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MMORPG.com Discussion Forums

General Discussion

General Discussion 

The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » "Free to play" really just means "we're not going to tell you how much we intend to make you pay or how you'll be crippled if you don't."

18 Pages First « 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 » Last Search
342 posts found
  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5511

5/01/13 11:15:54 AM#121
Originally posted by SpottyGekko

The thing I hate most about "F2P with Cash Shop" models is that the "good" ones will carefully analyse their player metrics and design the gameplay in such a way that it's just irritating enough to push a significant % of players to spend.

That means that the game design starts being dictated by which "threshold values" are needed to make 50% of players buy item or service X in the Cash Shop. Everything you do ingame becomes a target of monetization.

Most people can resist spending too much on Cash Shop items, but that denial is always a conscious decision. And the decision to forego those "quality of life" expenditures will always leave a slightly bitter taste.

Are sub-locked game designers stupid and just design their games willy nilly?  Are you going to posit that they don't analyze metrics and design games around gear treadmills, time sinks, and mechanics to make you sub longer?

Again, I notice that sub-locked proponents like to use really vague references to un-named sub-free games to make their arguments.  If a game has a bad model and mechanic then name it.  Stop saying all games do this when one game does that.  If there is a horrible setup then lets discuss that.

If I get to the point in a game, it doesn't matter whether the game is sub-locked or sub-free, where progression stops or becomes "unfun" then I will probably stop playing.  If I start to play a sub-free game and I look in the cash shop and experience the game mechanics and decide that I don't like them, then I move on.  If I get to a place in a sub-locked game where I have to do things I don't like to progress then I move on.

It's really really simple.  If a game has bad mechanics then don't play it.  Play fun games.  If you like to rent your games then play fun sub-locked games.  If you don't then play fun sub-free games.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2293

5/01/13 11:20:51 AM#122

Mtibbs1989, we aren't on the same page.

You: "You can never can be better than the big spender"

Me: "You are never even be at the average because of not spending more"

Let's build the ultimate MMO 1 feature at a time
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/398555/page/1

  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4689

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

5/01/13 11:25:55 AM#123
Originally posted by mmoguy43

Mtibbs1989, we aren't on the same page.

You: "You can never can be better than the big spender"

Me: "You are never even be at the average because of not spending more"

 Me:  Are you having fun?  Yes, then who cares.  No; drop the game.

Me:  You specifically state multi-boxing, which exists today.  F2p does not change that.  Therefore it is a non issue in a f2p vs p2p comparison.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19158

5/01/13 11:27:40 AM#124
Originally posted by mmoguy43

Mtibbs1989, we aren't on the same page.

You: "You can never can be better than the big spender"

Me: "You are never even be at the average because of not spending more"

None of that is important if you are playing pve, and play for fun, instead of epleen. Do you really need to be "above average" in a game where achievements are just illusions anyway?

  Four0Six

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/11
Posts: 1069

5/01/13 11:27:58 AM#125
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Four0Six
Originally posted by Quizzical
I prefer to know a game's business model up front before deciding whether to play it.  When a company advertises a game as "free to play", they're trying to hide the business model, as they're never going to truly give away everything for free.  Do you think "free to play" will eventually become a derogatory term that marketers avoid for that reason?

"F2P" will never become a derogatory term, because peeps love "free".

Here is a tip from a skeptic, me, "Nothing is free".

Take for example this: I am heading back to college, and recently went through an oreintation. During a campus tour we were told a list of "free" services we get. Including, "Free tickest to sporting events.", "Free access to the fitness center". Now I am an avid capitalist and have an accountant for a wife, so I inspect every bill I get and keep recipts for everything. Sooooo, I know that those tickes and access arent "Free" at all. In fact there is even an "athletic fee" right on the bill. But here we are on a tour hearing about all the freebies. HA.

The reality is it cost money to do stuff, like develope, publish, and operate a game. As consumers it is our responsibility to understand ALL the costs and be aware. Yes I know some marketing is designed to "sucker" many, with a focus on youth. But, I also am aware that "youths" are not adults and even the law doesnt grant them full sets of rights. So I put that on their parents.

Well yes, it's obvious that a game isn't going to be completely free.  What I don't like about "free to play" is that it doesn't tell you the costs up front.

There have been many situations where positive-sounding things ended up being used and quoted derisively.  I could give many examples from recent politics, but don't want to derail the thread that way, so I'll just give an older one that should be widely recognizable but isn't so politically charged anymore:

Neville Chamberlain:  "Peace in our time."

