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Elite: Dangerous Lifetime Season Pass is back!


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#1 Frigidman™

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 01:44 PM

If you are an E:D fan, and missed out on the Lifetime Expansion Pass before, and kicked yourself... well, its back (for a limited time*)!

https://www.frontier...nsion-pass.html

Enjoy!

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#2 macdude22

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 01:49 PM

I got bit by that fraking STO lifetime subscription back in the day. I think I'll be happy to pay expansion to expansion should I even choose to pick them up.

Good to know this is a thing though.
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#3 Frigidman™

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 01:55 PM

Yeah, right now I'm debating if I just go expansion to expansion, or just pick this up. I don't have the base game yet, so buying the lifetime is kind of inviting (as it supposedly grants the base game even if you dont have it). But... but......... I'm still torn. I've not even had hands-on trial testing of it, so I have no idea if I will even LIKE the game! I so wish they had a small tech demo locked to just one solar system somewhere off the live servers. You know, just so you can see how well it runs, and the controls, and visuals and stuff.

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#4 Janichsan

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 02:10 PM

For the current price of the Lifetime Pass, you'd have to be sure that you will be committed to the game for at least the next three years, if you'd want your money's worth.

Whoever makes Frontier's pricing decisions is currently completely out of his mind. I'll go into detail tomorrow, when I have more than two minutes to post.

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#5 Janichsan

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 02:32 AM

Okay, here's the thing: a few days ago, Frontier announced the next big addition (note that I try to avoid the word "expansion" – I'll explain below…), "Horizons", which costs £40 and will be released around Christmas. I don't know the price in US$, but it's the same as the original game. Not cheap, but considering they will basically add another game's worth to the already existing one, understandable. The deal even gets even better since Horizons includes the base game, so as new customer you only need to buy Horizons and get still the whole package (except one ship that is reserved for existing customers).

Sounds good? There is one catch: you won't be able to play anything of this, even the already existing content, until Horizons is released in December.

What if you want to start playing now? Then you'll have to buy the base game – which still costs £40 –, and then plunk down the price for Horizons in addition. There is currently a £10 discount for owners of the base game, so you'd only pay £30 at the moment, but it seems as if this is a time limited offer. And if you have bought the base game on Steam, you apparently don't get this loyality discount at all. So, start playing now, get Horizons, £70–80 altogether.

Alternatively, you can get the Lifetime "Expansion" Pass for £130. (Let's ignore for a second that I got the same LEP for £40 back last year.) You get the base game now, Horizons in December, and all other upcoming major versions of Elite: Dangerous, which according to Frontier will all be similar deals as Horizons, i.e. a price of £30–40, with all previous content bundled. So, in addition to the £70 worth of the base game and Horizons, you already pay now for two more major versions, expected for 2016 and 2017. (You also get beta access to all upcoming versions, if you are so inclined, which is not included in the other offers.)

In summary, as new customer you have currently these options:
  • Pre-order Horizons for £40, but cannot play until December

  • Buy the base game for £40, play now, but do not get access to Horizons

  • Buy the base game plus Horizons for £70 now

  • Buy the Lifetime Expansion Pass for £130, get the base game and Horizons, plus wait another two years until you got your remaining money's worth of content
Be honest: does any of these offers sound really attractive to you?

I mean, I really like Elite. There aren't many games where I put hours of my time into creating things like this in addition to playing the game. Frontier really have a great talent for developing a game.

But they don't fraking know how to sell a game.

So, why is "Horizons" no expansion? Because Frontier has decided that all the point releases so far (versions 1.1 through 1.3) and the two upcoming ones (1.4 and 1.5) are "expansions" – even if some of them were only minor additions to the game, or added things that have been planned to be core features of the game (so expanding really nothing). The current run and Horizons are now "Seasons", each lasting about a year. If you don't buy the next season, you can still play the content of the season you paid for, you'll also get patches, improvements to the core features of the game, and certain minor additions that build on the content of the season(s) you own, but nothing beyond that.

That means for instance that if you don't pay for Horizons, you won't be able to land on planets, and get no access to content related to landing on planets. Makes sense so far. But you'll also miss out on some content that you could also use if you'd only cruise around in space, like the teased looting and crafting system, because it's neither an addition to a core feature, nor builds on previous seasons' content.

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#6 Matt Diamond

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 05:19 AM

Sounds like they can't decide between a subscription model and a buy-once model. The lifetime subscription would be very compelling if the game required, or will require in future, a subscription. But not for a Diablo 3-like game where you buy it and play it forever. (OTOH that type of game can die pretty quick if your expansions, hoodies & whatnot don't adequately fund the servers.)

