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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: What Makes Me Monetize

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42 posts found
  MMODesigner

Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/13
Posts: 7

10/16/13 3:25:15 PM#21
Man, seems like I might need to give RIFT another go. I can see how masking "buying power" as a convenience item will rub some people the wrong way, but I have seen quite a few F2P players grind out hard-to-attain rewards because a) they had the time and b) they loved the game so much they were going to be doing the requirements anyway, so why pay for it?
  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12139

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

10/16/13 3:36:48 PM#22
Originally posted by jakin

Personally, I've only ever paid for one thing  -  Content.

...

Vanity items particularly perplex me.  I just cannot for the life of me ever see myself paying actual cash for a virtual item just for the purpose of having a good looking avatar in game.  Just does not compute.

Playstyles other than one's own 'not computing' to them seems normal in certain circles.

 

"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." -fovoroth

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5674

10/16/13 3:48:04 PM#23
Originally posted by MMODesigner
Man, seems like I might need to give RIFT another go. I can see how masking "buying power" as a convenience item will rub some people the wrong way, but I have seen quite a few F2P players grind out hard-to-attain rewards because a) they had the time and b) they loved the game so much they were going to be doing the requirements anyway, so why pay for it?

If you do give Rift another go I would really love to read what you think in another article. I would like to know what works for you and what doesn't as it pertains to the game and then how their revenue model fits into that.

Another interesting twist to the Rift model is REX - sort of their variant of PLEX and EQ2/Krono which is becoming a popular facet to both subscription based and sub-free (my word for F2P) gaming. Essentially a player buys REX in the cash shop for real money. They can use it (a poor choice), gift it, or sell it for in game plat. The standard is to sell it as a way to purchase game cash legitimately. So even if an item isn't sold in the cash shop (nearly everything is), a player can still purchase it from another player via REX > Plat > Auction House.

Another interesting aspect to the Rift store is the ability to gift nearly any item in the store. This has a lot of potential to allow parents to purchase items for their kids or help a guildie. It could also have the potential to be exploited. That would take a little more looking into though.

One recent store experiment was selling a limited edition "Red Kirin" mount. The mount was both limited in the time it was sold and in the actual quantity available. This brought a bit of controversy which was discussed in a main forum thread. The controversy also touched on Trion gifting the mount to two top raiding guilds for their help in testing so it was a combo of the two that some players liked or didn't.

Rift is a weird game to me. I see it as an EQ2 evolution, but I find EQ2 much more satisfying and Rift lacking, not bland like many posters say, but just not clicking in a key manner. To an extent it is how heavily and blatantly raid focused it is, with any other progression path lacking, but it's more than that. I get interested in it, go back and play, and then sort of drift off and back to my main games. I really wish more games did use its cash shop model though, but with the subscription layout of Tera.

 

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

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 2010

10/16/13 4:22:45 PM#24
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by MMODesigner
Man, seems like I might need to give RIFT another go. I can see how masking "buying power" as a convenience item will rub some people the wrong way, but I have seen quite a few F2P players grind out hard-to-attain rewards because a) they had the time and b) they loved the game so much they were going to be doing the requirements anyway, so why pay for it?

If you do give Rift another go I would really love to read what you think in another article. I would like to know what works for you and what doesn't as it pertains to the game and then how their revenue model fits into that.

I'd like to read that too :) Never played Rift seriously (too wow-ish for me) but I hopped in occasionally, and after the conversion I went back for a month to test the model, it's very player-friendly, and has nice bonuses for subscribers.

Their veteran system is similar like yours was in CoH, only it goes from left to right, and not upwards. (just kidding :) )

What was interesting to me next to those what Torvaldr mentioned is how they wired the store into the game, every trader you speak in game will open it, since they put the store in that interface. And on the list there's the plat price, the credit price (if it's available for credit), the barter token price if it's some bartered item, and there's the gift button if you want to buy and send it to someone else. Maybe the most "clean" store panel I saw in games.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5674

10/16/13 4:26:48 PM#25
Originally posted by Po_gg
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by MMODesigner
Man, seems like I might need to give RIFT another go. I can see how masking "buying power" as a convenience item will rub some people the wrong way, but I have seen quite a few F2P players grind out hard-to-attain rewards because a) they had the time and b) they loved the game so much they were going to be doing the requirements anyway, so why pay for it?

If you do give Rift another go I would really love to read what you think in another article. I would like to know what works for you and what doesn't as it pertains to the game and then how their revenue model fits into that.

