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SWTOR the F2P Fat Kid Who's Always Picked Last


Fomorii

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I love that this game is finally living up to its potential! Thank you, BW! I've been here since Beta, and had to quit after about one or two months post-release, because this game was a shambles. However hundreds of millions went into production can't have been easy to make back after the mass exodus of players that led to this travesty of a F2P system. Do your marketing guys have no clue how human beings work? You don't strong arm people out of their money with restrictions and consequences, because that makes them play a different game than the one you & they want to play. You can't sell one crappy version of a game in the hopes they'll give you money to make it worth while! You have to let people make every decision completely on their own, and then their temptations get the better of them 9 times out of 10.

 

The secret to a good F2P is to prove you aren't greedy fat cat money bag goobers. Just look at Rift, Warframe, League of Legend, Marvel Heroes 2015, etc... Players aren't retarded, we see greed for what is and it rankles most people; this means vastly less money and more players far less loyal / more willing to leave the game for greener pastures.

 

The crazy amount of profit comes by offering lots of really awesome stuff you can work for in game 99% of the time -make Cartel currency something we can earn by doing in game stuff, or give multiple tiers of currencies that can be spent on different categories of things. Remove ALL negative consequences for being F2P rather than Subscriber, give Subscribers more bonuses / exclusives / discounts on X-pacs, etc...

 

See, when we have the option to work for what we want and to buy what we want, then we end up making FAR worse financial decisions. Most of the players in MH2015 or LoL blow most, if not all, of their pay cheques on new releases, or in MH2015 on the massive number of incredibly tempting / worthwhile / crazily discounted sales that are constantly blowing through that game. Literally hundreds of dollars every couple of weeks from probably 30-50% of the player base, and then the $100 or so a month from the other non-casuals, maybe $20-50 from casuals, etc...

 

It's ALL digital stuff, so everything you make should be profit practically speaking. There's no need to worry about how much profit you want to make, just focus on making sales both tempting enough and 'cheap' enough that poor players, middle class players, and rich players alike feel it's worth spending their cash on juuuuust one more thing, and then another, and then another. Don't care about how much you make per sale, care about how many times in a row someone will be willing to spend their money.

 

Rancor pets, new species, discounted Xpacs / DLCs / content / mounts / companions / side missions maybe, incredible unique costumes / orange gear, this kind of stuff is like a magnet and people suddenly find their wallets and credit cards are made of iron. It doesn't matter how much they spend, because what's another $5 or $10 or $20 for something 'THAT' cool?

 

Never try to force people to give you money, because they will grip onto it with everything they've got. Make it 100% our own choice and don't be stingy with your offers/sales/discounts. Players will hurl their life savings at anything and everything even slightly tempting as long as it is obviously a good deal. No one wants to spend $20+ on a mount and then another $10+ to unlock it across your legacy. It's a digital item, no one person should ever feel forced to spend 1/3 the cost of a new bloody game to run around on something that looks different, but does nothing different than their other mounts. Make a cycle of mount sales every three or five days, so everyone knows their favourite mount will be on sale soon. That way, if they desperately want it they can happily choose to blow $20+ on it. Otherwise, they can wait for a sale OR they can earn Cartel currency in-game without spending a dime to work for it.

 

That's the tipping point for a successful F2P profit margin. The choice to work, or to buy, far better if the chance for a sale is moderate to high is how the crazily successful F2P games make their money and sustain player loyalty. People want to help them out, because they prove to their customers that they are worth our admiration and respect. The stuff they get in return doesn't hurt, either ;)

 

I have to say I was digusted and unbelievably surprised to see such a greed enthused F2P model last year, and it hasn't gotten any better :p I'd fire your marketing guys in a heart beat, because they haven't a clue how people work. Just look at DCUO, I bought the $30 per three month sub for all the bonus stuff they offer, but there's really very little need to subscribe if you just want to play the game. Rift, LoL, and MH2015 have the best F2P models by far, and I've subsequently poured huge amounts of money into each of them :3 So has just about every other player!

