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The best microtransaction (cash shop) models?

GPrestigeGPrestige Guelph, ONPosts: 521Member

I have only played P2P MMOs, until recently. For the longest time, I've only heard horror stories about F2P MMOs. I've heard that they are money grabs, or make the game "pay-to-win"... but I decided to give one a try.

I just started playing the Lord of the Rings Online, and have found that the game store can be quite fun. I can pay a monthly fee if I want, and get almost anything included, or I can pass on the subscription and just buy what I want. Also theres a ton of little fun things that are fairly cheap, to buy whenever I want a boost.

 

The point of this thread is I want to know what other games out there have good microtransaction models. What makes them good? Are most F2P MMOs like this? 

-Computer specs no one cares about: check.

-MMOs played no one cares about: check.

-Xfire stats no one cares about: check.

-Signature no one cares about: check.

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-Narcissism: check.

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Comments

  • anemoanemo Posts: 762Member Uncommon
    probably freemium with the ability to sell premium time/access to other players.

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "There are still vast swaths of our planet's surface in which it's surprisingly easy to lose things. Even a ship the size of a large building." Richard Fisher

  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by GPrestige

    I have only played P2P MMOs, until recently. For the longest time, I've only heard horror stories about F2P MMOs. I've heard that they are money grabs, or make the game "pay-to-win"... but I decided to give one a try.

    I just started playing the Lord of the Rings Online, and have found that the game store can be quite fun. I can pay a monthly fee if I want, and get almost anything included, or I can pass on the subscription and just buy what I want. Also theres a ton of little fun things that are fairly cheap, to buy whenever I want a boost.

     

    The point of this thread is I want to know what other games out there have good microtransaction models. What makes them good? Are most F2P MMOs like this? 

    The problem is that if an MMO is going with the F2P model in the first place, it means even the dev's don't consider it worth a subscription.  If all you're interested in is some light gaming or something, that's probably fine.  If you want an actual MMO that retains any sort of immersion, F2P is the last thing you want associated with it.

    It feels a lot like going to a movie these days, and having to sit through 15 minutes of skittles and car commercials just to get to the actual previews and movies.

    Having said that, the best F2P scenarios are the ones that have a hybrid setup, where newer players can try the game out for cheap or free, and maybe purchase some things before eventually deciding that going for a subscription makes sense for them.  The key is to not piss these new players off though, like Bioware is doing with their system.  LotRO does a pretty good job of it, although it's kind of "in your face" a bit too much sometimes.  Still probably the best example.

    Most F2P games, however, are cash grabs pure and simple, and that's never fun.

    You make me like charity

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by asmkm22

    The problem is that if an MMO is going with the F2P model in the first place, it means even the dev's don't consider it worth a subscription. 

    False. It means that is the model they found optimal for their target audience.

     

    The interesting part about your price perception is it is prolific among veteran MMO gamers, which is why a subscription MMO can never charge less than 15 dollars a month. You'll write it off as not being worth a full subscription price.

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • ompgamingompgaming Hometown, IAPosts: 185Member

    In my experience, Star Trek Online has a decent model.  I think all the content is open to you at Free and what I think you pay for with a subscription, or in their cash-shop is well priced and appropriate.  They even have a way to earn the cash-shop currency ingame, which works out well if you are penny pinching. 

    I really like the STO model.

    Planetside2 is pretty good too. 

     

    Above all else... never ever piss off the penguin.

  • RossbossRossboss Runes of Magic, TXPosts: 240Member

    I honestly like the Runes of Magic store over many of the other F2P Cash Shops. There's no option to pay for a subscription (for the US/AUS/EU players) and money currency can be traded and sold using the Auction House or Player-to-Player Trades or Player-to-NPC Trades (very small amount and once daily per account). You can buy most essential items through Daily Repeatable Quest Rewards (Tokens), which takes a significant amount of time more than paying for the items but can still be an awesome suppliment. It is necessary for character progression but doesn't restrict access to any areas of the game, chat functioning, or abilities in game. You are allowed to have plenty of characters per account and it doesn't make you pay to unlock skill bars, rewards or any other necessary UI features. It is on the more expensive side once you get to "End-Game" but probably less expensive than many other F2P MMORPGs.

