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Seeing as how lots of folks here are playing (or have played) MMORPGs, I wanted to spark a conversation on how everyone thinks these should priced. As a little background I played Everquest for about a year and DAOC for about 6-8 months when it first arrived. Messed around in a few others (Anarchy Online, etc.) but didn't get far enough to really be a pro.

 

It seems like the pricing for these games is out of whack. I understand they need a monthly fee to keep the servers going, but it looks to me that most of the MMORPG makers are greedy as hell. $50 for the game, then $15 a month? So playing one of these for a year costs $230 and $180 every year thereafter? Servers can't cost that much, and they typically charge you for expansions so there's no new content at that price. I know that example would be on the expensive end, but even figuring a $30 game and $10/mo, it's $150/yr.

 

If they want to make the monthly fee the main moneymaker then give the game away and charge $15/mo. Pay as you play with no upfront costs. The problem for them here is that so many people quit after just 1-2 months that you make a boatload of $$$ on the initial purchase that doesn't ultimately end up on the server load. But if you are producing a MMORPG that is supposed to be enjoyable long term, you should be willing to back it up with taking the hit initially.

 

I don't know, just wondering what you all thought on the subject. I don't think I'll play another MMORPG until they do away with the infamous "level grind" structure, turns love into hate too quickly for me.

 

Well, what are you waiting for? Fire away!

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I'm new to the party as City of Heroes is my first massive title, but I have always thought that any game requiring a monthly fee should charge far less than $50.00 for the initial purchase. I was willing to swallow that cost for CoH since so many of the gang were playing it and I wanted in right away, but I've always been shy of Everquest and the others because of the initial cost in addition to the monthly fees.

 

For me, however, there is another way to look at it. I typically spend between $30 and $50 per month on games. I knew that by entering the world of City of Heroes that my game purchases would drop sharply, and I've been quite right to this point. This means that I met my budget the first month by paying $50 for the boxed product, but that I'm way under budget for the following months because I'm not buying anything else other than the monthly fee.

 

As for the level grind, I can't really speak to that at this point. The joy in playing City of Heroes, for me at least, is in grouping with friends and having a good time. Leveling up is an incentive and bonus system for me, but not the main draw. If I felt lead to hit the level cap in the first month of the game I'm afraid that I would burn out quickly. As it is I'm taking slowly and enjoying every minute of it.

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Well i never played any fee a month games until City of Heroes and to me its been worth every single penny. Considering on my main charector i think ive spent around 130 hours on just him and combined30-40 hours on my other 2 smaller ones thats a grand total of 170 hours (and just to think others have played more then i have) . A average regular console game is say 15-20 hours. Id have to buy 8.5 games to have the same ammount of total play time. $425 vs the $65 ive spent so far on COH. In the end its worth it to me.

 

capt

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Originally posted by CaptDS9E@Jun 28 2004, 03:42 PM

In the end its worth it to me.

I think you just nailed it, Joey. An item has to have worth in order to justify the asking price. I don't know about other massive games but CoH gives you the first month's subscription for free so even if one were to dump the game within the first month it isn't much different than buying, playing through and dumping another title within the first month.

 

To me the game and all its fees is well worth the asking price. I'm not making a lifetime investment in the title, but I'm having a blast.

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Good discussion topic!

 

Agreed :tu:

 

So playing one of these for a year costs $230 and $180 every year thereafter? Servers can't cost that much, and they typically charge you for expansions so there's no new content at that price. I know that example would be on the expensive end, but even figuring a $30 game and $10/mo, it's $150/yr.

 

First, yes, servers do cost that much. When I worked for my old company we were actually in negotiations with Mythic Entertainment (DAoC). We were going to host one set of servers which was around 250 to 300. That's for one of god knows how many farms they had. Now these weren't just servers with a proc, HDD, ram, etc., these bad boys were top of the line with mostly dual proc (some as high as 4) with RAID 5 arrays and some pretty sophisticated remote management software.

 

Also, lets not forget about how much bandwidth these games require. Again, using Mythic as the example, we were going to be bringing in 2 OC12's just for Mythic, we already had 2 DS3's that were only on about a 10% load. Mythic would have wound up paying roughly $20k a month to host with us, and we were one of, if not, the cheapest solution they had found.

