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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Becoming a F2P Convert

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172 posts found
  Ozmodan

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6562

5/25/13 3:31:51 PM#61
Originally posted by Whitebeards
Originally posted by Dihoru
-facepalms- in about 5-10 years I am willing to bet that when they come out with a pay by processing power payment system the same people who are now anti-F2P will be saying that system isn't as good as F2P is.

Fact is that these people are in minority and they are upset because their numbers are not enough to sustain P2P MMOS. They know they are losing on this turf so making noise on forums is the only thing left to do.

Even companies like Trion who said they will never go F2P with Rift had to out of necessity. So no matter how much P2P supporters make a fuss, in reality there are not just enough of them to sustain a new MMO on P2P model.

Any MMO that makes the mistake of releasing as a P2P MMO will soon realize this.

 

Once people get through all the content they leave whether f2p or p2p.  Many of the themepark MMO's have large issues with this because end game is limited to a few areas, players have outleveled all the other content.  Sandbox games are very different, expect to see some in the near future, you don't outlevel content in them.

People still normally subscribe to f2p games that have that option, just easier to experience the content.  People like flexibility.

Most f2p games don't have near the content of p2p games so people go through them faster.  While there are many people dabbling in MMO's, the serious gamers still subscribe.  

  Dihoru

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/11/06
Posts: 2616

5/25/13 3:39:57 PM#62
Originally posted by Ozmodan
Originally posted by Whitebeards
Originally posted by Dihoru
-facepalms- in about 5-10 years I am willing to bet that when they come out with a pay by processing power payment system the same people who are now anti-F2P will be saying that system isn't as good as F2P is.

Fact is that these people are in minority and they are upset because their numbers are not enough to sustain P2P MMOS. They know they are losing on this turf so making noise on forums is the only thing left to do.

Even companies like Trion who said they will never go F2P with Rift had to out of necessity. So no matter how much P2P supporters make a fuss, in reality there are not just enough of them to sustain a new MMO on P2P model.

Any MMO that makes the mistake of releasing as a P2P MMO will soon realize this.

 

Once people get through all the content they leave whether f2p or p2p.  Many of the themepark MMO's have large issues with this because end game is limited to a few areas, players have outleveled all the other content.  Sandbox games are very different, expect to see some in the near future, you don't outlevel content in them.

People still normally subscribe to f2p games that have that option, just easier to experience the content.  People like flexibility.

Most f2p games don't have near the content of p2p games so people go through them faster.  While there are many people dabbling in MMO's, the serious gamers still subscribe.  

And there are F2P sandbox games coming which won't even have a subscribe option :P the only microtransaction will be cosmetics and some conversion system for cash I think ( translating real world money into in-game money which may sound pay to win but in a EVE-Online style sandbox you need only look to the example of the russian power blocs of old and their "rumored" real world backers of whom to this day only one was identified as a russian millionaire who made his money on the metal market... and no I am not kidding, that guy is the reason why for the first 3 years of my gaming experience in EVE the price for 1 month of gaming time was worth ~100-110 mil isk because he was pumping the market full of gametime and trading it for isk to fund his power blocs).

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4328

5/25/13 4:19:16 PM#63
Originally posted by Ozmodan

 


Most f2p games don't have near the content of p2p games so people go through them faster.  While there are many people dabbling in MMO's, the serious gamers still subscribe.  

I wish people would give up on this lame theory.

Most f2p games were p2p at some point. They didn't take any of the content out when it went f2p.... All crappy mmos had lack of content when they were just a rush job. P2P mmos had lots of examples. It isn't something that's new to just f2p.

People are like cats. When they die, you get a new one.

  zymurgeist

Elite Member

Joined: 12/24/04
Posts: 5176

5/25/13 4:46:25 PM#64
I don't play crippleware. I didn't like it when it was on 5 1/4" floppies and I don't like it on digital download. Either I get to play the whole game as it was meant to be played or I don't play any of it.

"Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7119

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

5/25/13 5:02:01 PM#65
Shill piece
  snapfusion

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/17/11
Posts: 976

5/25/13 5:06:36 PM#66

Its still the ban and getting worse.  F2P's are being built with shorter development cycles, since there is not box sales at launch, they need to get games to market quick, and it shows.  So does the small linear hub based game worlds, lack of features, simplistic gameplay.  I could go on and on.

