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Free to Play EVE

Author
Teckos Pech
Hogyoku
Goonswarm Federation
#41 - 2013-11-24 18:28:02 UTC
Neor Deninard wrote:
There just is one big problem with your whole scheme; you can log in a char that has trained before. And play with it. For free. This is pointed out to you above as well.

IE: takes 2 plex to fully train a PI / Mining barge alt THAT NEVER HAS TO TRAIN AGAIN. Basically, it prints isk. For no cost. Or better, 4 plex for a L4 alt or pretty high up mining alt. So you have free chars that can generate upwards of 100 mill a hr per char ...

This will cause a massive market disruption as isk becomes less valuable, it will murder the prices of everything. Plex will become so expensive that people without 'free' accounts no longer can buy it off the market.

Not to mention huge fleets of dual boxed miners, campers, gankers etc...

And I hear you say, hey good points, but what about we limit the accounts to 1 per person? Cannot be enforced and CCP does not have the time to go hunting these people all day long.


Yeah, I have a character with over 100 million SP....if I stop I get to play for free.

Noobs who can't afford are stuck forever in crap ships, with crap modules and a seriously gimped ability to grind for isk...in a game with a learning curve that is steeper than a wall.

Yeah, I don't see any problems for CCP.

No, horrible idea.

And just stop posting.

"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."--Friedrich August von Hayek

8 Golden Rules for EVE Online

Fifth Blade
Jump Drive Appreciation Society
#42 - 2013-11-24 18:55:40 UTC  |  Edited by: Fifth Blade
Quote:
What are you talking about? Aren't these and all F2P models misleading to some degree? They do want people's money for their own coffers, and we all know it.

Ah so you did eventually get the point. And just like those, EvE has a free to play option. Is it entirely without even theoretical cost? No, but none are (others subsidize your play, just like every f2p model). Just because it isn't exactly the same model, doesn't mean it isn't f2p.

Example:
Rift (totally f2p, gives cosmetic bonuses for subscribing over a long period of time, available with in game currency too)
SW:TOR (charges you to unlock every good item for use, severely limits what you can do unless you subscribe)

These are both very different models, but both technically f2p. Just like EvE. (and all three have subscription models as well)

Quote:
Free 2 Play specifically means that starting to play the game is Free. In the case of EVE that is true until one month (or other ***promotional*** offer) expires, at that time you MUST pay a PLEX worth of money to ACTIVATE your account. Hence it is not FREE TO PLAY, rather it is possible to play for free.

Which, as I pointed out, would be no different to your model in reality. "Free to play" in theory, but not in actual practice, because no one would want to play with 1 month of training alone. Awful new player experience. EvE does not need a worse new player experience.

Quote:
I choose my words carefully and specifically based on what other actual free to play models follow.


This is patently false. No semblance of knowledge about EvE was present in that post. A hamfisted "lets cut and paste this model that doesn't suit EvE or its subscriber base at all" is not "carefully chosen".

Quote:
What I have suggested would lower the barrier to entry so that more people come play EVE, not lower the barrier of retention for people that have already played for 2+ years.

1) New people trying eve was never an issue (When have spaceships and lasers ever been unpopular?) . Solves a problem that doesn't exist.
2) Wouldn't matter even if it did because of how low new player retention is in EvE.

On lowering the barrier of retention for Vets:
This would be the actual effect. (possibly bump that up to 4+ years). Also don't make the mistake of assuming 2 year old characters are new players. Tons are alts, or returning players. I personally have more than 5 in that bracket alone.

Quote:
You also should think more before you write stuff. If EVE is only really played by vets then CCP is doing a terrible job at new player retention. One way to solve new player retention is to lower the barrier to entry (ie in my suggestion - cost)

Suggesting that I didn't think about my idea when you yourself spent a whooping 10 minutes tops to develop your answer is offensive.

