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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: The Wrong Way to Do Free to Play

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83 posts found

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16278

OP  7/20/14 5:44:28 PM#1

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade and the developers’ decision to limit free players to the deliberately weaker Ork Boyz is a troubling precedent in the freemium game space. It’s not unheard of for some games to limit your race choice based upon how much you are or aren’t paying. Yet those races you can choose from aren’t usually so severely gimped that you need to gang up en masse just to take down one member of another.  This is the situation in the upcoming PvP-oriented game, and it’s concerning.

Read more of Christina Gonzalez's The Social Hub: The Wrong Way to Do Free to Play.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Defender of Worlds

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 3480

I actually still like MMORPGs

7/21/14 12:18:20 PM#2
I actually kinda like that idea. Play as a peasant for free =D. Not everyone can be the "hero" soldier.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/27/07
Posts: 589

7/21/14 12:21:19 PM#3
Haha this is actually pretty awesome.

Originally posted by Arskaaa
"when players learned tacticks in dungeon/raids, its bread".


Novice Member

Joined: 10/12/12
Posts: 2125

7/21/14 12:21:59 PM#4

Stuff like this is why older MMO players (before F2P) can't stand the wave of F2P games for the most part. I'm not saying all of us, but a fairly large portion anyway. We are accustomed to paying for everything in a game with the purchase and the sub, whereas as F2P you end up with debacles such as this. This will come back to haunt them if they go through with it, I don't think anyone will deny that.


I could go on another rant entirely about gambling boxes and keys and other such F2P nonsense that serves no one but the misinformed and greedy, but that's a topic for another time.

Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
Have played: You name it
If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.


Managing Editor

Joined: 7/28/06
Posts: 2209

7/21/14 12:22:23 PM#5
It's sort of more a "free trial" this way, I think. I'll be curious to see how fun it is to play an Ork, but I can't imagine they'll be too underpowered, or none of these F2P players will spend money to unlock all the races.

Novice Member

Joined: 10/29/13
Posts: 14

7/21/14 12:23:01 PM#6

Freemium is the Apocalypse of the gaming industry. It has destroyed and it will keep destroying as many things as it can just to milk that extra cash from a certain ammount of players.

I tried a lot of freemiums (especially MMOs) and i never liked them, that's why as soon as i hear a game is freemium i turn away.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/24/11
Posts: 899

7/21/14 12:29:51 PM#7

I don't mind this model.  A player who pays nothing has a more limited experience than a player who pays a sub; isn't that the way the world works?  You generally get an improved service the more money you pay in all walks of life.  

I personally have a much larger issue with (as Aeon said) gambling boxes in games.  


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/01/07
Posts: 381

7/21/14 12:30:15 PM#8

"Freemium already separates players into tiers - was another one really needed? Separating the community out into tiers of this nature, where even gear sold in the cash shop will be somewhat weaker than that found in the game for full-paying members, is a mistake. There’s just no other way to define this other than “pay to win”, since you’re drastically weaker if you’re a free player and if you spend money in the shop but don’t buy the game outright, you’ll still suffer possible penalty to your maximum potential. It’s obvious that games need to make money somehow, but this system is outright unfriendly to players that don’t pay and even hurts customers that choose to buy solely through the shop."


Finally someone who understands what Pay to Win actually means. Its not about xp potions, or how fast you can get to end game, its about raising your maximum potential higher than a non paying player. This is pure pay to win, when you pay real money to literally become stronger than someone who didnt pay. Many people have lost sight of what real P2W is and started labeling all free to play games, or anything with a cash shop or convenience items as such. Now maybe people will recognize the difference, and we can stop with all the sillyness.


Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 20138

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

7/21/14 12:30:50 PM#9

I've got no issues with it, always believed F2P'er should be strongly encouraged to sub up, and looks like the intent of the design here.

Being subbed should be a clear advantage then more people would be encouraged to pay up.  Of course, this strategy only works if you have a great game that everyone wants to play. 


In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
"I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
"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


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 5297

7/21/14 12:32:57 PM#10
Originally posted by BillMurphy
It's sort of more a "free trial" this way, I think. I'll be curious to see how fun it is to play an Ork, but I can't imagine they'll be too underpowered, or none of these F2P players will spend money to unlock all the races.

