Er, hello there GamersFirst…
So, the mystery is solved…
GamersFirst are taking over the infrastructure of FE – taking care of the servers and stuffs in order to “take the pressure off” the team at FE. Today’s downtime is due to the hardware changeover.
No official confirmation as yet on whether or not (more likely, when) the game will go F2P.
To be honest, from Vent and the early stream it would look like that’s something that is very likely to happen down the line.
GamersFirst are promising to put a big marketing push behind FE, which is great as it’s something the game needs, but most of the info we were given in the first stream was rather vague…
It feels a bit like they either (a) haven’t quite decided what to do about the game or (b) they have decided but haven’t gotten approval to outline it to the players as yet.
How do I feel about it? Well, if it means FE will still be around for some time to come, then that is good. If it means those of us who are happy to sub can keep paying our subs and have an unchanged game experience then that’s great.
But…see me come in with the qualifier here…
Since taking part in the APB reloaded beta I’ve been bombarded with mails urging me to buy GamersFirst G1 Credits and spend ‘em on weapons (rental / purchase) … for use in the beta (huh?!). Sure, they persist into live, but something about that just gives me the willies.
The marketing chappie from GamersFirst talked a good game about them not gating content or encouraging Pay To Win (he said “Fuck that bullshit” at more than one point), but that’d be a lot easier to swallow if APB:R wasn’t trying to flog weaponry to players before their game even hit live.
(Cut’n'paste from email: “Get into the Armas Underground Marketplace and start arming yourself in the battle to own the streets! The N-HVR 243 Scout PR1 is only 499 G1 Credits for 30 Days. Pick up Premium and get it for 20% off!” – 499 Credits to rent a gun? Admittedly, their premium players get points to spend every month, and a reduction in the credit cost of the gun, and they’re not paying as much sub money as your standard MMO player to begin with…but I’m happier not being bombarded with “Buy this now!!!” messages from games).
I’m just concerned, I guess, and I still don’t really know how to feel about this whole thing. I’m not about to cry “DOOM!” or play the “F2P=I’mma quit nao” card (am just about to re-up my sub, in fact), but I am standing back with my eyebrows raised waiting to see how things pan out.
Part of me feels that this whole announcement was made a bit too early, and too incompletely to cause anything other than a flap in the FE Forums. And a flap it has successfully caused.
We’re promised that the second stream will have fewer technical difficulties, and a recording of it will be made available – also, hopefully, they might be a bit more forthcoming with information.
It’s just over an hour away now, and we’re coming up on midnight where I am, so while I’ll probably stay up to have a listen, but it’s unlikely I’ll update this post afterwards unless there’s substantially more info to be had.
Recordings of both sessions should be available here, and transcripts should be made available on the forums soon (per Tiggs).
Extra info from second stream:
Ok, I asked in the stream chat whether they weren’t making the announcement early since they couldn’t answer the players’ questions on F2P – From Joe: The announcement was made to explain the extended downtime, and they didn’t want to blindside players by saying nothing now and dropping the info about the changeover later. They also wanted to start the conversation with players, in stream and on forums, and while they can’t go into detail yet they do have “a robust plan” for FE. Marie said this was another instance of the dev team’s commitment to transparency. Fair enough.
Someone else asked about leasing weapons (ye gods – do people read this blog?!) and from Joe of GamersFirst: “You will not be able to lease weapons..fuck that, no. You cannot be doing that.” He’s adamant that the structure of FE does not lend itself to such a thing. Not to argue, but how come it’s a “Fuck that!” for FE and a “Rent this gun NAO!” for APB… I think we can be forgiven for a bit of the side-eye on that front. For now, at least, I’m taking the man at his word.
Nice stuff dropped along the way: Marie dropped hints about being interested in creating “long term dynamic content” that would make things “different from the grind” for players. This is not something that’s imminent – and neither are the faction changes, but they’re looking forward to getting their teeth into them.
There will also be a new game manual, which will come as a relief to new players and vets trying to advise them alike . Some sweet hints about new armor and new weapons too (I’m glad I stayed up for this!). “Future Marie” is also into housing (non-instanced) and multi-passenger vehicles (and Harleys) – but these are long-term goals. Alpha and the combat revamp will be going live before July/August.
Ok, from Tiggs, some of the GMs will be going (no names, she wouldn’t give any) – reasoning being that business-wise it makes no sense to duplicate CS across FE and G1, who already have their own. So…there will be some changes to the GM service we know and love – how much of a change will remain to be seen.