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Woody
March 6th, 2007, 11:47 AM
As many of you already know1, Sony has plans to increase the monthly Station Pass cost to $29.99.
MMORPG.Com

And where it's still a deal to get what? 7 MMOGs for the monthly cost of two, I think the pricing is getting a touch out of hand. If the price is going to be raised $5 every time a new game is added, then what exactly is the point? I thought the idea was to let us play all the SOE games without breaking our piggy banks, to encourage us to feel like we're getting our money's worth. But, here we are paying half the price of a new game every month.

I'm not overly inclined to play devil's advocate here; but, for the potential amount of entertainment you could get, $30 is a bargain. From a "dammit, I thought I was getting over on the man" standpoint, this gloss is starting to rub off.

Now, I dig Smed, and hate that these kind of comics single him out. But, he's an FPS fan; he can handle the occassional comedic frag... I hope.

Talloak
March 6th, 2007, 11:53 AM
Not bad. If only they had an all-inclusive card for all of the MMOs out right now at once... World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, Everquest, Lineage II, etc...

Then maybe I could afford to play more than one or two of them each month!

Cheers

jpshufelt
March 6th, 2007, 11:54 AM
Wow.. looks like its time for me to cancel the All Access pass. I pretty much just play EQ2 only anymore. I was able to deal with the the last couple of price jumps, but now it is getting out of hand.


JPS

Poldar
March 6th, 2007, 11:54 AM
Is that the same Smed charicature you have used in the past?? Seems like he looked quite different back in the early days of EQ Comics.....and $29 a month for 7 MMO's??? Who has the time to play 7 different MMO's effectivly??

Deanr
March 6th, 2007, 11:57 AM
I agree with jpshufelt, I have 2 acounts and now I cant take this.

Mordican
March 6th, 2007, 11:57 AM
Would be nice if they came out with a station pass where you can select what games you want to pay for and get a discount on them instead of the whole thing.

ShadowBlade3000
March 6th, 2007, 11:58 AM
I use to want to get the All-Access pass, waiting until I got an income. However, I think $29.99 a month is a little too much for me, so I'll probably just focus on one game now. Quite a shame as I had interest in other SoE games.

Woody
March 6th, 2007, 12:03 PM
I've drawn Smed a little differently each time I've drawn him. Typical of political cartooning. I used to draw him with a peanut head (another slight), now I'm trying to fit his epiction within my current style.

Phainein Terra
March 6th, 2007, 12:10 PM
<< Unsurprised by this move. SOE's known for its ability to milk it like a cow. Besides... you may have access to 7 MMOs but they're still SOE MMOs. XD

P.S. Today's comic makes me hungry for chicken.

togashi
March 6th, 2007, 12:14 PM
And how many of those MMOs are actually playable?

lorechaser
March 6th, 2007, 12:14 PM
See, my problem is this:

I'm gonna pay my $15 a month for my main SOE game. And I kinda like the rest of them, but I don't know that I like the rest of them enough to pay for the full price.

Because here's my thing: I'll pay up to $40-45 a month for MMOs. Currently, I pay $25 for the Station Pass and $15 for WoW. I swap WoW or SOE for CoH from time to time (usually CoH for WoW).

I primarily enjoy one SOE game and WoW. I play a couple other SOE games from time to time, enough to spend $10 a month on it. I don't mind dropping a little bit of extra cash to be able to log in to MxO if I want to, or play old EQ.

But now, SOE is $30. It's just $5, but it makes that critical jump from "A bit extra" to "The cost of another MMO."

So now, I'm paying $45 a month any way you slice it. So I want to play WoW. I want to play my SOE game. I want to play CoH. I kinda like playing the extra SOE games.

So what do you think gets cut? CoH, an mmo I really like, or MxO and old EQ, which I play because I can?

I'm about to cut my payments to SOE by $10 a month because of it.

If Vanguard had been a WoW killer, I'd have supported this well enough. But it wasn't - I see SOE as one good game, and a handful of okay ones.

ShadowBlade3000
March 6th, 2007, 12:19 PM
In relation to this, I read that they're raising the price of Planetside and Everquest: Online Adventures to $14.99 a month now to get in tune with the new Access Pass pricing. Seems to me that it's a better deal just to subscribe to two games than the Access Pass, IMO.

lorechaser
March 6th, 2007, 12:20 PM
They're also about to end the Planetside Reserves program, which let you play a level limited version of the game for free.

I worry about Planetside's future. :(

BorusWintersong
March 6th, 2007, 12:25 PM
At first i thought this was not a bad thing, since it IS still a hell of a deal for the amount of games you get access to, but then i started thinking that most people that join the all access plan do so to play two games, not 3 or more. For all these people, the purpose of the plan is defeated (unless one of these games is EQ2 witch get neat extras with the all access)

So I can see people that had this so they were able to play one main SOE game and one secondary in casual fashion, quiting their secondary game altogether.

Also I see the increase of Planetside and EQOA as a wrong thing, both are games that may be good, but dont seem to be worth as much as other MMOs in my eyes. It seems the reason these got increased is that "if the two mmos you play are EQOA and Planetside, or if one of these is your secondary game, it does not turn to be cheaper to just quit the Stationpass and go for individual billing.

Merries
March 6th, 2007, 12:25 PM
What's missing here is the fact that if you play a game like EQ2 and want to have more than 6 characters, you have to buy the Station Access. If you have 2 accounts, and aren't interested in playing the other games, and would like to keep access to all your characters, guess what? You're not getting additional value, you're being told (a) if you're a customer thinking about coming back, don't bother (b) you only really want to play one game (c) you're forced to decide which characters you really want to play (it picks the 6 most recently played)... you can't even tell indicate which ones.

Hooking in the additional character slots is a big part of the issue.

If it was a move to get more people involved with Vanguard, it failed. There are players who are cancelling their Station Access. I feel very bad for the one father who just had to tell his kid, sorry you can't play anymore, I'm eliminating the least played characters on our account: yours.

I believe SOE just figured out for the industry, what the maximum price players are willing to pay for an monthly fee.