As you seem fairly "learn-ed", based on the countless totaly positive posts I see you make in the tech forum, I can assume that you know of "weasel words"? In short, if you are unaware, these are words used most often by advertisers and politians, to skew meaning. A prime example would be a generic product claiming to be "virutally" like its name brand counterpart. SImply put, we all know that "virtually" means, not the same. Yet countless consumers grab the generic and proclaim "It is the SAME as its name brand counterpart!". Total win for the advertiser. I have come to see "F2P" as the same kind of situation. Sure, you can download, install, and "play" for free...but as you point out, they make it very inconvienant, creating artificial "need" for cash shop items.

Is it "evil", "lies", "trickery"? Maybe. Who knows? For me it is another example of the reasons I try to be an "educated skeptic consumer". Sometimes it is hard to do since they want to "hook" you into playing before you know all the facts. Lucky for us there are countless forums and such to fill our heads with all the info we need. (A discussion for another thread on the quality of this info).

I do however support discussions of this sort. When I see them I try to participate in a positive manner. I do this in the hopes of spreading knowledge. SInce many of these topics bleed into everyday life and do not just pertain to gaming. My hats off to you sir for starting this thread.

 

  Popori

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/20/03
Posts: 333

5/01/13 11:28:51 AM#126

It seems to me that most F2P devs are aware of the outrage and anger caused by nickle and dime mechanics which is why they design the games to be short lived, shallow experiences.  Between the player mill (old out, new in, in rapid succession) and the cheap development, running a game into the ground and replacing it with another cheap thrill is much easier than a 300mil behemoth title.

 I mean, look at Aeria games site, 22 F2P titles alone, and likely that a few of them won't make it through summer.  How many sub-based devs could carry that many titles?

Anyway, I've yet to see a free to play title that encouraged long term time investment, and while they may be replacing sub models in popularity, I don't think they're intended to replace sub-games in playstyle.

I think subs still have a chance and a community but has lost a lot of steam from the corporate side.  Free to play is simply a trending cash grab that is establishing its own market and will hopefully take a chunk of the 'business ethic' out of the sub based genre and set us back toward the days when a sub carried weight in the eyes of the devs. :p

(I'm dreaming again right?)

  Vorthanion

Elite Member

Joined: 7/02/11
Posts: 1883

5/01/13 11:33:00 AM#127
Just the fact alone that F2P games are really embracing the whole pay for your interface options piecemeal is a huge turnoff for me.  As is the inability in some games to expand your storage space other than through the cash shop.  Whats even worse is that some companies are doing this by character and not by account.  The costs and the irritation are killing this aspect of the genre for me.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19158

5/01/13 11:33:08 AM#128
Originally posted by Popori

Anyway, I've yet to see a free to play title that encouraged long term time investment, and while they may be replacing sub models in popularity, I don't think they're intended to replace sub-games in playstyle.

Sure. And the playstyle is increasingly short-term, without commitment, so players can experience more titles.

I think subs still have a chance and a community but has lost a lot of steam from the corporate side.  Free to play is simply a trending cash grab that is establishing its own market and will hopefully take a chunk of the 'business ethic' out of the sub based genre and set us back toward the days when a sub carried weight in the eyes of the devs. :p

I doubt it. In the beginning, p2p is dominant. The fact that it is now shifted to f2p means that players are flocking to f2p because of their own choice. Think about it. Now there may be fewer choice for p2p .. but not a few years. The reason why more f2p games are built .. is because they are successful .. because players are flocking to them.

It is very clear the market trend is going from p2p to f2p. There is always a niche with some who don't like f2p .. but this is no more special than the niche who want to play text games, or whatever their preference is.

 

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5511

5/01/13 11:39:04 AM#129
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Disdena

I used to love playing Mega Man. Then I found out you could buy a thing called Game Genie to get infinite lives. Now I hate Mega Man; I don't want to pay money for a Game Genie, so my version of the game is "crippled" because I only have 3 lives.

 

Judge the game sans cash shop on its own merits. Don't worry about what other people are doing, and don't worry about how much easier the game would be if you paid for help. The idea that the normal mode of a game can be crippled by the mere existence of an optional alternate way of playing is ludicrous.

For a single-player game in which you don't interact with anyone else, you can do that.  If someone else can come by and easily kill you because he's bought a bunch of item mall stuff, then it's kind of hard to ignore that.  Ditto if you get kicked from groups or guilds because you aren't loaded up with item mall stuff.

