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I believe that F2P games are built on the "3 month principle". You could unlock everything in the Cash Shop via normal game play if you played the game for 3 months. But the majority of players know they won't last that long before hopping to the next game, so they pay for goodies to use before they "finish with the game" in 2 months.
This "community" you speak of is an abstract, an illusion if you will. Its little more than a series of snap shots of your interactions with other individuals. If those tend to be "good" (from your perspective) then the "community" is "good". The same applies to "bad".
Once a game moves from niche, to the general population, those snap shots will also tend to degrade. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of todays population has serious "issues". Starting with a lack of attention span, no concept of civil discourse, and top it all off with a *thick* layer of entitlement.
Mix that in with a business model that is all about cutting as many corners as possible (or more) and focuses on the short term (quarterly) profit, with lots of media hype and marketing, and you have the current situation.
What the suits don't know (nor would they care if they did, I suspect) is that this creates a toxic feed back system, that actively ruins the industry itself. Once things get bad enough, they will simply bail, and move on to some other activity. After all, they are only in it for the money, any way.
Kickstarter may well be a way forward, but the jury is still out on how effective its going to be.
Originally posted by kaiser3282 Originally posted by Cymdai Originally posted by Yavin_Prime I agree with what you're saying but at some point I have to draw the line. Star Trek Online, my current haunt is F2P and the community seems stable. I'm even in a very active Fleet (guild) with friends I've had since launch... these are the closest freinds I've had in an online game since Ultima Online or the first version of Star Wars Galaxies. F2P is just another evolution in the gaming world. Before F2P there was just Subscription. Before Subscription there was just SInge Player or Multiplayer/LAN. Before that it was Pen and Paper games. In another 5 or 10 years you'll be complaining about the next big evolution in gaming. If you want a community you need to build it. As you said there are always going to be trolls, ragers, and flamers. Build your social walls, type /ignore, and have some fun meeting people like yourself who want to enjoy their favorite game (be it F2P or P2P). The better title to your article would be, Greed is killing Gaming.
In my opinion, greed and free-to-play go hand-in-hand. As others said, there's no such thing as "free", no matter how well it's designed.
F2P "evolved" in my mind because developers said to themselves "Why get $12.95 a month from 200,000 people when we could snatch up anywhere from $5-100 a month from MILLIONS of players?"
They dont expect to get millions of people paying money. They expect a small % to pay money with the majority playing for free. Of course they hope more will spend, but they know in reality many wont because being free is what draws them tot he game.
On the other hand we have WoW. Lets see at $15 a month x approx 10m subs = Thats $150m per month. $1.8 billion per year, just sin subs alone. That not even account for their own cash shop as well as the cost of expansions (likely another couple hundred million per year average, bringing them to around $2 billion or more per year). Theyre making piles of money, yet are still charging the same fee as they did when the game was brand new. They could easily get by and make a shitload of money at half that cost, yet you dont see that happening after all these years. Id consider that to be greed more than anything else.
F2P/Cash Shop MMOs have been proven to generate more revenue for developers/publishers than subscriptions ever could. This has even been stated by people working in the industry.
This is why F2P/Cash Shop is so appealing to so many developers/publishers. It means more $$$ to them, and they get the fringe benefit of being able to splash "FREE!" all over their marketing because it's technically true. You can create an account log in and do stuff without paying a dime.
What they don't tell you - and never will - is that as you progress you're going to have to adjust the way you play and/or your expectations, and settle yourself into the fact that you're going to have a long and slow grind - slower than any P2P MMO you could play. Or, be prepared to start paying if you want to maintain a certain playstyle and rate of progression. The farther into the game you get, the harder it becomes to not pay.
Developers/Publishers don't favor F2P/Cash Shop because it's a better deal for their players (however much they claim as much). They prefer it because they know it means more $$$ for them, despite the fact that not everyone pays.
They'll also never tell you how many of those who "don't pay a dime" also aren't playing the game at all anymore.