     

    You're going to find that it's going to be a "Love/Hate Relationship" with any F2P Cash Shop. You're also never going to be happy with pricing in them either. Most F2P MMORPGs do not have the "Subscription+" mentality where you can pay to have a priveleged account, because they encourage you to have multiple accounts with multiple characters.

    I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.
    I am F2P player. I support games when I feel they deserve my money and I want the items enough.
    I don't troll, and I don't take kindly to trolls.

  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by asmkm22

    The problem is that if an MMO is going with the F2P model in the first place, it means even the dev's don't consider it worth a subscription. 

    False. It means that is the model they found optimal for their target audience.

     

    The interesting part about your price perception is it is prolific among veteran MMO gamers, which is why a subscription MMO can never charge less than 15 dollars a month. You'll write it off as not being worth a full subscription price.

     

    Well then it sure is funny how many MMO's start off as sub-based, only to change to F2P after failing to hit their goals.  But sure, they were just finding the optimal model for their target audience, and having failed at the most stable model had nothing to do with it...

    You make me like charity

  • HeroEvermoreHeroEvermore salem, ORPosts: 672Member

    I still prefer sub based though I like what gw2 did with buy to play. It really was just a time saver and even if someone spent a thousand dollars to get a legendary immediatly it wasn't going to stop me from killing them ever.

    I prefer sub based because it is really the only method that guarantees time efficiency/player skill, determines progression/strength of character. Course theres plenty of other factors such as players phsycical ability and such but im sure you get my meaning.

    Hero Evermore
    Guild Master of Dragonspine since 1982.
    Playing Path of Exile and deeply in love with it.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by asmkm22
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by asmkm22

    The problem is that if an MMO is going with the F2P model in the first place, it means even the dev's don't consider it worth a subscription. 

    False. It means that is the model they found optimal for their target audience.

    The interesting part about your price perception is it is prolific among veteran MMO gamers, which is why a subscription MMO can never charge less than 15 dollars a month. You'll write it off as not being worth a full subscription price.

    Well then it sure is funny how many MMO's start off as sub-based, only to change to F2P after failing to hit their goals.  But sure, they were just finding the optimal model for their target audience, and having failed at the most stable model had nothing to do with it...

    Then maybe I misunderstood your use of 'in the first place'. I assumed you meant at release, which is a different scenario than switching after being a subscription game. In the former, the game is built around that playstyle and in the latter it is an attempt to revitalize the playerbase which, in turn, allows for the item mall sales to happen.

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon

    I found some browser MMOs to have very leaninet shops...here the entire gameplay is open and can be progressed/experienced fully. dollars only speed up certain processes but otherwise dont affect the balance of poer or game experience.

     

    things like Urban Rivals or Halosphere2 for example.

    image

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,769Member Uncommon

    Lotro started as a subscription MMO. Cash shop MMO’s which started as subscription only have the best cash shops. It is the ones that started out as F2P that are generally worse.

    Things are changing though, more and more MMO’s are coming out with a cash shop in place. I doubt if any triple AAA MMO’s will get released without one by 2014.

    The problem with cash shops is they can be fine for now and then a month later become pay to win. But anything that makes money in MMO’s is here to stay, so it is just a matter of finding the best of a bad lot.

  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,854Member Uncommon

    I think SoE's freemium model is the right balance between keeping the developers employed (read: game continues to get updates and maintainence) and giving players what they pay for.  The previously sub game models are seen by some as a nickle and dime system, especially EQ2.  If look at what is available for how much SC and the fact double and triple SC weekends happen quite a bit you can actually get a lot for paying little.  Of course there is always paying a sub and not worrying about it.

     

    PS2 is more of a pay to win system, partially, but allows for anyone to play what I consider a great MMOFPS for free.  It's a players judgement call.  We'll see how SoE does with it's "play free and pay for what you need" model but since they have a lot of titles all run on the same point system I imagine they will do well.  EQN will have a major impact on this of course.