GridIronBiscuit
March 6th, 2007, 12:26 PM
funniest thing is that they raised the price of planetside, as if people didnt have enough reason already to not play that game.

pretty soon it will be me vs 1 guy from each empire fighting over bases.

thedarkmessenger
March 6th, 2007, 12:28 PM
Is that the same Smed charicature you have used in the past?? Seems like he looked quite different back in the early days of EQ Comics.....and $29 a month for 7 MMO's??? Who has the time to play 7 different MMO's effectivly??
That's easy, one MMO for each day of the week. Sunday you play FFXI, monday you play WOW, tuesday you play Vanguard, see where I'm going with this? One problem is that, unless you play some free MMO's as well, this can get expensive and, unless you have REALLY good hours at your job (or no job at all) you might not neccesarily get your money's worth. I like to play AT LEAST one hour a day of MMORPG's, but I don't always actually do that.

multitaskingmama
March 6th, 2007, 12:30 PM
Hrm at some point, I don't pretend to know what, they're going to price themselves out of a product, I think. Because most people really only have time to play one or two MMOs full time and maybe dabble in a third. So, far the cost doesn't seem too bad but if Sony keeps raising it, I think they'll end up loosing some business as people count up the cost of subscriptions alone. <shrugs>

Since I no longer play any Sony games, I'm more concerned about the pass idea as it relates to a model for other companies.

zeekle
March 6th, 2007, 12:33 PM
I have really never been able to devote myself to 2 or more games at a time. I have done the access pass in the past but never really took advantage of it. Now that its going up, I see even less reason to set my account back up for all access.

30 bucks to me says two accounts to either the same game or different games. I would rather have the option to close an account I am not using at any time without a lot of trouble over not saving any money.

Hexen525
March 6th, 2007, 12:34 PM
If you remember, they raised the price from $22 to $25 about a year ago with the promise of adding Vanguard soon. So really, they've raised it $8 for 1 game, just took a while to get the game out

Don't quote me on the time line, I just remember thinking "I can justify $3 for another game easily".

sLyONe
March 6th, 2007, 12:35 PM
This is one of the reasons I left EQ. Not to single EQ out, but I only paid for the station pass because I played EQ1 and EQ2. I had trouble justifying paying $25 for two games. Particularly because as a gamer belonging to high end raiding guilds, I would devote a lot of time to one or the other, thus neglecting one of the two.

Now they want to bring up the price for their pass to a couple of good games and some mediocre ones. Thats just my personal opinion.

Not on this but with EQ1 they have become ridiculas with their release of two expansions a year. Lets put a leash on it and fix what you....oh what do I care I don't play EQ anymore anyway. Money whores.

Lenardo
March 6th, 2007, 12:37 PM
as i have posted before, if you play 2 mmo's AND only 2 mmo's made by soe...

don't get the station pass.

pay quarterly and save money since all access only has the monthly payment option

Taninriff
March 6th, 2007, 12:38 PM
SoE does seem to hit the players in the wallets. Small and expensive expansions coupled with raising monthly bills may alienate a lot of folks.

I actually left most of the MMO games I played because the expenses were getting to the point where I could buy a new game or two every month. Heck, I can now take the $15 a month for one MMO and walk out of a store with two or three Xbox games.

Wezal
March 6th, 2007, 12:41 PM
7 games for 30 bucks is a good deal considering each one alone would cost someone around 100 a month if payed for seperatly. However i don't even have time to play 1 game let alone 7.

Poldar
March 6th, 2007, 12:41 PM
The cost of expansions and frequency is actually one of the things that is really worrying me about Vanguard right now. I am completely enjoying the game, but they have stated they already have plans for new content, levels, weapons, etc etc etc...for the next 7 years.

I'm just wondering how many expansions I will have to buy down the line to access it??

sLyONe
March 6th, 2007, 12:46 PM
Even if you choose to pay quarterly for 2 games, and I'll choose to list EQ1&2, you're still paying $89.94 at their "savings" rate. If you did the station pass at its about to be extinct price of $24.99, you're down to $74.99.

Now I can't speak for other games, this is merely based on my personal scenario because I have no idea what the monthly rates for other games are. In any case I can't say the adjustment in price is warranted despite the addition of a new game. Again, personal taste, but most of them are sub par anyway. You can bet though that another hike in prices on a per game basis are on the horizon.

Your points stands on it's own, there's no need to direct your commentary at another poster.

stoneysilence
March 6th, 2007, 12:50 PM
For me, I would rather pay SOE for EQ2 then play another MMO that I really want to play (WoW, CoH or AA) rather than another SOE MMO that is ok. So if I am gonna pay for 2 subs anyway, might as well play 2 that I like.

Woody
March 6th, 2007, 12:53 PM
I have to ask that we please avoid outright Sony bashing. Be displeased with the price increase, but save that "I hate everything associated with SOE" for another forum. Thanks!

thedarkmessenger
March 6th, 2007, 12:59 PM
They've been making mistakes more and more. Well, until Sony makes a MASSIVE mistake, I'll still be a sony fanboy (for the most part) and I'll still want a ps3, despite it's massive price. Still not sure whether or not I should try out their MMO's though...
Speaking of which, where can I go to find all the MMO's they have?

shamuofxev
March 6th, 2007, 01:00 PM
I never went for the all-access plan since I'd have to give up my yearly rate EQ subscriptions to do so. If you add the $5 a month you have to calculate for expansions per game per account this can get out of hand fast.

Mei
March 6th, 2007, 01:05 PM
correct me if I am in error, but I think you still have to buy all the game titles before you can use the station pass so you are still out the cost of the game, plus the your paying more for the ability to play the others at a moments notice.

I suppose there is benefit still if you hold 3 titles and like to play a little bit of all through a month...

A yearly pass might be worth it.

