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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Do Subscriptions Make a Difference in Community?

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121 posts found
  DeVoDeVo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/13
Posts: 87

9/30/13 11:16:59 AM#21
There is no difference in the communities.  An arse will still behave like an arse whether he/she has more money or more time.
  BMBender

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/07
Posts: 555

9/30/13 11:18:02 AM#22

TBh yea it prob makes some difference, however I don't think it's the biggest contributor to a good/bad community.  If it did every time someone lifted a leg in WoW it would smell like roses.  Conversely if it was the main driver LOTRO's community should be  at each others throats by now.  While there's been some change it's no where near as bad as some subs I've seen.

 

Play style, targeted demographics, social aspect of your game; I would assume are the bigger driver to type of community good/bad/indif.

  CrazKanuk

Elite Member

Joined: 10/06/09
Posts: 936

9/30/13 11:21:59 AM#23
Originally posted by Wiha
Yes subs make difference. Went back to SWTOR in August and the general chat in fleet was just awful, probably kids because it was really juvenile. I haven't seen so many complete morons in sub based games and it wasn't even an American server  Then again, most people I played together with were nice and also subscribers. 

 

Yes, because "Anal <insert inventive skill additive here>" never happens in WoW..... ever...... it doesn't, nor is it juvenile. 

Crazkanuk

----------------
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----------------

  User Deleted
9/30/13 11:22:35 AM#24
P2p game have better communities and better quality. If the quality isnt there then it gets downgraded to the lower class of mmorpgs, the f2p class. F2p dtypically has no commitment and is a much less quality game. Those two characteristics of f2p games feed off of each other. On top of all of that consumers are on constant high alert for money grab cash shops and pay to win. Not only is there no commitment from the players but there is no commitment from the devs either. Players simply jump into the game buy thier power only to find it obsolete a month later when the devs roll out the next whatchamagadgit op weaponry at a fair price of $20 of course. If devs could let me know here is how this game will roll out over the next 2 to 3 years I mivht buy in, but they cant commit either considering the uncertainty of the mmorpg market.
  Plageron

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/28/08
Posts: 108

Good Gravy!!

9/30/13 11:29:13 AM#25

no subscriptions don't make a game better.

 

In many ways it makes it worse...as I have played so many games and seen so many parent buy games and subscriptions for their kids its not funny.

 

The games may say 18+ or require a subscription but I still wind up playing with a 6 year old.

 

And the really pathetic thing is...that the companies allow it....they cater to it....they put in filters in chat to block things or censor their game to cater to it.

 

Another really bad thing is that there are just tons of players who like to cause problems...and subscription games have more of them.  These are the ones that are definitely older, and should know better but they continually do things against the terms of service agreement.....and then stupidly say they cant understand why their name was censored or why they got into trouble for stalking other players or for just plain bad behavior in game.

 

So to answer the question more.....the concept of a subscription might make it seam it weeds out a lot of the bad elements.....but instead it seams to encourage it more.

 

Its like the subscription almost is like some form of beacon that draws them to the game.

 

And this is after playing subscription games since they started.

 

 

  BMBender

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/07
Posts: 555

9/30/13 11:31:12 AM#26
Originally posted by Plageron

no subscriptions don't make a game better.

 

In many ways it makes it worse...as I have played so many games and seen so many parent buy games and subscriptions for their kids its not funny.

 

The games may say 18+ or require a subscription but I still wind up playing with a 6 year old.

 

And the really pathetic thing is...that the companies allow it....they cater to it....they put in filters in chat to block things or censor their game to cater to it.

 

Another really bad thing is that there are just tons of players who like to cause problems...and subscription games have more of them.  These are the ones that are definitely older, and should know better but they continually do things against the terms of service agreement.....and then stupidly say they cant understand why their name was censored or why they got into trouble for stalking other players or for just plain bad behavior in game.

 

So to answer the question more.....the concept of a subscription might make it seam it weeds out a lot of the bad elements.....but instead it seams to encourage it more.

 

Its like the subscription almost is like some form of beacon that draws them to the game.

 

And this is after playing subscription games since they started.

 

 

well to be fair nothing you've stated I have not seen pretty regularly in f2p b2p or p2p games

  Theocritus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3613

9/30/13 11:34:12 AM#27
There used to be the perception that the f2p games lured in lurkers who were just out to cause trobule, but in my experience it really depended on the game, not the subscription model.....People make too much of this...Its like in RL where people think the rich are good people and the poor are scum.....Once again, in my experience I've met alot of nice poor people and alot of scumbag rich people......Whether a person pays or not has nothing to do with the quality of person yo uare going to get.
  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2300

9/30/13 11:35:48 AM#28

The answer is obvious

Is a stable community better? Of course. F2P breeds non-committance to anything.

