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Treat Free Accounts as an Asset to Paid Players


Stratics Veteran
Free player accounts
Treat Free Accounts as an Asset to Paid Players
Have free players fulfill the roles that are typically held by NPCs. Limit the free players skills to only those of say, a brewer, blacksmith, tailor, beggar – those kinds of things. - and don't nerf those skills. You could actually benefit from long-standing free accounts as it keeps your social networking going, and allows you to tempt them subtley with paid content. -- however, they don't need to have access to advanced crafting things like enchanting - that's not nerfing their trade either.

Maybe even allow stealing as a skill as it might make an interesting setup for bands of thieves for players to fend off.

· Limited town guard protection to free accounts. Say only half or a quarter of towns are free player friendly. - maybe only 1 town! -- let them set quests for paid players to accept in order to escort them if they want to get into other towns.

· Quest-giver token that allows them to place a quest-giver in public areas that look well for quest givers like next to a special type of tailoring shop, general store, etc (a bazaar style shop).

· Unique per-month or week condition on their housing that requires they either pay x amount of gold (from selling NPC goods) or that their quest giver dishes out, completes or gets player likes (maybe add likes into the game?), etc for x number of quests – maybe tie in the “bring x number of free players to the game” in here to keep a house up for a while – bring x number of paid players to the game and keep the house for a 6 months?

· token NPC quest giver could give out “customized” – yet templated quests such as: escort the free player or a free player to minoc to mine 50 ore and back without getting killed – or – take my brewed beer to the city and sell it to the barkeep.

· Special mini-fees for free accounts – let them keep the house for 2 bucks a month – if they grow into the free role and really enjoy their setup it might encourage them to take on additional mini-fees or upgrade to the full fee. Maybe even do a $1/month per non-NPC skill you wish to have. – along with the $2/month for maintaining the house.

· Avoid the pay-for-content for full paid accounts approach because I’m not quite sure how well those do, and I haven’t really been a fan of that setup. – However I don’t see any issue with free accounts having to pay for specific content.

· A free-player town or area for these players to build houses, place vendors and quest givers but, I think with the right monthly or weekly or what have you - internal fee structure, it would be safe to allow free players to set up in most of the landscape (except where you want prime real estate for paid players) – as they will be fulfilling a missing NPC element by providing lifelike NPCs.

Imagine: Paid Guilds/guild members might even defend free player houses like they would a town – the guild leader trying to protect goods – and his own free account he uses as his blacksmith.

Going to these towns or defending them would be much more interesting than a town full of drone NPCs from orcs or a faction raid. Structure the game content that a free player has to access to get them to gravitate towards spending their online hours around their free house completing trade-specific mini-quests, workflows, etc, so it looks like NPCs are busy at work hammering out their goods and trading with each other

1 free account = 1 NPC player role, 1 placable NPC house/shop, 1 quest giver token, 1 shop keeper
House requirements one of the following: 2k gold per week, 7 quests delivered per week, bring a friend to a free account for 2 months, bring a friend to a paid account for 6 months
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