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[Column] Marvel Heroes: F2P Isn't a Charity

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  • superniceguysuperniceguy AnchorheadMember Posts: 2,278 Uncommon

    What puts me off this game is the huge prices. It costs £190 across 3 content packs, and that is just too much for a virtual online game - what if it tanks or they end up in financial trouble and it shuts down and what you bought is then lost. I would more likely buy it if it was not free and cost £40. Then they put effort in adding more DLC for £5-10 over time, like most games, especially DCUO. I may in the end spend more than £200 over the years if that is the case, but £190 (or £65 for one pack) in one go on day one, no way

     

  • udonudon Durham, NCMember Posts: 1,803 Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ozmodan
    Originally posted by udon
    Marvel Heroes is probably the 2nd best cash shop game out there behind TSW.  No in game to real money cash conversion option and the only gambling slot machines only give items you can all buy straight up if you like.  As long as those fortune cards don't start to drop exclusive items I am ok with that.  Let the player choose if they want to either take a chance on the card or buy what they want outright. I do wish they had made crafting mats stack and I don't really buy into the technical reasons they gave for not being able to support it at launch.  Yea they might "fix" it in 2-3 months but by then most people will have already bought the extra bank space to hold them in for that time so it's very much to little to late. I also don't like to get into valuing cash shop items like heroes and costumes on places like this and think value statements like "they are to expensive" are very subjective to personal opinion.  This is first and foremost a game about playing your favorite characters from the Marvel universe rather than picking a class to play.  If you like the Hulk or Captain America you will likely buy them rather than analyze what kind of class they are.  As such prices are based more on how popular a character or costume is rather than how powerful it is.  If you don't value the characters the same as the Developer than don't buy them.  No one is twisting your arm and you will have two heroes by the end of the tutorial to play the entire game with if you like.

    You must be playing a different game than the rest of us.  Prices in the cash shop are quite high.  The cash shop is definitely in the upper echelon when it comes to pricing.  Not as bad as Neverwinter, but not good either.

    I will take a up front and honest expensive cash shop over one with hidden costs anyday.  In my book if a F2P game has slo machine boxes that drop exclusive items or a cash to in game currency conversation option it's a bad cash shop.

    I bought the Avengers Assembled pack with 3 heroes I wanted to play and got $55 in currency as well.  That's enough to buy all the crafting bank slots and a couple more X-Men with some to spare.  Maybe in a few months I'll want to buy another hero or a costume or two but it's still much less than Neverwinter will cost you in the same time especially if you want that slot machine mount not to mention the upcoming costs of upgrading companions or crafting better gear.

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Member Posts: 3,055 Uncommon
    Originally posted by superniceguy
    What puts me off this game is the huge prices. It costs £190 across 3 content packs, and that is just too much for a virtual online game - what if it tanks or they end up in financial trouble and it shuts down and what you bought is then lost. I would more likely buy it if it was not free and cost £40. Then they put effort in adding more DLC for £5-10 over time, like most games, especially DCUO. I may in the end spend more than £200 over the years if that is the case, but £190 (or £65 for one pack) in one go on day one, no way  

     Yet people on this topic are okay with paying the high prices in this game. I don't understand why are people willing to pay more for less?

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • jonrd463jonrd463 Tacoma, WAMember Posts: 598
    Originally posted by Holice
    Thanks again for reiterating the constant ridiculous criticism that completely misses the point of those opposed to some F2P pricing models. Not once have I ever seen someone say, "Give me EVERYTHING for free." Instead the issue is when the game costs more per month to play "ENJOYABLY" then the old way of $15 sub.

    Could you please state what the empirical, fact-based definition of "enjoyably" is?

    Hint: You can't. It's a subjective opinion.

    "You'll never win an argument with an idiot because he is too stupid to recognize his own defeat." ~Anonymous

  • VlackeVlacke BelgradeMember Posts: 155 Uncommon

    I agree with this article.

    First of all it has to be said that Marvel heroes is indeed a free to play ARPG game, you choose one hero at the beginning and get two more random heroes by the time you finish the story, complete the game, the entire game can be played for free but if you want to start with your favorite hero you will have to dip in the shop.

