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  1. #1

    Suggestion: If Rift does go F2P...

    They should do their best to stick to the "earn it or buy it" design of the best F2P models. Now, many games have different ways to "earn it" and I think that rift is somewhat limited in how they can structure their "earn it". But first a few things.

    Rift is a very PVE, group focused MMO and as such it needs to make sure that its model facilitates that as much as humanly possible.
    So how should Rift do this?
    Well, for starters, they need to make sure that forming groups stays as easy, or becomes easier than it currently is.
    One way Rift can do this is to not limit queues for F2P accounts, but instead give subscribers priority queues. This would have a dramatic effect on subscribers ability to find groups quickly for dungeons and gear up with greater ease than they do currently. Most importantly, this would improve the queue time for subscribers who queue for a dps role, which is notoriously long. How? Well, lets assume that the player base grows proportionately, in terms of roles. In low level queues there are probably 10 tanks, 15 healers, and 100 dps (subscribers). Now, if rift goes F2P there will be lots of new players, so add 40 tanks, 60 healers, and 400 dps to the queue. For tanks and healers (subscribers) the queue might improve a little, perhaps instant rather than 5 to 10 minutes for healers, but for dps their queue time should be cut from 1 and a half hours to 20 to 30 minutes, probably less. This has another effect. The 400 F2P dps will feel compelled to switch to tanks and healers, or at least have a spec of one that they queue for because subscriber DPS will constantly cut in line ahead of them, which will further expiate the queue time for subscriber DPS. I suggest having an alert for F2P accounts that says "The queue time is faster for tanks and healers" when they queue as dps or support only. This, in the long run, will help queue times for the game as a whole and improve the experience for subscribers.

    What should rift sell?
    Rift is somewhat unique in that it has some extraordinary customization in both appearance and player housing (spec too but that's something else). Both of these are veritable fields, ready to be plowed, planted, and harvested by Trion. Countless costumes and dimensional items could be sold for cash currency. Now, some of you might feel that this means development time is being sapped from the rest of the game. However, programmers don't model hats. Neither do game designers. Neither do level designers. And, most of the time that sort of task (unless its tier gear) is passed off to the army of unpaid interns who work insanely hard in hopes that they might actually get a job. I am friends with several un/under paid freelance / interns in the gaming industry from when I lived in California and my wife worked for three companies doing it before she decided on a new career path. They pay next to nothing for fancy hats and justify it by saying, "Well, I am giving those unpaid interns real life job experience that will help them in their career later on". If anything, selling a hat that cost next to nothing to develop for 10 dollars to thousands of people helps them pay their real staff enough money to keep them on the project.
    Another potential source of revenue is selling raid keys (not passes like swtor). Instead of paying for a subscription for access, players could buy their content piecemeal. Players would buy permanent access to, say, grim tidings for 25 dollars. Why 25 dollars? Because the next raid will probably be out 2 months after that. This sort of model is attractive to players who don't know exactly how much they will be able to play rift. They might not what to have a subscription ticking away when they aren't able to play, but being able to buy a key they know that when they DO have time, they can always go do it.
    In addition to these, there is always the staple of a cash shop, mini pets and mounts. To start, I would place seasonal pets and mounts in the cash shop. Personally, I like waiting and earning these pets / mounts during events but others are willing to spend money and I, for one, and not oppose to them sending money to the game developers who make a game that I play. A fast way to churn out these pets and use as little of the intern army as possible is to simply shrink the models of NPCs. There's already a number of pets like this in rift, like dead Simon. Flood the shop with mini w/e'rs and reskins of existing mounts. People who want to have a rare mount model will fork over money, but it will still lack the rare mount skin so the elites who have it will be able to say "Well. I got the real one."