 

IMO, granted I've played only one (CoH), but I think it's a great value if you're into the focus of the game. I've always been a fan of super heroes and CoH lets me be one, and while it's basically just doing the same thing over and over again, it sure as hell is a lot of fun :D

 

Plus, in the time I've had CoH, I've bought 2 games and have hardly played either one of them :(

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As for the expansion comment with regard to City of Heroes. It is actually getting a big free content update soon with new areas, new enemies, new types of missions and so forth.

 

They plan a Retail Expansion for next year called City of Villians which will bring a brand new dynamic to the game.

 

 

And my consoles have got at max 10 hours of play time since COH came out

 

 

capt

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First and foremost I want to note that I have played practically every MMO out on the market right now (and I'm not exaggerating) either through beta, purchasing, free trials etc. At one time I swore to myself that I would never pay a single dime on a monthly fee for one of these game. I had friends at work who were complete Everquest addicts and all they ever did was talk about how wonderful the game was. I still remember asking a work buddy of mine who looked downright exhausted how his night went and his reply of "On Everquest and tired as hell". I couldn't help but be intrigued and asked him what kind of adventures he had in game and what kept him on. I was yet again captivated by the look on his face only to be faced with a startling revelation; "My guild and I were camping a spawn point for three hours and then another group took our kill". This is what people waste thier time with? :wtf: No thanks.

 

A few months later I read about a new fangled Sci-Fi MMO that was going to change the landscape of the MMO genre (aren't they all supposed to do that these days? :lol: ). Anarchy Online was on the verge of release and after reading quite a bit about it, I decided what the hell, I'll try it for a month. That endeavour proved fruitless as the game had one of the most catastrophic launches in the history of the genre. Two weeks was all Funcom got out of me and I was pretty much dead set on giving up on the MMO genre for good.

 

Fast forward a few months and a little known company known as Mythic decided to release an MMO based on the legend and lore of King Arthur and Camelot. I was again intrigued but there was no way in hell I was falling for it again. I was not going to spend money on yet another game only have it drop my connection every 5 minutes like Anarchy. That attitude lasted but a week considering how much news I hear about the games stability and the gamers out there were not wrong. The game was rock solid, looked great and had some seriously fun gameplay. A year and a half of my life was spent in Camelot playing a Paladin character up to level 50 and a few alts to thier mid 20's . I ran a guild of player numbering in the upper 60's, all of which were heavy roleplayers. We held events, ran guild meetings etc. I was never so engulfed by a game and even today no MMO has yet to match my time in Dark Age of Camelot (not even COH).

 

In the interim I've bounced from beta to beta, retail release to retail release for every MMO in the book and all of them are simple variations on the same them. Level up, click your button and auto attack, "Grind" your way up the crating ladder etc. etc. etc.. It was not until City of Heroes that I found a game I remotely enjoyed. I played on and off throughout the last few weeks of beta and well here we are today.

 

So you may be asking yourself, whats your point Romier? Its the community is what drives these games! Its the ability to jump on and socialize with your friends, go on your own little set of adventures in a world completely away from your daily life and troubles that makes the 15 bucks per month worth it. "Level Grind" is term that was created by and for the power gamer, I took me 4 years to learn that. You control how much of a grind you feel in these games, you really do. City of Heroes is one of the best games out there if you just want to play with your friends due to its, what I consider, innovative sidekick system. Let me put it like this, if your only goal in these games is to reach the top of the level heap you'll be completely bored in less than 3 months and you'll find yourself as one of those people who bitch endlessly about "lack of endgame content" a month after release. I played DAOC for a year and a half and I was level 25 for almost a year of it but damn if I didn't have fun. Its truly your decision whether these games are worth your time and more importantly worth your money.

