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The 3 Steps That Could Save This Game

Flari-Merchant
I have to wonder if there is a difference in conversion to subscribed accounts when there was a trial and accounts that sign up now as there is no other choice. New players are still coming in and seem to be sticking better but that may be simply because it is a "buy in" thing now so you may as well play it out. It may be that they are getting mixed into the pop of players that are giving them social experiences that create ties. It may be a combination.

Not sure that F2P or Freemum would be superior to Buy and Pay at this stage, but I think with just a bit more content it would be.

Yes the cosmetic items have been overlooked or more likely seen as useless until there is a large enough player base to make coding them worthwhile. If you can't sell enough they may look like bad investments of time to developers at the moment. On the other hand, if they are not extremely time intensive or costly to code, why not start with small easy things and build a nice inventory for sale?

Just do something! Plodding along in a Limbo like state with slow progress is not retaining subscribed accounts. If it is actually gaining total subscribed accounts and I am talking out of my ass then tell me and I will shut my trap! smile If not then get started on a strategy to make this game rise that does not involve conventional investment in large sums. It is always good to do some of the hard stuff yourself.
Midnight
Even if the game were free, PFO needs vast improvements to compete with all the other free to play games.

PFO is probably 60 man-months of development away from having enough gameplay improvements and quality of life improvements before being able to seriously compete with other free games, and that is BEFORE we even get into improving the graphics.

While PFO can't seriously compete with subscription games, it also can't seriously compete with free games, in the state it is in today. It needs further development before the masses are going to come, and I don't see ANY way to get substantial revenue from enough players under ANY revenue model until AFTER that development is done.

PFO pretty much burned through all the money the hype train could provide, and now has to compete on its reality, and today's micro-population attests to PFO's competitiveness in the real market.

At any moment of the day there are more characters dancing in The Secret World's "subway" than you can find in all of Golarian.

If I had millions to throw at this game I'd just make it free until it could compete. (With some protection against NEW multiple accounts while it is free).

Stealth edit: I'd make it buy to play, to weed out new multiple account makers who aren't really serious about staying and to keep the databases from being overloaded and all the good names from being taken.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Drizzle
Free to play with a cash shop for stuff like ammo and better armor and improved swords would remove the purpose of the game altogether.

The original proposal was to make something that was not just a new shiney version of all the other mmo's out there and the things that were proposed as the foundation of that difference were that xp would accumulate over time with no total XP cap (there would however be a cap on how far you can level any individual role/skill/attack), that what you could do in game would be a function of training plus gear rather than iconic role levels and that absolutely everything in game would be manufactured by players rather than looted or bought for cash(though small holdngs already break this commitment).
Flari-Merchant
Blah! What a waste if all of this work goes down the tubes because there is little or no flexibility and certainly no creativity when dealing with the obstacles of reality.
Edam
Bringslite of Oz
Blah! What a waste if all of this work goes down the tubes because there is little or no flexibility and certainly no creativity when dealing with the obstacles of reality.
Just as much a waste if all we end up with is a slightly different version of every other freemium free to play MMO that becomes the new exciting shiney fad for a few months with the churn brigade before fading away again smile
Flari-Merchant
Is it possible to have a cash shop that isn't pay to win, yet it is successful? Is it possible to have a Freemium game that isn't terrible? Is it possible to have both of these things in the same game?

Versions of F2P and Freemium and B2P are more common now than subscription only games. At least the ones that are the most new or under development. It isn't just the future. It's the present. These games that are "flashes in the pan"? Well most of them are still around and still have larger player bases despite losing ground than this one did at it's most successful.

Somebody plays these games. Waiting for magical investors isn't working very well. Some of us would rather this game die than that it make a few compromises, while being sensible about them, or see it try some outside the box avenues to earn $$$ and get Developed. I am willing to compromise a bit.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Bringslite of Oz
Is it possible to have a cash shop that isn't pay to win, yet it is successful? Is it possible to have a Freemium game that isn't terrible? Is it possible to have both of these things in the same game?

Versions of F2P and Freemium and B2P are more common now than subscription only games. At least the ones that are the most new or under development. It isn't just the future. It's the present. These games that are "flashes in the pan"? Well most of them are still around and still have larger player bases despite losing ground than this one did at it's most successful.

Somebody plays these games. Waiting for magical investors isn't working very well. Some of us would rather this game die than that it make a few compromises, while being sensible about them, or see it try some outside the box avenues to earn $$$ and get Developed. I am willing to compromise a bit.

Is it possible? Yes.
Goblin Balls, extra XP streams for an account, limited impact items like smallholdings (gotta be careful there), and cosmetics would most definitely work. As could some form of limited free accounts. But the devil is always in the details, those details will make or break the whole thing.

Is it gonna happen without a decent injection of cash first? Unfortunately, not likely at this point. Too many of those things require significant amounts of new work, either in systems or assets. Even if they could quickly get the free account thing working they would probably need to finish a few significant systems to make the game interesting enough to retain those players and convert them to subs, as they won't be able to live off cash shop stuff without dedicating a lot of time creating assets.

It's kind of a chicken before the egg problem.
Flari-Merchant
Some single ingredient that is needed to craft enchanted gear and consumables, if that were available from NPC vendors only and/or from the cash shop, would that be a P2W item? Let's assume that enchanted gear were to be not necessarily more powerful than current gear but more "specialized" than current gear.
Harad Navar
Like in flaming scimitars for clerics of Sarenrae?
Knowledge can explain the darkness, but it is not a light.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Bringslite of Oz
Some single ingredient that is needed to craft enchanted gear and consumables, if that were available from NPC vendors only and/or from the cash shop, would that be a P2W item? Let's assume that enchanted gear were to be not necessarily more powerful than current gear but more "specialized" than current gear.

If it has any effect on game systems and is either 'required' or gives an advantage, it's not something you want to put in your cash shop. Let's say that it's not a particularly advantageous perk, just the ability to buy the item and creating the gear as a crafter gives that crafter an advantage in that market area.

The nice thing about stuff like PLEX and theoretical Goblin Balls is that players are trading sub time (that's a tad more expensive than just subbing normally) not direct advantages. The game is never imbalanced by this because the time being used is always being payed for, it's just a matter of who uses it. Free accounts do mess with this a bit (and we're about to see some of that in EVE), but in such a case a player is already 'choosing' to play a limited account instead of a the 'baseline' active sub account.
 
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