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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » So what exactly are F2P games supposed to charge for?

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283 posts found
  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4616

12/15/13 5:56:16 PM#81
Originally posted by TheCrow2k
People need to get over this whole "boosts or advantages in PvE is pay 2 win" because it is total nonsense. Selling things that give a tangible advantage in PvP is not acceptable because its direct competition on an uneven playing field. Selling PvE items doesn't really hurt anyone &companies can make some money.

And this is why the whole definition of 'pay 2 advantage' is nonsense. Literally just about EVERYTHING that you can sell in a cash shop, can be argued as 'gives an advantage'. Thus, F2P has become synonymous with P2W, even though most F2P are not even remotely close anymore.

Buying power is essentially the earliest, and most useful definition for P2W. However, that definition has become distorted to the point where, again, literally every game is now considered 'pay 2 win' (but only if it's a game someone doesn't like).

  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4616

12/15/13 6:00:22 PM#82
Originally posted by lizardbones

I'm sure everyone has seen at least one thread on at least one F2P game where whatever the developer or publisher is charging for is somehow P2W, underhanded or just a flat out rip-off.

So given that people are willing to go into such granular detail on what developers shouldn't charge for, what exactly should they charge for in a F2P game?

In your hypothetical scenario, keep in mind the following:

* The game must actually make money. Yes, this is a consideration. Even for your favorite game, they must make money. Not only must they make money to cover expenses, they have to make a profit, or the game will not continue to exist.

* "Subscription" as the answer will not work here. The game is F2P, and must sell stuff in their cash shop, either in or out of the game.

* Nothing is off limits. The only wrong answer is "Subscription".

**

"Some F2P Options OR Subscription" would be a fine answer. "Subscription" by itself is the only wrong answer here. It's a F2P game, so something has to be charged for in the cash shop.

Honestly, as long as you are not buying power, they could sell just about anything.

However, the 'correct' way of doing F2P (in my opinion) is to make it as un-intrusive as possible to the players. This is something (in general) that many developers fail at. They all want players to play their games a certain way, and players will usually find a way to play it differently. However, the solution isn't to force players into your narrow design mentallity, but rather to improve your game's design in such a way as to encourage the behavior of play you want.

GW2 is one game that does this really well, and I'd like to see more of. They make plenty of money off their cash shop, even though there are a good number of peopel who flat out ignore the shop altogether. It's there, I can buy things from it if I choose to, but it impacts my ability to play the game in no way, shape, or form.

  iridescence

Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/12
Posts: 943

12/15/13 6:01:39 PM#83
Originally posted by Gdemami

 

Since when is complaining how other people spend money on entertainment reasonable?

 

No point in complaining  about other people doing it but it's perfectly reasonable to just avoid playing games that don't allow you to play the way you want for a reasonable price and complaining that you won't play a game you'd otherwise like to play because of the payment model is also pretty reasonable.

 

We aren't beggars. We don't just have to be happy with and grateful for whatever scraps the companies throw us for free. There are always other games out there with better payment models.

 

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11902

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

12/15/13 6:06:18 PM#84
Originally posted by Destai
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by Vermillion_Raventhal
 

That's part of the problem.  Most games go F2P because they're not worth paying a subscription.  

False dichotomy.  Most games with a F2P option you can still get a sub for, and many people do.  Games add the option because of all the clear evidence that most games make more money with a hybrid model than they do with a sub only model.

What's interesting about your point is that it's true, but undermines the claim that f2p is cheaper for the player. Were that the case, I don't believe it would have proliferated so much. 

F2P is cheaper for most players. That is true and nothing that he wrote conflicts with that fact.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6822

12/15/13 6:10:14 PM#85


Originally posted by iridescence

No point in complaining  about other people doing it but it's perfectly reasonable to just avoid playing games that don't allow you to play the way you want for a reasonable price and complaining that you won't play a game you'd otherwise like to play because of the payment model is also pretty reasonable.

 

We aren't beggars. We don't just have to be happy with and grateful for whatever scraps the companies throw us for free. There are always other games out there with better payment models.

 


Price isn't something that can be qualified as reasonable or not, hence neither is the complaint about the price.

You either pay or you don't.


