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What does F2P even mean anymore?

DaranarDaranar Walkersville, MDPosts: 177Member Uncommon

Anyone else think there is a much too broad definition of F2P?   Some games like TERA is now is really F2P without feeling the need to buy extras.  Then there is F2P like Turbine games where you can even earn market currencies opening up the game from stock even more for free.   Then even more there are F2P like SOE games where it is more of an extended trial with many limitations (some of which you can only remove with a sub).  I really with we would stop using F2P so generically.   You never know (unless you know company tendancies) what F2P means when a new game is in development.   

On that, what is your fav F2P model?  

I actually like the SOE kind where its more of an extended trial to decide if I want to sub because I am still a fan of games that are sub based, whether only choice or make you feel you eventually need to (SOE/SWTOR).   I just feel you get a higher quality of support, both customer support and additional content.   And often those games have a more serious player base, instead of people popping in and out of a truly F2P game, making social aspects easier such as keeping guilds active.  

If I want a world in which people can purchase success and power with cash, I'll play Real Life. Keep Virtual Worlds Virtual!

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Comments

  • KrashKrisKrashKris Castle Rock, COPosts: 8Member

    I've just recently begun searching for a decent F2P MMO. Subs just don't make much sense for anymore, as I don't always have time to play. My first download was SW:TOR, because I was a HUGE fan of SW:KOTOR on XBox. But the severe limitations without a sub or hitting the marketplace are a bit dis-heartening. Also, did you experience bad lag with TOR? My computer seems to run most games fine, but TOR is lagging like crazy.

    I've delved into Star Trek Online a bit, and it has a ton of cutomization (which I love), but seems to lack a lot of cinematic action. The gameplay is allright, but the combat seems a bit lackluster. Of course, it may still be too early to judge. Have you played STO?

    Is Tera totally F2P? It looks awesome; almost too good to be true. I'm sure there must be some catch, so I haven't downloaded it yet.

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    free to play means you can create an account download the mmo and play on the server for free. It doesn't promis that you'll never have to spend any money on the game and have full access to everything
  • KrashKrisKrashKris Castle Rock, COPosts: 8Member
    Seems like kind of a tease to call it F2P, and then make it so have to spend money to actually enjoy the game. Why bother? If people are willing to spend that kind of money on a game, wouldn't they be looking for B2P or P2P anyway? That's what free trials are for.
  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,408Member Uncommon

    F2P generally means "Free unlimited, but super limited, trial". However, Path of Exile released with the best F2P model I've experienced.

     

    The only sold items are aesthetic. They stressed that they will never release pay-devices that give an advantage. So far so good. I've not had to purchase anything in order to enjoy the game at its full extent. A game like EQ2, however, is the exact opposite. If you want to play a Dark Elf Ranger, you have to purchase both race and class off the bat. And then all sorts of other stuff after that to just make the game playable.

  • DaranarDaranar Walkersville, MDPosts: 177Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    free to play means you can create an account download the mmo and play on the server for free. It doesn't promis that you'll never have to spend any money on the game and have full access to everything

    Unfortunately thats not true, hence the point of this thread.   With games like TERA and TSW you can play all the way to end game, you can raid, you can do everything without ever paying if you want.  And LoL if you wanna toss that into the MMORPG world.   Although I suppose TSW is P2P since it costs like 20 bucks (forgot) but TERA and LoL still stand.    You only pay if you want exp boosts or special customizations, etc... not for full access.

    If I want a world in which people can purchase success and power with cash, I'll play Real Life. Keep Virtual Worlds Virtual!

  • KrashKrisKrashKris Castle Rock, COPosts: 8Member
    Oooo... I'll have to check that one out. Thanks Sijjistoryus. image
  • DaranarDaranar Walkersville, MDPosts: 177Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by KrashKris

    I've just recently begun searching for a decent F2P MMO. Subs just don't make much sense for anymore, as I don't always have time to play. My first download was SW:TOR, because I was a HUGE fan of SW:KOTOR on XBox. But the severe limitations without a sub or hitting the marketplace are a bit dis-heartening. Also, did you experience bad lag with TOR? My computer seems to run most games fine, but TOR is lagging like crazy.

