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Reader Comments (21)

Posted: Sep 26th 2011 11:27AM Dumac said

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I'm having this idea that microtransactions should switch from selling items to selling activities, and group activities at that. You know how Guild Wars 2 has things like shooting galleries and bar brawls? That is what i would call "things that you don't need but love to have", not a +50% EXP potion. Why not sell an item that incites a small scale fight in a town? In which players can take part. Or something like that. It's way more fun than than some cosmetic armor. And the fact that players can join in can get rid of the feeling that a cash shop is taking away from your experience, in fact it can add to it.

Just a thought.

Posted: Sep 26th 2011 11:56AM heerobya said

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@JorgenWulf

Yeah, that looks official and isn't shifty at all...

Posted: Sep 26th 2011 11:58AM bulldozerftw said

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who paid to publish this biased irrelevant info which only serves to protect people making crap and selling it to idiots willing to pay for overpriced garbage.
There's a reason battlefield play for free is doing bad. Number one battlfield players are a bit smarter then your average f2p mmo player. Also It's because the original runs alot better and costs alot less for a person willing to spend the mere 20 dollars with no recursion fee. A price that covers close to 1-2 useless items in most cash shops.

I mean really they need to not design games to make you grind before you can even start to play in the hopes of creating revenue out of nothing. At least charge people a dollar for a full release because if their not willing to pay you that they won't pay you anything. But I guess it's cool as long as your product gets attention and you make a living regardless of effecting a larger picture.

Posted: Sep 26th 2011 12:00PM Pingles said

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I decided to try out an F2P years ago back when I believed they were all scams (to see for myself) and one thing that eventually sold me on them was the fact that the vanity shop items were cool but I felt no urge to buy them.

Have and Have-nots? So far I have never seen that as an issue.

Posted: Sep 26th 2011 12:03PM heerobya said

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I honestly think WoW has the right model for RMT because it really is just services and cosmetic goods.

Character re-names, changing race, changing faction, total re-customization, changing gender, swapping servers... services that should be charged for IMO.

The rest, mounts and pets is just fluff. If they (when they) go F2P with WoW, it's going to be interesting to see how they do it...

Posted: Sep 26th 2011 12:05PM Saker said

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@heerobya And the Poster has only this post... Some kinda hack no doubt! Be warned everyone!

Posted: Sep 26th 2011 12:08PM Saker said

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World of Tanks is play-to-win in my opinion. When you get to the higher "tiers" you are basically forced to pay, otherwise you don't make enough in-game monies to support repairs/ammunition plus you don't get enough experience to move forward. They have various subtle ways they essentially have a have/have-not culture. The free players are basically there to fill up the game and provide gun-fodder for the wallet-warriors.

Posted: Sep 26th 2011 1:34PM nimzy said

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@Saker Exactly. Pay-to-win games sell the illusion of superiority over the freeloading masses.
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Posted: Sep 26th 2011 3:06PM Pingles said

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@Saker

Early-on I decided to stick to lower tier because of the insane complaining in upper tier.

Because of that I have oodles of cash and I have to say that the matches in the lower tier are more fun for me. Just more casual.

Not disagreeing with you, just describing how you can beat the system a bit by not advancing too far.
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Posted: Sep 26th 2011 12:41PM bobfish said

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Interesting, so their conclusion is that the game isn't pay to win if the items can be obtained through gameplay as well as real money?

I'm curious to know what others think about that. If you can buy success, whether you can earn it as well or not, surely it is still pay to win?

Posted: Sep 26th 2011 1:22PM (Unverified) said

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@bobfish
I dunno, it depends.
For me, if there is ANY way to use bought power (and i do mean power, not different playstyles/sidegrades like in TF2) in PvP then it's bad, no matter if you can obtain them for free in game or not.
I'm a lot more lenient if you can only use it in PvE, but then again I'm not a "competitive PvE" type of person, the concept just seems silly to me.
That said, this is ONLY acceptable if the game is free.
Sub AND cash shop? Kindly f**k off, box/expansion sales together with subscriptions is enough (hell, a lot of people would argue that you should only have one or the other in the first place), any more is plain greed.
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Posted: Sep 26th 2011 11:39PM Doran7 said

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@bobfish

Buying success is not always pay to win..for instance, I have no problem with those that pay for an xp boosts.. The xp can still be earned to level without paying but those paying achieve faster cannot out perform for their levels.. I do have a real problem with any item of ability you pay for which gives you a functional advantage over other players in competition. ..because it's not fair..because this is not a level play field. "I'm sorry; you can't heal for us.. you don't have the extra healing power items that can only be obtained by spending a lot of cash in the item shop" or "I paid to have extra rubies and extra item shots so my pvp ability is way better than yours will ever be unless you pay" are two things I don't ever want to hear. Unfortunately, I'm starting to hear these things the most we move toward RMT.

Outside or third party RMT is just about ruining eve onlline. People can equip a fleet and modilize early without having to rely on in game economic forces.. these forces are meant to be an important limiting factor in the game. Plex is almost as bad.. but has become one of the only ways ccp has been able to fight out of game isk sellers (which would be even worse)

If the gaming industry moves all the way over to this RMT/free to grind model, that will be the day I resign from this type of entertainment in my life.
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Posted: Sep 26th 2011 2:04PM smartstep said

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Oh another report / article gloryfying microtransactions?

Why I am not surprised.

Tbh they can 'bla bla bla' me with microtransactions/ cash shops/ f2p / freemium "is cool and good for you" on massively ,mmorpg.com and all other sites even twice as much as they do now.

I still hate it. Especially in mmorpg's.

It is worse for consumer and better for publisher's.

I am consumer.

So ee no thank you no.

