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padawan

Free2Play Players - Opinions & Experiences...

81 posts in this topic

Oh and in a system like that where you gain and lose rank, there would be easy way to balance the teams also! If the team with less people would have XP boost, people would of course join that faction more likely. Planetside 2 has this kind of system and it works very well(there are 3 factions and almost always every faction has exactly 33,3% of the players)!

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(...) They truly' date=' truly, truly need to upgrade the terrain to eliminate the gross polygons, and make it look like every MMO for the last 8+ years, with actual rolling terrain, curving rivers and roads. (...)[/quote']

There is no other game out there with a playable map as big as this one (especially FPS wise). Making a huge (europe-size) game world is not as easy as you might think and since no one else is doing it, it makes it even harder. True is could be better, but don't expect to have the same detail in such a big world as in a smaller one.

Something related I'm working on: http://sourceforge.net/projects/irrbigmap

And everyone seems to want F2P to have more. Well, CRS might not have the absolute best formula, but in the end F2P has to feel the need to give some money. And that means F2P cannot have it ALL.

I'm playing F2P and for me the current formula feels right. Most of the time I can play and enjoy myself, but I also miss some toys and feel encouraged to subscribe.

Giving "more" (whatever more is) to F2P that join underpop seems like a good idea. Of course that might be an extra spawn delay to overpop.

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Opening more content for the F2P players ---> More players ---> Better game ---> More money for CRS ---> Better game ---> More players ---> More money for CRS ---> Better game ---> Repeat until millionaire

Closing most of the content from F2P players ---> Decreasing player population ---> Worse game ---> Decreasing player population ---> Less money for CRS ---> Worse game ---> Decreasing player population ---> The End.

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Opening more content for the F2P players ---> Less paying players

---> Less money for CRS ---> Rats die in absolute poverty but pompeius got to play a great game for free ---> Game ends ---> pompeius goes to another game he likes and tells developers "hey, put this game free for all and you'll be rich" -> repeat until all MMOs end.

See ? I can do silly implications too. Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong supporter of open source + community projects. But even in those, for a project to work, there has to be some sort of revenue. Opening all for F2P and expecting players to still pay (for a faster upgrade or whatever), I really don't think would work.

Right now I believe CRS is doing all they can to get money (including donations). How can we help ? We can subscribe the game (if we cant its also not a problem). We can promote the game to our friends and in the Net. We can help new players and we can have fun with what we have.

What are you trying to do pompeius ? Help the game ? Or get it for free ?

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Opening more content for the F2P players ---> Less paying players

---> Less money for CRS ---> Rats die in absolute poverty but pompeius got to play a great game for free ---> Game ends ---> pompeius goes to another game he likes and tells developers "hey, put this game free for all and you'll be rich" -> repeat until all MMOs end.

See ? I can do silly implications too. Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong supporter of open source + community projects. But even in those, for a project to work, there has to be some sort of revenue. Opening all for F2P and expecting players to still pay (for a faster upgrade or whatever), I really don't think would work.

Right now I believe CRS is doing all they can to get money (including donations). How can we help ? We can subscribe the game (if we cant its also not a problem). We can promote the game to our friends and in the Net. We can help new players and we can have fun with what we have.

What are you trying to do pompeius ? Help the game ? Or get it for free ?

Have you been following what has been going on recently in the gaming industry? Obviously not... Every dying MMO that has turned into a F2P has multiplied their income... And AAA F2P games from SOE, Bioware, Wargaming.net etc. are doing 1000 times more money than WW2OL, just because the games are F2P. I mean the most expensive videogame in the videogaming history (SWTOR, 500 MILLION $) is F2P game and F2P gamers in are able to access the whole story of the game, not just a part of it. The subscription model CRS is using is just simply obsolete.

Trust me, giving more for free increases the income, if done correctly. Just look around you if you dont believe me. Dont stick with old and traditional business models, world is changing, open your eyes. ;)

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Have you been following what has been going on recently in the gaming industry? Obviously not... Every dying MMO that has turned into a F2P has multiplied their income... And AAA F2P games from SOE' date=' Bioware, Wargaming.net etc. are doing 1000 times more money than WW2OL, just because the games are F2P. I mean the most expensive videogame in the videogaming history [b'](SWTOR, 500 MILLION $) is F2P game and F2P gamers in are able to access the whole story of the game, not just a part of it. The subscription model CRS is using is just simply obsolete.