    Now on to the bummer part. Restrictions.
    If you go over board with these you will turn off new players. The trick is to never get in the way of the functionality aspect and to always give players a taste of what they could have. Swtor has done a good job of outlining what not to restrict. Professions, group queues, action bars, hide helm / cloak ect ect ect. Do not touch those. Those should not be restricted. Something that Trion could get away with, however, is limiting the number off specs you can have as F2P down to 2 or wardrobes down to 1 or the dye system down to primary colors only or barbershop costs cash currency unless you are a subscriber or you only get 2 random instant adventure bonuses a day instead of 7 or you don't get the bonus item from your first random dungeon. And probably, most importantly, you need to offer them a way to remove these restrictions through cash or hard work (work that helps subscribers have fun). Small things that aren't necessary. Ideally, you want to offer carrots to subscribers instead of sticks to F2Pers.

    What carrots should you give?
    For one thing, free porting for subscribers. Improved currency gain like +5 infinity stone gain on world events, +2 vanquish mark for random experts, ect. Improved rep gain, +20% rep gain for subscribers. Improved leveling speed +50% experience for carnage quest completion +10% on story quests +20% on rifts, ect. Another thing you could do is give subscribers a +15% run speed outside of combat and outside or war fronts / conquest active zones. Reduced cool down on soul recall. Reduced / no cost to repair your soul. No cool down on guild banners. Reduced cost of lures. You get the idea.

    I really can't emphasis enough the need for a tiny stick and giant carrot. The fact is there is going to be a large population of people who will enjoy the game enough to play it but will be unable to justify subscribing due to RL issues like work, school, moving, relationships, relatives, money, other games, friends, ect ect ect. There are a million reasons why someone might be unable to justify a subscription. If you use too big a stick it will outweigh the enjoyment of playing rift and they will stop play. Which means less people in your queues, less people looking at the cash shop (it goes players THEN item sales. you need the players FIRST), and less people helping you close rifts and down world bosses and less people buying your stuff off the auction house and less people to join your ghunt group ect ect ect. You need people in order to have an mmo be fun. Small stick, giant carrot.

    Now, the most important part is the currency.
    One of the staples of a good F2P model is the ability to earn currency. The ways in which people can earn currency will, to some degree, dictate how people spend their time. If you offer trion coins or w/e from doing the daily ghunt quest, more people are going to do the daily ghunt quest. If you offer coins from doing the daily dungeon, more people are going to do the daily dungeon. I suggest giving small coin sacks contain like 5 to 20 coins for almost every daily activity that requires 5 or more people. Then, another huge carrot, subscribers get a buff that increases their coin gain by 200% so they loot 10 to 40 coins. Have minor rifts drop 1 coin, major rifts drop 3, ghunts drop 5, rhunts drop 10, ect ect ect. And have all these gains doubled if you are a subscriber. Then price things, depending on the item, pretty high. Within a determined F2Pers reach, but just outside the reach of a lazy one. That way, people who want to unlock another wardrobe slot can say "I can earn this!" and they will go out and do lots of group activities, making your subscribers happy (as they will be able to find groups easier and faster) and lazy ones will say "well, its only a few dollars."
    Ideally, you want to have F2P be an improvement for your subscribers. If something in your model isn't improving the life of your subscribers... It probably shouldn't be in there (looking at sticks right now... Some tiny ones are meh but... Don't be a swtor.) Another thing is, you really want to understand your potential customers. If they aren't playing rift right now, will they want to play it when it's f2p? Depending on how far you go with sticks, prices, and currency gain that answer will change. If you have too many sticks people won't bother. If your prices are too high people will say "well, i don't like grind fests just to be able to play the game". If your currency gain is too low people will again, feel its a grind fest. You can almost always never have "too few" sticks but you can sometimes devalue items by underpricing them. You want them to feel valuable, hard to obtain, take work. That's why people like rare mounts.

    (pst, elrar. you don't have to comment on anything but if you read this just write "I have read this")

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/epi...rotransactions <- basically video version of this.
    Last edited by Bardarian; 2013-02-11 at 05:40 PM.
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  2. #2
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    I'd really rather the game not go F2P, but I agree a lot with what you said.

    I would like a hybrid of LotRO and TERA's models as an ideal F2P model for me. I'm fine with having content being restricted. I don't think any outdated content should be kept from people, but new content is fine to charge a minor sum for *as long as you can earn currency through gameplay*.

