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Kaon

Free to play ; what's your definition?

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Of late, I've been trying various free to play MMO's in the hopes that something grabs me enough to make it worth my while.

  Curiously, the very concept of 'free to play' is , at best, horribly misleading and at worst, false advertising.

  I'll start off my little rant type thing with an example of what I see as a 'free to play' game; Tera Rising.
Tera is truly free to play. You can make your characters and do anything you wish within the game.  Account upgrades can even be purchased via in game gold from other players putting them on auction house.  From what I can see, there are no limitations on any aspect of the game and you can pretty much max out your account without spending a single dollar of real money.


  The second example is Neverwinter.  On the surface , this game appears like Tera. No restrictions on anything you might want to do whatsoever.  However, the further you get into the game , the more restrictive and convoluted the game becomes.  The main auction house is run by , not the main in game currency (gold)  but the secondary one, Astral Diamonds.  Astral diamonds (AD) can be amassed at a fairly pitiful daily rate OR bought en mass from the real money store.  

  All max tier gear can be found through dungeons, or just bought straight out with AD. All top level enchants can be crafted (with a 1% success rate) or bought with AD.  You can crawl about with that 50% speed mount you're given, or zip about with a 110% speed mount bought with either AD or even Zen (the next real money currency up from AD).  In PvP or PvE the difference between a player who's simply gone out and bought all these items vs a player trying to slowly earn them all is astronomical.

  Its paying for convenience at best, blatant pay to win at worst.  Free to play, though? I'l leave that one up to your determinations.


  And finally, we have the free to play model adopted by most 'free to play' MMO's.  The 'you might as well sub anyway' model.  Games like EQ2, Vanguard and Star wars old republic adopt this.  Restrictions here can range in type and severity, but always have massive negative impacts on the player experience at some point in the game, usually towards the end after you've invested all that time into it.  From class and race restrictions to restrictions on player travelling speed and mounts, limitations on auction house use and in game money earned, to limitations put on what dungeons and raids are available to making the better gear in the game unavailable for use to 'free' players, (all issues usually solvable by a quick microtransaction) the game attempts to nickle and dime the 'freeloading' player who dared not to pay a monthly subscription at every available opportunity.

  Now, I understand that these games need to make a profit , or at least cover server costs to maintain viability, but... honestly, is it necessary to needle players to this extent? Beat a player over the head too much with the need to pay out the nose for every little service and convenience and most will soon get fed up and leave.

  These games are in no way free to play.  At best, they are glorified Demo's.


  Well....  that's my thoughts on the matter. :3  What do y'all think?
Viewed: 42 times
Added: 5 years, 4 months ago
 
MystBunny
5 years, 4 months ago
this. Yeah. I remember many years ago I actually subscribed to Runescape. It's worth the price, but yeah in this case free to play means "free to grind more for less reward while being pestered by hoards of middle-schoolers" Locking half the character skills is rather cheesy too. However, when I couldn't pay to play anymore, I couldn't play free anymore either because of all the items I stored in the item bank. Since there's a restriction on the item bank, I couldn't even take something out and put it back in. Only way I could play the game free now would be to either start completely over, or discard tons of items I spent so much time gathering.
Kaon
5 years, 4 months ago
Yep. A similar thing happened to me when I tested out Champions online with a short subscription. Created an awesome, good looking, fun to play character only to have my account locked when my gold sub ran out.  I couldn't convert my characters to silver status as they'd been made under the gold account and was only able to keep playing either by continuing my sub or deleting my characters and creating new ones under the free to play system.
MystBunny
5 years, 4 months ago
-.- Yeah that's pretty low. I mean hell, you should be allowed to convert that character, and show off some of the gold sub features to free players. What a dumb move on their part.
Kaon
5 years, 4 months ago
I'm not playing that game anymore.  Should tell you what I thought of that move.  If I'd have been allowed to keep my characters (I did pay for the privilege after all)  or drop a transfer fee to put them in silver, i might have kept going. :/
soggymaster
5 years, 4 months ago
Not knowing the full extent of TOR's free to play model, I do agree with how they charge for end-game content, because end-game players tend to cost the most for an MMO operator, although I don't necessarily agree with the cost to players.

I do, and don't, like World of Tank's free to play model.  Their model is somewhat 'pay to win', but mostly 'pay to save time'.  I don't like the 'pay to win' (the best ammunition is not free, certain upgrades aren't free, the most cost effective tanks aren't free), but don't mind the 'pay to save time'.  You can end up with the finest armor and crew without spending a dollar, but spending a bit of money will speed that process up, sometimes immensely.

