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Reader Comments (26)

Posted: Mar 25th 2010 1:13PM (Unverified) said

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This should be a regular column on MMORPG.com for all F2P's as it's an essential question.

Posted: Mar 25th 2010 1:16PM (Unverified) said

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Agreed, it sucks that f2p's all get lumped into the "even more repetitive than usual unless you buy stuff" category, but 9/10 of them are exactly that.
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Posted: Mar 26th 2010 3:28PM (Unverified) said

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Thus far it seems like games that utilize the free to play model attempt to trick you into thinking you are getting better value for less money, so it's both nice to see a column like this and also a game that doesn't attempt to trick people.
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Posted: Mar 25th 2010 1:51PM ultimateq said

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It's definitely the question we should be asking.

Posted: Mar 25th 2010 2:01PM (Unverified) said

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"Free to Play" has always sounded like a made up marketing phrase intended to con people into thinking it's free when it's really more of a profit model with half a game attached. I understand that there are people that are ok with that and I guess there is a market for it but for me "F2P" is the cheap knockoff "chocolate puffs" to your more enjoyable "cocoa puffs".

I think DDO offering the more familiar monthly sub as well as the item shop option is at least decent but I still have a problem with a game that is thinking about ways to entice players into spending ever more money rather then just making a good game.

Maybe it's a bit of backwards looking idealism but I never had to worry about my super mario bros game purposely trying to halt my progress until I got frustrated enough to give them my allowance to move on.

Posted: Mar 25th 2010 2:29PM Tanek said

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You are correct that "free-to-play" is just a marketing term rather than a true description of the model it is usually attached to. Unfortunately, some games end up giving the term negative press and that negativity finds its way to every other game branded f2p.

While I grant that I have not seen every incarnation of f2p model out there, DDO is the only one I have seen that I can really say works for me. (Maybe it should be called something more like pay-as-you-go, but that is not nearly as catchy, I suppose :) .)

Also, just as a quick response to one of your concerns...
"I still have a problem with a game that is thinking about ways to entice players into spending ever more money rather then just making a good game"

First, enticing players to pay for a game is not exclusive to f2p/cashshop/whateveryoucallit games. A developer that runs a game with a regular monthly subscription is doing something similar except in that they are trying to keep a player renewing the subscription.

Second, in the case of the DDO model, I think the developers have *more* incentive to focus on making a good game rather than less. This is because a) they, too, want to keep the monthly subscribers renewing and b) much of the draw of the shop is actual play content (adventure packs) rather than just items and consumables.

Making a good game *is* the way they are enticing players to spend more money. :)

Again, this model might not be for everyone, but it is the one that I think is the best.
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Posted: Mar 28th 2010 9:51AM (Unverified) said

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> I still have a problem with a game that is thinking about ways to entice players into spending ever more money rather then just making a good game.

Look at it from another perspective. Standard MMO's are only worth the money if you can dedicate the time for them. With DDO I can pay, say, $5 for an adventure module and then spend a couple of months finishing it, assuming I can only play occasionally.

It's not the only perspective, of course, but I do think that most MMO's don't offer options for more casual gamers to remain in the game, and DDO provides for them while also catering for the hardcore players.
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Posted: Mar 25th 2010 2:01PM (Unverified) said

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DDO is kind of a funny thing for me. I have always adamantely hated item shops, it was just short of buying gold from farmers. But after being talked into downloading it to run the occasional adventure with a buddy of mine I have caught myself perusing the store many times on my work computer. After playing for the last couple weeks I discovered it was close enough to the pen and paper D&D that I really enjoyed it. And hell I spent WAY MORE money on adventure modules for the pen and paper game, which are all currently sitting in a giant box in the attic to be sold on ebay by my kids/brothers after I die im sure.
After actually participating in an item shop I see it now as getting to choose what I do with my sub fee instead of it just allowing me access to the game. I use prepaid cards I get at the grocery store for all online stuff so I simply load $30 bucks onto one every two months from now on for ddo.
Now as for games that have both sub fee's AND an item shop....screw you!

Posted: Mar 25th 2010 2:25PM SkuzBukit said

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The most important dynamic in DDO is the fact that the core gameplay isn't gimped to require you to un-gimp it via it's store, rather they took the option of slicing up content & left in a core that was free with the game opening up much more if you buy into it, something heavily affected by the game's instanced design to make that more feasible.

