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We Paid to Win & Lost - MMORPG.com

SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,126

imageWe Paid to Win & Lost - MMORPG.com

Pay to win isn’t new, it’s just the newest version of what has always been. We are the reason it exists but can we co-exist with it?

Read the full story here



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Comments

  • ElvocElvoc Member RarePosts: 469
    This is a sad truth, really miss the days of the Everquest and WOW pay plans where it was one payment a month and you knew what you were getting and you didn't pay again until a major release of content came out and then you paid your $25 to $50 expansion fee and possibly got a free month. It was so much easier and no guess work.
    StjerneoddRawynultimateduckk61977SedrynTyrosTimEisenKyleranYoofaloofsakerGdemamiand 8 others.
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 26,972

    Elvoc said:

    This is a sad truth, really miss the days of the Everquest and WOW pay plans where it was one payment a month and you knew what you were getting and you didn't pay again until a major release of content came out and then you paid your $25 to $50 expansion fee and possibly got a free month. It was so much easier and no guess work.



    But the thing is those games helped spawn the whole "buy items for cash".

    I always saw news on Everquest where they were talking about people selling items on e-bay. So there has always been a segment of the population who were willing to purchase items/services. And companies were constantly combatting this, spending money to stop it.

    I suppose they woke up one day and realized that they were spending money to stop people from doing something that they were going to do anyway AND other companies would make money off their efforts.

    So they decided they would rather make money off their work if there was a market for it.
    Azaron_NightbladeTorvalDistopiaultimateduckSedrynTyrosTimEisenKyleranStoneRosesinfomatzDyplik-seaand 2 others.



  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade Member EpicPosts: 4,691
    It's always been there, lurking in the shadows as you say, yep. One of my first eye openers was while playing Diablo 2 at some point, and finding out there was some RMT site for selling rares. Some of them going for ludicrous prices. Unbelievable that some people are willing to shell out that sort of money.

    Another one was WoW, and the incredibly large percentage of players that casually buys gold from RMTs. I've even known some people on the RL side of things that did it. Developers at some point noticed just how much money others were making off their games, and (unsurprisingly) decided that they wanted a piece of that cake too. PWE was probably one of the pioneers there with its convertible cash shop currencies, which a lot of other games have adopted (most recently, SWL).
    TorvalDyplik-sea

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

    https://www.ashesofcreation.com/ref/Callaron/

  • sayuusayuu Member RarePosts: 739
    "We?"

    do you mean "I?"
  • RufusUORufusUO Member UncommonPosts: 37
    I think this issue stems from the outraged complaints at rising game prices, at least when it comes for purchasing the base/core component. AAA titles for most platforms have been ~$60 for a long time. Despite rising costs in development, maintenance, marketing, etc, that base price has been stable. If the game were marketed at $80, people would start foaming at the mouth. So, we're offered a base fee followed up by microtransactions that squeeze that $20 difference out of you while you play instead of $80 up-front. Better yet, maybe the entire base fee will be slashed to $0... but then the microtransaction geist looms ever more apparent, because a larger amount needs to be squeezed from players.

    Those that have accepted, condone, and take advantage of microtransactions (whales) make up for the difference where many players choose to spend little-to-no $$ at all. In the end, profit-per-player averages out, although overall profit for producers rises because the game is now more accessible to a wider audience. From a developer's perspective, this makes sense, and we can't really blame them. This is the solution they came up with to appease players, which, admittedly, is very tough when we complain about anything that has a dollar sign in front of it.

    Personally, I would be willing to shell out $80, $100, more for a solid, base, AAA title game that I know will be quality and won't pester me with P2W or microtransactions. Really, when I stop to think about how many hours of enjoyment I would get out of a game and divide it into the price, gaming is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment -- and it still can be, even if prices increased.

