Sunday, 11 October 2009

DDO: Paying for F2P: a cheapskate's perspective

I decided to pay some money for my free game.

I bought 5000 Turbine Points. They were at 10% off so I paid $49.99.

Now what's nice about this is

1) It's effectively a lifetime sub. I will earn more points by playing and I only buy adventure packs so any points I spend will be with me for good. $49.99 compares very favourably with the cost of a lifetime sub in Lotro or Champions Online, the two titles that offer that facility.

2) I double-dip the discount. 10% off my Turbine Points then I buy packs which are reduced. I just bought two packs at 35% off so the total discount is 41.5%

3) Spending money at the store upgrades me from F2P to Premium. This gives the following benefits:

Character slots: up to 4 per server from 2.

Queue: up to high priority from standard. I've never had to queue anyway.
Chat: up to unlimited from limited (although to be honest the limits were barely noticeable).

Auctions: up to 20 at a time from limited to one at a time (a very heavy restriction). (It says Unlimited in the chart here but Borror0 let me know it's 20 auctions for premium players. Thanks mate!).

Mail: up to unlimited from limited. Never did discover what the limits were, presumably you can't mass mail gold spam to strangers on free accounts)

Gold storage: up to unlimited from limited (although to be honest as a noob I was unlikely to hit the gold cap which is only in effect up to level 12 anyway).

Customer service: full for 45 days up from self-service online. (I've used the self-service once, when I couldn't log in to their forum and they fixed it pretty fast so can't say this is an issue)

Compendium: up to read/post from read only. (If I feel like helping them build their wiki).

Forums: up to read/post from read/limited posting. (It will be nice to be able to post outside of the F2P section. In particular the server forums are read only for F2P which is very restrictive).

So far I have the following balance sheet for Turbine Points:

Bought 5000
Earned through playing after a month: 996

Tangleroot Gorge 358 (down from 550)
The Catacombs 200 (down from 250)
The Vale of Twilight 455 (down from 700)
Demon Sands 552 (down from 850)
Total  1565

Balance 4431

Between buying the packs when they are heavily discounted and earning more as I play I think I will have a very long way to go before I start getting low on points. I'll probably never get through them.


  1. You're not unlimited on your acutions. I think the limit is something like 20 auctions at a time but you,ll rarely, if ever, reach that limit. If so, you're most likely selling crap anyway. :p

  2. I can't figure out how to buy points outside of the game client. I've wanted to partake of this sale, but I'm on the road for Thanksgiving.

  3. It confused me too.

    You can click Account from the DDO page. You can then enter your credit/debit card details for what it says is a subscription.

    In the game you can then Buy Points from the store and it will use this credit card.

    Alternatively just buy points in game in the DDO store and it will open the same page.

    You don't seem to be able to just go to the accounts website and buy.

  4. Yeah - I know how to do it in game - but the inability to shop while not connected is puzzling at best. :/ And prohibitive when you're away from your gaming computer, and yet want to participate in a limited time offer.

  5. Yes, it's crazy.

    I tried to buy while not at home on Saturday and in the end gave up and bought my points while at home on Sunday.

  6. Managed to get home before midnight last night and scoop up some points before the sale expired. Whew. =)

  7. Aye, I've long thought that they should have the store online, not just in-client. It does make it harder for me to give them money, which seems to be a bit counterproductive.

    As I missed this sale, I'll have to wait for another. I use much the same strategy, though; points on sale, content packs on sale. It's like a more granulated Guild Wars model, or Wizard 101's Access Passes. I *love* that business model, and want to see it succeed.

  8. Yes when Guild Wars first started it seemed nothing could be further from the sub-based MMO payment scheme.

    Now six years later GW is a game where effectively you buy content as microtransactions and can play what you've bought forever and DDO has nearly arrived at the same place having started at the opposite end of the spectrum.

  9. I like your approach stabs and I think it is the approach I will take if I decide to stick with DDO, even if I don't get a discount. So far DDO seems very like Guild Wars to me (which is game I love by the way) and I am quite prepared to pay a once off fee to play. I don't think I want to pay a monthly sub though.

  10. Ahh, thanks for mentioning this. I didn't realize I couldn't buy points online, kept clicking the DDO Store link and was wondering why it kept taking me to the "Store Guide" and not the Store itself. So I enter my CC details online, then buy the points in-game, but make sure there's a special on before I buy them to get the most bang for my buck. Ta heaps :)