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An insight into how F2P games are designed...

trancejeremytrancejeremy Member UncommonPosts: 1,222

Finally found the link to it

http://www.slideshare.net/vgsummit/zhan-ye-what-us-game-developers-need-to-know-about-freetoplay-in-china-2408412

To be fair, it's specifically aimed at F2P design in China. But it shows you how much it can be abused (and how it's designed to be abused).

And then there is Turbine's approach

http://www.slideshare.net/vgsummit/turbine-ddo-virtual-goods-summit-presentation

It's less, er, cuththroat, but it also mentions monetizing consumables (which is bad)

Also see their top selling chart - almost all are consumables.

Which is my worry about main worry about LOTRO - that consumables become so important you have to buy a lot of them from the cash shop just to play normally (doing PvE quests for your level).

R.I.P. City of Heroes and my 17 characters there

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Comments

  • frogifrogi Member Posts: 18

    Bear in mind that VIPs get a monthly allotment of points to spend.  Since they have access to all adventures, classes, and races the only viable items in which to spend their points are consumables.

  • NiakadNiakad Member Posts: 36

    But it shows you how much it can be abused

    Well, any single thing can be abused (from a kitchen fork to the large corp's budget). A human being can pervert anything, there is nothing new about that.

    monetizing consumables (which is bad) ... almost all are consumables ...

    Well, that is logical. Consumables tend to be... consumed; it is easy to monetise them.

    that consumables become so important you have to buy a lot of them from the cash shop just to play normally

    "Have to" and "normally" is the key. And you have not defined them properly.

    On the whole, only weak-minded and impulsive people should be afraid of the Shop. DDO model is less restrictive than the Chinese one, and, with some preliminary planning, it is perfectly possible to enjoy the game without tons of investments (at the moment).

    Of course, the Shop uses a lot of human weaknesses to drive the sales, yet there is nothing "bad" about this. It is simply the mark of our time. Sales people use all the dirty tricks at their disposal (and constantly invent new ones) to part one and one's money. The only real solution here is to train one's willpower. Almost any "mind trick" can be nullified by thinking (and not acting impulsively).

    Which is my worry about main worry about LOTRO

    F2P LOTRO is not even in beta yet. Worrying too much about the future one has NO control over (and almost 0 information about) is another sign of untrained mind. Your rants wiil not make Turbine alter any single thing in their plans. Should, on the other hand, players start exodus from F2P LOTRO (after it's launch) because of the Shop/prices, that will get their attention in no time at all.

    F2P is evolving. It is very easy to become too greedy (Allods and "Chinese model"), yet it is not the only way to follow.

  • mrw0lfmrw0lf Member Posts: 2,269

    I haven't played DDO since it was made 'f2p' but the advert right at the top of their shop says it all for me, "You Need Healing? We've Got That!".

    -----
    “The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.”

  • NeblessNebless Member RarePosts: 1,435

    While playing in the P2p LotRO world, one of the things I always had a problem with finding was the mid level Heal (altese?) pots.  Once in awhile you'd see them on the AH, generally for a high cost and the vendors seemed to only have the lower level ones.  So that's an item I would have willing spent TP on in a store just so I could play without dieing.  Is that good?  Is that bad?  Who knows, depends on the person I guess.

    SWG (pre-cu) - AoC (pre-f2p) - PotBS (pre-boarder) - DDO - LotRO (pre-f2p) - STO - GnH (beta tester) - SWToR - Neverwinter

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Member Posts: 5,615

    This isnt a F2P game, it just now has the option of an ala-cart system. Big diffrence.

    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • mrw0lfmrw0lf Member Posts: 2,269

    Originally posted by Mrbloodworth

    This isnt a F2P game, it just now has the option of an ala-cart system. Big diffrence.

     In what way? It doesn't sell potions, xp boosters, death penalty nulifiers etc?

    -----
    “The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.”

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Member Posts: 5,615

    Originally posted by mrw0lf

    Originally posted by Mrbloodworth

    This isnt a F2P game, it just now has the option of an ala-cart system. Big diffrence.

     In what way? It doesn't sell potions, xp boosters, death penalty nulifiers etc?

    All of that was allready in game. From day one. It was called the destiny wallet.

     

    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 28,376

    Thank you for posting this Jeremy, it's very helpful.

  • SnarlingWolfSnarlingWolf Member Posts: 2,697

    Consumables have to be a staple for a F2P to work.

     

    Adding more content is great, and you can charge 5-10 bucks for a dungeon or adventure pack, the problem is the person buys it once and can then just play that content for months = no extra money. Compared to a p2p where a person keeps paying monthly to play the same content. It is more beneficial to add content to a p2p, and more beneficial to add consumables to a f2p.