Beneath the "complaints", there is actually a single motive and truth - they want to get all for free. Just read the thread, people do not mind the cash shop as long as there are items selling they do not care for or they can obtain them ingame, for free.


It is an irony that people who complain about the F2P are the most spoiled ones that do not want to pay for anything.

  iridescence

Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/12
Posts: 943

12/15/13 6:15:49 PM#86
Originally posted by aesperus
 

Buying power is essentially the earliest, and most useful definition for P2W. However, that definition has become distorted to the point where, again, literally every game is now considered 'pay 2 win' (but only if it's a game someone doesn't like).

Depending on how you define "winning" in an MMO any free to play game (or P2P with cash shop game) can be considered P2W.

Most games don't sell a PvP weapon in the cash shop that is better than every other PvP weapon in the game because that alienates a large section of the player base. Selling a cool costume available nowhere else in the shop alienates a much smaller number of players but, for the small number of players who are motivated to collect all possible outfits for their characters it's every bit as much P2W as the uber weapon. If they don't pay they won't succeed in the game by their own definition.

 

It doesn't make F2P bad by definition but it does mean that P2W isn't really black and white and a lot of people will accept pay to win if they don't care about the kind of "winning" involved.

 

Personally I wish the time when you just paid for a game or paid a sub and then could earn everything you wanted through gameplay. It's much simpler and less crass.

 

 

 

 

  Iylz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/12/10
Posts: 109

12/15/13 6:25:49 PM#87

Many people have said this before, but I am just going to re-iterate the majority of complaints in F2P games come from players who aren't the ones supporting the game financially but the ones who want everything free and put nothing in.  Most people don't think about the costs of running and maintaining an MMO, the overhead costs to keep a game constantly updated with added content is nothing less than substantial.  Many of the complaints come from children or young people who have no concept of financial responsibility, I know this because I have been a moderator on forums for two different F2P games.  Usually the main complaints I have seen from financially supporting players is that the devs will begin to cater to the F2P players that are complaining about everything and then the paying players begin to become dissatisfied with those choices.  Eden Eternal and Aurora World  are both examples of games that lost many paying players because of the rants of the non-paying players.  Then the paying players leave these games and then there is no more content added and updates begin to become sparse.

You will never stop the ranting that comes from people who want everything in life handed to them with no reciprocation. 

P.S. The funny thing is although most of the complaining comes from younger people, the worse and most indignant people are grown adults.

  NorseGod

Novice Member

Joined: 2/28/12
Posts: 573

12/15/13 6:30:17 PM#88

I hope they charge $1 every time one crosses a zone.

I hope they make "F2P entertainment seekers" join a separate server with ONLY what's available to F2P players. Limited zones, gear, skills, travel methods, healing pots, no chat, no forum access, bank space, bags, etc..

Nobody likes a freeloader who leeches off others that pay into the system. Sound familiar? It does to me.

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

12/15/13 7:07:21 PM#89

Originally posted by TangentPoint
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by GeezerGamer

People will spend money in order to somehow have a better overall game experience then those who don't pay. Games put all these spins on it. But in the end, they are almost all P2W to some degree. Most have just hidden it.

This just isn't true.  If it doesn't impact PvP, it isn't P2W, because outside of PvP there isn't anything to "win."

Doing higher DPS; getting the best parser #'s. Getting to/completing content faster. Getting a drop before others. Getting "server firsts".. Getting better xp/hr.  Getting the superior weapons/gear. Getting the faster mount.

All those things, and more, are things that PvE players compete over. All the time.

Many of those things are enhanced or made more possible through cash shop purchases in various MMOs, so, you better believe people are taking advantage of them. I've been in F2P MMOs where you were required in certain guilds to buy cash shop items in order to "keep up" with them... 

An old friend of mine did it all the time. Every single MMO we played, he was in constant competition with me and would do whatever he could to "get ahead" and "beat me" at various things. It got extremely annoying after a while, to the point that I didn't even tell him what MMOs I was playing anymore, simply because I didn't want someone constantly keeping tabs on me (what level are you? What area are you in?, etc), and/or trying to rub it in my face when ever they felt they were "beating me" at something.

He wasn't even the only person I've known to do that. He was just the most obnoxious about it.

