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I am not a rabid fan of either Free 2 Play or Pay to Play, I think they both can be done wrong and right. In the last month I have spent most of my time jumping from F2P Lord of the Rings Online and P2P Eve Online, which are about as far apart in so many ways as any two games could be and still be MMORPG's.
I pretty much assumed however that Pay to Play was a dead breed, most of us did I think. Yea a game may come out and be buy to play or Buy to play with sub, be honestly at this point we all know it is going to jump on the free to play bandwagon 6 months to a year down the line. The competition is just overwhelming, Guild Wars 2 has all but crushed the idea that you have to be P2P to get frequent content updates and most of the AAA games that went F2P didn't stop getting updates just because of that. I believe star wars has a patch coming or just released.
However now we have three new titles from AAA companies all going P2P and I look at two of them and think they have lost their mind, and really all three seem to be pushing the limits of what they offer vs the rest of the market. Which had me wondering what exactly I WOULD pay a 10-15 dollar a month fee for with all the other options out right now.
This is what I came up with
Role Playing Enforced Servers-
I would pay 15 dollars a month just to avoid having to listen to a chuck norris joke on global chat, or a political opinion from either side of the debate, I do not give a damn about your mother or care for your opinion on some other mother. I would rather not see H8x0rA$$munch pop up in my line of site.
I would pay 15 dollars a month if someone would come into the game and make people Role Play in the mmoRPG...because even if everyone isn't going to get into it, which I totally understand, it would at least keep the worst people quiet or out of the server. (you can make fun of my mother in private chat if you want)
A Game with a GREAT crafting system/ mining system-
I mean a fantasy or modern game of course, eve already has a pretty good system...it is just I don't want to be a spaceship, I want to see the old SWG/UO model of sandbox crafting that is accompanied by the rather hard but needed mechanic of item decay/destruction that ensures that there is always a demand for your supply...you can make the "crafting minigame" as awesome as you want but if there is no demand it doesn't matter.This means no putting parts needed, or crafting tables needed (I am talking to you SOE) in the bottom of a bloody dungeon, but instead have it made from other crafters.
I would pay 15 dollars a month for the joy that comes from setting up a shop and becoming known for the high quality of my swords or armor or whatever. This is something no game has done since SOE decided to rip the beating heart out of SWG and eat it.
A Well thought out bulletproof PvP system with real consequences-
This can be done, you can have open world faction or FFA PvP and still maintain a civil social word, I see the hints of it coming out of Eastern games already...age of wushu does a better job of it than any Western MMO, ArchAge apparently has a good system, they can be made better
I would pay 15 dollars a month for the thrill of being a part of large group of people who are assaulting our hated enemies that hunted us in our favorite gathering ground two months ago, because revenge is sweet. This would probably work best with the other two though. I would pay 15 dollars for a game that has this and doesn't descend into QUAKE in an MMO.
There may be other things I would pay a sub for, but the old themepark level grind probably isn't going to be it, unless it is one hell of a themepark.