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  1. #1

    Why so much enthusiasm for F2P basis for MMOs?

    Preface: I'm not against F2P. There are situations and cases for both.

    Why is there so much support for F2P like it's the next greatest thing ever?

    Certainly there have been a large glut of derivative MMOs that should never have launched with a subscription when they couldn't support regular content updates, nor had the polish in the game to warrant players attention. But on the flipside of that -- my perception of 99% of F2P MMOs has not been a good one. They're either designed to sabotage gameplay to push for item store sales, or are generally of rather sparse features, low quality, and highly derivative in nature. Or they're failed sub MMOs that get retooled to increase revenues.

    IMHO the best F2P ones I've found on rare occasion, are the ones that offer a "sub fee" that basically eliminates all the bad stuff about F2P. Unfortunately they still tend to be slower in content releases than regular MMOs. Like, one of my favorite F2Ps was Mabinogi. I probably spent about $20-25/mo on that. $15 got you the "premium status" which was basically a monthly sub that removed all the annoying time sinks tied to F2P. And then I paid for a rebirth of my character every 3 weeks to level faster.

    I would much rather just pay a monthly fee and know I'm getting the whole game and not have to worry about where I'm being nickel and dimed at. I think the issue still is just that WoW was so dominant and had such polish, that people saw anything else with a sub as not nearly stacking up to the level of features it offered. With the decline of WoW over the next several years, we may finally see other games able to make their way with subs, or at least a hybrid system of offering both right off the bat in a sensible manner that doesn't seed misery into the gameplay without it.

  2. #2
    Titan Wildtree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stellvia View Post
    Preface: I'm not against F2P. There are situations and cases for both.

    Why is there so much support for F2P like it's the next greatest thing ever?

    Certainly there have been a large glut of derivative MMOs that should never have launched with a subscription when they couldn't support regular content updates, nor had the polish in the game to warrant players attention. But on the flipside of that -- my perception of 99% of F2P MMOs has not been a good one. They're either designed to sabotage gameplay to push for item store sales, or are generally of rather sparse features, low quality, and highly derivative in nature. Or they're failed sub MMOs that get retooled to increase revenues.

    IMHO the best F2P ones I've found on rare occasion, are the ones that offer a "sub fee" that basically eliminates all the bad stuff about F2P. Unfortunately they still tend to be slower in content releases than regular MMOs. Like, one of my favorite F2Ps was Mabinogi. I probably spent about $20-25/mo on that. $15 got you the "premium status" which was basically a monthly sub that removed all the annoying time sinks tied to F2P. And then I paid for a rebirth of my character every 3 weeks to level faster.

    I would much rather just pay a monthly fee and know I'm getting the whole game and not have to worry about where I'm being nickel and dimed at. I think the issue still is just that WoW was so dominant and had such polish, that people saw anything else with a sub as not nearly stacking up to the level of features it offered. With the decline of WoW over the next several years, we may finally see other games able to make their way with subs, or at least a hybrid system of offering both right off the bat in a sensible manner that doesn't seed misery into the gameplay without it.
    Subs are the better choice if you know you play every day, and you play probably multiple hours...
    F2P is the better choice if you know you have many days off from the game.
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  3. #3
    Over 9000! Arrowstormen's Avatar
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    I will never pay a sub fee again. They're unnecessary and a money grab. WoW is the exception, no new game will be able to demand a subscription. GW2 has shown that making a good MMO doesn't require a sub fee, the game comes with a patch every month, sometimes more, as has been the case last month and this month.

    Of course, GW2 has a box cost, but when people say F2P, they're so confusing. Do they mean it's F2P, or that there's no sub fee?
    Last edited by Arrowstormen; 2013-05-11 at 12:00 AM.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Wildtree View Post
    Subs are the better choice if you know you play every day, and you play probably multiple hours...
    F2P is the better choice if you know you have many days off from the game.
    To me it comes down to quality. F2P tends to have this air about it that its acceptable to deliver less polish, balance, and content than a sub game. I don't care if I have many days off from the game. $12-15 month is a tiny amount of money. Like 2 fast food meals or one movie.

    I don't want to be taken out of the game immersion by constantly worrying what everything is going to cost me.

    RE: GW2 -- I think it's too early to say. They've been released for what? 6-7 months now? And we have no idea what kind of revenue they're making off the item store. Or what kind of content patches we're likely to see from them another 1-2 years down the road. They released with a really sparse amount of higher end content as well, keep in mind. A handful of dungeons, and very little gear grind. There is PvP, but I haven't heard very good things about the WuvWuv.
    Last edited by stellvia; 2013-05-11 at 12:03 AM.