Pricing can be tricky- you need to get encourage new players without existing players feeling ripped off. But their current tiers are a puzzle, I agree.

Quote

So, why is "Horizons" no expansion? Because Frontier has decided that all the point releases they have released so far (versions 1.1 through 1.3) and the two upcoming ones (1.4 and 1.5) are "expansions" [..] That means for instance that if you don't pay for Horizons, you won't be able to land on (some) planets, and get no access to content related to landing on planets. Makes sense so far. But you'll also miss out on some content that you could also use if you'd only cruise around in space, like the teased looting and crafting system

Having inaccessible content unless you buy an expansion seems pretty normal to me. It's a little strange to treat patches like expansions, unless the point is simply that they don't want different versions playing together? But usually you'd just force all MMO players to get all patches. I guess I'm confused what's controversial with this specific point.
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#7 Janichsan

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 06:13 AM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 07 August 2015 - 05:19 AM, said:

Sounds like they can't decide between a subscription model and a buy-once model. The lifetime subscription would be very compelling if the game required, or will require in future, a subscription. But not for a Diablo 3-like game where you buy it and play it forever. (OTOH that type of game can die pretty quick if your expansions, hoodies & whatnot don't adequately fund the servers.)

Pricing can be tricky- you need to get encourage new players without existing players feeling ripped off. But their current tiers are a puzzle, I agree.
There is a lengthy discussion over at the official Elite forums whether the new "Season" model actually is a sbscription model in disguise, but since you can still play the content up to a certain point without paying up again, I tend to say it isn't. You just don't get radically new stuff.

Quote

Having inaccessible content unless you buy an expansion seems pretty normal to me. It's a little strange to treat patches like expansions, unless the point is simply that they don't want different versions playing together? But usually you'd just force all MMO players to get all patches. I guess I'm confused what's controversial with this specific point.
As I said, it totally makes sense that certain content remains inaccessible without having paid for the new "season". If you can't land on planets, it should be obvious that you cannot partake in planetary fortress assaults, or do not get new wheeled vehicles that are only good for roving planetside.

However, as it stands now, there will also be certain new game mechanics for which this does not make sense, like the aforementioned looting and crafting, which you even could deem new core mechanics. Imagine if you could only craft or access the auction house in WoW if you had a certain expansion.

As to if what Frontier now calls "expansions" aren't actually only patches: they are absolutely nothing but content patches. Up to a few weeks ago, Frontier themselves even called them "patches". This new "expansion" moniker is nothing but semantics to sell you on the new "seasons" concept, which in turn is basically only a fancy way to say that what normally qualifies as full expansion gets released piecemeal.

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#8 macdude22

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 06:49 AM

These lifetime subscriptions (expansion pass?) are just marketing to drum up frontside cash and offer a treat for really hardcore fans. I don't really take issue with it for games that plan on having several paid upgrade/expansions over their lifetime (and I don't see it as exclusive to subscription based games). Maybe calling it a subscription for a game that doesn't have a subscription is not particularly great marketing, I'll grant ye that. I don't see that the pricing is that out of whack here, you want whack, Destiny. Bungie, that game ain't worth half the price.  You, as the ultrahardkorefan are taking a risk that the developer will make good on your "investment", the developer takes somewhat of a risk as well, such that if too many people were to buy the lifetime and not iterative payments they could run into cash flow problems in the future.

It looks like if you don't own Elite and you buy this you get the current base game, and if you do already own Elite you get a slight discount on it and a free ship. That's how I read it anyway, I don't think that's unreasonable, if I thought someone thought they were really really going to be into this game. But my child/work/home filled life precludes that kind of time investment these days. It's a good week if I managed to get the weeds picked in my Animal Crossing town.

The poster child of bad Lifetime Subscriptions was Hellgate London. Shut down in a matter of months, those folks got royally boned.

My beef with the STO lifetime is multifaceted.

While unknown at the time, Cryptic are actually the masters of lying through their teeth. For a long while there was a huge thread in their forums that meticulously detailed development lies from month to month (especially involving the Klingon faction).

When you preordered the game, at launch there was a head start period for preorders. It was advertised during this head start that a lifetime subscription was available that would never be available again after Feb 2nd when the game launched. I should have taken it as a sign from kobol when the game was unplayable for 90% of the head start period, but being the ultra trek fan I am I ponied up my $239 dollars, on top of the $79 I spent on the collectors edition (which they said was going to be a metal case, but was a cardboard case with that faux silver coating). Some short time after launch they reintroduced the lifetime subscription and tried to retcon history with some nonsense of no no no we always intended it to be a permanent thing. That we uhh, removed for a couple of months. And inadvertently issued a press release that said it was a launch special.

