$5.99 Monthly Fee - D4, you in? Idea - not fact.

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Absolutely not, no.
Subscription is a dying monetization model. The gaming industry is moving away from it and for a reason. Many, many games have tried it only to remove it shortly after launch and such games were also major MMOs, not ARPGs. It doesn't even fit in ARPGs.

Players dislike it very much. It drives them away.

It was mentioned that subscription would force you to play the game a lot or otherwise the money would feel wasted. I agree, I play ARPGs like D3 occasionally. It's not a game I want to play constantly.
Nope. I don't mind optional subscriptions if they only give a boost to your gameplay. I refuse to play any game that has a forced subscription fee. Besides, subscriptions wouldn't work for Diablo whatsoever. It'd be one thing if it were a full-blown MMO but Diablo is an optionally multiplayer action RPG, not an MMO.
02/08/2019 11:18 PMPosted by Blashyrkh
I hate subscriptions. It compels developers to place artificial roadblocks to hinder your progression if you "play too much" just to extend sub time. WoW's a perfect example with it's currency caps and raid weekly locks. Idk if that's still a thing, but new raids unlocking by sections was another pretty jarring "feature" explicitly designed to artificially extend subscriptions. Thanks but no thanks.

Make a decent game worth playing and a solid set of expansions down the line, and people will gladly pay for them. Too bad that Blizzard's hopelessly addicted to the microtransactions drug.


So what’s the alternative?

Would you rather a model like ESO? The base game doesn’t require a sub - but then they put in a monthly sub that gives you monthly crowns (to do things like buy classes - yes, a few classes are locked behind the paywall, and ESO only has 6 or 7 total), an experience bonus, double your bank space, and some other perks. I think the daily log in bonus is tied to the sub as well. It’s not quite pay2win, but subscribing is very enticing and the difference between who does and who doesn’t is noticeable.

Or how about Neverwinter? Pay2win MMO to the max. No subscription, but the best mounts and pets are bought from the store. You have to pay to respec your feats (and likely your base spec, though it is possible to use in-game currency). You’re constantly finding dropped treasure chests that can have mounts, crafting materials and artisans, and refinement materials - but you have to pay for the keys. There’s a monthly sub that grants you a key per day (but you find dozens of chests per day), and a VIP program that gives you greater perks the more you pay/subscribe - good perks like portals, remote bank access, no injuries upon death, etc. Then there’s the fact that item power is based on how much Refinement you’ve done on it, and guess what increases your refinement materials and refinement progress? Yeah, subscribing. And you can buy refinement materials and in game currency outright.

Or how about Trove? Free to play voxel MMO, but the pay2win is even worse than Neverwinter. There are levels of power, kind of like D3’s Torment levels, but called “Uber” 1-9. Each requires a higher power level from the player, which is based on the equipment they wear (which also has levels) and the gems they wear. Gems are extremely important, especially Empowered Gems. Just like D3, you want certain stats and the gems can roll with 1-3 stars, but you’re hardcapped as to how many you can get per week. But hey, you can buy more. And there’s a monthly sub that grants faster crafting, more experience, more potion usage, greater Jumping, and a host of other perks - every day has a different bonus, for instance, and while the bonuses are mild increases for people without subs, they are very powerful with subs. Also, the game’s big collection is legendary dragons that increase magic find and stats, and you can buy coins and 1 dragon per month from the store, which would otherwise take a long time to farm. Oh, and there’s 3 elemental dragons that increase your power levels, but the eggs are a very low drop % from empowered boxes, which are weekly capped unless you buy more. And there’s constantly new deals being added to the store and rotating weekly deals. Trove is a game where if you aren’t spending money you are in for the longest, biggest, and probably most unfair grind in the history of games.

I think Warframe is another good example, but I stopped playing before I got far enough to see exactly what the pay schemes were.

This is why I prefer subscriptions, flat-out. Why? Because at least I have access to everything and nobody else has any advantages over me. Everyone is equal, and what gets accomplished is based on the time you put in and the people you play with. MMOs that don’t have subs tend to turn into pay2wins where the offered sub is all but required anyway - and where they entice you to pay on top of it. That seems to be what happens to a lot of the non-MMOs that are free, as well.

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02/09/2019 01:01 AMPosted by Kirottu
Subscription is a dying monetization model. The gaming industry is away from it and for a reason. Many, many games have tried it only to remove it shortly after launch and such games were also major MMOs, not ARPGs. It doesn't even fit in ARPGs.

