So I was reading the discussion here in The Pub forums and I decided to post my own observations. I have posted the quote for your convenience, but it is worthwhile reading the replies.
After years of playing MMO's I finally quit. I played WoW for about 4 years. Tried out CoX for about a year. And finished up with LotRO and played that since closed beta.
I cancelled all my subscriptions to those MMO's. I quit mainly because of the addiction and the money. Fifteen bucks a month is quite a lot when you also have other things to pay for.
Right now Im looking for a F2P MMO. One that you can log on for just a half an hour and get something accomplished.
If you know of any kicked back and non-addicting (if there is such a thing) F2P's that would be great if you could let me know.
I need a game to pass my time late at night.
I understand that many people have other things to pay for, especially if they are living on day to day wages which can be tough. I have been in such a position before and even had to stop playing for a few weeks before getting another game card. I am however not in such a position anymore, and a subscription fee is not a huge loss for myself.
Of course the advantages of a pay-to-play system is that developers can continue to provide top notch entertainment, constant free upgrades and good customer support. (Of course not all pay-to-play systems have all of these). I don't think I need to elaborate as everyone has heard the arguments for and against and there are plenty of places you can read about such issues, they are not the issues I want to talk about.
What I do want to talk about is the situations I observed in players while playing pay-to-play games, predominantly the contrast of addiction versus paying for a game. by addiction I am not referring to the psychological condition, but rather the problem of giving up their job and life for the game. This naturally leads to financial difficulties relating to such problems.
I have observed such in not just friends playing the game, but also family, and myself to some extent.
I am not suggesting "Brando" underwent this process, but it does remind me of what I observe.
The process observed
Step 1. From what I observe most people who begin pay-to-play are quite happy to do so as they appreciate the game they are getting. As such they get involved in the game and genuinely enjoy it, not caring about the money spent to keep their hobby going.
Step 2. The next step is usually the problem of long times spent constantly playing, i find this usually happens on games you can not leave for several minutes. Eve:Online for example allows you to read a book while mining, whereas reading a book while playing World of Warcraft is very hard. As such the grind takes place where you tire out your mind rather than relax.
Step 3. Tiredness as well as a preference for the game lead to avoidance of other past times such as going out with friends, church (if religious), and finally, work. I often observed people avoiding going to their place of casual work because they got a raid, or some other such, activity in the game. Sometimes it can just be that they have worn out themselves playing that they can not move themselves to get to work. Naturally every person is slightly different.
Step 4. Get fired (or quit). If you don't turn up for work when you are needed you will loose your job, this seems to be a habit with many kids who have life easy (and I am not referring to just the current generation, there are always some in every generation). Even so, I observed it in adults too, they just could not balance life and the game.
Step 5. As they no longer have a income (or have minimal from welfare) then they start to have trouble paying for the game.
Step 6. They admit to their problem and quit, thereby having time to work, hopefully learn a valuable lesson and perhaps do better next time they play a game.
Pay-to-play may have the draw back of spending money over a long time, however the problem of more concern is not how much you pay for the game, but rather how much the game rules your life. In the end there is a delicate balance to how much you play and how much you keep at your life to maintain your hobby.