If somehow vets were all very gracious and helpful to newcomers it might be even with subs, but how can that even happen?

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

  BMBender

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/07
Posts: 555

9/30/13 11:37:04 AM#29
Originally posted by Theocritus
There used to be the perception that the f2p games lured in lurkers who were just out to cause trobule, but in my experience it really depended on the game, not the subscription model.....People make too much of this...Its like in RL where people think the rich are good people and the poor are scum.....Once again, in my experience I've met alot of nice poor people and alot of scumbag rich people......Whether a person pays or not has nothing to do with the quality of person yo uare going to get.

yea I think the payment model has less to do with how a community interacts than how divergent and segregated by multiple play styles it is

 

Partisanship is partisanship regards if your talking party affiliation or solo vs group; pvp vs pve; casual vs HC; easy vs hard

most negative interactions I've seen in games are from different demographics clashing

  rygard49

Novice Member

Joined: 3/22/11
Posts: 985

9/30/13 11:37:40 AM#30

I think a games popularity is what ruins its community. More players, more chances of encountering douchebaggery in some form. Free to play has a lower barrier of entry meaning, on average, more players in the world.

That doesn't mean sub games won't suffer from this if they gain something near WoW level popularity, but that extra barrier probably does discourage a small portion of the trolls.

  Wighty

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/10/08
Posts: 575

9/30/13 11:44:19 AM#31

Well certainly... But non the in normal sense of the word...

 

What subs do for one is keep the parasites, tourists, and leechers out. These are the players that generally contribute nothing, take up space and really have no vested interest in the game other than to plow through it's free content then move on.

 

What a sub does is levels the playing field so that everyone is the same, and no one has any real advantage other than being a better player of the particular game.

 

While yes games that are F2P may give the illusion of being prosperous because you may see a lot of people on especially in social areas like a town hub etc. The F2P player may even fill a hole in a group on occasion but more so while you are leveling through lower level content as opposed to the "end game" stuff where F2P gear restrictions usually weigh in heavy.

 

So when you play a sub game, it doesn't all of a sudden make people less of an ass if they in fact are made that way... but players (while they may not always show it) share the same investment and respect for the game especially s the game ages... In sub game communities typically EVOLVE rather than F2P Devolving because once you get through the sub filter, as time goes on the players who are genuinely passionate about that particular game are the ones still playing it. This can in some cases can be said about games that WERE sub that converted to F2P... They still have that vested and passionate playerbase, and while there may be a sudden spike in new players and even some returning players for the sake of F2P these levels just normalize after time goes by anyhow leaving the ones who are passionate about the game still there.

 

The community of F2P games are almost always the ADHD, content locust, leecher/parasite or tourist player...

 

The ADHD player wants to play 20 games at the same time so a Sub would cost a fortune, rather than finding a game they can go all in on they spread themselves too thin for whatever fix or mood they happen to be in at that moment. Typically good players but unreliable.

 

The content locust has been discussed over and over but they are the player that just blasts through everything "wins the game" then gets bored and moves on (also a trait of some ADHD player) They are also found in sub games too but are usually gone before the sub kicks in. (FF14 anyone?)

 

The parasite/leecher is the worst... They just want to go whale surfing, and have paying members of the community carry them through the game while they invest nothing. they play the hell out of the game for the most part and contribute the very bare minimal if anything at all.

 

The tourist is there just to test... you can almost call them trial players... Sometimes these players actually turn out to be great player who end up contributing to the game because they found something they really liked and decided to settle down.

 

I am a firm believer in the Mark Jacobs philosophy where they would rather have 50k subs than 200k players that only 5% are contributing. The community benefits from this as well for the reasons mentioned above. Glad to see that the industry is moving in this direction with Wildstar and TESO... even if these game DO eventually end up free, the hardcore and established community will thrive on as has been the case (at least in my experience) in DDO, LOTRO, EQ/EQ2 and some others... Games like SWTOR seem to be just the opposite because they game lacked the content causing a mass exodus and never let the playerbase get established before moving on...

What are your other Hobbies?

Gaming is Dirt Cheap compared to this...