Now, you can say, not all "free to play" games will be like that.  But some are, and that's part of the problem:  it's not trivial to tell which ones are.  Even if you can see that a sword in the item mall offers 100 attack power, you don't know if that far better than anything that you can get apart from the item mall, or if you'll commonly get stuff much better in the normal course of playing the game.  With a subscription game, you don't have to worry about that.

It's not trivial to tell what any game does with its mechanics.  Do you know all the rules in a sub-locked pvp game before you play?  Do you have any confidence they'll never change?  Do you know how pve content is going to work?  Can rest on the promise those mechanics will never change?

I'm not sure what you think to accomplish by creating a fake dilemma (ie: there is no "problem") where we need to think of the victims who can't sort it out.  Oddly enough, despite your deep and continued confusion over what free to play means and the potential for abuse, many millions of people sort this out and enjoy them.

I'm curious if this has anything to do with your own game development.  When people moralize and amoral topic they usually have a stake in the outcome and they're lobbying for their own interests.

Often I can look up a lot of a game's formulas on a wiki before downloading or paying anything for it, even if it doesn't have a free trial.  Furthermore, while things are subject to change for play balance reasons, game designers tend not to face incredible financial pressure to change game mechanics in ways that they know will annoy nearly all of their players.  An item mall model, on the other hand, means that the company will eternally be under pressure to charge you for more stuff.

And what are those formulas going to tell you, if they're up to date?  Are you going to understand how to build a character?  Is it going to tell you if the game is fair?

Rift is a good example of a sub-locked game that has dramatically changed some core mechanics over the last two years.  It's not the same game I bought into and paid a bunch of money for.  The alternate advancement system has been radically altered.  All falling damage has been removed.  Gear progression has been altered since Storm Legion.  Faction interaction has dramatically changed since launch.

Even if you can look something up can you interepret it?  If someone is confused by the differences between "P2P" and "F2P" are they going to understand and make good decisions about combat formulas?  In Rift the following is true as of a year ago (that's the datetime stamp on the wiki page):

1 point of resistance equals 0.1% chance to resist spells of that damage type.
1 point of resistance equals .05% reduction in damage of that type.

Exactly what is someone going to do with that knowledge?  Are you going to go in and stack resistance?  Or is direct armour mitigation more effective?  Is building for evasion more prudent?  You never really know that stuff until you get in and experience the game and test the mechanics yourself.  The best you may be able to do is read raid parsing online and try to extrapolate that to every encounter type in the game.

Every company, regardless of the revenue model, is under continual pressure to generate more revenue.  Some of those changes in Rift were a direct result of trying to pull in a broader cross section of the raid demographic.  The pressure to sell more in an item mall doesn't mean the first way that will happen is going to be selling super power items.  That may be true in some games, but that is where someone makes an individual evaluation and either accepts it or moves on.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2293

5/01/13 11:39:40 AM#130
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by mmoguy43

Mtibbs1989, we aren't on the same page.

You: "You can never can be better than the big spender"

Me: "You are never even be at the average because of not spending more"

None of that is important if you are playing pve, and play for fun, instead of epleen. Do you really need to be "above average" in a game where achievements are just illusions anyway?

What if I play for grouping, pvp, and the community? It could be imporant in that regard. Yes, I always need to start at atleast the average even if merely play for fun.

Let's build the ultimate MMO 1 feature at a time
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/398555/page/1

  Vorthanion

Elite Member

Joined: 7/02/11
Posts: 1883

5/01/13 11:39:57 AM#131
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by SpottyGekko

The thing I hate most about "F2P with Cash Shop" models is that the "good" ones will carefully analyse their player metrics and design the gameplay in such a way that it's just irritating enough to push a significant % of players to spend.

That means that the game design starts being dictated by which "threshold values" are needed to make 50% of players buy item or service X in the Cash Shop. Everything you do ingame becomes a target of monetization.

Most people can resist spending too much on Cash Shop items, but that denial is always a conscious decision. And the decision to forego those "quality of life" expenditures will always leave a slightly bitter taste.

Are sub-locked game designers stupid and just design their games willy nilly?  Are you going to posit that they don't analyze metrics and design games around gear treadmills, time sinks, and mechanics to make you sub longer?

Again, I notice that sub-locked proponents like to use really vague references to un-named sub-free games to make their arguments.  If a game has a bad model and mechanic then name it.  Stop saying all games do this when one game does that.  If there is a horrible setup then lets discuss that.