     

    Take a p2p expansion for example. You could break that down into 5 adventure packs in a f2p store at $10 a piece. You now in one month can make the same amount of money from a f2p and a p2p player. Now it takes your company 6 months to make another expansion (yes I know the timeline was generous), the p2p player is now paying you $15 a month for those 6 months, and the f2p player now is paying you $0 for those 6 months. Making content is less profitable for f2p games.

     

    If you sell a one time XP boost, the same person can keep buying it. Same with health potions etc etc. Truly for a f2p to stay profitable in the long run, consumables are a must for the store.

     

    If you don't like that premise, then you might want to avoid f2p all together (I know I do).

  • CodenakCodenak Member UncommonPosts: 418

    Have turbine stated that lifetimer VIP's will have unlimited access to future expansion content?

    If they have made that claim, how many believe that they willl uphold it after they stated that LOTRO will not go F2P previously?

  • LiquidWolfLiquidWolf Member CommonPosts: 516

    In that presentation by Turbine...

    They use X-fire to show "on the way up" - Does that say X-Fire is a feasible method to show how well a game is doing, or does it show Turbine just likes how X-Fire shows them doing better?

    --

    Overall I found the presentation to be very interesting, and i'm all for F2P/Subs hybrid games. I don't think Turbine has done a bad job here... but i do believe they could do a few things better with the system.

    Then again... Things could always get better no matter what. :)

  • LiquidWolfLiquidWolf Member CommonPosts: 516

    Originally posted by Codenak

    Have turbine stated that lifetimer VIP's will have unlimited access to future expansion content?

    If they have made that claim, how many believe that they willl uphold it after they stated that LOTRO will not go F2P previously?

    You are going to need to link something where turbine says: "LotRO will not go F2P." and not just "We have no plans to make LotRO F2P at this time."

    I'm fairly certain Turbine used the second phrase.

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 28,376

    Originally posted by Codenak

    Have turbine stated that lifetimer VIP's will have unlimited access to future expansion content?

    If they have made that claim, how many believe that they willl uphold it after they stated that LOTRO will not go F2P previously?

    Lifers have never had unlimited access to expansion content so I don't see any reason they would be granted that opportunity in the new system.

  • CodenakCodenak Member UncommonPosts: 418

    Hmm then they will use that phrase with any statement, and all their statements become subject to change, wouldnt you say?

  • GTwanderGTwander Member UncommonPosts: 6,035

    Originally posted by trancejeremy

    Which is my worry about main worry about LOTRO - that consumables become so important you have to buy a lot of them from the cash shop just to play normally (doing PvE quests for your level).

    If they cut the XP on everything to half and get people to buy the consumables to catch up, then yes, but that's not going to happen. The progression will be the same it's always been, but only faster with these consumables - and that is how they get you - because a lot of people are impatient and spendthrifts. It won't affect many, but some will look at it like "hey, these guys are leveling faster than me with those CS potions and it's not fair". Is it really though?

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

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  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Member RarePosts: 5,484

    Originally posted by GTwander

    Originally posted by trancejeremy

    Which is my worry about main worry about LOTRO - that consumables become so important you have to buy a lot of them from the cash shop just to play normally (doing PvE quests for your level).

    If they cut the XP on everything to half and get people to buy the consumables to catch up, then yes, but that's not going to happen. The progression will be the same it's always been, but only faster with these consumables - and that is how they get you - because a lot of people are impatient and spendthrifts. It won't affect many, but some will look at it like "hey, these guys are leveling faster than me with those CS potions and it's not fair". Is it really though?

     Fair is questionable but ultimately it's stupid as hell. Facilitating a race to the cap encourages people to think they need to finish your game. You never want people to get the idea the end is a goal and accellerating people to an end just indicates your game sucks to play. In a well constructed game people should never want it io end.

    "We have met the enemy and he is us." ~Pogo Possum. 

  • LawlmonsterLawlmonster Member UncommonPosts: 1,085

    Originally posted by GTwander

    The progression will be the same it's always been, but only faster with these consumables - and that is how they get you - because a lot of people are impatient and spendthrifts. It won't affect many, but some will look at it like "hey, these guys are leveling faster than me with those CS potions and it's not fair". Is it really though?

    I don't know, I'm leaning toward "it's not". Not that it matters, really, but it's been proven that splitting a customer base between "haves" and "have nots" is bad for business. Those "have nots" are going to have to really enjoy playing the game to do so at a slower pace than all of the people who "have" the ability or resources to spend on leveling, or whatever. Otherwise, they'll have to do a bunch of depending upon the "haves" to supply the cash flow they need to stay open.

