A Mass of Tier 1 Twinks?

I have always been a fan of unintended consequences. It warms my heart and makes me chuckle when short-sighted planning and the general perversity of the universe gang up to undermine things.

Even when it happens to me.

Especially when it happens to me.

I have a bit of the anarchist in me.  I like to be reminded that real life does not care for anybody’s plans.

So when I saw over at Werit’s Blog that Warhammer Online was removing the 10 Day restriction from their free trial offer, the intent was clear:  Somebody felt that more people would subscribe to the game if the free trial lasted longer.

Now I haven’t seen anything official on this, and the Warhammer Online free trial page still says “10 Days,” but I understand that the key restriction in place will be that you cannot advance beyond tier 1 content.  There are probably others, but that is the only thing I have seen.

So I will be interested to see what happens (if anything happens) when an subscription MMO makes the first 10-15% of its game content available for free for unlimited play.

I cannot recall a similar scenario.  Certainly SOE offered their “Trial of the Isle,” but that had a hard geographical limitation.

So what do you think is going to happen?

A mass of free-loading tier 1 players?  A surge in subscriptions?  Nothing at all?

14 thoughts on “A Mass of Tier 1 Twinks?

  1. syncaine

    It’s a massive bait-n-switch really, because now T1 will be overly and artificially populated, and things like RvR and PQs will ‘work’ because of that population. So you buy the full game and bam, T2 and T3 are a wasteland, and all the things you loved don’t ‘work’ anymore because no one is around. And of course, if you DO make it to T4, you get to play with those issues.

    None of this is directly related to going from a 10 day trial to unlimited, but more with WAR itself, but I can see some very angry people feeling cheated if they don’t know better.

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  2. Bhagpuss

    Well, I plan on making a trial account and playing T1 as a free, standalone game. I’ve already tried Warhammer up to T3. T1 was enormous fun. T2 was fun. T3 was tedious. Then I unsubscribed. I’m delighted to be able to have the best part of the game as a freebie.

    As far as I can see, by making T1 free for an open-ended trial, they have effectively split WAR into two games: what will be a hugely populated, lively, fun, casual PvP knockabout that we can play for free and a dull, plodding game that probably won’t have a stable population, for which they expect us to pay.

    I’d anticipate Mythic getting a fair income from sign-ups as people have a fine old time in T1 and buy the game, but they’ll get very few extra subscribers as people quit after the free month, make a new free trial account and go back to the fun part.

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  3. Jim

    I think this will work very well. I think lots of people will try it and a fair percentage of them will purchase the game (20%) and of those 2% or 3% will become subscribers. These are people that would not of joined otherwise.

    Those numbers are completely made up but the point is a small percent of people will purchase the game from it that would not of otherwise. It cost them very little and I don’t think it will hurt the current player base.

    It make t1 very active and fun. I think right now is the time to really promote this game. It has been made a pretty fun game.

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  4. Randomessa

    Huh, Bhagpuss, you may be on to something there. I hadn’t thought of just hanging around T1 using it as a casual PvP playground instead of trying to level to 40…. you’ve got me considering returning for precisely that.

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  5. Stabs

    With DDO reporting subs up 40% and hundreds of thousands of new players since they went F2P (and let’s face it they were a game that would have attracted almost zero new subscribers under the old model) it’s inevitable others follow suit.

    Add me to the people who will d/l and try this I expect there will become a new fashion for level 10 twinks.

    One unexpected consequence is that subscribers may farm twink gear in Tier 2 and 3 then cancel and just play their unstoppable face-melter for free. F2P players won’t be able to compete as they can’t get the loot that drops in higher instances (which may push them to subscribe).

    It should breathe some life into the game, hope it works for them. Still bitter though that it lacks Skaven.

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  6. Saylah

    My idea was T1 Twink like Bhag except does your XP freeze? If not, you’re going to out level the ability to do the scenarios and you’ll be chickened attacking ppl in oRVR. Anyone know for sure?

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  8. Pinky's Brain

    I never understood why people can have so much hate for twinks who cap at lower levels but have no problem at all with high level cap twinks? The amount of twinking potential in the “end game” is far greater than in the lower tiers (yeah yeah, I know the gearing sucks and RR is useless … still it’s far greater).

    Those face melters you are afraid of? I’ve faced them in T4 … and I unsubscribed.

    PS. the whole concept of a gearing threadmill as an end game in what should really be a PvP game was epic fail IMO. In equal numbered “fair” combat it should be about skill, not gear which takes huge amount of grinding … in open warfare it should be about strategy and resources. Darkfall (and Eve) gets it right, war should be for resources AND cost resources … unfortunately I’m a graphics whore and I don’t like spaceships.

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  9. boris

    Have they mentioned anything about limiting the number of characters in this version of the trial? Seems like something they would do to further encourage people to buy.

    Yes, I haven’t checked myself, being bad.

    Boris

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  10. tenfoldhate

    As someone who just resubbed for a month, I’d say WAR is certainly worth coming back to, at least for the amped up Tier 1 population if you’re at all interested in what WAR *should* have been a year ago.

    Admittedly though, I did fall for the old bait-and-switch. While there is a modest amount of RvR in Tier 2 compared to launch, the relative quiet to the free trial Tier 1 zones is very noticable.

    I’m still convinced there is an amazing game in there somewhere. I had a blast running a bunch of different classes I hadn’t tried the first time around through Tier 1 open RvR (with doing one scenario or PvE quest, I might add!)

    However, there is an inescapable feeling of hitting a glass wall when you transition into Tier 2 and there’s a fraction of the action going on there that you’ll find in the free trial tier.
    I will revisit this game again down the line, but as of now, it’s just a little shy of getting me to resub on a monthly basis.

    I hate to say it, but a game like WAR might be a perfect candidate for F2P/microtransactions or something–since the fun factor is so closely tied into the player population–much moreso than a PvE game.

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  12. skarbd

    To twink you’ll need a higher level character to send down gear from. So they’ll pick up a subscription that way.

    Tier 2 is quieter than tier 1 without a doubt, but some days it can be a thumping good fight. We just need them to open up all of tier 1, if the numbers jump massively. So the load can be spread between all the blades of the server.

    The endless trial will allow people to grow comfortable with the game, especially all those people who can’t devote loads of time to learn a game in 10 days.

    You know what, if it brings in more players, than who gives a crap, it’s done it job.

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  13. ridium

    Syncaine, the first poster, said it for exactly what it is. I bought the game thinking it was the best game ever due to T1 content. I emerged into T2, and utter wasteland, and cancelled my sub and created a new trial account. I’ll be twinking as many characters as possible, since T1 is a blast … and free.

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