Dungeons & Dragons Online Free-to-play Model Sees 40% Increase in Subscriptions

Dungeons & Dragons Online has seen growth doubling internal expectations and a 40% increase in subscribers since moving to a free-to-play model supported by premium subscriptions and microtransactions, developer Turbine told Ars Technica.

"[Free players] get to try the game, not be constrained by a one-week trial, and then decide when they've made the commitment that they're engaged enough that they're ready to spend money," executive producer Fernando Paiz told the site.

Free accounts are limited in available classes, races, and quests, which can be brought individually with microtransactions or are included with the $15 monthly VIP subscription. Various items, equipment, buffs and cosmetic options are on sale to all.

"We have a good chunk of the population that is spending more than $15 a month," said Paiz. "The traditional subscription model can only make X dollars off a player. This kind of removes that cap."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 15, 2009 2:46 PM

    In other news, the sky is blue.

    • reply
      October 15, 2009 3:03 PM

      Pretty much exactly how I feel about this. This game just wasn't very much fun and the menus and stat systems are just highly confusing for someone like me that knows very little about the real underlying D&D concepts and dice rolls at work behind the scenes. Call me a twitch gamer if you must but they can
      "water" down the game just enough where I don't have to see the ridiculous numbers games at work on the weapons and such, or make it easier to understand what does what, as in Demon's Souls. If you're going to have a deep RPG system, make it at least understandable. It might just be me though..

      • Ebu legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
        October 15, 2009 3:55 PM

        Well, with the number of D&D players out there, both PnP and DDO, it is obviously an understandable system. Is it convoluted? Sure, partly it's designed to appeal to the min/maxer and rules lawyer, the thinks-he's-autistic and the engineer.

        You can generally break it down to the simplistic level of a Diablo or WoW if you want. Higher AC better, higher Saves better, higher damage numbers better.

        • reply
          October 15, 2009 4:19 PM

          Yeah, minutiae might not be clear, but you always want higher numbers (die rolls, armor, to hit bonuses, etc).

          This isn't something like 2e D&D where some numbers you want high and other numbers you want low.

          • reply
            October 15, 2009 10:25 PM

            like the ac? i remember baldur's gate the lower your ac rating was the better your armor class was. and i thought my high ac wizard was so op as a level 1 wizard :(

            • reply
              October 16, 2009 8:35 AM

              Yeah, or weird formulae like THAC0.

            • reply
              October 16, 2009 10:42 AM

              Those were the 2nd edition rules in Baldurs Gate, DDO is 3.5 edition rules, thats why the AC was different, in 3.5 rules they actually made it understandable.

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