I'd like to read that too :) Never played Rift seriously (too wow-ish for me) but I hopped in occasionally, and after the conversion I went back for a month to test the model, it's very player-friendly, and has nice bonuses for subscribers.

Their veteran system is similar like yours was in CoH, only it goes from left to right, and not upwards. (just kidding :) )

What was interesting to me next to those what Torvaldr mentioned is how they wired the store into the game, every trader you speak in game will open it, since they put the store in that interface. And on the list there's the plat price, the credit price (if it's available for credit), the barter token price if it's some bartered item, and there's the gift button if you want to buy and send it to someone else. Maybe the most "clean" store panel I saw in games.

Yeah, I forgot to mention how nice the store interface is. It gives the player the power to compare the different prices and how to spend their resources. Some items I buy in the store because I don't want to waste plat on it, while others I spend my plat and save my credits. Having the option to compare my barter coins is also great. The UI for the store could use a little work as it's huge and non-scalable, but the design behind it is brilliant. I also love how it lets me sell all my vendor trash on the go as I'm out rather than having run back to a hub just to clear my inventory.

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

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 2010

10/16/13 4:58:11 PM#26
Originally posted by Torvaldr

I also love how it lets me sell all my vendor trash on the go as I'm out rather than having run back to a hub just to clear my inventory.

And that could be a perfect example for convenience stuff which is not buying power: as a patron (and it's on the loyalty reward list as well, so it's enough if you only were a subscriber earlier but now you're free player) you can summon a trader, a banker, or a postman to any location, instances included, for a quick vendor trashing, banking, inventory cleaning :)

Not power, not pay2win, only convenience. Saving some time. That's exactly what I ment under "nice bonuses for subscribers", it's not a restriction toward free ones like TOR did in its models, it's just an additional boost to the subscribers. And it's easy to get spoiled and get used to it, after I went back to LotRO I seriously missed it :)  maybe the best feature to any hoarder.

 

(Edit: for the fact, yep, I know it's in LotRO as well - sure, for $1 / use... rather not, thanks)

  User Deleted
10/16/13 5:13:15 PM#27
Originally posted by Daranar
Nice way to try to mask Power as Convenience.   When you can outright buy a power item that takes weeks to obtain, that is selling the convenience of....Power!   This, your mindset, is all that is wrong with MMOs since the F2P era and arguably since 2004's rise of the casual MMORPGer.   Like most my signatures say, "If I want a world in which people can purchase success and power with cash, I'll play Real Life. Keep Virtual Worlds Virtual!"

 

Leave casuals out of this and I agree.  By your implication, hardcores don't buy power?  Sorry, I don't buy that.

 

  Alverant

Elite Member

Joined: 3/12/07
Posts: 308

10/16/13 7:26:40 PM#28

I disagree slightly with the "You can get the item by spending zero dollars, if you are willing to put in the effort." concept because it's a matter of how much effort is required. If I have to spend a month of playtime grinding to get something, then it's not "convenience" it's "power". My time is important to me.

Fun is important to me as well and if I find a game fun, I have no problem sending them a few bucks each month as a pseudo-subscription. I play NW and I only bought storage (I have a hard time parting with some hard-earned loot), these  ward guard things that make one type of crafting safer, and keys for the lock box when they're on sale.

I wouldn't buy vanity items in a gear-based game because I'd be concerned with getting my outfit looking a certain way then having to do it over again because I got a new and better item. In CoH costumes were great because they didn't change with your power level. You could experiment and try something outrageous and not worry. Also lots of costumes are part of the superhero genre.

I'm not even sure buying time is that important. It depends on the task. If something takes 8 hours then just start it before you go to bed or when you leave for work and it will be done when you get back. I guess if you need something RIGHT THIS SECOND then you can spend money, but 99% of the time, it can wait.

  Alverant

Elite Member

Joined: 3/12/07
Posts: 308

10/16/13 7:29:22 PM#29
Originally posted by ZombieKen
Originally posted by Daranar
Nice way to try to mask Power as Convenience.   When you can outright buy a power item that takes weeks to obtain, that is selling the convenience of....Power!   This, your mindset, is all that is wrong with MMOs since the F2P era and arguably since 2004's rise of the casual MMORPGer.   Like most my signatures say, "If I want a world in which people can purchase success and power with cash, I'll play Real Life. Keep Virtual Worlds Virtual!"

 

Leave casuals out of this and I agree.  By your implication, hardcores don't buy power?  Sorry, I don't buy that.

