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Is early access the right thing to do for the game?Follow

#1 May 30 2013 at 4:13 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm trying to understand the global logic and strategy behind this early access feature. I will preface this by saying I have early access and still don't understand why I am getting it.

There are three kinds of people in this system as far as I can describe. First, people who never bought the first game. SE is going after them, because yay new players. They can get early access if they pre-order the game. Makes sense. This happens all the time for people buying a game. Second, legacy players who bought the game and paid sub fees. SE is trying to keep them. To lose legacy members now would be a truly dropped ball. Early access makes sense for legacy members: you can't exclude them from any active game by any right.

But the third player base are people who bought the game and quit because it wasn't up to their standards. SE is going after them, because if they hadn't quit the game would have never shut down in the first place. SE is going after them because they already tried the game once and SE almost had them in their reach. And it is with this third demographic that I fail to see what SE was thinking when they did early access. They don't get early access.

Why are we having early access at all, is my question. It risks further alienating players who are the most likely to net new subscriptions to this game:
They will probably not net very many from group one by this early access thing.
They have the second group as paying subscribers of the game.
So why would they design the relaunch to look like it is excluding perhaps the most important sector of the game's potential players by doing early access at all?

The alternative is that everyone starts the re-launch at the same time. Where is the down side? Will new players complain if old players get to start with them? No. Will legacy players? I should hope not. These guys already own the game. This is early access to a game 2 years old! Nobody makes a re-subscriber wait a week to return to a game they already have an account on is what I'm getting at lol...

I don't think early access should happen :( On the bright side, the superior alternative would just be that everyone starts a week early. What's done is done, but I wish SE didn't set up the scenario where an owner of the retail version of the game sees others playing it, and not them, and uses it as an excuse to not try the game out again.

I can't justify the early access feature logically, even if I have it. To truly pick up as many players as possible, they shouldn't give people a single reason, legit or not, to not pick the game back up. That week where they own the game but can't play it is a potential reason.
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#2 May 30 2013 at 4:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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As someone who is in group 3, I bought the game for early access.
#3 May 30 2013 at 4:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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As a guy that haven't played 1.0 i fail to understand why its bad for people that played it before to have an early access. I can not understand your logic.

I shouldn't have drunk that last beer >_<


edit : Ok after i re read it, if i am reading this right (and no i am not sarcastic i am a bit drunk) i would say that i kinda understand why they wont get early access. Its like they bought the game for a normal release. Legacy players are rewarded because...well they've been playing it for a long time.

Again i might have read it wrong but i blame my english the time and my beers.

Edited, May 30th 2013 6:56pm by Teravibe
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#4 May 30 2013 at 4:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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burtonsnow wrote:
As someone who is in group 3, I bought the game for early access.


That totally reasonable decision is why it's too late to do anything about this feature. Still, there are a lot in group 3 who may question why they are supposed to sit out of a game they already played in retail for a week. I'm not saying that's a reasonable reaction. But I know some people will think that, and I know SE could use their support too.

The alternative would be for everyone to start at the same time. Logically speaking, I would take the choice with no potential negatives over this option. Everyone would still start august 14th.

But you are right, now the biggest reason why not everyone can start august 14th is because some people already paid 30-50 bucks to play on august 14th.
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#5 May 30 2013 at 4:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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This isn't what SE's thought process was, but let me try..

Group 1 (New players) - Yep, simple promotional benefit to draw new players in
Group 2 (Legacy players) - These are people who fulfilled a set of conditions specifically to become legacy. You aren't losing them.
Group 3 (Non-legacy 1.0 players) - ...

Group 3 players are the ones who bought the game initially, but for whatever reason decided not to continue playing it (to be fair, it wasn't very good). They did NOT qualify for legacy, probably because they dropped the game early, or at least as soon as SE asked for money. These are definitely players you want back, but they're also going to (by and large) be players that are going to look at 2.0 very cautiously. They've already done this once before, and they probably aren't looking to leap headlong into the same thing again without some assurances.

While I don't think it's strictly necessary to DENY them early access, I also think it's the group least affected by the lack of it. These are players interested in reviews and first impressions (especially from group 1 players), and they'll generally wait until they have those before they even consider XIV again.

Btw, I WOULD be a group 3 player myself, but I abandoned the game in late beta when I realized SE didn't care what state it released in.
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#6 May 30 2013 at 5:01 PM Rating: Good
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Teravibe wrote:
As a guy that haven't played 1.0 i fail to understand why its bad for people that played it before to have an early access. I can not understand your logic.