It only took a cursory look to deconstruct your original post because there was no knowledge behind the suggestion. Just open eveboard, done. That's how little thought was put into the idea and this is why you should educate yourself about the facts before you post. New player retention is and always has been terrible in EvE. It is an extremely well documented problem which CCP have attempted to improve many times over the years. Certificates (Now Masteries) and ISIS are examples of the latest attempt.

Spend the effort you spent on the intellectually stimulating retort: "no, you should think before you write!!" on educating yourself instead.
ShahFluffers
Ice Fire Warriors
Infinite Pew
#43 - 2013-11-24 18:59:30 UTC  |  Edited by: ShahFluffers
Not Supported.

There are a number of professions that need a minimum of skills (less than 1 month) to affect the game in profound ways.


Mining? You only need a character to use a Retriever. Get 5 accounts to do that. Once trained, let them lapse into "free" accounts and earn a steady "free" income stream (until the prices for minerals crashes from oversupply as everyone and their mother does the same).

Same with Planetary Interaction. Train 1 or 2 accounts for a month so it can use a hauler and manage planets. You never need to train it again and it will generate income (until the prices for PI goods crashes from oversupply).

Do you like trading? Enjoy manipulating the market? Train up alts or two in each trade hubs then manipulate the market in grand ways that pisses off everyone else.
Now watch everyone else do that.

Does a newbie want to be a scout for your fleet? Forget it. You already have a "free" account in a Rookie Ship to do that for you. No need to possibly compromise your fleet or your sanity by allowing someone you don't know and doesn't know exactly what to look for.

Do you like PvP? Train 3 accounts for a month so they can use a frigate or destroyer semi-decently. Get the rest of your alliance to do that too (which is easy if your alliance has a large income stream).
Now use multi-boxing software to create "zerg swarms" of cheap cannon fodder to assist your more expensive contingent.
Watch everyone else do the same.


Basically... it won't take much for people to create multiple characters to create "free" income streams for their main character (which will probably be the only account they will continue training). I know more than a few people who would let their alt accounts lapse into "free" ones if this idea went into effect. And I'd be stupid not to take advantage of it as well.



As far as CCP having terrible New Player Retention... if I recall correctly... more than 50%(?) of the people who try EVE for the first time quit within the trial period.
New players mostly quit not because of the subscription model but because...

- of the ruthless nature of the game (see: no "non-PvP" zones, scams and blackmail are allowed, no newbie protection outside of certain systems, AWOXing ("friendly fire") is allowed, corp/alliance theft is allowed, anyone is allowed to affect you whether you like it or not, etc).
- there are few, if any, artificial rules that enforce the concept of "fairness" as people usually understand it.
- bigger, more expensive, and more skillpoints does not confer automatic dominance over others. A faction-fit battleship can still die to a half dozen destroyers worth a tenth of the ship.
- skills train in real-time. This makes the game awesome for many people (as we can actually play the game) but utterly infuriates those who are used to "grinding" for more power.
- there is no "endgame" in EVE (you have to set your own goals).
- teamwork and diplomacy (even poorly executed) can exert FAR more influence and power than ANY amount of personal skill in all aspects of the game (enraging the "lone wolves" out there).
- there are few, if any, twitch mechanics in EVE. This pisses off people who expect EVE to be more like Freelancer than Starcraft.
- ship fitting is diverse and extremely complex. The saying "you will always fit your ship wrong" is quite true and often angers people who are looking for "the best."

The real kicker is that many of us who currently play EVE find these same thing endearing. They are the reason we play. And the developers are aware of this. They understand very well that this is a "niche" game that will not cater to everyone. It takes a certain kind of person to enjoy EVE.


