Friday, November 13, 2009

You've got mail! What's in your box? (MMO)

You've got mail!
I decided to clean out my mailbox today, it's gotten very cluttered. I have three or four email accounts running into one "mailbox" so it can get kind of messy. Why do I have so many email accounts? Well I probably have about five.. The main ones I use are;  for personal/professional stuff, another for my site (well actually two tied into one) and one simply for my games. I'll get back to the games mail account later.

It seems my box is full of games trying to get me to try this or that but the focus of today's topic is the ones that try to get me to resub. I will also mention a few things about account safety if you read far enough down ;)

Come back, we miss you!
This week I have gotten two emails from LORTO offering free play from NoV 12-18. If you sign up for 3, 6 or 12 month plans you get the expansion free. And while I'm back I can get 25% xp boost. Make it 50% and I just might think about it, my character is so low I don't think 25% would really make a big deal on a comeback.

Then I see Funcom is offering also14 days of free play. If I resub I can get - Subscribe for 1 month and get one week of additional gametime for free. Subscribe for 3 months and get guaranteed access to the closed beta test of the Secret World + the reward above. Subscribe for 6 months and get the Hyrkanian Headguard, an epic armor piece with a 10% XP boost + all rewards above. Subscribe for 12 months and get the Rise of the Godslayer expansion for free + all above. Meh, I don't want long term commitments, I'm not playing for a reason right? This would benefit current players more than me.

DDO Unlimited is having a sale on this and that.. and a Friday the 13th Marketplace Event. Cool but I don't play much now so I'm not interested in spending money on it.

I think I even got one about Warhammer last week.. The Endless trial. Cool, I already have a real account. I don't need a trial, you didn't offer a free trial when I wanted one anyhow.

While all of these are interesting and make me go "Hrmm.. should I?"... Nothing really sparks much interest. If you really want me then I want to come back with a bang.

All  of this mail has got me thinking, these are ads, these companies want customers. They want to make money. I have nothing against any of them, this is directed at game emails I receive in general. With the economy like it is I (and I'm sure other players)  want the most I can squeeze out of a game. I want the game that offers me the most bang for the buck. If these games offered it to begin with I might not have strayed away. Simply put, the offers I usually get are on the meh side wanting me to spend a large quantity of money to get all I can.

While I do reminisce on how the gaming world use to be more slow paced I don't want to play in the "dark ages". Why play a game that makes me wait till level 40 to get a mout, run all over the world slowly when the other game I play offers it at a lower level? I know, I sound like the random player ranting on their personal blog.. in all actuality I'm the customer, a potential customer and a player. If companies listened to the concerns of players or actually noticed what works for people maybe those games would have more players.

What do players want? Not another email to trash, next!
After trying many different games I really know what a player feels starting off in a new game, new to me old to you, all the same. Players want end game. While they want this, they do not want it to take ages to hit the top. This goes for any game out there, all new games are old games eventually. As a game ages it becomes top heavy. When new players try the game they want to get to the top to catch up to the populated part of a game. While some games lower the amount of xp needed to get to the top, some players complain they did it the hard way. Do you honestly want to turn down the chance for the game to have a healthy player base? Or would you prefer the elite sit on the throne at the top all alone?

People get disgusted playing an MMO alone in a game that is very top heavy, while they try to play catch up. If you want to get those players back, I suggest offering a massive xp boost to close in the gap. Everquest did this, it's really much easier now to catch up and it's nice to see the xp bar flow. If you want people to come back, don't offer cash shop items as bait, offer things in the game to get them interested. Then let the cash shop do it's magic. Once they actually play and get involved then they might want to invest in the shop.

If you want people to come back, give them a reason to spend the money, a free this or that on top of the time and an xp boost to catch up. Why ask them for a bundle of money on top of a measly two weeks free? Everyone does that.

The moral of the mailbox is..
In this case less is less. These games have to offer more to get people back. While some of the ideas are good, they probably are not getting people interested enough. And honestly these days the competition is tough, games have to be on the edge to keep players interested, offer the most.

Games and Email Addresses- Safety?
Lately I've seen a lot of posts on the WoW forums with people upset of having their email as their username since the change over to Years ago I got into the habit of having a separate email just for games. Why? Let me give my guildies my email so they can have information tied to my account? No thanks. Sometimes I have given a guild member my email or used it to sign up for a forum ect.. I never use the same email for any of these, as dear as these people may be, you just have to be careful. If you don't like handing out your email to people because it has your account tied to it, there are plenty of free places you can get access to email to use for friends. Just have all the mail forwarded to your other account or vice versa with a separate account for games.

Do you really have to do this? No, but I think it's a safe thing to so with so many accounts getting stolen these days. Plus you have a lesser chance of the game account getting into the hands of a scammer sending you fake emails trying to steal your account.

Goodies in 'da' Box
Last but not least I sometimes get something really cool. If you haven't got the one about Evercracked on IGN then you might want to check it out!

... this message will self destruct in five seconds.

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