 

No developer is going to invest big money and long dev cycles in games for the F2P market, they are all disposable titles.

  thinktank001

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1776

5/25/13 5:18:00 PM#67
Originally posted by Ozmodan

Huge mistake made in your breakout of the f2p space.  It is pretty obvious you don't play many of them to understand the difference.

Besides the b2p, you have major differences in how the f2p is constructed.  You have the standard f2p with the cash shop, you have the f2p with a subscription option and you have the f2p that is pay-to-win where without major cash shop purchases your avatar is much less than others that do.

The f2p with a cash shop isn't too bad, while the cash shop really helps gameplay, there are no overpowering items in it to make it absolutely necessary.  Unfortunately, there are not many of these left, the developers of these almost always end up changing to a pay-to-win scenario.  You usually find these in the early life cycle of f2p games although there are some older games that have avoided the pay-to-win cycle.

The second option is the f2p with a subscription option.  I think DDO was the first to do this, quite successfully I might add.  These are more free to try, but you need a subscription to really enjoy the play.  Lotro, Swtor, DDO, AoC, TERA, etc.  Rift will soon join this group.

Lastly we have the pay-to-win bracket.  While you can play these games without the cash shop, you inevitably have to buy from it for your avatar to be competitive.  They almost always have some form of gambling involved in the equipment upgrade process, be it chance boxes from the store or processes that have a very low chance of success without store items.  It seems certain producers like gPotato Frogster, Perfect World and others almost always have games like this.  Players can spend thousands of dollars upgrading their avatars only to start the process all over again when the company raises the level limit.

I try out many of the first category, but have not really found much fun playing any of them.  I do currently play many of the second bracket and I usually subscribe if I like the game.  I flat out avoid the last bracket, while I admit I do try them out, I have found all of them to be lacking.  Neverwinter is a good example of this.  It is a fun game to play, but once you reach endgame it is pointless, so why bother getting there.  

You the customer have to decide which direction you choose in this space.  If money is no object than the last category probably is for you.  If you have a limited budget, you really need to avoid the last category as you will not be really able to enjoy it.

 

 

You can segregate cash shop based games by what they have in their cash shop all you want, but they are all of the same design philosophy. 

 

1.  Take game mechanic and nerf it until it is almost unfun.

2.  Add cash shop item to make it fun again. 

 

  RELAXcowboy

Novice Member

Joined: 6/15/12
Posts: 4

5/25/13 5:47:17 PM#68

If FTP was as great as the game industry wants everyone to think it is then why aren't all MMORPGs (AAA included) FTP from the start?

That's because no one wants FTP. They want to pay for a GOOD GAME. That is all there is to it. But you get companies like Bioware who get a drop in subs and go FTP/premium and they make it sound like its what the players want. No. It's not. A good well made game that is worth 15 bucks a month is what we want. Companies go FTP/Premium because of a large drop in subs and to supplement the loss in income they go Freemium so they can get more the just 15 dollars a month from their player base. It has nothing to do with what WE want and everything to do with money.  

 

  BeansnBread

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/19/06
Posts: 5540

5/25/13 5:54:03 PM#69
Originally posted by RELAXcowboy

If FTP was as great as the game industry wants everyone to think it is then why aren't all MMORPGs (AAA included) FTP from the start?

That's because no one wants FTP. They want to pay for a GOOD GAME. That is all there is to it. But you get companies like Bioware who get a drop in subs and go FTP/premium and they make it sound like its what the players want. No. It's not. A good well made game that is worth 15 bucks a month is what we want. Companies go FTP/Premium because of a large drop in subs and to supplement the loss in income they go Freemium so they can get more the just 15 dollars a month from their player base. It has nothing to do with what WE want and everything to do with money.  

 

It's because they can rip people off up front and simply convert when the initial rush of cash is over. P2P in the last 5 years has turned into an early adopter fee for the impatient and people with poor impulse control.

SWTOR is the greatest mmo ever!

