Thursday, October 25, 2012

F2P- Hurting Good Games?

Oh you want to charge me to turn off my helmet graphic? Please. Stop. Talking. My wallet is crying out in pain.

I play a lot of MMO/MMORPG games, it's my hobby, my passion. I absolutely love them, love trying new games, visiting different worlds, it's often fun being nomadic. With so many going F2P it is even easier than ever to get into your favorite games to poke around here and there, check out seasonal events or visit with old friends. It is great, but to a point.

I'm just about to the point where I'd rather keep handing my fifteen bucks a month to a company that has everything upfront. Sure, offer me a cosmetic item or a sparkle pony for a flat rate here and there, if I don't want to 'pony up' the bucks I don't have to, if I want to then there it is plain and simple, cosmetic galore. What I'm tired of is getting to the point where I may as well sub to these free to play games if I want to play them seriously. Then on top of that, constantly getting bombarded to pay for more things. I'm a generous player, the kind companies want to keep, I'll pay a sub and I'll buy fluff to support a game I enjoy. I will gladly support a company I respect, a company that puts out a game I love, as long as you don't take me a fool and try to bleed me dry. 

Lately I feel as if most games that go F2P are just gateways, a glorified free trial. Often you'll end up paying far more than you would with a regular subscription. For instance, everytime I log back into EQ2 and acquire new gear, I need to sub again or buy unlockers to even use the gear. Or how about wanting some cool halloween stuff in GW2, I must buy chests for the coolest stuff, why not log into a game where you can complete the events within the game for all the rewards? I've read SWTOR will charge for the option to hide your head slot item. Are they mad? That's the one that stuck out the most to me.

I am so at the point where I do not want to support these mad schemes for money, ones that drive good games into the ground while exploiting the playerbase. I'm sick of it. Give me a game that charges me a monthly fee, offers me everything, no: greedy chests, goblin tickets, lockboxes, whatever random money sink chance game it may be, with your- unholy- less than one percent chance. Give me everything up front and let's be done with it. You know what I want, I know what to expect, we're all happy. That's how I now feel, after going 'round the MMO revolving door and being smacked, one too many times, in the face, by F2P.

I have said in the past that the first Guild Wars game was a great example of F2P, while you do have to buy the boxes (expansions), you're not locked out of content or updates past those. You don't have to keep buying stuff beyond character slots or cosmetic fluff. I really liked how this worked, it felt like a really good deal. Thus I thought GW2 would be a dream, until they changed the whole cash shop feel. Pets? Only in the shop. Holiday items? Cash shop. It ruined it for me. They did try to rectify the whole Halloween fiasco, but I won't trust A-Net for a very long time, not as I once did.

I suppose what I'm saying is that I am so tired of companies using F2P as an excuse to get even more money out of players. Throwing respect and trust out the window. Some games don't even offer the subscription route, thus leaving players with very few options. I have been, in the past, very excited about so many F2P games and transitions. Since seeing so many go the way of focusing on sucking every last red cent they can, making my cherished games turn into some kind of sideshow, charging me to see all the sites- I don't even feel like logging into many of them anymore.

A lot of these games end up going free to play and only adding new content to the cash shop, content updates few and far between, but those cash shop updates make it weekly or monthly. That just kills me, being so blatantly obvious in the fact that the game is just a cash cow at this point.

HEY WE ADDED A NEW FEATURE! You already pay a monthly subscription, you already bought the expansion, well some of you, but we're going to charge you for this too! *Glares at the new everQuest appearance items.* I can't even log into EverQuest for free and feel like I'm getting a good deal buying the options. I'd rather throw my monthly subscription at them, but I still see the cash shop as a major focus on all new developments besides expansions. I do have to say SOE is very good about adding expansions and content on a regular basis- At least with the EverQuest games. SOE has stated they want to add more to crafting within EQ2 instead of adding those things into the cash shop, maybe their direction will change in due time, maybe in more of their games.

Currently the only game I feel I can get away from most of this is WoW. So many companies try to copy WoW, but I think they are copying it for the wrong reasons. In the past I had wished it would go F2P, at this point in time I hope it does not, not for a very long time. If games like RIFT and TSW hang in there with subs and don't bombard the cash shop with craziness, I can see them staying stronger games than most.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes companies get it right. Then you get those that take advantage of players and letting it get out of hand, all the while stripping the fun things out of the game and into dollars. Does F2P make your game look like a joke? Do cash shops? I think it's all in the way it's all handled. A bad transition can hurt a good game, damage a valued reputation, that's my honest opinion. While F2P has saved many games, I think some companies get blindsided and forget the most important thing, respect. Respect your community, respect your customers, respect your game. You let any of those go and it's all just a big joke, you're out of luck.

It's really hurting my nomadic spirit. Seriously, I feel so jaded lately. I hate that my stance on F2P has changed, I was all for it. Now I'm not so sure. Let's just do the dirty deal once a month, I pay you, you give me my fun and we forget it ever happened- until the next month rolls around. Hows that?

1 comment:

  1. most mmo gamers are casual players, they dont want to dish out a monthly subscription to see awesome vistas, great character creators, cool contant, and a great community, granted there are some like yourself who, again i would argue, are a substantially smaller portion of the market, that will lose out on a "full" and fair experience, i guess games are more important than money for you, but not for the majority of us, f2p communities are huge and hungry, just look at the youtube channels dedicated the f2p and the million of subscribers and views they get, but as a gamer, you should know there still will be subscription based titles, such as one im even excited for, wildstar, democracy is the best option because it pleases the most people, if you had your way, mmo's would be a dead or dying industry




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