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  1. #1

    Unhappy In Retrospect: Subscription Fees are Gone.. and the Decline of the Traditional MMORPG

    Finally; looks like were going to be spared the crap from now on and won't be seeing any new MMORPGs with subs. Sure; we have Wildstar holding out on us for the time being, but... "times change."

    Which brings up a more important topic: the decline of the traditional MMORPG.

    You remember them; Everquest, Ultima, FFXI, EVE, GW, WoW, AoC, WAR... now no one's making them anymore. Or, if you have a vastly broader definition of the word 'traditional', then that'd be "very few people are making them anymore."

    Twas a glorious age of when we considered a static world full of NPCs spawning in set positions and a story that only progressed whenever we completed a quest to be that "living world" stamped onto that cardboard box we paid money for. A generation of sitting around for several minutes in between fight eating food and chatting while we waited for our mana to regen. An era where we made corpse runs and paid repair bills and ludicrously inflated economies as Chinese slaves rushed in to farm gold...

    Let's pout together.

    OT: What do you think? The genre is falling, soon to be forgotten. Sure; FFXI, EVE, and WoW will still be out there, years from now, manning the lighthouse, but they are all that'll be left. We'll be the guys ten, twenty years from now telling our children of the good 'ole days of mindlessly grinding away our lives as if we were reminiscing about lemon cars from the '60s.

    Will you miss it?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Valyrian Stormclaw View Post

    Twas a glorious age of when we considered a static world full of NPCs spawning in set positions and a story that only progressed whenever we completed a quest to be that "living world" stamped onto that cardboard box we paid money for. A generation of sitting around for several minutes in between fight eating food and chatting while we waited for our mana to regen. An era where we made corpse runs and paid repair bills and ludicrously inflated economies as Chinese slaves rushed in to farm gold...
    When you put it like that, it's hard to miss them.

    Looking forward to more dynamic content and no more stories on rails honestly. It's just about which developer has the balls to really try something innovative.

  3. #3
    Herald of the Titans DiscoGhost's Avatar
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    well the old model was made towards the power gaming nerd market. people who would sit down and play ever quest forever. the gamble was made on their dedication to if they would stick to a sub fee and it fit.

    but now the mmo market is shifting towards everyone, not just the old school 90s uber nerd. to get everyones attention AND keep it, the old model of giant expansion releases worth of content coming out every 2 years isnt enough. the better model to market towards is little chunks of content in micro transaction form to keep everyone interested and not leave.

    i would personally like wow alot more if they would make yearly expansions with less content to keep the story going. after 4 more expansions level cap will be something dumb like 200. to start from scratch, you would literally have to put in 1000 hours to see all story and quest content. i would be level 90 in outlands...
    Last edited by DiscoGhost; 2015-01-23 at 02:54 AM.
    You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish.

  4. #4
    I think sub games would do better if they weren't launched badly with issues that took forever to fix. No game is going to be perfect, don't get me wrong, but you only get one chance to make a first impression and the longer you take to fix any big issues the more people will get a bad first impression. Word of mouth will spread about how bad your game is and sooner or later your game is changing payment models or dying because everyone knows how much your game sucks and how it isn't worth the monthly price.