Woody
March 6th, 2007, 01:12 PM
Yup, station pass only covers the monthly fee.

thedarkmessenger
March 6th, 2007, 01:16 PM
SOE might get away with this if they make the game clients downloadable for free. That would be a smart move, in my opinion.

sLyONe
March 6th, 2007, 01:20 PM
Now that would be well worth it, haha.

thedarkmessenger
March 6th, 2007, 01:31 PM
One thing I just barely thought of, is that SOE might actually have a good reason for the price increase. When Sony sells a PS3 they LOSE money (it costs more to make the system then what they're selling it for), over $200 I think it was...I think. Anyway, if Sony relied entirely on the PS3 sells, they'd go out of business quickly, whether they sold a lot or sold a little. To make up for the losses, Sony has SOE raise the price on the passes for the MMO's. Make sense? Although when Microsoft came out with the XBOX 360, they also lost money, and I don't see any of woody's comics depicting Bill Gates eating chicken...

*edit* Sony also operated at a loss when they first came out with the PSP.

Woody
March 6th, 2007, 01:34 PM
I severely doubt that SOE would raise Station Pass prices to level out PS3 costs. It is infinitely more likely that Sony would effect changes in the section of the company specifically associated with the PS3.

Katuyah
March 6th, 2007, 01:38 PM
I am an All Access kinda girl, but the price is getting out of hand. I have 3 accounts, and mainly only play EQ2 now...I kept it for the longest time at All Access b/c I used to be in a raiding guild in EQ1 and didn't feel like giving up my hard earned toons. Still, now may be the time to say my goodbyes to that world. I haven't played it in far too long to justify keeping it anyway, and as much as I think I might want to pop in for a little while, I never do.

*cries* Oh how I miss some of those days...

Hmmm...maybe I'll just consolidate my favorite EQ1 toons to my first account and leave that one as All Access while I change the other two to just EQ2...might be a better compromise.

Papasmirk
March 6th, 2007, 01:48 PM
Personally, I think all MMOs are guilty of price gouging in some form or another. You pay 50 bucks for a game, but in order to play it you have to pay a monthly fee. Then supposedly this fee is to pay for server maintenance, support, adding content….etc. But then they will come out with an expansion pack that adds content that will usually cost an additional 30-40 bucks. And then some MMO companies will release expansion pack after expansion pack.

CBob
March 6th, 2007, 01:49 PM
Seems to be Sony's model as of late anyway. I'm still stuck on EQ1, but nowhere like I used to be.

There's 2 $30 expansions that I see no need to buy, poor Mortas stays unplayed for a week or 2 already these days, I can't see paying more $$ to Sony for games that are not only timesinks, but cashsinks now as well.

(btw, saying 75 necro LFG is it's own punishment. solo got old a long time ago too

They raise the "plain" EQ rate & I think it's time to renew my range membership & drop EQ, at least that helped burn off stress.

thedarkmessenger
March 6th, 2007, 01:51 PM
I severely doubt that SOE would raise Station Pass prices to level out PS3 costs. It is infinitely more likely that Sony would effect changes in the section of the company specifically associated with the PS3.
That's true, companies do usually try to keep area a problems in area a and area b problems in area b. I guess it doesn't matter too much...in the end, the money goes to the same general place anyway. Sometimes, I wish I could read Sony's mind...and I especially wish I could take charge for a week or two to see if I can get the company back on its feet and take control of the industry again. Oh well, as long as Nintendo and Microsoft can make good games, I'll still be happy.

Dravun
March 6th, 2007, 01:55 PM
I've kept my Station Pass for about 3 years now, I guess it's been. I liked EQ2 enough to get on the pass, so I could head back to EQ1 from time to time when I felt nostalgiac. I never felt that I could deal with the loss of my EQ accounts until just recently with the release of Vanguard.

I have absolutly NO regrets in canceling my Station Pass, and focusing primarily on Vanguard. Hopefully just paying for VG will get the guys at Sigil get a bigger peice of the pie as well.

That's what? $15.00 a month for Vanguard? I think Planetside (my only other SoE pleasure) is something like $6.00 a month by itself? So yeah just paying for these two games, and still only paying about $21-$22 and I find myself back where I started. Oh well. LOL

Realdor
March 6th, 2007, 02:08 PM
I have had an Active Station Pass even before they included SWG with the package, and ever since Vanguard has been released, I have not even played any of the other games, but I have kept the Station Pass. But with then raising the price yet again, it looks like I will be canceling the Pass and just paying for the one game I play. So instead of encouraging others to play the other games, in the bundle, it has discourage at least 1 person from playing the games I have already purchased. And if them raising the price of the Pass, they are also trying to get us to spend an additional $2.99 for each of the titles.

Lumbergh
March 6th, 2007, 02:15 PM
I play eq2, PS and vanguard on a regular basis. I also keep up accounts in swg and eq. Even at $30 US, which is $40 CDN for me, this is still a deal.

kantrip
March 6th, 2007, 02:22 PM
Honestly I don't keep up with platform games or a lot of online games. I have my niche and I'm sticking to it, but when I read about alot of Sony's antics over the past few months I'm less inclined to give them a second chance. Yeah its a good deal for the money, if you're really into their games, but like the PS3, I'm not seeing anything that sparkles to my eye. Nintendo's gonna get most of my platform money this year honestly.

But that's just my opinion, and I'm not the most hardcore gamer so just a bit of salt on the .02 then.

TVs Frank
March 6th, 2007, 02:28 PM
I think you forget that Vanguard is a seperate intellectual property they do not "own." Which would account for the price hike since it's on the Station Pass.

Jennivere
March 6th, 2007, 02:32 PM
I am pretty irritated by the price increase. I had gotten Station Access so I could have more EQ2 characters because I loooove this game and being limited to 6 characters is pathetic. Now I will probably just switch to 2 accounts, will get more characters out of it that way for the same price. I'll just have to pick up the Echoes of Faydwer box set so I can get all the expansions for the price of one for my second account. I have no interest in any of the other games, so this will be a better deal for me in the long run.

Gumblackwood
March 6th, 2007, 02:52 PM
I had been hoping to join Vanguard in a few months when I get a new computer, and I was planning to reactivate my EQ and EQ2 accounts on a Station Pass when I upgrade at least for a bit, but that's looking like less of a possibility. My wife already disapproves of my paying for one game monthly, I doubt I could justify paying the equivalent of three when I probably couldn't even find time to play more than one of them regularly.

