I think MTs have a place in MMOs, but I also believe that paying a sub AND paying for expansions AND paying MTs ingame is definitely taking things way to the greedy end of the spectrum.
F2P + MT seems fair to me, as does P2P + Free Expansions.
I don't want to harp on about lack of content too much STO (definitely a matter covered more than extensively in numerous other threads) but it must be said that when a game has limited content like STO (or indeed Cryptic's other current game Champions Online), then the presence of MTs can easily be seen as something of an insult to the playerbase.
In allegorical terms, it's like paying rent for a fitted apartment, but when you move in you see the fittings (while functional) are minimal at best. The landlord then pops his head round the door and says "You want the place spruced up a bit? I've got some fancy furniture you can have cheap..."
Now, you'd not mind this so much if you'd got the place at a discount price, but when you're paying the same as your friend down the block whose apartment was fully furnished and fitted from the moment he moved in? Then you have good reason to grumble.
And so it is with STO's MTs for me.
There's simply not enough paid content in the game yet for me to think Cryptic have any business selling extras on the side - especially when those extras include 2 core playable races from the Star Trek world. That's not a cosmetic add on, like a bridge or ship costume, it's something which should be available as standard to all paying players.
Bottom line for me then - in a year or so, when STO has become established along with the other big name games out there, yes - THEN I'd support MTs in the game. But for them to be in the game in its current state?
The company would have to pay that developer for the down time anyway so why not let the developer work on something small that can give the players some value and the company make money off that previously unused downtime.
I just don't get this entire line of reasoning. A smart manager is going to have his employees doing stuff during the down time whether it's for micro-transaction content or something else. This isn't a very good argument either for or against Micro-transactions. It is in fact quite irrelevant.
Originally Posted by AtomicFB
Regardless, you can't justify large ongoing development costs only on a subscription basis.
Says who? If anything, the subscriptions are the most important source of income an MMO dev can have. This is a guaranteed amount of money that you are bringing in every month, and is much more reliable than either box sales or MTs. If you lose subscribers you also lose customers for box and MT sales so it is doubly important. Of course, I'm thinking of a hybrid system like STO here, F2P is a different matter entirely.
Originally Posted by AtomicFB
Where does that leave us. It leaves us with the fact that in order for Cryptic to maintain a healthy margin and improve STO they need the C-Store and the Microtransactions.
Really, it's a fact? Says who? I think for an incomplete and critically panned game like STO, microtransactions are the last thing it needs. STO needs to focus on maintaining their customer base while the C-store is a factor in why people are cancelling their subs. It's not just as cut and dry as "c-store brings extra revenue", as there is no such thing as a free lunch. I very much doubt that Cryptic is bringing in enough via the C-store to offset the subs they are losing because of it. Even Cryptic's COO hates games with micro transactions, and if I didn't have my lifetime sub the C-store would have already drove me away.
Lol, didn't notice necro thread! Would be interesting to see if opinions have changed :p
Paying a full blown monthly fee PLUS a bloated C Store is absolutely horrendous. It would be fine if they had kept their promise, and sold 'cosmetic items' only, but lo and behold, ships with unique abilities are now for sale for cash (only Federation cruiser with a cloakin device). Again, that wouldn't be so bad if you could get the unique items in-game somehow, as early on, Cryptic said you would be able to, but alas they conveniently forgot this promise.
Being a Lord of the Rings Online player, it seems Turbine found a harmonious balance. If you play for free, you need to buy micro-transactions to be on par with monthly subscribers. If you subscribe monthly, you earn free points every month to obtain store items, cosmetic or otherwise.
Turbine found a harmonious balance. If you play for free, you need to buy micro-transactions to be on par with monthly subscribers. If you subscribe monthly, you earn free points every month to obtain store items, cosmetic or otherwise.
Completely. Cryptic is trying to have it both ways, at the expense of customers. The saying "no such thing as a free lunch" comes to mind, and if you want to try fleecing your customers every which way for money you will lose subscribers and end up losing more money than you gain. Simply being greedy and acting on the greed is not going to magically make you money, Cryptic.
Of course, Dstahl has hinted at going for a more Turbine-like model, and I wish him all the luck getting some of the other people at Cryptic to see his viewpoint. I sincerely believe that the way things are going, Cryptic is going to **** off and lose the majority of their subscribers, and create such a bad PR that no one buys their game in development when it comes out.
Turbine really hit on something with their "freemium" service. I have a feeling the mmo industry will be watching LOTRO with great interest this fall. Personally I don't see how it could fail, it worked wonders for DDO.