SOE Premium Membership Changes

Sony Online Entertainment announces some changes to how premium memberships are handled in a couple of their MMOGs, replacing players' monthly Station Cash allowance with a choice of premium items (thanks Massively). There is a 2014 Membership Benefit Update on the EverQuest 2 Forums and a Customer Service Announcement: Premium Membership on the PlanetSide 2 Forums which outline similar programs for each game. Here's the explanation for PlanetSide 2, their MMOFPS:
The week of February 3rd, 2014 we will be making a very important change to the Premium Membership level in PlanetSide 2. The current benefit of receiving 500 Station Cash (SC) monthly will be replaced with a new program that allows you to select one single item valued up to 2000 SC each month. Nearly all items within the games’ Marketplace will be available for this selection. Players Studio, bundles and additional exclusions may apply. This new benefit must be claimed each month that you are a member as it will not carry over to subsequent months.

We appreciate our customers, especially our valued members, and therefore are excited to bring you this additional value.
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21.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 5, 2014, 18:20
21.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 5, 2014, 18:20
Jan 5, 2014, 18:20
 
Yes I pretty much said what you posted in #1. I just disagree with the conclusion you've come to. 30 days of daily deals and member deals means you got 60 shots of having an item you want come up for half off or better. So 500 SC will buy you pretty much whatever you want when it's on sale, and you'll have some left over. Eventually you'll be able to buy two of the most expensive on sale items (non gold versions) in a month due to the build up of left over SC.

Like I said if it was 2k buy this month and a 500SC roll over if you didn't use it, it would be an obvious upgrade. Right now, unless items become more expensive than 700 an item, it's not going to be as flexible or as useful given time, especially if you don't care about cosmetic stuff.


Now if they give you an item up to 2k SC and the ability to BUY station cash at a big discount up to some amount every so often as a member. Then it be very beneficial for people who want to buy lots of shit on sale, but still get the real expensive items with the one-time thing each month.

But I think they are making this change specifically to combat Station Cash build up for whatever reason...personally I think it's EQN. But it could be the PSN pricing structure needing to be lined up with the PC, etc etc. No idea, don't know how they handle PSN purchases.

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After not seeing any between stages of some of these areas, the walls and barriers really stick out to me. Maybe they'll be less obvious if I played more, but the game hasn't added enough changes for me to be interested enough to continue right now. I'm hoping they add resource gathering next so there's reasons to use more of the map more of the time. Right now with the links and stuff, it's just a few bases most of the day.

Vehicle flip issues were addressed some back in the summer, but it seems like it's worse now than it was. Probably due to some of the map redesign and how tires and what not like to crawl up surfaces you're driving by instead of on. Hell flashes are by far the easiest thing in the game to flip. I've flipped them on open terrain with a slight slope with no visual reason as to why.

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Im betting the engine won't handle water properly. There's a few places in the game that have very small pools of water, if you drive a flash or something that'll fit into them, you can drive on the bottom of the water or even sit under the water on it. No drowning, no explosion, unless it's been fixed. I think those pools of water were on Amerish on maybe the western edge...been awhile ..never much cared for Amerish.
20.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 5, 2014, 17:15
20.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 5, 2014, 17:15
Jan 5, 2014, 17:15
 
Vete;

#1 invalidated the first half of your post by the fact that most items that are not easy to grind certs for, ie 750 and 1000 cert items, were also not affordable with 500SC. Now subscribers can purchase one expensive weapons a month, where before they either needed to wait for a sale, or saved up TWO months of SC.

#2 SOME bases got the wall treatment, right now there is a good mix of bases that are very defensible and some that have very little. I kind of like this approach as it makes fights more random (the name of the base means more then just what type it is) and also puts more pressure on the armor game.

I haven't really seen any purposeful tunneling abuse (btw I run with azure twilight, a super organised outfit that has been running since PS1 days), things are quite organic. Open area flat planes have plenty of access routed while mountains and rocky terrain are a lot more tunnel visioned because the only paths are the paths created for vehicles, much like ANY industrialized terrain.