That's not a competition that's in the game though.  That is a competition that exists solely in the heads of a minority.  As you point out in your own example, your friend was competing with you: you were not competing with him.  Structured PvP is an actual competition that's in the game, with defined victory conditions.  That should not be impacted by cash shops.  Made up pseudo "competition" such as you list is irrelevant.  The way you are trying to define winning, somebody could declare that they are in a competition for the best outfit, and if the best outfit is from the cash shop, the game is pay to win.  It's ridiculous.

Originally posted by Destai

What's interesting about your point is that it's true, but undermines the claim that f2p is cheaper for the player. Were that the case, I don't believe it would have proliferated so much. 

It's cheaper for some players.  But the reason it exists is precisely because it is much, much more expensive for those who approach it irresponsibly.  Which is good for the rest of us, because their voluntary stupidity helps keep games open and expanding that might otherwise fail or go on life support.

Originally posted by Gdemami

Originally posted by TheCrow2k
People need to get over this whole "boosts or advantages in PvE is pay 2 win" because it is total nonsense. Selling things that give a tangible advantage in PvP is not acceptable because its direct competition on an uneven playing field.

 

Selling PvE items doesn't really hurt anyone &companies can make some money.


Your uber l33t skills do not matter if you are not geared up properly, even for PVE.

There is no less competition in PVE than there is in PVP.

See above.  There is a difference between competition that is an actual coded part of the game, and made up "competition" which can be defined so loosely that *anything* in a cash shop could be defined as "pay to win."

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  Anireth

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 379

12/15/13 7:15:29 PM#90

You may not like freeloaders, but you also may not like not getting a full party because not enough people are playi.

And that freeloader may end up buying stuff worth several thousand dollars once he decides the game is to his liking, while you still pay only a measly $180 a year. Just take a look at the Humble Bundle. Someone paid $5000 for something he could get for $0.01.

F2P has proven to make a lot of money, while being cheaper for the average player. So the company makes money, the players who don't want to pay (much) don't, and the ones who really like the game can throw money on it all day long. Everyone wins.

Of course it isn't as simple, sometimes you want something, like another char slot, and it's $20. Maybe it could be $5 if more people would be the other stuff. And of course there is the infamous P2W. But overall, F2P offers quite a lot of flexibility.

Btw, once F2P games start charging $1 for every zone you enter, P2P games will follow suit. Just like they introduced more and more stuff in cash shops. After all, you pay $15 to be able to *enter* the game. Or for them to keep it going. Or so they can continue developing content. You thought you can get everything for $15? You will pay for the game, for every content update (expansion), for all services like more character slots, server and name changes, you will find a lot of fluff items like costumes in the shop  . Costumes means textures, modelling the item, checking clipping etc., it's actually quite costly, compared to convenience items like exp boosts, which they will also sell. And of course they have to make money somehow, thats why $1 per zone..

 

I'll wait to the day's end when the moon is high
And then I'll rise with the tide with a lust for life, I'll
Amass an army, and we'll harness a horde
And then we'll limp across the land until we stand at the shore

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6822

12/15/13 7:16:22 PM#91


Originally posted by CazNeerg

See above.  There is a difference between competition that is an actual coded part of the game, and made up "competition" which can be defined so loosely that *anything* in a cash shop could be defined as "pay to win."

Whether it was coded or not makes no difference, it is there and affects player perception equally.

And yes, P2W is a stupid, meaningless term.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

12/15/13 7:17:07 PM#92
Originally posted by lizardbones

If a game is worth a $15 a subscription, wouldn't the same game be worth buying something from in a cash shop?

Payment models are not interchangable - they fundementally alter the entire relationship between customer and developer.

With a subscription, you are rewarding the publisher for providing an experience that you want to keep experiencing.

With a cash shop, you are rewarding the publisher for manufacturing an itch that nobody had until they started playing the game. 

  Iylz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/12/10
Posts: 109

12/15/13 7:20:07 PM#93

Cash shop games can't solely live on cosmetic items either. I personally could care less what I look like as long as I am kicking someones face in. I bought my guns and gear in PS2, I purchased stuff to get gear in TF2, I have purchased XP boosts (and whatever other boosts were avilable in the game) in many games, I purchased guns in APB; I can keep going on with a bunch of games but the truth is I don't feel the developer was being underhanded in any way by making these things available to paying players. I have paid for pre-order access that granted a multitude of items that made me better than the person who waited till release.

