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reducing Steam complaints about Wurm being Free to Play

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The Steam Wurm Online page says Wurm is Free to Play but I've seen complaints saying this is misleading and doesn't mention about needing a subscription to progress past 20 skill cap. I had a look at other Free to Play games on Steam that also use subscriptions.

 

One is Star Wars - The Old Republic which is listed as Free to Play but underneath the Play Game button you can clearly see it says "Optional Subscription" and gives the option to purchase premium time and game coins right there.

 

Spoiler

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Showing this on the Wurm page would make it clearer that Wurm has a subscription model and hopefully reduce complaints.

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Could work.

 

I've been wondering lately though.. is Wurm really F2P? I mean yeah, maybe on some level you could call it that.. but in reality.. wouldn't it be considered more like a Demo?

 

I guess if you could make enough in game coin to pay the subscription then yes, F2P would fit.. but you have to Prem to REALLY be able to play..

 

Maybe I'm wrong.. idk..

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Posted (edited)

one of the reasons i also made this thread

 

 

More than anything,if nothing changes least wurms "free to play" tag should be renamed to "FREE DEMO" to avoid misleading players..

Edited by Skatyna

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Agree. It really is free to try. The game already is unique enough to have narrow appeal, nobody is going to play without spending some money at some point. I made a rare forge and supreme saw my first month of Wurm, but that still only got me so far.

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I don't know the benefits the Star Wars game gives you for subscribing but if it is acceptable to be labelled as "Free to Play" yet still have a subscription then doesn't the same apply to Wurm ?

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Posted (edited)

Sometimes the subs in games come with a small amount of ingame coin as part of the "reward" for being a premium player.

 

For instance, if a Wurm subscription came with 28 days playtime plus 1 silver coin a month, it would mean nothing to the big spenders who buy silver 50 or 100 at a time, and would not lessen what they spend on Wurm per month.

 

But it might mean those with less could also squeak a full month of a small deed upkeep out of it, meaning it covers not just their character but their deed as well (once the deed is purchased).

 

That reduces the complaints of those ticking off all the things you need to pay for each month as separate expenses. "Nah, you can just buy one month and it will cover your character and your deed upkeep too!"

 

 

Edited by Brash_Endeavors
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That's true Brash that would stop people saying you have to pay for premium AND buy coins if you automatically got both for the basic one month sub.

 

The idea is that having "Optional Subscription" clearly visible on the Steam game page means people have less reason to complain it's misleading to be labelled "Free to Play" which is what people are saying about Wurm.

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With wurm, the crux is in the nature of the restriction.

 

A free player on wurm is HEAVILY restricted and is locked into only the earlier parts of the game.  Other games with "optional subscriptions" generally limit the scope a player has, as in cutting off most skills and only leaving a few that can be taken beyond a rudimentary level.

 

The only way you'll quash the complaints is making the free game a viable full game.  Semantics are not likely to change opinion much.

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I don't want to argue in this thread about the scope and benefits of the Wurm premium model that's not relevant to the original suggestion of making the fact that Wurm HAS a premium subscription model more obvious on the Steam page instead of needing to scroll down into the small print at the bottom of the page.

 

Some people are leaving negative reviews on Steam based on their claim that saying Wurm is "Free to Play" but has a subscription model is a "deception" because it's not visible enough on the store page.

 

Don't we want to reduce any basis for these complaints by making it more obvious ?

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1 hour ago, Skatyna said:

one of the reasons i also made this thread

 

 

More than anything,if nothing changes least wurms "free to play" tag should be renamed to "FREE DEMO" to avoid misleading players..

Free demo wouldnt fit. You can play the game, pay for prem and a deed without having to pay a single dime out of pocket.

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Perhaps the subscription system needs to be reworked instead so the f2p part is not misleading?