  Dihoru

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/11/06
Posts: 2616

5/25/13 6:17:55 PM#70
Originally posted by RELAXcowboy

If FTP was as great as the game industry wants everyone to think it is then why aren't all MMORPGs (AAA included) FTP from the start?

That's because no one wants FTP. They want to pay for a GOOD GAME. That is all there is to it. But you get companies like Bioware who get a drop in subs and go FTP/premium and they make it sound like its what the players want. No. It's not. A good well made game that is worth 15 bucks a month is what we want. Companies go FTP/Premium because of a large drop in subs and to supplement the loss in income they go Freemium so they can get more the just 15 dollars a month from their player base. It has nothing to do with what WE want and everything to do with money.  

 

The market wants quality games, it does not care how they are monetized so kindly take your bias and keep walking with it.

  Ayulin

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/13
Posts: 344

5/25/13 6:51:05 PM#71
Originally posted by observer

"When game's can't develop under a subscription model, free-to-play gives them a second chance."

To be honest.  I would rather have them die, instead of letting them live with another chance.  They failed for a reason, and that's because players didn't want to support bad development, and bad game design.

Agreed.

 

Honestly, this article was painful for me to read. The author hits on some good points, but then goes on to derail his argument right into the weeds.

 

The biggie, for me, was this bit:

My favorite trend in all of this is lotteries. Usually these take the form of lockboxes which need real-money keys to open and offer the chance at random loot. Players are drawn to them like scratch-offs tickets and they earn developers a lot of money. They are also the definition of ignorable content, have little impact on gameplay, and don't take design time from the rest of the game. It's win-win. Some people hate them and I find it hard not to see them as busybodies who value concept over reality. Do they picket corner stores and Take-5 machines too? Lockboxes are, in my opinion, wholesale good news for free-to-play gaming

 

He's trying to compare in-game lotto boxes - which possibly reward virtual items with no real value... to lottery tickets sold by brick and mortar stores with the potential to win someone thousands, or millions of very real dollars.

 

No, people aren't picketing corner stores and Take-5 machines. Because the lottery tickets sold by those stores/machines offer the chance of real money rewards which can be used in real life, to pay for very real things.

 

There is no comparison between winning a piece of nice armor from a lotto-box in a MMO, and winning enough money to pay off all your bills, buy a nice home and retire for  the rest of your life. Yet, that's the kind of comparison he's trying to draw between lottery tickets and lotto-boxes in a video game. Beyond absurd.

 

I seldom do this, but I literally said "what... the f@ck?" out loud when I read that part.

 

And while I consider that worst attempt at rationalizing the F2P model in the article, the author goes on to make other really bad arguments, posing some really weak rationalizations.

 

We're all nomadic now?

 

Umm.. No. We aren't. You know who's nomadic? The people who hop from one MMO to the next. And who are those people? Primarily the F2P'ers who check out a F2P MMO 'til they're bored with it, then bounce on to the next, play that 'til they're bored, then bounce on to the next. They're the nomads. Others prefer to have a single game they enjoy playing for the long-term.

 

The problem with people trying to wrap the situation in a neat little ball and then offer up an explanation for it, is that it's a very complex, very multi-faceted issue. There are many individual factors that come into play when you talk about why Sub-based MMOs seldom do well anymore, and why F2P seems to be "the new King". The problem is, people will pick one reason, and then use it to try and explain the entire picture, as though that one thing tells the entire story. The problem is, it doesn't.

 

An example of this is how people insist that when a sub-based MMO fails or goes F2P, that it's a failing of the subscription model. No. It's not a failing of the subscription model itself. It's a failing of the developers to make a game that enough people found worth paying a sub for. And beyond that, there's a reason so many didn't find it worth a sub, and that's often because (esp. since 2004) the games are designed to be "beaten" inside of a month. If you're designing a game where players have effectively run out of things to do before their initial free month is up, they ain't renewing come billing time. It should be obvious, but somehow it isn't, because developer after developer keeps making the same mistake. And even *that's* not the whole story, there's an entire aspect involving player expectations, player behavior and decreasing attention spans. And even *those* aspects don't tell the whole story.

