Post:Free Accounts Details - 03/12/2015 - 00:38

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Re: Free Accounts Details · on 03/12/2015 12:38 AM CDT 6994
Hello FAURE, thanks for the post. You have some good points, and some of them we've already been discussing and keeping an eye on. However, I do want to clarify something...


Our target with this free account tier wasn't necessarily former players, it was new players. We absolutely would love to see former players return, and some have (we even had a "hello" last night from former staff!), but we primarily were focused on easing the barrier of getting into the game -- removing the CC requirement, removing the time limitation of a trial, etc. We also made efforts to make starter information easier to find and understand. I usually keep a body logged in for monitoring 24/7, and there were several truly new folks that have come through just reading through chatter. It's great to see!

You touched on another concern yourself -- Simutronics is a business. If we come out and proclaim "Everyone can be free!", a not-insignificant number of the subscribers disappear within hours and continues to slide over time. If there's no one to pay for the game -- if such folks are unwilling to unlock perks via microtrans or have a subscription -- what keeps the servers running? Our subscribers are our lifeblood, and if everything is free for everyone, it just can't last. We all enjoy Elanthia, and we all want to see it continue on for another 19+ years. The free tier gives folks a taste of the game without hindering the subscribers, and bonus passes can be acquired (free from hunting or purchased) to mitigate most of what separates the free account from a subscriber.

There are other hurdles with returning characters that should be considered too. Suppose you logged out with 400+ items. As soon as you log in to a character you hadn't seen in years, you're forced to throw items you forgot you even had into a bucket to be deleted forever -- altered items, rare fest items, sentimental items from other players who have moved on, etc. I don't think many would find that a "fun" welcome back to a game they had fond memories of before.

As Solomon said, for a truly new player learning the game, a 10 plat bank account and store-bought items are just fine. You don't need a super top-end crafted blade of doom to slice goblins in half, or armadillos for that matter. Would it be easier or faster with one? Sure! But it's not needed. We also would like to remind folks that occasional passes to unlock stuff (for free!) can drop while you're hunting -- you absolutely can earn a free increase without needing to spend anything if you truly want, and these items can be sold/traded between yourselves. They won't have an affect on subscribers, and they can't drop for subscribers, so the economy will play out between the free account folks.

>as soon as guild abilities are restricted because we cannot travel outside of Zoluren,

This is something we're actively working on. It was an oversight, but we're still putting together the list of which guilds have this issue so we can see how best to handle -- whether individually or with some sort of common mechanic. Thieves, in particular, I believe are already being worked on.

All of this said, we are discussing storage and coins. We think it's too early for a final call (just over 24 hours!), and we don't think we're too far off the mark if adjustments need to be made at all, but it's just too early to be sure right now. We're keeping an eye on things.

Thanks for the feedback! It's early yet, and there's a lot to experience and absorb. The game has changed substantially over the years, especially in the past 2-3, and there's quite a lot for new and returning players alike to stay busy with! We hope you continue to play to see and enjoy your time here.

This message was originally posted in Discussions with DragonRealms Staff and Players \ Responses to GM/Official Announcements, by DR-ZADRAES on the play.net forums.