 

I only say these things because I always wanted this to be my MMO, for however long it lasts. I want to see SWTOR become the next big MMO, regardless of the rocky start. With the addition of the new Star Fighter system, there's finally enough potential realized for the game to really take off and to build up an impressive player base. Still, almost three years later? I've been swinging by every six months or so to see if it's worth playing, or if those in charge are still shamelessly - though there is shame, lots of shame worth of ugly, even hideously bad decisions :p - trying to ring money out of their victims. Customers are catered to and understood and are worked with/around. Victims are taken advantage of, or at least attempted to be taken advantage of. That's not cool. Nickle and Dime-ing almost every aspect of the game was a bad call, so let's see you guys learn from the successes of other F2P models, and from basic human psychology/economics, so we can finally have the SWTOR the players and Devs/EA all deserve it to be.

 

A bad F2P model repels new players and keeps old players from returning. One that shows you guys know what you're doing and that players can make decisions for themselves on the merits of a thing, regardless of the impulsive buyers frenzy the vast majority of players find themselves in when given that chance, will bring more and more new players in, help retain veterans and give returning players far more reason to stay than a diminished leveling experience, and overall undesirable gaming experience with harldy anything to do but run out of quests, because they level at a reduced XP rate, etc...

 

People will sub if you make it worth their while, many times more than if you make subscribing their only real option to play the game. That kind of hubris just makes people think SWTOR is run by scumbags who don't deserve their money. No one is being cheap in that regard, they're being practical and showing their distaste for scumbags. That money then gets spent on other games they want to support; it even makes them feel like they're donating to a particularly fun F2P charity if it's a good model, which is yet another layer reinforcing the buying habits that you guys obviously want.

 

Basic economics, psychology, and common sense, +years of gaming experience should lead anyone to these conclusions, which suggests to me that those responsible for this F2P model's current incarnation aren't working off any of those foundations of marketing wisdom in the gaming world. Remove those people from anything that affects how much money you make ASAP :p

Edited by Fomorii
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They have made a model that hinges upon the weakness of players - the RNG packs. Thanks in part to those, the game is making money hand over fist. As a matter of fact, only one of the games you mentioned actually made more money than SWTOR last year:

 

http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/20/10-online-pc-games-that-made-more-than-100m-in-microtransaction-sales-last-year/

 

Subscribers do get perks - we get "Free" cartel coins, we got free strongholds, free mounts, free pets, we did get a discount on the one paid for expansion pack that was released; we have gotten a two month head start on all the others they did not charge for. Sure, there are some annoyances with SWTOR's free to play model, but no model is perfect. I have played many, many F2P and Freemium games and have not found one that did it perfectly. Some were better and many were worse. It is what it is and it has been working for over a year for SWTOR. End of line.

Edited by TravelersWay
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SWTOR just made a brilliant marketing strategy: They introduced player housing, and put (of course) some decorations into the now known cartel packs. But they did something new: They added an extra item roll on top of the ones present, AND lowered the price of the pack simultaneously from 360 to 210 CC.

 

Trust me, they made hundreds of thousands of dollars from this pack alone. How do I know this? Aside from the packs themselves and the decorations on the GTN, everything else that dropped from those packs is dirt cheap.

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Someone hasn't met Path of Exile. That does F2P in a very user-friendly manner: microtransactions are 95% cosmetic and not tradeable.

 

Our F2Ps get their class story (so up to 50).

 

And I don't think many people actually buy many of the consumables in the Cartel Market. Everything in the Cartel Market is cosmetic, except for the post-Class Story stuff unlocks (Section X, Black Hole, CZ, Illum, Oricon, Makeb)

 

Edit: Character Slots also aren't cosmetic, but once you've had one of each class, everything else is achievement <censored>ing, or cosmetic for Legacy cosmetic.

Edited by LyraineAlei
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