Well, I didn’t see that one coming. Yes, the subscription model is back. Both Wildstar and The Elder Scrolls Online have announced that they’re going to be primarily subscription-based, with WildStar also offering an EVE-like “CREDD” that can theoretically be earned in-game to pay for one’s subscription.
It’s not hard to see why, from a business sense. You replace the frightning nebulousness of the F2P model with a solid, predictable cash-flow.
But will it work? That’s what the blogosphere has been wondering…
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Gazimoff gives us a great overview of Wildstar’s plans and their potential advantages and drawbacks, not coming down on either side but making some good points on both.
Read “WildStar: Down to Business | Mana Obscura” »
The Ancient Gaming Noob has two interesting posts, one for each game – questioning whether TESO has the “must-have” appeal for a subscription model, and pointing out a comparison for Wildstar’s CREDD that may be more apt than PLEX.
Read “The Elder Scrolls Online: Throwing Itself Under the Subscription Bus? | The Ancient Gaming Noob” »
Read “Has the WildStar Team Looked Into How is Krono Working for SOE? | The Ancient Gaming Noob” »
Lots of bloggers are looking at both sides of these announcements – but not Ardwulf, who states bluntly that he expects each game to last six months or less.
Read “A Last Enfeebled Gasp | Ardwulf’s Lair” »
Belghast makes the argument that this entire debate is much less about models than about whether he – or anyone – actually wants to play these games, and how much.
Read “Wildstar Woes | Tales of the Aggronaut” »
Rowan Blaze makes the argument that the “Subscription Plus” nature of Wildstar’s CREDD actually makes the entire thing less appealing, not more.
Read “I Have Touched the Sky: Wildstar Loses C.R.E.D.D.ibility” »
Ravious wonders if the fatter updates that are theoretically enabled by a subscription model will be enough to make the sub-based games viable, citing Guild Wars as having “constant but thin” updates.
Read “[WS] Business Cred | Kill Ten Rats” »
Tobold thinks about the economic implications of CREDD, how much time it will take to “earn” a CREDD in Wildstar, and whether that’s fair and/or equitable.
Read “Tobold’s Blog: CREDD are the new PLEX” »
And Healing The Masses comes down firmly on the pro-subscription side, looking at the economics of the entire thing as well as how it affects players.
Read “Payment Styles and Profitability | Healing the masses” »
And last but not least – some excellent posts from the weekend on a wide range of topics – from Old God omnipresence to a new, bold hope for us WoW players…
- Garrosh Hellscream knows. He knows about Mankrik’s wife, he knows why elevators kill you, and he knows why there are no ducks in Azeroth. It’s all the Old Gods’ fault – “Yeah, well, the magic controlling those elevator platforms was corrupted…so for all intents and purposes, all elevators are minions of the Old Gods. Specifically, one of the Old Gods – I believe his name is Goin’down’ethar. How much you want to bet that when we finally discover where he’s hidden, there won’t be any stairs?”
- Saxsy writes a really interesting column on roleplaying Death Knights beyond the usual dark-and-solitary cliches – “What I was thinking of today is how my own RP with Traxy has evolved to reflect the duality of her personality. The way she is changing, and the way she is not “death knighty” is reflective of her former personality, the one she had when she was alive, emerging.”
- Syl looks at the upcoming MMO Wildstar, and wonders if it could be the genuine successor to WoW – “Still, my overall impression of Wildstar remains; few innovations aside, it looks the way WoW should be looking today and feels like the next evolutionary step for players who are still attached to Blizzard’s franchise and overall concept.”
- And Hunter shares some hard-earned lessons from his time as a guild officer and leader – which didn’t exactly go flawlessly – “If you try to reason with the drama, if you try to calm it, or leave the situation unresolved, it will come back to haunt you. These people sew dissension in the ranks, they always do. They always leave after much effort is made for their benefit and take others with them.”
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We’ve got some interesting analysis going on today from a variety of folks in the blogosphere, as the informal phrase of the day seems to be “O RLY?”. Yes, the hype’s dying down a bit, and Bio Break, Decoding Dragons, and In An Age are taking a long hard look at the promises for the future made in Wildstar, Guild Wars 2, and Mists of Pandaria:
- Syp at Bio Break is decidedly less than impressed with Wildstar’s decision to tell all stories in 140 characters or less – “I mean, why stop with 140 characters? Why not 50? Why not do away with words altogether in quest assignments and use just pretty pictures and arrows? “
- Azuriel at In An Age explains why he thinks the much-vaunted removal of the Holy Trinity in Guild Wars 2 is doomed to failure – “If you have attempted group content in WoW at any point in the last two years, you probably recoiled in horror as I did at the thought of looking forward to shared group responsibility. We have a term for that now – The Dance – and every indication that it was the principle cause of the nearly 2 million subscriber exodus.”
- And Pewter at Decoding Dragons highlights the things she did like in Dave Kosak’s postmortem on Cataclysm and promises for Mists – “In Warcraft, the issue is not so much the open world, but that locations rarely flow naturally into each other. Verdant jungles sit next to icefloes, and deserts impinge on primordial craters.”
What features of upcoming MMOs do you think are doomed to failure – or massive unexpected success?
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