The only truth, to even the most crazily absurd P2W I can blast a F2P player in 1 shot at lvl 1, is that the paying people make the game available to everyone.  If you think that people paying for a game don't WANT an advantage over the non-paying, then your just delusional.  I pay for F2P games to get the advantage, convenience, and more doors open to me.  That's the way it should be.  There would be no game if not for those that pay.

If someone thinks they are at a disadvantage that is so great in comparison to the paying players, go play something else.

  Holophonist

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/15/09
Posts: 1999

12/15/13 7:22:21 PM#94
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by Holophonist
So far the best implementation of f2p imo is path of exile. They don't offer any in game advantages (not pay to win). They have a variety of cosmetic things like pets, but also functional things like extra tabs in your stash, the ability to name tabs, guild stash, etc.

I'm curious about how much money they are actually making.  It's only a good model if it brings in enough revenue for them to recoup their investment and turn a month to month profit.  Personally, I haven't seen one thing in their shop that I would even consider buying.

I mean from the player's perspective.

  Gardavsshade

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/27/11
Posts: 615

12/15/13 7:37:26 PM#95
Originally posted by lizardbones

I'm sure everyone has seen at least one thread on at least one F2P game where whatever the developer or publisher is charging for is somehow P2W, underhanded or just a flat out rip-off.

So given that people are willing to go into such granular detail on what developers shouldn't charge for, what exactly should they charge for in a F2P game?

In your hypothetical scenario, keep in mind the following:

* The game must actually make money. Yes, this is a consideration. Even for your favorite game, they must make money. Not only must they make money to cover expenses, they have to make a profit, or the game will not continue to exist.

* "Subscription" as the answer will not work here. The game is F2P, and must sell stuff in their cash shop, either in or out of the game.

* Nothing is off limits. The only wrong answer is "Subscription".

**

"Some F2P Options OR Subscription" would be a fine answer. "Subscription" by itself is the only wrong answer here. It's a F2P game, so something has to be charged for in the cash shop.

I am going to be a respectful as I can be.

You are wrong. The Devs that create these F2P pay schemes are wrong. That is my opinion.

"No one EVERgets something for nothing." That is not a rule of thumb, that is a fact. That has been fact for hundreds of years and still is a fact. Anytime someone gets something for free someone else pays for it. Even if it is a gift, someone else paid for it. It was never "free".

The Devs that create games and fund them with F2P schemes are playing sneaky games with Customers, and not nice games either. It is a form of Deception. Pure and simple. They know the rule of thumb above, their business would not exist otherwise.

Now, if you don't agree with me on this, that is your choice... but your choice is not what I know to be truth, or fact, and I won't bend my view of reality to make a MMO Publisher happy and content. F2P is a scam and nothing more. It introduces outside financial influence into a MMO where there should be none to start with, and/or it preys upon the foolish and those with little to no self control... and ALL predatory behavior in Human activities is wrong when applied against other Humans.

So, defend F2P all you want to, but I myself am more convinced than ever that it is wrong. The more I see threads like this one that "Push" and "promote" F2P the more I am inclined to argue against the practice.

I will continue to support Buy to play and Subscriptions as the only legitimate and ethically correct form of funding for MMOs. I play a couple of MMOs that use F2P as a part of their funding system, but I always Subscribe in these because I know for fact that nothing is ever free and the Devs have earned their paychecks by creating MMO content I enjoy.

IMHO any MMO that is F2P should be immediately converted to Buy to Play or Subscription. The Cash Shop, if that MMO has one, is another discussion. (can I force this change? No, but it is what I feel/think/believe should happen.)

Payment for Services rendered by all Players on an equal basis. As it should be.


Nothing to see here... just another MMO Ghost....

  DarkVagabond

Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/06
Posts: 240

12/15/13 7:38:48 PM#96

Here is the short list of things i think a F2P game can, in good conscience, charge for.