 

 

Me neither. The definition of "hardcore" is so varied as to make it nigh-meaningless.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17129

10/16/13 7:38:27 PM#30
Originally posted by jakin

 

Vanity items particularly perplex me.  I just cannot for the life of me ever see myself paying actual cash for a virtual item just for the purpose of having a good looking avatar in game.  Just does not compute.

 

 

Some people (and I am "some people") are drawn in such a way that aesthetics are extremely important. It's not just "wall paper" but a "load bearing wall" in their lives.

How much "real art" do you buy and display? I'm not talking posters. Nor am I talking about "master pieces" just art from local artists that would work in your home?

How many ties do you own and do you have multiple ties of similiar color but different design? How many suits for that matter?

Do you go shopping just to find a shirt or do you make sure that the material is high quality, perhaps having them french cuffed for your cuff links?

Or maybe you are a "jeans" person but you make sure that you have several different pairs of shoes/sneakers to give it variety?

Or draw the parallel to whatever aesthetic choices you might make. Perhaps they revolve around your car? Or then again perhaps you don't really make that many or any aesthetic choices.

To me the aesthetics of a game are as important as the game. This does't mean that it has to be "realistic" or "stylized" but they have to be done well and in a way that speaks to me on some level.

And part of that is having an avatar that represents the character I want to portray.

In some ways it's a sense of Terroir but in a game environment.

I can't express it any other way. The importance of aesthetics just feels natural.

  Ender4

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/18/08
Posts: 2056

10/16/13 8:53:35 PM#31

Rift is a pretty bad game. I do wish they wouldn't restrict bags so heavily in the free to play model. I keep sticking with Rift just praying it gets better but I haven't really seen anything in it that would make me suggest it to a friend.

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6697

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

10/16/13 8:58:00 PM#32

There is ONLY one way to monetize,be up front with one direct cost like a sub fee,anything else is too misleading with no answers as to how much it MIGHT cost you in the long run or at higher levels.That is a common tactic by developers,lure you in to get you hooked ,then hit you with higher costs at higher levels.

A simple analogy is home owners like to have long term loans,they would not go for an everyday change or not being able to predict how much money they need to enjoy their home from day>day or month to month.

Also with monetizing you NEVER know what is coming next,spend 10 bucks now and maybe tomorrow something better shows up for only 7 bucks.You NEVER have any control on your spending,only on how much of a game you want to enjoy.

IMO if you THINK that players will not enjoy the WHOLE game and only want to spend for bits and pieces,it is like admitting you cannot build a game that players want to play the whole thing.I mean how many systems are there actually in games,questing,housing,mounts,storage,combat,players per account and not a whole lot more,so if you can't get those few things right,monetizing each is not going to help your game or skills as a developer.

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

  Ender4

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/18/08
Posts: 2056

10/16/13 9:03:40 PM#33

I disagree. The GW2 system works perfectly. I'll be frank, I doubt I'll ever pay a monthly sub again unless they lower it to like $5 a month. Just no reason to pay monthly when you can get another game free. If I really like what I'm playing I might chip in for some extras. If a game pulls a double switch and goes from not having any pay to win stuff and then adds a bunch later in its life I'll just avoid that company in the future.

To be frank again, if enough players are dumb enough to fund the game by buying purely cosmetic items making it so I don't' have to spend my own money, I'm happy as can be. The fact that these games can make money off of silly virtual skins for a game that you probably won't play all that long just says a lot about the gaming community as a whole.

  jbombard

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/06/08
Posts: 462

10/16/13 10:43:07 PM#34

If the game isn't fun out of the box, and the monetazation feels overly restrictive, I will suck whatever fun I can get out of the game and leave without giving them a cent.  

 

Games like PoE or Rift where you can play the game and have fun without spending a cent, make me actually want to support the developer by giving them my money.

 

If the game is designed to be inconvenient to push people to buy convenience items, I will likely quit right away.  I am not entirely against convenience items, but they have to feel like extra added convenience and not that the game is broken without them.  SWTOR would be a good example of a game that feels broken without certain items/unlocks, and why they will likely never get any more money from me.  PoE is a game that gives you a pretty fair amount of bank space with the game, but because they do such a great job providing a fun game I wanted to buy something so I bought more bank space which allows me to be lazy with managing my bank space.

 

Content is something I will buy, but only if it is priced reasonably.  Vanity items not so much.

 

  jbombard

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/06/08
Posts: 462

10/16/13 11:51:13 PM#35
Originally posted by Ender4

Rift is a pretty bad game. I do wish they wouldn't restrict bags so heavily in the free to play model. I keep sticking with Rift just praying it gets better but I haven't really seen anything in it that would make me suggest it to a friend.

