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On the topic of subscription fees.Follow

#1 Jan 21 2011 at 9:08 PM Rating: Decent
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So "The Duck" (I find that nickname better than "Yoshi-P", honestly) has now come out and given us a pretty good idea of what we can expect in the coming months, after compiling all of the FFXIV Poll information and letting us see for ourselves what all happened with that. Suffice it to say, everything does indeed look good on paper, what with the very near future implementation of actual quests unrelated to either main story or jobs, bi-monthly updates, further streamlining and overhaul of the User Interface, and so on and so forth.

Now I don't want to get too far ahead of things, but I figure there's never a bad time to bring up the issue of subscription fees for FFXIV, even if they have yet to be implemented due to the game not yet meeting expectations of not just the players, but of the new development team. Still, with a game plan laid out, it's worth some consideration or discussion, I think. Even moreso in the case of FFXIV due to the fact that it's monetary fee policy is not flat like a lot of other mainstream MMOs out there, and was even markedly different from its predecessor in ways.

Just as a summary of what the game's planned fees were prior to the crashing and burning which occurred within the first month, here is how it all plays out:

(All monetary denominations are in USD)

An active FFXIV account with one character slot (includes two retainers per character): $12.95
Every additional character slot: $3.00
Every additional retainer after the second: $1
Note #1: It's worth pointing out that the first character slot is actually a separate fee from the active account itself, meaning the account even excluding a character slot still allegedly costs $9.95.
Note #2: Prior to December, all characters only got one complementary retainer.


So effectively $12.95 per month to begin with.

One of the bigger issues that Final Fantasy XI got flak for I remember when it first rolled out, other than its method of server dispersal of new players without ways to get to the same server as a friend without a world pass, had been the $1/every additional character after the first. For the most part this could be justified for a few reasons:

1) FFXI allowed you to partake in every job with one character, unlike many other MMOs out there today which require numerous characters for numerous job classes.

2) FFXI's minimal subscription fee with just one character was below average for most MMOs at the time, and that includes the standard bearer known as WoW. So if you really wanted an alternate character, no harm, right? You could get up to 2 more before reaching that range of "higher priced than most MMOs".

3) The game was, well ... good? It was well-received in the EU and NA regions, plain and simple, so people were more accepting of the previous two reasons.

Final Fantasy XIV, however, well ... suffice it to say, there's some key differences.

1) Unlike FFXI, every additional character saw their price go up from $1 to $3. One extra character alone would bring your monthly subscription fee above the MMO average. It does stay true to the "you can do anything on one character" angle FFXI had, but with a steeper price if you want a second character.

2) There's also the concern of quasi-micro transactions for access to additional storage space, rewarding people with money to burn, different from the way FFXI rewarded those who grinded out quests or expanded their "gobbie bags", paid for a Mog Locker, or whatever. In fairness, SE did sell the FFXI Security Tokens ($10) and toss in a Mog Satchel, however the key difference is the Mog Satchel was a one-time-only expenditure, compared to the cumulation of $1/month per additional retainers.

3) The game was, um ... uh ... well, yeah. It was not well-received. So much so that as we all obviously know, monthly fees have been suspended indefinitely.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

All the rambling and details aside, I'm curious about how the denizens of ZAM feel about that price plan now. Obviously, lacking any sort of premium status here, I can't necessarily give you a poll to fill out. Still, I can ask for your varied opinions on a few questions.

Even if FFXIV reaches that point of "meeting expectations", should it keep this price plan the way it is?
If "yes", why?
If "no", what would you change (e.g. removal or reduction of the price of extra character slots, removal of retainers as an additional monthly fee charge, etc.)?

Personally speaking? Even had this game been the bee's knees from the very beginning, I had always found the fact that they rose the price of extra characters from $1 to $3 suspect, and more about staving off multiple characters on RMT accounts, or just about cash grabbing. As for retainers, I would have much preferred some form of in-game salary system using gil, as compared to spending real-life money adding to my monthly fee.

So? How about you?

Edited, Jan 21st 2011 10:25pm by Satisiun
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Final Fantasy XI Character(s)
Name: Satisiun
Server: Carbuncle (RIP Gilgamesh)
Jobs: 99DRG, 99PLD, 99RDM, 99WHM | Everything else: 50-60
~Retired.~

Final Fantasy XIV Character(s)
Name: Satisiun Desain
Server(s): Sargantas (primary)
DoW/DoM/DoH/DoL: 50
#2 Jan 21 2011 at 10:04 PM Rating: Decent
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I think $12.95 is a good price. And I get the feeling that additional character slots, or at least one additional character slot, will be free.
#3 Jan 21 2011 at 10:28 PM Rating: Decent
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12.95 is a pretty good price for the game. They are selling essentially mules for $1 which are handier than they were in FFXI, also to promote their market ward system, though that didn't go all that well in general, but even with an AH, they are still far better than the old mule system. Because of this, the only real reason to purchase another character, is if you have 2 people on the same account, which (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is against the EULA/TOS unless they are under 13.