 

For example:

  • Remove the limitation on max skill and max attributes
  • Limit priests to premium only (as now)
  • Things which currently require more than 20 in an attribute will be limited to premium only
  • Skill and attribute gain above 20 will be severely reduced while not premium (think a 50-75% or so reduction. Perhaps slow it down the higher the skill gets so it doesn't feel like running into a wall after 20?)
  • Imping gains are severely reduced when imping an item above a certain ql (~25?, perhaps again on a curve) while not premium
  • Skill reduces action timers by a lot less than normal while not premium

With the above a free player can do a lot more, but it will also take them way more time and effort, making premium worth it big time. A free player could grind a skill to 100 and imp items to 90+ ql, but in the same time a premium player could imp multiple skills to 100 and imps multiple items to 90+ ql. Since imping gains are nerfed the free player will also require more raw materials and his tools will take more damage since he needs more actions to get the same result.

 

 

Otherwise the store page really needs to be more clear about the f2p part and the subscription part, it's really lacking on information.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Explora said:

That's true Brash that would stop people saying you have to pay for premium AND buy coins if you automatically got both for the basic one month sub.

The idea is that having "Optional Subscription" clearly visible on the Steam game page means people have less reason to complain it's misleading to be labelled "Free to Play" which is what people are saying about Wurm.

 

 

But it is still kind of misleading. They might have "less" reason to complain but they still have "some" reason to complain. How would you feel about going to watch a "free movie" only to find out you only get to see the trailer, and the rest is an "optional" $20 ticket?

 

Stamping "optional subscrption" on the page hasn't really changed anything. I guess what I am trying to suggest is that a subscription really isn't all that "optional" if it is the only way to actually play the basic game beyond a very limited trial/demo stage.  On the other hand, loading up the "Premium Subscription" with premium perks beyond just the actual ability to play, turns it more into a "First Class Passenger" status, where you get not just the flight included but especially the extra "perks" -- the extra legspace, the free cocktail, more attention from the flight attendants, less mingling with the masses.  

 

So what I am suggesting is -slowly- transitioning away from "you really NEED a sub to play so its not really free to play", into "yeah sure you can play the base game but the PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION not only shows you are a loyal member who supports the game financially, but you also get all these really cool extra perks to boot."  That works mostly if you expand the "base game" ie the f2P section a little bit more, and then fluff up the benefits of being a Premium Wurmian with some little extra blings.  Maybe an allowance of coin  plus sleep powder, and/or even limit affinities, priests, and extra characters to Premium. Maybe Rifts Wagons and "Blueprints" are only for Premium, and any new servers have an initial "First Week" limit to Premium players before opening to the rest. 

 

Saying our subscription is "optional" is like saying a door charge at a Club is "optional" because people outside waiting in line can actually hear the music for free.  It quickly makes people very cynical, and cynical people are going to complain and object a lot more.

 

THIS is actually what some of the other MMOs will do, to differentiate the  free to play player, from the Premium Subscriber. They put the emphasis on Premium instead of playing words games about "Free".

For instance, Everquest is (I think?) now free to play but Premium Subscribers get a LOT more than the F2P:  https://www.everquest.com/membership

This also means the Premium players get to walk around with a little extra "I'm special and I support my game!" feeling, while simultaneously keeping player populations high. More revenue -AND- more players. 

 

Saying "those freeloaders need to pay their share!" by renaming a 'demo' into supposedly 'free to play' misses the entire point and only gets you back to the same slowly dying population issues we had before.

What happens when the extra boost from the Steam launch begins to fade? What happens when populations start declining again?

The entire point of Free to Play is to expand the player population while still bringing in  even more in revenues.

 

Simply adding a little blurb saying there is an "optional subscription" otherwise is just words words words. In Wurm it's not really all that 'optional'.  What SWOTOR does or doesn't do is irrelevant -- and they actually do a lot more than just stamp the words "optional subscription" on their store page .  You don't get it both ways -- you don't get to call something a "free to play" game and then announce they actually have to pay for the base game. Or rather -- yes, you CAN do that -- and yes,  folks are going to complain.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Brash_Endeavors

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1 hour ago, Brash_Endeavors said:

How would you feel about going to watch a "free movie" only to find out you only get to see the trailer, and the rest is an "optional" $20 ticket?

 

But there are ppl saying that if you offered to clean the cinema toilets, mop the floors and fry some popcorns, you will get the chance to open the screen door to have a glimpse of the movie 🤣

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All of Wurm's valuable content (which is 99% of it) is gated if you don't have premium. 