    I've delved into Star Trek Online a bit, and it has a ton of cutomization (which I love), but seems to lack a lot of cinematic action. The gameplay is allright, but the combat seems a bit lackluster. Of course, it may still be too early to judge. Have you played STO?

    Is Tera totally F2P? It looks awesome; almost too good to be true. I'm sure there must be some catch, so I haven't downloaded it yet.

    I never had too much battle lag with SWTOR, though it is tricky sometimes loading dense areas (fleets).  I keep pushing STO to the side just assuming its a limited F2P model, that and in my mind I always naturally compare it to EVE in my mind and know it can't compare, which makes writing it off easier.   And yeah TERA is wickedly F2P.   When they changed over they went with a mind set of "Lets treat free players like players"  Here is a great quote...

     

                          "Patrick Sun: A lot of the competitor models we looked at involved taking something away from the game and putting it up behind a “pay wall” of sorts. For TERA: Rising, our primary goal was to make sure the free user wasn’t treated like a “free user.”   

    Standard players get to experience TERA: Rising completely free. This means all the content, dungeons, battlegrounds, and quests—all without a fee. They’ll have the full experience."

     

    Its a really good game but I just hate that its the same old questiong/leveling system.  I think SWTOR was the last MMO for me that uses the cookie cutter quest system.

     

     

    If I want a world in which people can purchase success and power with cash, I'll play Real Life. Keep Virtual Worlds Virtual!

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon

    for me, free to play means I play for free.

     

    I judge the game by what it offers, if it's fun i stay, if not, i hop.

    image

  • NatjurNatjur WellingtonPosts: 124Member

    So we just need to invent some subtype for the FTP plays

    (we should also have some more subtypes for p2p and b2p as some of the p2p and b2p games have micro trans and other hidden costs)

     

    FTP Full   - Everything is free, except fluff items 

    FTP Demo - Free to download and join, but most stuff is locked down until you pay

    FTP -BtW - Free to download and join, but if you want to win at the game you need to spend cash (BtW = Buy to Win)

    I am sure you guys can think of smarted 'subtypes' then what I just made up, but you get the idea.

    image

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by Daranar
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    free to play means you can create an account download the mmo and play on the server for free. It doesn't promis that you'll never have to spend any money on the game and have full access to everything

    Unfortunately thats not true, hence the point of this thread.   With games like TERA and TSW you can play all the way to end game, you can raid, you can do everything without ever paying if you want.  And LoL if you wanna toss that into the MMORPG world.   Although I suppose TSW is P2P since it costs like 20 bucks (forgot) but TERA and LoL still stand.    You only pay if you want exp boosts or special customizations, etc... not for full access.

    What's not true about it ? How they do access to content after you log in is up to the game maker. Being free to play doesn't mean they HAVE to give you full access to everything. That's where ppl seem to be confused. A p2p mmo you have to buy and pay a sub, a b2p you have to buy and has no sub...and free to play you don't have to pay anything to start playing and has no sub.

    The nerd rage posts about people having to pay to unlock a class or zone or what ever and the game isn't free because of it.... are wrong. They were able to DL the game and make an account and can play on the server for free....that is free to play. How we feel about what they do charge for doesn't change that.

  • AlberelAlberel LondonPosts: 1,121Member

    Unfortunately publishers have started interpreting F2P as literally as possible in the interests of luring in customers; i.e. it's free to login and that's about it.

    IMO a F2P game should be free to actually play the core of the game without arbitrary restrictions. The cash shop would then sell access to additional content, aesthetics and consumables.

    SWTOR is probably the prime example of how not to do a F2P game as the core of the game has been arbitrarily restricted to force players to spend money. From what I hear Aion actually has one of the best setups.

    At the end of the day you can tell a good F2P from a bad one by a single simple test: Do you want to spend money on it, or do you feel forced to in order to play the game properly?

  • KhondorKhondor Lorton, VAPosts: 51Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    free to play means you can create an account download the mmo and play on the server for free. It doesn't promis that you'll never have to spend any money on the game and have full access to everything

    This.