Well ok, whatever, more players and money in the game isn't bad for an MMO.

The other problem is THE GAME SUCKED BAD, STILL SUCKS BAD, AND PROBABLY WILL ALWAYS SUCK BAD BECAUSE CRYPTIC. So the game is still up, i still get some sort of benefit for my subscription, but cripes who wants to play that suck tactic grind fest. I've played game.com games that had better combat.

two hundred and fiddly bucks would have bought me a lot of other games I actually would have wanted to play. Maybe after a year your tastes have changed, or you're bored with space combat. I've never understood people's ultra attachment to "insert mom here". where they just invest thousands and thousands of hours in the same game. And feel so attached to that time they can never leave. I need different experiences, I want to play Mario this week, and F.E.A.R. next week, and Race the Sun the week after that. I like a good grindtastic RPG as much or more as the next guy but even then I want to mix them up with different ones after a couple hundred hours. So, even though I like Elite, I'm reticent to put in that kind of money, up front, again for any game. I don't have time to play it enough that I also can wait out the sales that pop up here and there, I don't need to be on the front lines on the releases. No my friends I can wait.

View PostJanichsan, on 07 August 2015 - 06:13 AM, said:

However, as it stands now, there will also be certain new game mechanics for which this does not make sense, like the aforementioned looting and crafting, which you even could deem new core mechanics. Imagine if you could only craft or access the auction house in WoW if you had a certain expansion.

I'll agree with you there. Blizzard tends to walk a proper line of everyone getting game mechanic patches, regardless of expansion account status. Loot and crafting systems seem like they would be pretty hard to not bake into the core game. How do you keep them isolated yet maintain in game trade functions, etc...

Another thing I've noticed is that blizzard has been eventually upgrading you to the previous expansion. My battle.net account says I have Panderia Standard but I never bought it. I wonder if i'll eventually get listed with Draenor after Legions releases.

View PostJanichsan, on 07 August 2015 - 06:13 AM, said:

As to if what Frontier now calls "expansions" aren't actually only patches: they are absolutely nothing but content patches. Up to a few weeks ago, Frontier themselves even called them "patches". This new "expansion" moniker is nothing but semantics to sell you on the new "seasons" concept.

STO does the same thing. There was a time when STO Seasons were set to be BIG expansions with BIG sets of story missions. They were going to do maybe one Season a year with 24 weekly episodes etc..... Well that lasted all of like one S patch. Now they just toss out seasons like dollar gas station sodas. HAVE A WHOLE SACK OF SEASONS WE ADDED SOME MORE GRINDY MARKS. No story. JUST MORE GRINDY MARKS.
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#9 Frigidman™

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 09:03 AM

Actually the price for Frontier is more than the price for the base game. To use the odd GBP its 40 for Frontier vs 30 for base. So in essence for new players, buying JUST frontier, nets you the base game for 30, and the expansion for 10. While prior owners are boned only in that they just get 10% off of 40 (woppin 4 bucks), thus paying more in the long run. But hey, they got to and can still play the base game ahead of time. I see no problem with that.

They also call them expansions on their store. I dont see where the 'seasons' verbiage came from, because its not on the store.

The "Expansion" pass is for all upcoming expansions (and their beta). It also includes the base game to get started right now. So for new players, its a better deal if they plan on sticking with the game for years. For current players, who are just fanbois thrilled with it, they will still prolly pick up the pass.

The USD pricing is wack though, its not on par as with the GBP pricing as I can tell.

Attached File  ed-prices-usd.png   249.08K   7 downloads

So, what does it all boil down to, to me:

1) Frontier can set whatever price they want. They can charge a lot for a game they believe warrants it, and people will pay it if they want it bad enough. It also has the side benefit of making the company a lot of money, while keeping the population down thus reducing the overall overhead in other departments. It doesnt cater to the fly-by-night crowd who just try anything for $9.99... so thats kind of a good thing too to keep the game population to only those who truly care about the game.

2) I don't see myself buying the expansions pass, because I don't even know what the core game is even like. I can be picky, and I cannot see throwing that much money towards something that has not even a small tech-demo to try out first. If it had a tech demo, and I liked it... I might buy the pass.

3) When I buy the base game (either as just frontier and wait till december to play, or just the base game now)... then, and IF for some reason I fall in love with it and see myself wanting expansion after expansion... then by golly, that company deserves me paying for them as they come out and I would ;)

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#10 Janichsan

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 11:22 AM

View PostFrigidman™, on 07 August 2015 - 09:03 AM, said:

They also call them expansions on their store. I dont see where the 'seasons' verbiage came from, because its not on the store.