I feel for armor drivers on the vehicle control and flip issues, unfortunately no 3d engine that exist has perfected it and each and every one of them with vehicles exhibit erratic physics at some point in time.

#3 I do miss the natural water barriers from PS2, it really brought out the VS hover powers. On the other hand that probably was also way to much of a faction perk. You will notice VS MAX no longer has a jet pack, allowing us to perch ourselves in high places was just too overpowered. We still go more continents to bring over from PS1 so I think we will finally see a water based one.
19.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 5, 2014, 08:36
19.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 5, 2014, 08:36
Jan 5, 2014, 08:36
 
This change is not for the players benefit as far as I can tell. Overall it might help a very new account to the game acquire a few things versus just having straight station cash. But in the end, unless they are going to jack up the prices on items or stop doing %off discounts it's taking away options. And it forces you to pick an option every month, where as before if nothing came out, or caught your eye you could save it until something did.

It'd be a different thing if they let you pick up to a 2000SC "thing" (the choices according to the release suck...I bet they allow bundles but they'll be priced to block people getting them more than likely), or if you don't they give you 500 SC. Then it'd be a total upgrade for subscribers.

Which is why I think the whole change is because they've decided to put their "weight" behind Everquest Next, and want to limit your station cash options. To support this, you'll notice they have done almost no station cash discounts in the last 6-8 months and when they did they were MUCH lower than they had been.

And I think they stopped producing content for PS2 not because the players bitched, but because it's engine is used in EQN, and they realized those optimizations will help their future cash cow while being paid for by another player base.


As for my experience with the game:

I basically stopped playing in August. Came back in December for a bit with the new optimization patches.

They have redesigned continents and ruined a lot of the fun in the game by funneling vehicles and people through narrow alley ways, etc. Instead of defensible/sensible bases, they went and stuck walls fucking everywhere. Some of the bases are so maze like now, and let vehicles still drive up into them...but now they are funneled a little more than they were.

Haven't addressed shitty handling of some of the land vehicles and their tendency to just flip on little rocks. No new discussion about the resource gathering they were talking about adding by last September.. Really I haven't seen anywhere where they have discussed the future of the game.

I'd like to see some new vehicles or better utility to a lot of the under used vehicles.


I think one thing they could add to the game that is probably a lot more complicated than Im assuming it is, but would make more difference than you'd assume would be bodies of water. Like rivers/lakes, etc. So hover vehicles could pass over it, then they could give vehicles other utility items to deal with water. Think it'd be kinda fun to have a flash turn into a jet-ski. Since flashes steer like are hydroplaning already.

But if you ever played PS1, and having rivers block most of the vehicles on the ground. Where they either had to shuttle over or go on the bridge...the fights would center around the bridge and it was just a fun fight where every kind of weapon got used. Open field fights now are just........well there aren't really all that many open fields anymore after they got done redesigning the continents. And where they are they have hillsides and stuff that make it really hard to engage on even footing....and they also tend to be out in the middle of nowhere and not on the way to connect bases.


In the end: I am really disappointed by what SOE has accomplished with PS2 in the year it's been out. The Roadmap, damn near all of it has been ignored. Stuff that people didn't want got added, things they did want got purposefully misunderstood.....

Hope someone else comes out with a Planetside alternative, I really don't think it'd be hard to out do SOEs "dedication" to the game at this point. The engine is really the only thing SOE has, everything else is designed pretty poorly. Animations, weapon variety, vehicle handling, menu system, store front, etc....a lot of it is just poorly done.
18.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 5, 2014, 06:43
18.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 5, 2014, 06:43
Jan 5, 2014, 06:43
 
JeffD wrote on Jan 4, 2014, 23:17:
If you had ANY idea what has been going on in the past 2 months you would have realized there has been no new content because of game optimizations. Now they are close to rolling out the PS4 version, there will most def be new content.