Got one sentence in and couldn't disagree with you more this time - Black Ops was a great game! I was slow to buy it because I tried MW2 and it was a bit of a letdown, but WaW had previously been my favorite in the series (having started with CoD1 on the pc) and Black Ops was amazing! Great game. The others... yeah.
As far as botting goes , if it isn't around, cheap labor will be. Macroing was one of the best parts of AC1. Botting was in D2 from the start. Who wants to grind PvE to progress endlessly? Lame. PvPing to defend your macro... genius, unique, unintended, but amazing. It is true that lots of F2P games leave loopholes that are so obvious its like Ugh, I need to be multi-accounting to take advantage of this the most, and if I dont want to put in the effort it usually drives me from the game.
As far as reporting goes people need to grow the fk up. Its the internet, theyre often competitive games, you wont always get along with people. Deal with it.
In my opinion the F2P is nice to try out a game before I make an investment into it. How ever I think it should be a limited access with the ability to see how the game works and how the mechanics play out. Not the whole game free. Cash shops I have come to hate. I spend enough on the game imo, then to see something really cool and to get it I have to spend like $20 more. I preferred when everything was available to all in the game. If I saw a really neat Item I would go look up its source and go get it.
As for community I find it has very little to do with F2P, and is more with the post WOW gaming enviroment. Everything any more is gimmie gimmie I need it now. I miss a game where I buy it and don't hit end game in the first month. Like back when EQ first was launched it took me over a year to reach max level on my first character and I was proud of what I had. Now days I buy a game and within a month I am max and have the same gear as everyone else my class. Which brings me to another thing killing the community, is lack of options. Cookie cutter characters with nothing to set you apart from every other of your class is a bad model. I love the ability to craft out my character either thru ability points customer gear, blending classes or what ever the developers can come up with. A unique character enviroment gives you a sense of purpose in the game and not mage # 19472 on the server.
Due to the status of 98% of the MMO's out there I have grow tired of this genre and keep coming back looking for that game that is just that an epic game. Something with content, with character options, something to sink many hours into and that the lvl 1 game is just as fun as max level. Or even games like TSW were levels do not really exist, which was a great game but in 2 weeks I was already in top notch gear and completed about 80% of the content. To me if the added more quests, and more zones. Plus lowered the exp gained to 5% of what you get now it would have been much better. I did not spend 24/7 on it either, I group with a roommate we play about 2 hours a night work nights and about 5 or so hours on our days off. In about 40 to 50 hours we started running out of content at 50 for the game and 15 a month really? come on now.
I don't think F2P is so much the issue but more the micro-transaction model.
It is good to offer an ability to play without payment, especially is an industry saturated with titles and "me too" innovation. So having a free entry point is a good thing to attract players who otherwise wouldn't play.
The micro-transaction model, especially as implemented by this industry, is particularly loathsome however. You inherently build a system where you engineer problems into the game so you can offer solutions in the store. Thus why so many players have become jaded on the business model as they feel "nickel and dimed" as you appropriately mentioned in the article.
However, I also think the forced sub model is over as well. Perhaps the MMO industry should either go back to just straight up charging for content, or take a cue from other "freemium" internet business models. This would mean that certain access to the game is granted free without a sub, then increasing layers of subs offering more access of more features. I think this would present the better option for both companies and players.
Originally posted by Rockniss Computer sale update, so far I've sold mine and 2 of my friends, only one more to sell and my friends and I are completely out of pc gaming, woohoo!!!! Oh and I think they should charge more money per item at transaction malls, and sub fees need to be inflated to mod accurately reflect the times, world of warcraft hasn't risen thier monthly sub fee in eight years.
They also built the game using less than they make per month. The game brings in around $2 billion dollars per year. If anything they should be decreasing the price, not increasing, considering the fact that it is so old. But of course that would mean less money for their suits, so that will never happen as long as people are happy continuing to pay new game prices for a nearly decade old game.
Originally posted by smeltn I thought SWG was a great game until they screwed it up with that last combat patch.. Speaking of F2P MMO's. I just purchased a Macbook a few weeks ago and am looking for a good f2p mmo to play on it? Any suggestions?