I shouldn't have drunk that last beer >_<


The logic hinges upon the idea that no one would be mad if early access was never even an option. The game would just open one day, and everyone with an account would start again. People who have early access now would be receiving pre-order and legacy bonuses they are already receiving. Compare that to the reality of the situation, where you can see where a player who was burnt by the first version of the game balks at the idea that if they want to give the game another shot and start with everyone else, they will need to repurchase the game.

If you've ever been in a fight with someone, you know how you use any little excuse to justify a big (often irrational) stance? That's human. But that may happen here. There are a lot of players who just went through a nasty divorce with Square. They're about to get back together, but Square accidentally does one little thing that reminds the player of old times. BOOM. Elder scrolls here they come.

Their reasoning is irrational, but the decision to not do early access would be logical because their irrational reaction is nearly guaranteed to a degree.
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#7 May 30 2013 at 5:04 PM Rating: Good
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I think you're reading too much into it.
#8 May 30 2013 at 5:05 PM Rating: Good
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I can pretend that the game is out earlier than 8/27 by playing it a week ahead of time. That's really all I care about. There is no methodical/economic standpoint behind me wanting to take advantage of the available perks.
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#9 May 30 2013 at 5:14 PM Rating: Good
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I'd have to agree. When I read over who gets early access and who didn't I definitely raised a brow and was like....well that's an interesting decision. Haha. Shame is I think you're right too...it's really too late to change it now that some have paid for the new game to get themselves the extra week.

Personally, I think SE was just hoping to help make up for some of their losses. They know the truly avid and unshaken fans will probably drop yet another dollar amount buying the game again just for that extra week. And those of us who aren't quite so avid in our devotion probably won't care enough to worry about the extra week of play time. I won't lie...it crossed my mind to pay for the game again. Tempting...very tempting. But after the first disaster with this one I managed to stop myself and was like...fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice...well....

My only guess is that it's a calculated risk. They figure they can't upset the already shaken devotees all that much more than they did with the original release and afterall...we do get to try it relatively cheaply if we are willing to wait. We'll probably consider at least *trying* it with or without perks. And the fanatics will give them more money. Sort of a win/win for SE.
#10 May 30 2013 at 5:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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As a guy that takes everything as they come i don't care that much for early access.

ARR is in fact a new game. Ok it has a background and it is different than normal releases but it still is a new game so it is only natural to have early access. Now because the games history is weird they also have extra additions like the legacy status. There are different opinions i agree but i personally don't mind it and i am not legacy just a normal player.
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#11 May 30 2013 at 5:20 PM Rating: Good
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SE is being an ***, they should have given early access to anybody who bought 1.0 legacy or not, the number of people who bought 1.0 and are not legacy far outnumbers the one that are, they should be doing everything in their power, to grab those players and show them the new game.

Tho that is kinda irrelevant since beta phase 3/4 is open XD!
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#12 May 30 2013 at 5:21 PM Rating: Good
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Archmage Callinon wrote:
These are players interested in reviews and first impressions (especially from group 1 players), and they'll generally wait until they have those before they even consider XIV again.


Hmm good point. That will buffer some reaction. However, there's a decent likelihood that they may form these impressions before early access even starts. E3, phase 3, and phase 4 may contain enough information in the open gaming world to turn their doubt of the game into legitimate interest again. In that situation, though, the mandatory week off while others play could reverse the gains.
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#13 May 30 2013 at 5:21 PM Rating: Good
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I'm sorry, but I don't think getting in a week, even 2 weeks, early will make a big difference. This isn't a race to level 50. The only advantage I see would be securing a name that you want. It'll take a couple of days to get the markets stocked by crafters.
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#14 May 30 2013 at 5:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm from "Group 1" personally, but when I read the info on the early start I thought something similar to you. The early access in and of itself is a good idea, but I don't see why those in "Group 3" have to get excluded. I know SE wants to sell as many copies of the game as they can, but I'm sure that the biggest group of potential players are those that quit after they dropped the ball. You already bought a copy of FFXIV and they "discontinued" service for it. You should have the ability to play FFXIV 2.0 as soon as it is available, especially since they are not requiring those players to purchase another copy.

