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

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120 posts found

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/07
Posts: 563

9/30/13 12:30:48 PM#41
Originally posted by Kreedz

Oh here we go, another thread on P2P vs F2P.


Of course we will get the obligatory "P2P is better!" posts.


Truth is most P2P games are centered around raiding or progressing through content as a group, so the reason you see more 'well behaved' players in subscriptions games is because its a necessity for them to be accepted by their peers as someone who will help the group succeed, but the motives for helping eachother are still self-centered and greedy at their core.

There was a time when I once enjoyed playing the Tank, being the pillar of the group that everyone relied on. It was only when my guild recruited a more well-geared tank than me that I realized people dont hold loyalties in subscription games, they only care about what helps them reach their goals, as fast as possible and as easy as possible. I was promised raid slots because I was a veteran of the guild, but gradually I was left out of more and more raids because this newly recruited tank had better gear than me.

So there I was, left with this character I had invested hundreds of hours into to help my guild progress, but which was utterly useless at solo'ing content. Sure I had alts which I could solo on, but none near the level of gear by tank possessed. So I quit.

Subscription games form an elitist culture, one which ive grown to loath and despise in my years of gaming, I still like playing MMO's but I no longer look for the traditional trinity or sub models because of what I have described above.

F2P model games tend to be more solo friendly, and people generally play them because they are fun not because they are Free.

So the lesson I learned is; If its Fun, its worth playing, but If it feels like a job which I might lose at any moment (or worse, be ridiculed for) then its not worth my time.


So have fun with your Elitist Jerk guilds, I'll be playing the games which are fun, regardless of whether they are P2P or F2P.

That premise only hold if all guilds/clans/kinships are created equal.  There are of course progression guilds who perform this way, it is also true there are progression guilds who do not.



Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11863

9/30/13 12:37:48 PM#42
Originally posted by Plageron


subscriptions don't make a game better.

In many ways it makes it 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.

I agree - my sister ignores mmo age restrictions for my 9 year old nephew


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4909

9/30/13 2:13:13 PM#43

Tera was p2p and had a terrible community. It's general chat now is still bad but the long time players are mostly good people.

WoW had one of the worst general chats and community of any mmo I've ever played.


It's not the sub that does it. It's the long time people who are invested in the game that make a better community. They get hidden more in f2p games but the same douche bags are in both types of games.



Novice Member

Joined: 4/03/11
Posts: 1

9/30/13 2:20:21 PM#44
I don't try subscription games anymore. It takes a while to figure our the community's culture and in my experience, unsubscribing is very difficult...criminally so.

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/06
Posts: 991

9/30/13 2:26:57 PM#45

I completely disagree with this article. Not everyone is happy with the move to F2P. I'm not at all happy with it. All those games moving from subscription based to free have, in the majority, done so because they were failing to retain subs. Most of the time that was due to the simple fact that the game was poor in too may areas.

Poor mechanics, poor graphics, dated gameplay, too casual friendly i.e. too easy, too fast to level to the cap, too much hand holding, too stuck on rails, too many goddamned wow clones etc.


The whole problem with the genre is this move to support more casual/solo play. MMO's need to be harder, they need to be taken more seriously and they need to require a commitment from those that play them. Perfect for the subscription model.


Those that want to cater to the casuals can stick with F2P if they want but I want a serious MMO that takes time and effort to progress through and I'll pay for the privilege of playing it.


In answer to the question, yes it makes a difference.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 402

9/30/13 2:42:34 PM#46
Bored players cause problems. It doesn't really matter what they've paid or how they've paid. Busy players have better things to do than spam shit in GC. An increase in games that combine super-rapid leveling with limited 'end-game' content has gone hand-in-hand with a decrease in the perceived quality of game communities. F2P may have grown in parallel to this degredation, but it is not necessarily the cause.

Novice Member

Joined: 5/27/07
Posts: 295

9/30/13 2:56:07 PM#47

If you think asshats don't have $15 a month to spend, you're greatly mistaken.

F2P LOTRO has one of the best communities in MMO history. Subscription WoW...doesn't. This fact alone disproves the idea that subscriptions are some kind of community quality gatekeeper.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 245

9/30/13 2:56:31 PM#48
I have to disagree that subscriptions give developpers a steady income with the rate I've seen ppl quit mmorpgs.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/29/12
Posts: 281

9/30/13 3:15:36 PM#49

I have to say that even sub based games you will still find gold-farmers and you will find kids playing the game. I say remove the general chat to macro buttons to reduce spam and create a polite environment. And if the community is poor within an MMO I would say that the MMO is a poor game. Create a great game and you will have a great following.

Here are some threads I created on this site about a month ago discussing this very topic.

The MMO Community: Complaints and Solutions


Do pay systems really effect MMO Communities


Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/09
Posts: 67

9/30/13 3:40:37 PM#50

WoW's community has been pretty terrible, and that's been a subscription game since conception. People are so eager to forget about it though. The term "Barren's chat" has been used multiple times to describe channels in other games. Let's jump over to another game, SWToR and critique that. The fanbase defended it violently, often crucifying people with minor problems or criticisms.