 

The question was also posed as to whether these "greedy" companies are gouging you due to the up front cost of the game. If you took a close look at the amount of money that goes into initial development/server setup/hosting/bandwidth etc. you're eyes would fall out and you would really have to reconsider that greedy comment. they need to recover some of that inital investment though I think the MMO market could stand a drop in price to 39.99 (which some newer games like COH are priced at in various locations). I think the main problem with people who are hesitant to pay that upfront cost is that you are even considering it to begin with. The upfront value is really for you to decide but you can bet your butt that you will eventually see that games price drop to a paltry 19.95-29.99 in less than 3-4 months. Not too mention these companies frequently extend offers to consumers to try thier games out for free for 7-15 day trials. Even as a fledgling MMO player you have a great many options available to you if you don't just want to hop right in and spend 50 bucks on something you don't like.

 

So yeah I think they are worth thier value if you are playing the right game. It can be an experience that will last you for a very long time and you will take away more than just a level 40 or 50 character but a ton of memories that alot of other online experiences can't offer.

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And if you are worried about cost, the upcoming Guild Wars will have no monthly fee. It's being published by NCSoft (City of Heroes, Lineage II, Tabula Rasa), and the short E3 beta was pretty cool.

 

That said, I jumped into City of Heroes this weekend & I'm loving it so far. But....I don't think I can vouch for the value of it until it's been over a month. I tend to get obsessed over things until I burn out, so it's entirely possible that I'll lose interest.

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First off, thanks for all the good posts. Really a good cross section of opinions and experiences to chew on.

 

In the end, everything in life breaks down to whether it is worth it to yourself or not, but what I'm pushing at here is how should these things be priced (be creative) to reach the casual gamer at different levels of income. Although some of us (here especially ;)) might spend $230 on 8-9 games in a year, many casual gamers might buy a game every two months. Why would they want to pony up so much to try a MMORPG? Not bitching here, maybe MMORPGs are regulated to the hardcore and should stay that way. But could they be set up in a better fashion.

 

For example, many people are like myself. Love to play games, but with wife/house/2 young kids pretty much my gaming time is 2-4 in the afternoon (kid's naps) and 9-1 am (post-bedtime.) And really it's one or the other since I'm usually at work during the week or have some sort of extra obligations on the weekends. So paying $15/mo for an MMORPG that I an only play 3 hours a day and never have a shot at reaching the upper tiers of levels (due to the patented level grind) isn't so attractive. Again, maybe this is the way it needs to be, but there are a LOT of people out there in this sort of situation.

 

Now if I could pay say $7 and have access to the servers for 6 hours a day off-peak or something, that might be an attractive alternative. Or have a company track your actual minutes ala cell phone type billing that maxes out at $15 a month. So like you spend 10 hours in game = $5, 30 hours = $10, 80+ =$15. I'm surprised no one has tried these sorts of things out.

 

One to keep an eye on looks to be WoW. They are doing some real interesting things with the game and player balance, I might have to give that one a shot. Depends on if they can truly remove or lighten the level grind or not, that's the part I can't stand anymore. I think of all the time I spent grinding out exp in Everquest and it makes me weep. I think I could have built a RL house in that timespan ;)

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Originally posted by Snakefish@Jun 29 2004, 11:40 AM

Or have a company track your actual minutes ala cell phone type billing that maxes out at $15 a month. So like you spend 10 hours in game = $5, 30 hours = $10, 80+ =$15. I'm surprised no one has tried these sorts of things out.

That's an interesting idea. How about a Cingular-style plan? Say, $20/month and unused minutes gets rolled over, maybe for a period of six months. Or $15 a month for unlimited, or pay-per-play with monthly charges maxing at $30. Or whatever.

 

-j

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So paying $15/mo for an MMORPG that I an only play 3 hours a day and never have a shot at reaching the upper tiers of levels (due to the patented level grind) isn't so attractive. Again, maybe this is the way it needs to be, but there are a LOT of people out there in this sort of situation.

 

I'm in this situation myself, actually. I can't play before 10pm EST because that's when wife and baby retire for the night, and I really shouldn't play past 1am (although Scott, Shawn, and Joel usually shame me into staying on later than that :)). Still, that three or four hours a night is something that I look forward to all day. That's about 20 hours a week, 80 hours a month, for $15...that's actually a bargain to me as far as games go, considering that my shelf is filled with Xbox games that I have spent $50 each on and have less than 10 hours into.

