It's also common for micro-transaction games to offer "mini-expansions" such as extra dungeons or even whole game world zones that can be unlocked by paying a small fee. Such offerings don't automatically make the character stronger in any way - at best, they provide the opportunity to play through additional content that may entail more powerful items (or whatever) once completed.

Quote:
IMO, Blizzard recently crossed the line with its Guardian Cub--a vanity pet that they sell in the Blizzard store that can be sold to other players in game for gold. To me, being able to purchase game currency, directly or indirectly, unevens the playing field.

I'd agree with you, if they were trading real in-game currency, but gold stopped being paramount to end-game WoW players years ago. Once you get to a certain point, the only things you have to buy with gold are more vanity items - mounts, pets, etc. In order to gain power as a character, you need non-gold currency like raid or PvP tokens.

Dark Archive

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I hope this is free to play, even if we have to buy the game to instal. For me this is a big deal since i don't get to play enough to justify a monthly fee, but I do go on gaming sprees on holidays


Another cosmetic enhancement could be character animations: e.g. when you try to hit instead of just slashing you do a complex move. Makes the character cool but not more powerful


Onishi wrote:

DDO IMO is probably the best MMO I've played,...

Personally I think DDO was just another childish cookie-cutter MMORPG that concentrated even more on action playstyle. Far from what I wanted..


Randall Jhen wrote:
I loved Guild Wars. I hated WoW...

Those games look all the same to me...no matter in what way they charge...

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

Turbine really blazed the path when they converted first Dungeons & Dragons Online then Lord of the Rings Online to a hybrid model. That transformation basically saved DDO, and it made Lord of the Rings start to grow after a long period of stagnation. The industry took note and there are a lot of companies who are working towards emulating this model.

Not only did it grow lotro numbers, but Turbine is on record saying that their switch to free to play/transactions generated more revenue for the company than any other time for the game since release.

I think people need to realize that making market comparisons to WoW is a recipe for failure. The fact that some games are free to play, or that they only have 100,000 subscribers isn't the anomaly ... that WoW has millions of subscribers and a license to print money is the anomaly.


Triga wrote:


Free to play is another way to say, decent into mediocrity.

I am afraid that you could be right but I really hope there is a way to make that right because the F2P method is really not that bad of an idea.

It actually gets you to try a whole lot of the game "before buying it".

I've played many non-MMORPG F2P games. Recently "Need for Speed World".

Buying hats or whatever in the game in the end payes the developers.

In NFSW it could be a bit too much though. The best cars are bought for money hehe...


My zero cents (hey, it's free to post, right?):

The only MMOs I've played are DDO and Champions Online, which are (not coincidentally) free to play and based on RPGs for which I have a certain fondness. But my experience was that I played them for a while until the novelty of the free material ran out and then I gave up. And I also treated them as single-player games; I rarely, if ever, grouped with other players.

Clearly I'm not really the target market for those games, since I never spent any money on them. Will there be anything different about Pathfinder Online that will coax me to pony up some money?


d10tavern wrote:
I certainly hope Paizo follows the free-to-play with an item shop model of Lord of the Rings Online.

I hope they don't. The most successful MMOs are not F2P, the F2P model is for the bottom feeders. The most subs Lotro hever had was 550k, now they're down to 350k and dropping, that model doesn't work.


Grummik wrote:
I hope they don't. The most successful MMOs are not F2P, the F2P model is for the bottom feeders.

I doubt that their goal is to become the most successful MMO (i.e. competing in the same arena with World of Warcraft et al.).

While Googling Mark Kalmes's name, I found an article about a panel discussion he was on. The quote that I thought was interesting: "MMO’s are now becoming specialized, big movers in the industry are realizing that they need to hit niche players with the content geared specifically to them instead of trying to become the next big thing."

Liberty's Edge

Triga wrote:

This game is dead before it lives if it is going to be free to play, or any variation there of.

Name one notable free to play mmo that continuously makes head lines? None! There are no free to play WOWs or free to play EVEs.

I guess you didn't know that WoW is now partly F2P. . .

Besides, saying that just because a game isn't WoW means its dead is a bit over dramatic, don't you think?

Grummik wrote:
I hope they don't. The most successful MMOs are not F2P, the F2P model is for the bottom feeders. The most subs Lotro hever had was 550k, now they're down to 350k and dropping, that model doesn't work.

You can't judge the success of a F2P model by the number of subscribers. The whole idea of F2P is that you're not going to have as many subscribers, but you'll have more money coming in from the micro transactions. And seriously, if the model didn't work don't you think the people in marketing for the companies that are doing this would have discovered that and then not done it?