So no, free to play isn't a good nomenclature for it. It's free to try or free to experience in a limited fashion. But NOT free to play!

 

It should clearly state that "Wurm's middle and end content can truly be experienced if you purchase a subscription. You can freely play but your skills and options are capped without premium. You can play as much as you want without spending a single cent but your experience of wurm will be limited due to it."

 

Anything amongst those lines would offer transparency and diminish the number of negative steam reviews.

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It is definitely free to play.  It isn't a demo, it is merely a limited/capped game if you don't have premium, but you can have premium without paying real-word money.  

 

Anyone who reads "Free to Play" and doesn't expect a subscription based premium hasn't been paying attention to games.  Freemium is an extremely common model.

 

The fact that the premium subscription can be had without spending real money is a distinctive of a few games, Wurm included.  You can play as much as you want without limitation and not spend a cent on it, but you may have to work at it.  

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, TheTrickster said:

Anyone who reads "Free to Play" and doesn't expect a subscription based premium hasn't been paying attention to games.  Freemium is an extremely common model.

 

The fact that the premium subscription can be had without spending real money is a distinctive of a few games, Wurm included.  You can play as much as you want without limitation and not spend a cent on it, but you may have to work at it.  

 

You are right. Free to play actually means restrictions for those that don't pay, however....

 

The severity of those restrictions is what really defines a free to play game vs a 30 minute demo. Can we really call Wurm free to play? You reach the cap so incredibly fast that you can't do anything meaningful without a subscription.

Some games like path of exile offer you a ton of freedom with a free character. Other games just offer you a 10 minute experience before you hit the paywall and realise you can't do anything without $. 

Most of Wurm's content is gated if you aren't paying money.

 

And yes I do have an issue with the phrase "free to play" since honestly it's one of the most bulls*** term in the gaming industry. It basically states "you're free to start paying us money when you realise your entire gameplay experience is gated by a paywall". It's a misleading phrase that honestly should be called out for what it is. You can't use "free" and "paywall" in the same monetization scheme. If Wurm really wants to stand out it should state that its gameplay is severely limited in freemium mode but all its great content can be experienced via a subscription. 

 

The steam page states:

Premium Subscription

Wurm Online is a Free-to-play sandbox MMORPG with a premium subscription. The premium subscription allows you to access such things as:

  • Allowing skill gain past 20, meaning the ability to ride more creatures such as horses, vehicles, and build even larger buildings
  • Increased rare item chance
  • Ability to invite villagers into your settlement
  • And much more" 

 

Basically it should really clarify it's not a free to play game since those sentences actually make up Wurm's entire gameplay. Want to build a good house? Buy a sub. Want to walk faster than 15 km/ph ? Buy a sub. Want to pvp? Buy a sub. Everything is premium related. 

 

My argument is boiled down to this. When 99% of a game's content is gated by buying subcription or not can we really call it free to play? For what? a 1% experience? 

 

Mind you that 1% experience led to 45% negative steam reviews so far, although to be fair some of those were from old wurmians that had a beef with gms or devs. 

 

How do we define free to play then? A gaming experience that let's you play 5% of the game without a paywall? 10% of the game? 15 % of the game? Cause as it stands you can only do about 1% of Wurm's content if you don't buy subscription.

 

Just my 2 coppers right there. 

Edited by elentari

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18 minutes ago, elentari said:

The severity of those restrictions is what really defines a free to play game vs a 30 minute demo. Can we really call Wurm free to play? You reach the cap so incredibly fast that you can't do anything meaningful without a subscription.

 

I disagree. Before I went premium I had a house, a farm, livestock, a boat.  I explored, hunted, looted, terraformed, mined, crafted.  I made coin through foraging and selling rares.  This is hardly only 1%, particularly for a sandbox game - for example, no pvp is no issue for me because it doesn't interest me. In any event after a couple of months of this I THEN subscribed for premium, without spending dollar one of real money.

 

The limitations are circumvented by subscribing, but spending real money is not required to subscribe.  That is the fundamental doubled fallacy in claiming that Wurm is not free to play.  Yes, there are limits on non-premium play, but the game is quite playable within those limits and those limits can be removed without spending money.  Hence - free to play.

