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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » I Hate Freemium

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  stealthbr

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 1059

 
OP  11/28/12 12:45:00 PM#1

With so many titles adopting the Freemium model and relinquishing their Pay to Play roots, it has come to my attention that I severly dislike the industry's new direction regarding business models. The Freemium model, that has been adapted to quite a few large MMORPG's, as of now, establishes complications that I, as an avid MMORPG gamer, find hard to cope with. Of course, the Freemium model does have its benefits, I will not deny such a thing. Yet, in all honesty, I believe it does not bode well with the qualities I look for when searching for a new MMORPG to play.

1.) The Freemium model affects a game's community.

Quite evidently, the Freemium model makes a game more accessible to the general populace. This in turn, however, has many negative impacts on a game's community. First, it absolutely cripples a game's ability to form and maintain a predominant, yet tight-knit community. The Freemium model makes it easy for completely new players to come into a game, yet not commit to it. This creates a flux that makes it difficult for a proper community to establish. Not only that, the players that are attracted to Freemium models can disrupt a community through their maturity level. Finally, the Freemium model has the tendency of separating the player-base into those that decide to spend some cash and those that do not. This leads to a sort of discrimantion within the community and only serves to fragment it even more.

2.) The Freemium model disconnects a player from the game world and lessens immersion.

From loading screens to NPC vendors, the developers of Freemium games are in constant action trying to promote their real-world-money-bought items. The ever-so present advertisements are a constant reminder that you are not role-playing your character within a virtual world, but playing a game where real-world money can net you benefits. It is also important to point out that developers in the Freemium model have the monetization of content and features as a primary concern. The way they develop content is drastically affected by the Freemium model, because they are constantly searching for the easiest ways to monetize the game.

3.) The Freemium model encourages Pay to Win.

The Freemium model allows players to buy items of power with real-world money. Sure, a lot of these items can be obtained through more standard means, like actually playing the game, yet it diminishes absurdly the feeling of accomplishment from obtaining these items. Imagine spending hours in a dungeon trying to obtain a powerful new sword for your warrior, finally getting it only to step out into the game world to see that someone else has the same item, and finding out that they didn't work for it like you did, they bought it off the store. It is absolutely buzz-killing. Not only that, the model tempts you into buying advantages for your character because MMO's are about playing with others, and most importantly against others. Even in a PvE scenario, you compare yourself to someone who has forked some cash over and they progress faster, they have access to cooler things, etc. No one wants to fall behind or feel less powerful.

Suffice to say, it is a model that goes against the MMO, in MMORPG, by crippling and separating communities, and against the RPG, by allowing players to take shortcuts by spending real-world cash, always reminding us that we are not role-playing a powerful mage or a renowned knight, but instead playing a game where money can absolutely dictate how we engage it.

 

  RandomDown

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/12
Posts: 147

11/28/12 12:55:14 PM#2

Now don't get me wrong because I completely agree with you as I much prefer a sub based game. However there are two things you could argue against.

 

First, you could simply point out some of those people spending the money for faster progression or specific items that while obtainable in game, can also be bought for real money in the shop. It might be their line of work or responsibilities don't give them the time to grind a dungeon for X runs/hours but they do have the excess money to make it happen their way. While it may not be the way you or me choose it is a valid route I believe.

 

Second, in regards to money breaking immersion, that is simply not true unless you let it be. You could imagine that fellow has a powerful or influential patron. A merchant princes darling son he dotes on and buys him all those phat lewtz even though he isn't that great of a warrior. The mage could have all that power because his familial fortune allowed him the best schooling if those exist in the world, and so he advanced faster than people who garnered theirs via adventuring.

 

 

  stealthbr

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 1059

 
OP  11/28/12 1:10:07 PM#3

Let me provide a few examples to further enlighten my point on Freemium models breaking immersion.

You're running around town looking for citizens that require your assistance, you turn a corner and among the shadows of an abandoned alley you spot a desolate little girl that has clearly been weaping. You approach her and offer an ear to hear her tale of dismay, and as she concludes her explanation of the events that have led to her current state of being, you decide to lend her some assistance. A new window appears on your screen, what could this be? "In order to accept this quest, you must first buy the "Desolate Girl Quest Pack" now for a special price of $4.99!"

