The Daily Grind: Are special MMO servers worth a subscription?

    
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With all of the special legacy and progression servers being started up across the MMORPG genre, I’ve noticed that there’s an interesting factor that impacts all of them. They’re all subscription-only.

EverQuest, EverQuest II, RIFT, Lord of the Rings Online, and even the upcoming WoW Classic all require a subscription to play on these special servers (although, to be fair, the last one will include it in the regular sub package). In other words, you can’t get these special servers for free.

How do you feel about that? Are special MMO servers worth a subscription? While some argue that they divide game communities (the subbers vs. the non-subbers), others see these servers as a nice additional perk to the subscription. Let’s hear your thoughts on the subject!

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Anstalt

I’m definitely a fan of subscriptions. Without exception, every sub game I’ve played has been better than every F2P game I’ve played. In addition, every sub game that has since gone F2P has been ruined by the conversion and has ultimately driven me away. Beyond the irritating cash shop which lowers the quality of the game, the biggest impact is on the community. F2P communities suck in comparisson to subscription-based communities.

So, sub-only servers….yeh, I’m in favour of that.

The question you have to ask yourself is do you think it’s worth it. When I first heard about the LotRO server, I was excited and would have happily re-subbed and jumped back in. However, when the details came out that it will be the same as the live servers, but with an artificial level cap and no PvP, it was no longer worth playing for me.

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Toy Clown

In general (with the exception of GW2), I prefer paying a sub to access the MMOs I enjoy. F2P / B2P games are notorious for their toxic communities. I don’t know why Gw2 is the exception. Maybe because PvP is separated from the rest of the world, thus the players don’t mix? Not sure, but it has one of the best communities for an MMO.

I’ve noticed that sub MMOs tend to filter out a lot of abusive people. Sure, there are exceptions to that as well, but they’re not as abundant as they are in F2Ps.

What I don’t like about sub games is how they’re burning the candle at both ends now, in that they offer a sub and a cash shop. I don’t mind cash shops if they’re prices are low, but when they are getting expensive with a sub, I become disgruntled. A good case of that is FFXIV. They used to carry inexpensive items on the cash shop, with only mounts being over 20$. Then they started raising prices of past holiday offerings, and added outfits that cost 18$ for one character. I had a hard time paying 22$ for BDO costumes, and that’s a B2P / F2P MMO. It just leaves me feeling raked over the coals with FFXIV charging near BDO-cost costumes with a sub.

But… at least I can get a lot of fluff and glamours in the world of FFXIV still, so that’s the payoff preference to playing a sub game currently.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

If the subscription gives complete access to the game and I no longer have to deal with constant ploys to get me to spend money in a cash shop or on lock boxes, sure.

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Arcanum Zero

I think for a lot of these publishers it might be necessary, but my read on the situation is that if a publisher has to charge a subscription just to sustain a classic server, they’re not going to be sustaining the classic server for long.

I see a lot of proponents of classic MMOG play talking about how this is less about content than it is about community, and I agree. I don’t think classic emulators are sustainable only because they are free, but I do think they have an easier time maintaining the higher minimum population a classic MMOG requires because they are free.

I like this analogy: classic MMOGs are Flintstones cars — they’re passenger powered. The last thing you want to do is discourage your passengers.

Cadaver
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Cadaver

For me, for now, the legendary LoTRO servers are worth the sub.

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Sorenthaz

Depends on the game and if it lets me ignore microtransactions. RIFT failed that (by reselling mounts I had owned for years in retail Rift, effectively taking the stance once more of ‘your subscription isn’t good enough’ which turned me off from Rift’s F2P long ago). WoW doesn’t look like it will.

Tommie Wiseau
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Tommie Wiseau

Depends on game. I can choose a server with subscription but not with microtransactions.

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Pandalulz

Not to me, but to me they’re not worth wasting the development time on either. To each their own.

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Ironwu

No. Progression servers based on the current state of the MMO, or on a hybrid mishmash, are a complete waste of time and subscriber’s money. Just my opinion, of course.

And WoW Classic is NOT a progression server. At least, not yet. And if it ever does morph into one, I would not expect it to ever proceed past WoTLK.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

If I want to play the game, yes.

If I don’t want to play the game, no.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Ashfyn! Hey you won a Bless key yesterday and I am getting bounced emails from you. Ping me through tips? :D