 

Seriously, I have at least 30 Xbox games and I can think of maybe a half-dozen that I have put more than 15 hours into. Whereas for my first month in CoH, I logged about 140 hours (and if anything I am more driven now than ever to keep playing). Taken just from a gaming perspective, that $15 a month is the best gaming bargain I've ever come across. But there's another aspect as well:

 

It can be an experience that will last you for a very long time and you will take away more than just a level 40 or 50 character but a ton of memories that alot of other online experiences can't offer.

 

Great point, Romier. I do love playing with the various characters I have in CoH, leveling them up, getting new powers, etc., but more than that I look forward to playing with the LCVG crew every night. I have played with most people here for years on Xbox Live, all the way back to getting smoked by Mr. Buck Thrustwell himself in MotoGP during the XBL beta (:P), but I feel like I have really gotten to become true friends with a lot of you through City of Heroes. When I log in to play each night, it's not the propect of playing a video game that excites me, it's the anticipation of hanging out with my buddies that gets me charged up. And taken from that point of view, $15 a month is nothing. I have happily spent hundreds of dollars a month at bars and golf courses just to hang out with my friends in the past...I feel like I'm getting away pretty cheap for just $15. :)

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Even if you can only play 3 hours a day on weekdays, you're talking about 60 hours per month on average. $15 per month divided by 60 hours per month comes to 25 cents per hour. What other form of entertainment costs 25 cents per hour?! If you go to an arcade, most games are $1 dollar for maybe 5 minutes of play. That comes out to $12 per hour! If you go see a movie, even a matinee at $5, you're still paying $2.50 per hour (not to mention taking out a second mortgage to buy a keg of soda at the concession stand). Assuming your total gaming time is limited to that same 3 hours a day on weekdays, you are actually saving money by playing an MMORPG. If you bought a $50 Xbox/PS2 RPG to play and it took you 60 hours to finish it (83 cents per hour), you would need to buy another one the next month (I would say most games have very little replay value), and so on and so on. That's $50 a month times 12 months per year equalling $600. During that same period, if you were playing an MMORPG exclusively, you would only have spent $215 ($50 initial purchase + 11 months at $15/month), a savings of $385 per year! Even if you only bought a $50 game every other month, you'd still be shelling out $300 per year. How can you afford NOT to play an MMORPG? ;)

 

I have no problem paying $50 to buy the game. The game's developer probably worked for 2 years creating the game engine, graphics, story, music/sound, AI, etc. The initial price of the game is to cover that because if a customer buys the game and decides not to play it after the first free month, the developer cannot recoup those costs from that customer's non-existant monthly fee. The monthly fee is to pay for the cost of buying/housing/maintaining servers, bandwidth, in-game tech support, and content updates/patches, etc. (costs that single player games do not have). Assuming the expansion has worthwhile content, I also don't mind paying to buy that too (I was really surprised by the amount of content that was added to the latest CoH patch for free).

 

By their very nature, MMORPG's require alot of a player's time. There is no end to them and unlike most single player games, they are designed for thousands of hours of play (most single player RPGs only give 30-60 hours). There are no saves to "pause" the game. They are not for casual gamers who have 15 minutes here and there to play. For those kinds of players, paying a monthly fee would be a waste. For players who can and do play for hours a day, the flat monthly fee is an incredible entertainment bargain.

 

Of all the MMORPG's I've played so far (UO, EQ, DAoC, FFXI, Coh), City of Heroes is by far the most friendly to the casual gamer. There are 4 main reasons for this:

 

1) It doesn't take 30 minutes to run across a map. You can even get places pretty quickly without travel powers.

 

2) No matter how many times you die, you never lose a level or have to do a "corpse run".

 

3) You can actually accomplish alot via missions or just random encounters within even an hour's time.

 

4) You can always play with your friends, regardless of their level, via the sidekick feature.

 

Man, I love this CoH. Now what should I do with all the money I'm saving? :)

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Statistics don't lie, but they don't tell the truth either. You can manipulate them however you like and reach any conclusion you wish.

 

For example Red, taking your arguement a logic step further we could say that you pay $230 first year to play CoH, you pay 0.25 an hour for the entertainment (just piggybacking your figure.) But if I bought Half-Life for $19.99 and downloaded Counterstrike, Day of Defeat, and TFC I could also play 3 hours each weekday for a year and pay only 0.02 an hour! And every year after that the cost drops by half since there is no monthly fee.