I'm assuming that the reason things are going down this way is because of the "Legacy" status. If this was another game and ARR was that game's expansion, then everyone would have to buy it and those that pre-ordered it would get the early access. They want to give new players early access to entice them into paying that extra $50. However, since this is the fairly unique circumstance of FFXIV we're talking about, there are people that have bought and played 1.0. I'm guessing that they don't really want to give the existing player base these benefits, but they are pretty much obligated to give them to Legacy players for the PR. They know that if they don't appease this group that has carried them through their derptitude, they would entice a #$%^ storm and receive bad press.

That's just my guess as to why SE is doing things this way. I guess it makes sense from a business perspective, trying to maximize sales and all that. I'm guessing their numbers aren't going to look that great to begin with considering how many people already own a copy and the previous failure that was the 1.0 launch. Hopefully I'm wrong about that though.
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#15 May 30 2013 at 5:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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Ostia wrote:
SE is being an ***, they should have given early access to anybody who bought 1.0 legacy or not, the number of people who bought 1.0 and are not legacy far outnumbers the one that are, they should be doing everything in their power, to grab those players and show them the new game.

Tho that is kinda irrelevant since beta phase 3/4 is open XD!



Then whats the point in an early access? I mean if we say that 3 out of 4 people are already in and only 1 out of 4 (the new guys) are not its not even an early access anymore.

I have a 1.0 code and i don't mind. Its like i bought the same game like someone would buy it now.


Now that i think about it though, if someone bought the CE for 1.0 should get an early access or so i think.
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#16 May 30 2013 at 5:30 PM Rating: Decent
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Silverleaf83 wrote:
My only guess is that it's a calculated risk.


So if SE were awesome at this, I'd say so too. That they would do this because they know they have a hit on their hands. In that situation they get people to purchase the game twice, AND it's so good that 1.0 players will come back even if they have to take a week off while everyone else plays on.

But I put the odds of that being the case at...sorry to say this but like 15%. SE faceplants pretty often and overestimates themselves constantly. In my mind, I see this game being up to standards now, but not as good as the beta forums have led SE to think it is. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the beta forums during phase 3...and if all of that legacy whitewashing stands up to the flood of the re-entry of the original FF fanbase. They will be very critical I think.

I hope this game rocks. Then it makes sense for SE to throw a carrot out there to double charge people.

I don't agree that this is a new game, though. For SE to take that stance would be nigh fatal. It's ok for the loyal fans to think that. But not them. They have to consider this their last chance to give people the product they should have delivered in 2010. That's how the majority of their former customers feel, so SE has to bow to it.
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#17 May 30 2013 at 5:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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Im also in Group 3 along with my b/f . I really wouldent beable to handle playing phase 4 than have to sit back and wait.. omg the wait for head start to end. With being a addict I could not see myself living without early access so I pre ordered two copys one for me and b/f and we both own 1.0 CEs.

Also they messed up with the pre order items.. i dont feel so bad about spending 30$ for items and early but Legacy players have to justify paying 30$ for ingame items if they want them.
#18 May 30 2013 at 6:40 PM Rating: Good
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Teravibe wrote:
Ostia wrote:
SE is being an ***, they should have given early access to anybody who bought 1.0 legacy or not, the number of people who bought 1.0 and are not legacy far outnumbers the one that are, they should be doing everything in their power, to grab those players and show them the new game.

Tho that is kinda irrelevant since beta phase 3/4 is open XD!



Then whats the point in an early access? I mean if we say that 3 out of 4 people are already in and only 1 out of 4 (the new guys) are not its not even an early access anymore.

I have a 1.0 code and i don't mind. Its like i bought the same game like someone would buy it now.


Now that i think about it though, if someone bought the CE for 1.0 should get an early access or so i think.


For phase 3 there will be no save of character progression, and Phase 4 (The shortest phase i am assuming) will have a saved progression to retail.

As far as what is the point, there are many points, people with earlier access can establish the prices of items, and as we know this game was heavy on crafted items, tho as far as how that will go this round, nobody knows, maybe Wint can give us an insight into that.

I really do not see any advantages in early release for this particular title, since beta phase 4 is open, and beta 3 is open and anybody that has doubts can just DL the client and see for themselves, i am guessing SE is actually making good moves :) I am impressed, they covered all their bases in one swift move :)
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#19 May 31 2013 at 4:26 PM Rating: Good
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I suspect SE have thought less about who will be happy and who will be annoyed and more about the best way to stratify users across zones to avoid server meltdown. By giving some early access they would have moved on to later zones by the time the others start.