Trust me, giving more for free increases the income, if done correctly. Just look around you if you dont believe me. Dont stick with old and traditional business models, world is changing, open your eyes. ;)

Read this: http://gamasutra.com/view/feature/183525/the_burning_of_star_wars_the_old_.php

"(...)Fifty-Six Dollars per Month That's what it costs to play Star Wars: The Old Republic as a free player(...)"

"(...)SWTOR's F2P isn't meant to be a free-to-play MMORPG; it's meant to be an excessively contrived demo to get people to sign up for subscriptions.(...)"

As far as I can see here, you do not get all toys as a free player in SWTOR.

"Please give me all for free" is not a business model. Not that CRS is in any way perfect in doing business. But it seems to me you're not having great ideas either. Hey, with that attitude they might just hire you :D (you should send you resume to doc@playnet.com).

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Hi everyone. Please note, this is not my account - its my brothers. For some reason, mine is "banned", even though I've never posted here, and is a new account (finally downloaded and got to try F2P after that huge confirmation E-mail debacle last week).

I'd like to post my opinion about F2P. Please note that my opinion is not amateur. I worked 3 years as an analyst for a gaming company, and have an additional few years working with my own firm for the industry. I'd like to think what I say may be slightly more informed than some opinions, but certainly not perfect.

There's a lot of ill-informed opinions on F2P, so I will try to correct them, by making this statement:

Free to Play (F2P) is about making money. In fact, it's about making as much money as possible.

With that out of the way, let me explain why: Because you're not forcing users to subscribe, you're generating a lot of users for a game. This is advantageous, because it gets more people to tell others about your game, which gets more people.

Additionally, the goal of F2P is to make money. You do that through multiple ways, which include, but are not limited to subscriptions and in-game currency.

Having said this, WW2O is barely F2P. It's more like a permanent demo. Getting level 2 is not satisfying in the least. It does make you desire bigger and better things, but you get there so quickly that it does little to get you engrossed in the game.

First, the good things about WW2O: It's a fantastic game. The gameplay is all there to make it better than a lot of games out there. I didn't do training, but still managed to get quite a few kills in most games as a rifleman, and later on as a machine gunner after maybe 20 matches or so.

The fact that it allows land, sea, and air combat in real time makes it superior to just about everything out there.

But again, the thing that really, really hinders this game is how bad CRS is at monetizing this game. Few people are going to want to pay $10 for a game that has (seemingly) 100 people online during peak hours, much less the $15 full experience. This is why games like World of Tanks are destroying WW2O in terms of player base and revenue. For reference, Wargaming.net spent >$1 million USD last year at E3 just on thier booth. Not to mention the P-51 mustang they brought in for people to see at the convention center. World of Tanks is free, and you can get tier-X tanks (1960s-era) without paying a dime. I have a tier-IX T-54 that I obtained without spending a dime (although I have since then).

Its not just World of Tanks, its almost every properly-built F2P game vs. the subscription giants. For many years, you saw a lot of subscription-based MMORPGs trying to dethrone World of Warcraft, but failing after a few months (SWTOR being the most recent example). What games are beating WoW? F2P titles like LOTRO, DDO, and now SWTOR free are surviving against WoW, and now its (finally) losing player base. So F2P makes many games far more viable.

Proper F2P balances free and paid features. For example, World of Tanks has two major ways that players pay money: Permanently-accessible tanks such as the German experimental Lowe, or the IS-6, and "Premium" which gives users a 50% boost to credits and XP for each battle. Additionally, the game is stacked against higher-tier tanks for free users. They can access them, but you typically lose money in matches, so they are very difficult to maintain.

In the case of World of Tanks, there are more people online at any given moment then there are the total number of people that have ever registered on WW2O. This should explain the scale of why F2P has value: at least 10% of those users right now have paid for content, or are subscribing to premium features.

Team Fortress 2 is another good example of F2P. I attended GDC last year (Game Developer's Conference). Valve gave a lecture on F2P. To make a long story short: They make 5 times as much money now with the game being 100% free than they did when it cost money to buy.

