Backlash II: The Sequel — You Really Can’t Please Everyone

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Daybreak Cash, EQ2, Free-to-Play (EQ2X), Player Studio

eq2forums-burn4

Last Friday, SOE announced changes to their Subscription services, replacing the 500 SC/month allowance for having a Gold Subscription in any of SOE’s games with a monthly voucher to buy ONE item per game, up to 2,000SC, to exclude Player Studio, “bundles“, and an unknown array of other items, presumably “Services“, Experience items (280AA bauble), and expansion unlocks like Mercenaries. Players who buy a number of 100-200SC items would have lost out with the deal, as the voucher only applied to a single item with exclusions. And while it’s a small pool of players, Vanguard players on an All Access subscription would have gotten nothing out of the deal.

Yesterday, SOE President John Smedley halted these changes, bringing back the 500SC/month allowance (although it must now be claimed once per month), and went further, cutting the price of a multi-game All Access subscription from $19 to $15 and applying a 10% reduction in all Marketplace prices for Subscribers. And all was right with the world.

Except…It seems there were some players who were excited about the “one item per month up to 2,000SC” deal, but didn’t say so. I’ll let the quotes speak for themselves

from Kaeros:

Wow, that’s incredible. A bunch of people just b & m’d the entire community out of 4 times the rewards. Way to go forums.

Personally all the people I play with were pretty hyped about the new version once they said they were looking at bundles and player studio items being back on the table for it.

Stick to your guns Sony!


from DrunkenShaman:

Wow, you try to hand people a great deal and they spit in your face.

A free item worth up to 2000sc in every game every month and you people whine until you lose that and get your 500sc back? I would rather have the potential of 20 to 40 dollars(or more) worth of merchandise then $5 that i can do with what i please when i please. Ya your giving up a little freedom, but IMO it was well worth it.

I can see if you only play EQ2 or PS2 then you don’t really care, and it looks the majority of SoE players are one game only peeps. That’s a shame, I for one will be playing EQ2, PS2 and DCUO for sure with this change.

Too bad the community just ruined a great potential deal for those of us that do play all the games. EQNL and EQN can’t come soon enough!

from Kellden Darkleaf:

Seriously??? I am a lurker on these forums and it is because those “vocal” folks would eat those of us, who were actually pleased with the proposed change, for lunch. Reading through ALL of the posts on all 3 threads during the last two days, I sat here scratching my head at this group that will not be happy with any changes and their affinity to complain for the sake of complaining. I am not insinuating that you are one of these folks as I do not know you but go back and re-read what was being posted and think if you were on the side that actually liked the changed—would you have waded into that mess?

from Treysar:

I personally like the original option better its more value for my buck and screw the nut jobs that cant see it. so i want all you who voted for this 500 option and screwed me into having to wait 4 months per item to buy me 1500sc per month to cover the items I cant get now =p

from Warriorpoetx:

Bah, the Voucher was so much better … I am not one who uses the store to enable easier play in the game. So a once a month big purchase would have been so much better. Sitting on 500sc each month for say 4 months to get a 2000sc item is just ungodly long. Thanks to you big-mouthed forum folks who just basically sobbed away a far better deal for the majority of us.

Should have done in-game polls … forums are often far more crowded with angst-riddled types that do not represent the majority

At this point, the thread decended into a tit-for-tat between players as they split into two camps — those who want 500SC/month, and those who want the “2000SC voucher” — each representing themselves as speaking for the majority of players. Rather than post my own summary, I will leave that to players with more patience than me:

from Jojo:

It’s interesting how all the members who (no doubt silently) approved the previous plan regarding the station cash are now coming out of the woodwork to complain now SOE have changed their mind about that proposal. lol

To those who had approved the proposed change, you had a chance to voice your opinion in the original thread, which you didn’t. 90% of the posts were from people who were against the “use it or lose it” one-item voucher idea, and Sony took note – which to their credit is commendable of them (and probably sensible! lol).

from Pipsissiwa:

A whole weekend and a 50+ page thread asking for feedback and NOW those who preferred the original deal pipe up. Feedback doesn’t mean only negative reactions – maybe this is a lesson in taking 5 minutes to support new ideas you like just as many others took 5 minutes to oppose them. OK, so not everyone was able to, but that goes for those on both sides of the debate, and overwhelming numbers opposed this one. Never assume that because you are happy everyone else will be – its just like real world politics in that respect.

I personally much prefer the flexibility of 500sc to spend as I see fit, on many small items or things like insta- rezz, or save for larger. The 2k would have better only if it was actually 2k, not one item only, otherwise its only “4x the reward” IF you buy a high priced item every month. And there are a limited number of those once the hinted at exclusions applied. Also remember, if you didn’t spend it it didn’t stay on you account, it vanished, unlike the 500SC, so if there was nothing you wanted, you would have to choose something you don’t want or lose the 2k that month. This way you will get the SC and can buy when you see fit, no pressure selling.