    All heroes and all costumes can be acquired via in game drops but of course the drop rate for those is very, very low, it should also be noted that selling heroes is the only way for them to make money in order to further improve the game, and the game needs some improvements in various departments indeed but that is an entirely different story.

    Some people just feel that they are entitled to get everything for free and are very loud with their complaints when that isn't the case, which is ridiculous in my honest opinion.

    At least unlike the majority of free to play titles Marvels cash shop doesn't reek of pay to win.

    Out of all free to play games it has to be said that Path of Exile genuinely stands out as a truly f2p game and the creators of said game should be given a lot of credit for that, however that is a rare, maybe even an unique exception in the current market.

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordMember Posts: 7,207 Common
    $20 to unlock a character when you could buy a whole arpg for the same price certainly isn't charity.
  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Member Posts: 3,055 Uncommon
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    $20 to unlock a character when you could buy a whole arpg for the same price certainly isn't charity.

    Yeah, lets just call this game Highway Robbery

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Member Posts: 3,055 Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vlacke
    I agree with this article. First of all it has to be said that Marvel heroes is indeed a free to play ARPG game, you choose one hero at the beginning and get two more random heroes by the time you finish the story, complete the game, the entire game can be played for free but if you want to start with your favorite hero you will have to dip in the shop. All heroes and all costumes can be acquired via in game drops but of course the drop rate for those is very, very low, it should also be noted that selling heroes is the only way for them to make money in order to further improve the game, and the game needs some improvements in various departments indeed but that is an entirely different story. Some people just feel that they are entitled to get everything for free and are very loud with their complaints when that isn't the case, which is ridiculous in my honest opinion. At least unlike the majority of free to play titles Marvels cash shop doesn't reek of pay to win. Out of all free to play games it has to be said that Path of Exile genuinely stands out as a truly f2p game and the creators of said game should be given a lot of credit for that, however that is a rare, maybe even an unique exception in the current market.

      I've seen many posts where people (myself included) believe that games cash shop and bundle packs are absurdly overpriced. We're okay with paying for the game. However, we're not okay with paying with the prices this company has laid out for us. and Michael Bitton is slapping the customers on the wrist for not buying these bundles when they had the chance, essentially punished the customers before the game was even reviewed or released. Michael clearly states, 

    "Free-to-Play isn’t a charity. I realize this is obvious to most of you reading this today, but there appears to be a subset of MMO gamers who look at Free-to-Play games with a sense of entitlement that honestly bewilders me. I’ve been reading commentary along these lines for a variety of games for quite a while now, and while it’s been grinding my gears to some extent, it’s finally come to a head with the recent release of Gazillion Entertainment’s new F2P MMOARPG (yep, that’s a mouthful!), Marvel Heroes."

    "The folks at Gazillion pretty much bent over backwards to give gamers ample opportunities to pick up their favorite heroes either individually or bundled together on the run-up to launch and these packs or bundles included half or more of their total cost in bonus cash shop currency as well as skins and bank tabs for each hero available in their respective pack."

     

    Michael then goes on stating that they've had friends who'd easily drop 30 dollars on two separate games in the same day. Good for them, I wish I was able to do that. I have a friend who buys 4-5 games a night but these people aren't the normal customers. Michael also stated that this games Cash Shop closely resembles League of Legends. Okay fine it price point does resemble League of Legends but when you start to actually look at the prices in reality; Marvel Heroes is still more expensive that League of Legends in terms of individual purchases. Even League of Legends bundle packs are significantly cheaper than Marvel Heroes.

     I'm by no means willing to purchase a game for $79.99 - $84.99 those prices are outrageous when comparing this game to any and every Action RPG on the market. You state that Path of Exile is a rare case where the game's truly free-to-play. Which is true it's rare in the Action RPG department because it's the only F2P Action RPG I've seen released. Which means it made up 100% of the F2P Action RPG market at the time. Does that truly make it a rare case? No.

     Now lets look at this game from a B2P perspective. If you wanted to purchase this game for $79.99 - $84.99 which are the prices on the bundle packs. You're already overpricing the game even on the same turns with the newest Action RPGs that was recently released: Diablo 3 is sitting at $59.99. A far superior game in terms of gameplay and character customization. You're already paying $19.99-24.99 more than Diablo 3. Comparing this game to Torchlight 2 you're paying $39.99-44.99 dollars more than that game. Torchlight 2 is again a far superior game when it comes to gameplay and character customization. Not only does Torchlight 2 offer all of this for only $19.99 but they have an entire community dedicated to producing more content and classes for the game. All of which is free.

