This is where I scream to the heavens “KAAAAANNNNN….” until I’m blue in the face. You can join me if you like.
This soap box moment is brought to you by F2P MMORPGs everywhere, and the letter Aarrgh!
Don’t get me wrong, I love all that MMORPGs have to offer, including F2P. My favorite, for over a year now, has been Runes of Magic- a free micro transaction based MMORPG. They all have great systems, and fun play to provide in one form or another irregardless of overall quality.
What has me shaking my old man cane at the sky is also what has my purely pessimistic side trying to turn me into a “F2P MMORPG Nihilist”. I’m talking about what is appearing, more and more to me, as a sub-culture of MMORPG gamers that have little morals, one track minds, and seems to dominate F2P communities. The irrational itch I keep needing to scratch tells me there’s much more here than meets the eye, but I can’t help but to indulge the pessimism.
I started referring to this nameless majority as “F2P Min/Maxers”. A cesspool of players striking F2P game after F2P game with a tsunami of ego driven single mindedness that wanted nothing but to reach the games level cap at any means necessary. They race to level cap as soon as possible, utilizing any methods necessary without regard to morals or ethics. They’ve found easy back doors for their botting and hacking through F2P’s smaller companies and harder to police worlds to gain the highest level “anything” they can get in one of these games, and want very high rewards for what only they consider to be the penultimate endeavor- some vague sense of being better than all the other players. They think it makes them happy and feel good.
In all my travels through all the various F2P MMORPG forums and the virtual worlds within those games I’ve come across, they all want the same thing. They all want the best reward for every part the game has to offer. Mini-games, well the reward better be equivalent to an equally as hard instance, or it’s pointless. Crafting better be painstakingly worked out to account for every player type and every amount of time a player may or may not be online. All instances of the human condition must be accounted for, and the rewards made equal or it’s not worth playing….and then they will just hack and bot and exploit out the wazoo and brag about it ceaselessly in world chat and the forums so they can lord it over you by saying “Hey, everything in the game is equal so it must point to me just being better than you”, whether you asked or not.
The pessimist wants to continue by saying these are the overwhelming majority, to the point the games would not survive, having such a low initial population. It’s perhaps a condition of being a beta tester, but only the most loathsome of beta testers. This same group doesn’t play P2P games.
Isn’t it odd that this same group that seems to dominate F2P game populations, also just all happen to either dislike all P2P games or simply has never tried one? I think the cheating drives them more than anything. These people pay a lot more than the costs of a P2P MMORPG. They pay big bucks to goldsellers, and to the games Cash Shops. Any mix of legitimate gameplay and cheating to get to the top and as fast as possible, yet they don’t play P2P games? That just screams to me it is because they can’t get away with it in most P2P games. The larger business infrastructures the P2P MMORPGs enjoy are the driving force for not liking the game.
My only hope is that I am so wrong I may as well be trying to hit a pop can on earth by throwing a baseball from pluto or that the simultaneous emergence of great F2P business models like DDO, Runes of Magic, and possibly Allods, with the current generation of “F2P Min/Maxers” outgrowing and leaving for a new generation of players growing up in a much healthier and well built wave of F2P games, will change the course of this current epidemic.