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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 278
# 13
01-30-2013, 06:16 AM
The existence of a lifetime subscript is a bit of an oddity, but then that's the decision that Cryptic made; in exchange for getting all subscriber perks forever, Cryptic got more money up-front. While they will definitely benefit from any new subscriber content (which isn't a bad thing) I think the way lifers fit into things should be ignored; yes they'll get stuff instantly, but then they paid to, so who cares?

I would definitely like to see more subscriber perks; what some people forget in the subscriber versus free comparisons is that subscribers are more likely to pay more money over time. While they may get more content from their ZEN stipend into the bargain, it's not like them having unlocked a ship actually costs Cryptic anything in real terms, as it's just bytes on a computer. An account with max bank, inventory, ship and officer slots on a huge set of characters is still going to barely cause a dent in the storage capacity of the servers. The only real costs are the hardware to handle everyone online (which everyone uses, including free players who never spend a penny, but which are generally very cheap for a company) and development costs, after which any new paid-for content is practically pure profit. Besides which subscribers are paying a reliable income to Cryptic for as long as they're subscribed, while free to play players are more likely to not buy something than to do-so, as they need to really justify it to themselves first; a subscriber by comparison gets a stipend, which can tempt them to either pay for a small amount of extra ZEN to get an item they might not otherwise have considered, or stay subscribed for longer so that their next stipend will cover it. While I've no doubt that there are more free to play players making the odd micropayment, competitive subscriptions can still make a good amount of money, and reliably.

My biggest wish list item for subscribers would be the ability to buy things from lock-boxes and the lobi store directly for reasonable prices. Lockboxes are fine for free players who are willing to take the random chance, but it's a bit insulting to make your subscribers go through the same thing, especially if they want to get a specific ship or item. I would buy a month's subscription in a heart-beat if it meant I could buy things from the Lobi store directly without the need to get a heap of Lobi crystals; just let me throw Dilithium and/or ZEN at it and that subscription has paid for itself in my eyes, even though I would most likely have actually paid more money as a result!

Subscribers shouldn't have anything that functions as a clear advantage, but eliminating grind/randomness to get the same equipment when you want is pretty much the whole point of the micro-payments model in the first place, so let the subscribers take this a bit further for even more convenience, and those subscriptions become a lot more desirable. Plus they'd still be paying Dilithium and/or ZEN anyway, so that's money for convenience, plus the subscription fee that enables it, not a shabby deal for Cryptic.

For example; I would happily pay actual money to get the items of the Temporal Warfare set, but I'm not using Lobi crystals to do it as its just not worth it, and as a result that's custom lost. Some people might be happy to grind lock boxes if they want some of the other goodies, but I'm not really bothered and so master keys are not something I'm going to buy just to get a measly 4-10 Lobi for 125 ZEN. But if I could pay to bypass the lockboxes then I would do-so in an instant if it meant I could get the Temporal Warfare set for a fair price in ZEN/Dilithium.