So with that out of the way as to why F2P is important, here is how I would change WW2O to make F2P worthwhile to players and CRS:

1. Make all classes F2P.

The first major rule of F2P is allow the user to experience the lion's share of content for free. 80% of the game should be accessible for F2P users, with 20% monetized. Instead, this game is exactly the opposite, with 20% free (level 2), and the remaining 80% for paid players. This will never work.

2. Re-work the supply system for F2P

The supply system works well for a subscription model, but not so much for F2P. You need to ensure that all users have potential access to higher-end weaponry. Therefore, logistics probably needs tweaked significantly. This may involve removing the supply constraints for weapons entirely, but replacing it with item #3.

3. Institute a New Class System for F2P

This may make veteran players uncomfortable, as it'd be a radical departure, but its needed. Instead of making the entire game based around a very basic points-based system where Rank 1 allows near-unlimited access to a feature, it needs altered significantly.

Instead, it needs a system of XP and resource points (RP). XP would be similar to the points system now (where users earn XP to unlock things, such as a sniper or machine gunner). The RP system would create scarcity for higher-end weapons and classes. This is where F2P makes money.

For example, deploying a rifleman with a Mauser costs nothing to the user. However, deploying a sniper costs a certain number of resource points. This goes for all weapon systems: Basic items are free, while higher end weapon systems are considered luxuries, thus balancing what kind of weapons/vehicles/soldiers you see in the game.

These RPs can be earned by killing enemies, completing objectives, and simply logging on. They can also be purchased, or subscribed to. For example, lets say the $10/mo subscription allows the user twice as many RPs per kill and capture, while the $15/mo subscription allows three times as many RPs, and a monthly allotment that they can spend at any time.

Also, one-time buys may be a very good idea on a very fixed number of weapons or features. For example, player camouflage.

4. Allow Class Loadouts

Customization is a hallmark of proper F2P gaming. Users need to be able to customize their character, plane, or tank. Although this can be limited to historical ORBATs, its still very critical. This also plays into the resource point system - what if you want your rifleman to carry both a Mauser and MP40? That costs a certain number of points per game, of which the user has to earn back by killing enemies. Additionally, said weapons must be earned through XP, so users will have to accomplish something before getting that sweet rifle + machine pistol.

For airplanes and tanks, customization would involve camouflage, ammo loadouts (HE vs. AP), and ordinance (bombs, rockets, ect). Also, assuming airplanes and tanks kill more people, they would become more rare and expensive. A basic Pz38t would cost far less than a Tiger, but the Tiger would earn a lot more RPs, and last a lot longer in battle (obviously).

5. Pre-Game Ads for Non-Paying Users

When I worked for a company that made F2P games, this was where we made a lot of money, but never kept with it. When a user dies, they should have to watch an unblockable 15 second ad, while their spawn timer diminishes. This way, users are generating money for CRS. Its not a lot of revenue, but over hundreds of thousands of spawns... Its a HUGE amount of money - about $8-12 per 1,000 ads.

____________

Those are just a few ideas, but you get the gist. Honestly, CRS has 2 or maybe 3 years before someone makes a World War 2 game along the lines of World of Tanks/Planes/Warships with persistent multiplayer. If CRS doesn't do that first, they will go bankrupt. Its hard truth, but it will happen. The reason I'm posting all of this at length is that I really like WW2O. Its very fun. The potential is there for the WW2 simulation of peoples' dreams. But it will never get there on this current model.

Edited by funisfun

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Prettyn good post, I hope CRS reads it and can use it to their advantage in the near future.

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It took only 1 post from funisfun to explain properly the things I have been trying to explain for 15 posts. :D

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Interesting post funisfun, might be one of the best first posts ever, would be interesting also to see someone weigh in on this who know's something about this subject. Good read and well spoken.

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funisfun' date=' can you contact xoom@playnet.com and make sure he see's this post.

Thank you for this.

S!

Sure, no problem. I will contact him to refer him to this post. Maybe it will get some gears turning @ CRS.

Really, what F2P is about is user engagement. The more a user is engaged in a game, the more likely they are to complete a certain action - tell a friend, buy a subscription, and so on.

What I found during my (professional) work as an analyst at a F2P company is that there is *gasp* a direct correlation between engagement and how much a person spends. So more time in game = more money.

For example, a person playing for 1 hour on a game may only have a 0.1% likelihood of purchasing a subscription, or in-game currency for items. At the 10 hour mark, that number increases to, say, 10%. At 100 hours, its closer to 50-60% (these are estimates).