Still reserving final judgement until I hear what the plan is for Europeans, especially those of us playing EQ2 on grandfathered SOE accounts. Hoping SOE don’t open another can of worms there…

File this under “We should really consider all the permutations and consequences of a change before announcing it to the playerbase, and if possible, get their feedback FIRST before ramming through an announcement on a Friday.” That said, we have to give kudos to SOE for listening to at least half (?) the players and making such a quick turnabout!

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Comments (27)

  • Anaogi

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    /sound of head colliding repeatedly with desk

    Reply

    • Darsch

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      I would like to point out that the whole ” If you liked it you should have spoke up sooner” argument is somewhat misguided, Not everyone that liked or disliked it saw it over the weekend. When i am working, I usually work 16 hours shifts Friday – Monday so i typically would not have seen any of this until today. Just so happens I am currently getting a nice long break until work starts up again for me so i was able to chime in in support of the proposed changes ( was a great benefit to me and would have served me great for a couple of years depending on what the final items available would have been, now we will never know)

      Reply

  • Caela

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    After a few months, those liking the 2000SC deal would by “b & m”ing about nothing left to buy… or what a bad value it was…

    I’m not sure how many high value items are on the Marketplace – it wouldn’t take long to grow bored with the selection and be at ZERO SC to buy stuff with since I wouldn’t want anything left for 2000.

    Bah. Suck it up. 500SC has been the norm. No one was complaining before the announcement that they didn’t like it. If it’s good enough last week, it’s good enough this week.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    Planetside 2, Smedley’s baby, has even less high ticket items on the Marketplace. Most of the PS2 items are 50-250SC.

    Reply

  • nefa

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    If SOE read the feedback in forums and here and made changes because of that feedback I probably would have responded.. one way or the other.
    WIth the continued problems on the PVP server, Warfields not working, players sitting in BG and ruining the server , etc… I would think SOE might have changed things based on player comments .. but they don’t.
    Futile. It all feels futile and worthless.

    Reply

  • Jrral

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    The people who buy lots of low-priced items (eg. for decorating) won’t like getting a grant for a single purchase because it looks like it’s wasting a lot of SC. The people who buy a few high-ticket items won’t like a grant of a low amount every month because they have to wait to accumulate enough for one purchase. And a grant of a large amount every month makes it so nobody has to buy SC and SOE doesn’t make any money. If you stick to SC only it’s a no-win situation: people are going to complain either way, so pick a path and go.

    If it’s possible to go beyond SC (eg. the goblin gold prizes that’re priced in both SC and GG), I’d grant one special token every month that could either be traded in for a certain amount of SC or could be used to purchase a single eligible item. That’d allow both ends of the spectrum to have it their way. You’ll still get people complaining that their favorite item isn’t instantly available, but sometimes life requires you to be patient and save up.

    Reply

    • Froak

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      10billion times agree, whatever happened to choice? couldn’t they offer a single item up to 2000 or redeem 500SC

      Reply

  • Wilhelm Arcturus

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    This is one of those things where the final deal, had it been the first thing they announced, would have been pretty much all win. But they had to do a very public set of iterations on their ideas which has managed to leave a pile of people feeling like they got robbed, despite most people being better off when comparing the start point with the end result.

    And, in the end, do the incentives for being Gold or All Access sell subscriptions, or would the people who really love a given SOE game subscribe anyway?

    Or, to flip that on its end, would anybody who rage quits over this change really be somebody all that into the game in the first place?

    There are lots of things to like or dislike about the games in the SOE stable, but the idea that the Station Cash incentive is going to change my view of any actual game or make me start or stop playing seems kind of silly.

    Reply

  • Redfred

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    When you introduce SC, F2P, P2W and any number of other incentives then try to standardize them across all your titles and realise that it will screw your new flagship AAA titles, you have a big problem.

    I think this is where Sony finds itself right now and I don’t envy them trying to sort it out. Should have kept it all separate really!

    Reply

  • Pipsissiwa

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    I’ve been banned for 3 days now – apparently speaking the name PSS1 three times is an offense. According to the mods asking about them is ‘nonconstructive’. Not for others like Seffrid and Trevy tho , it seems.

    It’s quite funny – I get banned and for once I am actually supporting SOE.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Welcome to the club!

      Reply

    • Kruzzen

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      Yea, SOE Moderation is a bit wacky, looney toon style, lol.

      Reply

      • Pipsissiwa

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        LOL ty :) I’m in good company then. I remember getting a ban back then for objecting to your ban Feldon – solidarity! :)

        It’s a bit daft as Smed refers to the Europeans in his ‘letter’ – you’d think it would be ok to ask about it. He doesn’t name the company tho, maybe SOE are trying to get people to forget who PSS1 are.