    Bonuses to subscribers is awesome and a great way to keep me motivated to subscribe. They already reward loyalty for your time subscribed so I would like to see that expanded. I don't really like the idea of slamming every pet and mount on the cash shop, though it would probably earn them lots of money.

    But just to repeat, if they are making plenty of money now please dear heavens don't go F2P.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyvicious View Post
    But just to repeat, if they are making plenty of money now please dear heavens don't go F2P.
    I am very content with my refer a friend ponzie scheme at the moment so I am in no rush to see this game go F2P.
    That said, puremallace is running to any tall structure he can find and proclaiming to the sun, moon, and stars that this game is now going f2p.
    So I feel obligated to attempt to keep it from going down... a dark path. lol.
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  4. #4
    *sigh*

    Been hearing F2P talk from the start about Rift. Rift is not going F2P anytime soon if at all. They have a steady and growing population. They are profitable. The reasons games go F2P is either because they were designed that way from the start, they are bleeding subs, or they are not staying profitable. Their business model and design philosophy is creating a product worth the subscription price. They are not planning on changing that anytime soon.

    I've been hearing this Rift is gonna go F2P shit for about a year now and am getting sick of it. Please, stop it stop it stop it.
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  5. #5
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lathais View Post
    I've been hearing this Rift is gonna go F2P shit for about a year now and am getting sick of it. Please, stop it stop it stop it.
    Really not what he said at all. Kinda poor form to respond this way, even if people claiming it's going F2P annoy you.
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  6. #6
    Stuff they could sell that honestly would no offend me IN A PURE FREE TO PLAY OR BUY TO PLAY MODEL!
    1. Mounts
    2. ward drobe
    3. Dimension items or even dimensions themselves

    With Scott gone I cannot rule out a F2P transition. There is a bad taste in my mouth after what happened when he left EQ
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  7. #7
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puremallace View Post
    Stuff they could sell that honestly would no offend me IN A PURE FREE TO PLAY OR BUY TO PLAY MODEL!
    1. Mounts
    2. ward drobe
    3. Dimension items or even dimensions themselves

    With Scott gone I cannot rule out a F2P transition. There is a bad taste in my mouth after what happened when he left EQ
    I've tried to tell you several times to go read how the other significant employees, like the lead game designer, speak about the issue. You are really are going kinda chicken little on us and it's not warranted. If you can't read what Bill Fisher has said about the game and get awesome feelings about the game...I don't know what to tell you.

    He carries the same attitudes for the game as a service. The forums are supposed to publish a State of the game from him today at some point. Let's wait and see what he has to say first.
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  8. #8
    The Lightbringer Tarien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puremallace View Post
    With Scott gone I cannot rule out my wearing of not one but three tin foil hats, all at once.
    I'll believe it when it happens, and not before. We've had people proclaiming F2P since launch and it's never happened. Scott could just as easily have been poached by another company because of the amazing job he's done with RIFT/Trion.

    PS: These threads just hurt RIFT. People who might otherwise buy and subscribe will now be wondering whether or not to just wait for the game to go F2P. So stop making them if you want the game to continue as is.
    Last edited by Tarien; 2013-01-23 at 09:07 PM.
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  9. #9
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarien View Post
    I'll believe it when it happens, and not before. We've had people proclaiming F2P since launch and it's never happened. Scott could just as easily have been poached by another company because of the amazing job he's done with RIFT/Trion.
    In fact *tin foil hat* with Blizzard moving Jay Wilson god knows where...I wonder if Scott is headed to Irvine to head up some development there. *controversy*
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyvicious View Post
    Really not what he said at all. Kinda poor form to respond this way, even if people claiming it's going F2P annoy you.
    So when a poster with a high posted count posts somethng like this, you do not think the trolls are gonna jump all over it with their I told you so's and crap and come in here bashing Rift about going F2P like they always do? Preemptive strike my friend.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Lathais View Post
    So when a poster with a high posted count posts somethng like this, you do not think the trolls are gonna jump all over it with their I told you so's and crap and come in here bashing Rift about going F2P like they always do? Preemptive strike my friend.
    Don't do that.