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Ps2 is pay to level quicker exactly like gw2, its not pay to win
  • LissylLissyl Peru, INPosts: 271Member Common
    Aion's is the only one I truly like (and DDO's is...close.  Leagues better than the next follow-up).  Note: I haven't played Aion since late September, so if it's changed dramatically I reserve the right to alter my opinion. =)
  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    Ps2 is pay to level quicker exactly like gw2, its not pay to win

    it depends. How's te match-making system?

     

    are you paired only with players around your level ? if yes, it's not pay-to-win.

     

    are you paired with anyone regardless of level? if yes, it is pay-to-win.

    image

  • WickedjellyWickedjelly Yahoo, COPosts: 4,990Member

    I still think LOTR has one of the best. Some other good ones are DDO, DCUO, and Aion.

    Think the worst I have encountered is EQ2. Not sure what the fuck they were thinking with that one.

    1. For god's sake mmo gamers, enough with the analogies. They're unnecessary and your comparisons are terrible, dissimilar, and illogical.

    2. To posters feeling the need to state how f2p really isn't f2p: Players understand the concept. You aren't privy to some secret the rest are missing. You're embarrassing yourself.

    3. Yes, Cpt. Obvious, we're not industry experts. Now run along and let the big people use the forums for their purpose.

  • RaysheRayshe London, ONPosts: 1,284Member
    Suprise suprise, im going with TSW. There is nothing game changing in the TSW cash shop that cannot be attained ingame. The only things in the cash shop that cannot be attained in game is the cloths. Keeping things like Pets and Outfits pay for is fine.

    Because i can.
    I'm Hopeful For Every Game, Until the Fan Boys Attack My Games. Then the Knives Come Out.
    Logic every gamers worst enemy.

  • jtcgsjtcgs New Port Richey, ILPosts: 1,777Member

    Well, LoTRo isnt F2P, its Freemium.

    Any game that still has a subscription option is freemium, it places a barrier between those that sub and those that dont. While Turbine does have the best cash shop of the freemiums, because you earn "points" that can be used to buy things just for playing the game, its still freemium.

    The best actual F2P shops sell clothing, mounts and other vanity items along with minor buffs...and some of them make far more than most subscription based games doing it., sure make more than freemium games do.

    And no, it is not up for debate if F2P does better than freemiums, Nexon is the one and only company I need to mention to slap the idea down with their 1.2 billion a year in profits mostly from F2P games...thats far more than Turbine and Funcom combined and even part of SOE thrown in to boot.

    “I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  • VirgoThreeVirgoThree Tarzana, CAPosts: 1,220Member
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    Ps2 is pay to level quicker exactly like gw2, its not pay to win

    it depends. How's te match-making system?

     

    are you paired only with players around your level ? if yes, it's not pay-to-win.

     

    are you paired with anyone regardless of level? if yes, it is pay-to-win.

    There is no match making. It is purely open world with hundreds of others. A Rank 1 can kill just as fast as a rank 50 as the guns don't increase in killing power with higher ranks. You do however have more options available to you and other utilities that could be useful in certain situations.

    But whatever edge you have is definitely drowned out by the sheer number of players. Overall man power, tactics, and coordination is most important in this game, and not individual prowess.

  • GrayGhost79GrayGhost79 Webster, MAPosts: 4,813Member
    Originally posted by GPrestige

    I have only played P2P MMOs, until recently. For the longest time, I've only heard horror stories about F2P MMOs. I've heard that they are money grabs, or make the game "pay-to-win"... but I decided to give one a try.

    I just started playing the Lord of the Rings Online, and have found that the game store can be quite fun. I can pay a monthly fee if I want, and get almost anything included, or I can pass on the subscription and just buy what I want. Also theres a ton of little fun things that are fairly cheap, to buy whenever I want a boost.

     

    The point of this thread is I want to know what other games out there have good microtransaction models. What makes them good? Are most F2P MMOs like this? 

    Yes, unfortunately most f2p models are like LotRO. There are a few good f2p cash shop business models though. 

    Planetside 2 so far has a pretty good cash shop so far. Nothing game breaking, it's mainly fluff and convienence stuff you can get most of it with in game currency anyways. 