 

Whether or not you like the game is subjective so I won't comment on that, but what is restrictive about the bag space?  They added 2 bag slots you can buy when they did the F2P conversion but you have exactly as many bags after F2P as you had before F2P, you simply can buy 2 more slots  that weren't even in the game before F2P.   Bags are also fairly easy to come by. 

  haplo602

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/31/05
Posts: 155

10/17/13 2:49:19 AM#36

for me it's game extension ... like dungeons and areas in DDO ... basicaly I can preview the game from the f2p part and when I like what I see, I don't mind spending on additional content.

 

otherwise I do not spend a cent on f2p games. I do not see a point in vanity items. any convenience is a masked bait and switch attempt that should be in the game for free to start with or it is a masked power sell (obtaining anything easier/faster than normal gameplay is selling power).

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 2010

10/17/13 3:43:42 AM#37
Originally posted by jbombard
Originally posted by Ender4

Rift is a pretty bad game. I do wish they wouldn't restrict bags so heavily in the free to play model. I keep sticking with Rift just praying it gets better but I haven't really seen anything in it that would make me suggest it to a friend.

 

Whether or not you like the game is subjective so I won't comment on that, but what is restrictive about the bag space?  They added 2 bag slots you can buy when they did the F2P conversion but you have exactly as many bags after F2P as you had before F2P, you simply can buy 2 more slots  that weren't even in the game before F2P.   Bags are also fairly easy to come by. 

Probably he's a newcomer. Rift f2p is indeed giving the whole game for free, for the former players. Those who are new and joined after it went f2p, it has two (somewhat minor) restrictions, bag slots and character slots. Free ones get only 3 bag slot, former players and patrons get 5 (as it was before f2p) and there's 2 more additional slots to purchase for extra storage which came with f2p.

I agree with you, bag slots are can be bought through REX with ingame plats, but until then it can be an issue based on the playstyle (for me as a hoarder, 3 bag slot limit would be horrendous, a friend of mine wouldn't even notice it... he's trashing everything on site :) )

  kynokaimito

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/01/13
Posts: 1

10/17/13 9:38:23 AM#38
vanity and convenience. I consider my self a casual gamer because I log in mostly a few minutes a day for craft/dailies and quest only during weekends. I don't want to feel 'forced' into playing because my sub is ticking. I didn't mind spending for expansions (but only if it's on sale), mounts, cosmetics, and other microtransactions if I find myself having fun with the game. I think the only game I regretted paying for was old school ragnarok online.
  Jaedor

Elite Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 879

10/17/13 11:56:24 AM#39
Originally posted by Po_gg
Originally posted by jbombard
Originally posted by Ender4

Rift is a pretty bad game. I do wish they wouldn't restrict bags so heavily in the free to play model. I keep sticking with Rift just praying it gets better but I haven't really seen anything in it that would make me suggest it to a friend.

 

Whether or not you like the game is subjective so I won't comment on that, but what is restrictive about the bag space?  They added 2 bag slots you can buy when they did the F2P conversion but you have exactly as many bags after F2P as you had before F2P, you simply can buy 2 more slots  that weren't even in the game before F2P.   Bags are also fairly easy to come by. 

Probably he's a newcomer. Rift f2p is indeed giving the whole game for free, for the former players. Those who are new and joined after it went f2p, it has two (somewhat minor) restrictions, bag slots and character slots. Free ones get only 3 bag slot, former players and patrons get 5 (as it was before f2p) and there's 2 more additional slots to purchase for extra storage which came with f2p.

I agree with you, bag slots are can be bought through REX with ingame plats, but until then it can be an issue based on the playstyle (for me as a hoarder, 3 bag slot limit would be horrendous, a friend of mine wouldn't even notice it... he's trashing everything on site :) )

 

Okay yeah, that would suck. I'm a patron and a dimensioneer so bag and bank space are absolute necessities.

 

Until Rift, my favorite freemium model was LOTRO's. But I let my LOTRO sub run out and must admit, playing the game F2P is really different, even with 8k TP. Things people have complained about for years are things I now notice, and the content gating is quite a pain. Always helpful to see how the "other half" lives, regardless of where the line is.

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3101

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

10/17/13 12:01:07 PM#40

"What makes you monetize or buy into into a F2P game? Have you ever bought a microtransaction and felt you paid too much? Better yet, was there ever a microtransaction you thought was undervalued for what you got? I’m interested in what you have to say on the subject."

 

Longevity.  Since there are no F2P MMOs out with longevity, I do not purchase.  Why spend $10 or more dollars when a player will shelve the game in a matter of weeks?

 

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

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