I received an email/contact from one of our readers asking two very good questions. So good in fact that I decided to blog about it instead of simply replying via email. The two questions are all about the casual gamer, and his/her place in mmorpgs in this hardcore day and age.
Question #1: Why do no MMORPG’s offer “casual” subscriptions? This would be for us older PvP’ers who have jobs, families, kids, lives, etc., but who also want to be somewhat competitive. Before I got married, I was a high powered cleric in DAOC – but I quit WOW over 2 years ago because I got tired of being nothing but a RP cow. Until I retire (more than 20 years from now – and carpel tunnel will probably limit my gameplay then) I will NEVER be able to spend the time to be even near the midddle of the heap in a MMORPG PvP game. It’s no fun being the whipping boy. Also, I would pay MORE, possibly twice as much, to play on a time limited server – say 16-20 hours a week. What do you think? Isn’t there a market for this?
That’s a really interesting question and intriguing concept. I believe the biggest reason that there are no “casual subscriptions” is simply because right now in the subscription based games there really isn’t a market for it or reason why a company would want to charge you less than full price. Yet, oddly, a lot of the gaming industry is moving more towards a casual and user friendly “business” model. We’re seeing free to play games that offer you bonuses if you pay real money (RMT) that will set you ahead of those who are not paying. Looking at Battlefield Heroes for example, it’s going to offer experience boosts and bonuses for the casual player like yourself who can only game an hour a day or a few hours a week.
The idea of a “limited” server is actually much more feasible in my eyes. I think we’re starting to see a lot of people who started playing mmorpgs ten years ago suddenly hitting that age where RL starts to take over and gaming is no longer the #1 priority. I think we’re still a little ways off from seeing these types of servers springing up in mmo releases, but I do not doubt that eventually we will see “paced” servers or “limited progressions” servers that allow players like yourself to not feel like the whipping boy or inferior because you simply can not put in the time. There -is- a potential market out there and it’s growing every day.
Question #2: If certain big battles in WAR will be limited in numbers, what are the chances of a casual player getting in on one of them? Will he be looked down on, and ridiculed, by the leet players for taking one of their spots? (I think this is a’ la PotBS).
This is what I really love about WAR. It’s going to look out for all playstyles without the need for casual subscriptions or paced servers. I touched on this very briefly in ChaosCast Episode 1 when I said that WAR allows for all playstyles to join the fight and work with their realm to achieve victory. Open-world objectives like Keeps and towers will not have limited numbers. You’re going to be able to join up with your fellow players who are sieging and contribute whether you play an hour a day or ten. Contributing quests in PvE, taking open world objectives, winning scenarios, and all forms of participation no matter how small all contribute to your realm’s chances of victory.
To answer your questions more specifically, the only limited number battles that we have been told about so far are the city sieges that instance themselves into something like 50v50 (forgive my memory, it could be 40v40 or something close). These battles however will be instanced once they reach their cap. If you want to participate you simply head over and participate and the game will make room for you by opening another instance. Each of these instances contribute to a total pool of points needed to take or defend the city. Example: 70 people want to siege and 75 want to defend – (assuming it’s 50v50) – 50v50 would be the first instance and 20v25 would be in the second instance opened. I can only guess at this point that they will have elements in place to allow groups to stick together if necessary. There won’t be any of the crap we saw in PotBS where players get pissed that their buddy didn’t get in because you won the lotto and got to participate. Remember, you’re part of a Realm in WAR and realmmates look out for eachother.
Thanks for your questions Monty! I hope you find my answers helpful. If anyone else out there wants to send in any questions feel free to use our Contact Us page to either send us an email, comment, or IM. We do our best to reply to everyone in a timely fashion.