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  1. #1

    How do you define "Pay to Win"

    So, the first question is

    How do you define "winning" in a MMO?


    Personally, I define it as completing top tier progression and excelling at ranked or rated PVP. Anything below that is filler content. Now, I love filler content. But when I find a datacron I don't think to myself. "Yeah! I just won at swtor!"


    What items would have to be in the swtor item shop for you to consider the game P2W?

    Current tier PvP and PvE sets. Anything below current (right now campaign and war hero would be current) isn't competitive gear and thus isn't winning.

    What items do you not consider P2W?

    Anything that isn't useful at end game. Exp pots, BOA leveling gear like from WoW, cosmetics like color crystals or moddable sets. I would go so far as to say a level 50 "starter set" (Ilv126) that breaks after 30 days. I've seen these in vindictus a lot. It works pretty well.
    Last edited by Bardarian; 2012-08-22 at 07:50 PM.
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  2. #2
    Hmmm...

    Well to kind of address your first question paying to win, in my mind, is when you can buy something that gives you an advantage that isn't reasonably obtainable by other means. It doesn't have to be like in a PvP match or anything, though those items would certainly count as well.

    So I guess anything that fits that description. I realize that's pretty broad though, and honestly it kind of feels like there should be a grey area in there somewhere, where some people would view something as an advantage and others wouldn't perhaps? Not that everything that gives someone an advantage is game breaking or anything though. So I suppose, most items that aren't purely cosmetic being P2W then. If that makes sense... :S

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    So, the first question is

    How do you define "winning" in a MMO?


    Personally, I define it as completing top tier progression and excelling at ranked or rated PVP. Anything below that is filler content. Now, I love filler content. But when I find a datacron I don't think to myself. "Yeah! I just won at swtor!"


    What items would have to be in the swtor item shop for you to consider the game P2W?

    Current tier PvP and PvE sets. Anything below current (right now campaign and war hero would be current) isn't competitive gear and thus isn't winning.

    What items do you not consider P2W?

    Anything that isn't useful at end game. Exp pots, BOA leveling gear like from WoW, cosmetics like color crystals or moddable sets. I would go so far as to say a level 50 "starter set" (Ilv126) that breaks after 30 days. I've seen these in vindictus a lot. It works pretty well.
    I mostly agree, but I might expand my answer to the second question to include "1 prior tier" as well, since current tier content is designed for people in prior-tier gear. And if you're putting together a group for current tier content and you want someone who has at least done the prior tier, not sure I'd want to take the guy who just dinged 50 ten minutes ago then immediately paid $25 and bought himself a full set of the prior tier gear and now thinks he's ready for top tier content. Maybe he is, and maybe he isn't, but I'd like to at least know one way or the other if the guy who's joining the OP has had any experience at all with high end content, rather than someone who just bought himself a set.

  4. #4
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Definition of P2W:
    Ability to purchase anything either: not available from other means, that can provide an advantage in any avenue of the game, or circumvents too much of current content.

    Imlpication:
    I feel that if there are only 3 raids at the moment, being able to have even the first tier of gear is a 'little' too much. It wouldn't make me livid, but it's headed towards a bad place. Being able to buy a set of blues that possibly isn't optimized (ie not augmentable, etc) that allow you to start the first tier of raid is acceptable. Once more raids are available, the purchasable gear can be bumped up by the same increment.

    Items that give boosts, if they have no direct correlation to end game PVP or PVE are completely acceptable. Even items that give boosts for end game are acceptable if they are available through another mean without paying money. Since all subscribers receive funds for the store, I am completely fine with buffs that increase your currency gains in pvp and dungeons being only available in the Coin Shop.

    LotRO's system is a fine model in my eyes in terms of not being P2W, and it even borders on some of the areas I don't agree with. The overall implementation works very well for me.

  5. #5
    Legendary! vindicatorx's Avatar
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    my definition of Pay to Win is spending real life currency for an in-game advantage that affects any situation. IE: things that give you an advantage over normal players.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by vindicatorx View Post
    my definition of Pay to Win is spending real life currency for an in-game advantage that affects any situation. IE: things that give you an advantage over normal players.
    If you could elaborate with specifics that would be helpful.
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  7. #7
    Over 9000! Baar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    So, the first question is

    How do you define "winning" in a MMO?


    Personally, I define it as completing top tier progression and excelling at ranked or rated PVP. Anything below that is filler content. Now, I love filler content. But when I find a datacron I don't think to myself. "Yeah! I just won at swtor!"


    What items would have to be in the swtor item shop for you to consider the game P2W?

    Current tier PvP and PvE sets. Anything below current (right now campaign and war hero would be current) isn't competitive gear and thus isn't winning.

    What items do you not consider P2W?

    Anything that isn't useful at end game. Exp pots, BOA leveling gear like from WoW, cosmetics like color crystals or moddable sets. I would go so far as to say a level 50 "starter set" (Ilv126) that breaks after 30 days. I've seen these in vindictus a lot. It works pretty well.
    pretty much what you said - the set at the end.