Agreed. I was in the beta and...yeah. I didn't play it after launch until the OMFG patch in November. When more patches and sales came after that during the holidays, the population definitely went up significantly. Progress on content according to the PTS seems to be steady, too. That being said, not sure how I feel about the membership changes, although I understand why they're making them.
17.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 5, 2014, 05:33
17.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 5, 2014, 05:33
Jan 5, 2014, 05:33
 
I welcome the update. 500SC a month was balls.
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16.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 5, 2014, 01:43
16.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 5, 2014, 01:43
Jan 5, 2014, 01:43
 
I think I might go back and play some more PS2.. considering I am none too pleased with BF4.

The amount of damage done to the US in the first week alone has to have China and Russia laughing at us.
15.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 23:17
15.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 23:17
Jan 4, 2014, 23:17
 
I am not sure where you are coming with this idea that ps2 is gonna die out... its a FPS..Good FPS games don't die out! Tribes 2/ascend, Teamfortress 2, counter strike, all old franchises that still have people playing today. If you had ANY idea what has been going on in the past 2 months you would have realized there has been no new content because of game optimizations. Now they are close to rolling out the PS4 version, there will most def be new content. They have already started doing new balance passes like the nanoweave nerf which while sucks, does put it on the same level as all the other armors.

Ps2 will always be a game I go back to because it does not require that I keep doing dailies.. raiding for gear, or even level up.
14.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 22:17
14.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 22:17
Jan 4, 2014, 22:17
 
JeffD wrote on Jan 4, 2014, 20:53:
Warmblue, I wouldn't consider the 2x/3x SC sales a success. It was probably a quick attempt to get interest generated in the game but when I hear about how many people now have more sc then they know what do do with from those sales, that does not sound like a successful move that they would want to repeat again. Hence the % off sales.

Don't forget too, SC is not just planetside 2. more 2x/3x sales cheapens the value of SC over all SOE games.

It was a quick attempt at something, that's for sure.

The PS2 team can decide on item prices and other things specific to the PS2 marketplace - they really showed that off with the 1SC / 99SC sales over the holidays. But actual money transactions are strictly the call of SOE's marketing and accounting. That's where this is coming from.

I don't think they expected PS2 to have nearly as much player retention as it did. The entire thing was sloppy from the start and SOE admitted that PS2 was far more successful than they expected. If you're planning on a short product lifespan then selling hordes of virtual currency on sale makes sense - you want people to spend a lot before they uninstall and leave for good.

While a lot of people have indeed left the game, as you say now they're stuck with PS2 lifers with huge piles of fake money that is usable in their next big title at the start - and that no doubt means lost profit to the bean counters who were counting on virgin accounts buying buckets of StationCash. Now they're telling everyone that the big SC sales and monthly allowances have to stop and the devs need to do whatever they have to for damage control.

Hopefully the PS2 team comes up with something better than this stock default memo. They're fishing for feedback and ideas all over the place, and it's clear the dev teams can tailor the new plan to their game. DCUO for example is going to give 500 loyalty points or whatever, which will function identically to SC except it will be limited to the DCUO item shop. In other words, nothing will change except the SC can no longer transfer to SOE's other titles - thus cleaning up that nasty potential lost profit.
13.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 20:53
13.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 20:53
Jan 4, 2014, 20:53
 
Warmblue, I wouldn't consider the 2x/3x SC sales a success. It was probably a quick attempt to get interest generated in the game but when I hear about how many people now have more sc then they know what do do with from those sales, that does not sound like a successful move that they would want to repeat again. Hence the % off sales.

Don't forget too, SC is not just planetside 2. more 2x/3x sales cheapens the value of SC over all SOE games.

Reagle, just die. Throw your computer in the trash and never speak again.

12.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 20:42
12.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 20:42
Jan 4, 2014, 20:42
 
DG wrote on Jan 4, 2014, 20:21:
The best part of all this is it is most likely just an example of how incompetent they are. They probably actually think it is a better deal. If you don't actually think it through, if you are bit short on smarts, it is easy to see it as a better deal. If you only take a short subs and play casually it may well turn out better.

Their intentions for the change is likely that someone realised that they are giving player studio (fan made) content creators 40% of the sales price but everyone gets the SC in the sub or when SC is on sale. Oops! There is probably also some internal shit regarding subscribers for one game using the SC on a different one.