TheFourteenthTry wrote:
I don't think you mean 'vets' are the 10 year players, rather I think you count vets as say what 2+ years. If that is true then it probably is the largest part of the player base, but most of them have so much more to train and enjoy (i.e. CCP will get their money from them)

Not true. I personally pay the subscription not because I don't have enough to train but because I enjoy playing the game. Fifteen dollars for unlimited 30 day access to a persistent world filled with tens of thousands of other players at any given time? Few other RL activities offer such a bargain.
Constant skill training (online and offline) is just the cherry on top.
Ralph King-Griffin
New Eden Tech Support
#44 - 2013-11-24 19:15:27 UTC
were this the case you cold say goodbye to biannual expansions.
Teckos Pech
Hogyoku
Goonswarm Federation
#45 - 2013-11-24 19:25:44 UTC
Shah raises and excellent point. With 2 accounts and a few weeks of training (say 2-3 months) you could have 6 characters who could churn out robotics and not pay a cent for those accounts once trained. All that isk is then transferred to my main who buys a plex and has plenty of isk left over.

And I'm a fairly old player. This model will disproportionately benefit the older players relative to the newer ones. While you can argue logic (i.e. I've paid subscriptions for years to get where I am) it could create a very strong perception of "unfairness" and be bad for the game. So CCP would lose 2/3rds of its current revenue from me, and possibly more as new subscriptions take a hit.

"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."--Friedrich August von Hayek

8 Golden Rules for EVE Online

TheFourteenthTry
Unicorn Balls
#46 - 2013-11-24 19:42:10 UTC
ShahFluffers wrote:
Not Supported.

As far as CCP having terrible New Player Retention... if I recall correctly... more than 50%(?) of the people who try EVE for the first time quit within the trial period.
New players mostly quit not because of the subscription model but because...

- of the ruthless nature of the game (see: no "non-PvP" zones, scams and blackmail are allowed, no newbie protection outside of certain systems, AWOXing ("friendly fire") is allowed, corp/alliance theft is allowed, anyone is allowed to affect you whether you like it or not, etc).
- there are few, if any, artificial rules that enforce the concept of "fairness" as people usually understand it.
- bigger, more expensive, and more skillpoints does not confer automatic dominance over others. A faction-fit battleship can still die to a half dozen destroyers worth a tenth of the ship.
- skills train in real-time. This makes the game awesome for many people (as we can actually play the game) but utterly infuriates those who are used to "grinding" for more power.
- there is no "endgame" in EVE (you have to set your own goals).
- teamwork and diplomacy (even poorly executed) can exert FAR more influence and power than ANY amount of personal skill in all aspects of the game (enraging the "lone wolves" out there).
- there are few, if any, twitch mechanics in EVE. This pisses off people who expect EVE to be more like Freelancer than Starcraft.
- ship fitting is diverse and extremely complex. The saying "you will always fit your ship wrong" is quite true and often angers people who are looking for "the best."

The real kicker is that many of us who currently play EVE find these same thing endearing. They are the reason we play. And the developers are aware of this. They understand very well that this is a "niche" game that will not cater to everyone. It takes a certain kind of person to enjoy EVE.

Not true. I personally pay the subscription not because I don't have enough to train but because I enjoy playing the game. Fifteen dollars for unlimited 30 day access to a persistent world filled with tens of thousands of other players at any given time? Few other RL activities offer such a bargain.
Constant skill training (online and offline) is just the cherry on top.


Thanks these are all really good points.

I removed the bits about quick training for ISK not because they aren't valid more to highlight what I find to be real solid points about player retention issues, and to save some redundancy.

This is great feedback that allows me to analyze this issue more closely and from other points of view. Simply put EVE is probably just better for the people its for, and changing/improving certain aspects of gameplay will help improve player retention as much, or more than changing the payment model.

As for this
Teckos Pech wrote:
just stop posting.

This is my thread, and I am responding to people's points. I have not responded more than a few times a day and it continues to garner attention albeit all negative LOL.

I have no problem with this thread dying off, but I will continue to defend my points, and feed the trolls as long as they are showing interest.

IN OTHER WORDS
thanks for the bump
ShahFluffers
Ice Fire Warriors
Infinite Pew
#47 - 2013-11-24 20:25:53 UTC  |  Edited by: ShahFluffers
TheFourteenthTry wrote:
Thanks these are all really good points.