 

So are MMORPG players stupid for paying 10x to 20x as much for their entertainment? Obviously not. But my point here is statistics don't always tell the whole story. Everything is relative to arbitrary ideas of "value".

 

Plus, to say that someone is playing 3 hours a night 5 times a week I wouldn't call them a casual player. That's very dedicated over a year. When I say casual, I mean someone that might play 3 hours max at a stretch maybe 2-3 times a week max. With so much less commitment on the server, should they pay the same as someone that dedicates 30+ hours a week to the game?

 

This isn't an attack on MMORPGs, what I'm getting at is the one-price fits all price structure that dominates 95% of all MMORPGs the most efficient way to market these games? Kind of like cell phones, usage goes way up when there are different tiers based on usage. If cells were $60 a month no matter what, I don't think they would be a popular as they are.

 

Thoughts?

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It's an interesting proposal, but the problem I see is that in order to recoup the losses that charging casual users, say, $6 a month instead of $15, the game companies are likely to charge their heaviest users more. I would hate to see a pay-for-play plan implemented because I am one of the users who would doubtless be charged more than $15 for my usage. I don't have any kind of usage statistics for MMPORGs at my disposal, but I expect that there's a pretty significant percentage of the players are "casual" players, meaning let's say 30 hours a month. If you charge by usage alone, that's a big portion of your audience paying less than what you are charging now. I just don't see how they could make that money back unless they start whacking heavy users. After all, charging 20 cents an hour (let's say) is great when you play 30 hours a month ($6 monthly bill). It's less great when you play 150 hours a month like I did my first month ($30 monthly bill).

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Snakefish,

 

I'm sorry if I misread your previous posts. I inferred the 3 hours a day on weekdays (15 hours a week average) from your second post:

 

For example, many people are like myself. Love to play games, but with wife/house/2 young kids pretty much my gaming time is 2-4 in the afternoon (kid's naps) and 9-1 am (post-bedtime.) And really it's one or the other since I'm usually at work during the week or have some sort of extra obligations on the weekends. So paying $15/mo for an MMORPG that I an only play 3 hours a day and never have a shot at reaching the upper tiers of levels (due to the patented level grind) isn't so attractive. Again, maybe this is the way it needs to be, but there are a LOT of people out there in this sort of situation.

 

And I used the one game per two months for casual gamers numbers you mentioned in the same post:

 

Although some of us (here especially ) might spend $230 on 8-9 games in a year, many casual gamers might buy a game every two months.

 

Based on the numbers you gave in your post (again, if I misread the numbers, please forgive me), I think what I said still holds true, whether it is one year or 100 years. Yes, you can could have bought Half-Life for $20 and downloaded the rest for free. I also could have gotten CoH as a gift and paid nothing. However this is not comparing apples to apples. I assume we're talking about a casual gamer buying new games and the typical price for new games are $40-50, single player or MMORPG. For the sake of argument, let's just go with $40. If you're saying that a casual gamer might buy a game every two months, that is $40 per game times 6 games per year, equaling $240 a year, every year. If that same person bought City of Heroes for example, it would cost them $205 ($40 initial + 11 months at $15/month) for the first year and $180 a year (12 months at $15/month) every year after that.

 

[EDIT] Sony has an Everquest deal where you get the original EQ game plus all 7 expansions and a 12 month game subscription for only $120. So basically, you're just paying $10 a month to play one of the largest and most updated MMORPGs around. Honestly, I don't see any deals on the horizon better than that. Guild Wars is free but I'm betting that there will be neither the content updates (look how long it took for Blizzard to finish the 1.10 update) nor the level of support found in MMORPGs with monthly fees.[/EDIT]

 

Your Half-Life example changes the parameters you initially set up in this question:

 

Although some of us (here especially ) might spend $230 on 8-9 games in a year, many casual gamers might buy a game every two months. Why would they want to pony up so much to try a MMORPG?