Basically, the game starts $2 cheaper for the bulk of the player base, and $1 above most games if you have a second character on it, but that $1's a lot cheaper than the $13 you are supposed to be paying for a second account.
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#4 Jan 21 2011 at 10:34 PM Rating: Decent
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KujaKoF wrote:
Because of this, the only real reason to purchase another character, is if you have 2 people on the same account, which (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is against the EULA/TOS unless they are under 13.


Just to chime in here, I am one of those people who almost needs a second character to ensure I will be able to play with all the friends, or at least the majority of them, I made on Final Fantasy XI. Not everyone I know went to one server when moving to FFXIV, nor do those waiting on the PS3 version plan to either. In fact, it was almost split right down the middle in some ways of where some went, and where others went.

So that is why I feel obligated to have a second character, since I'd like to be able to do things with more than one clique of friends in the end.

In any event, I was speaking with a friend for a few after bringing this thread to light, and he said maybe one alternative idea would be to increase the price of the monthly fee by a dollar or something, but at the same time allow for more character slots at the beginning. Somewhere around 3, or 4.

It seemed like a reasonable compromise in some ways. SE still is promised more confirmed money from subscribers than they anticipated from the prior cost, and customers are given more freedom to play more than one character, whether it is because they don't want to just play one race, or in my case, want to play with different people spanning different servers.

Edited, Jan 21st 2011 11:35pm by Satisiun
____________________________
Final Fantasy XI Character(s)
Name: Satisiun
Server: Carbuncle (RIP Gilgamesh)
Jobs: 99DRG, 99PLD, 99RDM, 99WHM | Everything else: 50-60
~Retired.~

Final Fantasy XIV Character(s)
Name: Satisiun Desain
Server(s): Sargantas (primary)
DoW/DoM/DoH/DoL: 50
#5 Jan 21 2011 at 11:53 PM Rating: Good
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Satisiun wrote:
KujaKoF wrote:
Because of this, the only real reason to purchase another character, is if you have 2 people on the same account, which (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is against the EULA/TOS unless they are under 13.


Just to chime in here, I am one of those people who almost needs a second character to ensure I will be able to play with all the friends, or at least the majority of them, I made on Final Fantasy XI. Not everyone I know went to one server when moving to FFXIV, nor do those waiting on the PS3 version plan to either. In fact, it was almost split right down the middle in some ways of where some went, and where others went.

So that is why I feel obligated to have a second character, since I'd like to be able to do things with more than one clique of friends in the end.

In any event, I was speaking with a friend for a few after bringing this thread to light, and he said maybe one alternative idea would be to increase the price of the monthly fee by a dollar or something, but at the same time allow for more character slots at the beginning. Somewhere around 3, or 4.

It seemed like a reasonable compromise in some ways. SE still is promised more confirmed money from subscribers than they anticipated from the prior cost, and customers are given more freedom to play more than one character, whether it is because they don't want to just play one race, or in my case, want to play with different people spanning different servers.

Edited, Jan 21st 2011 11:35pm by Satisiun


I know I left it out of my original post, but yes there are a few legit reasons that people would have several characters, and this system is unfortunately not so great for those people. I don't know why they wanted to go in this direction rather than having a flat fee, i guess they felt it would be more profitable, or possibly they did it from a customer service standpoint.
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#6 Jan 22 2011 at 2:46 AM Rating: Decent
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There is so little to defend SE where this game is concerned, but this is one thing I think they hit spot on. Save for the +1, +2 (if you gather), +3 version of so much stuff between your main char and 2 retainers you get a ton of storage space. Given the amount of space (and overall needlessness of a second char thanks to all melee, magic, gathering, and crafting classes not having a cap on a single char) I think 3$ for the 2nd char is right in line, as it brings the sub rate to the basic industry standard of 15-16/mo. I'd be double inclined towards 'mules' if they intended to implement a mail system (I don't recall 'the duck' mentioning that in his 'please continue to bear with us while we do nothing' message to the players)

Having said that if they start charging a monthly fee anywhere in the near future I (like the small majority of my LS members still playing) will be gone. As luck would have it ffxiv isn't the only game in town.

