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  1. #181
    Quote Originally Posted by edgecrusher View Post
    Dunno about you, but I've played plenty of F2P games without paying. So I got my free lunches.



    For shitty games, yeah. There are shitty implementations of the F2P model, and good ones. There are also shitty implementations of the subscription based model, and good ones.

    What you talk about is how most mobile/social games are designed. Most of the modern F2P games are designed with the cash shop in mind, but are designed to be good. I'll throw out a few example of good, mediocre, and bad F2P models.

    Good: Tera. 100% of the game is provide for free. You can play through all the content in the game without paying a penny. You have some restrictions like character slots or bag slots, but none of them are obtrusive, nor do they detract from gameplay. The cash shop is filled with cosmetic and convenience purchases, not power or content. Subscribers get a number of great perks to incentivize subscribing. As for the game itself, it's a bit light on content overall, but it's well designed on the whole. It can get a bit grindy at times, but it looks spectacular, the combat system functions supremely well, and it's overall a well though out and polished game.

    Mediocre: Neverwinter. Neverwinter is kinda bipolar. On the one hand, the gameplay is superb. Quests simply flow without making you feel like you're grinding. Combat is fluid and feels great. Some of the secondary systems like the Foundry are spectacular as well, providing players with the tools to make an infinite amount of content to be played by others. On the other hand though, the cash shop is terrible and it bleeds into the game. It's overpriced beyond belief, and it's integrated into pretty much every secondary system in the game. All the non-combat/questing systems (crafting, companions, anything having to do with Astral Diamonds) are directly tied to the cash shop, and designed in such a way to be so obnoxious after a while, that you would rather pay money in the cash shop than continue. It's a game that does F2P simultaneously well, and poorly.

    Bad example: All the generic import Korean F2P clones. They're almost universally terrible. Every system is designed around the cash shop, with little thought or effort put into the design of the actual game. They don't bother to do anything unique or try anything, instead copy/pasting existing mechanics and systems from other games and doing a poor job at that. They sometimes flat out sell power in the cash shop, and have even have core gameplay like the combat system tied to the cash shop (requiring you to chug health/mana potions during combat, then making the potions difficult to acquire outside the cash shop). Thankfully, these games see little to no support (though they don't need much as they function on a shoestring budget) and don't have much of a marketing budget, so most people never see them

    A F2P model will be designed to suck money out of players, I call it a "Player negative" model. The most recent version of that is SWTOR, where they took the base gameplay and removed from it to make the cash shop/subscription appealing, rather than adding to what subscribers get. The opposite of that model exists too, which I call the "Player/subscriber positive" model. That's the model used by Tera, where they remove almost nothing from the base experience, but instead add to the value of the subscription. That's the model we need more of, and I'm happy to see that Rift is going to be using that model as well.



    Aion has some shitty parts of their cash shop (the items that guarantee Manastones socketing), but that kind of stuff existed before the transition and was a core part of the game design to begin with. It's still not good, but it's not something that they simply dreamed up for F2P either. The model on the whole is great, as there is literally nothing restricted from players in NA (EU model has restrictions), and not even a subscription option. It's a great game now (improved dramatically since launch) with a solid business model.
    My point is, someone is paying for it. MMOs don't develop and run themselves. In the end, money goes towards the developers or they fold.

    How "positive" or "negative" the developers get more or less depends on their financial health - and their greed. Are the whales taking bait? If not, it might be time to "tighten the screws".

    It also interferes with game play no matter how you look at it. Developers will have to constantly withhold things to incentivize paying instead of trying to create the best experience possible.

  2. #182
    Quote Originally Posted by nyc81991 View Post
    I feel like Gw2 has the best model currently.
    It's because gear doesn't matters.

  3. #183
    It also interferes with game play no matter how you look at it. Developers will have to constantly withhold things to incentivize paying instead of trying to create the best experience possible.
    F2P models can interfere with gameplay.

    Though it is incorrect to state the F2P will have to interfere with gameplay as a rule.

    As an fyi, it is not the case the F2P model does interfere with gameplay very often. It's sort of rare for F2P games to do that in the Western market actually.