  • KrashKrisKrashKris Castle Rock, COPosts: 8Member

    I'm so frustrated by the limitations of TOR that, as stoked as I was about playing about getting into a new Star Wars RPG, I think it's got to go.

    Looks like Tera will have to be my next download. That's exactly what I've been looking for, a F2P MMO that's ACTUALLY free to play. Thanks Daranar.

    I wish games like TOR would just call it what it is, a free trial.

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Natjur

    So we just need to invent some subtype for the FTP plays

     

    FTP Full   - Everything is free, except fluff items 

    FTP Demo - Free to download and join, but most stuff is locked down until you pay

    FTP -BtW - Free to download and join, but if you want to win at the game you need to spend cash (BtW = Buy to Win)

    I am sure you guys can think of smarted 'subtypes' then what I just made up, but you get the idea.

    I think it comes down to 3 'tiers' of balance of power between a swipe-happy player and a 'pure free' player.

     

    tier 1: the two playere are nearly equal and at no stage of game paying is necesary. Simple browser mmo's sometimes achieve this.

     

    tier 2: at max level, paying players are reaching stats, items, areas, features etc that free players have no access to, splitting the playerbase into two 'classes'.

     

    tier 3: at any stage of the game the paying player WILL dominate the free one regardless of any in-game factors. Also known as Pay-to-Win.

    most F2P MMOs are trying to be tier 2. Some are tier 3. TERA promises to be tier 1 but of course, we'll see how that works. I mentioned browser mmos so I'll mention halosphere2, a very simple MMO also as tier 1. In fact its an mmo so simple I play it in my EVE browser while playing EVE. :)

     

     

    image

  • KrashKrisKrashKris Castle Rock, COPosts: 8Member
    Anyone have anything to say on Lineage II?
  • craftseekercraftseeker kynetonPosts: 845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Natjur

    So we just need to invent some subtype for the FTP plays

     

    FTP Full   - Everything is free, except fluff items 

    FTP Demo - Free to download and join, but most stuff is locked down until you pay

    FTP -BtW - Free to download and join, but if you want to win at the game you need to spend cash (BtW = Buy to Win)

    I am sure you guys can think of smarted 'subtypes' then what I just made up, but you get the idea.

    I think it comes down to 3 'tiers' of balance of power between a swipe-happy player and a 'pure free' player.

     

    tier 1: the two playere are nearly equal and at no stage of game paying is necesary. Simple browser mmo's sometimes achieve this.

     

    tier 2: at max level, paying players are reaching stats, items, areas, features etc that free players have no access to, splitting the playerbase into two 'classes'.

     

    tier 3: at any stage of the game the paying player WILL dominate the free one regardless of any in-game factors. Also known as Pay-to-Win.

    most F2P MMOs are trying to be tier 2. Some are tier 3. TERA promises to be tier 1 but of course, we'll see how that works. I mentioned browser mmos so I'll mention halosphere2, a very simple MMO also as tier 1. In fact its an mmo so simple I play it in my EVE browser while playing EVE. :)

     

     

    I think I agree with your breakdown of existing F2P titles.

    However for me F2P means is:

    "Hey guys we dont think that enough of you are willing to pay a subscription to meet our ROI target so we are going to offer the game F2P. We are doing this in the hope that we can extract enough cash at the cash shop to meet our ROI target.  If not, we are going to cut staffing until we do.  We all know that means slower updates, less bug fixes and less tech support, so spend big at the cash shop.  Oh and by the way we are already diverting development to cash shop items and reducing staff."

  • Crunchy222Crunchy222 new york, ILPosts: 386Member

    To me F2P is now used as marketing hype.  Cram as many players in the front door as possible method.  Hey its free to walk in right?:

    Well F2P use to mean the entire game was free to play, no restrictions.  They sold a bunch of junk in the item mall to sustain.

     

    Now however, any game that goes off P2P starts tossing around F2P, and the F2P warriors eat it up as proof that P2P should exist ect.

    Thing is, walking in the door is free, your restricted in character slots, your restricted in races, often they tell you down the road that you need to buy the content...thats not F2P.

