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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 5:27PM Hipster said

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Thats great that you like F2P. I have tried a few F2P and havent liked any of them.

In addition... I was playing some P2P games that used to be fun that went F2P and they werent fun anymore.

I dont think the F2P debate should make it into your article about what makes Sandboxes so fun.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 7:21PM Tryptamind said

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@Hipster

Nice way of totally missing the plot, Troll.
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Posted: Jan 26th 2012 4:00AM (Unverified) said

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@Tryptamind not sure if he/she is a troll, might just be slightly illiterate.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 5:38PM donweel said

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I think I will give Wurm another try. I would like to just jump into a sandboxy game where I can just explore and not have to look for quest givers and make levels to do this and that.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 5:39PM smartstep said

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Then you're diffrent type of person than your GF younger brother or me.

I am looking for challanges and I am trying and trying and trying until I do it or I need to take a break and cool off.

Then I just take a break and come back in an hour / next day / whatever.


Unfortunetally mmorpg's (my favourite kind of game) don't offer much challange nowadays. Actually very few AAA games does nowadays.
Most are faceroll and that keep me from buying many titles.

Newest example - KoA demo - did demo twice. NEVER I was even close to dying , never once = too easy = not buying.

Oh excuse me some end-game Raids does BUT seriously I am NOT into hardcore raiding , those groups and stiff rules there put me off totally so design that :
- faceroll quick levelling -> gridning instances -> hard raids is NOT GOOD for me.

Want to have challanges in all / most areas of a game.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 5:42PM smartstep said

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@smartstep

Oh one more thing.

F2P does NOT work for me. ESPECIALLY I cannot imagine even trying sandbox f2p with cash shop.

For me it is totally opposite what sandbox should be. (totally sepearate world)
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 6:00PM Stanimir said

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I agree completely - The things I remember fondly about gaming aren't beating a major boss (Gortheron in LOTRO for example, I honestly remember it poorly because of all the times healers/tanks were kicked out of group because they couldn't "cut it.") The things I remember are the times I felt something positive in the game, as meeting Bombadil or first stepping foot in moria (in the case of LOTRO)

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 6:01PM Everfaust said

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Hmm all and all, I don't really care bout F2P or P2P ~ neither really effect the quality of gaming.. that is unless the cash shop sells power. Then I just stop playing all together.

Currently, I'm testing Wakfu and they're planning to go BOTH P2P and have a cash shop.. the thing is, they haven't released any info on what will be for sale in said shop. which really puts me off even more then the grindtastic gameplay.

at the end of the day tho, I hope B2P games like Guild Wars 2 finally bring the genre into this century ~ as I dont want to lease or rent a game.. I want to own it and know I got my moneys worth... P2P only promotes lazy developers with carrot on stick and/or flashy gimmics to keep players sub'd.

btw ~ anyone interested in a full review of Wakfu or gameplay vids:
youtube.com/watch?v=aR04GuFkj_M

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 6:02PM (Unverified) said

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Love this article. I hear you, man. I MMO to "live there", not to "game the system", and as soon as "gaming the system" is required to "live there" just to feel like an average joe, I lose interest.

I've played WoW for awhile, so I know how it works, but as I look forward to GW2, I don't think I'll "powergame" that world like I do WoW. Even in WoW, I am a keyboard turner and proud of it, because I'm not there to "win at numbers", (and no, I don't PVP) I'm there to see another world.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 6:09PM Bhagpuss said

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Simple rule: play the game, don't let the game play you. Doesn't matter if you grind til your fingers bleed or just stroll around looking at the flowers, so long as you are doing what you want to do, that's all that matters.

Of course common courtesy dictates that you don't join someone's raid party and THEN just walk around looking at the flowers!

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 6:18PM Jef Reahard said

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Interesting article, and I've had a very similar playstyle for longer than I can remember.

Competitive gaming was ok when I was 15 and didn't have a more productive outlet for those impulses, but it's not what MMOs do well imo.

They should really be worlds first, but unfortunately a lot of people (the majority?) have reduced them down to giant math problems and exercises in gear progression (which feeds into the grind mentality that you mentioned).

As mean as this may sound, I honestly believe that what's special about MMOs is wasted on most of the people playing them. It's good to see someone else who stops to smell the roses.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 6:22PM h4ngedm4n said

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"I love to find a new game, to jump in head-first, and to see where it takes me. If it's not to my liking, I move on." Well said Beau! Game explorers ftw.

Although we can't all be explorers. Lots people need to be the rank & file that stick with a game despite the flaws they complain loudly about. These people help finance the game and keep it populated till the next time an explorer bothers to drop in.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 6:36PM Brianna Royce said

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Beau, that feeling you get building up a town and setting it free in Wurm... I don't think it's restricted to sandboxes.

I definitely felt it whenever I'd go back to SWG and spent a few weeks planning out my characters' town, housing decorations, and shops. I'd get all the factories moving along on my plan to make a boatload of money... and suddenly the magic went away. It became routine. It became a job.

I get the same rush and fall from any new game, sandbox or not. I even get the "planning" thrill to logging into all of my themepark toons, organizing their banks, ordering their specs, setting up mods. At some point, when all that is done and I'm into my leveling routine, I realize there's no point to what I'm doing. The magic is gone, and I walk away.

F2P games might provide an endless supply games to evoke that rush and fall, but the steady stream of them can also trivialize the anticipation and shorten the period of excitement, like any drug. P2P games also impose arbitrary limits of enjoyment too (you will have fun for the month you paid for OR ELSE it will be wasted).

I just see it as something irrelevant to sandbox vs. themepark or F2P vs. sub... it's about novelty and burnout and the path between.