    An example: Witcher 3. Quality game. You could pay $60 when it came out and you had over 100 hours of content. Even if you rushed through it, you were paying maybe $1-2 per hour of enjoyment. For me, I sunk 150 hours into just the base game, before expansions. What would I pay for 150 hours of entertainment? To send a signal to industry as well as the studio that made Witcher 3, I'd pay $150, because it's still incredibly reasonable and lets them know that, hey, you're doing something right and I want to support both this content and this business model.

    These are just my thoughts and opinions, though. My actions, however, also signify this sentiment -- I refuse to participate in games that employ P2W/microtransaction models. Not only am I not a paying consumer, but I'm also not giving the platform an audience for other consumers to interact with. We just need to be more careful about how we, as consumers, select whom we support and how.
    SovrathKyleranGobstopper3Dinfomatz
  • rodingorodingo Member RarePosts: 2,866
    edited July 2017
    I sort of still miss MXO. Hmmm
    QuarterStackRemyVorender

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • congtran17congtran17 Member UncommonPosts: 13
    why is pay to win a huge problem in gaming? the world always under pay2win, even in sports. Look at the olympics, rich nations get more medals. Life isnt fair, stop crying about "fair"
    Octagon7711JemAs666TimEisenDvoraGdemamitehweweBruceYee
  • btdtbtdt Member RarePosts: 512
    $80 for a video game isn't out of the question for most... paying $80 for a game then another $15 a month to actually play it is another... especially if they don't add anything to the base game that you paid for.

    Used to be a subscription price was worth it... there was content to be conquered, thus you continued to pay and play.  Not so anymore... content is consumed far faster than it can be doled out.  That $15 subscription for one month is all you need to conquer what is available.  Then you wait 4-6 months for something new to get added.  Paying $15 to wait 4-6 months is a waste of money.  Back in the day, it took you time to get to that point, because you couldn't even do dungeon X until you had successfully completed dungeon Y.  To do dungeon Y required the gear that dropped in dungeon X.  So you farmed dungeon X to be able to complete dungeon Y.  This process repeated itself and as such you always had content to do that was worth that $15 a month.

    Another thing that is starting to really irk people is the fact that the game they bought isn't the game they get to play down the road.  You can't go back to the version that you originally bought, it's gone.  Imagine your copy of Witcher disappearing off the shelf.  That's literally what happens with MMOs.  So the value of your game is actually devalued in short order.  An owner of Witcher can boot up the game as it was so long as they have a machine capable of running it.  That purchase has lasting value so long as you are still able to play it.  MMOs have fleeting value, so the notion that they deserve equal cost upfront is absurd... what the hell is that subscription for?

    SedrynTyrosTimEisenGdemami
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,537
    It's a great topic for clicks and should generate a heated discussion. My light criticism of your article, although well worded, is that you went for the easy selling points, glossed over the complexities that brought us here, and completely ignored the root cause and that is monetizing progression.

    You have a great writing style though and setup of a fun narrative so I like reading your articles whether I think you're on target or completely off the mark.
    TimEisenWylfGdemamitehwewe
    take back the hobby: https://www.reddit.com/r/patientgamers/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly
    ༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ

  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,828
    I really could care less about pay to win. If Billy's parents gave him 5k for his birthday and he spent it playing an MMO that on him. Let him run by me with the latest bling on his gold plated motorcycle. Have fun Billy.

    It would make a difference if I did a lot of PvP and Billy used that 5k to buy some overpowered gear and weapons in the cash shop which meant I stood little chance of beating Billy and had to listen to his trash talk everyday.
    TorvalGdemami

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • Dead_GuyDead_Guy Member UncommonPosts: 42
    If you stick your hand in a blender and try to sue the company that made it, you deserve to be poor and crippled.

