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Free-to-play phobia?

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by Rub'Rum, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Rub'Rum

    Rub'Rum Hates acronyms

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    I seem to have a problem with most "Free to play" games. Although I guess most of my complaints apply only to MMO style games?

    I'm kind of a "everything or nothing" guy. I don't really like to compromise. Of course, most Free to play games will have you compromise. Often you won't be able to access to certain content if you don't pay, and that, to me, is a no-no, even if it's just cosmetic, as it plays on immersion seeing the other players compromising ("Oh look, an obvious bunch of free-to-play guys"). Okay I guess I can become a paying customer right? But am I interested in being in a game populated with over 50% not paying a cent and playing the same, say, 4 races, 4 classes, and wearing the limited suits of armors, or I don't know what? I might as well go out, pay, and play in a real world full of payers that have access to everything.

    In a way, I'd rather see free-to-play games throw advertisement at me, than dabble with gameplay and content. Although it seems some games are odious enough to do BOTH (cut the content AND throw ads at you, gee thanks).

    What if a game you like BECOMES free-to-play mid-life cycle? Suddenly, an influx of low diversity characters population comes into the game and well, I don't know how many of them will actually buy stuff, but... Eh.

    I think it's my "everything or nothing" attitude that makes me stay away from them. I guess I have enough income and enough games to play not to bother with games that will have me compromise.

    Just a personal angle thrown out there. There must be Free-to-play games where a lot of my complaints don't apply. I hope so.
     
  2. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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  3. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    The only F2play games where your complaints wouldn't apply would be ones that actually didn't charge in any way at all. At some point there has to be an incentive to pay, and that comes from some kind of exclusionary practice, regardless of whether it's pay-to-win directly, or a more indirect pay-to-win (pay for additional content exploration that pays out in other ways).

    IMHO, the only distinctions are how smoothly a F2play grades the playing field between someone who paid (subscribed or did a micro-transaction) and someone who never paid. I think the various MMO games that are really ranked team deathmatches of some sort tend to have a smoother grade between F2play and paid, since it's to their advantage to keep players interested in the game and generally playing the same game. If there is a big difference between the two populations, then it's almost as if they are playing two different games.

    My favorite free2play game is currently World of Tanks (type: ranked team deathmatch, with an opt-in persistent strategic map in which game currency can be won) because it has a very smooth difference between populations, to the point that the paid population is almost just paying for server services and not really paying to win; realistically, the fastest way to the top of food chain is to pay for the services though.

    I'm watching how Star Trek Online does the free-2play thing to see if they do it well too. So far their strat has been a combination of limiting content (the best content in STO is ironically the user-made content which features better story-telling and gets the most mileage out of the STO engine), and creating new game details which are minor obstacles to success (and therefore things that people would pay for microtransactions). In terms of game design, I'd say it's a finesse act between adding gaming details that are both fun and things that people will pay microtransactions for to surmount.
     
  4. Ruler

    Ruler Prince

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    Shooters were first and MMOs followed. Now they give free weekends on Steam for all kind of game, well mostly for shooters. I think its pretty interesting, who could ever knew games like APB, AoC, STO are free to play. I like them all. What Im saying now we start to see "good" games adopting the model too so cant complain really.
     
  5. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    Free weekends is not the same as free-to-play at all, they are time limited (and often inconvenient) trials where as a "free"-to-play game is almost always accompanied by microtransactions to support the game and usually has limits on how far you can get without paying.

    Most of the time when a game is advertised as FREE 2 PLAY that is a giant warning sign to avoid the game at all costs because it is simply going to nickel and dime you (except microtransactions rarely cost that little) and give paying players an advantage. Not too mention it is probably just another crappy and generic mmo that is a complete waste of space.

    Numerous subscription and not entirely crappy/generic MMOs have been going free to play recently too, although that is because they are not doing well enough to survive based on their subscriptions alone. Many of them didn't do as well as hoped because there simply wasn't enough content (Star Trek iirc), or it just turned into a huge grindfest, or they tried to turn it into a WoW clone (Warhammer), or the game just completely failed in the first place (APB barely lasted two months before the developer closed down and it was sold to another company), or the game is yet another generic, weird and awful Asian MMO.

    Most MMOs that go free to play do so because they failed to be unique/innovative/good enough to compete in an over-saturated market of mediocre products that is still dominated by WoW. Games that start off "free 2 play" (or "freemium") are usually little more than scams too.

    So far the ONLY mmo I'm interested in is Guild Wars 2, since it seems to be the only one that is more concerned with creating a large and immersive game world rather than making a massive fortune. Plus you only have to pay for it once.

    EDIT: EVE Online's latest expansion is apparently a massive improvement too.
     
