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?
5 years, 8 months ago
20 Jun 2013 16:05 CEST