    I like to call it what it is.  If the game is entierly free its free to play.  If the game charges you for content is pay per content.  If the game has an uber long free trial, then a subscription at the end for full access endgame...well i call it a p2p with a free trial.

    I can really only think of 3 games now that have made the journey from p2p to f2p.  L2, Aion, Tera.  All the failed p2p games still try to hook you on a sub, restrict the living daylights out of you for not paying, and pile on the nickle and diming of an item mall.  Drives me nuts and is the worst business model out there...the desperate p2p gone free(ish)

    But what the OP suggested...F2P is way too broad...it would be like calling GW2 a p2p game because its not free to walk in the front door...people were smart enough to call that buy to play.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    free to play means you can create an account download the mmo and play on the server for free. It doesn't promis that you'll never have to spend any money on the game and have full access to everything

    This --^

     

    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

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,927Member Uncommon

    I see three main patterns:

     

    Free to Play - Free download client, full access to the game, item shop monetization

    A La Carte - Free download client, limited access to the game, content unlock monetization.  (like B2P but pay for it in pieces)

    Freemium - Free download client, limited access to the game, subscription unlocks premium features.

     

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • BanquettoBanquetto CityPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon
    A lot of people toss around comments like "you HAVE to spend money," but look at any F2P game you care to name, and you will find players - plenty of them - playing, not spending a dime, and happy.
  • craftseekercraftseeker kynetonPosts: 845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Banquetto
    A lot of people toss around comments like "you HAVE to spend money," but look at any F2P game you care to name, and you will find players - plenty of them - playing, not spending a dime, and happy.

    No you dont have to spend money but the publishers objective is to get enough people to pay enough so that the cash flow is greater than it would be for a subscription only model. Business is business.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by craftseeker
    Originally posted by Banquetto
    A lot of people toss around comments like "you HAVE to spend money," but look at any F2P game you care to name, and you will find players - plenty of them - playing, not spending a dime, and happy.

    No you dont have to spend money but the publishers objective is to get enough people to pay enough so that the cash flow is greater than it would be for a subscription only model. Business is business.

    It is well known that they only need less than a single digit percentage of whales to support a game. Most players don't need to pay.

     

  • MightyChasmMightyChasm londonPosts: 298Member
    Originally posted by Daranar

    Anyone else think there is a much too broad definition of F2P?   Some games like TERA is now is really F2P without feeling the need to buy extras.  Then there is F2P like Turbine games where you can even earn market currencies opening up the game from stock even more for free.   Then even more there are F2P like SOE games where it is more of an extended trial with many limitations (some of which you can only remove with a sub).  I really with we would stop using F2P so generically.   You never know (unless you know company tendancies) what F2P means when a new game is in development.   

    On that, what is your fav F2P model?  

    I actually like the SOE kind where its more of an extended trial to decide if I want to sub because I am still a fan of games that are sub based, whether only choice or make you feel you eventually need to (SOE/SWTOR).   I just feel you get a higher quality of support, both customer support and additional content.   And often those games have a more serious player base, instead of people popping in and out of a truly F2P game, making social aspects easier such as keeping guilds active.  

    I think there is a huge difference between F2P and P2W, but that goes without saying.  

    I am a huge fan of W101 and P101, but they are not F2P, they have a free starter area and you have to buy the rest of the content, this is NOT F2P.  

    Even if it is not P2W, I think you should reasonably expect to be able to play the game.  If you have to buy additional inventory to make the game reasonably playable then it is not F2P, because for all intents and purposes you have to pay.  F2P should mean that the core game is free, but fluff must be bought.  In these games I will happily buy fluff, pretty skins, aesthetic items or interesting pets.  

  • Lovely_LalyLovely_Laly genevaPosts: 734Member

    "free to play" is like wrong name for "free to download" or "free to try" games.
    also can be "free to ruin your wallet", "free to spend more then you earn", "free to buy a virtual property"

    real "free to play" is a myth, as devs need to make money somehow.

    try before buy, even if it's a game to avoid bad surprises.
    Worst surprises for me: Aion, GW2

  • birdycephonbirdycephon Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 1,314Member
    Personally, I kinda tire of subsidizing other peoples gameplay. I say, if you want to play, then pay.
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