        I’m always careful and polite in my posts too, so who knows what upset those mods – maybe they don’t understand me because I’m an alien from another continent ;)

        Reply

        • Darsch

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          you got banned O.o. WTFH.
          I had several comments back and forth with you, and the way i see you were always constructive.

          Reply

  • dWhisper

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    It strikes me far more that there are just people that want to complain. I would have been happier with the grant if it had wider application, but would prefer the cash on things like Player Studio and services without it.

    And unlike a lot of studios, they did actually lay out some of their reasons, which I give them credit for (even if they didn’t just come out and say “because we monetize it all), even if I may not agree with them all.

    Though i’m willing to bet that Plan B was laid out before hand, given how quickly they turned around on it.

    Reply

  • Zzzz'z

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    Goes to show SOE shouldn’t piss off the PAYING customers…..bottom line is FTP and Silver already get far too much for virtually nothing so the reasons for remaining or becoming Gold is shrinking away day by day …I still think they need to re-evaluate what they give PAYING players versus the others.

    Reply

  • bhagpuss

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    @Zzzz’z Aren’t most of us both, like drivers are also pedestrians? I’ve had an All Access account since they were invented but I also have several Silver accounts.

    On the PSS1 thing, where does this leave those of us on Access, going forward? Last I remember there was an agreement that Access accounts would continue to be honored by and paid to SOE not PSS1, at least until such time as PSS1 could offer an equivalent. With this change there will effectively no longer be an Access level of subscription so how does that promise stand?

    Either way, it’s going to save me money. Either I’ll be paying SOE the new, cheaper rate or I’ll be playing as a free player from now on.

    Reply

    • Pipsissiwa

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      That’s basically what I asked about and got banned for being unconstructive. Whilst I find it quite funny to get banned on the one occasion in my whole life I’ve been happy with and defending SOE, it also makes me nervous as to why it was such a twitchy subject – just what did I say…….

      Reply

      • Redfred

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        I suspect that the PSS1 players are not gonna be too pleased with the outcome of all this and you shouldn’t have been trying to open that can of worms :)

        Reply

  • Narsikus

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    Thanks for this article – I got a good kick out of reading it. I was one of the ones who was very disappointed in the change to the 2000sc voucher. I went on the forums and submitted my feedback in a constructive manner.

    I also read through the countless other posts of people who were also against the change. I read a lot of funny comments that day, but I literally don’t remember one post of someone who was in favor of this voucher. It is amusing to see them crying now.

    I’m actually very happy with Smed and SOE right now and very much look forward to my gold membership becoming an all access one. Now how many times have I been able to say that over the years???????

    Reply

  • Greed

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    These people want to be able to sell the 500SC over getting free large items… I really hope the people at SOE see that and change the free 500SC to something that will make what you buy with them be account bound only (Can not gift the items from the free 500SC per month – Almost make it HAHA_Srew_You_SC) so people can not sell the items they buy with the SC for plat or even real money

    Reply

    • Redfred

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      That is plain wrong. I would never buy SC and I ever have agreed with it or the fluff items. It’s not something I would ever have a heart attack and ragequite over though. I saved all mine last year and gifted a reindeer to my gf. Your ‘pound of flesh’ attitude would have prevented me from doing that. Who is anybody to say what other people can and can’t do with something that is legit saved?

      Reply

  • Madcat

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    so they remove goblin ticket and offert 2000 SC then get back to no goblin and 500 SC we have lost something in the deal…

    Reply

  • striinger

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    SOE’s only win on this would have been to announce that the double token stuff is being made permanent and 10% discount is the market without restriction in exchange for the 500 SC perk. Just take the SC stuff out of play entirely and give it a couple of months to let the winning settle enough to see the ongoing impact.
    Would you trade 500SC you get for free each month for double tokens and a 10% discount on everything? How about triple tokens? How about free merc unlocks? What’s your REAL (not inflated) price to make the change happily (or at least silently)? We all have one.

    Reply

  • Wyldbeast

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    On the part of why did i not whine because everyone was whining about it. Well who knew they were going to change it back until they did. I liked the change so i saw no reason to whine about it.

    Reply

  • Obuna

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    It seems to me that we have two basic camps here. One camp likes big ticket items, and would have loved the 2k voucher good for a single item (exclusions apply). The other camp rarely buys big-ticket items, preferring low(er) priced items, so the 500SC deal (with no exclusions) is a better deal.

    I will admit, I am in the second camp. If I really want a big ticket item I can use SC I have saved or actually buy (!) more SC to cover the difference. With the proposed 2k voucher, there were too many limits for my likes. The value of the 2k voucher could not be extended with additional SC to buy a 21k-35k item. The 2k voucher could only be used for one item, whether that item costs 50SC or 2kSC, or anything in between. The 2k voucher was a “use it or loose it” deal, so no chance of saving up for a big item.

    Given all those limits, the 500SC (where I can use it and / or save as I decide) is a much better deal.

    As always, this is just my personal opinion.

    Reply

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