    In other words; stop blaming everyone for your problems and grow the hell up. Life is what you can make of it. You deserve nothing and the more you expect the more disappointed you will be.
    TimEisenWarzod
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,828


    why is pay to win a huge problem in gaming? the world always under pay2win, even in sports. Look at the olympics, rich nations get more medals. Life isnt fair, stop crying about "fair"



    Pretty much how I feel about it. There are people who have to take the bus and people who drive exotic cars. I'm not going to yell "P2W!!" as they drive past me. I may not like it that someone got hired for a really good position because they are a relative of the boss, but that's life.
    Azaron_NightbladeTimEisenKyleranGdemamiDyplik-sea

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,537


    why is pay to win a huge problem in gaming? the world always under pay2win, even in sports. Look at the olympics, rich nations get more medals. Life isnt fair, stop crying about "fair"



    Pretty much how I feel about it. There are people who have to take the bus and people who drive exotic cars. I'm not going to yell "P2W!!" as they drive past me. I may not like it that someone got hired for a really good position because they are a relative of the boss, but that's life.
    I usually yell, "Rich bastard!" as they pass by me in my Hyundai Sonata. :lol:
    Octagon7711RawynLuminusXAzaron_NightbladeJemAs666SedrynTyrosTimEisenKyleraninfomatzDyplik-seaand 3 others.
    take back the hobby: https://www.reddit.com/r/patientgamers/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly
    ༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ

  • LastlaughlolLastlaughlol Member UncommonPosts: 98
    I'd call this article a thought provoker and I love it, thanks for the post definitely one of the best gaming article written in recent times. Simple, but addressing a serious issue.
    TimEisenGdemami
  • holdenhamletholdenhamlet Member EpicPosts: 3,756
    edited July 2017

    Sovrath said:



    Elvoc said:


    This is a sad truth, really miss the days of the Everquest and WOW pay plans where it was one payment a month and you knew what you were getting and you didn't pay again until a major release of content came out and then you paid your $25 to $50 expansion fee and possibly got a free month. It was so much easier and no guess work.






    But the thing is those games helped spawn the whole "buy items for cash".



    I always saw news on Everquest where they were talking about people selling items on e-bay. So there has always been a segment of the population who were willing to purchase items/services. And companies were constantly combatting this, spending money to stop it.



    I suppose they woke up one day and realized that they were spending money to stop people from doing something that they were going to do anyway AND other companies would make money off their efforts.



    So they decided they would rather make money off their work if there was a market for it.



    This is true but the problem arises when Devs make their money off virtual items instead of selling us content. They are disincentivized to make new and fun content, and motivated to make items.

    BDO is a good example of this. More and more items added to the shop, still no group content at endgame.

    Compare this to WoW, still with its expansion and subscription model. They release metric shit-tons of content every couple years, because that's how they make money.

    It's not about "fair" or "unfair" (although certainly it is not fair to p2w), it's more about our interests as gamers looking for good games clashing with the devs new interest in making virtual items and environments where you will "need" them, rather than good games and new content.

    The Devs of BDO are making $30 for an outfit, which only takes a day or two from 1 artist to make. The Devs of Blizzard make just a little more from an expansion, but those take tons of time and manpower to make.
    Post edited by holdenhamlet on
    RufusUOCogohiTimEisenMadFrenchieGdemami
  • RufusUORufusUO Member UncommonPosts: 37

    btdt said:

    MMOs have fleeting value, so the notion that they deserve equal cost upfront is absurd... what the hell is that subscription for?




    Did not suggest this, especially for MMOs. Also did not suggest paying $80 + $15/month for MMOs. Personally, I'd prefer paying a larger base amount for a stand-alone game. I would have a hard time justifying paying 80 for an MMO, though, and then a subscription fee. Much easier to go with a straight subscription fee that I can cancel at any time.

    As for the time it takes to get through content, well, I guess it varies per person. For someone like me that doesn't get as much time to devote to MMOs as I used to, it takes much longer to knock out content, so the developer would, theoretically, earn more from me if my sole goal was to complete their content. The beauty of a Good MMO is that even if you've done all of the 'content,' you still want to play (read: pay the subcription fee) because you enjoy participating with the community. I'd pay $15+ a month to be able to help my friends complete their own line of content.
    TimEisen
  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 10,970
    @TimEisen

    Tim... you mentioned the key point but jumped to the wrong conclusion IMHO.  Yes, it was possible to P2W and buy gold etc in games of old, and yes it was done in the shadows... but it was considered CHEATING! 