The ultimate result here is that: if an immature person wants to play an MMO, he will FIND a way to play it. Subscription or not, these people will be present. The best we, as players, can do is ignore them, report them, and not get all worked up about it.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

9/30/13 3:46:24 PM#51

I think they can, but alone they can't.


LotRO had one of the best communities I'd ever seen in an MMO back before it went F2P (I'm not saying it has a bad one now, I just simply don't know). However, WoW had a bad community always. Asheron's Call had a pretty good community, but the DT server had a pretty bad community.



I've seen a far bigger link between PvP and the quality of a community. The more PvP involved in a game, the worse the community tends to be (now go look at MOBAs and see how horrendous PvP communities can be). I think that is why LotRO had such a quality community, everyone was there to PvE as the game didn't really have PvP.


I think a subscription adds a little bit of consequence to people as in a F2P you can pop up on throw away accounts to troll and harass without consequence unlike when you pay a fee. But again, look at some games like WoW and see that even with paying money, the community can be trash.


Elite Member

Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1559

9/30/13 3:49:07 PM#52

Complete fallacy.  The people that spew this nonsense are the people that refuse to play F2P games or just have an intense dislike for the model.  They are wont to stereotype everything about F2P games.

When people use terms like " leechers" and "drifters"  etc. their bias is obviously showing.

Its generally the game itself and how chat is moderated I find that determines what kind of community you have.

Nothing whatsoever to do with the pay model.

FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!


Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/08
Posts: 1321

The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

9/30/13 4:57:01 PM#53
It is human nature that you do not appreciate what you do not pay for yourself. Most people that play completely for free just do not have that "investment". So, what you find is that many (not all) f2p'ers will play a game for a period of time before moving on to the next "hot" f2p game. Therefore, for those that are still there, there is little reason to invest time into making friends with such people. And since you really don't know which ones will in fact bail at a moments notice, it is just easier to just avoid the f2p'er.

Let's party like it is 1863!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/26/11
Posts: 123

9/30/13 5:12:54 PM#54
I don't think subscriptions are the biggest determinant of whether a community forms a strong sense of kinship and friendliness. In a game like Champions of Regnum or DAOC, the greatest determinant was whether that was good and balance RvR pvp. Regnum's community is noted for being far and away much more friendly and enthusiastic than WoW. This is because if you are not friendly and helpful to your realm mates, they will not run to help you during the war.

Elite Member

Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1559

9/30/13 5:20:07 PM#55

$15 a month is going to make me invested in a game!??  LOL  it's going to make me less invested because if I don't like it I am gonna be outta there so fast!! 

Why waste $15 bucks on something I don't like or I play it and find the community is a bunch of jerks?

$15 dollars a month is just the amount they force me to pay if I want to play it.  It has nothing to do with whether I will stay or not. 

It might have something to do with whether I decide to try the game tho.


FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/07
Posts: 1495

"Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute."

9/30/13 5:43:35 PM#56
Originally posted by jmcdermottuk

I completely disagree with this article. Not everyone is happy with the move to F2P. I'm not at all happy with it. All those games moving from subscription based to free have, in the majority, done so because they were failing to retain subs. Most of the time that was due to the simple fact that the game was poor in too may areas.

Poor mechanics, poor graphics, dated gameplay, too casual friendly i.e. too easy, too fast to level to the cap, too much hand holding, too stuck on rails, too many goddamned wow clones etc.


The whole problem with the genre is this move to support more casual/solo play. MMO's need to be harder, they need to be taken more seriously and they need to require a commitment from those that play them. Perfect for the subscription model.


Those that want to cater to the casuals can stick with F2P if they want but I want a serious MMO that takes time and effort to progress through and I'll pay for the privilege of playing it.


In answer to the question, yes it makes a difference.


I agree with this.

Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/24/10
Posts: 531

9/30/13 6:45:39 PM#57
Originally posted by Nadia

when EQ2 went ftp on Freeport server -- i saw no difference in the community


the Freeport community was friendly and helpful and much better than some sub games

This held true for me also. And last I played EQ2 about a month ago it was still a great community.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/16/04
Posts: 1266

9/30/13 6:52:06 PM#58

I think it probably depends on whether the game started as {x payment model} or not.  My experience is that you get a little better and slightly more mature population out of sub games probably because the people who play them feel they have made an investment and act accordingly.  F2P games allow people to hop in and out of a game without any care in the world.

That being said, after a game ages, all bets are off and you'll likely see the same community devolutions in either.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/26/11
Posts: 322

9/30/13 6:58:53 PM#59

Parenting makes the biggest difference in community. How many self entitled brats do you recall in your MMO from 10 years ago? A whole lot less than the generation we have now. It has more to do with society than anything, but at least subscription fees will keep out the majority of bots and spammers.


I do think sub models have better communities but that line is starting to get blurry.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/17/11
Posts: 1260

9/30/13 7:01:59 PM#60
Short answer, yes it does.
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