Daily Archives: May 14, 2013

DUST 514 Has Launched

Or so says the press release.

Dust514Trans

My ambivalence towards the game continues however.

I like the connection with EVE Online, the idea of continuing the struggle on the surface of planets, the possibilities of the combined in-game markets, and, most of all, the idea of bombing DUST players from orbit while in my spaceship just for the sheer hell of it.

That last bit represents the height of my interest.

But shooters… and console shooters… just really are not my thing.

So, while I have a PlayStation 3, I still have not bothered downloading it.

It has been in open beta for months, and was available to EVE players even before that.

I am not on the Derek Smart “just going to fail” train, but I wouldn’t bet heavily on success either.  Player numbers are starting to become available.  But I couldn’t tell you if they are good or bad yet.  How much is enough with a free to play game?

Meanwhile, I just haven’t seen or heard anything that makes me want to play yet.

DUST got a boost with the Uprising update.  That all sounds good.  But there isn’t the anything I just have to have, anything that is a big draw.

Maybe, like EVE, it would benefit from more public drama.

Or, maybe, like EVE, it will start slow and build over time.

Where will it be in a year?

Rift to go Free to Play on June 12

I was wrong.

Another subscription MMO caves in, unable to make a go of things on monthly fees alone.  Or they feel that the grass must surely be greener on the free to play side of the fence.

Of course, my prediction was back when Scott Hartsman was still on board and before they put the cash shop interface into the game.  And with WoW, the game Rift sought to out do by speed and emulation, dropping subscriptions in huge, game killing chunks (for any game except WoW), the subscription model takes has taken another blow.

Anyway, Trion has announced that Rift will go free to play come June.  They have a video and such on the official site.  And a producer’s letter.  And a FAQ.  And an interview over at Massively to reinforce all of this.

They will even have something called REX, which sounds remarkably like PLEX.  You think?

The beginning matrix of who will get what has been announced.

Subscribers, expansion, and free levels

Rift, Storm Legion, and free levels

People who subscribe will now be called “Patrons” and will get a set of benefits.  Will they be worth $15 a month to people?

Call me "Patron"

Call me “Patron”

That feels more like World of Tanks, what with the short term options available.  They are certainly trying to mix in all they can.

But still, the cash shop will now rule the roost and new content will likely falter while Trion begins the endless race to figure out what will sell best.  Those who buy from the cash shop will drive the game going forward.

Some people will be cheering, feeling that every game needs to be free, that there is only one right model.

Others, whom like me, have been unhappy with the rot that cash shops can bring, will be less enthusiastic.

Either way, it will change the game.  Nobody can deny that.  And it will likely bring in some new players to start.  But eventually the cash shop chase will begin.

What do you think?

Addendum: Green Armadillo has some thoughts on Rift’s new plan.