    Beats me, though. I'd like nothing more than to see this fail miserably, but there are merits to a hybrid system that aren't found in a straight-forward, buy-our-shop-items-to-win F2A. I still stand by this being bad for the consumer in the long run, but I'm already reserved to defeat.

    "This is life! We suffer and slave and expire. That's it!" -Bernard Black (Dylan Moran)

  • zeowyrmzeowyrm Member Posts: 746

    Originally posted by Lawlmonster

    Originally posted by GTwander

    The progression will be the same it's always been, but only faster with these consumables - and that is how they get you - because a lot of people are impatient and spendthrifts. It won't affect many, but some will look at it like "hey, these guys are leveling faster than me with those CS potions and it's not fair". Is it really though?

    I don't know, I'm leaning toward "it's not". Not that it matters, really, but it's been proven that splitting a customer base between "haves" and "have nots" is bad for business. Those "have nots" are going to have to really enjoy playing the game to do so at a slower pace than all of the people who "have" the ability or resources to spend on leveling, or whatever. Otherwise, they'll have to do a bunch of depending upon the "haves" to supply the cash flow they need to stay open.

    Beats me, though. I'd like nothing more than to see this fail miserably, but there are merits to a hybrid system that aren't found in a straight-forward, buy-our-shop-items-to-win F2A. I still stand by this being bad for the consumer in the long run, but I'm already reserved to defeat.

    Those divisions already exist though.  You have your so called "hardcore" crowd who devote 70-80 hours a week to a game, and the so called "casual" crowd who spend maybe 10 hours a week for instance.  Ultimately, there are always "haves" and "have nots".   A number of guilds in various games are built on this very principle.  "You have more time to play, you can be in our guild."  "You are not old enough, you can't be in our guild." "You don't speak English, you can't be in our guild" etc. etc.

    Using the "haves" and "have not" arguments is pointless.

  • NamkoNamko Member Posts: 69

    Originally posted by Mrbloodworth

    Originally posted by mrw0lf

    Originally posted by Mrbloodworth

    This isnt a F2P game, it just now has the option of an ala-cart system. Big diffrence.

     In what way? It doesn't sell potions, xp boosters, death penalty nulifiers etc?

    All of that was allready in game. From day one. It was called the destiny wallet.

     

     F2P users aren't even able to spend their destiny points.:)

    [FONT="Verdana"][SIZE="1"][COLOR="SandyBrown"]Lotro:[/COLOR][/SIZE] [SIZE="1"][COLOR="Wheat"]Rolhad[/COLOR] - [COLOR="Wheat"]The Nine[/COLOR] - [COLOR="Wheat"]Evernight[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]

  • LawlmonsterLawlmonster Member UncommonPosts: 1,085

    Originally posted by zeowyrm

    Originally posted by Lawlmonster


    Originally posted by GTwander

    The progression will be the same it's always been, but only faster with these consumables - and that is how they get you - because a lot of people are impatient and spendthrifts. It won't affect many, but some will look at it like "hey, these guys are leveling faster than me with those CS potions and it's not fair". Is it really though?

    I don't know, I'm leaning toward "it's not". Not that it matters, really, but it's been proven that splitting a customer base between "haves" and "have nots" is bad for business. Those "have nots" are going to have to really enjoy playing the game to do so at a slower pace than all of the people who "have" the ability or resources to spend on leveling, or whatever. Otherwise, they'll have to do a bunch of depending upon the "haves" to supply the cash flow they need to stay open.

    Beats me, though. I'd like nothing more than to see this fail miserably, but there are merits to a hybrid system that aren't found in a straight-forward, buy-our-shop-items-to-win F2A. I still stand by this being bad for the consumer in the long run, but I'm already reserved to defeat.

    Those divisions already exist though.  You have your so called "hardcore" crowd who devote 70-80 hours a week to a game, and the so called "casual" crowd who spend maybe 10 hours a week for instance.  Ultimately, there are always "haves" and "have nots".   A number of guilds in various games are built on this very principle.  "You have more time to play, you can be in our guild."  "You are not old enough, you can't be in our guild." "You don't speak English, you can't be in our guild" etc. etc.

    Using the "haves" and "have not" arguments is pointless.