  4. #184
    Quote Originally Posted by Coldkil View Post
    In a game like D3 (which is not an MMO) you clearly see how the AH addition has made the game completely based around it because - let's face it - most of the people simply don't care and if they can deck their char with BiS in 5 minutes, they will do it. Anyway, in a game like D3 which there is basically no point in interaction with other players and no competition, this has a very small impact, since you can play the game by yourself, have fun, and so on.
    D3 is a unique example because easy access to an AH type system actually kinda conflicts with the core game design. Trading has always been something important in D2, but it was risky, tedious, and actually required quite a bit of work. It made farming for drops to trade both important, and a preferential option for some people.

    The ease with which you can trade using gold (for which there is no effective method of bleeding it out of the economy, and issue that was discussed at launch and summarily dismissed by many fans) makes the AH far more appealing as a method to gear up, rather than playing the game.

    At max level, this was compounded by an initial lack of longterm character progression (Paragon levels dealt with this), the removal of popular farming methods (to preserve the "integrity" of the AH's), and new systems of play that made the farming runs of D2 unappealing.

    These are problems that aren't inherent in any F2P system. They are issues with core game design, and the design of secondary systems. This type of system isn't really translated over to MMO's very often, and when it is it doesn't clash with core game design as much.

    An example would be GW2. Top level gear has been purchasable through the AH since launch in both games. That's partially because the game isn't centered around gear. Content updates aren't gear oriented, and while they did add in some gear progression with the Fractal instances, on the whole progression is mostly horizontal. So you can buy the gear, but the game isn't about gear. For a game like D3, gear has always been an integral part of the game. You can't really compare the two since the two have different focuses and different design directions.

    That's why the issues with the D3 AH (which has been destructive to gameplay, even by Blizzards own admission) haven't really appeared in any F2P MMO's that I can think of. Different design directions, different design decisions, and different systems altogether.

    Redit:

    @SodiumChloride: What Fencers said.

  5. #185
    I can't believe that people are still using "Pay2Win" as a criticism against F2P games. The term "Pay2Win" not so long meant a traditionally PvP competitive advantage available in the cash shop but not the game, but as more and more F2P games come out which don't use these tactics the critics change the goalposts of the term's meaning and they don't even have the decency to come to a consensus about it's new definition or why others should care about it.
    A game could offer a level capped character for money never mind experience boosts and it doesn't matter because if skipping a bit (or all) of the needed xp gain can be considered somehow "winning" then you're playing the wrong game, but I suppose boosters could be considered winning in the sense that you are level capped longer but as long as the facility to reach that cap is in the game (by playing longer or being more efficient) then it still goes against the traditional definition of P2W; an advantage bought in the cash shop which is not available otherwise.
    Even gear with an actual stat advantage, as long as said advantage isn't of ridiculous margins, couldn't be considered something to get worked up over in a PvE environment as most players in any MMO simply do not operate at a level where it becomes a big deal. Still, it's murky territory, but it's an area I don't see too many F2P models operating in.
    I can get behind the notion of preferring the one price buys all (mostly) model of subs and I can also see where nickel and diming players over actual features of the game. or indeed the comparisons of one F2P model to another, but dismissing them as either Pay2Win or with the "fact" that I'll pay more down the line are arguments which do not stand for much scrutiny in the light of day.

  6. #186
    Field Marshal Zeozordon's Avatar
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    I personaly like both types.
    I like looking into other games and since I will only pay to play WoW, it is nice to go check out the other MMO and so I will only check the ones out that is free to play.
    That being said, I have never seen one that is F2P they all need you to pay something to actualy enjoy the game. So for me I will stick to paying my WoW Sub and know I can do whatever I want whenever I want in the game.

  7. #187
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    I had to stop posting to go to work and there's been significant discussion since then so I won't try and make a giant wall of text.

    In terms of this though:

    Quote Originally Posted by madrox View Post
    I can't believe that people are still using "Pay2Win" as a criticism against F2P games. The term "Pay2Win" not so long meant a traditionally PvP competitive advantage available in the cash shop but not the game, but as more and more F2P games come out which don't use these tactics the critics change the goalposts of the term's meaning and they don't even have the decency to come to a consensus about it's new definition or why others should care about it.
    At least in my view, it's not about trying to define what's "Pay2Win" and what's not, or trying to make 'others care about it.' I don't have interest in telling people what to play or that they're somehow wrong to enjoy playing what they play.