    In short: Sub model is still viable if done by competent people.
    Khadgar: Prepare to heroically CTRL-E through the portal with me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooky View Post
    yeah wow cool..how about raising the valor cap consider WoD isn't that far away? 1000 valor points gets u a lollipop and kick in the nutsack these days! Back in my day we could get a bucket of candy and a pet ferret with that sort of points!
    Quote Originally Posted by Herecius View Post
    QUICKLY FRIENDS, TO THE HYPERBOLEMOBILE!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Doomchicken View Post
    In short: Sub model is still viable if done by competent people.
    I think the problem stems from the incompetent people playing and making F2P. It skews expectations on amount of content players think they deserve.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Valyrian Stormclaw View Post
    What do you think? The genre is falling, soon to be forgotten. Sure; FFXI, EVE, and WoW will still be out there, years from now, manning the lighthouse, but they are all that'll be left.
    I think you forgot FFXIV.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Fadc View Post
    I think the problem stems from the incompetent people playing and making F2P. It skews expectations on amount of content players think they deserve.
    While there are undoubtedly a few people that do that, they are not the majority. The issue is more from the fact that with a lot of these games on launch players are unable to play the content due to game breaking bugs or have the economies ruined by bots galore, constant server down times, never ending loading screens and etc. While again, sometimes shit just happens it's usually further exacerbated by being very slow to fix the issues that are presented and that alone can kill a game. But, if you have bad content on top of that or bad systems in place to experience the content (such as attunements), you've got the perfect recipe for a bad mmo. With the amount of MMO's out there F2P, B2P or Sub, there are many choices for people to spend their money and no one in their right mind is going to continue to spend money on a bad mmo.
    Last edited by Doomchicken; 2015-01-23 at 07:16 AM.
    Khadgar: Prepare to heroically CTRL-E through the portal with me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooky View Post
    yeah wow cool..how about raising the valor cap consider WoD isn't that far away? 1000 valor points gets u a lollipop and kick in the nutsack these days! Back in my day we could get a bucket of candy and a pet ferret with that sort of points!
    Quote Originally Posted by Herecius View Post
    QUICKLY FRIENDS, TO THE HYPERBOLEMOBILE!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Doomchicken View Post
    With the amount of MMO's out there F2P, B2P or Sub, there are many choices for people to spend their money and no one in their right mind is going to continue to spend money on a bad mmo.
    Your last sentence is spot on to what I should have made clearer. Broken games get no love from me, especially when they attempt the WoW killer/next best thing approach (Over Hype).

    The question is, what is the fair amount of content delivery when it comes to Sub vs B2P? F2P is kinda throwing too many wrenches and it seems to upset the dedicated community when a game suddenly goes F2P and revenue/populations are in a state of flux. F2P on release games seem like they are a bit on the iffy side.

    So first question is WoW's sub model and content delivery the most fair and efficient model?

    Did GW2's box price and storefront deliver sufficient content for the money?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Valyrian Stormclaw
    Twas a glorious age of when we considered a static world full of NPCs spawning in set positions and a story that only progressed whenever we completed a quest to be that "living world" stamped onto that cardboard box we paid money for. A generation of sitting around for several minutes in between fight eating food and chatting while we waited for our mana to regen. An era where we made corpse runs and paid repair bills and ludicrously inflated economies as Chinese slaves rushed in to farm gold...
    And it was glorious.

  10. #10
    I don't mind, the current big titles were revolutionary when they appeared but instead of evolving they remained in the past.

    All the current MMORPG titles lack what I consider good interaction with the game world. The world should be malleable like in for e.g. Minecraft, if you somehow blow up a hill then it will remain as a crater for everybody on the server.
    Every NPC should be controlled by a proper A.I. that remembers what you did and reacts to it, may put together random dialogues.
    Not to mention the quest system and the story.. there are a lot more things to improve upon.

    In every title we are the heroes but in reality all we do is kill and destroy, in the rare cases of creating something we just collect stuff for things to magically appear out of nowhere.
    Last edited by Difuid; 2015-01-23 at 09:16 AM.

  11. #11
    I think less companies are willing to put up millions of pounds worth of funding to develop massive sub-MMO's. When there is huge profit to be had in smaller tab/mobile games or other smaller budget games with micro-transactions.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Fadc View Post
    So first question is WoW's sub model and content delivery the most fair and efficient model?
    I wouldn't say it is, for various of reasons. We pay a subscription fee, and really, there's nothing wrong with that. However, if we ever come to spots like we did with Siege of Orgrimmar, with no new content for over a year, it's not okay. Really, it isn't. Also when we get certain patch updates there might be a lot of things you don't agree with, how a nerf was handled or something else. So you basically pay for something you usually have no clue what it will be, and may not like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fadc View Post
    Did GW2's box price and storefront deliver sufficient content for the money?
    Yes, it did, and no one can really speak against that. You bought the box once, and you get all these content updates, all for free, without paying anything more. The money you bought the box for gives you more content than the money's worth, and they kept giving out free content monthly, and then every 2 weeks (with some extended pauses during holidays.) However, the free content given is usually not as big as World of Warcraft's patches when they come, but it's all still free.

