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Another one bites the dust

IGN is reporting that Eve-Online will be moving from subscription-only play to a freemium model.

(Fremium is Free To Play for anyone wanting to play, but a wider or more rewarding variety of play available to subscription payers. ESO and SWTOR are other games that went the freemium route).

The devs (CCP) are still seeking input from players on what play should and shouldn't be free, so details aren't finalized.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Stilachio Thrax
Wow, I'm really surprised by that- most EVE players use the fact that it was subscription only as a selling point (keeps the riff-raff out kind of thing). It will interesting to see how it shakes out.
Virtus et Honor

Steward of Ozem's Vigil, Lord Commander of the Argyraspides Iomedais
Duffy Swiftshadow
It'll be interesting to see how it works out in EVE as the game-play and progressions are radically different than most other freemium model games. From what I read it seems less of 'micro-transaction every mechanic' and more of a full gameplay within a cap. This might work if they focus on the idea that a Frigate freemium person is just as useful as a Frigate paid user, the freemium player just wont be able to get into skills for 'advanced' ships and other roles. This works out because the roles they do have are always needed. What's a bit awkward is they may restrict that ship access based on your race/faction choice which is interesting as to my admittedly limited knowledge their are a lot of meta preferences in training specific faction ships.

For those that don't quite know a lot about EVE the PFO equivalent would roughly be something like a 'free' account that has unlimited access to mechanics and markets, but can only train up to T2+2 for some subset of specific weapons, features, and roles that their race has an affinity for and nothing else without paying a sub. Essentially hard capping them at some maximum amount of XP they could spend within their races areas of expertise.

The concern I see is power projection and reducing the very strong side effects of travel and distance. If everyone can have gathering alts or good enough combat alts spread across all the major areas it takes a lot away from those mechanics.
There are billionaires (in the game currency) who still prefer 1 to 2 hour long small gang PvP roams in cruisers and frigates. I include myself in that group. CCP is well aware of this preference and was pressured into changing their clone costs (death penalty) that used to cost veteran players a clone cost that was often many times the value of their ship.

I almost always played e-war ships, and turning off 3 battleships' targeting with a frigate was a special joy of mine.

Your last paragraph is a key set of issues I hadn't considered yet, Duffy.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Interesting. I wonder how a Freemium Model would work here. It would obviously attract more players, but is there enough here to differentiate what you get for subbing and what you are limited to at FTP?
Virtute et Armis
Duffy Swiftshadow
I think it would be doable using a similar model, butttt still has the large concerns of being abused too easily unless it had some pretty severe and odd market/resource restrictions. So thinking something like a character can only train skills that use the things they get racial bonuses in and only up to T2+2 ranks or equivalent trainer level w/e they maybe be. This would cause a problem with humans as they get a bit of everything and no penalties, so maybe they get some other subset of stuff that makes sense or isn't given to the other races. Details don't matter much unless they were gonna try it.

Anyways the biggest issue is I could station gathering alts all over the map and cut down on a lot of travel. Sure they may never get to T3 but if they can do T1 or even T2 that's good enough. Most of our issues is keeping enough T1 around to feed into our crafting machine, not getting T3. Now imagine a whole group of us does that and stripping hexes like locusts, all while living in that area semi-permanently. We get attacked we just swap to another set of alts somewhere else on the map. Current sub costs keeps such things from getting crazily common, but without the costs their aren't a lot of excuses not to do it.

General combat force projection is the other problem, bit more well known issue.
I stopped playing EVE (after about 5 years total in game) around 6 months ago. I was the last of my corp to quit. Somewhere not far from Dodi is a corp hanger with tens of billions of ships parked smile We even had a rare ship collection worth quite a bit though some of them turned into skins one day. This freemium model makes it even less likely i will go back.
The freemium model has some advantages.

It makes the world more populous; in a low budget sandbox that means more opportunities for content creation.

It gives the devs a larger audience to entice into the cash shop.

If you can get three times as many people to play a freemium game, that means three times as many of their friends get introduced to the game, too. Each person introduced is a chance at a subscription. That's the same principle behind free trials, but freemium gives people a longer stretch of time to feel vested in the world and thus invite friends.

I'm not saying it is BETTER than the subscription-only model, but since most companies aren't transparent about subs and revenue I can only assume that the reason the industry is moving towards it is because it is more profitable.

If companies can make more money while allowing me to belong to more communities I see it as win-win *if* they can address the valid concerns you guys have mentioned above.

Most games already allowed about 8 characters per account, so the alt "problem" was there regardless of subscriptions.

Eve and PFO are a rarity in their stinginess of character slots.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Basically as long as they do it more like this EVE style and not the Trion style freemium they pulled with Archeage then I am willing to give it a go.

Trion basically ruined the whole thing by putting up one microtransaction pay gate after another. You couldn't do anything meaningful at all if you weren't constantly going through the pay gates every step of the way in order to get either basic progression or get inherently superior gear from those who didn't pay (or get it a lot faster).
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of the Kathalpas Coalition and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Even on top of its subscription-only model, WoW has managed to make nice cash-shop money simply on eye candy. I have roommates that are nuts about pets and mounts. Costumes work nicely in games like ESO and Black Desert Online too.

But WoW selling level 100 boosts certainly starts looking like pay to win, although I get that it may be the only way to let people catch up in a game that's over 10 years old (and that if people can't catch up Blizzard might never see them as new customers).

There is also the concept of pay for convenience that is somewhere in the middle of mere eye candy and pay to win. Paying for more bag slots and more bank space is a thing in games like ESO. You can play fine without spending that money, but if the game becomes your main game you'll increasingly feel like spending for those conveniences.

Of course, I have been totally spoiled by Eve-Online and PFO's unlimited vault space.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
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