Players dislike it very much. It drives them away.

It was mentioned that subscription would force you to play the game a lot or otherwise the money would feel wasted. I agree, I play ARPGs like D3 occasionally. It's not a game I want to play constantly.


The problem is that the non-subcription models are inevitably set up to entice players to spend even more than they would on a subscription. And the base game, although free, is a grind-fest that makes the Korean games look mild.
I would never play any game that had a monthly subscription, thats my take on it.
How about I pay $60 and they add free content to keep me playing.
All very good points and to be honest, for me, its just a pipe dream that we get D4 and it be sustainable :(.
02/08/2019 06:37 PMPosted by Deruvia
The problem I have with subscription games is I feel any time I spend not playing the game is money wasted. It deters me from doing other stuff. I don't want that.


Do you feel that way about all your monthly subscription bills? TV, Internet, Cell phone etc..
OP what is wrong with you?
02/09/2019 06:44 AMPosted by ImmortalKing
02/08/2019 06:37 PMPosted by Deruvia
The problem I have with subscription games is I feel any time I spend not playing the game is money wasted. It deters me from doing other stuff. I don't want that.


Do you feel that way about all your monthly subscription bills? TV, Internet, Cell phone etc..


Yep! Which is why I don't have any TV subscriptions anymore.

Wanna watch D4 die even faster than D3? Then add a subscription that people will cancel within a few months when they realize they are paying for something they aren't using.
No! I have never played a subscription game. Never will.
<span class="truncated">...</span>

Do you feel that way about all your monthly subscription bills? TV, Internet, Cell phone etc..


Yep! Which is why I don't have any TV subscriptions anymore.

Wanna watch D4 die even faster than D3? Then add a subscription that people will cancel within a few months when they realize they are paying for something they aren't using.


You shouldn't have Internet or your cell phone then, either, if we go by that line of reasoning.

But there's 3 problems with that view:

1) If you break a subscription like WoW down, you're paying 50 cents a day or less.

2) The games that don't have subs - IE Neverwinter and such - are set up to entice you to spend even more than that. You might be one of those people who can tolerate a vastly increased grind and resist the urge to try and catch up with everyone speeding ahead of or right past you, but my experience is that most people who are playing those games tend to eventually spend money on them.

3) Further, if you DON'T spend money then you'll always be far behind the ones that do and the ones that spend more time than you do.. which means any time you spend playing such a game is even more pointless than if you were subscribed.

I'm not saying D3 or a future Diablo game needs a subscription. I want it to stay as is - an up front cost and pay for expansions - but I AM saying that if I get to choose between a game that has a subscription to play and a game that's free to play with "incentives," I'll take the subscription.
02/09/2019 06:44 AMPosted by ImmortalKing


Do you feel that way about all your monthly subscription bills? TV, Internet, Cell phone etc..


Poor examples. TV subscriptions are fairly pointless, Internet and cell phones are used on a daily basis, etc.

Try again.
02/09/2019 05:21 AMPosted by Orrion
02/08/2019 11:18 PMPosted by Blashyrkh
I hate subscriptions. It compels developers to place artificial roadblocks to hinder your progression if you "play too much" just to extend sub time. WoW's a perfect example with it's currency caps and raid weekly locks. Idk if that's still a thing, but new raids unlocking by sections was another pretty jarring "feature" explicitly designed to artificially extend subscriptions. Thanks but no thanks.

Make a decent game worth playing and a solid set of expansions down the line, and people will gladly pay for them. Too bad that Blizzard's hopelessly addicted to the microtransactions drug.


So what’s the alternative?

Would you rather a model like ESO? The base game doesn’t require a sub - but then they put in a monthly sub that gives you monthly crowns (to do things like buy classes - yes, a few classes are locked behind the paywall, and ESO only has 6 or 7 total), an experience bonus, double your bank space, and some other perks. I think the daily log in bonus is tied to the sub as well. It’s not quite pay2win, but subscribing is very enticing and the difference between who does and who doesn’t is noticeable.

