Global Chat: Is it worth it to subscribe to MMOs?

Time is on my side, after a fashion.

MMO blog Altar of Gaming has a fascinating series going on in which Rimuru is evaluating whether or not it’s worth picking up a subscription package to games like Old School RuneScape and Elder Scrolls Online. Since all subs are not created equal, I think this is a valuable service for players.

“Is the ESO Plus subscription worth your money? The short answer is ‘yes,'” Rimuru writes. “For a bit less than 15 dollars per month, you get to access everything the game has to offer. You also get free Crowns, which you can of course use to buy the DLC if you think you won’t be able to afford always having the subscription active. We don’t really recommend it though as most DLC can be completed quite fast, and chances are you won’t have any use for them after some time.”

Read on for a beginner’s guide to FFXIV, first impressions of Albion Online, turning points of MMO history, and more!

If you come to San Francisco...

Common Sense Gamer: Final Fantasy XIV beginner’s guide

FFXIV Gil is a precious resource that you will use in the game to buy most items, be it better weapons or crafting materials. The best way to earn this FFXIV currency early on is through mining or harvesting items in the world. While doing so, you will be required to slowly level up your mining and botanist classes. Sure, it might be a tedious grind to do this, but early game mining is the easiest way to earn easy cash!”

Endgame Viable: Albion Online impressions

“Anyway, it’s not the greatest game I’ve ever seen, but it’s cute. It’s not an ‘I’m going to make my home here for the next 10 years’ kind of game though, at least not for me (then again, I’ve never started playing an MMO with that goal in mind). It’s one of those games that’s good to have in front of you to click on while listening to an audiobook or a podcast or whatever. It occupies your hands and vision in a way that makes you feel like you’re doing something useful, when you might otherwise be sitting in a catatonic stupor.”

MMO Bro: Five turning points of MMO history

“For a long time, if you wanted to play an MMORPG, you had to pay a monthly subscription. That’s just how it worked. Oh, sure, there were a few exceptions. Anarchy Online began offering a free-to-play option back in 2004, and the original Guild Wars was buy-to-play from its launch in 2005. But those were mostly considered oddball outliers. Things began to change in a big way when Dungeons and Dragons Online relaunched as a free-to-play title in 2009. Previously struggling, it saw a huge uptick in both players and revenues, and the world began to take notice.”

Nerdy Bookahs: Goodbye, Atlas Reactor

“I absolutely loved playing on my own, with an NPC team against NPCs. Also, in these PvE games, you did not have to choose your next move within 20 seconds, but you had as much time as you needed. I took that mode to try out strategies and see what works, and I got to know the different classes you could choose from.”

Dragonchasers: Return to SWTOR

“What is really saving me and keeping me in SWTOR is the story and characters. I’ve played through all of this before but it was such a long time ago that it feels fresh. (I’m also playing a female character which changes things a little, based on some of the interactions.) I may also be paying more attention to the story since I’m not looking over my shoulder to see if some NPC is going to kill me, or feeling like I’m falling behind my friends as they level quickly. There’s something to be said for the pure solo-ist lifestyle in a game with this much story/dialog.”

I’m Not Squishy: How’s Trove holding up?

“I’ve been away from Trove for over a year. I have a love-hate relationship with the game. On the one hand, it hits the right buttons in my brain that makes me want to play it for hours. On the other, there’s been some shady cash shop practices and bad development choices through the years.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.

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Worth. Every. Penny! Eso that is, great game loved it since BETA and glad all the naysayers were proved wrong… wish they’d kept the difficulty and the initial linear (read:tutorial areas) as mandatory, at the end of the day it’s not skyrim despite all the punks who complained that it was different from skyrim in that regard.


There is no yes or no answer to that. All mmo/notso-mmo monetization is different, and their mix of shop driven and/or sub driven payment can not be compared easy.
It is on a case to case judgment.
Generally I prefer to get a full game and pay a static/known amount (sub or box price) with no shop crap – And that goes much deeper than what I need to pay, because monetization always effects the entire game design and gameplay. Though there are a few (very few) examples of f2p done in a way that is tolerable.


I always sub to the games I play. If I don´t play them anymore, I cancel my sub. IMO this is the fairest deal for everybody.

IronSalamander8 .

I almost always sub to an MMO I’m playing. Between the often onerous F2P restrictions that most games have and I just prefer to support games I feel are worth my time and money.

I have played games I feel weren’t worth paying for that I never subbed to and I like the ability to try a game out for free to see if I want to give them money. When a game feels like it’s no longer worth it, I usually just stop playing completely.

Tim Anderson

I’ve subbed to every game I’ve ever played, since the mid-90s. I am often running 3-4 subs at any given time.

15 dollars a month for UNLIMITED entertainment is, bar none, the BEST deal in ANY industry.


Not worth it. I play for a week or two and feel like I never got my money’s worth. If I had a guild and we were doing raids/endgame and that’s what I wanted to do, I could see it worth it. Otherwise, I’m not an endgame type of player usually, so it’s just not worth it to hop on and off for a few hours a week. Whereas Netflix provides me way more for about the same price. I’d rather buy a few things from an item shop to upgrade my account than be paying a sub every month.

Sarah Cushaway

I like ESO’s model best: b2p with optional and nice sub perks (crafting bag, DLC, crowns)– you definitely don’t HAVE to sub to enjoy the base game, but the perks are nice. There’s no pw2, so bonus. I think it’s a pretty fair model and one more MMOs should consider. GW2 is also fairly good, despite the fact I don’t like the actual game.


I vote with my wallet and wont play a f2p game, I have to have a complete game so always sub and buy all dlc.

Kickstarter Donor

I go back and forth on this one. For a long while there I was a F2P evangelist because it let me jump in between games easier when I had friends playing multiple things. But lately, it’s just been FFXIV or nothing. And while FFXIV has a vanity cash shop which sort of devalues the sub, if you’re not on the launcher or web page, you’d never know from the game itself that it exists. And in a way, that’s worth a sub to me, to just be able to play without that stuff getting shoved in my face non-stop all the time.


Like you say, not all subscriptions are created equal.

I don’t know if Runescape changed over the years, but free players were pretty limited in what they could do, so it was basically a necessity there to even play the full game.

There are some other games where it is a necessity as well. Star Rider Online (a horse MMO for girls) is way too limited without the sub. Honestly for that game I suggest buying the lifetime membership if you like it.

For Wizard 101 and Pirate 101 I do them both differently. I bought the areas permanently in Wizard 101 as I played, while for Pirate 101 I subbed instead.

ESO is one of those that you don’t have to get, but it sure is worth it. Not only is the reagent bag the biggest space saver in the game if you actually want to craft anything ever, but you get IAP currency worth the same price as your subscription. So everything after that is just a bonus. I keep my ESO sub going even for long periods of time where I’m not playing the game, because they make it worth keeping active even when not there. That’s the way to do a sub and make people keep them.

I recently canceled my Secret World Legends sub because it’s only worth it if you play every day. I was paying them monthly for something that has zero value if you don’t log in all the time and I’m not logging in all the time right now. Unlike ESO, you don’t build up anything of value if you don’t log on to claim it. It’s pretty nice if you are a daily player, but it’s of no value at all if you’re not. This is in contrast to their old system in The Secret World where they made it valuable to have even if not logging in by giving you points and things to spend still.

I honestly don’t know why Funcom doesn’t make a sub that is valuable to keep now if you’re not logging in, maybe they thought having it the current way would make people log in each and every day to keep players coming on, though if you don’t really have time the only thing you did was log on to claim your rewards and log back out immediately.