This will take load off the opening maps and decrease lag.

Every MMO at launch has had massive issues with crashes, lag, queues etc. early access is a way to try and limit this. That said, the first two weeks are still likely to be painful.
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#20 Jun 01 2013 at 11:23 PM Rating: Good
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I bought a new copy not only for early access, but also for the artbook and soundtrack. Now I have two copies. I can give my old account to my wife or a friend. I'll be buying a third copy for my Playstation eventually too. All the preorders will funnel more money into the dev team and keep things moving forward. It's a good thing.
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#21 Jun 02 2013 at 12:12 AM Rating: Good
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I'm in the third group. I quit playing before the sub. It did get better when they incorporated some of the company quests (or whatever they were called) but leveling was like pulling teeth, and I just couldn't take it anymore.

---

Although I bought the CE for 1.0 I might pre-order 2.0 for the extra goodies. I'm currently on the fence about that.

As far as early access, I don't really care. I did apply for the beta but didn't get in yet...

Ironically even though I couldn't wait to play 1.0 (and was in the beta for that) I don't really need or want to "spoil" the first moments of ARR with early access of any kind. It's weird. That means no Phase 3/4 for me...

I think there's something to be said about mystery and leaving things to the imagination. I know it's especially difficult (especially since I'm always on ZAM) but I think to be a bit disoriented when you first log in and in the shadow of information, can make for a better experience.

I don't care who gets early access it doesn't bother me any one way or the other. Like other posters have stated, if the game is good, then I'm not going to race to the cap. I'll take my time and try to enjoy myself. And in a few months early access won't mean anything at all.
#22 Jun 02 2013 at 12:18 AM Rating: Good
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Transmigration wrote:
I bought a new copy not only for early access, but also for the artbook and soundtrack. Now I have two copies. I can give my old account to my wife or a friend. I'll be buying a third copy for my Playstation eventually too. All the preorders will funnel more money into the dev team and keep things moving forward. It's a good thing.


I'm there with you, I bought a second copy of the pc version and I am using the early access/items code on my account and giving the game to a friend as a gift. Early access is more beneficial to SE than to anyone really, it helps them to hopefully stagger the rush of logins during the start in hopes that the servers won't crash and if something does happen they have time to fix it before "official release", it's not like they can't just credit the early access people a bonus week. Not to mention it was stated on the forums that 1.0 accounts would be receiving the first two weeks of ARR free.
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#23 Jun 02 2013 at 11:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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I understand what he's talking about. He's referring to it as a marketing scheme. They offered early access to 1.0 which was actually a cluster****. Because not all the retailers knew that the early release existed. So some refused to sell their physical copies before the official everyone play date because of fear of retaliation of breaking street dates. While I'm sure they've cleaned that up a bit, it still allows for some confusion.

The marketing gimmick is to attract new players and avoid unsold copies sitting in warehouses and store shelves. Have you been to your local Best Buy and seen 5-6 Collector's Editions sitting around for several games that were released months ago (even years like an older WoW Xpac CE). But like the OP said, the place Square really needs to attract players from were the people that bought 1.0 in the first place. That likely represents the best demographic they have a chance of converting to actual players. By ignoring that demographic, it makes the re-release redundant, because the people that played before and quit should have some incentive or hook to come back. The only reason I came back to 14 was because someone I played another game with knew I played 1.0. He got back into the legacy campaign and kept asking me about it. Had that player not put the bug in my head, I might've never came back to forums, applied for and got into A/B and would've been missing the boat entirely.
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#24 Jun 02 2013 at 3:19 PM Rating: Good
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Intentionally staggering relaunch is a fair point, especially on fresh start servers.
I do hope SE focuses more on former players now with media. If they expect them to come back with just a free beta phase, not sure if they will.

But it is free, it is FF, and it is summer. I hope that is worth it to people to find their login info again.
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#25 Jun 03 2013 at 12:48 PM Rating: Good
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To anyone who has ordered the PS3 CE from the Square-Enix store: have you received your early access code? I purchased my CE while I was at work and did not download the software (i.e. the link to the early access page to type in my email address). I did find the link through here and enter my email, but I'm already hearing about people who have received their codes. I don't think not downloading the software messed me up. I do want to make sure though.

edit: never mind, I solved the issue.

Edited, Jun 3rd 2013 7:21pm by Atkascha
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