    Anytime you can buy something that will increase your chance to beat someone else = P2W

  8. #8
    "Pay to Win" items:

    • Gear that is stronger and / or infinitely times better than current gear the Free to Play character can obtain. Being able to buy current top-end gear is okay, but so long as it's pricey.
    • Potions that increase your stats, or abilities.


    NOT "Pay to Win" items:

    • EXP Potions
    • Cosmetic Items
    • Leveling Gear

    Things like these define a P2W game or a F2P game. Obviously some are subject to opinions and changes, and multiple other things I haven't typed, but you get the idea.
    Last edited by PenguinChan; 2012-08-22 at 09:17 PM.
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  9. #9
    I define it as being able to pay for a service/addition to the normal mechanics of a game that DO give you an edge over other people.
    Be this buying gear, buying XP boosts (applies to start of expansions and such when it matters) gaining more currency (Valor points or something, using WoW references because thats what I play) or other things like that. Cosmetic items are acceptable, mounts and pets and the likes they mean nothing. Not just because theyre mounts and pets but because theres already 2000 mounts and pets in the game that dont mean anything prestigious or hard to earn and thats just another tally on the board.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    If you could elaborate with specifics that would be helpful.
    What is there to elaborate? he makes perfect sense,maybe he doesn't play swtor so he can help u there, he was talking in general.

    What he meant though was, any tier, any item anything that can be obtained by "working for it" via money is pay to win even if it's 1st tier and not the best, it's still a big advantage that puts u ahead of normal players instantly .
    The things that u defined in your post are still pay to win but they are " acceptable pay to win scenarios " in your opinion, for me they wouldn't be acceptable.

    Any mmo that is free to play and has the elements i stated or u stated, personally i would never play it. Being rich or are willing to spend money in game to get u ahead in any way is not acceptable in mmos to me so i never play them.
    Last edited by Th3D0n; 2012-08-22 at 09:25 PM.

  11. #11
    Pay 2 Win Example: Tiger Woods Online by EA.

    Special Golf Clubs available for real money only that increased the distance you could hit the ball. The only way to beat those with the clubs, was to buy them yourself. Skill simply didn't come into it. A player that has spent money can sink a Par 5 hole in 2-3 hits. You won't even have it on the green in that.

    Free 2 Play Example: Tribes Ascend.

    Everything is available to free players (and the upgrades aren't huge, so you can beat people by using skill instead) but it can take a long time to earn the points needed to buy anything.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Th3D0n View Post
    What is there to elaborate? he makes perfect sense,maybe he doesn't play swtor so he can help u there, he was talking in general.

    What he meant though was, any tier, any item anything that can be obtained by "working for it" via money is pay to win even if it's 1st tier and not the best, it's still a big advantage that puts u ahead of normal players instantly .
    The things that u defined in your post are still pay to win but they are " acceptable pay to win scenarios " in your opinion, for me they wouldn't be acceptable.
    This is why he could clarify because I did not come away with this meaning.

    IE: things that give you an advantage over normal players.
    To me this means if most of the games population already has this, its OK to buy in the store because "normal" players already have it. It all about how you define a normal player in the end.

    I would be OK with them selling "Starter" blue sets.

  13. #13
    Generally it can't increase your power level when compared to an equally leveled character. If it's appearance or convenience related then it's ok.

  14. #14
    I don't really want to define 'pay to win'. It's difficult to define it.
    However, in my opinion, some of the F2P games have business models that create negative experience for free players.

    So...I'll define 'pay to win' as 'pay to not suffer a negative experience.'

    There are mainly two types of such models:
    A) the game is very boring/repetitive/even unplayable for free players and you need to pay to reduce the pain; you could call it the PvE side of pay to win.
    B) paying players can get to a higher level to competitiveness that free players cannot get in a reasonable amount of time and in turn stomp free players.

    This is not restricted to the top tier; negative experience can happen at any time, especially the first type.
    however, I have yet to see any MMO that only has pay to win stuff before top tier, but suddenly the game becomes completely fair at top level/top tier.

    Now for SWTOR, it is pretty clear to me, as a former player, that free players would want to experience a toon to level 50, then go on to create other alts to play if they decide that endgame isn't worth the subscription or buy-to-unlock.
    Unless they change the difficulty of leveling content, I don't think 'type A' would apply. Now, generic planetary quests are indeed repetitive, but I'd say it's still within the reasonable range.
    For 'type B' it is difficult to say, but generally it shouldn't really matter, because the main focus of free players who would stay free is to experience all those leveling content.

    So that's what I think of TOR's F2P model.

    I do, however, disagree with some of OP's ideas. For example, experience potions can be considered pay to win (the first type) in some cases. If the game's leveling process is so boring/repetitive that it makes you just want to get over it and get to the max level, then offering experience potions for players to purchase can create a negative experience for the player base.
    Last edited by Gothic90; 2012-08-22 at 10:30 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Gothic90 View Post
    I don't really want to define 'pay to win'. It's difficult to define it.
    However, in my opinion, some of the F2P games have business models that create negative experience for free players.

