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[Column] General: Subscription & F2P

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  • gezodiacgezodiac Member Posts: 5

    I see a few posts saying TERA is a good f2p business model.  They may allow players unlimited access to the game but the buffs for subscribing players are huge for the type of game it is. Halved dungeon cooldowns and increased drops within dungeons is massive when the entirety of the measly end game is focused around getting gear from dungeons to +1 your gear, so allowing players to do this much much faster is definitely p2w just veiled because while you get a huge bonus you are not receiving it upfront you still have to work for it a bit. They there is EMP their p2w currency selling the top alkahests and instance reset scrolls, again people say this is fine... seems that they would need to put 100% alks in the shop for some people to finally realize it is p2w.

    And the given proof spoken about by some comments here on internet beingm uch cheaper than before via bandwidth used in the games is very true, but then also all other fees related to mmos have gone up immensely. The guys behind skullgirls wanted 150k to release a new character to their game and they got it because they sowed the people what the money was going to, and it paid 10 (iirc) employees 600$ a week (low for software development employees) for 10 weeks, and the rest went to legal/voicework/balancing. And that is a 2d arcade fighter. point is gmes are getting more expensive to make but getting cheaper to distribute.

    I agree with the article, there are far too many games, that only differ in name, that have saturated the market making F2P seem so viable.

  • SereneBlueSereneBlue Member Posts: 32

    Interesting article. And coming not so far off the heels of another similar article at GamesIndustry.biz.

     

    The article writer should check out the following

     

    Fearing the Microtransaction Future

     

    Then after reading it scroll down to the comments by lead game designer of Avalance Studios - Andreas Gschwari.

  • AeolynAeolyn Member UncommonPosts: 350
    As a consumer and a parent I would just like to state that in my opinion f2p should be classified under gambling guidelines.  

    Many will learn their lesson with the shock of opening their cc statement for the first or second time, but for those who have an addiction problem, ie. gambling, these "game" tactics are just dirty and should be legislated just like casinos.  It's one thing to charge $10-20/mo for a service but it's totally another to allow micro-transactions that can easily add up to thousands more for the same product not to mention for a service that is marketed directly at minors.
  • MicroblitzMicroblitz Member Posts: 3

    Perhaps our student (Scumbag?) friend (From an ex-game developer & father of three) ought to take a look at the question from a different perspective? 

    Many of the games which are healthly surviving at the moment are due to taking on a whole or partial FTP format. Having been a member of these communities who have watched number decline, the influx of new players has changed the feel of the game completely.

    Another thing to consider is that, If a game change makes the game unpopular then the response time of the players on a subscription based game will be very slow in comparison to a free to play game. Subscribers tend to hang on hoping that things will change through their loyalty to the developers. In a free to pay game the opposite is true. Players will cease to log on very quickly as the herd instinct takes them away to another free to play.

    Finally, as I posted I'm a father of three. While I can afford to give my three kids (Having dad as a programmer means they are all games officianados and avid LOTRO players), I can afford the odd treat, paying for a top rated game for all of them isn't on the cards. Free to play allows me to let them enjoy themselves without breaking my piggy bank, a point which is close to every scumbag student and father of three on the planet.

  • MicroblitzMicroblitz Member Posts: 3

    @Aeolyn "As a consumer and a parent I would just like to state that in my opinion f2p should be classified under gambling guidelines.  "

     

    Have you checked the EULA on some of the games? They do have a minimum player age in them?

    But I understand your problem and I would like to see the opportunity to enter credit card details in a one-shot approach.

     

    Most of these account save the credit card details and allow one click sales. The temptation is that a child will use the card either not realising or purposely to get items in a game.

    A parent mode would be the answer to that where game credit could be paid in that could be assigned to multiple accounts so that no banking details are present on the childs account.

     

    Perhaps this is something that MMORPG could champion?

  • DihoruDihoru Member Posts: 2,731
    Originally posted by Aeolyn
    As a consumer and a parent I would just like to state that in my opinion f2p should be classified under gambling guidelines.  

    Many will learn their lesson with the shock of opening their cc statement for the first or second time, but for those who have an addiction problem, ie. gambling, these "game" tactics are just dirty and should be legislated just like casinos.  It's one thing to charge $10-20/mo for a service but it's totally another to allow micro-transactions that can easily add up to thousands more for the same product not to mention for a service that is marketed directly at minors.

    o.O if you're a parent worth his/her salt you would've thaught your children the value of money from an early age and not left your cc readily accessible if you didn't. It isn't F2P's fault you can't take responsibility for your kids education or their access to your bank account of all things.

     

    Adendum: Using Paypal could very well stiffen any such "gambling" by kids and most F2P games accept Paypal as a payment method, as long as you make sure your password is 12-20 characters long, your kids never find it out and that you set up the payment system in the F2P game right you'll never have an issue with it. Blaming a game for your issues is the same as blaming a movie, a type of music, a book.