  5. #5
    The Lightbringer Karizee's Avatar
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    I agree, a bad cash shop can ruin a good game but if it's handled well it's the only way to go.
    I play GW2 which is B2P (buy the box and get full access) - I can pay what I want when I want IF I want for frivolous extras and never ever be locked out of access to the game or my characters. I can also use ingame gold to purchase everything including realm transfers.

    I like that when I bought the game it is always my game. I'm not renting it.

    P2P games like WoW include RNG/time sinks/grind designed to keep you playing (and paying) longer. The game is designed around the fee. It's a different model altogether.
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  6. #6
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    Because people don't like paying money :P If they can get a free game on the backs of the people who will happily buy up everything shiny, why wouldn't they want that?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karizee View Post
    I agree, a bad cash shop can ruin a good game but if it's handled well it's the only way to go.
    I play GW2 which is B2P (buy the box and get full access) - I can pay what I want when I want IF I want for frivolous extras and never ever be locked out of access to the game or my characters. I can also use ingame gold to purchase everything including realm transfers.

    I like that when I bought the game it is always my game. I'm not renting it.

    P2P games like WoW include RNG/time sinks/grind designed to keep you playing (and paying) longer. The game is designed around the fee. It's a different model altogether.
    Just like SWTOR / EA with there freemium model.
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  8. #8
    I prefer B2P over F2P, and if I'm to ever play a P2P game again it better be damn good...Not having to deal with subs is just nice. It has nothing to do with how much the sub costs. In GW2's cash shop I spent well over what I would have if the game just had a flat sub fee. If I don't play for a year I get to log in whenever I want without wasting $15 because I only played for a week.

    I see sub fees kinda like renting or leasing a car. You're just borrowing the account while you're paying for it, and then you have to give it back when you're not. You don't lose access to your account when it's b2p, or f2p. It's just more convenient

    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowstorm View Post
    Of course, GW2 has a box cost, but when people say F2P, they're so confusing. Do they mean it's F2P, or that there's no sub fee?
    You can never know. Some people only seem to be aware of the terms p2p and f2p, so anything that's b2p ends up classified as f2p to them.

  9. #9
    The Lightbringer Karizee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archdruid Dehydrate View Post
    Just like SWTOR / EA with there freemium model.

    There's none of that freemium premium BS in GW2
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  10. #10
    Anytime, the last two years, when I've seen a new MMO and also seen it has a monthly fee I've always said "Yeah... no, this game will not last and it will drop the monthly fee within a very short time". It's just the way the market is moving it seems, F2P is here to stay. With WoW beign the exception. If Star Wars can't make it work, Elder Scrolls nor any other franchise will make it work.

    When I look for a new MMO, I demand more and better content than WoW has right now, if I'm to pay a monthly fee. A bit unrealistic, yepp. Blizzard kinda wrecked MMO's for me, in a good way I guess.

  11. #11
    if i had to guess (i dont but if i had to...)
    i'd say it's because ftp mmo's can be just as good if not better than subscription games albeit if some of them follow a set template. a few i've played that stand out are Dragon Nest, Runescape, and Neverwinter.
    obviously subscription ups the expectation for new, fresh content, but with the way wow is now i feel it could at least be a bit of a cheaper subscription cost. 15 dollars per month is quite a bit to spend on a game, especially for the target audience (teens/young adults)

    not bashing blizzard or anything, just giving my 2 cents
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  12. #12
    Because gamers want something for nothing. That's the crux of it.

    Most F2P games I've tried either didn't hold a candle to wow or had some sneaky pay to win feature.

    I'm currently playing the Neverwinter Beta. Good game, but I will be subscribing when it launches, because I know it will be cheaper than paying for gear, mounts, bag space, etc.

  13. #13
    Moderator MoanaLisa's Avatar
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    It sounds better than it really is for a starter. But to be fair, even though they all have cash shops and the like, the smart player can control his expenses and even spread that theoretical $15/month out over two or three different games. There are a lot of them and the whole F2P business model is extremely dynamic right now and changing rapidly based on what works and what doesn't. Personally I haven't done a lot with any of them but have heard really good things about ST:Online and LoTRO. So as the model improves the likelihood that people will try them out because they're FREE (mostly) will exist. They may not stay but while they're doing this they're probably not signing up for WoW either. Just my take on it. I'm seriously thinking about sampling a few of them over the next month or two.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by stellvia View Post
    T

    RE: GW2 -- I think it's too early to say. They've been released for what? 6-7 months now? And we have no idea what kind of revenue they're making off the item store. Or what kind of content patches we're likely to see from them another 1-2 years down the road. They released with a really sparse amount of higher end content as well, keep in mind. A handful of dungeons, and very little gear grind. There is PvP, but I haven't heard very good things about the WuvWuv.
    bolded part is a good thing. I'd prefer quality over a dangling carrot. I don't play GW2, but I have no obsession over grinding gear, I'd rather just enjoy the content and play the game because it is fun; not for some false sense of 'need' to continue to play constantly to keep my character at the top.

