Tell me if you have heard this one before

Another day, another F2P MMO talking about how many free accounts people have signed up for, with today being DDOs day in the sun. What separates DDO from the average F2P game however is that it’s not terrible, and that the entire game is not designed around forcing you into the cash shop by placing silly barriers you can pay to get around.

I’m not sure how their poor-mans version of the DarkFall combat engine is the ‘worlds best’, but they do deserve credit for upgrading their graphics, sticking to their core formula of instanced encounters, and supporting a struggling game for years when other studios would have pulled the plug. DDO is one of the more unique MMOs out, and while it’s not my cup of tea, I can understand the appeal.

Plus Turbine at least knows their place as a F2P game:

…and a rich set of features that until now could only be found in premium subscription-based MMOs

DDO, so good, it’s almost a subscription based MMO.

10 Responses to Tell me if you have heard this one before

  1. [...] There’s a story on it HERE at Massively, and Syp over at BioBreak expressed admiration; even Syncaine made some backhanded compliments on the way to saying “DDO, so good, it’s almost a subscription based [...]

  2. Ardwulf says:

    Viewed strictly as a game, and not as an MMO, DDO is at least as good as any of a number of other MMOs. The issue is that it doesn’t play like an MMO in the traditional sense, and so it was viewed, with a lot of justification, as a bad value when it was a subscription game. I’m guessing that the doubled subscriber numbers are mostly a function of the lower barrier to entry.

    • SynCaine says:

      The problem with DDO is that what it claims to have (great combat) is not actually true. The combat is (mostly) a mindless clickfest requiring zero skill. It’s way, way too fast, and so many of the tactics you COULD use are pointless because either the mob is dead in three swings, or you are. I’ve felt that way since playing it at launch, but having seen DF do something similar but actually make it work makes the whole situation even more obvious.

      That (major for me) point aside, DDO is indeed a good game for a number of solid reasons, and even before it went F2P it SHOULD have been doing better than it was. A bit of mismanagement by Turbine, a lack of initial polish, and simply not having enough content to retain people who DID like it is what doomed DDO initially. Four years later the content issue is much better, the polish level is high, and the OPTION to sub fits perfectly with what they have going.

      • Ardwulf says:

        One of the things I mentioned in the podcast that never made it out the door (due to gCast shutting down,) was that “Best Combat in any MMO” is tough to agree with… but as I’ve played more of it I’ve been struck by how much better than WoW the combat is. Mobs aggro more intelligently, won’t suddenly lose interest if you run away and will actively try to get out of range of your weapon, positioning is important much more often, elevation advantage and target size are taken into account, cover is a factor in missile fire. I can’t speak for Darkfall (though the new trial will likely get me to try it soon,) but DDO’s combat is lightyears above more typical MMO combat systems (e. g. WoW, EQ, EQ2, WAR, etc.)

        Also, you don’t actually have to keep clicking – you can just hold the button down. There’s an option for this in the UI settings.

        • SynCaine says:

          Right I mean anything above tab-target hotbar spam is a plus, so DDO at least has that, and all of the stuff you mentioned.

          But look at skills like trip, grease, blind, etc. You don’t use them 99% of the time because the mob is dead in a few swings, and the mobs you would like to use it on (boss mobs) either die just as fast, or hit like a truck and kill you. IMO if DDO just made the whole combat cycle 50% slower, it would be a vastly improved game and the real tactics of its combat would come out.

      • Maladorn says:

        The next question, I think, is whether DDO is a new model or a one-off fluke. Will current or future subscription games be migrated to the hybrid/F2P model eventually? How many games are on the market right now that we wouldn’t pay a sub for, but might drop $5-$10 on every other month? Off the top of my head, WAR, Champions, STO all might be interesting for me under this model. (And no, I’m not a total freeloader. I’m supporting Fallen Earth as my game of choice right now.)

        One other thing: DDO was conceived and built as a subscription game, so I think they have better standing to compare against the subscription competition than most F2P games.

        • Yeebo says:

          Let’s take WAR as an example. The entire first tier is now FtP. After that it’s sub or not, as you choose.

          If in addition to the option to sub, you could also pay fees to unlock various bits of the upper tier content for all eternity, do you think it would increase their revenue stream? I suspect the answer is “yes.”

  3. Pedro says:

    What i find really surprising is that the subscriber base for that game more than doubled as well! The number of subscribers.

    For me that is an indicator that the hybrid free-to-play/sub model is a big success and more games should follow this example! It would be great if more games developed their games and present subscription/payment options adapted to the type of gameplay that people will be doing mainly.

    I played a bit DDO when it went f2p and i must say i found the game very good, with the best PvE i played in an MMO.

  4. Hatch says:

    So heres a guy thats a Darkfall fanboy takin shots at a FTP MMO thats by far more successful than the subscription crap he’s worshipping.

    Tried it, Darkfall is indeed Darkfail, total rubbish & this “Sycaine” blogger that pimps it like its the holy grail, has zero credibility as such, or in his terms “e-rep”.

  5. Kyff says:

    reading comprehension – failed.

    Quote “they do deserve credit for upgrading their graphics, sticking to their core formula of instanced encounters, and supporting a struggling game for years when other studios would have pulled the plug. DDO is one of the more unique MMOs out, and while it’s not my cup of tea, I can understand the appeal.”

    How this can be considered “taking shots” is completely beyond me. The blogger you seem to hate so much simply said: It’s a good game, but I don’t like it. In my opinion this does not reduce anybodies credibility at all.

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