Thursday, October 1, 2009

Travelers Might Get Me Traveling... to Another Game

When Legends of Norrath was first introduced, we were told that the loot cards would only be "fluff" and would not impact the gameplay. The new Legends of Norrath card game loot pack promises exclusive "new quests in EverQuest® and EverQuest® II that open all new chambers and rewards of loot and XP". To me, that goes well beyond the definition of "fluff"...

In EverQuest II, I have not specifically bought cards for the loot cards (I have bought packs but I play Legends of Norrath on occasion. Most of my loot cards came from the free ones that come with the subscription.) I have never bought in game items for Station Cash.

I HAVE bought things (hirelings and unlocking the monk class) in Dungeons and Dragons Online. Willingly. It doesn't bother me there.

The main reason why I'm ok with the RMT in Dungeons and Dragons Online but not in EverQuest II -- it FEELS optional in Dungeons and Dragons Online. I'm not subscribing so I control exactly how much I want to spend.

On the other hand, in EverQuest II, the really valuable RMT is locked up in loot cards which you MAY OR MAY NOT get. You could spend hundreds of dollars and end up with nothing but trash. The Station Cash items I don't have much of a problem with, except I'm already paying for two subscriptions and some of the best looking items in game have to be paid for! Unlike Legends of Norrath cards, I have NO chance of getting them with my subscription alone. That's simply doing RMT wrong.

EverQuest II is obviously not going to get rid of RMT and microtransactions now. But it needs to do a Dungeons and Dragons Online makeover soon or I'm probably done with it.

- Subscription fees need to be optional, like in D&D.
- You need to be able to level to the cap without spending a dime, just like in Dungeon and Dragons Online.
- You need to be able to play much of the content in game (maybe reserving some instances like Nektropos Castle for subscribers or people who unlock the individual instance), just like in Dungeons and Dragons Online.
- Subcribers need to get a stipend of Station Cash just like we get free Legends of Norrath cards every month.
- Subscribers should be able to earn Station Cash in game by completing quests (just like Turbine Points are awarded in game)
- Do Legends of Norrath boosters still drop in game? It's been ages since I've seen one. Put them back or increase the drop rate for subscribers. (It can be an extra loot popup just for subscribers just like quest loot appears only for the people who need them.)

Subscribers should be able to get anything you can PAY for just by PLAYING for them.

Dungeons and Dragons Online does microtransactions right. They work (for me) because they FEEL optional. I don't FEEL like I HAVE to buy anything. So I am quite willing to. They've made a lot of money off of me when I had written the game off at launch. My friends and I are thinking of starting a guild in game (none of us subscribe so we have to pay for the right.) Hell, I think in this first month I already spent more than a one month subscription costs.

But EverQuest II seems like it is treading down a road where every month it feels like my subscription is worth less and less. Which makes me want to spend less and less money on the game. See how that works, Sony?


Longasc said...

This random content/stuff trading card system has an exploitive touch to me, too.

Which other game do you have in mind, actually? Something on the horizon or maybe DDO?

Lars said...

I don't know - the games that pique my interest the most at the moment are probably still a long way from release: Heroes of Telara and Guild Wars 2 and Final Fantasy XIV.