    If people come in here and start trolling/making off topic posts, they'll be dealt with by moderators. It's kinda what we do.

  12. #12
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lathais View Post
    So when a poster with a high posted count posts somethng like this, you do not think the trolls are gonna jump all over it with their I told you so's and crap and come in here bashing Rift about going F2P like they always do? Preemptive strike my friend.
    I totally understand why it's a sensitive subject for you. But yeah like Edge said, those people will be dealt with. You should welcome their one liners and low post counts because it's a short trip to a ban. Then you can chuckle. It's pretty cathartic. A great discussion can be had on how Trion might handle F2P though. I would trust them with it more than any company out there, even Blizzard.
    BAD WOLF

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyvicious View Post
    A great discussion can be had on how Trion might handle F2P though. I would trust them with it more than any company out there, even Blizzard.
    Indeed, in the hypothetical situation, I have quite a bit of faith that they'd made a great model.

    Personally, I love discussing business models, particularly exploring possible new business models or alterations of business models. I've actually built a few super rough models in my mind (I had a pretty fully fleshed out model for SWTOR in my mind pre-transition...man was my model way off of what they came out with), but I've not bothered trying to flesh a full one out. There are a lot of really cool possibilities for the game as a F2P/freemium model that would continue to give existing subscribers what they're currently getting, while providing a solid free experience.

  14. #14
    Brewmaster Hiya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarien View Post
    These threads just hurt RIFT. People who might otherwise buy and subscribe will now be wondering whether or not to just wait for the game to go F2P. So stop making them if you want the game to continue as is.
    I agree with this statement.
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  15. #15
    Well. So much for debating possible models. Apparently discussing this on MMOc will have a butterfly effect that will destroy one of the best mmos in the market.
    Just so it's 100% clear I would not have written nearly as much as I did if I did not care about Rift. I do care, quite a bit actually.
    Given what has recently happened in the F2P market, I think it's best if we try and discuss the potential icebergs of transitioning if F2P is a potential outcome.
    We don't want trion to make silly mistakes, not that I think they would. But I've been horrifically shocked in the not so recent past.
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  16. #16
    The Insane DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiya View Post
    I agree with this statement.
    As do I, I'm sick of seeing more and more of these threads populating the Rift subforums. Rift is a very good game/MMORPG, it has an extremely strong and dedicated community and a lot of great aspects. If you're a Rifter, please stop with these threads. Seriously.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by DeltrusDisc View Post
    As do I, I'm sick of seeing more and more of these threads populating the Rift subforums. Rift is a very good game/MMORPG, it has an extremely strong and dedicated community and a lot of great aspects. If you're a Rifter, please stop with these threads. Seriously.
    What's wrong with it? Every other subscription game release in the past 5 years (minus Warhammer) has gone F2P. So it would stand to reason that F2P is a possibility for Rift, despite Trion's desire to not use that business model.

    How does it hurt the game though? The people who would be swayed at idle musings of a potential F2P model aren't the people who would generally be purchasing the game to begin with, so you're "turning off" people who are already "Turned off".

    Seriously though, I don't get why people get so upset at the mere mention of F2P and Rift. It's like mentioning it in global chat in-game and having people blow their damn tops.

  18. #18
    Honestly curious, as i just re subbed to Rift. Is there ANYTHING, anything, beyond rumors or "this, that and the other game did" that substantiates Rift going F2P?
    Last edited by openair; 2013-01-23 at 11:39 PM.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by openair View Post
    Honestly curious, as i just re subbed to Rift. Is there ANYTHING, anything, beyond rumors that substantiates Rift going F2P?
    Not that I've seen. Mainly speculation. It just a topic of debate in a few threads and I thought that it would be good to have a real discussion about what F2P might look like in rift.

    but clearly that's not allowed.
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  20. #20
    Fluffy Kitten Azuri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by openair View Post
    Honestly curious, as i just re subbed to Rift. Is there ANYTHING, anything, beyond rumors that substantiates Rift going F2P?

    Nope

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