Pay-to-win is a commonly talked about topic, one that I even brought up in my latest Game Face. One thing that always intrigued me is just how easy it is to get sucked into a P2W game. I've been playing a game called Wartune recently and it is a browser-based game that has a lot of MMO(ish) elements to it. In fact, I even did a series on it here on MMORPG for Instant Freeplay. Anyway, the game has a lot of p2w elements, but the odd thing is, you don't really need to pay (that much) to win.
But you can...
Wartune has this whole deal where, if you can't be on as much as you need to be because of work or whatever, then you can pay more to keep up with others. That's good and all, but a lot of people have actually paid quite a bit of money to do the same, and get ahead. One thing that many don't realize with this game however is that a lot of the stuff you pay for to get ahead is all a gamble. You're not guaranteed to get what you want, but if you spend enough, you'll likely get it eventually.
Basically this is a good game for gambling addicts, which can probably be said about a lot of P2W games. They make it easy to recharge, easy to "justify" paying more money, and easy to fall into an endless loophole of spending and wasting. It isn't until you're a bit higher level that you're finally like, "Wow... I shouldn't have paid for that."
Now I don't see a problem with most of what I've mentioned already. Stuff that doesn't really need to be bought, but can be if you're lazy or willing to gamble. It doesn't get you that far ahead, but it may give you a very slight advantage. ("Very slight" being the key term.) I guess I am okay with this. Some people have spent hundreds, and even thousands of dollars on their characters in this game. By all means, let them.
I guess this is the way games like these justify their micro-transaction system: by making everything available in the game. However, it's not necessarily "spending money versus spending time" because you can do everything there is to do in the game, but still not get the things you need to help put your character ahead. Basically there is a large amount of luck involved and chances are lady luck is rarely on your side. As much as I am not a fan of this system, I still sometimes find myself falling prey to it.
Much more can be said on this topic, but I'd like to hear what you all think of the various different "pay-to-win" game systems out there. Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.
Hillary "Pokket" Nicole