    I disagree, but I think it's already been stated that you and I don't see eye to eye on the matter. "Haves" and "have nots" in a subscription MMO are different for two particuarly important reasons, the first being that anything another player obtains, you can as well without anything outside of the game itself (there are exceptions, I'm aware they exist), the second being that everyone is assumed to need the same requirements to meet the same goals. Those standardized variables get thrown out the window with a F2A MMO, because they are free to change at any time a player decides to buy a potion that increases experience gains, or enhances their armor. Granted, this isn't as much of an issue in a F2A that allows players to earn everything that's in the shop through built-in mechanics and play time. The "haves" and "have nots" matter when the "have nots" are unable to match the experience a "have" receives. You can say P2P's are the same, but the truth lies in that a "have not" in a P2P has no extraneous limit imposed upon them that makes them a "have not", like real world currency. Their subscriptions are an assumed variable that places them upon an equal playing field, time permitting, in most cases.

    Also, to say it's pointless to bring up any point in a discussion is to say there should be no discussion to begin with. You might agree with that sentiment, as I'm sure your arguments would be easier if P2P players stopped posting, but I'll continue bringing up anything with validity, and you can continue to decide whether or not you want to agree with said validity.

    "This is life! We suffer and slave and expire. That's it!" -Bernard Black (Dylan Moran)

  • zeowyrmzeowyrm Member Posts: 746

    Originally posted by Lawlmonster

    Originally posted by zeowyrm


    Originally posted by Lawlmonster


    Originally posted by GTwander

    The progression will be the same it's always been, but only faster with these consumables - and that is how they get you - because a lot of people are impatient and spendthrifts. It won't affect many, but some will look at it like "hey, these guys are leveling faster than me with those CS potions and it's not fair". Is it really though?

    I don't know, I'm leaning toward "it's not". Not that it matters, really, but it's been proven that splitting a customer base between "haves" and "have nots" is bad for business. Those "have nots" are going to have to really enjoy playing the game to do so at a slower pace than all of the people who "have" the ability or resources to spend on leveling, or whatever. Otherwise, they'll have to do a bunch of depending upon the "haves" to supply the cash flow they need to stay open.

    Beats me, though. I'd like nothing more than to see this fail miserably, but there are merits to a hybrid system that aren't found in a straight-forward, buy-our-shop-items-to-win F2A. I still stand by this being bad for the consumer in the long run, but I'm already reserved to defeat.

    Those divisions already exist though.  You have your so called "hardcore" crowd who devote 70-80 hours a week to a game, and the so called "casual" crowd who spend maybe 10 hours a week for instance.  Ultimately, there are always "haves" and "have nots".   A number of guilds in various games are built on this very principle.  "You have more time to play, you can be in our guild."  "You are not old enough, you can't be in our guild." "You don't speak English, you can't be in our guild" etc. etc.

    Using the "haves" and "have not" arguments is pointless.

    I disagree, but I think it's already been stated that you and I don't see eye to eye on the matter. "Haves" and "have nots" in a subscription MMO are different for two particuarly important reasons, the first being that anything another player obtains, you can as well without anything outside of the game itself (there are exceptions, I'm aware they exist), the second being that everyone is assumed to need the same requirements to meet the same goals. Those standardized variables get thrown out the window with a F2A MMO, because they are free to change at any time a player decides to buy a potion that increases experience gains, or enhances their armor. Granted, this isn't as much of an issue in a F2A that allows players to earn everything that's in the shop through built-in mechanics and play time. The "haves" and "have nots" matter when the "have nots" are unable to match the experience a "have" receives. You can say P2P's are the same, but the truth lies in that a "have not" in a P2P has no extraneous limit imposed upon them that makes them a "have not", like real world currency.

    Also, to say it's pointless to bring up any point in a discussion is to say there should be no discussion to begin with. You might agree with that sentiment, as I'm sure your arguments would be easier if P2P players stopped posting, but I'll continue bringing up anything with validity, and you can continue to decide whether or not you want to agree with said validity.

    Basic Sociology dictates that there are always "Haves" and "Have nots".  And time is very much a real world currency.

  • KordeshKordesh Member Posts: 1,715

    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Thank you for posting this Jeremy, it's very helpful.

    Not really. Many people will still choose to completely ignore the information presented, cover their ears and eyes, and run around screaming praises about how F2P is the second coming and is not routinely abused nor does it have any impact on gameplay or design focus, and anyone who says differently is a moron...

    I would say it was very helpful, but the only people who are actually paying attention know all of this already. It doesn't help that everyone now has the "BUT TURBINE!" crutch to hide behind in the F2P argument, because they have one of the more reasonable systems to date. The flip side of that is the complete lack of acknowledgement of all the games that HAVE been abusing the F2P model for decades, or of the fundamental changes in design focus this kind of thing brings. That's all other aspects (and there are numerous ones) aside that also become effected by a switch from P2P to F2P. 