Tweek
March 6th, 2007, 03:37 PM
I quit most soe games cause of boredom, and plan on sticking with vanguard and CoV. i bought lineage 2 for $10, and i cant stand it, looks and plays too much like guild wars. but yea, i dont like the price hike for the station pass.

Aumaar
March 6th, 2007, 03:41 PM
I cancelled my Station Pass as soon as this was announced. This definitely feels like price gauging consider the pass went up $5 just a few months back when Vanguard was announced that it will be joining it. And now another $5 per month?

Needless to say I was shocked.

Whytewulf
March 6th, 2007, 03:43 PM
I was getting Vanguard as well and thought about checking out my old EQ and EQ2 accounts for a bit, but now I won't. I think this is a bad price point, because the inherent value for most gamers is not there. For a few reasons. 1. Most gamers choose or can only really "play" two MMORGS, thus the incentive to make it a Sony game has decreased. 2. There is no multi term benefit to the access pass like the other quarterly per game plans. 3. The other games are going to suffer seriously, not so much EQ, EQ2 or Vanguard because they have a solid base, but PS, SWG and others that people "casually" played because they could, will not happen. People will choose only the 2 games they play or cancel the pass altogether. As most business people know there are certain price points that you need to look out for. These occur when you open up additional options to the consumer that they didn't have or didn't consider before.

$25 was the right price point for the pass, because you can't increase gamer time and the extra $5 doesn't bring any extra perceived value. So even if they get 50% of the population to pay it, they may lose 25% to switch to the 2 game plan, thus losing no money on that 25% but they could lose 25% altogether to new games or no games. So it's a minimal increase scenerio at best financially, but they are actually losing players in games which may end up losing more people. 100 people prior paying 25$= 2500, now 50 at $30 = 1500, 25 at 15 and 15 (maybe moving to quarterly payments not offered in all at access) = 750 and 25 at 15 = 375 = total $2625.. I think they would need to retain about 67% to make more money.

Sylvene
March 6th, 2007, 04:08 PM
For some, it will still be a deal. Perhaps less of one but still quite a deal, since I know of families - Parents and kids - who between them, play Planetside, EQ, EQ2, SWG, Vanguard and are looking forward to Gods and Heroes when it comes out in the SoE stable.

Dark Shroom
March 6th, 2007, 04:12 PM
I think they should just make it so you get a discount for having multiple subscriptions, similar to when you pay for 3 months, 6, months, etc. So, maybe each game after the first one is only $5 more.

1 game - $15/month
2 games - $20/month
3 games - $25/month

Most people on the Station Pass are only playing two or three games, so it shouldn't matter that the highest price (7 games @ $45/month) is a lot higher than what it is now.

Either way, I notice that the vast majority of people complaining about the price increase are people who don't even play SOE-published games, nor have any intention of doing so.

I only care to play one MMORPG at a time, and I judge games based only on their content and not on their developers (and especially not on their publishers) so I don't care either way.

You pay more, you get more. It's the way it's always been, and it's the way it will always be.

No1uknow
March 6th, 2007, 04:36 PM
If the pass allowed you to play multiple accounts on the same game I'd buy it but as is I focus all my time on EQ 1 not the other SOE games but due to dieing communities I tend to have to play a healer or slower or dps in group along with my main. Between the costs of subscriptions and cost of expansions coming out twice a year I've had to drop additional accounts already which is just less money for Sony and driving me to just quit the game all together since it's hard to find groups when you want to play if you don't have hours to spend lfg.

Ozariig
March 6th, 2007, 05:22 PM
Hrmm. Interesting quandry.

I like Vanguard. I like EQ2 more, because I've put more time into it. Station access seemed like a good deal because not only would I be saving a bit of money, I'd also be getting four more character slots for EQ2, which I really could use (army of alts FTW)!

With a price increase, I'm not sure I'd be saving money any more. If I pay for EQ2 and Vanguard for more than one month at a time, I'll be saving money by NOT using the station access pass. And, now that I think of it, I'm not really playing Vanguard enough these days to justify paying for it...

I'm almost tempted to cancel Vanguard and just pay for another EQ2 account instead.

Merries
March 6th, 2007, 05:47 PM
Either way, I notice that the vast majority of people complaining about the price increase are people who don't even play SOE-published games, nor have any intention of doing so.


I'm very disappointed in this move because I used to play EQ2 and was planning to go back in the near future. We have 6 accounts in the family that we were paying for. And we were interested in looking at Vanguard as well.

All of that has just been impacted.

The 2 reasons why we had purchased Station Access to begin with were:

1) Ability to get extra character slots. Four as a limit indicates SOE either had a particular playstyle in mind, or they figured they could get more money for those that play multiple characters. Neither sits well.

2) Free Adventure Packs - no longer being offered as they are concentrating on (purchased) Expansions. This reason no longer exists.

Therefore, what we are left with is:

Basically, thirty dollars a month for those extra 4 character slots and the possiblity that we might want to play an additional (new) game with unknown quality (which has had dubious reviews.)


Those reasons just got more expensive. And the perception is that what is being offered is not equal to the value of the monthly fee.

There is no way I can comfortably justify the additional fee for something other developers provide as part of the normal business of expansions (e.g. additional character slots), especially when they add new races to their game.

When SOE added the new race to EQ2 with the latest expansion, the alternative was to either force some players to delete existing characters, purchase an additional account or upgrade to Station Access.

Once again: that doesn't sit well.

gopher65
March 6th, 2007, 06:17 PM
Basically, as I see it, the only people who should be buying a Station Pass are families or roommates. There is simply a limited amount of time that any individual person can put into a game, and therefore no single person can manage to put the (often serious) amount of time needed to be proficient in a game into more than 2 games (more likely 1 if you actually have a job or any sort of life).

So as of right now the Station Pass is basically useless to most people. Now IF Sony released all of their game clients for free, and the Station Pass allowed you to try, test out, and maintain characters on any of the games included in the pass, that would be a different story. But sadly they don't do that:(.

