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Reader Comments (5)

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 2:40PM (Unverified) said

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I was seriously considering buying and playing RF Online way back when it first released because of the incredibly pretty character designs and art.

However, I made the mistake of researching it online, and discovered that the gameplay was insanely repetitive, the quest lore was nonexistent, each experience level was a never-ending grind (literally consisting of endless quests to "Kill 10 of these, kill 20 of those" and that completing every single quest wouldn't even get you close to a level of experience - you had to grind out every single level you earned.

After I read up on it, I felt like you might feel when you realize you were about to put your hand into an anthill of stinging ants. You get the cold shivers realizing how close you came to entering a world of pain.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 4:22PM GreenArmadillo said

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Free to Play/microtransaction MMO's haven't taken off over here like they have in Asia in part because the games that have gone free have generally been games that failed to take off when they cost money. The game has to be GOOD, or no one will pay to begin with.

There's also the economic issue of it. Which of the following would you rather have:

100K Subscribers
$15 monthly fee (1.5 million monthly income)

500K Players in a free-to-play game
10% of players (50K) choose to pay
Average paying customer spends $30/month (1.5 million)

If you're a gaming company, you'd almost certainly prefer the first option, cause the second means wrangling 5 times as many players (with associated bandwidth costs, server loads, etc) and having to figure out how to keep two player bases happy at the same time. You'd have to find some other way to get money out of your population (e.g. in-game advertising, which won't work in many fantasy game worlds), or be facing the imminent shutdown of your game, or it wouldn't be worth your time. In Asia, on the other hand, the amount of money most players can afford to pay as a monthly fee is much smaller (e.g. WoW costs literally pennies on the dollar). As a result, it's sometimes more profitable to collect as much money as possible from the big spenders (who will come in greater numbers to more popular games) than it is to collect a relatively small amount from more people.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 5:02PM (Unverified) said

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That's a pretty smart analysis! Also point well taken about how the failed games tend to go free-to-play so everyone thinks the model doesn't work.
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Posted: Nov 29th 2007 5:08PM Mike Schramm said

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Agreed, good points here. Modded up!
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Posted: Nov 29th 2007 6:12PM (Unverified) said

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Yeah the grind is pretty bad, but the PvP is pretty fun. If they do half of the stuff they've promised to include in the future it should be a great game.

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