 

Your Half-Life example doesn't really fit into your casual gamer buying a game every two months statement. Yes, I agree that paying $20 for Half-Life and playing it for free is cheaper than playing City of Heroes over that same time frame. That is a given. Just as playing Yahoo Poker free online costs less than playing Half-Life. But that isn't what you asked. You asked why would a casual gamer who might buy a game every two months (not buy one 3-year old bargain bin game and play that the entire time) pony up for an MMORPG.

 

With so much less commitment on the server, should they pay the same as someone that dedicates 30+ hours a week to the game?

 

Think of it like cable or satellite TV. It's the same price whether you watch it 24/7 or 1 hour a day. If you are a casual TV watcher, you are paying the same as a hardcore TV watcher because you have the OPTION to watch it all the time (like the hardcore TV watcher), some of the time, or none of the time for the same flat free. Yes, they could modify their cable/satellite boxes so that it would keep track of all the times the box was on and send that information back to the cable/satellite provider, but I doubt they want to deal with the hassle, either with upgrading the hardware or updating their billing system. I would suppose that is the same reason why MMORPGs don't charge per hour. In this way, you avoid any customer conflicts about whether they are being overcharged because they weren't really on for 12 hours last Tuesday. The billing would also be simpler (I would guess that to charge hourly, they would have to have some kind of online/offline system to allow users to see what their charges are, similar to cell phones) as would the financial forecasts.

 

I completely agree that it is all about perceived value. If I think something is too expensive, then I don't buy it. If MMORPG sales were hurting because potential customers were put-off by their pricing structure, I'm sure they'd be using a different system by now.

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I played EQ for almost 3 years so I figured I'd add my comments. I also played some of the others but none of them thus far are equal to EQ. I hear that CoH is extremely good but my PC has gotten to the point where It doesn't want to play anything new coming out due to my old Video card and processor. Considering I just spent $8k+ as well as I'm looking at having to do some remodeling at the house, I don't have the $$ to go remedy the situation. That doesn't mean I'm not interested in the latest stuff. I just can't afford it :(

 

his isn't an attack on MMORPGs, what I'm getting at is the one-price fits all price structure that dominates 95% of all MMORPGs the most efficient way to market these games?

Whether its the most efficient or not, it will be the norm of the future. If EQ can survive with its rather large #'s by doing this for years, so can the others. Why offer others cheaper options? Like any MMORPG, the more you put into the game, the more you will get out of it. You are still treated the same regardless of how much you pay. If some folks were offered to pay for more premium service, I would say that is a dangerous trend. EQ thought about that for a while and backed off of that. They do have a more expensive server called Legends where it does cost more and you do get to see things earlier and the service might be a little better but that doesn't equal a better experience. There are plenty of folks that have tried it and have switched after they found the grass was not greener.

 

Like it or not, a standard $ 15 a month or so fee is going to be the norm. The upcoming Blizzard MMORPG will be that way but it might be a while before it actually is coming out(knowing Blizzard).

 

For me, when I did play EQ, I didn't buy other games. The $15 a month was justified easily.

 

Considering how well the best MMORPGs are doing, I don't see the trend changing. EQ is still Huge, EQ2 will be HUGE, Blizzards game will be Huge and COH is getting there. I haven't read much of anything from folks saying "I quit COH because the $15 a month wasn't worth it". In fact the damn game has me considering finding ways to upgrade my machine to play it. I may hold out for Worlds of Warcraft I don't know yet.

 

At over 20 servers and over 2000 people per server a night or more on average on EQ, I don't see why they would change it. do you? Why break something that works?

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This is one of the reasons I haven't played any of these yet. I still have a huge problem with paying for the game then paying for each months access. Maybe if they let you d/l the complete game for free or charged maybe $10 shipping to order it then gave you a month free to see if you liked it I would test it out.

 

But my brain still says no way to spending $50 for the boxed game, then only getting 1 month free and having to then spend $10 each month after that. If the game costs $50 give the user 5 months free or at least 4 months.

 

Another problem I have is with the people who play it. I don't have all day and night to sit and up my character like a lot of these players do who are playing all the time. And because of this if I were to play I would be so off the progress curve of most people I wouldn't be able to find a group to play with.

 

I am looking forward to seeing what World of Warcraft is like and that might be my first, but until then I'll just watch from the sidelines.