But what about all of those people that don't contribute payment(s) to the game? They have a two-fold usefulness:

1) Increase the engagement of all users

2) Tell others about the game

Again, if engagement is a key metric towards purchase, then the bigger the battles, the more likely people are going to want to continue to play, thus increasing money. Valve's TF2 is that great case example. They had an additional 4 million players jump into the game (my estimate) when it went F2P. Not all bought, sure. But those that did, bought a lot of hats and other content, which resulted in that 4-5x revenue increase. Even then, we're talking about TF2 - an incredibly popular PC game to begin with.

So I really feel that the game needs balanced. If CRS can get users to engage more with the game, they are going to get more subs, or whatever kind of monetization the game offers. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the average F2P user is maybe playing 3-5hrs, if that, and either buying into the game or simply dropping out. It'd behoove CRS to look into subscription rate(s) broken out by the number of hours played - if users that play more subscribe more, then it should make a very clear case for including more F2P content.

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Very good post funisfun. The part I like the most is the ads. And I know (its public, rats have said so) that CRS has tried to get that working, but never got anyone that wanted to advertise in the game. Maybe they need someone pointing in the right direction :) . My math, with your numbers and if we can up F2P to an average of 100 players online 24/7 (I think we are still a long way from that), CRS could get 500$/day=15.000$/month just with ads on F2P (player dying on average every 3min, 15s publicity). That's if it is really possible to get publicity going and if we get 100 F2P 24/7 on average.

As to the other things you mention, don't really expect CRS to do many code changes to make this happen. Small code changes (like publicity for F2P and opening up more content), I believe they can do fast. Things like micro-payment, I don't think they can in the short term. According to some posts, right now CRS has 1, maybe 2 coders. But they are a resilient bunch and if they can get more money, I'm sure they will re-invest it back into this great game.

Thinking in thousands of F2P might also not work, since this is an FPS game and if we had fun fights with hundreds (?) of players, the truth is that the game simply cant handle thousands of players (in the same area). With local spawn delays/player limit (getting players into diffrente areas), we might get more players in (I think the server can handle this, the problem is the client), but still, there is a limit and its not as high as one might think.

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Google might be 1 potential Ad-partner.

For example in youtube(owned by google) it is easy to make money by simply adding ads into your own videos, even I have made some money that way!

And of course there is google adsense which can be easily implemented almost anywhere! Adding google ads in WW2 Online frontpage could be done in 5 minutes actually.

And maybe google might be able to help CRS to implement some sort of integrated video streamer into the WW2OL client so that the ads could be easily streamed from the servers of google.

www.google.com/adsense

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I have two people that are trying to sign up for the game through f2p, but they aren't getting e-mail conformations.

Xoom posted on the front page that there was trouble with the e-mails, but that they are fixed and back online.

They aren't.

I need a response ASAP.

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(...)

Adding google ads in WW2 Online frontpage could be done in 5 minutes actually.

Its in the top right corner of this forum. I think (might be wrong) that it was also in the web server, but they weren't making any money out of it and took it out.

(...)

And maybe google might be able to help CRS to implement some sort of integrated video streamer into the WW2OL client so that the ads could be easily streamed from the servers of google.

(...)

Good luck with that. Getting a reply back from google is hard enough, so getting "help" ....

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Its in the top right corner of this forum. I think (might be wrong) that it was also in the web server, but they weren't making any money out of it and took it out.

Good luck with that. Getting a reply back from google is hard enough, so getting "help" ....

Well I have been in contact with google so I suppose that with company like CRS it would be pretty easy.

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Hi everyone. Please note, this is not my account - its my brothers. For some reason, mine is "banned", even though I've never posted here, and is a new account (finally downloaded and got to try F2P after that huge confirmation E-mail debacle last week).

I'd like to post my opinion about F2P. Please note that my opinion is not amateur. I worked 3 years as an analyst for a gaming company, and have an additional few years working with my own firm for the industry. I'd like to think what I say may be slightly more informed than some opinions, but certainly not perfect.

There's a lot of ill-informed opinions on F2P, so I will try to correct them, by making this statement:

Free to Play (F2P) is about making money. In fact, it's about making as much money as possible.

With that out of the way, let me explain why: Because you're not forcing users to subscribe, you're generating a lot of users for a game. This is advantageous, because it gets more people to tell others about your game, which gets more people.