Or how about Neverwinter? Pay2win MMO to the max. No subscription, but the best mounts and pets are bought from the store. You have to pay to respec your feats (and likely your base spec, though it is possible to use in-game currency). You’re constantly finding dropped treasure chests that can have mounts, crafting materials and artisans, and refinement materials - but you have to pay for the keys. There’s a monthly sub that grants you a key per day (but you find dozens of chests per day), and a VIP program that gives you greater perks the more you pay/subscribe - good perks like portals, remote bank access, no injuries upon death, etc. Then there’s the fact that item power is based on how much Refinement you’ve done on it, and guess what increases your refinement materials and refinement progress? Yeah, subscribing. And you can buy refinement materials and in game currency outright.

Or how about Trove? Free to play voxel MMO, but the pay2win is even worse than Neverwinter. There are levels of power, kind of like D3’s Torment levels, but called “Uber” 1-9. Each requires a higher power level from the player, which is based on the equipment they wear (which also has levels) and the gems they wear. Gems are extremely important, especially Empowered Gems. Just like D3, you want certain stats and the gems can roll with 1-3 stars, but you’re hardcapped as to how many you can get per week. But hey, you can buy more. And there’s a monthly sub that grants faster crafting, more experience, more potion usage, greater Jumping, and a host of other perks - every day has a different bonus, for instance, and while the bonuses are mild increases for people without subs, they are very powerful with subs. Also, the game’s big collection is legendary dragons that increase magic find and stats, and you can buy coins and 1 dragon per month from the store, which would otherwise take a long time to farm. Oh, and there’s 3 elemental dragons that increase your power levels, but the eggs are a very low drop % from empowered boxes, which are weekly capped unless you buy more. And there’s constantly new deals being added to the store and rotating weekly deals. Trove is a game where if you aren’t spending money you are in for the longest, biggest, and probably most unfair grind in the history of games.

I think Warframe is another good example, but I stopped playing before I got far enough to see exactly what the pay schemes were.

This is why I prefer subscriptions, flat-out. Why? Because at least I have access to everything and nobody else has any advantages over me. Everyone is equal, and what gets accomplished is based on the time you put in and the people you play with. MMOs that don’t have subs tend to turn into pay2wins where the offered sub is all but required anyway - and where they entice you to pay on top of it. That seems to be what happens to a lot of the non-MMOs that are free, as well.

—-

If we could trust developers to not aim to fleece all our cash, any of these models would work. The problem is, we can't trust any of them to not attempt precisely that. This is why I'd rather have a traditional release+expansions model.

Just look at how Grim Dawn is evolving with that model. It's a great game that doesn't seek to pry your wallet open constantly, and the content Crate delivers for that game is rock solid, even if it's not as regular as other games.

Minor direct purchases are another option. Monster Hunter World does this, and the few microtransaction the game happens to have are completely unintrusive, to the point where you don't even have a direct link to the store in the interface, and are only accessible when you actually request them. The game's got an upcoming expansion for the fall, and the fanbase is incredibly hyped for that thing, while the game showers you with tons of ingame rewards on a regular basis without the need to seek heavy-handed monetization in the long run.

People are willing to pay a set fee for quality content, and that's something that's being diluted by the recurrence of relatively irrelevant microtransactions in terms of value. When you see stuff like skins being sold for a quarter of what a whole expansion is being sold (yes, even $5 skins are massively overpriced), you know you're getting an awful value proposition. Even priced at 50cents per skin, these microtransactions can't even come close to the value some expansions offer. Compare the proverbial horse armor with an expansion such as the Witcher 3's Blood and Wine, for example. Bo you honestly believe a skin priced at $5 is fair compared to a massive expansion being offered for $20-25? Does a single skin really cost a quarter of what this massive expansion gives the player? Because this clearly exemplifies how little these recurrent monetization models are actually needed.

The main issue here is this false narrative circulating that developers just need all that freaking money just to stay afloat, which is demonstrably false. Monster Hunter World in particular completely debunks that argument. If you've been checking the news as of late, you'd realize most of that over-monetization profit isn't even being re-injected into the games themselves, but translating into virtually uncapped dividends for shareholders. Games don't need this crap to keep a healthy playerbase. This is a case of greed, not need.

F2P games have of course more headroom to wiggle around, and often seem to overcharge their players for seemingly irrelevant stuff. Warframe's or PoE's microtransactions, for instance, appear to be ridiculously overpriced till we realize not everyone's actually paying anything to enjoy a fully featured high quality game for free. I suppose they have to leverage that support in order to keep a healthy profit and the necessary resources to keep iterating the experience over time. In return, the grind is adjusted in a way that subtly pushes players to buy stuff. In the case of big game publishers, they don't even try to be subtle, though. Just look at the garbage Activision has been getting away with in BOps4, exemplified by the notorious red dot aim reticle as the ultimate display of pettiness and greed, alongside the ludicrosly unbalanced grind designed to push people to that black market shop.

