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The entire first world should be changed to free to play

AuthorMessage
Gunner's Mate
Sep 04, 2018
268
With the exception of Port Regal and the Obsidian Key Bosses. New players would have more to do, and be more invested, especially if they make multiple characters and max them out as far as they can in the first world.

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
10605
Takhethis on Apr 25, 2021 wrote:
With the exception of Port Regal and the Obsidian Key Bosses. New players would have more to do, and be more invested, especially if they make multiple characters and max them out as far as they can in the first world.
At this time, I don't think this is a good idea as memberships/crowns purchases are what is keeping this game afloat. If we had the numbers of W101, perhaps this would work, at least expanding the free to play in all of Skull Island, Jonah Town & the Presidio ( maybe Flotsam) but no more.

Gunner's Mate
Sep 04, 2018
268
anecorbie on Apr 26, 2021 wrote:
At this time, I don't think this is a good idea as memberships/crowns purchases are what is keeping this game afloat. If we had the numbers of W101, perhaps this would work, at least expanding the free to play in all of Skull Island, Jonah Town & the Presidio ( maybe Flotsam) but no more.
If I thought the game would make more money by keeping it as it is rather than making the first world free to play, I wouldn't have suggested it. Truth to the matter is, the free to play section is rather short and one is hit rather quickly with what they can and can't do. This leads a new player to just brush off the game and move to something else. There isn't much of any need or desire to try out the other classes when you can't do much or go far in a game you are testing out. By making first world free to play, new players would be inclined to make a character, and then give others a try as well. Once a person has tried all the classes, they have pretty much invested good time and effort into the game, especially since they likely also have some good low level gear and quite likely even put time into farming. Being so invested, spending money on the remainder of the game makes a whole lot of sense.

This is one of the issues that I simply write down as being KingsIsle greed, where KingsIsle only cares about money while shooting themselves in their foot by making those who would play and spend money not play and spend money.

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
10605
Takhethis on Apr 27, 2021 wrote:
If I thought the game would make more money by keeping it as it is rather than making the first world free to play, I wouldn't have suggested it. Truth to the matter is, the free to play section is rather short and one is hit rather quickly with what they can and can't do. This leads a new player to just brush off the game and move to something else. There isn't much of any need or desire to try out the other classes when you can't do much or go far in a game you are testing out. By making first world free to play, new players would be inclined to make a character, and then give others a try as well. Once a person has tried all the classes, they have pretty much invested good time and effort into the game, especially since they likely also have some good low level gear and quite likely even put time into farming. Being so invested, spending money on the remainder of the game makes a whole lot of sense.

This is one of the issues that I simply write down as being KingsIsle greed, where KingsIsle only cares about money while shooting themselves in their foot by making those who would play and spend money not play and spend money.
On the other hand, if they're just looking for free entertainment, they would quit at the first pay wall. I consider the story gripping enough that an interested player would either get a membership or buy zones. (Which I did.)

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
10605
Takhethis on Apr 27, 2021 wrote:
If I thought the game would make more money by keeping it as it is rather than making the first world free to play, I wouldn't have suggested it. Truth to the matter is, the free to play section is rather short and one is hit rather quickly with what they can and can't do. This leads a new player to just brush off the game and move to something else. There isn't much of any need or desire to try out the other classes when you can't do much or go far in a game you are testing out. By making first world free to play, new players would be inclined to make a character, and then give others a try as well. Once a person has tried all the classes, they have pretty much invested good time and effort into the game, especially since they likely also have some good low level gear and quite likely even put time into farming. Being so invested, spending money on the remainder of the game makes a whole lot of sense.

This is one of the issues that I simply write down as being KingsIsle greed, where KingsIsle only cares about money while shooting themselves in their foot by making those who would play and spend money not play and spend money.
About the accusation of KingsIsle being greedy or financially ignorant; I don't believe either of us has the information as to how many new accounts were created last year and of those, how many became members or continued as FTP with crown purchases for premium zones.
Why did you become a member? Just to play through? What appealed to you, why didn't you quit at the first pay wall? If you bought membership that means others would also.