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Another problem I have is with the people who play it. I don't have all day and night to sit and up my character like a lot of these players do who are playing all the time. And because of this if I were to play I would be so off the progress curve of most people I wouldn't be able to find a group to play with.

 

I am looking forward to seeing what World of Warcraft is like

 

Don't bother. You'll be sorely disappointed going by the criteria you noted in the upper most quote. WoW is no different in that regard from what I've read. The only MMO on the market right now that really makes HUGE strides in reducing the frustration for those who can't play 40 hours a week is City of Heroes. I'm not saying that because I'm a fan of the game (though I am) but because it genuinely is a game created for the "casual" MMO player.

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I am looking forward to seeing what World of Warcraft is like and that might be my first, but until then I'll just watch from the sidelines.

You will be dissapointed then. The game is really geared towards the former higher end players of EQ. Everything that was wrong about EQ and I don't mean some of the simple stuff, is being made right by them. They enlisted a ton of former high end players of EQ to make sure its suits them. Those are the majority of the folks that pay the $10-$15 a month and then buy 2 or 3 accounts to run multiple toons. I know a guy who played 5 accounts at once. He was his own group.

Another problem I have is with the people who play it. I don't have all day and night to sit and up my character like a lot of these players do who are playing all the time. And because of this if I were to play I would be so off the progress curve of most people I wouldn't be able to find a group to play with.

If you just the play the game to enjoy it and not to catch up to others then you should be fine. You will never play as much as some folks so don't bother worrying about it. I know some folks would play EQ for up to 17 hours in a row for a week straight or more and that wasn't because of some camp they were in trying to get a quest item.

But my brain still says no way to spending $50 for the boxed game, then only getting 1 month free and having to then spend $10 each month after that. If the game costs $50 give the user 5 months free or at least 4 months.

Look at it this way you are paying for content being added to the game and fixed on a timely basis. I can remember nearly daily patches and updates to the game. They really can't do that with a bunch of folks getting it for free. That and their bandwidth isn't free either. If you consider how much it costs to run a MMORPG like that. If they were hosted locally like a quake game, that is a different story.

 

These games can be the funnest out there but you need to put in some time to make the most of it. I know in EQ you can put in less than 10 hours a week and still have a blast. I know I did for a long time.

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Another problem I have is with the people who play it. I don't have all day and night to sit and up my character like a lot of these players do who are playing all the time. And because of this if I were to play I would be so off the progress curve of most people I wouldn't be able to find a group to play with.

 

That's exactly how I feel. I'm not big on Action/RPG hybrids to begin with (which most MMORPGs are). I like my RPGs turn based. But I don't have patience to mindlessly level up - I've got too many anime DVDs, movies, books, and videogames backlogged to spend hours whacking enemies. I like some storyline and turn-based tactics (I've been playing Baldur's Gate II again quite a bit).

 

I'd say I could see me hitting up the game a few hours a week, no more.

 

As a fan of turn-based strategy (Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Civ, etc) and RPGs, I'm one of those anti MMORPG people. But, I was the same about RTSs until a recent spat playing C&C Generals with my work friends. I'm the target expansion market for MMORPGs, but the pricing is too much for too little benefit, for me.

 

I would give a MMORPG a shot, but I'm not going to pay $15/month. If they release a decent one for $5 a month I would think about it. I've got enough monthly payments. How about a 40-hours a month for $7.95, like old dial up ISPs used to do? :D

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the one thing where city of heroes is different is you dont pay for more then 1 charector.

 

Not really Joey. With the exception of Final Fantasy XI (which charges for an extra character slot) and Star Wars Galaxies which enforces a 1 character per server policy to reduce "twinking" (ie you higher level character giving items and powers that enhance your new character beyond the point he should be so he levels faster) and "Buff bots" (alternate characters used only for buffing) every other MMO out there allows multiple characters per server. DAOC, EQ, UO, AO etc. they all allow this.

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I must admit that City of Heroes has been tempting me to the dark side. I was eyeing it up at Media Play today (it was on sale). I may very well try it out when the Villains expansion pack comes out (and my finances have cleared up a bit). The concept behind CoH interests me more the monster-thwacking treasure-hunting level-gaining orgy that is most MMORPGs.

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