Problem is that doesn't really work that well for PvP games.

I'd much rather see them go more of the MOBA / TF2 route when it comes to F2P models. The warhammer IP has more than enough ways to monetize without going straight to the paying for power option.

Having the ability to buy customization options, i.e. trinkets, custom banners / logos, or even the option to create your own custom army squad (which is a big component in the table-top), would be much better option imho.

Nothing against playing as an Ork, but if there's too much of a handicap for being one, it'll be a huge turnoff for the game. Not to mention that most people will want to be a Space Marine. I haven't seen many F2P models that paygate the main content do well in the long run. 


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/16/14
Posts: 459

7/21/14 12:38:12 PM#11
Just put the Sword of a Thousand Truths into the cash shop along with the voice of Kenny and you've got me.

Novice Member

Joined: 10/28/08
Posts: 24

7/21/14 12:38:53 PM#12
First nail in the coffin. Will it also be the last?

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 18487

7/21/14 12:39:31 PM#13

Here's a thought ...

Game companies need money.

The whole reason they are using "free to play" is so they can get more players trying their games and because it uncaps what players can spend and allows those players who have no issues paying a LOT of money to do so.

But game companies need money. Free to play is difficult to budget off of because they don't know how much they will get at any given time.

So they have these "freemium" deals but in the end they would prefer you to pay a subscription.

These games cost a lot. They seem to cost more than their single player brethren in many cases and yet they struggle to make ends meet. Some of this very well could be the developers fault and some of it could be the nature of the beast.

So any time a company hopes to steer players into a subscription I am not surprised.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/15/06
Posts: 1970

The doctors say his chances are 50/50...but there's only a 10% chance of that.

7/21/14 12:40:10 PM#14

I hope this model comes to an MMO with a modern day setting.


Free players are limited to the Welfare class, and cannot own homes, businesses, or use any personal vehicles except those with terrible durability and are highly inefficient.

Players with money get to have status, upgradeable housing, and all kinds of power and entertainment options.


Just make sure the non-paying players truly feel like second class members of the game, that'll surely encourage them to pay more for this service they obviously enjoy so much!

El Psy Congroo


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/17/13
Posts: 857

7/21/14 12:41:33 PM#15
Originally posted by BillMurphy
It's sort of more a "free trial" this way, I think. I'll be curious to see how fun it is to play an Ork, but I can't imagine they'll be too underpowered, or none of these F2P players will spend money to unlock all the races.

Not at all Mr. B. It is just like SWTOR, because it has the name Star Wars no matter how crappy f2p model is many f2p players became sub on the 1st day of their playtime. it will be same with WH, f2p will dump cash on it just becasue of the name. Sometimes a name is all the standard people need to start spending money.

On the other hand, what i think is that it is still better than monetizing quick bar or show title option or hide helmet item or quest reward or terribly gimping gameplay experience  for f2p players like no chat until level 10 like swtor. i think it is far better than at least swtor. but let's see if they also go swtor way.

i want an open world, no phasing, no instancing.i want meaningful owpvp.i want player driven economy.i want meaningful crafting.i want awesome exploration, a sense of thrill.i want ow housing with a meaningful effect on my entire gameplay experience, not just some instanced crap.i want all of these free of cost, i don't wanna pay you a cent, game devs can eat grass and continue developing game for me.
Seems like that is the current consensus of western mmo players.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/16/14
Posts: 459

7/21/14 12:49:50 PM#16
Originally posted by Sovrath

Here's a thought ...

Game companies need money.

The whole reason they are using "free to play" is so they can get more players trying their games and because it uncaps what players can spend and allows those players who have no issues paying a LOT of money to do so.

But game companies need money. Free to play is difficult to budget off of because they don't know how much they will get at any given time.

So they have these "freemium" deals but in the end they would prefer you to pay a subscription.

These games cost a lot. They seem to cost more than their single player brethren in many cases and yet they struggle to make ends meet. Some of this very well could be the developers fault and some of it could be the nature of the beast.

So any time a company hopes to steer players into a subscription I am not surprised.