    So...I'll define 'pay to win' as 'pay to not suffer a negative experience.'

    There are mainly two types of such models:
    A) the game is very boring/repetitive/even unplayable for free players and you need to pay to reduce the pain; you could call it the PvE side of pay to win.
    B) paying players can get to a higher level to competitiveness that free players cannot get in a reasonable amount of time and in turn stomp free players.

    This is not restricted to the top tier; negative experience can happen at any time, especially the first type.
    however, I have yet to see any MMO that only has pay to win stuff before top tier, but suddenly the game becomes completely fair at top level/top tier.

    Now for SWTOR, it is pretty clear to me, as a former player, that free players would want to experience a toon to level 50, then go on to create other alts to play if they decide that endgame isn't worth the subscription or buy-to-unlock.
    Unless they change the difficulty of leveling content, I don't think 'type A' would apply. Now, generic planetary quests are indeed repetitive, but I'd say it's still within the reasonable range.
    For 'type B' it is difficult to say, but generally it shouldn't really matter, because the main focus of free players who would stay free is to experience all those leveling content.

    So that's what I think of TOR's F2P model.

    I do, however, disagree with some of OP's ideas. For example, experience potions can be considered pay to win (the first type) in some cases. If the game's leveling process is so boring/repetitive that it makes you just want to get over it and get to the max level, then offering experience potions for players to purchase can create a negative experience for the player base.
    The only problem with A is that it is very subjective.

    Whats a fun grind for some is a tedious and unbearable mess for others.

    B I agree with though.

    I think it should be noted that Swtor will be blocking freemium players from ranked WZs so WH gear will be a long and nearly impossible goal to reach for many f2p accounts.
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  16. #16
    I think WoW has it right, even though I tried SWtoR and couldn't play much of it since my computer is shit. For me, P2W is anything that will make your character better than the baseline. So lets say for example, the WoW mounts that you can buy aren't P2W in my mind, they're cosmetics and can't effect any part of leveling or anything of the like. BoA's I like because they are readily available to everyone and you don't have to pay 10 bucks for em. I don't know about many other games but things like private WoW servers are often P2W, as you can buy OP gear and wreck faces.

  17. #17
    Legendary! vindicatorx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    If you could elaborate with specifics that would be helpful.
    Seriously you need that spelled out? Did you buy an item with real money that gives you gives you any advantage over a player who had not purchased said item? If yes you paid to win. Else, you did not.

    ---------- Post added 2012-08-22 at 10:52 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Th3D0n View Post
    What is there to elaborate? he makes perfect sense,maybe he doesn't play swtor so he can help u there, he was talking in general.

    What he meant though was, any tier, any item anything that can be obtained by "working for it" via money is pay to win even if it's 1st tier and not the best, it's still a big advantage that puts u ahead of normal players instantly .
    The things that u defined in your post are still pay to win but they are " acceptable pay to win scenarios " in your opinion, for me they wouldn't be acceptable.

    Any mmo that is free to play and has the elements i stated or u stated, personally i would never play it. Being rich or are willing to spend money in game to get u ahead in any way is not acceptable in mmos to me so i never play them.
    at least someone get's it.

  18. #18
    Warchief Razael's Avatar
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    1 ) Exactly as you described it.

    2) Using Diablo 3s system basically, allowing people to purchase top notch gear , long as they have the money for it

    3) Cosmetic sets , Quality of Life items (1-49 scaling heirlooms, Fleet Passes with no CD, etc.), Pets or Speeders, Previous tier gear (i used to be against this but i thought that if i ever re-rolled from my main i wouldn't be sure i'd want to grind the earlier content and would simply love to jump right into whats new.
    Or make it so that it gets unlocked for purchase if any character on your account has completed the Flashpoint / Operation that dropped said Columi / Rakata tokens , Relics etc.)

    Just my opinion and alot of the other posters even tho having different ones, they are still valid to a great extent.
    Last edited by Razael; 2012-08-22 at 11:19 PM.

  19. #19
    Is what I can buy equal to, or greater than the most powerful gear in the game? Pay to win.

    Are there buffs I can buy from the store that give me additional combat power that aren't attainable in the game? Pay to win.

    This excludes locked content in freemium games (i.e. raids locked out for free players in SWTOR or gear quality limitations in EQ2).

    Really, not much more than that.

  20. #20
    Pandaren Monk WarpedAcorn's Avatar
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    P2W = Anything that is purchased with real money that gives advantage over another player AND can not be obtained through normal gameplay.

    Buying equipment with stats slightly less than top tier is fine in my eyes. Buying equipment with stats equal to top tier is borderline. Buying equipment with stats greater than top tier is P2W.

    Boosts to XP, currency, faction favor, or anything that speeds up the "leveling" process is not P2W imo.

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