ZAM’s WAR Producer Q&A: Free-To-Play “Endless Trial”
The folks from ZAM sat down with Mythic producer Josh Drescher to talk about the WAR Endless Trial.
Mythic’s new Endless Trial essentially changes WAR’s entire Tier 1 experience (Ranks 1 through 10) to a free-to-play MMO. We here at ZAM think it’s an ambitious move, and a great way to offer potential subscribers the time they need to make an accurate, informed decision; a trial model that many other subscription-based MMOs could learn from. In an effort to learn a bit more about the details of the Endless Trial, ZAM held a Q&A with Mythic producer Josh Drescher. Read on to learn more about the free-to-play trial, as well as the New User Journey that Mythic added to help new players.
ZAM: After trying out various re-enlistment programs and retail box price points, was the Endless Trial the next logical step for WAR? Does the research indicate that “partial free-to-play” models are more enticing to new and returning players?
Josh Drescher: Absolutely. In the wake of our recent 1.3.2 update, WAR is truly better than ever and we want to give people a real chance to come and see the great improvements the game has enjoyed since launch.
Beyond that, there’s always been a concern that time-limited trials force players to have an unnecessarily stressful first interaction with the game. Especially if you’re a more casual player, 10 to 14 days may only be enough time for you to log in once or twice to try things out unless you force yourself to play more frequently. We want players to have time to come to WAR, kick the proverbial tires and try things out at THEIR pace.
ZAM: It seems like a great way to showcase WAR without time limits or obligations; but is it a fully-featured trial, without restriction until Rank 10?
Drescher: The primary restrictions relate to things like the Auction House, mail system, guild control, access to zones outside of Tier 1, etc. These limits are largely intended to reduce opportunities for abuse by spammers, gold farmers and so forth. Beyond that, trial players have access to everything that subscribers can access in Tier 1—including scenarios, RvR and Public Quests.
ZAM: How does the Endless Trial leveling mechanic work? Does it automatically cap players at Rank 10, yet allow them to continue playing in Tier 1 indefinitely, without obligation?
Drescher: Once players reach rank 10 they no longer level. However, they can continue to participate in Tier 1 content such as open RvR, Scenarios and Public quests.
ZAM: Is the Renown Rank also capped at 10?
Drescher: Because your allowable Renown Rank is dictated by your overall Rank, it’s automatically limited as well.
ZAM: Can players still experience all that professions have to offer, up to a certain skill cap? Are there any restrictions on the potions and talismans they can create?
Drescher: Endless trial players can craft potions and talismans; however, their crafting skills are capped at 125 and will only allow them to make items for players level 10 and under.
ZAM: Since players can participate in RvR and the T1 dungeon, is there a limit to the resources they can accumulate, when it comes to things like gear and gold? If not, do all those items carry over if the player decides to become a subscriber?
Drescher: There are no limits on resource accumulation (aside from personal storage space) and everything carries over once a player chooses to subscribe.