The Daily Grind: Which optional subscription MMO justifies its subscription the best?

    
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Worth something!

We talk a lot about how free-to-play (and its slightly more expensive cousin buy-to-play took over the MMO market, but a lot of these titles still want you to subscribe. Some of them (Star Wars: The Old Republic) seem to actively resent you for not subscribing. And it raises the interesting question of which one of these titles asks you for an optional subscription fee… while then successfully justifying that fee in terms of content and perks.

For my money, it’s hard to beat The Elder Scrolls Online for what you get as a subscriber; it’s a good offering of content that does make you feel as if you’re getting a good value for your money every month. But that’s just my personal perspective, and it’s a pretty terrible value if, say, you just don’t like that game very much. So which optional subscription MMO justifies its subscription the best? Which one offers you the most compelling rewards for dropping that money on a monthly basis?

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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Neurotic

Neverwinter’s optional VIP sub really tickles me, and the fact that the unique perks keep getting better the longer you sub is great imho.

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Roger Melly

That is a difficult one , both Elder Scrolls and Lord of the Rings have reasonably decent optional subscriptions but ultimately I would have to go for Lord of the Rings because its more challenging while questing and has a far nicer community .

Elder Scrolls is pretty good for pvp though .

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Louis Ucman

STO’s Lifetime sub is by far the best value. If you are talking bang for your buck.

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Michael18

I’d say Path of Exile. The justification for buying one of their supporter packs is simply to say thanks for getting the game for free without being bullied by artifical limitations, to support them, and to get more content in the future.

And their success seems to indicate that this approach is also effective as a business model. And isn’t Warframe following a similar approach?

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Kevin Smith

At this point I think ESO is the best hands down on that front. They give you access to everything expect the actual xpac which they have another name for. They do hide one of the best features behind the sub though the crafting bag. That one item was why I sub when I go back to play the game. Giving you a decent amount of store currency for the sub is a plus also.

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Tobasco da Gama

LOTRO. You get to keep most of the really big perks even if you let your subscription lapse.

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Michael18

ESO’s crafting bag might be great for subscribers. But I think they went too far in their effort of making inventory management frustrating for non-subbers.

Last time I went back to ESO couple months ago (I own the game since launch but never played much) I got the dreaded “inventory full” message on the third or fourth resource node I came by. Soon after I found out that none of my characters had any bank space left – and I’m not even a hoarder, promise! Of course this experience did not entice me into subbing but rather into giving up on the thing pretty much right away.

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Tobasco da Gama

Yup. I can’t agree with ESO as the best “optional” subscription primarily because of how miserable inventory management becomes if you aren’t subscribed.

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Michael Lehner

It’s worth knowing that they did not “make inventory management frustrating for non-subbers”. The game at launch and for the whole time when it was subscription based, did not have a craft bag. And inventory slots were shorter then than they were now. (Not even looking at house bank. )

The game didn’t go the “make things bad for non-subscribers” route. They went “what can we do to make subscription more attractive”, and one of the things there was the craft bag,

claevyan
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claevyan

Eve Online

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David Goodman

I’d say ESO. As far as ‘optiona’ subs go, it’s really compelling to be subscribed.

I’ve had subscriptions in DDO and Neverwinter Online as well, but they are…underwhelming, at best.

So yeah, ESO definitely.

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Castagere Shaikura

The best bang for your buck is ESO right now hands down.