You decide to group up with a wizard you met nearby and embark in an epic adventure to reach the depths of an ancient dragon's lair. You are both ready to begin, mounted on your horses, and as you begin your journey, the wizard disbands and rides elsewhere. Puzzled, you ask him the reason for such abruptness. "Can't do that dungeon, sorry! Have to buy it." 

  RandomDown

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/12
Posts: 147

11/28/12 1:20:57 PM#4

In that respect I most certainly agree it breaks immersion. Reminds me of that fellow that showed up in your camp in DA:O for the Warden Commander quest.

 

I think an idea might perhaps be by blocking the areas any secondary content you might not have access to behind something that would make sense in the game world. As an example, in DDO (ignoring all the other blatant advertising) there is the doors to leave the harbor and head into the marketplace. By gating content in that particular way, maybe a portal they don't have the "spell" or some such to pass through etc. it could help allay that feeling. The problem is you'll always be shocked out of the immersion to some degree even if it is an internally consistent way to bar progression like that since you know it is because you never paid. That would be the issue with the severe content gating you see in freemium models.

  stealthbr

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 1059

 
OP  11/28/12 1:27:41 PM#5
DDO! Absolutely loved that game, but since Turbine changed the business model, I simply can't stand it. Hell, they're going to sell +4 tomes in the store! I have never seen a +4 tome drop, ever! They were one of the most sought-after and rare items, and now, well now you can just open the store and spend X amount of dollars and get one for yourself!
  RandomDown

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/12
Posts: 147

11/28/12 1:32:33 PM#6

I admit I never made it far enough for +4s to be relevant to me but I can kind of see why they did it, but also why it is obnoxious.

 

If it really is super rare, that would be very appealing to the people who love leveling all their chars to max and then reincarnating them and all that jazz. As the game really does appeal to min/maxing since it attempts to mimic the ruleset so closely that +4 is going to be a huge temptation for those sorts of people. Though it does sort of appeal to the second argument I made about having a wealthy patron and the such.

However something that powerful, since +4 to your basic stats is a pretty intense thing in 3.5 seems crazy, especially to make it anything but ultra rare. It will force people who enjoy the process start to feel obligated to perhaps buying the tomes so that they can participate in some of that sweet, sweet Underdark action with the friends who did invest all the money into tomes and not feel like an anchor.

  Dauzqul

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1266

11/28/12 1:58:24 PM#7
I like the Freemium model. There are so many more players. While I might not be able to converse with them all, knowing and seeing they are there enriches my gaming experience. There is nothing worse via MMOs than a P2P game that is dead and empty.
  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12257

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

11/28/12 2:11:36 PM#8
Originally posted by stealthbr

The Freemium model, that has been adapted to quite a few large MMORPG's, as of now, establishes complications that I, as an avid MMORPG gamer, find hard to cope with.

That is an important statement that you probably should keep in mind when you write these things, especially if you are going to try to also infer that these are the things that all avid MMORPG gamers find hard to cope with.

 The Freemium model makes it easy for completely new players to come into a game, yet not commit to it. This creates a flux that makes it difficult for a proper community to establish.

Can you link to information on these 'proper communities' in sub based games?

Not only that, the players that are attracted to Freemium models can disrupt a community through their maturity level.

I didn't know that the amount you paid was related to your maturity level.

 This leads to a sort of discrimantion within the community and only serves to fragment it even more.

It seems like transferring your own views on to others, but we'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Can you link to incidents where paying players are discriminating against non-paying players?

 The ever-so present advertisements are a constant reminder that you are not role-playing your character within a virtual world, but playing a game where real-world money can net you benefits.
You make it more and more evident that it bothers you that others have stuff you don't have. I also don't buy the "it ruins my roleplaying" angle, but it's entirely possible you really are one of the few that still does that.
It is also important to point out that developers in the Freemium model have the monetization of content and features as a primary concern. The way they develop content is drastically affected by the Freemium model, because they are constantly searching for the easiest ways to monetize the game.
And you feel that sub-based MMOs are not looking for the easiest ways to keep you paying a sub?

