:(I have to voice my opinion about the cost of crowns and the price of items is terribly expensive. $25 for 13,000 crowns is too expensive, and then the cost of pets and or clothing, staphs, etc etc is just simply ridiculous. 13,000 crowns doesnt get you very much, please consider making items less expensive allowing crowns and gold to buy more items to make character stronger or add more to character strenght for battles. The cost of dying clothing is out of this world expensive.....I want to continue to buy items but with the cost so expensive I probably will not make any more purchases, please consider the fact that a majority of payers are kids and how does wizard 101 expect parents or children to be able to purchase items with the cost being so high
1) Make Wizard City (Unicorn, Golem, Cyclops, Triton, Firecat) free to access. Colossus, and Krokotopia and beyond would require a subscription.
2) Eliminate the option to unlock areas with crowns. Getting to areas past Wizard City would require a subscription.
By putting those together, players would have a better chance to decide if they liked the game well enough to subscribe to it. Also, since crowns wouldn't be factored into unlocking areas, their use would be limited to buying items and certain services. This would allow KingsIsle to price their crowns differently.
3) Crowns would be on a 1,000/$1 basis, with a $1 processing fee per purchase.
The processing fee is necessary, because the most merchant processors (in KingsIsle's case, the company that handles the credit card sales probably charges a per-transaction fee. While that fee probably isn't as high as $1, the $1 transaction fee will stop silly requsts for such as 1,000 crowns, and it will also encourage people to buy more crowns per puchase to avoid multiple transaction fees.
This benefits the customers by making purchasing a lot more flexible. Somebody who wanted to buy one or only a few things (i.e. a mount or a house) could spend exactly what they needed, without needing to purchase unnecessary crowns. It would also allow people who may want to buy a lot of crowns items, but who are on a budget, to buy them as they go, in multiple purchases and still get the same per-crown price as those with deeper pocketbooks. The multiple purchasers would have to pay multiple transaction fees, but they would be able to get things as they went at the same per-crown price as everybody else.
This benefits the company, too. If crowns are cheaper, people are going to buy more of them. More people are going to buy crowns if they can get 10,000 for $11, than they would if they get 5,000 for $10. Also, if the price of the crowns is consistent, regardless of how many are bought (not counting the transaction fee), people are more likely to buy crowns more often, as they need them. It's easier for a customer to spend $11 six times, over a period of time, for 60,0000 total crowns, than it is to fork over the full $60 at once for 60,000 crowns when they're on sale.
KingsIsle would lose some revenue from those who would pay the higher prices anyway, but they'd gain much more revenue from those who won't pay the higher prices and/or don't want to buy in bulk to save money . Also, people who complain about crowns being too expensive will have less to complain about. As a result, the game will get more person-to-person recommendations, and business could increase that way.
One word of warning. It would be a dirty trick if KI lowered the price of crowns and then upped the price of the crowns-only items themselves. The crown-prices of items needs to stay fixed.
I believe that Wizard101 is free for Wizard City, excluding Collosus Blvd (I know the spelling is wrong, sorry!).
As for the crowns, they are not necessary to play this game. They make it nicer, yes, but it's not necessary.
I enjoy using my crowns, and I work for the money to be able to purchase them. There are times when I have used crowns to unlock areas (which unlocks them for the entire account, not just that wizard) and it's nice, for when the subscription renewal comes around, and I simply don't have the money to renew the subscription on that day, but do have crowns to unlock an area, or I can load up a wizard that is in an area that is already unlocked.
I would like, however, a way to see what areas we have unlocked with crowns, so I know :) I forget which ones I have unlocked :)