Gunner's Mate
Sep 04, 2018
268
I think most players likely pay for memberships and don't buy areas, as such the crown cost in terms of revenue would be minimal and having players play more of the game enticing them to pay for membership ought to be the focus. If new worlds are added to the game and each new world adds 10 more levels to the game, then a larger free to play starting area just isn't going to amount to a big deal in terms of revenues being lost. I am more inclined to buy memberships when testing out games when my characters have really nice starts, and turned off when they don't. Kind of tells me if I'm going to be nickeled and dimed to death.

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
10605
Takhethis on May 4, 2021 wrote:
I think most players likely pay for memberships and don't buy areas, as such the crown cost in terms of revenue would be minimal and having players play more of the game enticing them to pay for membership ought to be the focus. If new worlds are added to the game and each new world adds 10 more levels to the game, then a larger free to play starting area just isn't going to amount to a big deal in terms of revenues being lost. I am more inclined to buy memberships when testing out games when my characters have really nice starts, and turned off when they don't. Kind of tells me if I'm going to be nickeled and dimed to death.
"If new worlds are added to the game and each new world adds 10 more levels to the game..."

Hah! That's one big IF. We players know it's not happening this year (or even next year).
Because of my experience with W101, I just did what I did there - bought zones. I'm now thinking that was the best decision (financially) I ever made!

Lieutenant
Mar 28, 2009
173
I disagree about the entire world, but I believe that the free-to-play game should complete the Prologue -- all of the rats' quests should be able to be completed as part of the free-to-play, and the old cut off of getting our parents' skiff should be reinstated.

It's the Prologue that was extended when the additional story was shoe-horned in by the "MMO team" and all of the lower-level creatures were nerfed to the point that anyone who tries the game gets through so easily that the free content seems like nothing much. Logically, completing the Prologue and starting Chapter One would be so much more exciting to a new player.


Commodore
May 31, 2009
894
Halloween Chick on May 5, 2021 wrote:
I disagree about the entire world, but I believe that the free-to-play game should complete the Prologue -- all of the rats' quests should be able to be completed as part of the free-to-play, and the old cut off of getting our parents' skiff should be reinstated.

It's the Prologue that was extended when the additional story was shoe-horned in by the "MMO team" and all of the lower-level creatures were nerfed to the point that anyone who tries the game gets through so easily that the free content seems like nothing much. Logically, completing the Prologue and starting Chapter One would be so much more exciting to a new player.

I remember the days when the free-to-play access got you through the Presidio and into Jonah Town. I absolutely agree that the free content cutoff should have remained there instead of being reduced to what it currently is. My personal gripes with the storylines of the updated rat quests aside, there is simply not enough f2p content to get a feel for how the game really works and whether or not it's worth paying for; it's an unsatisfying taste of what P101 has to offer and compared to the old quests doesn't give as much of a "hook" for the overarching story. Because of this, I've had several friends express that it is confusing and that they don't see the point in continuing (and convincing them to give it enough of a shot to really start the story is difficult because of that confusion).

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
10605
MistyDragon13 on May 7, 2021 wrote:
I remember the days when the free-to-play access got you through the Presidio and into Jonah Town. I absolutely agree that the free content cutoff should have remained there instead of being reduced to what it currently is. My personal gripes with the storylines of the updated rat quests aside, there is simply not enough f2p content to get a feel for how the game really works and whether or not it's worth paying for; it's an unsatisfying taste of what P101 has to offer and compared to the old quests doesn't give as much of a "hook" for the overarching story. Because of this, I've had several friends express that it is confusing and that they don't see the point in continuing (and convincing them to give it enough of a shot to really start the story is difficult because of that confusion).
Those old "help the rats" quest line were a bit too simple and Jonah Town was only included because Bonnie Anne's first promotion required her to go there and talk to Lucius Fox. When they had to block off Jonah Town, she now speaks to Harman Brown in Remington Steel.

Not saying that either you or Halloween Chick is wrong in this, but KI has never been generous in extending the F2P areas in either game. I feel that in comparison to W101 we do have more content (with the inclusion of Devilfish Hollow.)

Commodore
May 31, 2009
894
anecorbie on May 10, 2021 wrote:
Those old "help the rats" quest line were a bit too simple and Jonah Town was only included because Bonnie Anne's first promotion required her to go there and talk to Lucius Fox. When they had to block off Jonah Town, she now speaks to Harman Brown in Remington Steel.