 

The Freemium model allows players to buy items of power with real-world money. Sure, a lot of these items can be obtained through more standard means, like actually playing the game, yet it diminishes absurdly the feeling of accomplishment from obtaining these items. Imagine spending hours in a dungeon trying to obtain a powerful new sword for your warrior, finally getting it only to step out into the game world to see that someone else has the same item, and finding out that they didn't work for it like you did, they bought it off the store.

That would be a travesty! I want to rage against that right now. Can you post the links to the games where I can buy a rare epic boss drop in the item mall? I want to head there now and correct that horrible injustice.

It is absolutely buzz-killing. Not only that, the model tempts you into buying advantages for your character because MMO's are about playing with others, and most importantly against others.

It's ok to have a smaller ePeen than someone else. It really is, man. You shouldn't let that affect your gameplay so much.

Even in a PvE scenario, you compare yourself to someone who has forked some cash over and they progress faster, they have access to cooler things, etc. No one wants to fall behind or feel less powerful.

YOU do that. I just think their stuff looks cool. Please, don't speak for the rest of us.

Suffice to say, it is a model that goes against the MMO, in MMORPG, by crippling and separating communities, and against the RPG, by allowing players to take shortcuts by spending real-world cash, always reminding us that we are not role-playing a powerful mage or a renowned knight, but instead playing a game where money can absolutely dictate how we engage it.

For YOU. For others, it's not an issue. Another person on a sparkle pony with flames shooting out of its ass doesn't bother me at all. Some of the things that are far more immersion breaking for me are

  • - static quests
  • - static item databases
  • - having to raise my Kill Stuff Level in order to make higher level stews and bread
  • - only being able to kill stuff
  • - having to pay 40-60 dollars every year or so on top of my sub otherwise I'm blocked from further content

Pretty much all the stuff you're probably fine with and currently pay for, feeling completely immersed, but I'm not about to speak for you when I present that.

 

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  stealthbr

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 1059

 
OP  11/28/12 3:27:11 PM#9
Originally posted by Loktofeit

That is an important statement that you probably should keep in mind when you write these things, especially if you are going to try to also infer that these are the things that all avid MMORPG gamers find hard to cope with.

Nowhere did I infer such a thing. It's a text written by me expressing my reasoning. I am not trying to say that anyone who is an avid MMORPG gamer should think the same way. Such was written all based on my reasoning, I am not claiming to represent a larger entity.

Can you link to information on these 'proper communities' in sub based games?

Link? Are you kidding me? Only taking part within a community can you understand how it operates. My point is based off of experience and reasoning. I used to play a game that was P2P and later adopted the Freemium model. The community worsened after the transition. I believe such happened because of the increased assessibility, the ease of non-commitment to the game, and the fragmentation of the community between F2P and P2P.

I didn't know that the amount you paid was related to your maturity level.

No, the amount you pay to play a game does not determine your maturity level. However, a large barrier within P2P games for kids is that they usually do not own credit cards. Therefore,  the Freemium model allows a lot more kids to play.

It seems like transferring your own views on to others, but we'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Can you link to incidents where paying players are discriminating against non-paying players?

There is no linking dude. Like I said, you only learn of these things taking part within a community. In DDO, for instance, subscribers would largely resent Freemiums because they would often drag the speed in which a party operated for obvious reasons. Freemiums aren't tweaked out like P2P's nor are they as experienced. Hence, discrimination.

You make it more and more evident that it bothers you that others have stuff you don't have. I also don't buy the "it ruins my roleplaying" angle, but it's entirely possible you really are one of the few that still does that.
Yea, spend weeks or even months farming one item just for it to go to the shop for X amount of dollars, then talk to me. It's an aggravating situation, I can assure you that, and removes all sense of accomplishment from obtaining said items.
And you feel that sub-based MMOs are not looking for the easiest ways to keep you paying a sub?
Point taken.

That would be a travesty! I want to rage against that right now. Can you post the links to the games where I can buy a rare epic boss drop in the item mall? I want to head there now and correct that horrible injustice.

I just stated one right above your post.