Main page:
Posted Image

Store page for the LEP:
Posted Image

Official announcement:

Quote

Hello, Commanders

This morning we’re announcing Elite Dangerous: Horizons – another full season of major gameplay expansions for Elite Dangerous, beginning later this year with ‘Planetary Landings’.

Interview with David Braben on PC Gamer:

Quote

“This is the first part of a whole new season of expansions,” says Braben. “In the first season we’ve had Wings, Powerplay, and CQC.* …”

Interview with David Braben on GamesRadar:

Quote

"But the thing to remember is this is not just one thing. When people buy Horizons they buy into the whole of Season 2, the whole set of expansions that you get. The comparison is looking at what we’ve done on the current season - where the game’s come out, we’ve had community goals, we’ve had Wings, we’ve had Power Play, we’ve got CQC coming soon.* … "
(* Community Goals was patch 1.1, Wings 1.2, Power Play 1.3, CQC is 1.4.)

Quote

Actually the price for Frontier is more than the price for the base game. To use the odd GBP its 40 for Frontier vs 30 for base.

Ah, interesting. That's actually a very recent change. When I last checked yesterday or the day before, the prices for Horizons and the base game were still the same.

Quote

So in essence for new players, buying JUST frontier, nets you the base game for 30, and the expansion for 10. While prior owners are boned only in that they just get 10% off of 40 (woppin 4 bucks), thus paying more in the long run.

Frontier's stance on that is actually exactly the other way round: :P

Quote

The deal is the same for both parties. New customers effectively get the base game for the same (or a bit less) than the discount you get for already owning the game.

But maybe to clarify this again: I have absolutely nothing against the £40 price tag for the Horizons expansion/season/whatever (considering the amount of content it will have), or Frontier's plan to release another £40 expansion/season each year, or the £130 for the LEP (especially since Frontier has a 10 year plan for ED – that means that this money will get you 10 years of expansions, if you still play the game then).

The problem is just that the currently available offers for new customers are viewed by me (and at least some others) as really badly thought through. For instance, having instant access to the already existing content with Horizon pre-orders would have been a better deal.

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#11 macdude22

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 11:29 AM

I LOVE THIS DISCUSSION.
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#12 Janichsan

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 11:39 AM

View PostFrigidman™, on 07 August 2015 - 09:03 AM, said:

The USD pricing is wack though, its not on par as with the GBP pricing as I can tell.

Attachment ed-prices-usd.png
Nah, it's pretty much the same, just rounded. £40 are currently $62, £130 are $201, and £30 about $46.

View Postmacdude22, on 07 August 2015 - 11:29 AM, said:

I LOVE THIS DISCUSSION.
Thank you, thank you. We'll be here for your entertainment all night. :P

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#13 Frigidman™

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 12:19 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 07 August 2015 - 11:22 AM, said:

The problem is just that the currently available offers for new customers are viewed by me (and at least some others) as really badly thought through. For instance, having instant access to the already existing content with Horizon pre-orders would have been a better deal.

I agree there. They could do with some different packages for NEW BUYERS. Its almost like they dont care about getting anyone new, and have geared their whole store around existing customers. It is hoorfully unclear and poorly written in places on what exactly IS included. I had to dig for hours to find a definitive answer to "If I'm new, does buying the Lifetime Pass actually get me the base game??? Or do I have to buy the base game, AND the pass?!"... and even to this moment, I keep seeing regulars post one way or the other.

As for the 'season' vs 'expansion' ... again, they have poorly written text on the subject, as in one vein, it clearly says "Expansions" in the product title, while in another they throw in the word "Seasons". So maybe they don't even know what they are talking about.

I do know, they really need to hire a competent web developer (like me) who understands the importance of uniformity, and clarity in content. Not only that, they really need new forum software =p

On a side note:

I'm gonna be buying SOMETHING... just personally, I have no real clue what that is because its all just weird and confusing.

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#14 Frigidman™

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 12:24 PM

On a further side note:

After just cursory browsing the Frontier forums and the Steam forums for this game, and seeing all the whiney bitchy entitled brat fraks bitching and moaning to high heaven about popsnizzle that really doesnt matter... It kind of makes me NOT want to buy the game, because thats the sort of community I would be joining if I did.

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#15 macdude22

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 12:25 PM

View PostFrigidman™, on 07 August 2015 - 12:19 PM, said:

I'm gonna be buying SOMETHING... just personally, I have no real clue what that is because its all just weird and confusing.

I suggest whatever goes on sale for black friday. I'm probably not going to buy the expansion until there's a sale.