If I get to the point in a game, it doesn't matter whether the game is sub-locked or sub-free, where progression stops or becomes "unfun" then I will probably stop playing.  If I start to play a sub-free game and I look in the cash shop and experience the game mechanics and decide that I don't like them, then I move on.  If I get to a place in a sub-locked game where I have to do things I don't like to progress then I move on.

It's really really simple.  If a game has bad mechanics then don't play it.  Play fun games.  If you like to rent your games then play fun sub-locked games.  If you don't then play fun sub-free games.

What makes you think we are playing these F2P monstrosities?  Something tells me I will not be waiting in vain for Elder Scrolls which is most likely going to have a subscription model.  Currently subscribed to Rift in the meantime.

  Omnifish

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/11
Posts: 603

I'll kick your a**e so hard, you could build a swimming pool in the footprint!

5/01/13 11:44:39 AM#132
Originally posted by Quizzical
I prefer to know a game's business model up front before deciding whether to play it.  When a company advertises a game as "free to play", they're trying to hide the business model, as they're never going to truly give away everything for free.  Do you think "free to play" will eventually become a derogatory term that marketers avoid for that reason?

Taking the term litterally, then no. They'll keep using it because it sounds great to a potential customer and is true to a point.

All of those games you can download and play for free.  'Free 2 Play', is a buzzword phrase like, 'dynamic content', they imply something good but don't actually describe what that fully entails.

That's how marketing works, it's lures you to try something and it's job is to, 'sell', a lifetyle, product, whatever, as positively as possible, in the quickest timeframe, without acknowledging any questionable aspects. Until they find a better term, expect to see it in use for a while...

This looks like a job for....The Riviera Kid!

  SpottyGekko

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 2724

5/01/13 11:50:41 AM#133
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by SpottyGekko

The thing I hate most about "F2P with Cash Shop" models is that the "good" ones will carefully analyse their player metrics and design the gameplay in such a way that it's just irritating enough to push a significant % of players to spend.

That means that the game design starts being dictated by which "threshold values" are needed to make 50% of players buy item or service X in the Cash Shop. Everything you do ingame becomes a target of monetization.

Most people can resist spending too much on Cash Shop items, but that denial is always a conscious decision. And the decision to forego those "quality of life" expenditures will always leave a slightly bitter taste.

Are sub-locked game designers stupid and just design their games willy nilly?  Are you going to posit that they don't analyze metrics and design games around gear treadmills, time sinks, and mechanics to make you sub longer?

Again, I notice that sub-locked proponents like to use really vague references to un-named sub-free games to make their arguments.  If a game has a bad model and mechanic then name it.  Stop saying all games do this when one game does that.  If there is a horrible setup then lets discuss that.

If I get to the point in a game, it doesn't matter whether the game is sub-locked or sub-free, where progression stops or becomes "unfun" then I will probably stop playing.  If I start to play a sub-free game and I look in the cash shop and experience the game mechanics and decide that I don't like them, then I move on.  If I get to a place in a sub-locked game where I have to do things I don't like to progress then I move on.

It's really really simple.  If a game has bad mechanics then don't play it.  Play fun games.  If you like to rent your games then play fun sub-locked games.  If you don't then play fun sub-free games.

Yours is a popular "rebuttal" against the argument of F2P Cash Shop manipulation.

But it's flawed.

 

It's flawed because both P2P and F2P game designs need to keep people playing. Regardless of the design, if the player is not playing the game, there is no chance at all that he will be spending money on it.

In fact, the "grind-by-design" in most F2P games is far, far worse than in P2P games, because the grind has to be made unpalatable enough so that most people will opt for straight-out purchases. A P2P design cannot do that, because there's no "easy-way-out" in a P2P game.

 

If your P2P grind is more than the average player can bear, you will lose the player. 

If your F2P grind is more than the average player can bear, you have a huge group of potential Cash Shop customers ! 

  Cephus404

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3602

5/01/13 11:51:39 AM#134
Originally posted by Falstaff

free to play is what is says it is..   i have played many free to play games without spending a dime.   im not ocd, adhd.  i dont need to dominiate pvp. i dont need to sit in town to show off my uber armor/weps/mounts.   

 

if everyone would wake up and realize mmo companies are not non-profit organizations.  they are only making these games for one reason,  and its not to make the player base happy

^This^

As long as you're not treating MMOs like personal dick-waving machines, you can play for free.  It's the hyper-competitive assholes who have to be #1 and live to show off that have issues, and they should.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
Now Playing: None
Hope: None

  Cephus404

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3602

5/01/13 11:52:39 AM#135
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Generally speaking

Yeah f2p means we are going to pick your pockets later.

