Best Pricing Model

I must credit Wizard 101 for having the best pricing model of any MMO. There are no close competitors. First, you have two options: monthly subscription or pay by the area. The former includes not only the standard discount for multi-month subscriptions, but also a family plan for multiple accounts. You have probably heard about this from other reviews, but if you want to play with your kids, you get a per-account price only slightly higher than the per-month fee on a year-long subscription. This seems like a much better offer than a zebra mount.

The pay-by-zone option is what I always thought D&D Online should have been using: buy the dungeons like you would buy pen-and-paper modules. You buy crowns (500-750 per dollar, depending on how many you buy at once), and you can use those to buy zones or for some microtransactions I haven’t explored. $10 gets you the full Wizard City plus a little of Krokotopia. $80 gets you lifetime access to the entire game, with some change left over. If you thought the Lord of the Rings Online™ $200 lifetime subscription option was awesome, how can you beat that? About $20 of that $80 is Grizzleheim, a five-zone “world”; I will let others argue about whether that should be considered a regular update or a first expansion pack. (Pay-by-zone does not pair up with the family account thing.)

Oh, and there’s a non-time-limited free trial.

I have been noticing game cards at the gas station lately, and I see that Wizard 101 has them as well. And they come with an exclusive bonus pet, that’s nice. If you were considering dropping $10 to try a month or the rest of Wizard City, this is probably your better option. Hmm, maybe I will swing by 7-11 sometime and give the rest of Wizard City a shot.

: Zubon

15 thoughts on “Best Pricing Model”

  1. I’ve become a huge fan of the rmt model. The ‘family pack’ is a pretty nice idea with W101. I thought RoM’s setup was pretty good too. If Blizzard would get on the rmt ball I would be casually playing some WoW.

  2. DDO now has that pricing system as well in the upcoming F2P: You can buy those modules you want to play, and they’re priced depending on size/expected time to complete. The game itself is then free, but you can buy convenience items, decorations etc. from the shop.

  3. @Ramon: DDO’s new model goes live August 4, I believe, and DDO will one up Wizard 101, IMHO, b/c subscribers get a small amount of “crowns” as well. So subscribers can accumulate lifetime options too.

  4. Zubon – do you have a friend code you can post? I’ve only started playing due to the comments you’ve made here, and before I buy my first bunch of crowns, wanted to have someone that could benefit from the referral bonus.

  5. @Bhagpuss:
    It all comes down to how much you want to play. If you’re burning through an MMO, then a subscription almost always provides your best value for money. If, on the other hand, you’re just dabbling with the game or playing it infrequently, then RMT is the best option. (I play W101 once per week w/ my godson, so being able to buy zones as we need more content is a beautiful thing).

    Above all though, W101 wins based on the option of choosing how you’d like to pay based on how you’re going to play. (And DDO is set up to kick ass here too.)

  6. I suppose I’m in the minority when I say that I’ve never really had a problem with the subscription model. I’m happy to pay for 1 or 2 MMORPGs a month – I don’t think I could play any more.

    Still, I can see the appeal of having free or cheaper options. It would give me the chance to check out MMOs more frequently and dabble around in them without having to shell out cash until I’ve had a chance to properly play it again.

  7. I do not have a referral code, but anyone else is welcome to toss one up, or a link, or whatever. Let that bonus go to someone who will get more from it.

  8. Jason – I’d post a code for you but from the looks of it you only get a code if you’re on a monthly sub and I’m paying per region/area.

  9. If you click on the “earn crowns” button it will give you a code, and it says that the bonus is 1250 crowns to me if anyone buys $10 worth of crowns or a subscription – that’s what you’re looking for.

  10. oh, nice. 1250 crowns will give you pretty much all of the first area, Wizard City. Thus far I’ve spent 10 bucks on crowns for zone access and one of the exclusive pets…I have an unhealthy obsession with MMO pets.

  11. They are running a sub sale presently. $60 for a full year. It’s a great deal if you get value out of subs. I’m an Access Pass buyer myself, but hey, to each their own. I LOVE that they offer both, and hope that others pick up on the idea. DDO looks like they will benefit from it as well.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, my friend referral code is:

    If anyone is going to use it or Zubon’s, you’ll need to go to this site:

  12. Oh, and the Friendly Dragon pet you get from the referral mechanism gives you an extra, unique card for use in combat. It’s a card that stays useful throughout the game, so it’s no throwaway gift.

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