  Siveria

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/11/11
Posts: 1148

9/30/13 11:45:11 AM#32

IMO they don't you still get children, assholes, asshats etc etc no matter whether its free to play or a sub. Been playing mmorpgs for 14+ years myself and I've played both sub models and free to play's and never really noticed any diffrence in the communities. Its just generally bad all around now a days.

I blame it on the fact mmorpgs are far far too soloable these days, so most players never treat any other player with any sort of respect, because they never had to really team up for stuff till they hit level cap. before FF11 became easymode with Abyssea and such if you were an asshole or really disrespectful you'd never get a party for anything, because ff11 was heavily group based and people talk to each other, its the same if you were a bad player, you'd not get party invites. You could solo in ff11 back then but it was a very slow and boring process. Bacally my point is FF11 forced people to behave themselves since once you got a bad rep your time in game became all that more harder to get anywhere.

Where-as today, everyone (or most players in general) are/is generally rude to everyone else because they have a mentality of: "Well I can solo it so eff those guys" bascally.

Its sad the state mmorpgs are in these days. I don't know if they will ever recover. I hope they do, But I do not see this happening unless some major formula changes happen to them as a whole.

Being a pessimist is a win-win pattern of thinking. If you're a pessimist (I'll admit that I am!) you're either:

A. Proven right (if something bad happens)

or

B. Pleasantly surprised (if something good happens)

Either way, you can't lose! Try it out sometime!

  Hatefull

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/09/04
Posts: 748

Your tears make my gun work better.

9/30/13 11:46:26 AM#33

I am 50/50 on this topic.  I believe the community is far more important in developing it's self than the subscription model.  Let me explain.

 

In any MMO if a community bans together to 'black ball' bad players, crafters that undercut and over charge, tanks that can't, healers that won't etc etc, I feel like the community that makes these people known, and shut them down is far better off than a community that does not.

 

Having said that, I have seen this far more in subscription models (SWG, EQ 2 to be exact, I feel WoW was just too big for this to be effective though my guild black balled people a lot).  Not to say it can't happen in the F2P or freemium model, just in my experience is it more common in Subscription.

 

Also, in subscription games, you have something to lose if you get banned.  The last year of monthly fee's you paid is going to look pretty significant when you can't log in any more because you were an ass and the community reported you.

 

In closing, I don't feel subscription is 'utopia' people claim it is, but I feel it does help a community maintain their manners to a better extent than the F2P model.

If you want a new idea, go read an old book.

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 18996

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

9/30/13 11:46:41 AM#34

From my recent experience, I'm going to say no, or not very much.

I've had no better and no worse community experiences in any of the recent P2P (TSW, SWTOR, RIFT when they were still sub only EVE) and F2P titles (AION, Lineage 2, EQ2) all pretty much the same.

In fact, one of the better communities as of late has been on a DAOC freeshard, where no one pays anything at all, but that doesn't have anything to do with making it a better social experience.

Look to other changes in MMOs to help improve the community, such as creating some sort of interdependency (even if you have to force it) in order to get players to rely on each other more and in turn, be nicer. (hopefully)

Last night in my shard my group was preparing to take down the Keep Lord which would have granted us some nice realm points and experience, when another group sent our leader a message asking we hold off until they could get there to share in the rewards.

Now there was a bit of grumbling from a few, saying how we did all the work to take the keep and they wanted to come and ninja the reward, but we reminded everyone we were all on the same team here and it wouldn't hurt us in any way (other than 5 minutes or so)  to wait for them.  And everyone agreed.

That's a difference really, communities that start looking out for the welfare of all, something I think is largely lacking in modern day MMO design.

 

 

"In these forums 'honest' seems to be a symonym for 'hates the game just like I do'" - ohioastro
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  GrumpyMel2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1813

9/30/13 12:01:50 PM#35
In general I'd say "Yes" although it's not an absolute. It's true in other areas of life, as well. The more someone has invested in something, the more care they are generaly likely to treat it with. Supply people with free flower vases, and you'll often find them broken in the trash......make them pay $50 a pop and not so much. This isn't universaly true....there are people who are careless with thier possesions no matter what......there are people who behave rudely no matter how much they've paid for something.....there are even people who feel that spending money ENTITLES them to be rude.... and there are people who will be freindly, helpfull and polite no matter how little they spend on something. It's also true that money is FAR from the only (or most meaningfull) way to feel invested in something. So what we are really talking here is just statistics and averages....it's not an assurance of what sort of community a game will have....just a higher or lower probabilty.
  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10569

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

9/30/13 12:05:32 PM#36

I've never noticed a difference in the community of games before and after F2P transitions, so I'd have to say "No". There are always differences in the populations of games, but that holds true whether the two games being compared are F2P, P2P, B2P or some combination of the three.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  cnutemp

Novice Member

Joined: 7/01/12
Posts: 229

9/30/13 12:06:31 PM#37

No,

FFXIV.