 

Having said that, I do think that "freemium" would  be a more honest description for most "free to play" games, Wurm included.   If "winning" was a thing in Wurm, I think a charge of "pay to win" (if paying was the only way to subscribe) would be justified, because premium does indeed give actual advantage.

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The fact you CAN choose to play 100% for free and gain a premium sub without spending real world money means the game is free to play.  There should be a heads up or tutorial that says you need to earn 5/10 silver from other players in order to purchase premium without real currency.

 

 

 

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There is an easy solution to this debate.

 

Go, create a toon and never pay for anything.  Do not let folks know who you are and don't call in favours to help.  ONLY play that toon for a month.

 

Seriously, give it a try.  Then tell us wurm is free to play.  We'll actually consider believing you then.

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15 minutes ago, Etherdrifter said:

There is an easy solution to this debate.

 

Go, create a toon and never pay for anything.  Do not let folks know who you are and don't call in favours to help.  ONLY play that toon for a month.

 

Seriously, give it a try.  Then tell us wurm is free to play.  We'll actually consider believing you then.

 

On the old servers with a relatively broken economy, id agree.  In the new servers you can make 5 silver putzing around in 2 days (especially with cotton early on).

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6 hours ago, Etherdrifter said:

There is an easy solution to this debate.

 

Go, create a toon and never pay for anything.  Do not let folks know who you are and don't call in favours to help.  ONLY play that toon for a month.

 

Seriously, give it a try.  Then tell us wurm is free to play.  We'll actually consider believing you then.

 

Ah, my first two months in the game.  I was given a suit of chain armour, which I packed away as it slowed me down too much, and huge axe, which I likewise stored because I valued having a shield.  Neither of those were calling in favours but were part of the community aspect of the game.  A player offered to take some of my gear to an impalong and bring it back all suped up, but I didn't really know what an impalong was and declined..

 

You issue this challenge like I didn't already answer it above.

 

18 hours ago, TheTrickster said:

Before I went premium I had a house, a farm, livestock, a boat.  I explored, hunted, looted, terraformed, mined, crafted.  I made coin through foraging and selling rares.  This is hardly only 1%, particularly for a sandbox game - for example, no pvp is no issue for me because it doesn't interest me. In any event after a couple of months of this I THEN subscribed for premium, without spending dollar one of real money.

 

THAT was not my first month but my first 2 at least, and I went premium without paying real money for anything.

 

Free. To.  Play.

 

QED.

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7 hours ago, Etherdrifter said:

There is an easy solution to this debate.

 

Go, create a toon and never pay for anything.  Do not let folks know who you are and don't call in favours to help.  ONLY play that toon for a month.

 

Seriously, give it a try.  Then tell us wurm is free to play.  We'll actually consider believing you then.

 

You've pretty much summed up my first month of play back in 2013 or so. I reached my skill cap in a lot of skills at 20 and realised I couldn't do anything.

 

Survive? Needed more than 20 FS.

Ride a horse? Needed body control 21.

Large cart? Mind logic.

Sail a decent boat? Needed premium.

Found a deed? Premium.

Increase my blacksmithing to a decent level so I can imp my stuff? Premium.

Plan a 2 storey stone house? Premium.

I could go on but basically yeah ether is right.

 

Wurm is as much free to play as Mcdonald's is healthy food.

 

Wurm is free to try and free to play in a limited way but not free to play in its purest sense.

 

Unless we change the definition of free to play to = "Free to play means you are free to experience limited content that only reflects part of your overall gameplay experience, which requires a solid money investment in the end."

 

Call me an old timer, jaded and cynical but something is either free or it isn't. If there's any catch to it, then the "free" term is just insulting.

 

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To some extent I support the criticism of Wurm's "free to play" scheme. I played 5 weeks and 3 days until my first premium. Most problems unearthed even after that: When you play a basic account intensely, all your characteristics will hit 20 soon and do not benefit anymore from any of your skill gains. As a consequence, it took me well a week to reach BS and BC 21, and well 3 weeks to get BS 23 for loading.

