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Reader Comments (123)

Posted: Jul 31st 2009 4:26PM Miffy said

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So glad I didn't like the game charging a subscription and MT is fucking bullshit.

Posted: Jul 31st 2009 9:24PM (Unverified) said

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@Existentialist

While I somewhat agree with your sentiments, you do sound like a right tightarse :)

I prefer to pay once and play as much as I like - that's why I loved Guild Wars (and it happened to be a decent game).
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Posted: Jul 31st 2009 4:19PM mandarin said

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Does anyone smell Hellgate on CO? Hellgate had some sort of micro transactions right? Additional characters and etc?

As any COH player would know , dressing up your hero/villain is half the game already. Its only normal people get pissed off if there are additional costume choices that can be gotten by micro transactions in CO.

It still sucks.

Posted: Jul 31st 2009 4:27PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Hellgate had a subscription fee, but you could play online for free or buy a lifetime subscription. That was Hellgate's model, if I remember right.
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Posted: Jul 31st 2009 4:31PM (Unverified) said

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"if you don't want it, don't pay for it."

The flaw in this logic is - Why should I not get it, if I do want it? Why should someone willing to pay xtra cash, get something I have to for?

If I want it, and feel I deserve it b/c I'm already paying for it's creation and anything additional that comes along down the pipeline through my box & sub purchase?

It's Sub + MT. It's nickel and diming. It's "Cake-Cutting" fees. It's a "gas and travel surcharge". It's bullshit and unacceptable to me. It's limiting the creative nature of the player, by the amount of money they'll fork over. And if it was the ONLY pricing model they used, I'd be cool with it. But, it's not.

XBL and the "added content" is completely different. Your XBL account is MS saying "you can play online and use the online services to game". Added content is another completely separate company saying "here, more for the game you purchased". Cryptic is doing both, under one roof.

It's bullshit, and it's manipulative, and NO consumer should allow it.

But, that's how I feel about it, and I'll make my stand by not purchasing the game. Period. Rather then partake in their wallet-rape masquerade, I'll just never EVER sub to it, and say GFY.

Then again, I openly admit, that if TOR is under this model, I'll swallow my pride and accept it. But that’s a game I'm totally excited for. I’ll still be disappointed they do, but it’s vastly superior in what it’ll offer over CO, IMO. CO is niche, at best, and will piss their limited customer base away w/ this bullshit. Just like CoH already has. So essentially - Fuck them.

I'm not familiar w/ WoW (beyond a few trial runs), so I can't comment about its services.

Posted: Jul 31st 2009 8:24PM Existentialist said

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I didn't buy Bioshock because of the DRM. I didn't buy Spore...because of the DRM. I will never play either, because of the DRM.

I will not play champions because it is MicroTransaction based. Now if it were free to play and I didn't have to buy it and it was microtransactions, I would play it and buy nothing.

Now here is the hard part, Spore and Bioshock were both games I really wanted to play. TOR is a game I really want to play, but if they have this same model, where I have to pay extra for a new color to my lightsaber or for my guild's custom decal on my armor...I won't buy it. I can soapbox all I want about customer rights, but if no one stands up for themselves there are no customer rights.

So here is my contribution - I won't pay.
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Posted: Jul 31st 2009 9:42PM BIZKeT said

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From what Cryptic has said though, if it has an in game effect (like a new costume piece) you can still find them in game. They are simply offering people the option to pay for it and get it immediately if folks don't want to grind for that rare drop. To me, this should make folks happy not all pissy.
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Posted: Aug 1st 2009 3:00AM CyberNigma said

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yeah I've aways thought it was a shitty day post-BBS games where people that had all the time in the world basically surpassed those that don't, mainly in loot but also usually in the content that they got to see. Now there's not much that you can do about the content, that's just the way it goes - content takes time to see. However, the fact that someone could pay 16 hours a day 7 days a week and end up with all the best stuff while people that can only play a few hours a day can't even come close to that before the next expansion comes out is the same problem as some of you think you're seeing here. People whine about consumer rights - they want everyone to grind away and spend time getting that loot.

Well guess what, microtransactions (done right) ARE a consumers rights issue. It allows those of us that actually have jobs or other obligations but still enjoy playing games a chance to pay catch up. The reason microtransactions are so unpopular over here aren't because of how they've been botched up previously, but because there's some shitty sense of entitlement for those people that can play 16 hours a day - an entitlement that since they grind the most time out of a game they should have the best stuff. That's like letting a sports team play on the field when their opponents have to take a break.