Not saying that either you or Halloween Chick is wrong in this, but KI has never been generous in extending the F2P areas in either game. I feel that in comparison to W101 we do have more content (with the inclusion of Devilfish Hollow.)
I agree the old quests were simplistic, but they were at least realistic in terms of the worldbuilding. It’s probably more of a personal gripe, but I find the new ones really don’t make a lot of sense. The characters and conflicts established in them have almost no connection to anything else in the game. I can accept Xol Akmul at a stretch, but I think it would have made more sense if the Aztecosaurs were Undead like the rest of them in Skull Island. The other two questlines could have made better use of the factions that were already present in SI (the Red Claw Gang, Wharf Rats, Cutthroats etc.) instead of introducing new ones that never appear again. I know the previously established factions are present in the stories but they’re in roles that don’t feel consistent with their presentation in other places in the game.

In my opinion, Wizard101 actually has a leg up on getting people to pay for a subscription. The 3 streets quests have a common goal and theme that really engages the player in the world and story even after only Triton Avenue, and they end up converging at the end to Lord Nightshade as the force of the conflict. The rat quests, on the other hand, are all extremely different in theme and don’t connect to the world or each other in a satisfying manner aside from being hurdles to jump over to continue hunting down Ratbeard. It could be nostalgia talking, but I genuinely don’t think it draws in a player as effectively.

If I remember correctly, accounts made after the update that adjusted the f2p content are only able to do the Xol Akmul quest, not the other two. Accounts made before then still has the old cutoff I believe. Even giving new players the opportunity to play all three rat quests would be more of a hook to purchase a membership; as it is, the wall to paid content is really abrupt and almost discouraging.

That all is to say that while I don’t expect this discussion to actually bring about any change in KI’s model, I do think it is worth talking about!

Lieutenant
Mar 28, 2009
173
MistyDragon13 on May 11, 2021 wrote:
I agree the old quests were simplistic, but they were at least realistic in terms of the worldbuilding. It’s probably more of a personal gripe, but I find the new ones really don’t make a lot of sense. The characters and conflicts established in them have almost no connection to anything else in the game. I can accept Xol Akmul at a stretch, but I think it would have made more sense if the Aztecosaurs were Undead like the rest of them in Skull Island. The other two questlines could have made better use of the factions that were already present in SI (the Red Claw Gang, Wharf Rats, Cutthroats etc.) instead of introducing new ones that never appear again. I know the previously established factions are present in the stories but they’re in roles that don’t feel consistent with their presentation in other places in the game.

In my opinion, Wizard101 actually has a leg up on getting people to pay for a subscription. The 3 streets quests have a common goal and theme that really engages the player in the world and story even after only Triton Avenue, and they end up converging at the end to Lord Nightshade as the force of the conflict. The rat quests, on the other hand, are all extremely different in theme and don’t connect to the world or each other in a satisfying manner aside from being hurdles to jump over to continue hunting down Ratbeard. It could be nostalgia talking, but I genuinely don’t think it draws in a player as effectively.

If I remember correctly, accounts made after the update that adjusted the f2p content are only able to do the Xol Akmul quest, not the other two. Accounts made before then still has the old cutoff I believe. Even giving new players the opportunity to play all three rat quests would be more of a hook to purchase a membership; as it is, the wall to paid content is really abrupt and almost discouraging.

That all is to say that while I don’t expect this discussion to actually bring about any change in KI’s model, I do think it is worth talking about!
You're exactly right - the original quests were written by the original team. The new quests were shoe-horned in by a secondary FTUE team, who apparently didn't consider tying together what they were doing into the fabric of Skull Island would matter. BUT IT DOES. The three quests added so much extra experience, but only being able to visit Xol Akmul, in isolation, does not equate to participating in the main story of Gunn's Gold. The other two quests would ground new pirates more in the windlanes and places of Skull Island that they will return to later.

@anecorbie - Comparing Wizard101 to Pirate101 at this point is futile -- there is simply too large a gap between the development of the games over the years. It didn't matter that the original quests were simple, and I don't feel that anything "Devilfish Hollow" is an fair addition to the original gameplay, since many young players encounter the Level 14-15 Katipo enemies in there at too low a level - and quite often alone - so the difficulty spike these enemies present discourages new players who aren't looking for challenges like that.