So if you pre-order Elite Dangerous: Horizons you get access to the current base game? IS that what you are saying. I agree it is confusing. But not entirely unfounded. I mean Blizzard essentially sells Wow as Pack of all our previous expansions and current expansion. Is Horizon the same way, or if you were buying new today you have to buy Base+Horizons? Get them folks a copy editor.

View PostFrigidman™, on 07 August 2015 - 12:24 PM, said:

On a further side note:

After just cursory browsing the Frontier forums and the Steam forums for this game, and seeing all the whiney bitchy entitled brat fraks bitching and moaning to high heaven about popsnizzle that really doesnt matter... It kind of makes me NOT want to buy the game, because thats the sort of community I would be joining if I did.

On the plus side you don't really ever run into other players, except me, because when you add me as a friend I am going to track you across the milky way.
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#16 Janichsan

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 01:41 PM

View PostFrigidman™, on 07 August 2015 - 12:19 PM, said:

As for the 'season' vs 'expansion' ... again, they have poorly written text on the subject, as in one vein, it clearly says "Expansions" in the product title, while in another they throw in the word "Seasons". So maybe they don't even know what they are talking about.
I think the "Expansions" is mostly a left-over from the time when they actually called these big add-ons "expansions". On the other hand, it's a now a "season" consisting of a multitude of expansions… Anyway, when you buy the LEP, you still get lot of expansions… which are really content patches… whatever…

View PostFrigidman™, on 07 August 2015 - 12:24 PM, said:

On a further side note:

After just cursory browsing the Frontier forums and the Steam forums for this game, and seeing all the whiney bitchy entitled brat fraks bitching and moaning to high heaven about popsnizzle that really doesnt matter... It kind of makes me NOT want to buy the game, because thats the sort of community I would be joining if I did.
I totally agree. The community in the official forums got really bad, which makes me less and less inclined to be active there. Roughly three quarters of the posts there are whining, bitching and complaining. It's no fun. Luckily, you don't have to interact with these people in game…

View Postmacdude22, on 07 August 2015 - 12:25 PM, said:

So if you pre-order Elite Dangerous: Horizons you get access to the current base game? IS that what you are saying. I agree it is confusing. But not entirely unfounded. … Is Horizon the same way, or if you were buying new today you have to buy Base+Horizons?
Yes, you get the base game plus Horizons when you buy it. That's from the description of the Horizons pre-order: "Elite Dangerous: Horizons includes all Elite Dangerous content to date, and all players will continue to fly together in the same galaxy."

However, as I mentioned: when you buy (only) Horizons now, you cannot play any part of the game until it has been released in December. As I said, totally idiotic.

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#17 macdude22

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 01:51 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 07 August 2015 - 01:41 PM, said:


However, as I mentioned: when you buy (only) Horizons now, you cannot play any part of the game until it has been released in December. As I said, totally idiotic.

There is a Beta Horizons package that I see that costs £49.99. I assume if you buy that you get access to the game now. This new trend of early access stuff was bad enough but I've been seeing an increase recently in games that charge you MORE for being a beta tester. What topsy turvy world am I living in. There's early access games on steam now that are charging, but are intending to be F2P on release.

http://store.steampo...com/app/280790/

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#18 Frigidman™

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 02:13 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 07 August 2015 - 01:51 PM, said:

There is a Beta Horizons package that I see that costs £49.99. I assume if you buy that you get access to the game now. This new trend of early access stuff was bad enough but I've been seeing an increase recently in games that charge you MORE for being a beta tester. What topsy turvy world am I living in. There's early access games on steam now that are charging, but are intending to be F2P on release.

http://store.steampo...com/app/280790/

CHU WHUT M8. You used to get popsnizzle like a free copy of the game or other goodies for being a beta slave back in my day. Now you want us to pay EXTRA for the privilege of sending you bug reports?! This is the new normal. No thanks.

Oh god, yeah. They should be paying ME to beta test their stuff, because when I beta test, I DO THE JOB OF A TESTER. Plus the game aint much fun, as you have to routinely replay the same thing over and over, and deal with game wipes, and content/functionality changes. Its not a privilege, but for some unholy reason, game developers these days think it is.

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#19 Janichsan

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 03:36 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 07 August 2015 - 01:51 PM, said:

There is a Beta Horizons package that I see that costs £49.99. I assume if you buy that you get access to the game now.
Also, nope. ;) The Horizons beta starts probably around October/November, and that will be the first thing you'll get access to.

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#20 Frost

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 04:20 PM

$200? Good lord. They better be delivering some monster DLC for that pricetag.
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