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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » what kind of people play pay2win games?

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Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/07/11
Posts: 1034

Any fool can know. The point is to understand.

3/16/12 6:48:22 PM#21

I don't think people go into a game thinking it's pay to win. If a game is fun enough to warrant further playing some people will pay for those higher levels. Although at the time they are thinking 'oh man I get to play more!' the terrible side effect is that it begins to separate that person form the general population.

Now that's not the only reason people will pay2win. The competitive nature of some players will make them think 'oh snap I want the character that guy is using!' and at the time they may only be thinking about beating ONE person as opposed to paying to win over large amounts of the community.

Some people set out to pay to be better, sneakier games have you pay over 100 dollars to get to max lvl.

People are not thinking about power gaming at the time, they are thinking about their personal level of enjoyment. This inadvertently takes away from the poorer community. Hell if I wasn't thinking about it for this post I would never have come to this conclusion.

Play for fun. Play to win. Play for perfection. Play with friends. Play in another world. Why do you play?


Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

3/16/12 7:35:15 PM#22

No idea and I don't want to know tbh.  There is demand for them so companies do them and make a fortune on them as well.


I just avoid games like that even if that mean avoiding playing really alot of games these days (and propably even more in future). 


If there is possiblity to get in game things instantly then it is pointless for me to play. Like using cheat codes ,but those are paid ones lol


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/31/08
Posts: 2064

3/16/12 7:57:37 PM#23
Originally posted by Jaco1101
Originally posted by Magnum2103

Actually a lot of "P2W" games have a large base of younger gamers (teens) who use their parent's money (don't have any hard data, but going under the assumption of what I've seen on forums of such of said games) to fund their habit.  They generally have no concept of money so they are more willing to throw out money.  I've played a few F2P games with some P2W elements and the majority of the "whales" (players who spent small fortunes on the cash shop) were children when I asked about their age they were generally 16 or younger.

Joo got proof of your claims there Mr. Rogers?  lol

I did say I didn't have any hard data and I was going under the assumption of my experience on the forums and people who I've grouped with in said games (who were using power items).

Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:



Joined: 10/19/06
Posts: 4005

Pointing out the Obvious to the Oblivious since 2006

3/16/12 8:58:48 PM#24

People with a lot of disposable income or their parents credit card. Also Pay 2 Win is fairly popular in Asia.





Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/09
Posts: 2009

3/16/12 9:10:03 PM#25

The pay2win people I met are pretty much exclusively to people who have a job.  I really never met any pay2win people who are kids.  But to me that's probably because more people are willing to admit they bought the money out of their own pocket, not from their parents.

And I think that have alot to do with the game itself.  The games I play, you really need to spend 1000$ plus to compete.  I dont' think most parents will let their kids spend that much. 


Novice Member

Joined: 5/27/11
Posts: 463

3/16/12 9:17:06 PM#26

I don't know if you're talking about all F2P games, or just the ones that allow you to buy some form of power in the game.


I've actually noticed little of the 'kid using mom's card' in most.  I find that it's usually the adults that are willing to put in a lot of money into one of these games.  When I played Spiral Knights, I remember a cool guy from reddit who put $600 into the game over the years he has played (before the Steam launch, for sure).  Maybe they just like the game but don't have the time to play as much.


That said, F2P games aren't completely innocent.  They do things like obfuscating the amount you spent (by using a premium currency - Turbine Points for example) in order to not remind you about the money you've spent.  One step into a casino and you can see this in effect - most machines display the amount of 'credits' you have.  If you sit at a quarter machine and stick a $20 in, you have 80 'credits' - to some, it certainly feels better when you're playing with 'credits' and not 'your real money'.  You also feel quite rich when you put that $20 in a penny machine and have a whopping 2000 credits!


Some F2P games carefully plan how they sell points.  For example, a point pack might be $5 for 50 points, which isn't enough to buy that 60 point item.  So you buy the $10 package for 110 points and you buy the item - now you have 50 points.  So when you want to buy that 60 point item again, you have to give them more money.


It all depends on the game, in the end.  Some games can have harsh models, and some have more lenient ones.  While Turbine games use the cash shop to gate content, some games use it to gate gear progression in the form of +1's.  Find a game you enjoy with a model you can tolerate, and you will be more willing to put down money.  Simple.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

3/16/12 10:11:13 PM#27

There are two types of people that play P2W games:

Rich winners, and poor losers ;).

Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?


Novice Member

Joined: 11/29/04
Posts: 30

3/16/12 10:16:11 PM#28

Older people that have the money to eliminate teenie boppers. 


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/20/05
Posts: 1249

3/16/12 10:16:12 PM#29
Originally posted by Creslin321

There are two types of people that play P2W games:

Rich winners, and poor losers ;).

lol, qft


Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 6682

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

3/16/12 10:22:12 PM#30
Originally posted by bishbosh

the fact these games exist suggests there is large number of people that pay2win. they just impulse buy and not realise how badly they are being ripped off. Some people aparentyl spend $100s or even $1000s of dollars on these games. they could have been playing sub games. they play these games with the intent of purchasing advantage so they can be the best.

since im not a PvP guy and pay to win really only affect PvP then i sometimes play pay to win mmos for the PvE. Not paying a dime and still having fun on PvE, but i try to stay away from pay to win. Not implying that all F2P are pay to win, of course that is wrong.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

3/16/12 11:34:58 PM#31
Originally posted by Pilnkplonk

I don't think the amount of money has anything to do with it.

It's all about what GAMES are all about. There is an old saying that the only time when a begger can be greater than the king is while thay're playing chess... and this is equally sweet for both the beggar and the king. The moment RL circumstance begins to influence the outcome of the game, the spell is broken and the game stops being a game.

The very point of games, the reason why we play them is that they divorce us from the mores of our everyday life and status. Games which are dependent on your social circumstance are pointless and useless as games, pretty much by definition. They might be called "entertainment" of sorts but they are not really games because they do not fulfill one of the  basic psycho-social functions of the phenomena we call "games."

I'd never play a game that has a "P2W" component, not because I'm cheap but because I can see no point or entertainment value whatsoever in that. I'll pay a 100 $ a month sub for a game that really entertains me, but if i see that someone, including me can get 1% edge over the others for just one measly cent, I'm gone. It's not a game anymore, it's an ego whorehouse and I'm out.

No, the reason *YOU* might play the games might be that, that doesn't mean that's why everyone plays them, nor does it mean that games have the point that you claim they do.  If you don't want to play a F2P game, don't.  It's your time and your money, do what you want to do with it.  Stop pretending that makes you superior in any way to anyone else though.  Your opinions matter to just one person, you.

The most ridiculous thing about most of these kinds of comments is the assumption that there is *ANY* competition whatsoever in any of these games.  There isn't.  Nobody can pay to win because nobody is playing against anyone else.  If Joe Blow pays $3000 and beats you to max level, you didn't lose the competition, there was never a competition to begin with.  Nobody puts up a sign on the game that says "Joe Blow kicked Plinkplonk's ass!"

Jesus, why can't you people just go play the game you want and stop whining about what everyone else does?  It's none of your damn business.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
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Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/11
Posts: 1087

3/16/12 11:40:10 PM#32
Originally posted by bishbosh

the fact these games exist suggests there is large number of people that pay2win. they just impulse buy and not realise how badly they are being ripped off. Some people aparentyl spend $100s or even $1000s of dollars on these games. they could have been playing sub games. they play these games with the intent of purchasing advantage so they can be the best.


Well, whatever I am they are the exact opposite.  The entire concept of pay2win is repulsive to me, and I've got the money to not care about the money aspect.  The principle of it is pathetic.  I can't even stand games that give "convenience" items.  I can tolerate games with cosmetic only items but I personally would NEVER even buy those.

I image the pay2win type players are like some kids I used to know long ago.  They would play space invaders at the easiest level and just try to get like a billion points.  Just playing easy mode over and over and over so they can get the glory of a high score even though it meant nothing.  I think that is the type of player that like pay2win.

I personally always liked to play games at the hardest level that I could, and would enjoy the feeling of accomplishment of finally beating it.  But many just like the glory of a high score or a shiny that they didn't even earn.

GW2 "built from the ground up with microtransactions in mind"
1) Cash->Gems->Gold->Influence->WvWvWBoosts = PAY2WIN
2) Mystic Chests = Crass in-game cash shop advertisements


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/18/12
Posts: 1

3/18/12 1:06:37 AM#33

Well here's my theory on how some p2win players rationalize the amount they pay which applies mostly to just those that have jobs.


First, they start off getting addicted to said p2win mmo in which they hit a point where it takes hours to progress in levels and gear.