I removed the bits about quick training for ISK not because they aren't valid more to highlight what I find to be real solid points about player retention issues, and to save some redundancy.

This is great feedback that allows me to analyze this issue more closely and from other points of view. Simply put EVE is probably just better for the people its for, and changing/improving certain aspects of gameplay will help improve player retention as much, or more than changing the payment model.

Bear in mind... many of those things that I listed are "cornerstones" of EVE and why many of us players love it. If you try to change or alter them too radically (or at all) you will run into extremely stiff resistance from a very large chunk of the player population.

Some no-go areas are, but not limited to...
- PvP-free zones (or "flags" or any variation thereof).
- removal or arbitrary restrictions to non-consensual actions.
- grinding for skillpoints.
- arbitrary strengths for one player against multiple.
- twitch mechanics (technical issues with this one).
- giving people with lots of (or less) skillpoints arbitrary boosts
- combining ship/modules effects/specializations into one (there is a bit of a grey area here but, generally speaking, specializations helps newbies more than veterans as it means they can become very good at one thing relatively quickly).


I will also add that more than a few of us are refugees from Ultima Online and have bad memories about that happened to it (see: "Trammel Server")... and many people here perceive "quality" (see: difficulty, depth, complexity) of the game as being more important than "quantity" (of players).

A favorite quip of mine is this: "Which is more successful; A local restaurant that sees less than five thousand patrons a year and has a diverse menu of world renown food... or McDonalds which serves tens of millions of orders every month and has a homogenized menu that many people consider to be 'just above substandard'?"

I personally will take the "local restaurant" thankyouverymuch.
Kirimeena D'Zbrkesbris
Republic Military Tax Avoiders
#48 - 2013-11-24 20:35:15 UTC
ShahFluffers wrote:
...many people consider to be 'junkfood'?
I personally will take the "local restaurant" thankyouverymuch.

fixed.
I'll prefer homemade food to any restaurant at any time...

Opinions are like assholes. Everybody got one and everyone thinks everyone else's stinks.

ShahFluffers
Ice Fire Warriors
Infinite Pew
#49 - 2013-11-24 20:48:10 UTC
Kirimeena D'Zbrkesbris wrote:
ShahFluffers wrote:
...many people consider to be 'junkfood'?
I personally will take the "local restaurant" thankyouverymuch.

fixed.
I'll prefer homemade food to any restaurant at any time...

What about "homemade style" food at a restaurant? I make some awesome bolognese sauce and shrimp scampi and used the same recipes at the restaurant I used to own. Blink
Kirimeena D'Zbrkesbris
Republic Military Tax Avoiders
#50 - 2013-11-24 21:30:33 UTC  |  Edited by: Kirimeena D'Zbrkesbris
ShahFluffers wrote:
What about "homemade style" food at a restaurant? I make some awesome bolognese sauce and shrimp scampi and used the same recipes at the restaurant I used to own. Blink

Taste is such a subjective thing that can differ even with same food cooked using same recipe by/for different people. Doing it for money or doing it for family are 2 completely different things.

/(off)topic

Opinions are like assholes. Everybody got one and everyone thinks everyone else's stinks.

Teckos Pech
Hogyoku
Goonswarm Federation
#51 - 2013-11-25 05:19:57 UTC
TheFourteenthTry wrote:

This is my thread, and I am responding to people's points. I have not responded more than a few times a day and it continues to garner attention albeit all negative LOL.

I have no problem with this thread dying off, but I will continue to defend my points, and feed the trolls as long as they are showing interest.

IN OTHER WORDS
thanks for the bump


Then how about this, admit that the idea is not as good as you first thought...and stop defending the indefensible.

"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."--Friedrich August von Hayek

8 Golden Rules for EVE Online

TheFourteenthTry
Unicorn Balls
#52 - 2013-11-25 16:32:45 UTC  |  Edited by: TheFourteenthTry
Quote:


Then how about this, admit that the idea is not as good as you first thought...and stop defending the indefensible.