This incompetence runs right through the game at every level. Man, fuck me this game can be awesome. EPIC. But SOE do not seem to know what they are doing. Every update there's some incredible disaster proving there is no QA. Balance changes are probably done on a spreadsheet by some intern using bad data; I'll still say they fuck it up from incompetence and not bait-and-switch shit to get you to buy different gear, or pay to beta test for PlayStation4, but I've given a ton of goodwill towards that and it is wearing thin to say the least. The game is supposed to be on some 3 year development but 14 months in we've got one new vehicle, a bunch of weapons and cosmetics (to buy), and the rest has been a lot of fixing. Well, we got the "alert" sub-game but this is a band-aid for the lack of meta and continent-locking which is coming eventually.

I think there's plenty of competence on the money making end. It seems like shit because they're doing the absolute minimum they can to keep people paying. With an 18 month concept-to-launch development cycle I think PS2 was meant to be a quick cash grab, and then it became popular and SOE is stuck trying to keep a half-ass job afloat that they planned to abandon fairly quickly after launch.

There haven't been any 2x/3x SC sales anywhere in the SOE network since spring 2013. They started screwing with the daily deal discount % in December. Now they want to pull out on the 500SC monthly allowance and replace it with a one-item voucher that is going to exclude most of the items everyone wants right now - player studio cosmetics. It's the same bullshit all the other big companies are pulling. Deliver as little as possible with the highest pricetag consumers will take.
11.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 20:21
DG
11.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 20:21
Jan 4, 2014, 20:21
DG
 
KS wrote on Jan 4, 2014, 15:40:
Are there things that cost more than 2000? Basically, are they stopping people from saving virtual cash for several months to buy "really" good stuff, thus forcing them to pay for it?

Kind of a slap to P2P people.
You're on the right track but going in the wrong direction

The most expensive items in Planetside 2 are 700SC, with the exception of a couple of bling gold versions (functionally identical to a 700SC version) which are 1,000 and a couple of cosmetics. There are also a lot of much cheaper items, not sure on numbers but as an indication on items that matter (weapons) say roughly one third are 250, a third 500 and the rest 700. (I'll note there is no obvious logic for the price differences, there is absolutely no reason to assume a 700SC gun is better or objectively preferred than a 250 one.)

There are some bundles which are north of 2,000 sure but bundles are excluded from the voucher.

So basically, there is a limited number of 700 and 500 SC items and no reason to assume you'd want them over the cheaper versions anyway. Whilst you can now get a 700SC item each month whereas before it would take a month and a half, you're going to stop winning against the old 500SC grant pretty quickly into your sub.

But, haha, the base price is besides the point anyway. Every day there are 2 items on sale - historically half price, but recently this changed to be about 1/3 off. AFAIK everything turns up in the sale rotations eventually. There are also some bundles which are much better value - sometimes even better than a 50% sale price - and bundles are excluded from the "up to 2000SC" coupon. There can also be one-off sales over holidays or whatever, with entire ranges on sale or even cheaper.

Provided you are patient, the average price is (or was) far lower than base. I have just about everything for my main faction (and a some for alts) and with the exception of the first item, I never paid any more than 350SC and the average was probably around 250.

The best part of all this is it is most likely just an example of how incompetent they are. They probably actually think it is a better deal. If you don't actually think it through, if you are bit short on smarts, it is easy to see it as a better deal. If you only take a short subs and play casually it may well turn out better.

Their intentions for the change is likely that someone realised that they are giving player studio (fan made) content creators 40% of the sales price but everyone gets the SC in the sub or when SC is on sale. Oops! There is probably also some internal shit regarding subscribers for one game using the SC on a different one.

This incompetence runs right through the game at every level. Man, fuck me this game can be awesome. EPIC. But SOE do not seem to know what they are doing. Every update there's some incredible disaster proving there is no QA. Balance changes are probably done on a spreadsheet by some intern using bad data; I'll still say they fuck it up from incompetence and not bait-and-switch shit to get you to buy different gear, or pay to beta test for PlayStation4, but I've given a ton of goodwill towards that and it is wearing thin to say the least. The game is supposed to be on some 3 year development but 14 months in we've got one new vehicle, a bunch of weapons and cosmetics (to buy), and the rest has been a lot of fixing. Well, we got the "alert" sub-game but this is a band-aid for the lack of meta and continent-locking which is coming eventually.