    (Not speaking to the quoted poster specifically here)
    I think some people get a bit overly defensive though. I don't know if for some of you a sub-based game once kicked your dog or something, but there's no reason to pick and bitch at terminology to mount some kind of defence.

    "P2W" seems like a very controversial term and I probably shouldn't have used it because it detracted from what I was actually trying to say. Like any term, everyone can have their own definitions for when someone goes too far. Why else are there so many differing opinions? It's simply because every player has their own threshold for when things become too intrusive or necessary in their mind.

    It's all about presentation in some ways, and it's something a lot of the cash shops need to be really careful with going forward in my opinion. You don't want your buttons constantly popping up with things like "I noticed you're doing this grind! Did you know if you buy [this thingy] you can earn double reputation from your kills?!" which is the sort of thing that happens in some of the worst offenders. It's almost like TV advertising getting all in your face every few minutes to try and get you to spend. I do worry that with the increasing migration to the model, this'll become more accepted over time, but thankfully for now it's restricted to the worst offenders only.

  8. #188
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    F2P models can interfere with gameplay.

    Though it is incorrect to state the F2P will have to interfere with gameplay as a rule.

    As an fyi, it is not the case the F2P model does interfere with gameplay very often. It's sort of rare for F2P games to do that in the Western market actually.
    Kind of a sooner or later thing IMHO. As I mentioned, it all depends on the number of whales and amount of revenue the company is making.

    MapleStory used to have just vanity items in the Cash Shop - years ago when I played. Now I heard you can by XP potions, Gachapon "coin op" machines ... etc.

    From TVTropes,

    Bribing Your Way to Victory: The Cash Shop used to only sell items (for real money) that were purely aesthetic. With the introduction of the Gachapon "coin op" machines, real money can buy items that can change gameplay.
    - A few examples are items that: Double EXP gained (granted, it's for everyone), ignore EXP penalties upon death, and allow the user to teleport anywhere. Sayonara, ships.
    - Even that can be beaten. Two words: EXP Gachapon. You can buy your way all the way up to level 50.
    - With the introduction of Evan (in the Global version), buying special skillbooks from the Cash Shop is currently required to increase the level of essential skills such as Magic Guard. Cue many justified cries of Nexon (at least the branch running the Global version, as the original Korean version didn't do any of this) crossing the line and making the game no longer be truly Free-to-Play.
    - Also in Global with the release of the Dual Blade, like Evan there's mastery books in the Cash Shop for several skills. The people angry about the Evan mastery books are in a state of blistering fury about these ones as well.
    - Miracle Cubes in the Cash Shop allow you to reset an item's Potential trait. Using enough of them with the in-game purchasable Magnifying Glass can give you Infinity Plus One Equipment.
    - Shielding Wards that allows you to use Equipment Enhancement Scrolls without penalty on an item up to 8 (12 in Korean Maple) stars.
    - Red Leaf High is the ultimate example. Each successful run through the 11 rooms (provided the player does not die) can net at least 12%-15% experience, regardless of level (the EXP reward scales to your level, higher levels getting slightly less), and there are also various daily repeatable quests for more EXP (typically 1.5%-2% EXP per quest). You get one free entry a day, but extra keys can be bought in the cash shop... for 400 NX each (or 40 cents worth of NX). - - Several keys can be bought a day for very little cash(or bought in batches of 11 for 4000 NX, netting a free key by the bundle), making it possible for even top level players to level up quite fast. That's not counting the fact you get to complete a quest just by going to the school each day!
    Though this ends on September 24, 2012, making it useless beyond that.
    They brought it back between November 14 and November 28, 2012. Cue up more key sales and more level 200 players!
    It's back for February 5, 2013. It seems we'll see the school return whenever Nexon wants to make more money off keys.
    - The examples that have been there for the longest time are the Pets and the Meso Magnet Pet Accessory. Higher leveled gameplay tends to focus on AOE-ing down massive numbers of mobs at once, leaving a carpet of gold or greens that a pet-less character needs several minutes to pick up. A pet user with a Meso Magnet can just walk over the money and have it vacuumed into his or her inventory. The Item Magnet is in the same category but it's slightly less beneficial due to the massive inventory clutter it tends to cause. Pets, like most Cash Shop purchases, are temporary as well; you'll have to keep reviving the pet every 90 days with an NX item, unless you are fortunate/patient enough to obtain a perma-version occasionally sold for twice the price. The same applies for all those pet equips, too!
    You tell me if it isn't interfering with game play ...