So, if you say some clever line that sets up that I am not as sold on Free 2 Play EVE as I was when I wrote the OP, then you win?

Cause I came for the discussion, Which I got. I also came to get different points of view on a feature I felt might lower the barrier to entry for a game I love a lot. Some people have pointed out the flaws in my idea, and I am thankful for that.

That said...
I will not 'admit that the idea is not [] good' simply because I still think it has merit.

Here's what I have learned people THINK will happen
1) Economy destroyed because, everyone make multiple passive income accounts and bots for ISK (EVE is ruined CCP losses massive moneys)
2) New players will still not be retained because of gameplay related issues that fixing are impossible without destroying good things in EVE.

My counter...

1)
EVE's economy may get destroyed by everyone botting to win, or EVE's economy could become more vibrant and stable. It is the best Economy in any popular MMO, and it is currently incredibly stable (I ahve done a lot of market trading as my research for this trust me its stable). Remember stable economy doesn't mean things don't drastically fluctuate in price, but that it can move up and down based on player's actions with out crashing. So yea maybe it crashes and things become terribly/ridiculously priced as people has suggested, and maybe it doesn't. I don't think anyone posting here has done the economic 'research' to back their claims against my idea and neither have I, so we should leave that for CCP's economist and Designers to sort out. you know since they have to already.

2)
I have friends that would try EVE if it wasn't for them having to pay to activate their account, and then monthly until they are done. If it were F2P they would try it and likely continue to try it because I could continue to ask them to log in and have some more fun. I could afford for them all of their losses early on, and get them into the game I truly Love w/o just PLEXing account for friends all day (yes some people do this already, and this may have to be my solution). I also don't think I am the only person with this issue, so there is probably many others like me that can't get anyone they know to try EVE because of the cost, and other issues. If one retention issue is fixed than more people will try EVE and keep playing EVE.

Shah made some really great points about player retention, and then wrote why these issues can't be solved without ruining EVE for those who love it. This feedback only highlights that F2P model could be the right model for EVE.

it was noted that EVE has a %50 retention rate...

But wait... I have an alt account so... that means my two characters are %100 retained ... and uh wait doesn't everyone I know have at least two accounts...

Uh oh does that %50 take those figures into account. I am pretty sure it doesn't... So what that means is EVE has a considerably worse retention rate then they has shown because most players that are retained are just alt accounts.

If that is the case (and it is) then EVE's retention rate is abysmal (we know this already), and I, a huge fan of a game I have invested my time and money into am trying to solve a problem by THINKING (but I thought 14th shouldn't do that). If Eve's retention is abysmal, and many of the things people leave the game for can't be fixed then what should we do?

The game won't last forever at retention rates this low. I am sorry I had an idea of how to fix it.

Jerk. Big smile
Joshu Mumon
Doomheim
#53 - 2013-11-25 19:33:14 UTC
Most of my real life friends did not make it past the trial of EVE either. My solution was to make friends in-game.

What you're suggesting will allow new players to try the game longer, but many current subscribers will unsubscribe because they could play for free. You can't promise that free to play pilots will ever subscribe, or subscribe in such numbers to offset the loss of subscriptions. I don't think anyone can make that calculation without a lot of guesswork.

TheFourteenthTry wrote:
The game won't last forever at retention rates this low.


Each year the game has more subscribers than the previous year. It is doing well for being its tenth year around. Well enough that the surplus funds are used to develop new games.
Nolen Cadmar
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#54 - 2013-11-25 20:17:51 UTC
baltec1 wrote:
Its already free to play.

Indeed. If you know how to make money, you can PLEX your account(s).

I vote no.

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Barbarrossa Buchner
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#55 - 2013-11-25 20:39:58 UTC
Total rookie.. looked at the game long ago and decided it was too hard. Long time period passed.. Then Benghazi happened.