BBS games solved the problem - everyone had X turns or X minutes to play per day. Nobody could sit there and play all day while other people were at work. If you want only a subscription model, fine, I say go China's route on that and stop loot and XP gain after X hours so that you can't brute force the game while other players have to take care of ife obligations. THEN it would be fair. Until then, micro-transactions that offer in-game items (whether they affect the game or not) that are ALSO available over time by playing the game do not give an advantage - they BALANCE the game between the poor saps that have nothing else to do but pay all day with those of us that actually don't get to play all day..

whine whine whine... Micro-transactions are coming whether these people like them or not. They may refuse to buy the games but I suspect they'll just be replaced by as many (if not more) people that are willing to pay by the new rules. As long as you can get everything by playing the game as you can by micro-transactions then there should not be any issue whatsoever. Having 16 hours a day to play a game does not entitle you to jack shit, just as having a surplus of cash doesn't entitle those people to jack shit.

I think the best items for micro-transaction purchase are XP boosters. If nothing but XP or Reputation boosters were in these stores then that would be enough by itself to provide a balance between the haves and have-nots (haves being those with time and have-nots being those without time). I really never want to see end-game items in an item store, nor do I want to see end-game items require massive amounts of time to get. They should be had by regular pay or (preferably) skill. It's just getting to the end-game items that usually is not balanced.

I think we're transitioning just as we transitioned away from time-restricted games in the past. This is the future. Some companies will abuse it, others will do it right. I still think time-restrictions by character in an online game are the best way to balance the games, but not too people would really accept that nowadays being spoiled with a play-all-you-can buffet they've been given with the subscription system.
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Posted: Aug 1st 2009 3:03AM CyberNigma said

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btw, just to caveat.. I just used consumer rights because it was a buzzword someone else used above me.. I don't expect that anyone has any particular right to anything in these games other than being able to play it if you pay for it.
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Posted: Aug 1st 2009 3:25AM (Unverified) said

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Hmmmers. It seems to me people get way to worked up about this stuff. Almost like they say, "Hey its our game! Why are people makeing us pay money for our game?" Its not our game folks. Its a game made for us by guys that came up with a great idea, and spent lots of money implementing awsome stuff into a game. Also, its a MMO. All good MMO's that get regular coolness updates require monthly fees. Thats normal. Don't wine about how you don't wanna pay monthly fees. Microtransactions don't mean the devs are not gonna give us cool new stuff for free in the future. It just means that some things (that do NOT affect gameplay), things like costume pieces and hairstyles may be added to dload if we wish to. The devs don't 'have' to add them at all, and we certainly don't 'have' to buy them. If its something u reeeeally want for ur toon, then buy it. If your only reason for not playing a game is because MT's are an option, I'm sorry for you. You're missing out.
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Posted: Jul 31st 2009 4:37PM (Unverified) said

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People DID definitely riot over CoH's inclusion of "item packs". It was unfair and it was NCsoft's attempt to squeeze profit out of an aging game. Most importantly, for CO, it seems to me that Cryptic does not have enough faith in their game it will be profitable. And if they don't have faith, why should I?

Cryptic's biggest selling point for CO is the character customization. Sure, you do not NEED to spend hours making a distinct character, just hit random and pick a powerset. But that's a huge part of the appeal of the game and one of the main reasons a lot of people are playing it. If that's the case, do you not thing it's bad business to charge people EXTRA for what is the game's biggest feature?

Posted: Jul 31st 2009 4:40PM (Unverified) said

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Crap!

"if you don't want it, don't pay for it."

The flaw in this logic is - Why should I not get it, if I do want it? Why should someone willing to pay xtra cash, get something I have to RAID/QUEST/LOOT for?

...stupid carrots

Posted: Jul 31st 2009 4:41PM RogueJedi86 said

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Isn't Star Wars Galaxies doing a form of transaction now too, with its giving in-game items through a card game? They been selling card game expansions rather than actual game expansions.

For that matter, isn't WoW's game card kind of a form of microtransaction too? Money for game items.

Posted: Jul 31st 2009 8:15PM (Unverified) said

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And Everquest II. You can get stuff through playing their Legends of Norrath card game. The cards come from in-game drops, and from... buying card "booster packs".

What all of these allegedly experienced MMO columnists fail to realize is that MMOs are NOT A SINGLE-PLAYER EXPERIENCE lol. You're not making choices that affect only your own personal little gameplay universe, pretty much everything you do affects others' gameplay as well. I mean, that's what an MMO is for.

So when you buy a set of sparkly angel wings in a CoH pack, how does this affect anyone else? Well, are you going to wear them in the periodic Costume Competitions (which are player-run, player-funded events)? Are you going to compete with other people using MT gear? Suppose you win? What are the options that the other people then have?

1. Find some way to get equally cool gear so they can be on a level playing field with you.
2. Buy equally cool gear from the item shop.
3. Find another game where you don't lose a player-to-player contest because the game company wants MT money.