    I haven't paid anything for a little bit more than 2 years now, except the stuff I want from their store.
    Last edited by Eiserne Drossel; 2015-01-23 at 01:37 PM.

  13. #13
    Over 9000! Arbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nindoriel View Post
    And it was glorious.
    Agree with this sir.

  14. #14
    The best MMO is WoW. All other MMOs get some of the things right but fail at getting the others right as well. Some MMOs even get everything wrong (not giving names).

    While WoW continues to be fun and gets most things done right, and while other MMOs (new and old) fail at the recipe for success due to claiming budget problems, rushing things out or simply because they THINK their way is better (*cough*wildstar*cough*swtor*) when it really is not, there will be no real contender for WoW.

    WoW is like Coca-Cola. You may think you got almost the right mixture (Pepsi) but not really, and you may do things entirely different, but you can never do it as good as Coca Cola. Yes, I'm fully aware many people don't like Coke and drink other stuff but still not seeing those people being as many as the coke drinkers.

  15. #15
    The Insane apepi's Avatar
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    I think someone could some and get big, but they would have to change the tone and not try to copy wow.
    Time...line? Time isn't made out of lines. It is made out of circles. That is why clocks are round. ~ Caboose

  16. #16
    Grunt
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    I don't think the Sub model is dead by any means. In fact, I think it would work now more than ever considering we've piecemealed so much entertainment into monthly subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, Playstation Now and so forth.

    It seems that the reason it doesn't work on newer games is similar to why Blockbuster streaming failed. Netflix was established and Blockbuster brought nothing new to the table whatsoever. Newer games that claim to innovate this and that keep getting exposed as simply putting up new window dressing (GW2 hearts come to mind, even if I do like the game once in a while) over traditional systems and calling it "New!".

    Personally, however, I'm digging the DLC model more because I can be more selective over my access and still paying for (hopefully) premium content.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranaka View Post

    Personally, however, I'm digging the DLC model more because I can be more selective over my access and still paying for (hopefully) premium content.
    My only issue with the DLC model is where developers brazenly put the content on the disc then you pay £19.99 for a tiny unlock file. (looking at you Bungie) ALL DLC in my mind should be done post release, or atleast after the final build of the game is ready and as a genuine added extra and not chopped out of original content and gated with money.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Fadc View Post
    Broken games get no love from me, especially when they attempt the WoW killer/next best thing approach (Over Hype).

    Every MMO has to have good marketing(hype) and i don't honestly think any developer is trying to ''Kill'' wow. I think all anyone wants, and it would be a very healthy thing, is for wow to have some rivals. Broken games are upsetting when they've been hyped to the moon and at launch they crash to the ground with bugs and poor decisions that weren't in the keynotes.

  19. #19
    Personally I don't mind a sub model if plenty of content is constantly created with the income.

    I think running lots of servers is coming down in price which makes these other models workable. I have to say though, I'm moving away from cash shops, even totally cosmetic ones, because it feels like that being the profit center distorts the incentives for the developers and they end up putting much more resources in to getting people in to that than working on the game and it still ends up feeling kind of slimy and coercive. Boxed sales driving profit seems to work ok though. I don't know if you can cover everything with that though.
    Last edited by Rukh; 2015-01-27 at 03:47 PM.
    [Infracted!]

  20. #20
    I feel that a quality B2P game supporting itself with a vanity-based microtransaction model is the way to go in future. The sub model has to build up inertia to keep itself viable and that's gotten harder and harder to do in the face of the widening and deepening market, not just in the MMO genre but in all genres of games. WoW is still running on a very strong push it got underway with and managed to speed up in its rise to the top of its class. It's still moving, but it's never going to recapture its old peak and will continue to trend down more and more.

    I don't think any game, no matter how polished and well-made, can make that initial push anymore on the sub model. That's why a few specific games(EVE occupying a particular niche market, for example, and having alternative payment methods besides just the sub)will hold on as long as they keep publishing new content. But practically no one else will manage it.

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