    Bans a perma, but so are sigs in necro posts.

    EAT ME MMORPG.com!

  • LawlmonsterLawlmonster Member UncommonPosts: 1,085

    Originally posted by zeowyrm

    Originally posted by Lawlmonster


    Originally posted by zeowyrm


    Originally posted by Lawlmonster


    Originally posted by GTwander

    The progression will be the same it's always been, but only faster with these consumables - and that is how they get you - because a lot of people are impatient and spendthrifts. It won't affect many, but some will look at it like "hey, these guys are leveling faster than me with those CS potions and it's not fair". Is it really though?

    I don't know, I'm leaning toward "it's not". Not that it matters, really, but it's been proven that splitting a customer base between "haves" and "have nots" is bad for business. Those "have nots" are going to have to really enjoy playing the game to do so at a slower pace than all of the people who "have" the ability or resources to spend on leveling, or whatever. Otherwise, they'll have to do a bunch of depending upon the "haves" to supply the cash flow they need to stay open.

    Beats me, though. I'd like nothing more than to see this fail miserably, but there are merits to a hybrid system that aren't found in a straight-forward, buy-our-shop-items-to-win F2A. I still stand by this being bad for the consumer in the long run, but I'm already reserved to defeat.

    Those divisions already exist though.  You have your so called "hardcore" crowd who devote 70-80 hours a week to a game, and the so called "casual" crowd who spend maybe 10 hours a week for instance.  Ultimately, there are always "haves" and "have nots".   A number of guilds in various games are built on this very principle.  "You have more time to play, you can be in our guild."  "You are not old enough, you can't be in our guild." "You don't speak English, you can't be in our guild" etc. etc.

    Using the "haves" and "have not" arguments is pointless.

    I disagree, but I think it's already been stated that you and I don't see eye to eye on the matter. "Haves" and "have nots" in a subscription MMO are different for two particuarly important reasons, the first being that anything another player obtains, you can as well without anything outside of the game itself (there are exceptions, I'm aware they exist), the second being that everyone is assumed to need the same requirements to meet the same goals. Those standardized variables get thrown out the window with a F2A MMO, because they are free to change at any time a player decides to buy a potion that increases experience gains, or enhances their armor. Granted, this isn't as much of an issue in a F2A that allows players to earn everything that's in the shop through built-in mechanics and play time. The "haves" and "have nots" matter when the "have nots" are unable to match the experience a "have" receives. You can say P2P's are the same, but the truth lies in that a "have not" in a P2P has no extraneous limit imposed upon them that makes them a "have not", like real world currency.

    Also, to say it's pointless to bring up any point in a discussion is to say there should be no discussion to begin with. You might agree with that sentiment, as I'm sure your arguments would be easier if P2P players stopped posting, but I'll continue bringing up anything with validity, and you can continue to decide whether or not you want to agree with said validity.

    Basic Sociology dictates that there are always "Haves" and "Have nots".  And time is very much a real world currency.

    I'm not disagreeing that "haves" and "have nots" are everywhere, but I am disagreeing with anyone who says that splitting your customer base is good for business. Nintendo's a perfect example, particularly with their memory add ons for the 64 and WiiMotion Plus. In their case, it caused third party developers to make a choice between which to develope for (this has actually hurt their sales, both in the past and present). In MMO's, it forces developers to choose who to create content for, and I'd be surprised if, in a F2A MMO, they ever built additional content targetted specfically for the players not spending anything.

    "This is life! We suffer and slave and expire. That's it!" -Bernard Black (Dylan Moran)

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 28,376

    Originally posted by Kordesh

    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Thank you for posting this Jeremy, it's very helpful.

    Not really. Many people will still choose to completely ignore the information presented, cover their ears and eyes, and run around screaming praises about how F2P is the second coming and is not routinely abused nor does it have any impact on gameplay or design focus, and anyone who says differently is a moron...

    I would say it was very helpful, but the only people who are actually paying attention know all of this already.

    To me it is an insight into how companies present their information without being polluted by "keepign up appearanes".

  • ComnitusComnitus Member Posts: 2,462

    Nice comparison. I'm also slightly worried about the consumables - Scholars are already worthless, so taking away a main source of their income (potions) won't help. Still, potions have quite a long cooldown, so it's hard to abuse them. You'll have a good amount for a while, which means that hopefully you won't have to buy them as frequently. If the store does end up having a negative effect on the game's economy, I'll be disappointed, but I'll keep selling the raw resources I get from my Explorer toon. Yay!

    image

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