One of the features in DDO's next patch is a new raid, aimed at level six players (a third of the way to the game's cap of 20). I'm concerned that the game's business model might get in the way of what they're trying to accomplish.
Devil Assault In the Details
The stated purpose of the raid is for low level players to learn what raiding is like, in the hopes that they will want to continue. Unlike many other games out there, completing the low level raids while leveling in DDO can be highly rewarding if you are able to find level-appropriate groups. The problem is that the new introductory raid will NOT be free content. It will, instead, be bundled in with the unpopular Devil Assault adventure, which is so underutilized that many players (myself included) never got around to purchasing it even at a price of $1.50. The old adventure has been taken off the market until October's update, presumably because the new price will be higher.
The issue that this particular raid has - and, indeed, any model in which the player gets flexibility into what content they have to pay for - is that the decision NOT to purchase the content is self-reinforcing. When content requires a group to complete, the value of that content depends on the number of players there are who want to run that content with you. That number of players will drop as the price increases.
If the price gets as high as $4.50 - a possibility, as the last three adventure packs have come in at that price, albeit with much more content than one adventure no one wants and a raid - it will be very hard to recommend purchasing access to this new content to anyone who would be missing the numerous more versatile adventure packs in this level range. In particular, anyone who is not that interested in raiding will - and should - stay far away. That defeats the stated purpose of the content - introducing these same players to the raid game.
Offering a deal they hope players will refuse?
In general, the idea of paying for only the content that you personally are going to use has a certain degree of fairness to the consumer. However, you do not want to create a situation where players miss out on content that they would have enjoyed (and hopefully paid for in the future) because they called the developer's bluff on pricing.
If it costs extra to try something that you already think you're not going to be interested in, you've not going to bother. The catch is that you might be wrong - even after half a dozen MMO's, I routinely guess completely wrong on what classes I will like in a new game - and in that case you'd be missing out. Meanwhile, the developers lose because their efforts at providing a new on ramp are wasted, and the other players (raiders in this example) lose because their "newbie hose" dries up.
If that's where the business model is headed, the business model needs some work.