Dear Kings Isle,
I really like Wizard 101. It’s a great game, and while I’m quick to point out some of its flaws, you have a great piece of work on your hands. I also appreciate how you address concerns, like your recent revamp of the bizarre Bazaar and the ill-received boss encounter alterations.
I’m especially fond of Access Passes, since my casual gaming schedule makes subscriptions extraordinarily poor value for my money.
I know, some people get great value out of subscriptions, and your current sale price of $60 for a year of subscription is a fantastic value for those who like subscribing.
For the moment, though, my question is merely this: When will Access Pass players like myself get similar bundle value out of Crown purchases? 50% off of the subscription price is a great deal. For a time, there was a bulk bonus for Crown purchases (about 25% maximum, if memory serves), but even that doesn’t match the subscription deal.
Perhaps the fact that Crowns can be used for things other than Access Passes is a problem. Maybe it’s time for an Access Pass sale, then. Yes, that might mean different mechanics to keep those Crowns that would be spent on Access Passes from going elsewhere (though the current Crown gear is underwhelming, to be frank). I believe it would be ideal in the long run, since Access Passes are one of your best ideas.
Why does it matter? Simply, I’ve been on the edge of giving you more money, but at the moment, I’m waiting for a deal. Valve established that bargain sales can be profitable with their price cut on Left4Dead. In a stressful economy, people are more price sensitive.
If you were to sell Crowns at 50% off, like the subscription deal, even for a limited time, I would give you some more money. It’s that simple. An “Access Pass-exclusive” package deal would be extraordinarily enticing. It would be very much like buying a Guild Wars expansion when it went on sale, which I have also done. Of course the margin isn’t as high on sale items, but you make it up on volume *and* on triggering sales that wouldn’t even otherwise exist. Also, when you’re just dealing with bits and bytes, with no real storefront overhead or CDs to press and distribute, those margins look even better.
In the meantime, thank you for making an excellent product, a true gem in the morass of modern MMO mundane design. I wish you the best of luck.
(Scot Silverblade, Balance/Death Wizard currently enamored with Marleybone)