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Free Is Not an Excuse: The Armageddon.

Posted by Ozzallos Thursday March 10 2016 at 11:05PM
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It’s a common complaint amongst the more ignorant gaming masses: Why u mad bro? Or to put it in the words of a recent critic: “It's also funny when people are like "NO $$ Boycott this game!!!>.< spoiler alert: the game is free morons”.

Let’s take a moment to analyze this statement, because it is in actuality important to the future of free-to-play gaming. What this person is actually saying is that because the game is free we should by all rights hold it to a lesser standard than something that requires a subscription. On the surface, this seems like a reasonable request. You can’t hardly expect the same standards of quality from the guy coding in his basement with the budget of a ham sandwich to compare with a title that spent fifty five million in development.

Which is about how much Blade and Soul cost to make, incidentally.

No game with a budget of fifty five million should still have raging bot problems four years after release and to point, my angry commentator even tries to shore up his case with vitriol: “Complaining about bots? srsly? every game has bots man and if you're argument is that the game has been out for 4 years then look at wow.

Except that Blizzard broke Glide every patch, had an effective reporting system and actively brought litigation against the most egregious offenders. Not only was it a bad example to make a case from, it’s also completely beside the point. We as consumers shouldn’t care because this game is free, right?

Except it’s completely not.

First, this game was a subscription in Korea. To have these problems in a subscription game is completely inexcusable, frankly, and they’ve existed to varying degrees for several years. I’ve chronicled them so much in previous blog entries that it’s not even worth re-linking them in this one. While I would consider Archeage the worst example of this behavior, Blade and Soul has zero excuses. It spent fifty five million and saddled it’s users with a subscription, yet they still faced wall to wall bot spam in chat and on the map.

Say what you will about Warcraft, but it never had that problem to the same degree as I played from Vanilla to Lich King, I can count the number of bots I actually had to report on one hand because the community was actively policed by GMs. Sure there were bots... But Barrens Chat was dominate by Chuck Norris, not gold spam. Even TERA doesn’t have that problem if we compare apples to apples. You can actually chat in /global because there isn’t nonstop uninterrupted advert scripts.

But okay, sure. It’s free-to-play in the United States. I guess you could make that argument. But to do so you have to completely buy into the fact that NCSoft isn’t planning on making any money off the game what-so-ever… Like forcing people to actually buy something if they ever want to use the in-game mail system. Or the fact that costumes are running anywhere from $10-$20 per. Or the game economy overtly favors paying players by implementing Bid on Loot mechanisms.

The long story short is that these companies are clearly expecting to profit off of somebody, and what all these F2P apologists are forgetting is that there are gamers paying real money for the game. I don’t know about you , but if I’m paying premium dollars for leveling convenience, items and costumes, I damn well expect my gaming experience not resemble some amateur posting his game up on Steam for the first time. I expect simple things that Warcraft and Tera managed long ago—disallowing bots, warping hacks, and chat spam. You may be fine with expecting a free-to-play game to behave like a free-to-play game, but that all goes out the window once you start asking for real money…

…Especially with the premium prices BnS is asking for some of their stuff.

So yes, mister angry commentator, I have a very finite amount of patience for titles that pull this sort of BS. I am very hard on franchises that sink over fifty million in develop then charge outrageous founders fee for comparatively paltry returns while insisting on a subscription in its home market yet can’t even correct those problems four years down the road in another. And yes, these companies deserve to be punished for doing so.

All of which is a shame, because BnS is an otherwise great title once you the for-profit economy is set aside. In fact, I would wager there was better value in this game as a sub than the F2P ass-rape that’s going on now.

alkarionlog writes:

you forgot one point, korea don't have any kind of anti botting/hacking, why? to make a account on any game you have to give your korean ID number, so waht tehy do when they catch a hacker, they perma ban him and he can never play again, so that kinda make player be honest about not losing they account.

 

then we have the problem here, ncsoft is low to response, because they so like to mass ban people each 6 months or so, why? to make people spend more, becasue they can work better, don't know and ncsoft can't be trusted with a answer for that (they will lie anyway so what is the point?), we also ahve the problem of player feeding this problem, remeber teh maximum as long tehre is a market for it will be people to supply it, if no one really bough from gold sellers, we wouldn't have this problems,

we can think maybe ncsoft is learning, at least now we have a report bot and gold sellers witha  right click, don't need to say how many year Aion was on without it, strangely enough too gold sellers are kinda lower for 2 days I had to report just 3 people, that is kinda a record.

one thing also good is the sub is not required it give perks but you can live without it, plus ncsoft is not really doing anything to deserve the money.

in the end is ncsoft lazyness (serious any devs and publishers nowadays want to do the bare minimum) will ahve little changes, if the game become too hard to take it better quit, they will never really care about complains or forum post, on they quarter yes they will care

Fri Mar 11 2016 11:54AM Report
Ozzallos writes:

Funny you mention the national ID thing because I believe I mentioned that in one of my previous entries on the BnS bot debacle. Unfortunately, it's not hard to find Korean youtube of warp hacks and the like even with that ID scheme in place.

As for NCSoft, I suspect you're right. All they did was buy the publishing rights, which they are now looking to pay off. The less they can invest in the game, the better it looks on their bottom line. These problems will not be fixed.

Sun Mar 13 2016 2:19PM Report
BillMurphy writes: NCSOFT didn't buy the publishing rights. NCSOFT and Team Bloodlust are one and the same. TBL is a development studio wholly owned by NCSOFT. Instead, I suispect they were hoping the Western gamers wouldn't notice the same mistakes made in the East. Tue Mar 15 2016 7:05AM Report
alkarionlog writes:

yeah blade and soul is ncsoft, but from what I notice, from some korean people and some blade and soul info I was getting to make my blademaster stronger (damn you mushin 5th floor), the version we play is the same one they did on china, so some things are diferent from the korean.

 

and for hacks as long there is assholes in the world we will have kids using these programs, I just hoped more people would do like that time when a hacker gave his hacks to everyone, but after you use his hacks for some time it flags himself as a hacking tool waiting for be banned.

Tue Mar 15 2016 10:01AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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