    Now it seems some of us are saying "If you can't beat em, join them!".  That's just never been my style.  To me it's simply still cheating.   I'm not asking for the model to go away, or to change any game that currently has it.  I'd just like there to be some more options for those of us who refuse to give in.


    TimEisenMadFrenchieGobstopper3DsakerGdemamiinfomatzcameltosisNycteliosNilden

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

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  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 10,970
    Torval said:


    why is pay to win a huge problem in gaming? the world always under pay2win, even in sports. Look at the olympics, rich nations get more medals. Life isnt fair, stop crying about "fair"



    Pretty much how I feel about it. There are people who have to take the bus and people who drive exotic cars. I'm not going to yell "P2W!!" as they drive past me. I may not like it that someone got hired for a really good position because they are a relative of the boss, but that's life.
    I usually yell, "Rich bastard!" as they pass by me in my Hyundai Sonata. :lol:
    Oh that was you?  I would have stopped had I known.  


    JamesGoblinSedrynTyrosTimEisenGobstopper3DNycteliosAvarixcorvas

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

    My ignore list finally has one occupant after 12 years. I am the strongest supporter of free speech on here, but free speech does not mean forced listening. Have fun my friend. Hope you find a new stalking target.

  • RenoakuRenoaku Member EpicPosts: 3,057
    There are lots of examples of Pay 2 Win Games, but you can also Pay 2 Lose?

    1.) Albion Online most recent you can spend over $100 even up to $500 or more and still get banned by the company and label as guilty before innocent just for accepting a trade in the game based off 4.5.1 for trading too large of resources or receiving them they assume the person paid for them.

    2.) Arche Age, You can be like me and spend up towards $2000+ in the game cash store, cosmetics etc, but when you expect the game company to listen to you make any type of good changes like cosmetic storage because you got like every costume in the game like myself and no room to put it Good Luck with that, this doesn't include how Trion killed the game making it forced PVP and hero system and all that a great sand-box game but ruined by ignorance.

    3.) Game OF War, here is the biggest kicker people pay to win I am guilty of this when I say pay 2 win I mean try $300+ in a single month, only for the game company to keep introducting little upgrades on Research, Building Requirements and all that stuff so basically your old stuff becomes useless and you have to keep paying.

    So given most the Sand-Box or somewhat sandbox titles are Pay 2 Win, or rather Pay 2 Lose as described above, then what choices are there?

    Life Is Fedual?
    Dark Fall?

    Wait for Ashes OF Creation / Crow Fall?
  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade Member EpicPosts: 4,691
    Renoaku said:


    So given most the Sand-Box or somewhat sandbox titles are Pay 2 Win, or rather Pay 2 Lose as described above, then what choices are there?

    Life Is Fedual?
    Dark Fall?

    Wait for Ashes OF Creation / Crow Fall?
    Play 7 Days to Die, ARK, or Conan Exiles. They generally do the whole sandbox thing better than "Real MMOs™" anyway.

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

    https://www.ashesofcreation.com/ref/Callaron/

  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 12,791
    The big difference of course, being that back when it was a shady, underground thing, games were not designed to cater to it. Now they are because it's no Vinnie in the back alley doing the sale, it's corporate Frank doing it and they want to make it necessary.

    Just imagine Vinnie in the old days having the muscle to force game changes to grow his market. That's what we have now.
    TimEisentehwewe
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED
  • abnesherabnesher Member UncommonPosts: 112
    I play games to get away from micro-managing my personal finances. That escape is getting harder and harder for each game released.

    I don't mind the concept of fluff in-game stores. Many items stores are even well integrated in the economic model of a given game, BUT most games will shove the store down your throat for every 2 cybersteps you take or every mob you loot.

    If I get anymore "Hey, why not buy this?!" shoved in to my life, I will just turn everything off and hide behind my couch until the bombs or the sun has burned it all away...ahhh...sweet relief!