Additionally, the goal of F2P is to make money. You do that through multiple ways, which include, but are not limited to subscriptions and in-game currency.

Having said this, WW2O is barely F2P. It's more like a permanent demo. Getting level 2 is not satisfying in the least. It does make you desire bigger and better things, but you get there so quickly that it does little to get you engrossed in the game.

First, the good things about WW2O: It's a fantastic game. The gameplay is all there to make it better than a lot of games out there. I didn't do training, but still managed to get quite a few kills in most games as a rifleman, and later on as a machine gunner after maybe 20 matches or so.

The fact that it allows land, sea, and air combat in real time makes it superior to just about everything out there.

But again, the thing that really, really hinders this game is how bad CRS is at monetizing this game. Few people are going to want to pay $10 for a game that has (seemingly) 100 people online during peak hours, much less the $15 full experience. This is why games like World of Tanks are destroying WW2O in terms of player base and revenue. For reference, Wargaming.net spent >$1 million USD last year at E3 just on thier booth. Not to mention the P-51 mustang they brought in for people to see at the convention center. World of Tanks is free, and you can get tier-X tanks (1960s-era) without paying a dime. I have a tier-IX T-54 that I obtained without spending a dime (although I have since then).

Its not just World of Tanks, its almost every properly-built F2P game vs. the subscription giants. For many years, you saw a lot of subscription-based MMORPGs trying to dethrone World of Warcraft, but failing after a few months (SWTOR being the most recent example). What games are beating WoW? F2P titles like LOTRO, DDO, and now SWTOR free are surviving against WoW, and now its (finally) losing player base. So F2P makes many games far more viable.

Proper F2P balances free and paid features. For example, World of Tanks has two major ways that players pay money: Permanently-accessible tanks such as the German experimental Lowe, or the IS-6, and "Premium" which gives users a 50% boost to credits and XP for each battle. Additionally, the game is stacked against higher-tier tanks for free users. They can access them, but you typically lose money in matches, so they are very difficult to maintain.

In the case of World of Tanks, there are more people online at any given moment then there are the total number of people that have ever registered on WW2O. This should explain the scale of why F2P has value: at least 10% of those users right now have paid for content, or are subscribing to premium features.

Team Fortress 2 is another good example of F2P. I attended GDC last year (Game Developer's Conference). Valve gave a lecture on F2P. To make a long story short: They make 5 times as much money now with the game being 100% free than they did when it cost money to buy.

So with that out of the way as to why F2P is important, here is how I would change WW2O to make F2P worthwhile to players and CRS:

1. Make all classes F2P.

The first major rule of F2P is allow the user to experience the lion's share of content for free. 80% of the game should be accessible for F2P users, with 20% monetized. Instead, this game is exactly the opposite, with 20% free (level 2), and the remaining 80% for paid players. This will never work.

2. Re-work the supply system for F2P

The supply system works well for a subscription model, but not so much for F2P. You need to ensure that all users have potential access to higher-end weaponry. Therefore, logistics probably needs tweaked significantly. This may involve removing the supply constraints for weapons entirely, but replacing it with item #3.

3. Institute a New Class System for F2P

This may make veteran players uncomfortable, as it'd be a radical departure, but its needed. Instead of making the entire game based around a very basic points-based system where Rank 1 allows near-unlimited access to a feature, it needs altered significantly.

Instead, it needs a system of XP and resource points (RP). XP would be similar to the points system now (where users earn XP to unlock things, such as a sniper or machine gunner). The RP system would create scarcity for higher-end weapons and classes. This is where F2P makes money.

For example, deploying a rifleman with a Mauser costs nothing to the user. However, deploying a sniper costs a certain number of resource points. This goes for all weapon systems: Basic items are free, while higher end weapon systems are considered luxuries, thus balancing what kind of weapons/vehicles/soldiers you see in the game.

These RPs can be earned by killing enemies, completing objectives, and simply logging on. They can also be purchased, or subscribed to. For example, lets say the $10/mo subscription allows the user twice as many RPs per kill and capture, while the $15/mo subscription allows three times as many RPs, and a monthly allotment that they can spend at any time.

Also, one-time buys may be a very good idea on a very fixed number of weapons or features. For example, player camouflage.

