From Failure to F2P

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Robbiebit (who has yet to post here) and I were playing Dungeons & Dragons Online a few days ago and then recently (before the news) we thought to try out the unlimited trial of WAR. I have to say that for the casual MMO guy that I am, these games really fit the bill. Why is that? Perhaps a little background would help. (Feel free to skim because this turned out to be a bit longer than I anticipated)

My first stint in playing MMORPG’s was when Star Wars Galaxies came out. I was newly married and in graduate school and while the game was fun, I was more or less playing alone and mining farming resources. I decided that I really didn’t have the time or money to keep up with it and promptly sold my account on ebay. Apparently that is frowned upon but back then I had no idea. I ignored WOW when it came out because I was knee deep in graduate school and was experiencing fatherhood for the first time. Free time was at a premium here.

In 2006, my brother-in-law then told me that his buddy was setting him up with an account on Everquest and for whatever reason I decided to give it a whirl. This was the first time I had played an MMO where I actually knew someone in the game world and I was hooked instantly. I created a halfling druid named Piddleglum, but everyone just called me Pid. I was playing as frequently as possible and was having a blast. It reminded me of the times in undergrad when I played a MUD with some of my dorm mates. Life was good, but after a while the time I was spending in the game was testing my marriage (I was also unemployed at the time after graduating from graduate school) and some in game personality issues really made me reconsider my subscription. I know, this is a terribly unique experience, but bear with me.

Warhammer Online came out and I dove into that and ate it up for a while. The early game was a blast for me, but then in tier 3 I justcouldn’t drag myself to log into the game. Between the terrible performance on my computer, the lack of a coherent guild or groups, and the utter spamfest that RvR turned out to be really killed the game for me. I subbed for 3 months after the initial month, and only played for 2 of them.

During all of this time my brother-in-law was crafting a kings ransom in EQ but not really playing all that much. There was an announcement of the closing of a progression server on EQ and I misinterpreted the details of it to think that all servers were going to wipe any characters below level 10. I resubbed to EQ and then played for 5-7 months before realizing that this aging game just really didn’t appeal to me. My brother-in-law and Robbiebit were playing as much as I was and that camaraderie was awesome, but soon my B-i-L was not signing in and the game is pretty tough without a group even with the new mercenaries. I just couldn’t justify paying $15 a month for an aging game that had little to offer if you weren’t a raider or in a well established guild.

I tried my hand at Champions, but it didn’t fancy me that much. Then DDO said hey we are going F2P and now Robbiebit and I play it once a week or so. The game is tough for a duo and Robbiebit never played pen and paper D&D so he is a bit lost, but for the money, you can’t beat it. I splurged on the Drow race and Favored soul, but haven’t otherwise spent a dime on the game. We are level 4 and play when we get a chance, but not avidly. It is a win-win situation as the game is very polished and has gobs of content, but I don’t feel the need to “log-in” to get my money’s worth. Awesome!

WAR recently announced its endless free trial program and I thought, is this possibly the path for all future “failed” MMO’s? (WAR and DDO were considered failures by many.) If they can’t sustain a population that is viable through regular subscriptions, will this be a fail-safe device to at least get a little return on the investment? Only time will tell, but until then I will be casually playing DDO and waiting for the next “failure” to give a free trial out too.

-Pid

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One Response to “From Failure to F2P”

  1. Something Old, Something New…EQ2 « Says:

    […] DPS, and Melee DPS character so far and I am really liking what I have seen. As mentioned in this background post, the MMO I spent the most time playing out of all of them was EQ1. I really had a lot of fun in […]

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