    TimEisen

    ---------
    no sig

  • FlyByKnightFlyByKnight Member EpicPosts: 3,894
    What type of delusional weenie spends 2 grand on Archeage but complains about "forced PVP" after the fact? That's absolutely insane. 

    "Trion killed the game making it forced PVP and hero system and all that a great sand-box game but ruined by ignorance."

    Ruined by YOUR ignorance buddy. Google is free.
    Azaron_NightbladeSedrynTyrosinfomatz
    Raging Demons for all flowchart "Kens". This is a metaphor.
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 16,334
    Sovrath said:

    Elvoc said:

    This is a sad truth, really miss the days of the Everquest and WOW pay plans where it was one payment a month and you knew what you were getting and you didn't pay again until a major release of content came out and then you paid your $25 to $50 expansion fee and possibly got a free month. It was so much easier and no guess work.



    But the thing is those games helped spawn the whole "buy items for cash".

    I always saw news on Everquest where they were talking about people selling items on e-bay. So there has always been a segment of the population who were willing to purchase items/services. And companies were constantly combatting this, spending money to stop it.

    I suppose they woke up one day and realized that they were spending money to stop people from doing something that they were going to do anyway AND other companies would make money off their efforts.

    So they decided they would rather make money off their work if there was a market for it.
    So can't beat them..join them.
    Two wrongs don't make it right,your just shifting a problem area from an outside source of CHOICE to ONE choice and that is through the developer where you have no control over how much of the game gets ruined by cash shop,at least outside sources can ONLY target an area the dev leaves open for them.A developer can totally turn a game you might have invested 5 years into upside down and ruin the entire game with cash shops sales hanging you out to dry.

    "spending money to combat it"Yeah so?We have been told there are GM's and an active team listening to the gamer's,has that all been a lie?If you are paying people to look after your game and the  community,might as well get them to actually work and CARE about the game.

    If a developer is telling the gamer  "we don't give a shit about ruining a game with RMT,sop long as we get the money"then i do NOT want to support that developer ever and i don't support cash shop devs.

    The analogy would be like saying "ok if people are going to steal from me all the time,then i might as well go out and steal stuff as well.Wrong is wrong and it doesn't matter who is in charge of that WRONG or what excuse they are making to support being in the wrong.
    TimEisentehwewe

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • TimEisenTimEisen ColumnistMember EpicPosts: 3,292
    edited July 2017


    why is pay to win a huge problem in gaming? the world always under pay2win, even in sports. Look at the olympics, rich nations get more medals. Life isnt fair, stop crying about "fair"



    I always find sports fascinating. Sports are a simulation of PVP which is a simulation of death just like games. Every instinct in the human body is coded to survive. The result is we cheat to win, to prevent loss, to maximize assets and to prevent death - even simulated, at all costs. Cheating is in effect a survival mechanic and as a result it is inevitable in any form of competition or simulation involving loss. Especially in sports when the upside is millions of dollars which ensure a secure survival. The down side, you sit out for a bit.

    Millions fanatically embrace sports despite sports being rife with peopling paying to win (via PEDs) and its fine, we love it. Then every once in a great while an athlete gets caught and we turn our backs on them in disgust. We shun ridicule and shun them like we wouldn't have made that same bet in that same situation. We don't do it out of contempts for them, we do it out of contempt for them shattering the blissful illusion and forcing us to see what we try so hard not to. People will happily accept a thousand lies rather than face a single truth.

    I'm not against it so much as accepting of the fact that just like in sports, it has always been part of the process and it always will be. The form changed but its still the same old battle because that is what people are wired to do, survive. Frankly I prefer it happens legally in broad daylight with company oversight assuring quality and safety rather than illegally under the table through shady means where the consumer has little protection. Im not thinking of it in terms of good and bad, I'm thinking of it in terms of existing, always existing no matter what anyone does. If its going to exist I prefer to see it rather than pretend I don't.
    TorvalSedrynTyros
    I used to role-play a Warrior Priest now I role-play a writer.
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