In this way the free player feels like the store ADDS to their "free game" rather than it being an absolute necessity to buy stuff in order to progress unhindered. All in all the game, at least to me, felt like it really offered a sense of value for money, & whilst I've spent a considerable amount of money so far in order to gain many of the adventures, that fuller experience is now mine for as long as the game is active, good deal I say.

Posted: Mar 25th 2010 2:25PM (Unverified) said

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It's not free. You realistically need to buy either items to progress or NPC helpers to progress. You will pay no matter what. Unless you keep re-rolling alts and never advance.

Posted: Mar 25th 2010 3:07PM (Unverified) said

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Did you even play the game? I'd think not since you said players needed hirelings to progress into the game. There is nothing in the shop that is required to enjoy the game nor to progress.

Hirelings can be bought from vendors and are just useful when you cannot get a full group which only happens when you intend to not have one, The shop's ones let you use more than one at once which is never needed.

Items in the shops that are a must... nope nothing... There's sp potions, you get em from quests rewards, chests and the auction house. Wands, they're on the wand vendors and everywhere. Bags, you get em from faction reputation rewards. Weapons, no one use the shop's versions because they aren't even decent. I guess what you really need is the pirate hats and the bunny masks... yep it all makes sense now.

Please get your facts straight.
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Posted: Mar 25th 2010 3:52PM Tovrin said

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And if you're refering to the "leveling tokens", they were axed months ago. Not that you needed to buy them anyway; they were available as quest rewards.
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Posted: Mar 25th 2010 3:46PM ViRi said

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@Frank, Why do you have a link to some mortgage lowering loan page in your post?

Posted: Mar 25th 2010 4:27PM Seffrid said

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"Freedom of expression.... "

Or act of business desperation. Either way, pretty irrelevant on a gaming fansite. We're all here for our hobby, if we wanted a mortgage the last place we'd check out would be a fellow gamer's website :)!

Posted: Mar 25th 2010 4:42PM motorun said

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It's called spam

Posted: Mar 25th 2010 5:44PM motorun said

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And if I wanted to read sigspams I'd ...I'd come here I suppose.

Posted: Mar 25th 2010 6:31PM Graill440 said

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Many sites like massively have restrictions as to what they can or cant say about a product, they will use political spin to soften the edges either way, this way they can get interviews in the future from the people their jobs depend if they come close to pissing them off because of bad press, this is a sad fact of life, i have no such restrictions.

About 6 months or more back i tried DDO's F2P model, and quickly found out it WASNT free to play. The game has what i call a trial mode that is heavily restricted in ALL aspects from leveling to loot, to dungeons to areas to explore, hamstrung you might say. I contacted a rep from turbine to ask for my free content, i was told i had reached the maximum limit of my "free" area and level.

The senators and congressman that run DDO are experts in spin, the game is in no way free to play and as was pointed out everyone wants to make money, that one simple fact removes the F2P tag on this and any other game that has similar restrictions and payment tiers. a company under fire releases small globs of crap and says here is more f2p stuff because folks see the truth behind the spin.

Here is a challenge for you turbine, practice what you preach, make ALL content, and future content, free to play, have your item store. I will bet they wont do this as they cant or they would go broke.

Turbine is like alot of software manufacturers, they advertise and promote free, free, free, but when you open the package you find to do this or use that, you will have order this to make the program fully functional, you have to pay.

Posted: Mar 26th 2010 7:18AM (Unverified) said

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As others have said, once again, their model has changed from 6 months ago. You can level up with relative ease now, and by the time you are in a spot where you might be slowing down on/lacking content, you possess enough free points in order to buy some of the larger higher lvl adventure packs for free.

Just because your definition of free isnt as rigid as theirs doesn't negate the fact that you can play the game without spending a dime. However, if you do spend money it enhances the experience but is by no means a requirement. the core game and mechanics is available to free and paying customers alike.

Put it like this, imagine Dragon Age or Borderlands vanilla as free. Would you play them? Now you have addon packs (DLCs) that add to the already existing core. The difference here is that while you play normally in DDO you gain credit you can put toward the purchase of said extras, buying them entirely with the free credit (points) earned or via straight cash. Very few games allow such a model and actually have one that works without it being a detriment to the game/community.

I suggest you give DDO another look. Your opinions will change as they have altered all the issues you took against DDO's model to begin with.
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Posted: Mar 26th 2010 3:32PM (Unverified) said

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Please, Alexandryte, don't let facts get in the way of Graill while he's in the middle of a moronic rant.
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Posted: Mar 25th 2010 6:41PM Graill440 said

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Massively please remove this url as it sent me to a very offensive website. Thank you.

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