  9. #189
    Quote Originally Posted by nyc81991 View Post
    I feel like Gw2 has the best model currently.
    While not strictly an mmo, I always felt how Riot handles League of Legends shop as the best way.

  10. #190
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    Kind of a sooner or later thing IMHO. As I mentioned, it all depends on the number of whales and amount of revenue the company is making.
    Which games have started out with solid business models then turned into P2W though? I keep hearing this slippery slope argument against the model, but outside of some shitty games run by shitty publishers (Nexon publishes some good games, but they are kinda really shitty when it comes to their cash shop and how they treat their players), I can't think of any games where that actually...you know...happened.

  11. #191
    Quote Originally Posted by edgecrusher View Post
    Which games have started out with solid business models then turned into P2W though? I keep hearing this slippery slope argument against the model, but outside of some shitty games run by shitty publishers (Nexon publishes some good games, but they are kinda really shitty when it comes to their cash shop and how they treat their players), I can't think of any games where that actually...you know...happened.
    Heh. I find it interesting you differentiate between "shitty" publishers and "non-shitty" publishers.

    The reality of the F2P model is, that to stay in business, they have to incentivise the player to spend cash - shitty/non-shitty just depends on the finances of the publisher. At first it starts with vanity items, but when times get desperate - when the novelty of being a new game has worn off and the number of whales start to decline - it starts leaking into game play related items aka P2W. Even when it's just vanity items, it impacts the experience of the game as things are withheld to try to get you to pay.

    In subscription models, the developers don't have to withhold anything - except in the form of gating content - and have to more or less try to give the best experience possible - so players will hang around; even when they have to wait for the content to open. This is why WoW venture into the cash shop is annoying some players - slippery slope there; but I think the accounting for the cash shop items is budget separately from the rest of the game.

    So there you have it, F2P does have considerable disadvantages compared to sub when it comes to the game experience. In the end, someone will be paying, so for consumers it's a lost in general.
    Last edited by SodiumChloride; 2013-05-15 at 06:22 PM.

  12. #192
    Moderator Remilia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    Heh. I find it interesting you differentiate between "shitty" publishers and "non-shitty" publishers.

    The reality of the F2P model is to incentivise the player to spend cash. At first it starts with vanity items, but when times get desperate - when the novelty of being a new game has worn off and the number of whales start to decline - it starts leaking into game play related items aka P2W. Even when it's just vanity items, it impacts the experience of the game as things are withheld to try to get you to pay.

    In subscription models, the developers don't have to withhold anything - except in the form of gating content - and have to more or less try to give the best experience possible - so players will hang around; even when they have to wait for the content to open.

    So there you have it, F2P does have considerable disadvantages compared to sub when it comes to the game experience. In the end, someone will be paying, so for consumers it's a lost in general.
    You're still using the same slippery slope argument that you just used previously with nothing to back it up.

  13. #193
    Kind of a sooner or later thing IMHO
    That may be your opinion but it is also ignorant of facts.

    We can name games in which the cash shop has not interfered with gameplay as well as those in which the cash shop has effected gameplay.

  14. #194
    Quote Originally Posted by Totori View Post
    You're still using the same slippery slope argument that you just used previously with nothing to back it up.
    I don't understand what you mean by "slippery slope" here.

    I'm just stating, the nature of the business model and it's characteristics, and how it affects the game experience.

  15. #195
    Moderator Remilia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    I don't understand what you mean by "slippery slope" here.