At some point it's becomes mindless grinding, no different from a menial job. Of course, by now some might say the game's bad because you're not having fun with it, but despite that, they're addicted to whatever they see as end game/builds/looks/people/guilds/pvp etc. So, you might begin to optimize how to best spend your time in order to achieve these goals and that's where we get to this - comparing one hour of in game time versus one hour of work time. In most cases, one hour of work time (let's just say $8 an hour) will buy you much more than you could earn one hour in game. Technically speaking, this is the "correct" way to "win" the game, because 1 hour of your time is the same regardless and rather than work 8 hours a day, grind 4 hours, you could work 12 hours a day and get alot more out of it. This relies heavily on the fact that people become so addicted to mmo's that they begin accepting a game and comparing in game currency with real currency despite the hours of grind in which they aren't having fun. And well, tbh, at the same time that's kind of what we all want when we look for an mmo - permanent objects with real value for the time we spend. I think certain mmo publishers largely prey on this sort of mentality and rake in large amounts of money relative to their upkeep costs.


After spending over a decade playing ridiculous amounts of MMO's, this is the main lesson I've learned. This is off topic but avoid free MMO's that use cheap fonts, poorly done UI's, or bad translations because this is a clear sign of what the publisher intends for the game - it's not about the world or keeping it alive but about the money making scheme in which they streamline their costs. In addition, I'd say alot of the time avoid publishers that are just remarketing an old overseas game unless the game was a huge success and still is. P2P games, especially with the larger populations are always worth it if you'd ever consider spending any amount of money for your mmo. Anyways that's my 2 cents.


Oh and ps, don't ever touch an Aeria game. In my experience, each and everyone of their games is a complete scam. For example, Eden Eternal contains an in game gambling system with unknown odds relying mostly on eden crystals bought for $0.50 each. In some cases you can spend over $100+ and fail to even get an appearance item. Their polices seem to be: rake in as much people as they can with the game by focusing on creating an active community, make them spend money until they realize the game blows, and hopefully they quit. Then move all their GM's to a new game and restart. The same goes with Nexon and gPotato except they seem less outright greedy about it.


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 2050

3/18/12 1:52:01 AM#34
Originally posted by bishbosh

the fact these games exist suggests there is large number of people that pay2win. they just impulse buy and not realise how badly they are being ripped off. Some people aparentyl spend $100s or even $1000s of dollars on these games. they could have been playing sub games. they play these games with the intent of purchasing advantage so they can be the best.




There was an awesome post about the community dynamics in a P2W game.   I wish I could remember it all, and there is no way my paraphrase does justice to it:


Type A:  " Whales " ,  or players that spend a considerable amount in cash shops.   They are generally happy with the game as long as they can continue to purchase an edge over the players base.   Normally they will eventually find each other within the game and form their own little clique.  You will sometimes find them with Type C people.


Type B:  The normal gamer.    It is the type of player that will spend a little, and generally not pay much more than a normal sub price per month.   They are a very vocal group, but generally make up the smallest portion of the community.   They can not stand the Type A, or Type D person, and can hang out with the Type C person. 


Type C:  Freeloader.   Player that doesn't purchase anything within the game.   They generally achieve most of their way through by in game means.   Few will be successful and be suppliers for Type As.  


Type D:  Obnoxious ones.  These players probably don't start out this way, but they eventually become the type whos main concern is yelling obsenities in server chat, and destroying other players game time.   They eventually quit, but not without a fight.



Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/26/08
Posts: 2558

"Before I speak, I have something important to say."

3/18/12 2:01:43 AM#35
Originally posted by Herodes

Paying 60$ for a game and hoping the fun lasts more than one week is any better? ;)

Haha!  Not to mention a $15 sub fee.

I think the idea of a "pay to win" game is silly but if there is a market for it who am I to argue.  I wish I came up with the idea, I would be able to quit my day job.

“There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
-- Herman Melville


Novice Member

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1407

3/18/12 8:56:29 AM#36
Originally posted by Worstluck
Originally posted by Theocritus

     I met someone in Maple Story that said he/she had spent over 3,000 dollars in the first 2 months they played the game..... There were a couple of other games where I met players that had spent alot but  I dont remember the games offhand...... Generally speaking though there does seem to be a certain personality type that pays ridiculous money for some of these games......ITs probably no different than some people who spend thousands more on a car, a pair of shoes, a dinner, clothes, whatever.....Some people have zero sense of how to handle money and some will spend every dime they have to either try to impress others or try to be better than others.