 

People will pay for something if they find it worth the fee. If someone puts out a MMO that successfully does that, they will maintain a healthy subscriber base, and do just fine, whether it's now, 10 years ago, or 10 years down the road. Even while others around them are falling to the F2P/Cash Shop route.

 

 
 
  GameByNight

Columnist / Podcast Host

Joined: 9/08/09
Posts: 76

5/25/13 6:53:27 PM#72
@mimzel and segut777:  Thank you both very much! :-)

Writer of The Tourist, Tripping the Rift, and co-writer of Player Versus Player
Host of Game On: ESP Edition
Blogger at GameByNight.com

  Ayulin

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/13
Posts: 344

5/25/13 6:57:02 PM#73
Originally posted by Vesavius
Shill piece
 

lol...

Man I wish you could like posts on this site.

  Sulaa

Novice Member

Joined: 7/13/11
Posts: 830

5/25/13 7:01:50 PM#74

Nope. I am already not playing any mmorpg for 2 years and I won't play any microtransaction one anymore (which don't mean I will just play any p2p that will get released just because it's p2p) - even if that means that I won't play any again. 

Closest mmorpg experience I get nowadays is posting on this forum and I feel less and less like doing this anymore as well.

  Dihoru

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/11/06
Posts: 2616

5/25/13 7:21:04 PM#75
Originally posted by Ayulin
Originally posted by Vesavius
Shill piece
 

lol...

Man I wish you could like posts on this site.

Man I wish I could reach into my screen and bang two illogical minds together with the hope of inducing some revelation in terms of their own faulty cognitive processes via kinetic energy... but alas... the day in which we can open wormholes at leisure is still not here...yet.

  GameByNight

Columnist / Podcast Host

Joined: 9/08/09
Posts: 76

5/25/13 7:22:04 PM#76
Originally posted by Ayulin
[Snippet]

 

Thanks for the well formed response. This column is founded in a series of self-assessment questions. It is targeted at the individual player, not the entire MMO audience. The point about admitting when we've become nomadic is one that may not apply to everyone but it does for me and many others. To be perfectly honest, I think it's fantastic when players can find a game and stick to it. I have my own favorite that I stay subscribed to (note that at the end of the day, I am at comfortable with F2P but prefer the subscription model).  I think of it as my "home game." But for me, I like to see what's new and developing across the genre, so I have to admit that, yeah, by the older conceptions of what makes an MMO player, that's pretty nomadic. And as more and more people have entered this field genre, probably with WoW, and are now finding themselves traveling from game to game seeking those first entrancing experiences reborn, tourism is widespread. Not everyone is a 90-day flight risk but it's an undeniable trend. Many of these players will have begun with a subscription game and find themselves unhappy at the influx of free to play games. As I was. This column is intended to help them make peace as I did. 

 

On the topic of lotteries, I'm afraid I don't see your point. People don't picket real lotteries because there's the chance of winning something of value in the real world. People do picket virtual lotteries because there is the chance of winning something of value in the virtual world. There is a dissonance there. And more to the point, why is it any of our business if Player Y wants to spend a dollar on a lockbox key? He knows it's random and there are no guarantees. Are we that keen to white knight player interests that we ignore that the player himself CHOSE to take the risk? I truly do not understand, so please accept that I pose that question respectfully. 

 

Also, to be clear, we are on the same page with subscription's value and longevity. The problem is that F2P has happened and many games that could have survived and may even be better under a subscription model are now stacked against far more options. The value proposition is skewed. Can games make up for that?Sure, and niche games already are. But the reality of 2013 is that a lot of options have become available and it is far harder for today's generation of MMO player, and many old timers too, to justify paying a bill rather than moving on. That barrier to entry has always been harmful to this genre. Will F2P be the answer? I don't think so. A mix of B2P, sub optional, and targeted audience subscription games will likely be what survives in the West. 

 

Thanks again. 

Writer of The Tourist, Tripping the Rift, and co-writer of Player Versus Player
Host of Game On: ESP Edition
Blogger at GameByNight.com

  GameByNight

Columnist / Podcast Host

Joined: 9/08/09
Posts: 76

5/25/13 7:39:00 PM#77
Originally posted by Ayulin
Originally posted by Vesavius
Shill piece
 

lol...