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2300

9/30/13 12:08:49 PM#38
Originally posted by Kyleran

From my recent experience, I'm going to say no, or not very much.

I've had no better and no worse community experiences in any of the recent P2P (TSW, SWTOR, RIFT when they were still sub only EVE) and F2P titles (AION, Lineage 2, EQ2) all pretty much the same.

In fact, one of the better communities as of late has been on a DAOC freeshard, where no one pays anything at all, but that doesn't have anything to do with making it a better social experience.

Look to other changes in MMOs to help improve the community, such as creating some sort of interdependency (even if you have to force it) in order to get players to rely on each other more and in turn, be nicer. (hopefully)

Last night in my shard my group was preparing to take down the Keep Lord which would have granted us some nice realm points and experience, when another group sent our leader a message asking we hold off until they could get there to share in the rewards.

Now there was a bit of grumbling from a few, saying how we did all the work to take the keep and they wanted to come and ninja the reward, but we reminded everyone we were all on the same team here and it wouldn't hurt us in any way (other than 5 minutes or so)  to wait for them.  And everyone agreed.

That's a difference really, communities that start looking out for the welfare of all, something I think is largely lacking in modern day MMO design.

 

 

This is true. MMOs could greatly benefit from having features that make communities stronger, making players act on the greater good of their faction or race, and set aside the personal achievement treadmill(that we have all done so wearily from game to game).

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

  Remianen

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/04
Posts: 33

9/30/13 12:14:31 PM#39
Originally posted by azmundai

subscription model has only a minor effect on communities.

modern mmo developers don't care about communities, or they care enough about allowing everyone to solo 90% of their game, or instantly queue for content in their game, that their thoughts on community are irrelevant.

community will never exist again as long as instant gratification is a pillar of design.

But is it instant gratification or catering to a particular playstyle (that being the "time starved" gamer)? The changes you note were implemented as a way to attract the oft-mentioned, never defined "casual gamer". The people who apparently didn't have the time to wait for group formation but still wanted to be able to progress. (Yeah, I don't get that either. You want to progress but you don't want to invest what everyone else is investing to do so?)

I don't blame the players as much as I blame the developers for pandering in the most misguided ways. Instead of creating social hubs in games, they basically strip the interdependence out because of some misguided view that the "casual player" with the deep pockets (because of their sheer numbers) didn't actually want to spend time playing the game, they just wanted the rewards for doing so. So you throw out things like NPC group members, content with below standard difficulty but standard reward, group queues, etc. Most of the people I know who call themselves 'casual gamers' wanted none of that, since to them, the social side of these games were one of the best features. They just wanted to be able to get on, jump in a group of friends and play, without necessarily worrying about meta stuff. That ship has sailed since meta has basically become a core part of the game. Unless you're with friends, people in PUGs will often judge you by your gear and because you don't have this or that talent or chose to focus your build in a non-standard way (a dps who focuses on utility rather than all out damage, for example), they'll refrain from inviting you. So, bring in NPC groupmates who eliminate that bias and will group with you no matter what.

Seems like a spiral to me. I'm curious to see where the bottom is. Since most MMO vets know that EverQuest used to have the nickname "EverCrack" because it was often the social bonds that hooked people, I wonder what happens when those bonds no longer exist. I remember people saying they hated EQ....but they still played it. Why? "Because of my guild" or "My friends are still playing". We're in the age now where guild tags are meaningless (whereas in ages past, many people identified themselves, and others, by their guild tag), they're disposable for the most part. Friendships don't seem to form as much without the shared experience (not XP) of grouping. With consoles now getting into the act, I think there's a lot more room to fall as far as community quality is concerned. Developers don't care about community (and most don't even have community reps with any design influence so features that might foster community almost never get implemented). Where's the bottom though?

Remianen Xfire Miniprofile
  Fusion

Old School

Joined: 5/21/03
Posts: 1359

9/30/13 12:24:01 PM#40

Now that MMO's are mainstream "thanks" to WoW, i'd probably have to say NO.

Gametime cards also allow kids to play sub-games with candy-allowances.

 

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