As I pointed out already, subscriptions aren't any better, as they push devs to artificially hinder your progress. Not good at all either.

Bottom line here is, while I understand developers need to attain certain funding goals to keep projects evolving, it should be quite evident by now over half of the cash they make from these over-monetization models aren't actually needed to support the game. None of these over-monetization models manages to offer what standard releases + expansions do in terms of value, but if they're going to go the microtransaction way, I'd honestly prefer if it were something like PoE's where only cosmetics are buyable DIRECTLY with no lootbox gambling BS unless it's entirely optional, and where the grind isn't deliberately overdone just to push the player to spend.
02/09/2019 06:44 AMPosted by ImmortalKing

Do you feel that way about all your monthly subscription bills? TV, Internet, Cell phone etc..


I do not. I need a cell phone in case of emergencies (car crash, or whatnot) or on the fly information; it's convenient, the internet is something I must have for the rest of my entertainment (access to Steam, keep in touch with friends I don't have contact with on phones, news, cooking recipes, etc). I don't watch much TV, so we have the basic package, and other people in the household watch it a lot for their programming.

A Diablo subscription would be a payment to a very particular, single outlet for myself only. Maybe I'm a bit old-school, but I still see a video game as a product, something I should buy, not rent. This is why new gen consoles with their online subscription are very off putting. I've wanted to get a Switch, but since they dropped buying classic titles that I haven't had the benefit of playing (Link to the Past, Metroid Super and Primes, etc) in favor of subscribing for them, and their games rarely fall in price, I haven't plunged on that either.

I'm going to have fun when I can, and I'm not too keen on paying a lot more for a name.
02/09/2019 07:40 AMPosted by Orrion
You shouldn't have Internet or your cell phone then, either, if we go by that line of reasoning.


What on earth are you talking about?

I use my internet and phone every single day. I NEVER watch TV, so why would I pay for something I'm not using?

Why would people pay a subscription for a game they don't play? D4 would lose players even faster than D3 did if they added a subscription, but odds are they wouldn't even get that many people to play it to begin with if they went that route.
Please, No!

In my 20+ years of PC gaming I have always had a sub based MMO and a pay once per content release games like Diablo.

The sub based MMO is where I feel like I'm building a character over time while exploring a good deal of content. Lots of facets of the game to explore from crafts and professions to collecting and questing. While I would not call paying for a sub and expansions cheap, I would say it provides me with a value for my dollars spent.

Games like Diablo and the like on the flip side are where I go when I just feel like taking a break from the MMO and smashing some stuff, or simply playing in a manner that does not involve a serious time commitment to enjoy. I justify the cost of the game as something that will over time provide a value while not incurring additional fees to continue playing.

Much like comparing a all you can eat average quality buffet to a upscale restaurant. One satisfies you at a bargain price; the other is when your'e looking for a bit more substance and quality in that meal.

They both fill a place in the gaming world.
02/09/2019 08:15 AMPosted by Tetra
02/09/2019 07:40 AMPosted by Orrion
You shouldn't have Internet or your cell phone then, either, if we go by that line of reasoning.


What on earth are you talking about?

I use my internet and phone every single day. I NEVER watch TV, so why would I pay for something I'm not using?

Why would people pay a subscription for a game they don't play? D4 would lose players even faster than D3 did if they added a subscription, but odds are they wouldn't even get that many people to play it to begin with if they went that route.


The other guy’s point was that he feels the sub is wasted if he isn’t spending every free minute playing that game.. and you tacitly agreed with that point. So unless you’re in the internet and your phone about 16/7/365, you’d better get rid of them.
When Blizzard finally decides to release Diablo 4, they will get 60+ dollars from me... unless, of course, they add a subscription fee, in which case, they can kiss my money goodbye. Allow me to put it this way: Would I have bought Diablo 3, or would I still be playing Diablo 3, if there was a subscription fee? No and no.

Call me cynical, but I am not of the opinion that monthly subscription fees would improve the quality of the game or actuate Blizzard to release additional content.

But, I am sure the fat cats who brought us Diablo Immortal would love it.

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