Ok, I get a lot of people are elitists and they think if you don't pay for something you can't possibly get a quality product, and you can't have quality interactions if you're interacting with people who don't pay for stuff, but I'm personally pleased that Paizo, et al. aren't catering to the elitists.

Of course, that's coming from someone who is a big supporter of free software in all its forms.

Dark Archive

Triga wrote:

This game is dead before it lives if it is going to be free to play, or any variation there of.

Name one notable free to play mmo that continuously makes head lines? None! There are no free to play WOWs or free to play EVEs.

Free to play is another way to say, decent into mediocrity.
Free to play games survive, but they do not live.

Every single free to play game out there is infested with some kind of farmer trying to make real world money.

I am very disappointed.

I totally agree. I'd be way less inclined to play if it's Free to Play. Micro-transactions ruin a game. They bring in far more farmers, bots, spammers, and general annoyances.

No game that is free to play has ever managed to keep my interest.

I do hope they follow the EVE model of a relatively low-priced game and free expansions coupled with a monthly fee. Rather than WoW's habit of recharging you the atrocious fee of $50+ every time they expand the world.


hogarth wrote:
While Googling Mark Kalmes's name, I found an article about a panel discussion he was on. The quote that I thought was interesting: "MMO’s are now becoming specialized, big movers in the industry are realizing that they need to hit niche players with the content geared specifically to them instead of trying to become the next big thing."

Interesting and soothing reading there.

Just hope they scratch this part: "Players also have problem adjusting to too many changes to what they are used to."......


Free 2 Play = play with limitations, aka demo ware?
Monthly fee = full version
Microtransactions = ?????

-- david
Papa.DRB

I've never played an MMORPG or anything like that, so this intrigues me. I guess I'll have to get lessons from my 17 year old grandson.

Goblin Squad Member

I played DDO before and after the F2P change. F2P definitely increased the population by a lot and probably kept the game alive, but the quality of the population is not even close to what it once was. I like the $10/month plan with free expansions. A free 7 to 10 day trial would be nice too.


Personally i hope PFO will do well i just hope it is not like DDO i played it for awhile and i hated how it was nothing like the really dungeons and dragons. Mind you i know not every one is in to that kinda game but if you make a game based around it don't butcher it just try to make the system more interesting.

that being said i do hope it is free to play i have played WOW and such and i hate having to pay 15 bucks a month or 30 every 2 for cards i personally think it is a waste. that is why i am switching to Guild wars 2 and daiblo 3(though daiblo is not so much an mmo lol)

Goblin Squad Member

Only one thing can save this game if it goes with sub/f2p/MTX hybrid model, and that is if the serious gamers who pay a monthly subscription will have completely separate servers from f2p player base. What has ruined the other almost notable f2p mmo's is the fact that both types of player bases are all playing on the same servers.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Dragonpriest wrote:
Only one thing can save this game if it goes with sub/f2p/MTX hybrid model, and that is if the serious gamers who pay a monthly subscription will have completely separate servers from f2p player base. What has ruined the other almost notable f2p mmo's is the fact that both types of player bases are all playing on the same servers.

The only serious MMO that has tried that is EQ2 and within the next month that method goes away and all servers become F2P.

Though most of these games are not really "Free" if you want to experience all the content, you are going to buy things in some format or the other.. I think DDO was the only one where it was possible and that was by GRINDING many low level characters though the same content.

One thing I have seen help with a lot of the "kiddies" is restricting chat channel access. While this hurts the legit free players it keeps the obnoxius ones and gold sellers down.


Scott Betts wrote:
Hudax wrote:

Thanks for the explanation.

Could you say more about this point? Specifically, where would the line be drawn between MTX and "buying win?"

I don't want to speak for Mr. Dancey, but I think he's probably referring in large part to cosmetic items, as Count Buggula noted. It's also common for micro-transaction games to offer "mini-expansions" such as extra dungeons or even whole game world zones that can be unlocked by paying a small fee. Such offerings don't automatically make the character stronger in any way - at best, they provide the opportunity to play through additional content that may entail more powerful items (or whatever) once completed.

This is part of what I want made more clear.

Is a game really free to play if you have to pay for content? How is paying for content not buying an in game advantage? Pretend WoW was free to play, but you had to pay a fee to access Firelands. Now the only way you can get the best gear is by paying for it.

Further, if you have "optional" content that is accessible for a fee, it really isn't optional at all. Say your guild wants to do X content. Do you cough up the money and continue playing with your guild, or do you play your free version of the game alone?

To me (and I may simply not understand), free to play means if you want to, you can play through all the content including the endgame without spending a dime.