     What about the quality of gameplay within Marvel Heroes. What does this game have to offer? Well this game offers many of  your favorite Marvel Heroes. I personally played Hawkeye and The Thing. My time through the game was quite boring and when you got to the bosses; they were some of the most lack luster boss fights I've seen. You simply attack 5 times and move slightly out of the way you rinse and repeat this strategy for almost every boss fight in the game. There's not even the industry standard of Hardcore mode that's available for customers.

    There aren't even difficulty levels for the game. The game only scales depending on how many players are in a specific zone. This means that the game only has 1/3 of the longevity compared to other Action RPG titles that usually unlock 2-3 additional difficulties after finishing the game through a previous difficulty. We get the easy mode and that's about it. Once you get to level 35 the games main campaign has essentially ended and you'll have to grind the rest of the way. You'll occasionally get a mission key to drop if you're not looking to pay for them in the cash shop. Which means you'll be forced to fight over mob spawns for extended periods of time.

     How does this game rate in terms of graphics? This game uses the Unreal Engine. Which typically means I have high hopes for a quality product. However, this games graphics to me look worse than Marvel Super Alliance 2. Which is a game that was released in 2009. I truly wish they put more effort into this game because seeing these lack luster graphics are not something I expect from a developer working with the Unreal Engine.

    Why should people support a company that's charging significantly more than the competition?

    Should Marvel Heroes be an unique exception for lack luster gameplay, graphics, and replayability all for a more expensive price tag?

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • MMOGamer71MMOGamer71 Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 1,930 Uncommon

    Free-to-Play isn’t a charity?

    Expecting players to pay for overpriced "starter packs" or "Beta Access" so others can play for free is though. 

    That's the real problem with F2P.  Those that are really interested in a game get gouged (see $$) so 20 people passing by from game to game can "play for free" in the hope that 1 gets interested.

     

  • ScotScot UKMember Posts: 6,168 Uncommon
    How about a $30 dollar box to play the game? That way they would get the revenue they need. I know its a crazy idea, but if you want to stop players yammering about unfairness it might just work!! :)

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  • RedhotRexRedhotRex Toronto, ONMember Posts: 1 Uncommon

    Reading all this It seems that some people think If you like a game support it. Others  seem to feel that there  is just a strait up X amount that they would spend on any given game and if  you can't get  100% unlock of a game for X amount  then its not worth it for them.  Honestly  you can't please everyone

    I my self  am the type to support a  company  if they can give me hours of fun  and I tend to put a $$ amount on my time, let me  set up this example    you go out  for the night  have some drinks   with some friends   some food  what have you, you can easy spend 50$ on your self or more pending.   total time spend having fun 4-6 hours.  now the other side   i sit at home and play a f2p  game for 12-20  even up to 200+ hours  that's free entertainment  I don't mind throwing $60  for that much entertainment    

     really if you like  a game put  some money into it  to keep it going and If you don't like  you can always move on.  So what if you don't get 100% of everything unlocked for ya in a f2p for $60

  • travamarstravamars Dallas, TXMember Posts: 417 Common

    Articles like this is why i hardly ever come to this site anymore. It just feels like your sitting on the developers lap being used as a ventrilaquist (or how ever its spelled) dummy.

    If they are going to advertise a game as FREEEEEEEEE  to play why bitch about people not paying?

    I dont pay shit for shit games. I would gladly pay for a good game and i do play p2p games. Some f2p games might be great fun and worth some money but i'm not going to hand over money to find out that i was right and its a shit game.

    You know why people dont want to pay for this crap so why bother writing about it.

  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYMember Posts: 1,783 Uncommon
    Everything in life is a matter of degrees.

    I agree with the article's author and agree that ffs, the studio needs to make money.

    But for example in neverwinter, I look at the item mall prices and say oh good god no. No way in hell.

    Its ugly to think of it this way but game companies have to sort of find that magical pricing point where folks will open their wallets but not be turned away by the overt greed. The same applies with the level of convenience. Too much convenience and we approach p2w territory... too little and why bother paying?

    The games I think have it basically spot on? Aion and l2.