    I'm just stating, the nature of the business model and it's characteristics, and how it affects the game experience.
    A slippery slope is saying the A will happen and then B and C which are worse situation will happen because A happened.
    It in itself is fallacious and in this case proves nothing but to generalize and paint everything of it's category in the same light you've given.

  16. #196
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    That may be your opinion but it is also ignorant of facts.

    We can name games in which the cash shop has not interfered with gameplay as well as those in which the cash shop has effected gameplay.
    I'm arguing that it always effects "gameplay". Even with just vanity purchases.

    Want that nice hat? Spit out the cash vs. earn it in-game.

  17. #197
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    Heh. I find it interesting you differentiate between "shitty" publishers and "non-shitty" publishers.
    You mean kind of like how you have shitty developers and good developers?

    You can't look at it in absolutes, that's a recipe for missing 99% of reality.

    There are F2P developers/publishers that have good cash shops that don't punish free players or have P2W schemes. There are others that do.

    There are some P2P developers/publishers that hardly treat their players with respect and charge obscene amounts of money for secondary purchases while delivering minimal value for their services. There are others that do deliver great value and do treat their customers with respect.

    The business model a developer chooses doesn't dictate the entire design of the game. It affects the design, but it doesn't automatically make it a better or worse design.

    If you want to continue rejecting reality and looking at your black and white world, the world that doesn't actually exist since you have yet to really show any concrete examples of it you know...existing, you're free to do so. But trying to push that inaccurate view onto others is kinda not good.

    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    I'm arguing that it always effects "gameplay". Even with just vanity purchases.

    Want that nice hat? Spit out the cash vs. earn it in-game.
    Well then, I guess the two remaining large scale P2P games are affected, because both sell vanity items in the cash shop. Only FFXI remains the pure, subscription only MMO. THE INDUSTRY IS DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    I know what "slippery slope" is, but I'm not quite sure what you meant in this particular case.

    The facts are stated follow logically from the way the business model works.
    You have yet to show that said slippery slope actually happens, it's currently just a figment of your imagination.

  18. #198
    Quote Originally Posted by Totori View Post
    A slippery slope is saying the A will happen and then B and C which are worse situation will happen because A happened.
    It in itself is fallacious and in this case proves nothing but to generalize and paint everything of it's category in the same light you've given.
    I know what "slippery slope" is, but I'm not quite sure what you meant in this particular case.

    The facts I stated follow logically from the way the business model works.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-15 at 06:42 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by edgecrusher View Post
    You mean kind of like how you have shitty developers and good developers?

    You can't look at it in absolutes, that's a recipe for missing 99% of reality.

    There are F2P developers/publishers that have good cash shops that don't punish free players or have P2W schemes. There are others that do.

    There are some P2P developers/publishers that hardly treat their players with respect and charge obscene amounts of money for secondary purchases while delivering minimal value for their services. There are others that do deliver great value and do treat their customers with respect.

    The business model a developer chooses doesn't dictate the entire design of the game. It affects the design, but it doesn't automatically make it a better or worse design.

    If you want to continue rejecting reality and looking at your black and white world, the world that doesn't actually exist since you have yet to really show any concrete examples of it you know...existing, you're free to do so. But trying to push that inaccurate view onto others is kinda not good.
    I never say it was "bad", however it's hard to argue that it's as good as sub - duh, sub is $15 a month.

    I'm just stating that the business model invariably effects the game in negative ways.
    Last edited by SodiumChloride; 2013-05-15 at 06:42 PM.

  19. #199
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    I'm arguing that it always effects "gameplay". Even with just vanity purchases.

    Want that nice hat? Spit out the cash vs. earn it in-game.
    And I am telling you that argument is ignoring facts that demonstrate otherwise.

  20. #200
    Quote Originally Posted by edgecrusher View Post
    Well then, I guess the two remaining large scale P2P games are affected, because both sell vanity items in the cash shop. Only FFXI remains the pure, subscription only MMO. THE INDUSTRY IS DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
    And there are many players that are not happy about it!

    You have yet to show that said slippery slope actually happens, it's currently just a figment of your imagination.
    What "slippery slope" are you accusing me of invoking?!

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