Eriol
March 6th, 2007, 06:22 PM
See, I am actually considering Station Pass right now, and this pushes me in the other direction on it. I was going to keep at my primary game (EQ2), but go back and play a bit of EQ1 once in a while, and maybe even crack open the copies of MXO and Planetside that I got at last year's fan faire (yes I went, and yes the boxes aren't open yet), and maybe even keep checking-back at my Vanguard characters to see if the game becomes more to my liking (it's not right now, but let's not pollute the topic with discussion on that). It seemed like a decent bargain for that type of playstyle. Still have your "primary" MMO, but want to be able to sample and/or play as "alts" a few other games.

Now... I'm really questioning it. It is like two complete subscriptions. It may have been close before, but it WASN'T two. That may be more of a psychological barrier more than a monetary one (it is in my case at least), but still... it just discourages me.

Tolewyn
March 6th, 2007, 06:32 PM
Actually the increase will make the monthly fee $.01 more than 2 subscriptions, but that's just nit-picking. I cancelled mine along time ago when I discovered that I couldn't be signed into more than one game on the account at a time. My wife was playing EQ2 and I was still in EQ. We had to break them apart to both play at once and I've never looked back.

The only way I see that SOE could make this increase palatable is to offer quarterly, semi-annual and annual rates on Station Pass. Then everyone who was comfortable with the $21.99 or is confortable at $25.00 would have an option available to them at their respective comfort levels. As it stands now, $29.99 is just a little over the ark, but that's just my opinion.

thedarkmessenger
March 6th, 2007, 07:05 PM
You can get just as much entertainment from Last Chaos or Flyff as you can from Vanguard or FFXI or even Everquest.

Kristin
March 6th, 2007, 07:23 PM
I really like what Lord of the Rings Online is offering to its preorder customers. You can pay $9.99 a month or you can pay a $200 lifetime subscriber fee. I wish more games would consider a pricing plan like this. It gave me a huge incentive to preorder the game.

Gloine36
March 6th, 2007, 08:09 PM
I dont mind paying for the station access thing, but I should get everything SOE has for that. Every adventure pack, extra character slots for all games, the little extra guild and character standings...........the whole thing for EVERY game they have.
And for that I should be seeing an adventure pack every 6 months minimum. Should be ever 3 months, but I dont want crap.
I cant play 2 MMOs as I do some serious indepth work as a character, not just get the loot and scoot stuff. I want to build up a guild to make it fun for everyone in that guild and achieve a lot of goals, but not like it is in EQ1 atm.
EQ2 is a great game and is much better than EQ1 was, but I cant play them both at the same time.
G

Andara Bledin
March 6th, 2007, 08:38 PM
I'd considered getting the Pass before, most strongly while I was playing EQ2. At $25, it was something I would go for. I've already got accounts in about half of the games included in it, so it wouldn't be any extra effort to head back into them to see how they'd changed.

However, considering that I really can't play more than one MMO seriously and maybe 1 or 2 very casually at once, once you get to the price point of two full subspriptions, it ceases to be an attractive option. And when you consider that a longer term subscription is discounted, I would end up paying more for a pass than for two regular subscriptions.

I kind of like the "regular price, 5 bucks, 5 bucks, 5 bucks" scaling price idea, and the lifetime subscription that was mentioned is something I would seriously consider for at least 2 MMOs I like.

^-.-^

dangerkitty83
March 6th, 2007, 08:38 PM
I am not really happy with SOE for doing this. I had left their access pass because of other reasons and I am not sure that I will go back esp with the 30 a month. It is uncalled for. I understand raising the price for a game but didn't they already do that once. Heck if they want to offer deals, and even a price hike every year or even 2 years as their selection grows but come on.. every 6 months or so.. Give me a break..

Dooginater
March 6th, 2007, 09:48 PM
The ONLY reason I got station pass was for the extra EQ2 character slots. With this price jump they are more expensive than getting an entire new account. Adios station pass.

Dobbil
March 6th, 2007, 10:15 PM
I got the station pass for the extra char slots in EQ2 as well, but I also dabbled in Planetside and Vanguard. As it is now, looks like I'll be hitting up some poorly translated Korean games for my mmo fix.

Finneon
March 6th, 2007, 10:42 PM
I've had a Station Pass since they came up with the idea and over the years played EQ, EQ2 and SWG. But recently, I'm only playing EQ2 (and not a lot of that). So, I can't justify paying $30 for what is actually $15 worth of games that I actually play. I was excited about Vanguard, but that game hasn't met up to my years of expectations. I'm looking at other games from other companies - and those I'll have to pay for separately.

So, it's time for me to pick the top 6 of my EQ2 characters and say "good-bye" to my Pass... Unfortunately, it may also mark the beginning of the end of my relationship with SOE.

Razorback
March 6th, 2007, 11:11 PM
Many years ago, in the days of 2400 baud modems and C=64's there was an online service called MajorBBS. It was keen, it brought together a couple dozen or so local phone lines together in one BBS. There were somewhere around 6 local MajorBBS systems where I lived, and they all had fantasy MMOG's. All had MajorMUD, one had Tele-Arena in addition.

These were text-only games, cut from the same kind of cloth as Zork. My point is though, that these were not free services. It usually cost $15/month to be a paid member, and at least one was $25. (that was the one that also had Tele-Arena.) Since your characters were account-based, if you wanted multiple characters, you paid for multipole accounts.

Was it recockulous? Yes. That didn't stop it from being done so often that logging in during peak hours was always a right pain in the ass.

Vexo
March 6th, 2007, 11:29 PM
1) You're not supposed to be able to play more than ONE game at a time on Station Pass. So buying for family/friends is a mute point. Even if SOE has trouble getting the 'not able to' part to function. (Alot of people have incresed number of LDs if playing two games simultanously though) SOE considers the 30 $ a fair price to play only ONE game, but having the option to switch game dynamically during the month.

2) As pointed out several times, this is the SECOND price increase (claimed to be) due to Vanguard. So it's up 8-10$. They forgot to mention that in their press release.

I was sure I had a third point, but it got lost in Registrating for the board!

broadshore
March 6th, 2007, 11:52 PM
By the sounds of things what MMORPG.com is stating is in there report, is that SoE is looking for and excuse to kill off there company. OR! Looking for a good excuse to commit Company Suicide by doubling the price of playing MMOs.