Does it have the ability to be epic? Yes. Can they dev team make that happen? Only time will tell. For now, I bought a preorder beta key. Once they start charging if I don't think 'it' is there. Pfft. Rift release in march :)

-Teeg
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#7 Jan 22 2011 at 2:58 AM Rating: Good
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While I see less of a need for multiple characters this time around (after all, we can hire retainers for additional storage now instead of requiring mules ala FFXI), I do see why people might be a bit annoyed at the prospect of paying extra to own them. Still, currently we're still getting a 'free trial' of the game, so I don't expect a mass exodus just yet.

Quote:
3) The game was, um ... uh ... well, yeah. It was not well-received. So much so that as we all obviously know, monthly fees have been suspended indefinitely.
Not indefinitely. They will be reinstating them once they're happy with the direction the game is going. Arguably that could be sometime very soon since they have already outlined their plans for the upcoming months and gone to great detail with it.

I'm perfectly happy to pay the online fees necessary to play, even though im not on as often as I would like to be. Between work and home life, im an extremely casual player and I enjoy the socialising more than the game itself. That being said, FFXIV seems to be a less social game than most, at least at present, which is why I seem to spend more time on the forum than in the game. As you can imagine, I was relieved to see it's one of the things that SE will be looking at in detail over the next few months.

I have higher hopes for this game than ever since their recent Lodestone post. They're diligently working on the parts we requested (and almost all of the things I listed on the questionnaire as problem areas) with updates planned as early as February. If that isn't something to look forward to then nothing ever will be.
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#8 Jan 22 2011 at 9:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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Glitterhands wrote:
Quote:
3) The game was, um ... uh ... well, yeah. It was not well-received. So much so that as we all obviously know, monthly fees have been suspended indefinitely.
Not indefinitely. They will be reinstating them once they're happy with the direction the game is going. Arguably that could be sometime very soon since they have already outlined their plans for the upcoming months and gone to great detail with it.


That's kind of what "indefinitely" means - "for an unspecified amount of time."
#9 Jan 22 2011 at 10:28 AM Rating: Good
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Why the duck?
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#10 Jan 22 2011 at 11:13 AM Rating: Decent
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The new character is one dollar plus an extra two for each of the retainers he comes with, thus three dollars. If a second character was only one dollar, you wouldn't likely make more retainers for your first character since you could essentially get two "free" ones by simply making another character.

Granted, that all assumes they plan to make a D-Box system, as otherwise I don't beleive there is a way to trade stuff between your primary character and your secondary without someone helping you.
#11 Jan 22 2011 at 5:22 PM Rating: Decent
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I shared an account with my girlfriend the entire time I played FFXI, so we paid the extra dollar for an extra character, which we didn't mind. $13.95 for that game a month was fine. We didn't have the means to play together, so it was never really an issue.

With FFXIV, we were planning on playing together with the simultaneous PS3/PC launch, but now that didn't happen, we're back where we used to be, 2 characters tied to one account. So when FFXIV launches on PS3, either one of us will have to cancel and we'll pay $26 with both of us having one character, or we'll both make extra characters and be up in the $32 range, before any additional retainers. I didn't mind paying $30 for the game to play now, but if I had to pay $30 every month, I might be singing a different song.

I don't know about you guys, but I'd like to either see the price come down on subscriptions, additional characters or both. A cheaper price point might not be a bad thing, and might even give S-E the edge it needs to draw subscribers from other games.
#12 Jan 23 2011 at 10:54 AM Rating: Good
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I read this...

WarkupoZ wrote:
The new character is one dollar plus an extra two for each of the retainers he comes with, thus three dollars. If a second character was only one dollar, you wouldn't likely make more retainers for your first character since you could essentially get two "free" ones by simply making another character.


And it's a very genius point that I never considered.

When you think of it as "$3 for a second character", it's a bit harsh, but when you think of it as "$1 for an extra character and $1 each for two more retainers", it sounds a little more reasonable, I suppose.

Personally, I'd like to say that extra characters should be $1 and extra retainers should be free but then people would just get eleventy bajillion retainers and the concept of limited inventory space would be a joke.

So while I'm not really a fan of the $3/$1 plan, I think it's the best plan. The nominal fee of $1 per retainer is just enough to make people not just get more retainers than your body has room for, but at only $12 a year, it's a drop in the bucket. $3 per per extra character sucks less when you think of it in terms of the two extra retainers, and $36/year is still not a whole lot of money.

So I think their current pricing plan is good.
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