It's ok to have a smaller ePeen than someone else. It really is, man. You shouldn't let that affect your gameplay so much.

You're not observing this very carefully. It's not about ePeen or whatever you want to call it. Say you and a couple of guild mates start new characters in order to play together. They all fork over a bit of cash to buy several XP potions. Now, you are pressured into spending money in order to keep up. Do you see how this does affect gameplay? Do you see how this does tempt you into using the cash shop?

YOU do that. I just think their stuff looks cool. Please, don't speak for the rest of us.

I honestly don't understand where you get the idea that I'm speaking for a group of people. I am stating my opinion and my reasoning. I find it unnecessary to write IMO before every sentence, don't you?

For YOU. For others, it's not an issue. Another person on a sparkle pony with flames shooting out of its ass doesn't bother me at all. Some of the things that are far more immersion breaking for me are

  • - static quests
  • - static item databases
  • - having to raise my Kill Stuff Level in order to make higher level stews and bread
  • - only being able to kill stuff
  • - having to pay 40-60 dollars every year or so on top of my sub otherwise I'm blocked from further content

Pretty much all the stuff you're probably fine with and currently pay for, feeling completely immersed, but I'm not about to speak for you when I present that.

We are discussing the Freemium model, not the WoW model. If you would like to discuss the WoW model, please do so elsewhere. 

PS: I think you should focus more on maintaining a healthy discussion by providing arguments that counter my points instead of simply saying: "That's your opinion!" or "Link or it's false!" Use a bit of reasoning.

 

 

 

  Murdus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 704

we own the sky

11/28/12 5:37:09 PM#10

Freemium breaks immersion every time you look at the store.

 

Advertisements of the shop, the loreless gear, the cosmetic gear that looks like you spent money on it, money here, money there.

I miss games where everything I saw was an active part of the world. Not some 'hehe bonus' or shop-only potions.

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6732

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

11/28/12 5:47:19 PM#11

Two major reasons i despise it...

1 they are looking for ways to get more money out of you,liek the 15 bucks a month wasn't enough already.

2 You now have to pay extra to get content you would normally get for the one time price of 15 bucks.EQ2 is a brutal example,you pay 15 bucks and yo ustill don't get some housing or some newer content.

If you look at the Eq2 SOE model,you pay 15 bucks a month,pay more for housing,buy new xpacs,pay extra for content like the dungeon building content,it is like they are trying to get 30 bucks a month plus an extra xpac ort two a year out of us.

It is bad enough games have been really getting bad for delivering depth or just common content.Most games are delivering really shallow gameplay and a few maps.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  TheScavenger

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/05/12
Posts: 687

Those who ask a question, are stupid for 30 seconds. Those who never ask, are stupid for life.

11/28/12 5:52:16 PM#12
Originally posted by Wizardry

Two major reasons i despise it...

1 they are looking for ways to get more money out of you,liek the 15 bucks a month wasn't enough already.

2 You now have to pay extra to get content you would normally get for the one time price of 15 bucks.EQ2 is a brutal example,you pay 15 bucks and yo ustill don't get some housing or some newer content.

If you look at the Eq2 SOE model,you pay 15 bucks a month,pay more for housing,buy new xpacs,pay extra for content like the dungeon building content,it is like they are trying to get 30 bucks a month plus an extra xpac ort two a year out of us.

It is bad enough games have been really getting bad for delivering depth or just common content.Most games are delivering really shallow gameplay and a few maps.

Yup, EQ2 and SWTOR aren't really free...they are more like a carrot in front of a treadmill, and they charge you every step of the way. The only thing free in those two is the treadmill.

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  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2437

World > Quest Progression

11/28/12 7:36:43 PM#13
It's true: Free to play doesn't mean free to play everything. It means you can play the game, without paying anything, to a certain point. Bills need to be paid as do employees. How would you feel if the product you work to create and/or process was wanted for free? How would that effect your paycheck? :)

How can there be so many questions still or ways to hash this out?
  stealthbr

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 1059

 
OP  11/28/12 7:57:24 PM#14
Originally posted by Aelious
It's true: Free to play doesn't mean free to play everything. It means you can play the game, without paying anything, to a certain point. Bills need to be paid as do employees. How would you feel if the product you work to create and/or process was wanted for free? How would that effect your paycheck? :)

How can there be so many questions still or ways to hash this out?