I could go on and on but I've written a wall of text and probably put anyone off the game already.

This comment was edited on Jan 4, 2014, 20:28.
Avatar 14793
10.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 19:58
10.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 19:58
Jan 4, 2014, 19:58
 
So they finally went pay to win. Figures
DON'T LIKE MY COMMENTS?!? THEN STOP RELEASING GARBAGE.
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9.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 19:40
9.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 19:40
Jan 4, 2014, 19:40
 
As a subscriber since release, I don't think this is a bad change. However, I do think the game is circling the drain. In game changes come at a glacial pace. Nothing new or significant has been added in months. MLG just isn't happening. Even though MLG is taking forever to get off the ground, SOE refuses to support the community that has supported the game since the first Planetside. It's a sad end to a great game.
8.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 19:21
8.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 19:21
Jan 4, 2014, 19:21
 
nothing more then 2k.. and since it sounds like they intend to put limitations in, I bet the guns that are 1-2k SC and only purchasable by SC are not going to be allowed to unlock by the subscriber ability.

And those 2k weapons are nothing special, just another family of machine guns with their perks and flaws.
7.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 15:40
KS
7.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 15:40
Jan 4, 2014, 15:40
KS
 
Are there things that cost more than 2000? Basically, are they stopping people from saving virtual cash for several months to buy "really" good stuff, thus forcing them to pay for it?

Kind of a slap to P2P people.
6.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 15:27
6.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 15:27
Jan 4, 2014, 15:27
 
Ozmodan wrote on Jan 4, 2014, 14:09:
Additional value. LOL! Instead of allowing you to use your station cash as you please they are being magnanimous and giving you choice of ONE item? Sounds like a huge downgrade if you ask me.

Way to stick it to your playerbase SOE!

It is great in some ways, and not so great in others, it depends on if you are a person who takes advantage of deals of the day. For the impatient joe, this is a good thing because many items cost more then 500sc, especially if you restricting yourself to 1000 cert weapons and cosmetic stuff (Spending SC on 250cert gear is just stupid). So in this case you could get 3 items where under the old system you would only see 2, and you wold need to wait for the second and third month.

On the other hand if you were like me and only purchased things when they were on sale %50 off, you could net a number of items, more than 3 in some cases. This really came to fruit when I had about 2k sc saved up just from the monthlies and for Christmas they had different sets of weapons and gear %50 each day, and each day one item was only 1sc. Under the new system only people who paid cash for SC upfront would be able to take advantage of the sales. It really separates the subscribers and the SC purchases up even more.

Also SC is not limited to planetside, so it effectively keeping planetside's money out of other games like the upcoming Everquest NEXT.
5.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 14:09
5.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 14:09
Jan 4, 2014, 14:09
 
Additional value. LOL! Instead of allowing you to use your station cash as you please they are being magnanimous and giving you choice of ONE item? Sounds like a huge downgrade if you ask me.

Way to stick it to your playerbase SOE!
4.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 14:05
4.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 14:05
Jan 4, 2014, 14:05
 
The Half Elf wrote on Jan 4, 2014, 13:27:
If the store is like trek onlines then it's a much better system, as it is now in trek, 500 Zen doesn't buy much of anything.

How many zen do you cost?

Tickling
"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
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3.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 13:42
3.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 13:42
Jan 4, 2014, 13:42
 
Yeah 500 SC wasn't much. I've been enjoying PS2 quite a bit lately. It's been my go-to game when I want to play an MP shooter. If you haven't played it in a long while try it again. It's good, but obviously not at 4am when the servers are devoid if players.

Perpetual debt is slavery.
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2.
 
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes
Jan 4, 2014, 13:27
2.
Re: SOE Premium Membership Changes Jan 4, 2014, 13:27
Jan 4, 2014, 13:27
 
If the store is like trek onlines then it's a much better system, as it is now in trek, 500 Zen doesn't buy much of anything.
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