Man I wish you could like posts on this site.

 

That's too bad. See, while I was replying to your original post and thanking you for thinking it out, you come back with a second that even a small amount of thought would have prevented.

 

I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to discuss their thoughts. Agree or disagree. That's why I do this. Tinfoil hat accusations just seem silly in comparison. 

 
 

Writer of The Tourist, Tripping the Rift, and co-writer of Player Versus Player
Host of Game On: ESP Edition
Blogger at GameByNight.com

  Dihoru

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/11/06
Posts: 2616

5/26/13 3:43:38 AM#78

Dude you do know there's no point in your intervention, right? People seem to be either for, against or just don't give a damn about F2P and I highly disagree with your assessment that a sub optional F2P system will be what works in the western market. More likely than not what will work in the MMO western market is what has worked for LoL for so long (cosmetics and grind reduction aids), there are games who try to nickel and dime players regardless of its payment plan but real, long term games from within the F2P system will be fair and not sell power (I'd even go so far as to say sandbox F2P MMOs in EVE-Online's model of sandboxes could work really well because on a 1vs1 level yes it could give an advantage to the paying player in terms of raw power level if the two players dueling have spent the exact same amount of time in-game but on a clan level the advantages would be negated by the clan itself painting a bigger target on its arse because in EVE type games anyone that isn't a friend and is growing more powerful is a priority target).

 

The idea of perceived value is so prevalent in the minds of the old guard that most would rather pay to play a game like World of Warcraft instead of trying a game such as Forsaken World though the two games are pretty much the same thing in terms of gameplay with Forsaken World having a very grindy path to get everything you need for free endgame but hey you could always play for the 2-3 months it takes to get to level cap in that game casually and then decide if it is worth putting in 40$ to get what you need for the endgame without grind (to be perfectly clear here: most of the things you need for the endgame drop in-game, what few things are cash store only you can trade for in the auction house quite readily as any items from level 30+ sell in that game because of a augmentation mechanic where items of a certain level can accept the maximum amount of augmentations possible but are cheaper than the last tier items to augment overall so people always demand those type items due to the transfer augmentation mechanic).

 

In the end I'd like to remark somewhat amused and distressed that people would rather pay to play a turd than play it for free (I am truly sorry gents but most of the post-WoW games from the p2p and f2p devs are turds). That is the effect of perceived value :).

  Scot

Elite Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5090

5/26/13 3:49:19 AM#79

I do think F2P games which were once P2P can be very good, but I am hard pushed to find a MMO that started as F2P that is good.

PS2 is great, it is the one exception I know of but maybe it as good as it is for two reasons. The funding that was needed to make this game did not go on basic design, that had all been done in the first Planetside, the game we saw launched as PS2 had a lot of polish and ideas added from the original P2P game. The other reason would be it is a shooter, a lot of the problems with endgame and ‘things to do’ go out the window in a MMOFPS.

GW2 was B2P, I don’t count B2P as a F2P game. They have there own niche, not P2P or F2P. I can see B2P being the future, that could raise the initial return on investment and future funding a MMO would need to do good updates and so on. If the industry goes down the B2P route that is, if they go down a purely F2P from launch route quality will be hit hard.

  Dihoru

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/11/06
Posts: 2616

5/26/13 3:55:17 AM#80
Originally posted by Scot

I do think F2P games which were once P2P can be very good, but I am hard pushed to find a MMO that started as F2P that is good.

PS2 is great, it is the one exception I know of but maybe it as good as it is for two reasons. The funding that was needed to make this game did not go on basic design, that had all been done in the first Planetside, the game we saw launched as PS2 had a lot of polish and ideas added from the original P2P game. The other reason would be it is a shooter, a lot of the problems with endgame and ‘things to do’ go out the window in a MMOFPS.

GW2 was B2P, I don’t count B2P as a F2P game. They have there own niche, not P2P or F2P. I can see B2P being the future, that could raise the initial return on investment and future funding a MMO would need to do good updates and so on. If the industry goes down the B2P route that is, if they go down a purely F2P from launch route quality will be hit hard.

Good F2P Games: Path of Exlie, World of Tanks and War Thunder, we can continue :P, want MMO's as well?

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