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  • AeolynAeolyn Member UncommonPosts: 350
    Wow, assume much?  I wasn't talking from personal experience.... just as both a consumer and a parent this is such an obvious gateway to mainstream gambling that I believe it should fall under those guidelines... sheesh.
  • DihoruDihoru Member Posts: 2,731
    Originally posted by Aeolyn
    Wow, assume much?  I wasn't talking from personal experience.... just as both a consumer and a parent this is such an obvious gateway to mainstream gambling that I believe it should fall under those guidelines... sheesh.

    Again your opinion, most F2P games offer ways to reign in any such activities through smart use of their payment systems, I rather doubt a gambling establishment would offer their vic.... players ways of controlling their spending. Also unlike gambling establishments which take your money (for the most part) without giving anything back most F2P games with such "gambling" features offer some rewards (example: lockboxes in Star Trek Online) you still get something for your investment, it may not be what you wanted but it is something and well... yeah...  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gambling 1a applies to any P2P game as well and 1b does not apply to F2P games because the outcome is far from uncertain because you know you will get an item you just donno which one ( do note I am making reference here to F2P games which are free to play, not pay to win games or outright scams pretending to be free to play or buy to play, example: War Z).

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  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    Originally posted by Aeolyn
    As a consumer and a parent I would just like to state that in my opinion f2p should be classified under gambling guidelines.  

    Many will learn their lesson with the shock of opening their cc statement for the first or second time, but for those who have an addiction problem, ie. gambling, these "game" tactics are just dirty and should be legislated just like casinos.  It's one thing to charge $10-20/mo for a service but it's totally another to allow micro-transactions that can easily add up to thousands more for the same product not to mention for a service that is marketed directly at minors.

    in games that have boxes for sale for cash that contain random items with the possibility of their being a 'rare' item inside, that is imo, the very definition of gambling. It would probably be very easy for someone to get carried away with it, or in the case of a child with access to their parents credit card information you don't need the actual card after all in order to use it when buying things online, then it becomes a bit dodgy, there was after all, recently an incident involving itunes and in game purchases made by a 5 year old child over the course of just an hour or so, that resulted in the child racking up a whopping £1700.00 in charges through in app (cash shop) purchases in a F2P game, itunes refunded the money in that occasion, but it does highlight just how monetised F2P games can be, and the dangers of unsupervised play by minors in them. image

  • DihoruDihoru Member Posts: 2,731
    Originally posted by Phry
    Originally posted by Aeolyn
    As a consumer and a parent I would just like to state that in my opinion f2p should be classified under gambling guidelines.  

    Many will learn their lesson with the shock of opening their cc statement for the first or second time, but for those who have an addiction problem, ie. gambling, these "game" tactics are just dirty and should be legislated just like casinos.  It's one thing to charge $10-20/mo for a service but it's totally another to allow micro-transactions that can easily add up to thousands more for the same product not to mention for a service that is marketed directly at minors.

    in games that have boxes for sale for cash that contain random items with the possibility of their being a 'rare' item inside, that is imo, the very definition of gambling.

    "Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value (referred to as "the stakes") on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods. Typically, the outcome of the wager is evident within a short period." - I could argue that the outcome is certain because you do get something of more or less value, in gambling you lose assets without any assets being provided in exchange.

    MMOs with such systems are more likely classed as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinner_box .

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  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Originally posted by Phry
    Originally posted by Aeolyn
    As a consumer and a parent I would just like to state that in my opinion f2p should be classified under gambling guidelines.  

    Many will learn their lesson with the shock of opening their cc statement for the first or second time, but for those who have an addiction problem, ie. gambling, these "game" tactics are just dirty and should be legislated just like casinos.  It's one thing to charge $10-20/mo for a service but it's totally another to allow micro-transactions that can easily add up to thousands more for the same product not to mention for a service that is marketed directly at minors.

    in games that have boxes for sale for cash that contain random items with the possibility of their being a 'rare' item inside, that is imo, the very definition of gambling.

    "Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value (referred to as "the stakes") on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods. Typically, the outcome of the wager is evident within a short period." - I could argue that the outcome is certain because you do get something of more or less value, in gambling you lose assets without any assets being provided in exchange.

    MMOs with such systems are more likely classed as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinner_box .

    Skinner box is conditioning for a specific reward. It's learning that if you do A, X will happen. Gachapon and mystery boxes offer an unknown reward, some with no gaurantee of reward.

    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

  • DihoruDihoru Member Posts: 2,731
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Originally posted by Phry
    Originally posted by Aeolyn
    As a consumer and a parent I would just like to state that in my opinion f2p should be classified under gambling guidelines.  

    Many will learn their lesson with the shock of opening their cc statement for the first or second time, but for those who have an addiction problem, ie. gambling, these "game" tactics are just dirty and should be legislated just like casinos.  It's one thing to charge $10-20/mo for a service but it's totally another to allow micro-transactions that can easily add up to thousands more for the same product not to mention for a service that is marketed directly at minors.

    in games that have boxes for sale for cash that contain random items with the possibility of their being a 'rare' item inside, that is imo, the very definition of gambling.