Well if comes to worst will stop playing, bad thing but there are much worse things in life :/

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:30AM socialenemy2007 said

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@smartstep honestly, I'd pay 5$ a month each for multiple MMO's if they would stop the F2P P2W bullcrap. 15$ a month, = no thx.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 4:25AM smartstep said

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@socialenemy2007

Sure. Your choice.

Though I find this odd , 15$ is too much?


Really how much is 15$?

I am living in country poorer than USA and income here is 2-3 times less than in USA , but still I find mmo subscription to be one of cheapest entertaiments and prices here are lower than in US at least for things like going to cinema , going to club or bar ,etc

You mention multiples MMORPG's though. Maybe here is the diffrence.

I don't have time to play multiple mmorpg's , and even if I had time I doubt I would play multiple ones. Anyway I stick with one mmorpg at the time.

Guess if someone play like 5? at same time it is diffrent, though how much time you need to play that many mmorpg? o_0
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Posted: Sep 26th 2011 2:18PM FrostPaw said

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I have always though "cosmetic" items on rmt stores were still alienating certain types of players. They basicly say yes we recognise players who care about stats and PvP/PvE are important but those who like to care about looking unique or different have to pay if they want to feel that way.

If looking unique is the equivalent of you having a +2 sword then to that person they have to "pay to win" just the same.

Posted: Sep 26th 2011 3:14PM smartstep said

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@FrostPaw

yeah it is screwing players who care for other things that just combat.

Basically those players pay so combat oriented ones can have gameplay without item shop impact (which sooner or later comes anyway usually).

That is why I think microtransactions / item shops are wrong for mmorpg in general.
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Posted: Sep 26th 2011 2:47PM Azaetos said

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If you take a step back and think about the whole cash shop push by many developers ... do you honestly think they are doing it for the gamer?

Once a cash shop is implemented into a game it becomes far too easy for developers to add items that break the balance of the game and it becomes the focus of their time. I'd prefer developers spending their time making a game more enjoyable rather than working out how to make me purchase cash shop items.

And many F2P games are setup so that if you want to compete at any reasonable level you need to spend well above a standard subscription fee for it. This is worse in most F2P games if you want to PvP.

I'll take a subscription game anyday, rather than feeling like I'm being nickel and dimed in a F2P one.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:32AM socialenemy2007 said

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@Azaetos you're absolutely right. APB anyone?
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:56AM blackcat7k said

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The definition of what this piece defines as an "in-game advantage" or "Pay to Win" is wanting.

After going over that spread sheet, several items that are clearly Pay-to-Win are marked FALSE, and some are entirely omitted.


Some needed corrections that come to mind are:

League of Legends

Influence Points Booster
Experience Points Booster

How is this not Pay-to-Win? If I load up Kayle for my first match of the day and play an awesome game of supporting with my ghetto heal, invulnerability move and slowing and my team wins I get:

Match IP + 150 IP First Match of the Day Bonus

However, if I drop cash on an IP Booster:

(Match IP) x 2 + 150 IP First Match of the Day Bonus

Did the player do anymore more gameplay for this? NO

Without dropping Cash could the player get this bonus? NO


That is PAY-TO-WIN by definition:

A player spends more money to make favorable conditions that allow more progression without putting any more effort into the gameplay.


World of Warcraft

Things not listed:

Character Transfer 25.00
Name Change 10.00
Race Change 25.00
Faction Change 35.00
Appearance Change 15.00

All of these items start skirting the line of paying-to-win. MMOs are social in their nature. Your gameplay is affected by the world (server) you choose to play on. You character choices are made to have weight in the progression that you make through the gameplay arena (world).

Blizzard allows you to shirk the outcome of your choices for cash. That is Paying-to-Win. You get to skip having to make a new a character and going through the content again. You may get a free server transfer, but it’s never given to you unless Blizzard wants you to move.

Why in the world doesn't blizzard give out a free limited number of these services a month/year on a timer? They say they have millions of players I would hope the monthly fee would cover the support for a limited amount of these services a year.

The feeling of seriousness with this article is lost because they don't define Pay-to-Win at all for the whole article. The feeling is given as if Pay-to-Win is something completely subjective, which it clearly is not:

Later in the article they wanted to say:

"It’s this 'pay to win' idea that gives microtransactions a bad name. When you force the hand of your players to buy something to stay competitive, while all the time yelling 'IT’S FREE, HONEST' at them, you can pull up a chair and watch your players walk away."

Trying to defuse the pay-to-win problem by saying 100% of everything sold in a game is an advantage to the player, is disingenuous at best. Cosmetic items are not "advantages" any more than a football team having more colorful uniform is:

NCSoft's City of Heroes sells Theme Packs that gave out costumes, emotes, and a special power.

The costumes, and emotes were fluff. They didn't did do anything to affect the game or affect the player's ability to progress in the world. The powers that came with some Theme Packs were another problem altogether.

One item I remember was the Nemesis Staff that had an auto knockdown effect upon a successful hit (it had to even be patched at some point because people were using it to gain an ADVANTAGE in PvE and PvP)

The game doesn't have to be coercive with its items to be Pay-to-Win. Just by the item being allowed at all in the gameplay for cash makes it Pay-to-Win.

I will not "Deal With It". Developers may think this to be some anal retentive rambling of some joker, but we have been empowering these developers from since the start of MMOs to make these progressively damaging systems to games until we birthed a true a present danger: Free-to-Play.

Free-to-Play even by its name is a lie. Why do we continue to give developers more and more money to make gameplay systems we despise? Then we ignorantly go to pay them money to take away the poor gameplay? Wouldn't it be better to demand they never have these poor gameplay progression models in the first place?

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