 

And all the time after a few weeks of playing "free" I was harrassed by ingame messages that I should prem because I reached the skill cap (which, damn, I knew myself). In fact, I was determined to prem, but wanted to collect some silver for prem and deed, before. But extended basic account gameplay was not fun at times.

 

As to the reviews, well. There are three types of negative reviews.

  • First, fair criticism e.g. in the way "nothing for me", several aspects and even flaws of the game addressed more or less correctly. Those reviews are worth as much as positive ones.
  • Second, the spoiled brat type, typically whining how slow, boring and else horrible a game is that cannot be "played through til end content" in a few hours, has no dungeons, and one cannot jump. We can live with and wish those people fun with the abundance of games for their taste.
  • Third, the revenge reviewers. Two main subcategories among them, first, the banned toxic players or rage quitters lamenting injust treatment. Those typically blame power greedy GM and corrupt dev team for ruthlessly banning or destroying. Second, disgruntled WUers resenting discontinuation of content support. Those typically blame the company and the devs for greed or claim that Wurm is going titsup soon. Such reviews were frequent in the beginning, but are fading, new attempts blaming "bootlickers" to comment them down. Seems not that successful, then.

Positive reviews are outweighing the negatives more and more, and increasingly more of the negatives are of the first type. Yet, maybe the free to play scheme should be reviewed by the management.

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The disgruntled Wurmians that are revenge bombing the steam platform is not something I won't get into. I don't know the stories behind them, from the GM or player perspective.

 

However the perspective of WU players is sadly well argumented. I mean support for WU has been withdrawn and it's understandable they feel this way. Wish the team would do something to mitigate those.

 

I rarely see a game at launch have a 50/50 positive/neg ratio.


The steam reviews regarding the premium subscription I think is due to the game's tag "Free to play" and the fact that the text itself for "Premium subscription"  should be a bit more obvious so people don't miss it. I've read many of the reviews, and some people just don't take the 1-2 minutes require to read WO's description on steam.

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5 hours ago, elentari said:

 

You've pretty much summed up my first month of play back in 2013 or so. I reached my skill cap in a lot of skills at 20 and realised I couldn't do anything.

 

Survive? Needed more than 20 FS.

Ride a horse? Needed body control 21.

Large cart? Mind logic.

Sail a decent boat? Needed premium.

Found a deed? Premium.

Increase my blacksmithing to a decent level so I can imp my stuff? Premium.

Plan a 2 storey stone house? Premium.

I could go on but basically yeah ether is right.

 

Wurm is as much free to play as Mcdonald's is healthy food.

 

Wurm is free to try and free to play in a limited way but not free to play in its purest sense.

 

Unless we change the definition of free to play to = "Free to play means you are free to experience limited content that only reflects part of your overall gameplay experience, which requires a solid money investment in the end."

 

Call me an old timer, jaded and cynical but something is either free or it isn't. If there's any catch to it, then the "free" term is just insulting.

 

 You're a jaded and cynical old timer!  😉

 

Everybody insisting that Wurm is NOT free to play keeps invoking premium subscription, but pretends that this equates to having to pay money.  This is simply not true.  

 

Survive?  I died 5 times in my first 2 days, which would have happened even if I had paid for premium up front.  Thereafter I knew to pick my battles, pick my quarry, and note the location of the nearest guard tower.  I survived, free of charge.

Ride a horse? Yeah, this didn't happen until I subscribed for premium, but I paid for my sub with in-game silver accumulated in game, free of charge

Large cart?  Same as the horse, but before that I was using a small cart.  But again, my sub was free of charge.

Sail a decent boat? You mean an advanced boat.  I built and used my own rowboat, and travelled between servers.  Free of charge.

Found a deed?  No I didn't do that, but it was because I didn't have a location picked.  I did not lack the silver.  Free of charge.

Imp stuff?  Define "decent" .  True, I found constant maintenance of structures to be a bit of a pain, but then I joined a village on another server y housand sailed over to set up house - before I went premium.

Plan a 2 story house?  What is a single-story house not part of "real" play?  I have seen plenty of them in-game, are you saying that these people happy to live on one level are not really playing the game?

I could go on, but basically the "not free to play" premise is incorrect.

 

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