    Games should be about enjoyment. For some, working on gear for 6 months, just to do it again for another 6 months might be the thing ... but I think that mentality is slowly becoming less popular; as you see with the complaints about RNG becoming more prevelant in WoW.


    Sub model is slowly falling too. It doesn't promise a good game. It doesn't guarantee value for money.

    There are great F2P games, B2P games, and games that went F2P recently. $15/mo might be a small amount of money, but to play multiple games, with other family members, the cost snowballs. My wife and I play the same games. We were subbed to 3 mmos for a while ... that was $90/mo in sub fees for our home. Now we stick with at most 1 sub, and use that to bounce around because we get bored with some of the games, some quicker than others.

    I think Tera is doing really well, now that it is F2P, it was a good game, but the (western) 'end-gamers' felt the need to complain; but I know someone who was all about end game in other games like WoW, who has been happy for months with Tera, and still loving it ... someone who I though wouldn't last more than a few weeks, especially once max level. SWtOR is actually decent, if you can ignore their poor customer service. As long as you are 'preferred', you can get most of the game, and nearly all the rest, you can get with spending in game credits, not real life money. Especially if you don't intend to go crazy spamming FPs/Ops/WZs.


    The value of a sub or F2P/B2P does rely a lot on how much free time you have to put in. I believe this is part of the problem with WoW. Less and less people have the time to dedicate; and the time it takes to just get by has increased greatly as well. It is hard to justify even 50 cents a day, when you don't feel your time is well spent or you can achieve the goals you would like.

    I think claiming polish and balance against something like WoW is laughable, because the game isn't very balanced, even though it has improved, and there are a lot of bugs and quirks in the game, that show lack of polish. Falling through the world, floors, etc. camera bugging out, mobs stuck in trees/ground, etc ... and in cata, content was lacking quite a bit as well.

    I am currently playing WoW again, just left SWtOR because of customer service, though I was subbed, wife wasn't, and off and on play Tera ... next time we quit WoW (and I'm certain we will), back to trying Rift.

    The only company I used to not having a problem supporting was Trion/Rift ... now, the company I find my money is best spent with, is Riot. The have the best F2P model imo. Nothing that improves your champion can be bought with money. Only skins is exclusive to be purchased with money. Runes have to be earned and can't be bought, you can earn every champ in the game through play. Riot > Trion > all others (I've played) from my experience ... it is just how I see the companies value the customer, paying or not.

  15. #15
    F2P means two things for me: Pay-to-Win or slow low quality content, if not both. I think the "Freemium" model works with some games but I just don't like it for traditional MMOs.
    Last edited by Redmage; 2013-05-11 at 12:51 AM.

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  16. #16
    Because people don't want to pay for a game anymore after they've paid for it once, why waste more money on the game that you already spent sixty of that hard earned money you've made? I don't mind F2P that much, just a problem with most games that work that way end up becoming a Pay to Win style game usually.

  17. #17
    I am Murloc! Thelxi's Avatar
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    The only F2P game I have respect for is LoL.

    All other games, even GW2, have a cash shop that tests my tolerance.

    I prefer an honest and completely fair MMOs where 100% of my progression depends on my time invested and skill, even if I have to pay a sub for it. Cash shops that can save you hundreds of hours of gameplay and trouble are hard for me to tolerate.

    I like to grind, but knowing I can just whip out a credit card and get it in 5 minutes instead of 2 months is a huge turnoff for me.

  18. #18
    It's just a load of prejudice and bullshit from people that think that WoW is P2P, so games that are not P2P must be junk.

    There are lots of good F2P MMOs out there. The fact remains though that people tend to spend more money on F2P games than P2P games. Item shops sometimes do look rather tempting when you're really enjoying a game and want a bit more comfort and cosmetic items.
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  19. #19
    I am Murloc! Airwaves's Avatar
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    I wish I knew. FREE to play games are rarely rarely FREE. In fact they are so far from free if you realy want to play the game that its funny. They should be called micro transaction mmos not f2p mmos.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by stellvia View Post
    Why is there so much support for F2P like it's the next greatest thing ever?
    Simply put there are not many monthly sub fees games out there anymore.

    Wow came out when monthly subs were a big thing and everyone was doing it. These days gaming culture is firmly against paying monthly fees on top of buying the game itself. Thats why games releasing with monthly subs from nw on are going to be rare. Blizzard has done an excellent job at continuing to charge monthly fees during this decline, but the question is how long can they keep charging fees when gamers r moving to games which are free.

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