4. Allow Class Loadouts

Customization is a hallmark of proper F2P gaming. Users need to be able to customize their character, plane, or tank. Although this can be limited to historical ORBATs, its still very critical. This also plays into the resource point system - what if you want your rifleman to carry both a Mauser and MP40? That costs a certain number of points per game, of which the user has to earn back by killing enemies. Additionally, said weapons must be earned through XP, so users will have to accomplish something before getting that sweet rifle + machine pistol.

For airplanes and tanks, customization would involve camouflage, ammo loadouts (HE vs. AP), and ordinance (bombs, rockets, ect). Also, assuming airplanes and tanks kill more people, they would become more rare and expensive. A basic Pz38t would cost far less than a Tiger, but the Tiger would earn a lot more RPs, and last a lot longer in battle (obviously).

5. Pre-Game Ads for Non-Paying Users

When I worked for a company that made F2P games, this was where we made a lot of money, but never kept with it. When a user dies, they should have to watch an unblockable 15 second ad, while their spawn timer diminishes. This way, users are generating money for CRS. Its not a lot of revenue, but over hundreds of thousands of spawns... Its a HUGE amount of money - about $8-12 per 1,000 ads.

____________

Those are just a few ideas, but you get the gist. Honestly, CRS has 2 or maybe 3 years before someone makes a World War 2 game along the lines of World of Tanks/Planes/Warships with persistent multiplayer. If CRS doesn't do that first, they will go bankrupt. Its hard truth, but it will happen. The reason I'm posting all of this at length is that I really like WW2O. Its very fun. The potential is there for the WW2 simulation of peoples' dreams. But it will never get there on this current model.

very insightfull read

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I think that it's a very interesting post. I don't know about CRS having the resources to do what funisfun is suggesting though.

First, as I recall, the WW2OL game engine is unique, and such suggestions, successful as they might be, might require rebuilding much of the game from scratch. That would require more resources and people than CRS has now.

I DO like the idea of the last suggestion with the ad, but I would be against the idea of an ad every time a player spawns in. Why? Because unlike a lot of other games, sometimes we spawn in dozens, if not hundreds of times a play session. Often, we are in the middle of a time sensitive mission. (Imagine there are enemy ei in your bunker and there is a call for help. The timer is running. If you get killed, that's 15 seconds before you can even try to get in there. If I was on and we lost a town because we couldn't spawn in because of ads, I would be incredibly cheesed off. I can just see the ragequits now if that happens a few times.)

Now I could see the idea working for the brown screens when you switch towns. I could see it when you log into the game. I could see ads on the forums bringing in some much needed revenue. They have a little, but I could see more. They want on Steam, why not try to get Steam ads here?

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket. I just know that this kind of thing would not be even remotely easy. The easiest change that I could see would be the ads. I would love to see CRS find a great ad partner and implement it well.

S!

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I don't think we really need ALL that funisfun is suggesting, but the ads, can probably be made client side only (and I think gopher can do that). Just remember that ads would only show for F2P. Something like:

- Release (almost) all toys to F2P

- Get pub in for each spawn (F2P only)

You don't want publicity ? get a subscription.

Its not perfect, and I'm assuming that funisfun is not just a "dog" in the internet and that putting publicity in is a real possibility. But it can be an effective way to get money from F2P, fast.

saintj - saintj2 - ovelha

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Hi everyone. Please note, this is not my account - its my brothers. For some reason, mine is "banned", even though I've never posted here, and is a new account (finally downloaded and got to try F2P after that huge confirmation E-mail debacle last week).

I'd like to post my opinion about F2P. Please note that my opinion is not amateur. I worked 3 years as an analyst for a gaming company, and have an additional few years working with my own firm for the industry. I'd like to think what I say may be slightly more informed than some opinions, but certainly not perfect.

There's a lot of ill-informed opinions on F2P, so I will try to correct them, by making this statement:

Free to Play (F2P) is about making money. In fact, it's about making as much money as possible.

With that out of the way, let me explain why: Because you're not forcing users to subscribe, you're generating a lot of users for a game. This is advantageous, because it gets more people to tell others about your game, which gets more people.

Additionally, the goal of F2P is to make money. You do that through multiple ways, which include, but are not limited to subscriptions and in-game currency.

Having said this, WW2O is barely F2P. It's more like a permanent demo. Getting level 2 is not satisfying in the least. It does make you desire bigger and better things, but you get there so quickly that it does little to get you engrossed in the game.