Cosmetic items?  Fair game.
Vanity items?  Fair game.
Things like inventory or bank slots?  That depends on how necessary they are.  For instance, in Guild Wars 2, it is possible to purchase additional inventory or bank slots with a microtransaction, but it is also possible to convert in-game currency to mictrotransaction currency.
Pay to save time items?  As long as they aren't hugely advantageous or even necessary at higher levels, fine.
Content?  That's called expansions or DLC.
MystBunny
5 years, 4 months ago
Microtransactions need to DIE!
Kaon
5 years, 4 months ago
Mmm... I'm not in full agreement with leveling charges at players over end game content to the degree some MMO's do. Vanguard for instance , a free to play user can use 'white and green' items at no cost, but any higher tier colors (blue, purple , orange) cost a microtransaction fee per item to equip. This simply locks out all end game content to a free to play player as you don't have the stats to participate in anything meaningful when everyone else is running around in the best gear possible.

I don't begrudge them needing to cover server costs, but calling any game that does this 'free to play' is misleading, as that implies I can experience any and all content without monetary barriers. Most MMO players will agree that half the content in an MMO is at endgame, raiding with guilds and such. So for this model, 'free to try' is a more apt term.  It's a demo of what the game can do and what can be on offer later if you're willing to pay for it.

  As for world of Tanks, it seems to operate similarly to Neverwinter, being that if a player is willing to fork over cash, he'll always have a massive, if not unfair advantage over someone that doesn't.

  I also play GW2 and I do like their system.  It works pretty well, IMO. Nor do I have a problem in paying for expansions.  That's a whole wealth of new content and I wouldn't expect to get it for free in a 'free to play' game if the subscription based players also had to buy it.
3timer
5 years, 4 months ago
I have a lot (emphasis on "a lot") of experience with World of Tanks.  It's not really a "pay to win" system, even when the premium shells were only available for pay players it really wasn't a big advantage (now they're available to everyone).  The premium tanks are still only available to the pay players, but they don't really give them any advantages.  In most cases, quite the opposite.  The premium tanks are typically inferior to the earned tanks, the only real advantage they give is a bonus in credits and experience.  An inexperienced player in a premium tank is fodder for the other players.  

It is, unfortunately, a "pay to get to the top tanks" game.  A free player will be able to move up from tier 1 to 7 fairly easily, however they will find it difficult to play tier 8 through 10 since the tanks will start to cost more to run than they can make in a battle.  It's not impossible to work your way up to tier 10 with a free account, just very, very difficult.   I managed to make it to tier 8 on a free account before deciding that I liked the game enough to spend money on it.  

The game itself encourages teamwork as opposed to heroics.  A team that doesn't work together will almost certainly die together.  No single tank can do it all, they all have weaknesses that can be exploited by the enemy.  A smart player will study all the tanks in order to know how best to fight them, or if they should even fight them at all in a given situation.  There is a huge learning curve in the game, typically taking a player about 2000 battles to get a firm grasp on it.  Even after 12000 games I learn new things all the time.  

Also the game is pretty much impossible to hack, which is a huge bonus as far as I'm concerned.
Vuk91
5 years, 4 months ago
To me, if something is REALLY free to play, then it doesnt require real money to unlock content like most apparent FTP games do... Wolf Quest is truly free to play for This reason: Theres nothing to waste money on.

Otherwise, lots of developers misuse the word, or on worse cases, use it as an advertisement of their game, wich they cover with the game itself being free to download and play, but its content being a waste of money.

There could be a reason tho. The developers expect income from the content instead of the game itself, like a donation. Sadly, I have seen better way of donation from Wolfquest wich is developed on Zoo money.
Kaon
5 years, 4 months ago
Quite so.  In essence, what you've downloaded is an extended demo that requires a (sometimes repeated) unlock fee to enjoy fully.
Vuk91
5 years, 4 months ago
If I did a free to play game, I'd make it the way Wolfquest was. even if its not about wolf life
PirateTiggur
5 years, 4 months ago
I consider it free to play as long as any item you pay for can also be obtained for free. Even if it requires more effort or time.
Kaon
5 years, 4 months ago
It is true to say that, even if an item requires several months of grinding to obtain over just buying it outright, then it's still fully free to play, just time consuming.  

  However , when high level gear such as weapons or armor require a fee to unlock and equip and not doing so bars you from experiencing any higher level content, does that qualify as still being free to play?  Curious as to your view.
PirateTiggur
5 years, 4 months ago
No person that pays real world currency should be allowed to have an item or access to an area that a free player doesn't. Barring things such as cosmetic items that don't affect the game.
wolfy135
5 years, 4 months ago
There's a recent f2p game called warframe. You should check it out. it's a space ninja pve 4 player coop and they very well listen to there community and are trying to make it equal for both the players who pay and the players who dont play.      warframe.com
PURRfect93
5 years, 4 months ago
This is the reson i stop playing games lol. As for a post up top about runescape, thats also why i stoped XD but only because i was high level with nuffin to do lol.

If you ever wana just play around, look up fantasy online ^^ its a quirky lol game :3 interesting system for 'classes' :p
esanhusky
5 years, 3 months ago
Never mind the shout on SoFurry, I forgot that you posted this last month.  It was about gaming, so I just glazed over it!
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