I read about Sean Smith/Vile Rat... and saw a community come together (I saw it from afar/not in game).


More time passed.. couldn't get Vile_Rat out of my head for long... kept coming back to it. FINALLY decided to tackle the game..


Pay to play.. with a CHANCE at making it free thru skills and earning money. Sounds better than World of Warcraft subscription every month with NO option of making it free and they have anywhere from 6 to 10 million subscribers at any given time...

From what I see this 'older' game continues to GAIN subscribers as time passes.. unlike other older (WoW) games..



Leave it alone I think.. (Trial Period gives them a taste) ....and don't call people a jerk or after I learn how to play I will come hunt you down...



Long way to go before that though... so how do I find an asteroid belt again?
The more I learn the more I realize just how much I don't know.
TheFourteenthTry
Unicorn Balls
#56 - 2013-11-25 21:26:59 UTC
Barbarrossa Buchner wrote:


Pay to play.. with a CHANCE at making it free thru skills and earning money. Sounds better than World of Warcraft subscription every month with NO option of making it free and they have anywhere from 6 to 10 million subscribers at any given time...

From what I see this 'older' game continues to GAIN subscribers as time passes.. unlike other older (WoW) games..

....and don't call people a jerk or after I learn how to play I will come hunt you down...



Thanks this is great and valuable information, and probably the most damning to this thread. You are right EVE's player base is growing for many many reason while other subscription based models have started to die off.

I manly started this thread and idea because I am always trying to think of ways EVE could be reached out to more people. Although, I had realized that it just having a strong community and constantly striving to improve itself would do this naturally. And as they say the 'proof is in the pudding'.

My suggestion is obviously not popular and I am fine with this.

As for calling people jerks, I usually do that when they are, and I certainly think he was being one with his comment. Admitting I was wrong, or that I should back off my argument had already happened at that point. I was continuing to support a thread that has a the very least garnered a lot of negative attention, which makes it still really valid. That guy just wanted me to say 'oh you got me, I am wrong', and stop posting. Which is kinda a jerk move in any discussion. Hence the 'jerk'

If I can't troll back the trolls then what good are the forums Big smile

As for coming to hunt me down... I look forward to that day. Have fun in EVE
Steven Alfrir
Republic University
Minmatar Republic
#57 - 2013-11-26 04:54:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Steven Alfrir
Not an idea that sits well with me because i can't imagine the number of gankers that would appear if it went F2P because it's bad enough with that Goonswarm crowd running around suicide ganking other players not to mention the number gate campers would go up.

I like crazy plans

Lipbite
Express Hauler
#58 - 2013-11-26 05:57:32 UTC
Do you really want to play in permanent TiDi from million(s) free players? I don't think so.
Lukas Rox
Aideron Technologies
#59 - 2013-11-26 07:43:31 UTC  |  Edited by: Lukas Rox
Well, I believe EVE is a free to play game already. While it requires some time to earn enough ISK to buy PLEX, it is the same or worse in other f2p games.

If you want to play for free, yes, this means it will be hard. It has to be hard because otherwise everyone would play for free and no one would ever pay for the game. I've played several F2P games on my tablet, and it was always "play at least x hrs a day or pay real $". If you consider the fact that it's possible to earn enough ISK to buy a PLEX in high sec (provided you have enough time), and it's even easier in null (anoms, 10/10 combat sites) I'd say EVE is F2P already. Yes, it requires effort, but is sustainable. And it's IMHO much less broken than if CCP went full F2P mode (with microstransactions and other ****).

Proud developer of LMeve: Industry Contribution and Mass Production Tracker: https://github.com/roxlukas/lmeve | Blogging about EVE on http://pozniak.pl/wp/

Cardano Firesnake
Fire Bullet Inc
#60 - 2013-11-26 09:52:27 UTC
Eve is ok as it is.
If you want it can be a free to play.

Posted - 2010.07.01 11:24:00 - [4] Erase learning skills, remap all SP. That's all.