If the hybrid model they're talking about involves buying the game and expansions, and having MTX instead of subs, I'm ok with that. I have no problem paying for game content. I would have a problem if the game is advertised as free to play but in reality is "pay to advance."

Quote:

IMO, Blizzard recently crossed the line with its Guardian Cub--a vanity pet that they sell in the Blizzard store that can be sold to other players in game for gold. To me, being able to purchase game currency, directly or indirectly, unevens the playing field.

I'd agree with you, if they were trading real in-game currency, but gold stopped being paramount to end-game WoW players years ago. Once you get to a certain point, the only things you have to buy with gold are more vanity items - mounts, pets, etc. In order to gain power as a character, you need non-gold currency like raid or PvP tokens.

An in-game advantage is an in-game advantage. I've seen multiple people with 10+ cubs on the auction house at once. They are indirectly purchasing 10's of thousands of gold, enough for a few BoE epics, or possibly for buying guild runs through content. Personally, I don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on something so frivolous, but they clearly do and it clearly benefits their character in a manner I can't compete with.

Now, is this an advantage over someone who earned a spot in a good raiding guild? No. But it is an advantage they purchased with real-world money instead of earning it in game.

I just want someone to say that buying game currency, whether directly or indirectly, will be off limits in MTX.

Goblin Squad Member

As the owner of a Lifetime Account for LOTRO, I can say that Turbine's decision to make the game "Free" killed any desire for me to log into the game. The decision to "layer" the major cities, the freeloaders running around with nonsensical names, and the constant inducements to purchase destroyed any sense of immersion in Tolkien's world. Turbine already has my money, but they won't be getting any more. I successfully resisted all temptation to buy the last expansion.

Also, it needs to be added into the discussion that, human nature being what it is, there is less incentive for developers to create shiny new content for subscribers if they can concentrate their time on making Premium content. In essence, the exceptional content goes to the people willing to pony up extra cash, while subscribers, the heart of any successful MMO, wind up with content that is just barely "good enough".

Goblin Squad Member

Free To Play means you will not have to pay a fee to log in and experience the world of Pathfinder Online. However, you will not be able to experience all the content the world offers for free, nor will you be able to develop your character beyond a certain limit for free.

I expect there will be people who play the game without paying and do so in interesting and engaging ways. I expect they will be in the minority.

Striking a balance between generating revenue and being obnoxious salesmen is a key goal of the team.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

Free To Play means you will not have to pay a fee to log in and experience the world of Pathfinder Online. However, you will not be able to experience all the content the world offers for free, nor will you be able to develop your character beyond a certain limit for free.

I expect there will be people who play the game without paying and do so in interesting and engaging ways. I expect they will be in the minority.

Striking a balance between generating revenue and being obnoxious salesmen is a key goal of the team.

That balance is going to be the trick, Ryan. I've seen MMO developers make the same mistakes over and over. Here's hoping that you guys can buck that trend.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Free To Play means you will not have to pay a fee to log in and experience the world of Pathfinder Online. However, you will not be able to experience all the content the world offers for free, nor will you be able to develop your character beyond a certain limit for free.

I think it is very important to have the 'free to play' option. As an example: I currently play LOTRO and it was the f2p aspect of it that got me to try it. Now I subscribe and consider it money well-spent for the amount of entertainment I get out of it.

It also allows me to promote the game to my friends since anyone can try it for free.

Goblin Squad Member

Hudax wrote:

Is a game really free to play if you have to pay for content? How is paying for content not buying an in game advantage? Pretend WoW was free to play, but you had to pay a fee to access Firelands. Now the only way you can get the best gear is by paying for it.

Further, if you have "optional" content that is accessible for a fee, it really isn't optional at all. Say your guild wants to do X content. Do you cough up the money and continue playing with your guild, or do you play your free version of the game alone?

To me (and I may simply not understand), free to play means if you want to, you can play through all the content including the endgame without spending a dime.

If the hybrid model they're talking about involves buying the game and expansions, and having MTX instead of subs, I'm ok with that. I have no problem paying for game content. I would have a problem if the game is advertised as free to play but in reality is "pay to advance."

This is not a mysterious system. There a lots of very popular MMOs using it right now.

For instance (and, again, this is one among many), in DC Universe Online you can play for free. You get two character slots, a limited amount of inventory space, and are restricted in your ability to create guilds. You have the option to subscribe, paying a monthly fee to remove all these restrictions, and to gain access to all the game's content packs. Or you can purchase each content pack and upgrade individually through micro-transactions - so if you want access to all the cool new Green Lantern powers (again, not necessarily more powerful than what you can already do, just different), you can buy the Green Lantern pack, and you don't have to purchase those extra character slots you don't need.

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