Kickstarter: Stuff I'm supporting
"Come and have a look at what you could have won."
Originally posted by bunnyhopper The "War of Angels PLAY FOR FREE" adverts plastered all over the page and straight after the opening paragraph of the article did give rise to a wry smile.
I personally like the one that advertises something like "Modern FPS Combat. For FREE!" but apparently doesnt have a name since at no point in any of the ads does it say wtf it is called..
What genius came up with the advertisement that doesnt even say the name of their own game?
From my perspective there are 3 really big problems with F2P games...
1) The only way a F2P game makes money is by getting players to make purchases in the cash shop. So the entire game must be designed around the goal of getting the player to engage in purchasing behavior. This can take many different forms whether it's in game advertisements, providing significant power/play advantages to those that pay or by closing off content and different areas of the game to non-paying players. ALL of these are in direct contrast to the basic design goal of any game... making it FUN for the players. Some F2P designers are better/more subtle at pulling it off then others... but it is a FAR more complex design goal then the basic sub-model where the only thing a designer need concern themselves with is the player having enough fun to want to return next month (a hard enough proposition in itself). The F2P designer must ensure that the game is fun, but not too much fun unless the player is willing to PAY and he must build mechanisms to prod the player to pay as much and as often as they can tolerate but he must also accurately judge how much prodding will turn away his audience. This is a FAR more difficult design goal to attempt....and frankly ALOT of designers just aren't able to get it right. One must also realize that there are outside pressures on the designer here too...as the suits will constantly be pressuring the designer to ratchet up the prodding in order to maximize returns... so if a game has a dissapointing month or quarter it can lead to the suits trying to overcompensate by pushing spending behavior even more.
2) It leads toward lower quality communities. Simply put, people tend to value things based on how much they've invested in them. Money is a very direct and real representation of value. It becomes very difficult, almost to the point of not worth bothering, for F2P games to weed out the worst elements of the community whether those be griefers, hackers, scammers, gold farmers or abusive individuals. Simply put the loss of $15-$30 puts a real price tag for engaging in such behavior. It may not stop it completely but like anything that is "taxed" it will surpress the frequency of it's occurance. With F2P, taking a few minutes to create a new account is a minimal investment for such individuals.
3) F2P tends to fracture and segment the player base into 2 Tiers of players....those that can afford to pay for advantages (whatever for they may take) and those that can't..... MMO communities tend to be fractured enough as it is these days, additional fragmentation just erodes the community that much further.
Sorry, not buying it (excuse the pun :P).
You stay sassy!
I agree, with the article, and he did mean swg it was crap from day one until they pulled the plug, and I played swg for 4 years through pre-cu cu and nge, Tor is bad as well, Sto is bad, they all suffer from the huge IP syndrome.
F2p is just another way for a for profit company to make more profit, and yes when players have no investment, in anything in life they have no respect for that product either and allot of them will show just how big an ahole they can be...
Been in and around online gaming since the time of the modems and dinosaurs and there have always been individuals who must exhibit their hate online. Games do not cause this behavior, gamers come with it. The difference between now and then is the size of the community and with larger population samples come more obvious issues with individuals who wish to take out their UMADBRO attitudes online.
As for F2P killing gaming... Only thing it is killing is someone's perception of what they think gaming should be. I am not a huge fan of the shift, but to ask why F2P is growing is like asking why are blue jeans blue - it is all about economics of production interlaced with market demand, by which I mean what gamers want.
Take a good long look in the mirror - I personally liked DA2 and a few other games the OP so easily dismissed as huge failures. We all have our own personal tastes and since, as pointed out above, the commnuity of gaming is growing, the demand to make everyone happy is growing into unrealistic proportions. The shift to F2P is sadly, an organic evolution of gaming to match the changes in the market and the only way some companies feel they can survive in the new landscape.
And oh yea, all this arm chair hyperbole concerning AAA titles and quality assurance is nothing but a good example of my point. Contemporary AAA titles compared to even just 10 years ago are extremely more complex. We, the gamers, insist the industry keeps pushing the envelope on triangles, aritifical intelligence and a slew of other facets of game development but surpisingly we assume it will be as easy to produce as the cheap stuff from the days of modems. We asked for the higher realism, my suggesstion is be careful what you ask for.