First, the good things about WW2O: It's a fantastic game. The gameplay is all there to make it better than a lot of games out there. I didn't do training, but still managed to get quite a few kills in most games as a rifleman, and later on as a machine gunner after maybe 20 matches or so.

The fact that it allows land, sea, and air combat in real time makes it superior to just about everything out there.

But again, the thing that really, really hinders this game is how bad CRS is at monetizing this game. Few people are going to want to pay $10 for a game that has (seemingly) 100 people online during peak hours, much less the $15 full experience. This is why games like World of Tanks are destroying WW2O in terms of player base and revenue. For reference, Wargaming.net spent >$1 million USD last year at E3 just on thier booth. Not to mention the P-51 mustang they brought in for people to see at the convention center. World of Tanks is free, and you can get tier-X tanks (1960s-era) without paying a dime. I have a tier-IX T-54 that I obtained without spending a dime (although I have since then).

Its not just World of Tanks, its almost every properly-built F2P game vs. the subscription giants. For many years, you saw a lot of subscription-based MMORPGs trying to dethrone World of Warcraft, but failing after a few months (SWTOR being the most recent example). What games are beating WoW? F2P titles like LOTRO, DDO, and now SWTOR free are surviving against WoW, and now its (finally) losing player base. So F2P makes many games far more viable.

Proper F2P balances free and paid features. For example, World of Tanks has two major ways that players pay money: Permanently-accessible tanks such as the German experimental Lowe, or the IS-6, and "Premium" which gives users a 50% boost to credits and XP for each battle. Additionally, the game is stacked against higher-tier tanks for free users. They can access them, but you typically lose money in matches, so they are very difficult to maintain.

In the case of World of Tanks, there are more people online at any given moment then there are the total number of people that have ever registered on WW2O. This should explain the scale of why F2P has value: at least 10% of those users right now have paid for content, or are subscribing to premium features.

Team Fortress 2 is another good example of F2P. I attended GDC last year (Game Developer's Conference). Valve gave a lecture on F2P. To make a long story short: They make 5 times as much money now with the game being 100% free than they did when it cost money to buy.

So with that out of the way as to why F2P is important, here is how I would change WW2O to make F2P worthwhile to players and CRS:

1. Make all classes F2P.

The first major rule of F2P is allow the user to experience the lion's share of content for free. 80% of the game should be accessible for F2P users, with 20% monetized. Instead, this game is exactly the opposite, with 20% free (level 2), and the remaining 80% for paid players. This will never work.

2. Re-work the supply system for F2P

The supply system works well for a subscription model, but not so much for F2P. You need to ensure that all users have potential access to higher-end weaponry. Therefore, logistics probably needs tweaked significantly. This may involve removing the supply constraints for weapons entirely, but replacing it with item #3.

3. Institute a New Class System for F2P

This may make veteran players uncomfortable, as it'd be a radical departure, but its needed. Instead of making the entire game based around a very basic points-based system where Rank 1 allows near-unlimited access to a feature, it needs altered significantly.

Instead, it needs a system of XP and resource points (RP). XP would be similar to the points system now (where users earn XP to unlock things, such as a sniper or machine gunner). The RP system would create scarcity for higher-end weapons and classes. This is where F2P makes money.

For example, deploying a rifleman with a Mauser costs nothing to the user. However, deploying a sniper costs a certain number of resource points. This goes for all weapon systems: Basic items are free, while higher end weapon systems are considered luxuries, thus balancing what kind of weapons/vehicles/soldiers you see in the game.

These RPs can be earned by killing enemies, completing objectives, and simply logging on. They can also be purchased, or subscribed to. For example, lets say the $10/mo subscription allows the user twice as many RPs per kill and capture, while the $15/mo subscription allows three times as many RPs, and a monthly allotment that they can spend at any time.

Also, one-time buys may be a very good idea on a very fixed number of weapons or features. For example, player camouflage.

4. Allow Class Loadouts

Customization is a hallmark of proper F2P gaming. Users need to be able to customize their character, plane, or tank. Although this can be limited to historical ORBATs, its still very critical. This also plays into the resource point system - what if you want your rifleman to carry both a Mauser and MP40? That costs a certain number of points per game, of which the user has to earn back by killing enemies. Additionally, said weapons must be earned through XP, so users will have to accomplish something before getting that sweet rifle + machine pistol.