Hell, don't they already make enough money from EQ, EQ2 and SWG? Plus, isn't there supposes to be more MMORPGs coming out from SoE?

I'm just wondering this.

PS: I apologizes for my grammer and spelling.

Broadshore, Out.

Post edited. Unnecessarily negative commentary, foul language, and an Easy Way Violation removed. PLease be more careful broadshore.

Bogakona
March 7th, 2007, 12:30 AM
I cancelled my Station Pass as soon as this was announced. This definitely feels like price gauging consider the pass went up $5 just a few months back when Vanguard was announced that it will be joining it. And now another $5 per month?

Needless to say I was shocked.
The previous price increase was $3.

broadshore
March 7th, 2007, 12:31 AM
Wait, Sony did a price increase? When?

MatthyasL
March 7th, 2007, 01:41 AM
Alright, I've been thinking a lot about this, and I think this is a bad move on Sony's part. They will be reducing their profits and player base by doing this, or they will cut even (doubtful) and be back where they started. To me, this is bad economics since you always want to have a large player-base, and this will cause (as others already feel) people to be alienated away or forced unwillingly to give up the pass due to their budget. Sony should re-think this, maybe they will. They only other thing I can think of for them to do is to simply add more benefits to make the pass more worthwhile.

Darkov
March 7th, 2007, 01:43 AM
They should offer a selection option.

"Pay $30 a month for access to these seven great games or select up to 7 games / accounts to combine for this single fee"

I'd happily pay $30 a month for my two EQ1 accounts, Vanguard and Planetside.

elemer
March 7th, 2007, 02:07 AM
I actually quit my SOE Station Pass and for that matter all contact with Sony Online Entertainment, at the begining of the month. I went to far as to to write Mr. Smedley a long email as to why after seven years I had to cut the cord. My primary issue is simply a lack of real communication from SOE on the title Everquest. Though to be honest, the EQ2 developers are doing a great job, and I hear from the forums that the Vanguard people are doing the same.

I think the flaw in the work here is while $30 a month is a great deal if all seven titles where "code complete", had great developer to user base commincation, and where fast paced, the SOE titles simply don't hit that mark.

Some of the SOE titles require a very large time investment. Some can require several hours of prep time just to start to 'advance' each gaming session.

In a nutshell, if you work 8 hours a day, sleep 8 hours a day, have a social life for 8 to 16 hours a week, and maintain a real life (groceries, house work, etc.), then realistically, what amount of time are you getting for your $30?

Please keep in mind from my responces, I'm an alomst eight year vet of the EQ title, and am probably more than a tad bitter about the last several years worth of experience there. I freely admit EQ2 is a much better gaming experience, I just don't have the background in it, and after eight years of EQ, it's hard to give SOE or Smedley the benefit of the doubt anymore on anything. Sorry, I'm jaded I know. But I became that way for a reason.

Oh, side note, Darkov's idea about seven "acounts" worth of access for $30, is probably a MUCH better idea than what SOE is pushing right now.

tere
March 7th, 2007, 02:09 AM
I wonder if they are increasing the price due to vangaurds sales? .Their electronics division has been losing a ton of money. I however am not sure if SOE falls under that division. It might be a whole other division on it's own. As if releasing a x-pack every 3 months wasn't bad enough.

Vexo
March 7th, 2007, 04:44 AM
Oh, side note, Darkov's idea about seven "acounts" worth of access for $30, is probably a MUCH better idea than what SOE is pushing right now.

The idea isn't to give the consumers a good deal, it's to make the most money from them. And that can't be done, if they give us real discounts, only if they give us psedo-discounts.

Besides that, people playing 7 accounts for 30$, would pretty much destroy any financial benifit SOE could ever hope to find from any of its games.

Rather, they should introduce a real price saver from being on 3/6/12 month subscription plans, real discounts for playing two games (simultanously) and stop churning out such a mad amount of expansions and just accept that high-end raiders have a high burn-out rate, which wont decrease significantly due to new content (often it's quite the opposite).

But it'll never happen. Eventhough they've made some positive utterings of slowing the rate of expansion-births, I wouldn't bet the spit in my mouth on it ever happening.

niveck
March 7th, 2007, 06:08 AM
I don't know if this was mentioned or not since i skimmed the last four pages, but Sony has always operated at a loss of money whenever they release a new product. To be honest, all businesses operate at a loss before they come back into the black because of production and development costs.
If memory servers, when Sony released the PS2, they were approximately $15 million in the hole. it could have been more, i'm not sure anymore. it took almost 2 years to bring their funds back into the black for the PS2. what offset the production costs of the PS2 was the games. They could manufacture games for near on nothing and charging $50 a piece. That's still the same even today. The companies producing/developing the games on the otherhand are in the red until their sales of that particular game gets them back in the black.

The point, they are price gouging this one. Adding in Vanguard and saying they are raising the price because of it is because now they are operating at a loss with seven games. That is alot of servers. Alot of maintainers. Alot of GMs. Alot of electricity being used. Alot of hardware being replaced/fixed/maintained. it all adds up. i'm not mad at Sony for doing something like this but at the same time, i don't see the point in raising it to the regular price of two monthly fees for games. like most people said, they only play two games a month if they have the time. i barely have time to juggle FFXII and Guild Wars. Most of the time, I end up focusing on one then lose interest in the other for a week or more. Then the pendulum swings and i do the same thing with the opposite game.

Shardith
March 7th, 2007, 06:18 AM
I'm happily focusing on Vanguard now, which I consider to be worth the monthly fee. The option of heading back to EQ1 now and again isn't worth the price increase.

echowitch
March 7th, 2007, 06:25 AM
Station Access I think is a good idea and so long as the increases in price are not excessive and too often then Im ok with price increases. But then Im in the UK so $29.99 is a mere £15.00 for me, all to play 7 premium games.

Recently I tried to get an SOE CSR to transfer my SWG account to my Station account that holds my EQ2 and Vanguard accounts. After wasting 45 minutes of me trying to prove who I was the CSR told me that he could move the account across, but he'd have to charge me for moving my characters. I asked him how much and was told $100 PER CHARACTER with items. (They are level 80 characters with a lot of items I want to keep.) So a total of $200, or to me £100, still a ridiculous amount of cash for data that is relatively simple to transfer. Especially when Blizzard charge peanuts in comparison.