-Bree

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 6:57PM Masync9 said

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I was drawn to the article because I thought it was about what the two intro paragraphs were covering but it instead quickly drifted into a piece covering F2P games to try out complete with links.

Was this a bait and switch just with more dressing on it or was this a post hawking F2P wares disguised as an article about game play enjoyment?




Posted: Jan 25th 2012 9:02PM AlienFanatic said

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@Masync9

Honestly, Beau can't help himself. He's absolutely obsessed with proselytizing on behalf of F2P and he seems to want to slip it into every article. F2P might be the cat's pajamas for a lot of players, but I find that the burden that most of them place in my path (that of paying to remove onerous penalties) is too much for me to even attempt to find enjoyment therein.

Some people would eat a cardboard sandwich if you gave it to them for free, but I'd rather have real meat on my burger.
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Posted: Jan 26th 2012 4:00AM (Unverified) said

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@Masync9

This the "Free for All" column about Free-to-Play gaming so ... the articles are gonna be about free-to-play games. This may not be the column for you if you don't want to hear about them.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 6:59PM Borick said

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I am a long-time solo wanderer in MMO's. I love seeing other people interact. I enjoy stepping in to help whenever I see a need, but I have never had any interest in arbitrary game goals, 'achievements' or the gear grind.

Perhaps it's because my online beginnings were in social MUX, MUSH and MOO rather than the cutthroat MUDs.

I'm not against games having goals, but if a game is to engage me it will have a lot of browsing and gathering behaviors.

Also understand that if I happen upon a place where something overwhelms me, my first instinct is to not return to that area until the threat has passed or I can bring in overwhelming force to mitigate the challenge.

There are many players out there who want the social game, but they don't want the social posturing and inter-competitive mechanics.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 7:47PM koolaroo said

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I started playing wurm online and I still have not reacheched the lsland but I plan on making it my home.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 8:11PM (Unverified) said

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I'm with you Beau!

Back when I first started playing MMO's with things like Nexus:TK and EQ, I never really played the numbers game or paid super attention to how efficient I was being with my time.

Some of my best memories from things like Nexus were the player controlled sub-paths (subsets of classes that were player governed) putting on events that I could participate in. We didn't have an "endgame". You logged on, you played, had a good time and then logged off. You could go progress your character to make him stronger but you didn't have to, so we made our own fun on the side with role-play events and such. To progress a character you could go "hunting" with friends which was just making groups to go plunder mobs for hours while gaining rare items and XP which could advance you in level, or when you hit cap at 99, be used as currency to buy stats for your character.

With EQ I never did quite as much role-playing events as I had in the previous games but I still didn't feel the need to plow my way to the end where "the real game" was waiting for me. I spent my time progressing in levels and picking up experience at the time as to how to effectively play my class in a group (paladin). I still remember fighting crystal spiders in ice caverns to this day because I remember how cool that place looked. I would play for hours just to gain one level a day or every few days but still had a great time just hanging out with people while progressing my character.

Unfortunately, the game-play I just mentioned falls into the category of "grinding" by today's standards. In fact, I see your reference to RuneScape being "grindy" as something that I (and you as well) saw in one of the other articles today where there was a large amount of complaining about grinding in the game and how there was nothing else to do. Don't get me wrong, the term "grinding" was used back then as well but when you didn't want to grind for awhile, you just went and did something else instead.

When I started playing WoW in 2004, I approached it much I had previous MMO's, only this time I had more friends joining me as they decided the barrier of entry was more reasonable (death penalties and such). When arriving at the maxed level, I remember doing many dungeons to get gear and then eventually they released the first raid. Everything felt pretty solid and flowed well in terms of time management it took to get to 60 and get geared and then progress into raiding. There was still grind at times though, but the burden was eased on us.

As the community for WoW grew, the average player was able to aggregate more and more information for themselves to the point that Min/Maxing with parsers from previous games wasn't an aspect of certain players, it became the standard by which we were to play the game by. It started okay for us to play like that, but eventually we started out playing Blizzard's hardest encounters to the point that they had to make them artificially impossible to beat until they deemed us ready to. There was backlash at the time to this design, so they conceded to us by making bosses that were killable but required not even a single person out of 40 to make a single mistake lest we be overcome by a mechanic.

I'm not going to go over the entirety of WoW's history and why it has changed the MMO-scape how we know it. Suffice to say that players of today won't accept things that we took as standard in the past. Going out and hunting creatures for the sport of it is "grinding" and is considered an unacceptable game design. Not allowing us to manipulate every aspect of how our game looks in our client/browser window is being deemed unacceptable. Hell, even being asked to go find a place out in the world before teleporting to it seems to be too much to ask. Playing the numbers game with addons is the "correct" way to play the game now and if you do not, you tend to be shunned. I can't count the number of times I've almost been kicked out of WoW guilds for refusing to use boss mods until I proved I could achieve the mechanics without needing them.

Making everyone feel like they have to game like a pro-gamer to play the game right has hurt the games we love. The average gamer cannot play like that and does not want to. This is why level 50 as a cap in SWTOR was not enough. This is why the concept of needing to get to endgame is a lousy design philosophy. This is why design of our MMOs needs to change again. Games are being built around the "rush to the end first" crowd and they're not giving us content in the middle to care about.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 8:36PM Borick said

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@(Unverified) I read your entire post!

I agree to a degree. I've also seen attempts to cater to the 'middle of the road' crowd that weren't worth the time and money spent to develop them.

In EQ there was an expansion, Legacy of Ykesha I think it was called. It was designed to give the middle-levels some interesting content, and other than the lizard mounts and bank space, it was forgettable.

Still, the little failures shouldn't discourage us too much.
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