    Itch

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

    Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

    Dwight D Eisenhower

    My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.

    Henry Rollins

  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYMember Posts: 1,783 Uncommon
    Everything in life is a matter of degrees.

    I agree with the article's author and agree that ffs, the studio needs to make money.

    But for example in neverwinter, I look at the item mall prices and say oh good god no. No way in hell.

    Its ugly to think of it this way but game companies have to sort of find that magical pricing point where folks will open their wallets but not be turned away by the overt greed. The same applies with the level of convenience. Too much convenience and we approach p2w territory... too little and why bother paying?

    The games I think have it basically spot on? Aion and l2.

    Itch

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

    Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

    Dwight D Eisenhower

    My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.

    Henry Rollins

  • KyRoS37KyRoS37 Georgetown, KYMember Posts: 3

    You know, this really is a great article. While I think the cap on heroes should be $15, and do find the pricing a bit high overall, it's really not inconceivable that one could get 100+ hours out of a single character or more in this game. Now, I've only played about 30 hours maybe so far. I bought the X-Force $60 pack and am playing Deadpool (beat game, lvl 27 I think) and lvl 16 or so on Colossus. I chose Scarlet Witch and got Storm and The Thing free. But considering you do get 3 free characters and all the content is free. It's really hard to complain about their business model overall. My one gripe is that if you buy a hero, you don't get their $4 bank tab included. I'm cool with buying the tab if I find a hero, but I think if you spend $20, you should get the bank tab as well, but that's just a minor complaint.

    Overall, I'm having a pretty good time with the game. More than I thought I would. It's pretty casual and stress free. The drops are decent, as I don't get that D3 feeling that everything I find is junk. I've not gotten lucky and found a hero or costume yet, but hey, RNG is RNG.

    But ultimately, I agree with the author of this article. Gazillion has done pretty well so far. Also, the way they are making up for the downtime for the founders pack players loss of early access is very cool. $20 and pet for UP or $10 and pet for the $60 packages? Pretty sweet if you ask me. Sure, the game is probably not going to appeal to many real hard core players, but I find it pretty entertaining, especially the later levels.

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILMember Posts: 2,376 Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    *LOTTA GOOD STUFFS*

    Mtibbs is right.  It isn't a matter of "players don't want to pay."  The question is, "what sort of value do I get for my money here, versus the same money over there?"

     

    __________________________
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  • WodenbornWodenborn Boulder, COMember Posts: 2
    Originally posted by Beatnik59
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    *LOTTA GOOD STUFFS*

    Mtibbs is right.  It isn't a matter of "players don't want to pay."  The question is, "what sort of value do I get for my money here, versus the same money over there?"

    I'm beginning to think this is a very temporary problem, for the following reasons:

     

    1) The complaints are not about the paywalls, they are about the height of said pay walls.  If every hero and every costume was $5, there would be no controversy AT ALL.

     

    2) The cash shop prices are THE WORST THEY WILL EVER BE.  You don't discount your shop when demand is at its peak and your dev team is at its most exhausted.   There actually is a danger to being too popular, too fast, and the current cash shop prices are designed to avoid that.

     

    3) We KNOW Gazillion is willing to offer MUCH better deals, because the prices are up OVER 100% from the price of prelaunch packages.  When I bought a launch package ($60, although the $20 ones were good too), I got a great deal, and ended up with eight heroes and eight costumes, plus a slew of boosts, I could not honestly recommend any of my friends to put down money for the game when these deals will become available again.

     

    Therefore...

     

    4) Future sales, discounts, and upgrades to character and costume drop rates will render this outrage entirely moot.

     

    I thought the post comparing the $85 avenger pack to other ARPGs was entirely fair and accurate.  After a year of free updates in Marvel Heroes, when the same pack goes on sale for half the price with bonus currency added on top, it'll be a completely different proposition.

     

    The Moral of the Story is: if you buy new, you pay a premium, if you wait for a sale, you pay a fraction of the original cost.  This as true in Free to Play as it is for boxed games.

     
     
     
  • WicoaWicoa LondonMember Posts: 1,637 Uncommon

    Well a friend just linked me this

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-06-20-marvel-heroes-review

    It seems eurogamer is more in touch with mmorpg.coms community than the writers here. Or am I just being cynical.

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