It has less to do with the inability to handle money and more to do with the personality of the person IMO.  People that can't control their impulses, much like gamblers or even a drug addicts, are the ones who spend all that money.  If it wasn't in a video game, it would be somewhere else.  Many f2p publishers know this and they prey on those people.   F2p publishers have figured out that only a small percentage of people actually spend money on f2p games, and a very tiny percentage of people are the ones doing most of the spending, so some of them really take advantage of said people.  In the end, it doesn't really matter because it is their money.  As long as they aren't hurting the people around by spending the money it doesn't much matter.  It sucks that people support this predatory payment model, but IMO it will eventually die out.  The f2p market is oversaturareted and will hopefully thin itself out at some point...hopefully.


Pay to Win games directly exploit this.   You buy 'chests' or 'gauchapons' that can have something really good...   But mostly second-rate, in-game items.   The strategy behind this is called variable-ratio reinforcement.   This is used, btw, in all MMOs and CRPGs in loot dropping, as well.    That's why people will gear-grind for hours.   That's why they keep running the same weekly raid time-and-time again.     Maybe this time...  


In the end, it really isn't about the person being 'weak' incapable of 'control' as compared to some mythical, Promethean human in control of his or her rationality at all times as you're implying.     It's simply the degree of effect the variable-ratio reinforcement has on someone.   And that's controlled by an incredibly tiny and weak part of the brain that can get overwhelmed by just a few decisions an hour...


Some people have somewhat better control.  But that's not their conscious control, per se.  It's because the positive of the reward isn't as strong as the loss to obtain it which runs on a sub-conscious basis.    That's the control loop.   Not some 'thinking' willpower thing.  Simply put the good feelings of acquisition are not as strong as the painful feelings of giving up something you won't do it.  If the opposite is true, you will.  


There's a ton of writing on this issue in the field of neuropsychology.   And, ultimately, everyone is subject to these failings in life and the only difference is the degree of failing, not the failing.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/04/09
Posts: 1034

3/18/12 9:08:18 AM#37

What kind of people play pay2win games?  probably a variety of people.  But if you asked who pays for the pay2win items from the cash shop? then that would be a more interesting question.

I personally dont understand why anyone pays to play pay2win, probably people with low self esteem, people that got money to burn, or have no value of money, or people that dont know how to play to make their way through the content, or are absolutely hopeless playing, but want to make themselves look good.

Maybe some people from this forum could answer the question because I have no doubt by reading some answers in this thread that they pay2win.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/21/07
Posts: 846

"Choke on the smoke from my quill."

3/18/12 9:11:02 AM#38
Originally posted by Pangentor

Can you name a pay to win game ? 

APB: Reloaded

That is the worst of the P2W type games I've experienced myself.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/14/06
Posts: 225

"Thank God I'm an atheist!"

3/18/12 9:23:01 AM#39

I saw just the title of your post and just felt compelled to respond.

I'd answer and say, it's people who can afford it (or not), and just plain *love* winning, or having an advantage over others.


I knew a guy about 10 years ago that used to spend hundreds, and then into the thousands (no lie), on everquest virtual items.  Before the pay2win games came out, but it was the same exact idea.  He wanted to be powerful, at literally any cost.  He could afford it, and if you make the "time is money" argument, it made sense, to a degree.


Would I do it?  No.  Even if I could afford it.  I just don't agree with the mentality of buying, ya know, "power", especially in a video game.  I'd buy a few time-saver items, like a fast mount, or larger inventory space, but I never liked the idea of buying uber weapons/armor, or other things that give you an "unfair" advantage over others.  I think it ruins the challenge of the game, personally.


The really sad part to me is that none of it is "real"... it's all virtual.  So, you're spending hard-earned cash on stuff that doesn't really exist... and for how long?  There will always be a better game coming out, the game could fail and go under for many different reasons, and so on.. so it's like spending money on drugs.. it's a temporary high, and that's it.  You don't take anything away from it permanently... then again, with drugs, you CAN permanently screw yourself up with them... but anyway...






Novice Member

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 467

3/18/12 9:26:05 AM#40
Hooked up ppl. Remember all those stories about middle aged women that spent abnormal
amount of money on farmville.
Some of those FTP/P2W grindfest games have a way to hook up ppl. ( it doesnt mean they are rich, just addicted)
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