  6. Thrawn

    Thrawn Emperor

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    That's generally how I feel about F2P games as well. Avoid at all costs. Personally I would much rather pay a monthly subscription and have access to exactly the same stuff as everyone else, instead of playing a game where the people who spend the most $$$ end up with the best stuff.

    It'll be interesting to see how Path of Exile works out with the F2P system they'll be running. As far as I'm aware, their plan is to only charge for cosmetic alterations, so everyone'll have access to the same stuff, items and spells etc will just look different from person to person.
     
  7. Rub'Rum

    Rub'Rum Hates acronyms

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    Team Fortress 2 is an alright free-to-play game, although you could argue the quality of it has dropped ever so slightly with the increase in just... so much stuff.

    League of Legends seems to do it fine too. You can access pretty much everything you need by just playing, and it seems like most goals are realistically attainable with the "free" path.
     
  8. Ruler

    Ruler Prince

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    I definitely see F2P pros and cons. Mediocre/unknown-developers games could definitely benefit from F2P and I mean all kind of games not just MMOs, so maybe just wishful thinking but I think they're getting popular, maybe 5 year from now. APB went from expensive to cheap and they added lots of content for 1.5 too.
     
  9. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    APB changed developer, and they had to add stuff to get people interested in a game that had already failed. It seems to be more of an exception rather than the rule. FTP was the right choice for it though, possibly its only choice too.

    I don't see the point in that game.
     
  10. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    It's kind of funny to hear this, since GW's business model operated almost entirely on micro/medio transactions. When I added up the character slots, expansions, DLC, &tc that I had spent on my 4 or 5 years of playing GW, the actual cost added up to just about as much as it would have been if I had been maintaining a WoW account for the same period of time. The only upside is that GW doesn't punish you for not playing (because the expense has already been made, rather than sinking 15 bucks a month into something you aren't playing at all). So I'd say, as awesome as GW is (and trust me, I love GW a helluva lot more than I ever liked WoW), it's really only cost-efficient if you are either very casual (as in not buying extra crap, which, let's face it, no one who puts more than say 200 hours is going to do) or very inconsistent in playing (play for 2 or 3 months straight, then quit for 6-7 months)
     
  11. Thrawn

    Thrawn Emperor

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    Yeah I'm not really into ARPGs a whole lot, I'm mostly interested to see how it goes because it's a local developer. I'm hoping it sees at least some success as the company behind it is a potential future employer for me.
     
  12. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    Free2play also seems to be the last refuge of the "failed" subscription MMO. I say "failed" because some are good but under-appreciated while others are bad and hanging on. About 1/3 of all free2play MMORPGs are basically subscription games that were made professionally, but lost a lot of fan-base for some reason so free2play was a better than nothing deal for the developer.


    A pretty good review/listing site for F2plays: http://mmohuts.com/
     
  13. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    If you are putting enough time into the game to actually need any of the extras then it is probably money well spent by that point. However, I can't see myself every paying for them and you can easily do everything in the game without paying more money.
     
  14. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    Well, just getting all the expansions (before they came in nice, neat bundles) was, what? 200 bucks? That's a full year, a month, and another 10ish days of WoW, and THAT'S to get the full game. This was actually a major point of the game; you COULD NOT PVP without having every single part of the game, as the omission of valuable skills made the most powerful pvp builds in the game unplayable. So actually, you did have to pay more money for the entirety of the game, and that's leaving off the fact that you miss a solid 2/3rds of the narrative if you don't get the other two games.
     
  15. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    WoW has also had three and soon to be four expansions. I don't see any problem with actual expansions that add a lot to the game or that it is much different than expansions for many other games too.
     
  16. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    Fair enough; I'm just saying you can't put GW up on a pedestal as some great last bastion against the vile f2p business model, since GW was, quite literally, the f2p model applied on a much, MUCH larger scale.
     
  17. Ai Shizuka

    Ai Shizuka King

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    Expansions only is still cheaper than expansions AND monthly fee.

    Buying all the expansions was necessary to stay competitive in PvP, but they was far from necessary for the casuals. You don't even need the original game to play the expansions as stand-alone games.

    What made GW so popular was the business model combined with one of the best support team I ever seen.
    Weekly patches, constant re-balancing, cool events, good customer care, tournaments.
    Overall a better support than most games with a monthly fee.

    For the time I invested in that game, I'd have paid MUCH more if they had a monthly fee and free expansions.
     
  18. Ruler

    Ruler Prince

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    I think GW2 main business model is to sell costumes, similar to CO, STO. I could be wrong I havent followed it as it isnt really my style of game.
     
  19. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    I didn't put it on a pedestal for that reason, it is up there because it is the ONLY mmorpg I am willing to even touch. It also does free to play (after an initial purchase, like every other non-subscription game) very well.
     
  20. Rub'Rum

    Rub'Rum Hates acronyms

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