So yeah, MTs affect everyone. And this is the hidden evil of MTs - once people start doing it, sooner or later there's a situation in which they have advantage over people who do not. And that drives people who are unwilling to quit the game to go restore the game balance via the item shop. Which is GREAT for the game company, right? But it sucks for the player who didn't want to MT in the first place.
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Posted: Aug 1st 2009 3:14AM CyberNigma said

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the same argument can be made currently for any number of MMOs, turning it around on its side.

A new expansion comes out. Some people that have nothing but time on their hands play until the reach the end of the expansion, start gearing up and getting endgame loot. This loot is realy valuable in-game because they are the first ones to get it and it is new.

Now, the other players that don't have as much time play a few hours a day and eventually, after quite a while, get to the same end game content. By this time, the value of the loot has gone down considerably, the people already at that content have geared up considerably, and they have a difficult time getting into end game groups. When they do get into groups and get some of the endgame loot, they sell it in whatever their game uses for trading (trade channel, auction hall, vendors, etc) for much much less than what the people that had all that time sold it for. Hence, they are way behind in the power curve, both lootwise and gearwise. Now it's time for a new expansion, even though they are still trying to gear up and get loot from this one.

So, their solution is to:
1. Find some way to get equally cool gear so they can be on a level playing field with you.
2. Change their job/work habits/other obligations to be able to spend the massive amounts of time to get equally cool gear/loot
3. Find another game where you aren't disadvantaged in-game because you don't have 16 hours a day to play a game (perhaps a F2P MT game or a game that limits the amount of time a character can be played per day).

but hey, people with time are entitled to their rewards, people with money aren't... Western MMOs are one of the few modern marvels that reward being less productive more than being productive.

pot...kettle


XP and reputation boosters in the online store would solve that problem. They would probably hurt the wallet too much for those that play all day (retirees being the exception of course since they are done working and have a steady income) while not causing as much of a dent for those that can afford it money-wise but not time-wise.
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Posted: Aug 7th 2009 6:53PM (Unverified) said

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@Cyber- you're equating expansion purchases with item mart purchases. Well, ok, they do sell new items with expansions, so it's a fair analogy.

But wait- who said that expansion sales were in any way acceptable either? Not I. Once again game companies have found a way to charge more for the same product, rolling expansion profit on top of subscription profits and generally, screwing up their game balance in the process and creating mini-booms of subscriptions that then subside as your game declines in membership until it eventually just sucks lol.

However, there is a model that is successful and provides everyone with the same content so that everyone has the same play experience. They're called free game updates, and CoH, LOTRO, Eve and other games are proof that they work just fine. Yes, folks, you actually can pay the same developers that made the game out of the subscription money to make more content for the game, keeping players playing longer and happier.

So what do the big shots in the industry do? Why, the EXACT OPPOSITE of what works best for the players and works fine for the game company, of course! Did we really expect anything else? /em heavysigh......
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Posted: Aug 7th 2009 7:18PM RogueJedi86 said

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LotRO and EVE both have retail expansions though, not just the usual free updates that all MMOs do(yes, even WoW has free updates, like the recent Patch 3.2).
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Posted: Aug 7th 2009 7:21PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Clarification for ya Rogue: All of EVE's expansions have been free. They don't charge for their "expansion pack updates."
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Posted: Aug 7th 2009 7:29PM RogueJedi86 said

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@Colin

Oh. I've seen hype for some of EVE's expansions on here before, I figured they wouldn't hype up free expansions like they would retail ones.

I guess that still leaves LotRO with retail expansions. Though it can be confusing with some MMOs like LotRO, who phrase their regular patch content as free expansions.
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Posted: Jul 31st 2009 4:44PM CCon99 said

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I have no problem with the studios making a quick buck off of services like name changes, buying more character slots, moving characters between servers. These features would be abused repeatedly if there wasn't a charge to use them.

I do have a problem with them charging for appearance items like costume items. Games like Champions and CoH advertise how they are all about customization and building the characters appearance you want to build. But they don't put an asterisk next to that claim letting you know that that one appearance item you and your fellow subscribers have been begging for months (if not years) to be implemented in the game, is going to cost you a few extra dollars to get if you really want it. So they should be pushing that they offer semi customization and for a few dollars more every few months you can get that total customization.

Sure the average gamer probably won't care less about a cosmetic item, but the Role Players will be the ones who get punished when the studio holds back certain items so they can charge their premium prices. Since before launch, CoH players have been begging for the option of changing their characters size or gender in different costume slots, so when they finally do offer it to their players how does it get released? As a costume pack you have to pay for. Since they started their costume packs, only 4 costume sets have been released for free, while loads of items, emotes, and temp abilities have been sold for cash.

Yes it's totally your right to not have to buy these cashshop optional items, just like it's totally your right to not have to do business with a company who wants to double dip your wallet for additional content other games offer you with your subscription. They should stop worrying about microtransactions and worry more about releasing something stable and semi finished, since they're only a month from launch.

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