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Reader Comments (55)

Posted: Jan 8th 2012 8:36AM Maseno said

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I used to play Ether Saga Online which is a PWE game. Every now and again they would run a "buyer rewards program" special where you could get a certain type of flying mount (phoenix or some dragon thing). The kicker was that you had to charge and transfer 300$ to Ether Saga Online to get enough points to get the mount. The specials would usually run about a week and come back every 3-4 month.


Sadly, you should see the amount of these flying mounts are around. Ridiculous.

Posted: Jan 8th 2012 8:37AM J45neoboy said

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Unlike many others, I support the P2P hybrid option with a cash shop. Why? Because I want a choice. If I want this awesome looking pet or mount or clothing piece, it's my choice to shell out the money for it. But why don't you work for it and let everyone in the game have the ability to get it?
Everyone in the game has the ability in the game to get it, you support the developers, you get something nice and you save time from having to work for it when you could be doing other things in the game such as leveling or crafting or raiding.
You see, there it goes again. People not wanting to work for anything in MMOs anymore.
Not true at all, I love to work for things but there are certain things that work best in a cash shop and with a Pay to Play game, you not only get a stream of quality updates, you also have a choice to buy some extra fluff that wouldn't have been added into the game otherwise.

Anyhow, to answer the question, the most I would pay for any one item would be $10 and I don't care what that item is. If it's a package, anywhere from 20-25$.

Posted: Jan 8th 2012 8:43AM Nyan said

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@J45neoboy People like you are the reason these companies are using every opportunity to rip people off and charge us for fluff ON TOP of a monthly subscription fee.

15$ a month is supposed to get you unrestricted access to all of the game's content. These hybrid models just make you pay more for the same stuff. It's clever marketing to profit on people who don't think for 2 seconds about the consequences it brings to the genre's future.
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 8:56AM J45neoboy said

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@Nyan

I don't view them, and many others would agree and disagree with me, that they are ripping me off. As far as I know, the monthly subscription money is supposed to get us content patches as well as server maintenance and customer service. And if you don't like it, well by all means don't buy the stuff in there. The companies are not "making you pay more for the same stuff", there give you an option to buy it. You don't have to have a 10$ mount or a 20$ pet to have anything over the next player. There's nothing game breaking there.

And as for the consequences, what consequences? There are no consequences to the genre's future besides making more money. And if you don't like it, by all means, don't play the game. Speak with your money. There'll be people who spend enough money to make up for your sub.
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 8:57AM Shirogetsune said

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@Nyan

Down boy, I said now down boy!

And in the case of City of Heroes, which is an older game with a subscription base that if up and suddenly left in say, World of Warcraft or Star Wars: The Old Republic, wouldn't make an impact to those titles?

$15 should net you all the games content in current market leaders, I agree. But on the same hand, I support Paragon Studios with my subscription fee AND my cash shop spendings. Not because I enjoy being ripped off for "fluff," but because I enjoy that game to the fullest and want to see it sticking around for many more years. If that means I need to shoulder the burden of such a title by paying them more than $15 a month, so be it.
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 9:16AM Nenene said

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@J45neoboy
This is why we can't have nice things.

Cash shops in P2P games are completely unacceptable.
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 9:16AM Irem said

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@J45neoboy @Shirogetsune

Game companies are absolutely thrilled that people like you think you're doing a nice, supportive thing by throwing more money at them on top of the sub fee. I'm sure they're overjoyed that you're more than willing to accept $15 as the price for basic game access, with everything else on top. And hey, they don't even have to make their game free to reap the benefits of an F2P model!

I hate to break this to you, but the better this model works for them, the more likely it is that anything cosmetic or remotely cool will fall into the "wouldn't have been added to the game otherwise" category. I know at least one sub game that can't be asked to do much with their content updates that's happily charging obscene amounts of money for mounts and pets, so where exactly is the money going? It sure as hell isn't going to server costs.
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 9:21AM SgtBaker1234556 said

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@J45neoboy

I don't have anything against shelling $10-20 for cash shop item on top of my sub if I think it's worth having.

As long as the extra items are optional fluff like vanity items (mounts, pets etc).

I don't really see what the big deal is, but I guess some people have some strange feeling of entitlement that everything should be included in their sub. Each to their own, I don't mind at all, and would gladly see more such options in the games I play.
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 9:34AM Sente said

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@Nyan
There is no rule or law that says that you get absolutely everything for your monthly subscription fee. In particular when the market is such that if a company charges a subscription fee, they are quite limited in how large that fee can be, regardless of the actual costs vs income to provide new content.

Would you prefer raised subscription fees for everyone instead, or less content overall? The people that buy the "fluff" items you refer to are most likely funding part of the content you get, even if you only pay the subscription fee.

Of course the companies will make some profit from it as well - which is necessary in order for them to decide to invest more into the games.

Dont't like the extras? Don't buy them, simple as that.

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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 9:36AM hereafter said

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@Irem

That's about the size of it. The problem with a hybrid model is that it muddies the waters in favor of the companies. Like you say, they can start putting almost all worthwhile cosmetic content into a shop and asking us to pay more because it's "not a requirement to play." At least full F2Ps are clear: free access, pay for extra content. And subs are clear: pay one price per month, get unlimited access. Mixing them makes it unclear what falls under which payment umbrella and why, giving companies room to squeeze content into more profitable areas at their convenience and at our expense.