    "Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value (referred to as "the stakes") on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods. Typically, the outcome of the wager is evident within a short period." - I could argue that the outcome is certain because you do get something of more or less value, in gambling you lose assets without any assets being provided in exchange.

    MMOs with such systems are more likely classed as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinner_box .

    Skinner box is conditioning for a specific reward. It's learning that if you do A, X will happen. Gachapon and mystery boxes offer an unknown reward, some with no gaurantee of reward.

    As far as STO's concerned that's false, the lockboxes always give you something (worse drop I've got was 10 lobi crystals and a couple of high quality health potions) and most lockboxes are advertised to contain something special, example the ferengi lockbox has the ferengi marauder ship as a drop, the cardassian lockbox has the galore class cruiser ship as a drop, the dominion box, the original one at least, could drop a jem'hadar attack ship, etc. Ergo it is a skinner box, you want the best drops (the ships or whatever else is said to drop from the boxes) but the rate of those is said to be under 10% but you still do it, you still press the button hoping you get the best kind of item and it conditions you because while you are dissapointed you did not get the best kind you did get something useful and maybe next time you'll get that item. Games which do not use this system for their mystery boxes and the boxes drop absolutely, and I mean absolutely, nothing are actually using a gambling system but if they drop anything, even if it's a in-game turd it is still not gambling (you could call it a scam if the turd has 99% drop rate but not gambling).

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  • CheriseCherise Member Posts: 232

    Nice article, Adam.   You've expressed much of how I've felt while playing mmo's that have transitioned.

    "It feels like although the world is more populated than before, the trade-off has been inheriting a particularly enthusiastic advertising company."

    And especially this.  Every email I get from EQ2 has no mention of content or what new features are coming up.  It's strictly an email advertising what's new or  for sale in their store, and it annoys me to no end.  To LotRO's credit. while I am getting hit with advertising emails, they equally send content-related emails.  But the constant advertising has made the genre lose much of its magic for me.

     

  • BowbowDAoCBowbowDAoC Member UncommonPosts: 472

    Short and sweet ;

    F2P is so wrong, so bad.

    Sub is best... equity among players, pay that 20$ / month and get access to everything the game has to offer.

     

    F2P = imho only good to test the game, but only partially, since you cannot have a taste of the real thing, and if you begin to like the game, F2P wont be enough anyways, you'll always want/need something more.

     

    F2P hate + 1

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    Bowbow (kob hunter) Infecto (kob cave shammy) and Thurka (troll warrior) on Merlin/Midgard DAoC
    Thurka on WAR

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  • Shakes420Shakes420 Member Posts: 23
    In theory, B2P, F2P, or P2P are all viable options. It is my experience that more options are a good thing.  Where it breaks down is the way companies implement the payment model.  I have also noticed that payment model seems to be more important than game quality, ie. the fun factor.
  • kostantiskostantis Member UncommonPosts: 29

    the only problem with F2P is that it's taking down P2P too.

    as mentioned, the value of a subscription is lowered, mainly because the devs will always put things on the store that even subscribers need (even if they give them xxx points, it will not be enough) and those things were usually available for subscribers before F2P

    even the term F2P is erroneous, and reminds me of "reality" shows, nowdays it seems we have some semantics problems

    the problem is that this trend pushes for a "greedy" behaviour from the companies (will be charging for everything soon) since we seem not to be able to stop our hobby (our fault) and, no less importantly, supports the creation of lackluster products that require no commitment by both players and developers

    I applaud good implementations of F2P (Terra, maybe Aion, not LotRO anymore) but it is obvious that they are neither major successes nor are going to last wrong (and MMOs are supposedly games made to last long, otherwise we can play something else and quit rantin' about it)

    well, my 2 cents

  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Member EpicPosts: 2,380

    I've said it a hundred times, and I'll keep saying it; free to play is going to bite us all in the ass one day.

    As soon as we allow companies to start selling us virtual shit that doesn't even exist, instead of paying monthly for an entertainment service, then we're doomed.  There's literally no end of non existant shit that companies can sell us. 

    I, for one, prefer the old model of paying monthly for a service that is all inclusive rather than paying by virtual item.

  • StaalBurgherStaalBurgher Member UncommonPosts: 265

    From reading these comments it seems to me F2P customers have to pay the equivalent, if not more, to bring their character progression speed etc to a fun level anyway. I don't see much of a difference from a sub-model except that Cash Shops are tacky. I have never felt compelled to play a game because of a sub. Pay monthly and if my interest fades I cancel the sub, simple.

     

    I am not surprised however that it works on a psychological level with the average consumer. Think fast food and obesity. People can't help themselves and the companies are just raking it in on your frailties.

     

    That said I think it is good when a game is free-to-trial. I would rather there is no box price and only a monthly fee. If you are spending 10+ hours per week on a game that has a monthly subscription you are getting value for money. Subscription can easily be bumped up to £20 per month and I would pay if it is a quality game.

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