If these games have been so bankrupting to the industry, then why do they continue to make them?  Clearly they make a small mint, regardless of how many subs they have or don't have. The fact that they can repackage their product to make it more appealing to a wider audience doesn't change the fact that they are still getting their investment back and then some.  


Players use the 'try before they buy" excuse all the time... the reality is, if you give them 2 weeks to play it, they know they will have done all they really care to do in the game and not bother with it.  You don't try a car out for 2 weeks and then say, meh, I don't think I want it.  Anyone trying a game, has no intention of buying it.  If they really wanted to buy it, they would.

Freemium is just a cloak to hide the real issue plaguing the game... that there really isn't enough interest in the game to keep people playing it, so we'll let some play it for free and it will appear to be populated.  You take away the freemium... are there any players playing it at all?



Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/14/14
Posts: 494

7/21/14 12:53:49 PM#17
While I do not wish to see this in all games, I do agree with the first comment about being a peasant and the comment that not everyone can be a hero. Let the whales spend away and be the hero that's on my side, I will gladly serve as a peasant. I don't care about my personal stats, I just want to win. As long as it's not all whales on one side, I'm fine with this.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/20/05
Posts: 1248

7/21/14 12:59:46 PM#18

would love to see thousands of f2p Orks killing every P2p marine on sight lol , the cry on the forums from the paying players


omg !! im paying to get slaughtered by 100 orcs!!!! nerffffffff them !



Elite Member

Joined: 5/14/09
Posts: 974

7/21/14 1:06:20 PM#19

The problem with MMOs is it is too crowded yes.  Too many publishers keep eyeing the WOW dream and turn what should be a Single player game or an Online Mutliplayer game into a MMO.  Making it a Solo MMO with a cash shop just so they can make money and try to out do WoW.  Problem is this model will not last as fewer and fewer people will get involved in MMOs and go back to single player or MO games that they can buy and go on.  The way it should be.  Too many MMOs are not good for the gaming industry as a whole because how much they cost to develop and keep running plus its bad for gamers who just want to play a few hours here and there.  These type of player do not belong in MMOs.  They really dont its like a person who wants to play Golf but only wants to play for maybe 30 minutes bitching to a country club and the PGA to change the game of Golf to only be 3 hole instead of 18 so this 30 a minute a week player can play a full round of Golf.  It waters down the sport just like having Single player MMOs waters down the MMO content to 15 min instance runs, and people who do not want to make friends that will protect them while crossing from 1 area to another so Pirates dont kill them and take their gear.  It does nothing but cheapen the experience for people who make these activities a Hobby vs just something to do for 30 minutes.

The people that just want something to do for 30 minutes should stick to single player and online games that are not that in-depth and stop trying to change games to suit themselves.  Its like when I played in A level Hockey leagues there were people who wanted to make the game for their skills and their time.  They wanted to only allow 2 good players per team, (players over 20 goals) and they only wanted to allow teams who won more than 3 years straight to no longer be allowed to play. These people wanted the game and leagues changed to their level of effort, skills and level of commitment.  They didnt care that the people playing in that league like myself played the game because we loved the game and the way the game was played.  We didnt want to play a watered down version of it, if we wanted to we would go play in a co-ed D league designed for watered down game play.  But no instead the wanted to ruin it for everyone else because they wanted to feel special.  

Until we stop needing to make everyone feel like a winner and they belong anywhere they choose to be we will keep getting crapping F2P games, and crappy MMOs as well as games that should not be published.  Sorry folks not everyone should be allowed to make the team.  Try harder next time.  


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/09/12
Posts: 148

I have my rose tinted glass's at a full shine!

7/21/14 1:12:55 PM#20

Shaky start for some of us that is for sure. I am old enough to know free never means free:) So another title to ignore and I say this because for this type of model the game is designed around how to sell stuff in the shop and not necessarily designed for fun   imho.

I don't even want these games to be free I just want to pay a monthly for a game I like. I laughed so hard I just signed into ITunes for the first time in six months and they have to the right a list of top free to play apps, bought apps, and top grossing apps. Well I got a chuckle out of the top free to PLAY app was Kim Kardashian or some silliness and then if you look at the top grossing apps she was #4 LOL.

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