I'd accept a hybrid model if they created a clear outline of what a sub covers and what is considered extra, then never deviating from that. I have no problem with companies attempting to make more money, but I as a customer should be able to clearly understand what I'm paying for before I begin.
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 9:58AM Irem said

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@hereafter
Exactly. I'm seriously floored by the people talking about "entitlement" and thinking that companies are somehow so strapped for cash that they would otherwise be raising sub fees or offering less content. Yeah, I feel kind of like I'm entitled to know that if I'm paying a company almost $200 a year they're not going to be randomly moving things out of what I get for that and into the "extras" pile. MMO fandom is WAY too fast to forget that we're dealing with companies, and as much as we may like them and feel some loyalty to them, it's ridiculous to accept this kind of thing without question.

At the very least, it makes sub fees look like a pretty arrogant move (what's so great about your game specifically that you feel the need to charge $15 a month just to access it when this game over here doesn't?), and at worst it encourages the company to spend the most development resources on things they can charge extra for, since, well, there's no reason not to. Isn't one of the major complaints about WoW now that they keep rehashing and reskinning old content? But hey, those new cash shop mounts are really, REALLY nice looking!
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 10:04AM Nenene said

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@SgtBaker1234556
I don't think 'entitlement' means what you think it does.

If my $15 a month doesn't 'entitle' me to everything the game has to offer, then why am I paying it? This isn't a nightclub with a cover charge, it's an MMO. I'm not interested in 'basic' 'gold' and 'premium' MMO experiences.

And for the record, it's not 'entitlement' to expect fair return for my money, it's me demanding the same treatment I've enjoyed for years with older MMOs. Server costs have only gone down since I started playing, and my $15 is MORE than enough to pay for not only server fees, but also expanded development -and- new shiny objects.
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 11:09AM myr said

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@Nyan

This, this, a hundred times this.

Why on earth anyone would throw more money at a company that likely doesn't deserve it, for no reason apart from cosmetics, is beyond me. Yeah sure cosmetics are important, but not important enough to tell companies that it's OK to charge extra for them.

If the company wants to make more money they need to add more content/expansions, and/or attract more players.

Look at it this way. An expansion on release day costs $40-50 or so, and includes countless new models, zones, events, etc. Work from the entire dev team is put into it. A mount, on the other hand, costs you $5-$25, and is just one model with one set of texture work laid over it. Maybe a new sound effect or two. Almost zero programming/eventing work.

In other words, less than 1% of the work that goes into an expansion goes into that mount, yet you're paying 10-50% of the price. Sounds like you're getting ripped off to me...
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 11:46AM SgtBaker1234556 said

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@Nenene

It's all so very subjective. It makes very bad debate.

My "fair return for my money" might just be the privilege of getting access to the game. For you, it's obviously not, you feel you're already paying for the content, so why should you be locked out of the shinies behind the cash-shop counter.

I'm pretty ambivalent about it, I like having options, so by all means, put a sparkling pony on sale, if it's good enough I'll throw couple of bucks your way. But I don't always feel like I have to buy everything on display either.
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 11:49AM J45neoboy said

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@myr

The difference is, with an expansion, you practically HAVE to buy it to continue playing. The fluff item is optional and while it may be "10-50%" of the cost, I choose to pay for it on top of an expansion.
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 1:14PM Celtar said

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@Nyan

What I don't like about the business model is the effect is has on game design and development. It changes how the game designer thinks when designing an mmorpg. The effect is a negative one in my opinion.

Long term I feel that it is an unhealthy business model for the online multi-player role-playing genre.
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Posted: Jan 9th 2012 2:35PM starka1 said

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@myr

Your comment cannot be said enough. It's the reason I do not buy the Signature Story Arcs in City of Heroes. $5 nets me around 5 missions. In Going Rogue expansion I got many times that amount of missions for $40 let alone new powersets, new badges, new enemy groups, etc..

The value just does not exist unless you are extremely impatient. Even then, they may not release exactly what you want for weeks or months, all the while you are spending on other items.
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Posted: Jan 8th 2012 8:54AM AtomicConnor said

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I would only purchase vehicles for games that I really enjoy. For example, lately I've been playing a lot of STO, so I bought a $10 ship with special weapons (the Ning'tao Bird-of-Brey). I already have my eye on another ship that comes with a console that lets you teleport behind an enemy. The only ship that I would probably consider a little bit overprices is the Guramba Siege Destroyer, which costs $25, and due to the dilithium conversion rate (I am an early access F2P player), it would take 88 days to pay for it with in game money if you already had enough dilithium (in case you didn't know, dilithium is a special second currency in the game that is given out in a "useless" form until it is refined.F2P players can only refine a maximum of 8k per day, which can then be traded to other players for credit on the in-game store). However, the Siege Destroyer is the most expensive item in the game as far as I can tell, and the other ships are, for the most part, reasonably priced in my opinion.

Posted: Jan 8th 2012 8:55AM (Unverified) said

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*Sigh* - I'm not overly fond of subscription MMO's double-dipping by adding extra RMT items. At least in WoW's case the items are all vanity items (so far). It's not like there are no obtainable mounts (flying or otherwise) or pets in the game.

Posted: Jan 8th 2012 9:15AM Nenene said

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Depends. Is this a subscription game or a B2P/F2P?

If it's a sub game you can forget it. My $15 is enough, I should simply have to farm it ingame.

If it's a B2P/F2P? Maybe, but it better be a damn nice mount at a reasonable price. There's no excuse for paying over $15.

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