Making the stretch that a financial plan for an mmo somehow causes bad communities in games, is the same as a historian saying; Hitler was bad, and had a bad mustache, therefore bad people have bad mustaches, or bad mustaches make bad people.
Any game that has direct player competition with little need for cooperation will have crap communities.
Originally posted by Rizon538 I would have read this article but it had an ad for F2P games sitting on top of 3 paragraphs.
-The website is 'www.koramgame.com' not 'koramgames'. [mod edit]
-You do a lot of broad generalizations, false assumptions, and comparing apples to oranges. [mod edit]
-You talk about 'community' but you fail to mention that even WoW (which you seem to be parading about as some beacon of 'how it should be done') is a worthless cesspool of trolling and flamebait. Go on the WoW forums. Everyone there is a 'paid subscriber' or has otherwise paid for the game (and a lot of money, with all the expansions out now). Do they act any more civil than any other forum? Does Blizzard care as long as they're getting money from these people? No they don't. Blizzard doesn't have the manpower or willpower to go around banning every troll on the WoW forums (hence the 'RealID' fiasco). So no, the difference in community is a result of the type of community that the game attracts. Highly competitive games like League of Legends attract a-holes just like WoW attracts mostly preteen kids with too much time and working folk with barely enough time to raid. Want proof? Go pop into the vent/teamspeak of nearly any WoW guild out there. :P
-Aion Online. NcSoft. Truly free to play, no pay to win at all. Convenience and cosmetics, with some very minor/negligible buffs for those who want a small boost or helper in PvE. They did the same with Lineage 2, though I'll speak of Aion here since I haven't played L2 nor do I know the community there. Aion has a pretty decent community (on at least 3 out of 4 servers). The game is still 100% free and you can play for months without paying a single cent. The prices in the shop tend to be reasonable (compared to other F2P games). In fact, the only reason I left it was cause of Guild Wars 2. Did I mention NcSoft has some of the best support staff in the entire F2P market? I'm completely free yet I got better (and faster) support AND response times (multiple tickets and incidents btw) than I ever did paying f-in $15 a damn month to ActiBlizz! Take your 'support' argument and shove it! Complete BS!
-Trolls and a-holes have been around since the internet became popular. Remember Doom deathmatches? Quake? Classic UT'99? FPS games, sausagefests, and cursing/trolling galore. Oh and dem hax....holy f-in hell. And roid-raging admins. No thanks, the 'good old days' were anything but. Ultima Online (one of the most well known early MMOs) was plauged to death by trolls and a-holes. They'd kill players who left town and steal all the loot the players would drop from their dead corpse. You think EVE Online is brutal? Go give UO a whirl (as it is still running last I checked). So your 'troll' argument being specific to F2P games (or more prevalant in F2P games) is utter BS. They're everywhere whether you pay or not. Banning doesn't bother them as they usually bypass it somehow or just get another account. They're so numerous that companies rarely even bother.
-Moderation of new players and trolls depends on the game developers/company/publishers putting mods in power to do their jobs and keep the playerbase in line. What you're seeing is poor mangement, be it at ActiBlizz or Gpotato or whatever. Don't get me started on f-in Gpotato....ffs.
-You randomly throw in fan-made games which were neither MMOs nor have any relation to your 'F2P is bad' argument! What the hell!? You make no sense and don't garner any sympathy throwing that back in our faces. It was bad enough when it happened by Squeenix has proven they're C&D-happy a-holes. Let them wallow in the failures of their new FF games until they crash and burn. Then new companies will do better or suffer the same fate.
-The only reason any of this DLC crapware or F2P crap goes on is because stupid people pay money for it. Stop giving them money and they will change or exit the market. That's how business works.
Originally posted by jcdenton2k
I'm certain you didn't read the article, just judging by your first paragraph. If you did, you managed to misunderstand the article, and include personal trolling, rather than real replies. Zzzzzzzz.
Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...