    GW2 - b2p model with a similar cash shop to Planetside 2, mainly fluff and cosmetic with some service items. Nothing game breaking and can be bought with in game currency. 

    TSW - switched to b2p and has a similar cash shop. Mainly service and fluff, though I don't think you can buy stuff with in game currency. Having a cash shop that forces players to use it isn't a f2p game. It's an extended trial that will eventually force you to pony up to get full access to the game or to obtain items that put you on par with the rest that have bought said items. 

     

    Being able to buy a permanent +30 to stats in LotRO is pay to win. 

     

    Hopefully models like LotRO and SWTOR are a thing of the past because they are pretty awful by most gamers standards. 

  • WickedjellyWickedjelly Yahoo, COPosts: 4,990Member
    Originally posted by GrayGhost79

     

    Hopefully models like LotRO and SWTOR are a thing of the past because they are pretty awful by most gamers standards. 

    Lol...yeah so gonna call bullshit on the LOTR part. It certainly has its detractors but comes nowhere close as being considered "pretty awful by most gamers".

    I would get into the whole tome thing again for the billionth time but that whole debate has been done to death.

    1. For god's sake mmo gamers, enough with the analogies. They're unnecessary and your comparisons are terrible, dissimilar, and illogical.

    2. To posters feeling the need to state how f2p really isn't f2p: Players understand the concept. You aren't privy to some secret the rest are missing. You're embarrassing yourself.

    3. Yes, Cpt. Obvious, we're not industry experts. Now run along and let the big people use the forums for their purpose.

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Robo

    Planetside 2 doesn't have a match making system because, err it doesn't have matches. It's all open world.
  • MalcanisMalcanis LondonPosts: 3,191Member
    Originally posted by GPrestige

    I have only played P2P MMOs, until recently. For the longest time, I've only heard horror stories about F2P MMOs. I've heard that they are money grabs, or make the game "pay-to-win"... but I decided to give one a try.

    I just started playing the Lord of the Rings Online, and have found that the game store can be quite fun. I can pay a monthly fee if I want, and get almost anything included, or I can pass on the subscription and just buy what I want. Also theres a ton of little fun things that are fairly cheap, to buy whenever I want a boost.

     

    The point of this thread is I want to know what other games out there have good microtransaction models. What makes them good? Are most F2P MMOs like this? 

     

    I'm a huge fan of EVE's "PLEX" system

    In short: you can buy 30 days of game time from CCP or a reseller, and convert it into an ingame item which you can trade or sell to other players, and then they can redeem it into game time.

    Successful & "time-rich" players can play for free. Cash-rich and "time poor" players can fund their gameplay. It's a great system that avoids almost all of the usual MT pitfalls.

    Give me liberty or give me lasers

  • kostoslavkostoslav somborPosts: 459Member
    U cant p2w in lotro coz it is mainly a pve game imo
  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon

    I got what you guys are saying.

     

    yes, i would not count ps2 as p2w based on this info.

    image

  • GrayGhost79GrayGhost79 Webster, MAPosts: 4,813Member
    Originally posted by Wickedjelly
    Originally posted by GrayGhost79

     

    Hopefully models like LotRO and SWTOR are a thing of the past because they are pretty awful by most gamers standards. 

    Lol...yeah so gonna call bullshit on the LOTR part. It certainly has its detractors but comes nowhere close as being considered "pretty awful by most gamers".

    I would get into the whole tome thing again for the billionth time but that whole debate has been done to death.

    Well we apparently disagree on this, there isn't anything wrong with it. I know that recent changes make it impact others less, that however doesn't negate any impact. I am also a bit bitter as a former pay to play player that was asked to purchase everything all over again durring the f2p conversion. 

     

    In any case LotRO falls inline with this... 

    P2W - Pay to win. The process of paying for things in the Store that make your character better than you could achieve from in-game alone, thus securing that your character will be better statted/geared than another person's character who hasn't used the Store yet completed the same game content as you.

    Which is not a socially acceptable cash shop. At least in the communities I frequent it isn't considered socially acceptable. 

     

    In any case do you not find the newest cash shops around to be a better deal for gamers? Cosmetic and fluff items mainly and having most being obtainable in game or with in game currency?

     

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