 

 

Looking Good, Sounding Good, and other special snowflake effects

Having more characters

Speed of Progression (provided your progression cannot influence others)

Storage (provided fully free players can objectively compete on free storage)

Extended Funcitonality (out of game applications, renames, respecs, guild capacity, housing, other functions not essential to playing the game)

Immediate access to items ((cannot be shoehorned halfway into a games lifecycle and normal unlocking cannot be mathematically ridiculous (I'm looking at you hirez) ))

 

 

F2P games should not, in my opinion, charge for the following.

 

 

Access to locations of the game

Access character classes

Removal of progression caps

Equipment with different attributes than what free players can own, even if by a negligible margin

Speed of progression if the game heavily emphasizes competition between players

  NorseGod

Novice Member

Joined: 2/28/12
Posts: 573

12/15/13 7:55:42 PM#97
Originally posted by Anireth

You may not like freeloaders, but you also may not like not getting a full party because not enough people are playi.

And that freeloader may end up buying stuff worth several thousand dollars once he decides the game is to his liking, while you still pay only a measly $180 a year. Just take a look at the Humble Bundle. Someone paid $5000 for something he could get for $0.01.

F2P has proven to make a lot of money, while being cheaper for the average player. So the company makes money, the players who don't want to pay (much) don't, and the ones who really like the game can throw money on it all day long. Everyone wins.

Of course it isn't as simple, sometimes you want something, like another char slot, and it's $20. Maybe it could be $5 if more people would be the other stuff. And of course there is the infamous P2W. But overall, F2P offers quite a lot of flexibility.

Btw, once F2P games start charging $1 for every zone you enter, P2P games will follow suit. Just like they introduced more and more stuff in cash shops. After all, you pay $15 to be able to *enter* the game. Or for them to keep it going. Or so they can continue developing content. You thought you can get everything for $15? You will pay for the game, for every content update (expansion), for all services like more character slots, server and name changes, you will find a lot of fluff items like costumes in the shop  . Costumes means textures, modelling the item, checking clipping etc., it's actually quite costly, compared to convenience items like exp boosts, which they will also sell. And of course they have to make money somehow, thats why $1 per zone..

 

Nobody wants to carry a freeloader in their group anyways. I know I don't depend on leeches. I'd rather they didn't exist. It would bring back serious gaming.

Who cares what they may or may not spend one day. Most likely they move on to the next F2P of the month. You haven't been paying attention to populations in game lately, have you?

Nope, freeloaders should stay the way they are, limited and dependent on other people spending. Only, people paying the bills are getting tired of hearing the whines of the leeches.

  Tibernicuspa

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/03/13
Posts: 986

12/15/13 7:59:48 PM#98

When  did everyone decide it was okay for devs to put exclusive cosmetic items in a shop?

 

The worst offenders are the MMOs that give the sub option, but lock portions of the game behind pay walls, even if you're subbed. Paying for a shortcut to the glowy sword? Sure, fine. Making it impossible to GET the glowy sword unless I buy it outright? Bullshit.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6822

12/15/13 8:02:02 PM#99


Originally posted by Tibernicuspa

Making it impossible to GET the glowy sword unless I buy it outright? Bullshit.

...why?

  iridescence

Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/12
Posts: 943

12/15/13 8:05:25 PM#100
Originally posted by Gdemami

 

Price isn't something that can be qualified as reasonable or not, hence neither is the complaint about the price.

You either pay or you don't.


Beneath the "complaints", there is actually a single motive and truth - they want to get all for free. Just read the thread, people do not mind the cash shop as long as there are items selling they do not care for or they can obtain them ingame, for free.


It is an irony that people who complain about the F2P are the most spoiled ones that do not want to pay for anything.

If a lot of people really do expect games for free then I agree with you but this seems like a strawman as I assume most people realize that either you will have a sub fee or a cash shop in a game (games that try to have both can burn in hell...). Some people just prefer paying the up front sub fee to reward the developer for making a good game rather than reward the developer for making cash shop junk to sell them.

 

I'm not saying F2P can't be done well but I really don't understand why people refuse to see the obvious problems that F2P often creates.

 

As for why people complain about the price of games, maybe someone from the company will hear you? I don't know but it makes more sense than most of the things people regularly complain about on here.  :)

 

 

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