Let’s get to it, soldiers.
A few podcasts ago I talked about letting my current subs (WoW, LotRO, Station Access) pass on into No-Paysville so I could dive headfirst into the world of F2P games. I had played many of them before, around 30, but knew there were many more coming that threw new and interesting ideas into the mix.
Well, after a month and a half and saving 60 bucks, I have decided to continue playing F2P’s. A few points:
1) These games are truly free, but let’s face it, all the cool stuff is in the cash shops. While I have never come across any cash-shop game that sells the best items only in the cash shop (a myth about F2P’s), I can hardly resist fluff stuff like a bear pet or a new hooded cape. So despite being free, be prepared to spend something at some point. The good thing about this plan is that you spend what you want, when you want to. And you can always play the game between paychecks.
2) So many games coming the pike, so little time. It’s true that many of them are the same combat system, or the same game essentially wrapped in a similar looking semi-Anime or VERY-Anime skin, but that’s true in any genre of entertainment. Look at the “normal” group of North American MMO’s and how many of them players complain about being similar to each other. Keep an eye out in either group, however, and you will find many gems.
3) Many of these games don’t take up as much space on a hard drive as “normal” games. Granted, on a 500 gig or 650 gig hard drive that’s not an issue, but it still is for many people. Vanguard is near 20 gigs…WoW can weigh in at 8 or so? Many of these F2P’s clock in at 2 or 4, which saves more space for other games. Granted, many of them use zoning technology or lower res graphics to knock down the gigatude, but if the game-play is really good, the graphics can be overlooked or accepted.
4) “I collect these games like candy” said a friend on on my blog comments section, and I love that mental picture. Many people would say that that means that they are disposable and cheap, but I look at them more like joy machines. As someone that has the attention span of a 6 year old, I need the ability to jump from game to game, playing for mere minutes to sheer hours and hours all whenever I want. People don’t eat candy with an attitude. Eating candy is something that brings joy and happiness, not non stop whining about class changes.
5) I love to scour sites looking for strange Asian MMOs that are coming out soon. “Husky Express” (insert gay porn joke here) and “Mabinogi Heroes” have me all in a fluster. These type games are being pumped out faster than GigaPets on a hot date, and I want to play them all! Some would say that this is evidence that none of them have the quality of gameplay to hold my attention, but that’s not true. Nothing holds my attention for over a day. I like to adventure some and come back to the game a few days later. These games alleviate the pressure of the SUBSCRIPTION TIME LIMIT that hang over your head normally.
6) SOE will be the North American F2P king soon. With Free Realms coming out, and cash shop type transactions being added to DCUO and the Agency (as well as older games like VG), they seem to be aware of the huge market success that many of these F2P games have had so far. In fact, the Station Access has been a sort of “F2P” access for years now, paying one small sub for access to all of their games.
If you are the type that has played only a few games in the last few years, and enjoys having a home game that you rarely stray from, then this type of playing might not be for you. Stay in your home game and have a blast. 15 dollars a month subs are STILL a great deal, and the quality of games like Vanguard or LotRO show that the pay-to-play-model is not going away anytime soon.
But if you look at all games as mini versions of alternate realities, and consider yourself an explorer of the imagination (great Disney set-up!) then you might clear off your hard drive and start downloading.
Now, if you don’t mind, I am going to try Requiem: Bloodymare right now. I haven’t given that one a go yet.