For airplanes and tanks, customization would involve camouflage, ammo loadouts (HE vs. AP), and ordinance (bombs, rockets, ect). Also, assuming airplanes and tanks kill more people, they would become more rare and expensive. A basic Pz38t would cost far less than a Tiger, but the Tiger would earn a lot more RPs, and last a lot longer in battle (obviously).

5. Pre-Game Ads for Non-Paying Users

When I worked for a company that made F2P games, this was where we made a lot of money, but never kept with it. When a user dies, they should have to watch an unblockable 15 second ad, while their spawn timer diminishes. This way, users are generating money for CRS. Its not a lot of revenue, but over hundreds of thousands of spawns... Its a HUGE amount of money - about $8-12 per 1,000 ads.

____________

Those are just a few ideas, but you get the gist. Honestly, CRS has 2 or maybe 3 years before someone makes a World War 2 game along the lines of World of Tanks/Planes/Warships with persistent multiplayer. If CRS doesn't do that first, they will go bankrupt. Its hard truth, but it will happen. The reason I'm posting all of this at length is that I really like WW2O. Its very fun. The potential is there for the WW2 simulation of peoples' dreams. But it will never get there on this current model.

I think I have said almost all that in previous threads :) it's good we are on the same page good to know that my views are shared by more players and the more players repeat this things the more likely will these pick up.

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One of the first things I said when returning to the game last year was to go to full F2P. I was glad to see that happen. At the minimum, though, it seems like what they can do needs to be expanded.

I also argued for customized load-outs. Right now, the whole 'persona' idea is pretty lame. Don't we all look exactly the same in the game? I would pay to put a Pathfinder patch on my chest so the dead EI at my feet can look up at me and know what hit him.

Or, what sniper goes out into the field without a sidearm? A soon-to-be dead one, I reckon.

But the one thing not elaborated on, but was alluded to, that I also argued for needs to seriously happen: people need to be able to get into the action, SERIOUS action, much more quickly. I have 2 subscriptions, and there are times when I wonder how it can be worth it; running in for 10 mins only to die without even seeing the enemy... three times in a row... etc. But of course, then we get the action, and it's like, oh yea, this is why I pay them money.

So if I feel that way sometimes, imagine how the F2P guy feels--if he can even figure out how to join a brigade, find a mission, and spawn in.

So, just a little plug for my own personal favorite model for remedying this: daisy-chained spawnables linking each town. Briefly, interspersed between each town are a series of spawn points (ruins, buildings, whatever) whereby capturing the next one in the series allows you to spawn from it. You do this right on up to the city you are attacking. HOWEVER, the enemy has the ability to do exactly the same, capturing spawns from their city, until such point where both sides meet.

This accomplishes a number of things all at once. First, it creates a real front line, and happens to look a lot more like real warfare than insta-armies from out of a box one throws up on a bush. But secondly, and this is the chief advantage, it provides a built-in framework pushing both sides together in close proximity--ALL THE TIME. Since it is strategically imperative to be able to spawn as close to the attack objective as possible and keep them from doing the same to you, once an AO goes up it is only a matter of time before each side meets, and once they've met, you're going to have a serious, serious battle until one side or the other gets pushed back into their city, or, out of it.

You will always know where to find fast intense action on this model.

Note: this model does not take away from other elements of the game. If you wanted to do a wide flank, or some covert op, or whatever, you certainly could, and you often would. But if you only have 30 minutes to play (which is all I have sometimes), you can't do those things. Instead you get to sit at an empty FB and wait for 2 guys to try to ninja it. This model would result in me only having 30 minutes, but foolishly disregarding health and home and playing for 300 minutes before collapsing from exhaustion.

I'd say if a game can do that, it is going to be fine, even if you don't get the other things straightened out. :)

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I'm pretty sure people would be spending hell of a lot money in things like Finnish soldiers with molotov's coctails or Italian volunteers or Canadian commandos with swords in their smgs like this: beach_commando.gif

They should at least try. I'm sure it would be an instant success, which would help them to fund development of this game. :)

CANADIAN COMMANDOS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is time to think beyond the status quo...no doubt.

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i want only 3 things right now... officer models, emotes, and MORE people...

oh... 4th would be bug fixes ;)

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