I've seen SOE noted before as $OE and it does seem to be their primary motivator, rather than focusing on keeping their customers happy and thus indirectly making money by retaining happy customers, instead of losing unhappy customers. And yes any businesses is in existence to make money but there are ways to make it without upsetting everyone.

Dravvan
March 7th, 2007, 07:14 AM
*grins impishly*

I'll pass.

Braydin
March 7th, 2007, 07:22 AM
Here's my take on this.. when it was $22 it was a great deal. At the time I routinely played 2 MMOs.. But, most of the time, one would go unplayed for a week at a time when i was on a grind fest in the other. I can't imagine trying to play more than 2 MMOs which means that station pass is still to me what I would pay for 2 games. The only upside is that IF I wanted to I could easily switch games to say VG or EQ2 without having to deactivate my old EQ or SWG accont, so I couls see my buddies. What they have done is built the service up to the point that its the same amount as the average gamer would be paying on MMOs anyway.. any more and they knwo they will lose a lot of people, but if you are playing 2 SOE games already, they know you will just take the price increase, becasue its the same as the 2 games packaged seperately. Good thing I don't play SOE games much any more.

Wendingo
March 7th, 2007, 07:35 AM
I think that 29.99 was their target price all along and that the earlier prices were just an attempt to drive their single game subscribers to All Access subscriptions with attractive pricing for trying something new. I am a little surprised that they did not wait a touch longer to give Vanguard more time to build an audience among folks who might primarily play other games. The biggest issue I see with the increase is that I question whether there really are two games worth playing on Sony. LOTR online comes out at the end of the month. I am not sure that I would be doing this with that license coming online in the same time frame. It might have been smarter not to give people a reason to wonder if their money is being well spent right now.

brong
March 7th, 2007, 07:37 AM
Vexo said it. You can only play one game at a time on the All Access. I think it was posted in one of the early announcements about Vanguard being a part of the All Access, Smed or Brad said the way it works is depending on which game you play, your time is calculated into who gets paid. So if you play eq2 for half a month and vanguard for half a month, both companies split the cost of the all access. (I am sure soe gets a bit more of the cut due to hosting ect) but you get the idea.

It all boils down to this, since you can not play more than 1 game at a time (even if you had multiple pc's) per account, they are making 30 bucks a month from you, just to use their service. The only real benefit of going with the All access is 4 more char slots in eq2, free adv packs in eq2, and if you play more than 3 titles consistantly over the course of a month. I think if you factor in those who also subscribe to WoW, or for that matter any of the plaync games, SoE is going to take a bit of a loss on this change.

Of course they have the back end numbers of who's playing what, and how often and how many All Access accounts actually Do play 2 or more accounts so they may have an idea.

My guess is they can forsee how much over the coming months they are going to have to pay out to Brad and Sigil from the All Access profits and are adjusting so they do not take such a big hit in financials. All Access acounts no longer are 100% profitable to SoE, they have to share it now, and with the simple fact that you can only play 1 game at any given time per account, most people are trying out the newness of Vanguard, this means less gametime is spent on an SoE game(s) and thus less portion of the monthly All Access pool goes to SoE.

naladini
March 7th, 2007, 07:53 AM
Convenience is why I've been with Station Access over the years. I barely have time to play 1 MMO, but still like to hop around between games and check things out.

Until someone comes along and starts selling me a block of playtime hours that would carry over between months (the very casual player's dream subscription), SA remains the best deal with the most flexibility. I agree with some of the other posters though, the new price seems to carry the decision from the "no brainer" category into a "hmmmm, SA, or 2 subscriptions" mode.

On the upside, according to Smed's blog, there's more product in the pipeline: http://stationblog.wordpress.com/2006/08/01/this-and-that/ The challenge is, I still need a few more hours per day. :)

Gelondil
March 7th, 2007, 08:27 AM
For me, it's about the amount of time I'm devoting to the games, not the number of games that are available. I will pay $15 a month only if I'm really playing a game seriously. I can see paying for two MMOGs at a time for a month or two, if I'm really playing them, but I don't invest any time playing the old SOE games to warrant paying for the station pass.

I was paying for the station pass merely to keep in touch with my old friends & toons from old MMOGs I don't really play anymore. Going in to renew my lease on my old houses, collect all my veteran bonuses, and see what kind of changes have happened while I was gone, and to just generally BS & get updated on all the old gossip. It's not worth it anymore.

Almeric
March 7th, 2007, 09:16 AM
Is "price gouging" really the right term? I associate that with holding people hostage for a high-demand item by charging a ton more than it's worth, knowing that they can't help but play it.

Just seems silly to compare All-Access increases to charging $12/gallon for gas as people flee an oncoming hurricane. =P

Anyway, I'm a brand new All-Access subscriber and I think the price increase is lame, but I'll keep it anyway. I always pay for my subscriptions month-to-month, so for me it's the same as just subscribing separately to EQ2 and VG.

That said, if SOE wants MORE (not less) All-Access subscribers, then I would offer a couple suggestions to add value to the more expensive service:

1) "players" website access should be part of ALL-Access. The services provided on sites like eq2players.com are kinda sorta worth the extra price, except the sites are buggy and rarely work as advertised on a consistent basis. I currently subscribe to eq2players, but there's NO way (especially with the increased All Access price) that I would subscribe to both eq2players and VGplayers at the same time. For the money I'm paying, I think I deserve web site features as part of that.

2) What if, every 4-6 months or so, a devoted All Access subscriber got a free digital software download? Could be an expansion, or a whole new game with which to get more use out of that All Access pass. Personally, for instance, I'd like to fiddle around with SWG, but I'm not inclined to pay for a bunch of extra software when I'm already splitting my time between two very time-consuming games.

Mortikus
March 7th, 2007, 09:25 AM
I think pricing it at the cost of 2 MMOs is a mistake. When I did subscribe it was becasue for a little more I could get access to all my SOE mmos but I almost never had the time to play more than 2 and really only 1 with the occasional jaunt into a second one. At this rate I would rather get 2 subscriptions to the same game and two-box it.