Um.. did you even read the OP?

  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2437

World > Quest Progression

11/28/12 8:10:11 PM#15
I did read it but I'm on a phone so I didn't quote correctly for context. I was commenting on how games like EQ2 are not really free but carrot on a stick. In fact EQ2 also has a sub option if you want everything "unlocked".

In regards to the OP the one thing freemium does is bring a fuller world of players. I actually prefer a sub model as well for all the points you listed. Unfortunatly there are too many titles out there now and people are spread out, the money is spread out. Freemium models, especially ones with sub options, bring something for everyone.
  TheScavenger

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11/28/12 10:46:47 PM#16

Freemium games are pay to win

 

Someone has more bag space than you? He/she has less trips to the vendor/AH, so levels faster. And is able to sell more, and earn more money in-game

 

Stuck with the basic classes? Someone can pay to unlock the advanced ones, and have a large advantage over you

 

Can't use rare items? This is the biggest sign of pay to win by many who explain pay to win games and why they are horrible. Someone can pay to use rare items, and therefor win and have a HUGE advantage over you

Can't use advanced spells? (mostly this is regards to EQ2)...pay and you can unlock them. Sort of similar to the above. Again another HUGE advantage to those who can only use the basic ranks of spells/abilities

 

At least a fully pay to play MMO, or a fully free to play MMO (a true free to play, not a freemium), everyone is on an even level.

 

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  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5769

11/28/12 10:54:16 PM#17
Sub / P2P games are P2W because if you don't buy the xpacs you're locked out of content even if you're still locked into the subscription.

Curse you AquaScum!

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5769

11/28/12 10:58:05 PM#18
Originally posted by Loktofeit

For YOU. For others, it's not an issue. Another person on a sparkle pony with flames shooting out of its ass doesn't bother me at all. Some of the things that are far more immersion breaking for me are

  • - static quests
  • - static item databases
  • - having to raise my Kill Stuff Level in order to make higher level stews and bread
  • - only being able to kill stuff
  • - having to pay 40-60 dollars every year or so on top of my sub otherwise I'm blocked from further content

Pretty much all the stuff you're probably fine with and currently pay for, feeling completely immersed, but I'm not about to speak for you when I present that.

I agree with what you posted, but this in particular.

The Freemium model certainly isn't my favorite form of F2P.  I prefer Cryptic/PWE's model with STO or the B2P model in GW1/GW2.  But Freemium is still miles better than a subscription for me.

Curse you AquaScum!

  TheScavenger

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11/28/12 11:03:25 PM#19
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Sub / P2P games are P2W because if you don't buy the xpacs you're locked out of content even if you're still locked into the subscription.

Not every pay to play MMO has expansions. And not all expansions you have to pay for.

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  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16688

11/28/12 11:17:25 PM#20
Originally posted by stealthbr
DDO! Absolutely loved that game, but since Turbine changed the business model, I simply can't stand it. Hell, they're going to sell +4 tomes in the store! I have never seen a +4 tome drop, ever! They were one of the most sought-after and rare items, and now, well now you can just open the store and spend X amount of dollars and get one for yourself!

And yet sadly DDO is the far best freemium game when it comes to these things.

I have to agree with OP, freemium games are crap.

I can live with F2P games where none subscribers get more grind, that is fine but when people who cough up real money gets better stuff than really good players that earns their stuff ingame things are just plain wrong.

I dont care about skins or superficial stuff but selling good gear for real money takes out th fun of any game for me. To work for something and then get it and show it off in town have always been one of the core things in MMOs, when you just can buy anything instead I have no motivation to actually play.

There are of course other stuff in MMOs that makes me play than gear but as long as there are P2P and B2P games that allows the good players to get unique stuff I wont play anu freemium games.

And no, getting good gear shouldnt really only be dependant on time spent either, a good player should be able to get good gear fast while a bad one either have to spend a lot of time or might never get it unless he becomes better. That is why I hate daily quests as well, they reward you for time and nothing else.

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