But recently we've seen some fairer free play models like gw2 and ps2.

So where,as once I was vehemently anti f2p, now I recognise there are a handful of games that do f2p right.

How do they pick your pockets, you have to decide to enter  your credit card number, they can't do it without your permission.

It's not them picking your pockets, it's you having no self-control.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
Now Playing: None
Hope: None

  boxsnd

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/04/12
Posts: 377

5/01/13 11:55:31 AM#136
I don't feel cripped in PoE, TERA, Dota2, TF2 etc.

DAoC - Excalibur & Camlann

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5511

5/01/13 11:56:04 AM#137
Originally posted by Vorthanion
Just the fact alone that F2P games are really embracing the whole pay for your interface options piecemeal is a huge turnoff for me.  As is the inability in some games to expand your storage space other than through the cash shop.  Whats even worse is that some companies are doing this by character and not by account.  The costs and the irritation are killing this aspect of the genre for me.

Wait, that's news to me. Are ALL F2P games "really embracing the whole pay for your interface options piecemeal" deal?  I guess I'm going have to spend a lot of money in GW2, Tera, STO, GW, TSW, LotRO, and EQ2 buying those interface options.  I didn't realize the entire industry acted as a single unit.

It must suck for the WoW players when Rift homogenized alternate advancment. Because you know, all p2p games make the same changes too.

Or were you taking one example and applying it to the entire industry?

Let's say you need to expand your storage through the cash shop (and I'll use real world examples).  In Tera a bank slot (there are 4 total and you start with 1) costs $5 or you can buy all 3 for $14.  In STO a slot is $10.  I find it odd that spending $15 or less on a character unlock you can always use is less appealing than renting access to a character for $15 a month.  If you're spending the same as a subscription why does it matter?

Why is it okay for a subscription to cost an average of $150 - $220 per year for rented access but if you spend the same amount on a sub-free game to unlock account features or gameplay then it's a cost gouge that kills that aspect of the genre for you?  I have yet to spend as much in a sub-free game as a sub-locked game.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  fantasyfreak112

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/13
Posts: 523

5/01/13 11:57:25 AM#138
The title is as true as it is long, at least for 95% of F2P games.
  stevebombsquad

Elite Member

Joined: 3/20/13
Posts: 582

5/01/13 11:59:03 AM#139
Originally posted by Quizzical
I prefer to know a game's business model up front before deciding whether to play it.  When a company advertises a game as "free to play", they're trying to hide the business model, as they're never going to truly give away everything for free.  Do you think "free to play" will eventually become a derogatory term that marketers avoid for that reason?

This is why I don't like F2P or B2P? Even with games like GW2, you never know what changes might be made to the cash shop and the items available in it. All it takes is a bad quarter or two financially, and a company will do most anything to increase revenue.....

James T. Kirk: All she's got isn't good enough! What else ya got?

  Popori

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/20/03
Posts: 333

5/01/13 11:59:18 AM#140
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Popori

Anyway, I've yet to see a free to play title that encouraged long term time investment, and while they may be replacing sub models in popularity, I don't think they're intended to replace sub-games in playstyle.

Sure. And the playstyle is increasingly short-term, without commitment, so players can experience more titles.

I think subs still have a chance and a community but has lost a lot of steam from the corporate side.  Free to play is simply a trending cash grab that is establishing its own market and will hopefully take a chunk of the 'business ethic' out of the sub based genre and set us back toward the days when a sub carried weight in the eyes of the devs. :p

I doubt it. In the beginning, p2p is dominant. The fact that it is now shifted to f2p means that players are flocking to f2p because of their own choice. Think about it. Now there may be fewer choice for p2p .. but not a few years. The reason why more f2p games are built .. is because they are successful .. because players are flocking to them.

It is very clear the market trend is going from p2p to f2p. There is always a niche with some who don't like f2p .. but this is no more special than the niche who want to play text games, or whatever their preference is.

 

I haven't seen much proof that F2P has been stealing customers from sub games, if anything it seems that more people are joining the market thanks to F2P.

The popularity of F2P won't just nullify the demand for what sub games currently offer (or were supposed to be).  So, until F2P can cover that gap I don't see them conquering the market outright (and I don't see them making any attempt to fill that gap).

As you stated, F2P titles will continue to become more short-term, and without commitment, until the players that are not looking for that turn elsewhere.  Maybe it will be subs, maybe it will be some F2P mutant that offers something that F2P currently isn't designed for - I can't pretend to know.

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