Woody
March 7th, 2007, 10:12 AM
Price gouging as a derogatory definition is not necessarily limited to those items or services that one must buy. Rather, it's being used to describe the act of inflating a price higher than what is deemed fair. From what I can tell, those people currently paying for the All Access Pass are saying they are not seeing an increased value to coincide with the increased price. Beyond that, the idea is to quickly convey an idea; 100% accurate or not the the tone and word choice in the comic succeeds in that regard.

I'm comfortable standing by my use of the term in the context I've presented it.

No.6
March 7th, 2007, 10:38 AM
For the people who have time to stay active in two+ games, this is still a great deal.

I suspect, from a reading of the EQ2 and EQ1 boards, that a large percentage of people either primarily enjoy one game and keep the Station Access so that (a) they can play the others on an occasional basis, or (b) because it was the most cost-effective way to have 10 character slots in EQ2.

The (a) players may or may not drop SA depending on their level of interest in their secondary and tertiary MMOG. In my case I'm dropping SA as I have not enough time to keep up with two or more.

The (b) players seem to be deciding to keep two EQ2 subs (thus 12 slots) as that's now the same cost as a 10-slot SA account.

IMO the net effect will be to encourage people to drop incidental subs to the smaller games in the SOE stable. Since $ is distributed to development in each game proportional to gamers' time spent in each, the games that need the most work will get the least attention. (Keep the zapper nearby...)

I need to remember to spend some time in MxO before my SA runs out so that the Matrix team can get some $ (for some reason I had the misguided opinion the other games were getting $ proportional to the fact that I had X games in my SA sub, not proportional to time logged in each one). Lots of potential there yet if they could only get the resources on board.

Elyana
March 7th, 2007, 12:55 PM
My husband and I cancelled our allpass when we heard about the rate increase. We had wanted to keep it open but the price (gouging) increase just made it easier for us to cancell. I hope that we are the rule not the exception in this decision. If so, then we might just see a rate decrease to win us back =P

Jallis
March 8th, 2007, 07:27 PM
I have been trying to decide myself on what to do concerning the rate increase for the SOE all access pass. Previously I thought it was a nice deal for 25 bucks a month, it also let me support Vanguard while they were going through their release pains, but at 30 with 3 games I rarely if ever log into it is kinda disappointing, I am rather shocked they are raising the prices on two of their older products as well. I like having 2 main MMOs that I play most of the time. Allows me to get toons up levels in both at a reasonable rate yet provides a change up when needed. With the way Vanguard is starting to come together I am tempted to cut my subscription down to just it and then grab Lord of Rings Online here at the end of the month with the pre order offer.

cthellis
March 9th, 2007, 11:26 AM
<sigh> Annoying.

I've been a member of Station Access since the beginning (recognizing a bargain when I see it and appreciating the ability to hop into a metric ton of random games whenever I feel like it, even if I wasn't actively playing them a whole lot each month), but this is pretty damn irritating. I'm now much more likely to give them less each month by only upkeeping, say, Vanguard, and then using the other $15 a month to hop around between any other MMO I feel like. (Heck, if I'm playing Vanguard 95% of the anyway, I could still be skilling up in EVE exactly as much as if I were actively playing it!)

1.5x the top-going rate is pretty much the sweet spot for a pass like this, and is great incentive. (I think NC Soft is moronic for not having done this yet.) And heck, it's not like we can cost them bandwidth by playing 6 games simultaneously or anything. A little over is fine, but once you get to 2x, you hit the area where anyone who is even remotely LIKELY to want to play two MMO's at the same time will now support whatever two MMO's they want, rather than restricting themselves to one publisher. Sony should just smile at the fact that we're likely to buy a lot more games and expansions to try out because "we can already play it for free" than we would otherwise.

But I suppose they've been running the numbers and figuring they can push things a bit more. Maybe the extra expansion sales don't amount to much anyway compared to a higher monthly cost, but I still think that pushing the subscription too far will simply drive people to play "the one SOE game they want to" and play whatever else they want--by whoever else--as well. And heck, it also makes them more likely to experiment with new and other games that may supplant the last SOE game they were into, which can't be encouraging.

If they're going to push "everything for $30," then they need to also start making tiered rates, where you can drop certain games to reduce the rate; it will give SOE a better idea of where interest lies anyway. (They can already do that by measuring server activity, of course, but that would also introduce a percentage of people who are "I couldn't care less" about certain titles.) And at the VERY least, they should sweeten the pot for Station Access members by adding any and all optional web content to the pass. They're admittedly cool, and do cost money to support, but they're certainly not worth $1/month apiece for each tiny one.

Shayde
March 18th, 2007, 01:35 PM
Not to sound overly bashy.. but really. That price is the same as 2 good MMO's. What do they have that you would really think 30 bucks a month is worth? Planetside? SWG? Matrix? Those should be free.

If you like EQ2.. do you really want to spend twice the fee to have extra character slots? If I were in the game I'd be raising holy hell.

SOE has been drinking way too much of their own kool-aid to think this is even reasonable.

Nekojin
March 22nd, 2007, 09:29 AM
1.5x the top-going rate is pretty much the sweet spot for a pass like this, and is great incentive. (I think NC Soft is moronic for not having done this yet.)
Amusingly, I wrote an email to NCSoft about this very thing yesterday. I enjoy Auto Assault, but it's not one of my top picks for MMO subscriptions. Likewise for COH/COV. I'd be willing to pay $20 or so in monthly fees to be able to play both of those, and possibly Tabula Rasa when it comes out, in addition to either WoW or EVE, depending on my mood. But $30? No... I'd be more likely to pay for both EVE and WOW than any of the NCSoft choices. Not that they're bad games... they're just not the games that most interest me.

I've heard rumors about Middle Earth Online Lord of the Rings Online offering a lifetime subscription for $200 or so. I'd be willing to do something like that for either WoW or CoH if it were offered, honestly (and, strangely, I think I'd pass on that offer for EVE). A large one-time fee for access whenever I'm in the mood for as long as the game is still operational seems like a good deal... especially since it would mean that I'd have a game to fall back on when money was tight.