I just got done reading this today: http://my.mmosite.com/3783563/blog/item/recipe_for_a_master_mmorpg.html
Reminded me of the several thousand topics of payment models in numerous forums. There seems to always bee the stereotypes (which I will debunk below):
1)Subscription - Red Carpet Treatment. Customer service there to wipe your ass.
2)F2P (with cash shop) - Little less quality and or shop manipulation.
3)B2P - Pay once for the ass wiping, enjoy the non restrictive ride. Perhaps pay again for updates, perhaps not.
I have allot to say, especially in the behind the scenes boardmeetings that take place. But I will reserve that for a Round 2 discussion. For now, I will keep it sweet and simple and let's get some feed from you the reader. What do you think? What do you say on this and your experience?
Mine? To generalize. I think:
1)Subs depend on the company. I was a WoW player since launch and when I compare how we were treated in comparison to other games...I see no difference. Yes, they had a hot line, and yes I was put on hold for hours asking an account question. I never received a personally responded email. Everything automated. In game, if a dungeon bugged, we could open a ticket, have a GM descend himself upon thy: "You reviece a Whisper from [GM]Thunderballs: Hi I am the active GM, I see you opened a ticket what can I help you with?" The entire guild shutters as the guild leader proceeds to talk to the GM. "Oh hi, well, we just downed X and the doors wont open"... now, as nice as it is to have the GM descend his grace upon thy. They usually were useless. They can not magically code things on the fly. His advice was to log out. He acknowledged the problem, gave us our keys back that we spent on getting in, and they advised people to not go in, and the game shut down to fix the issue days later and posts on the site right away. In fact, that seems to be the GMs greatest power. Item management and teleportation.
As populations grew and servers got convoluted the GM presence becomes automated and not sure if that is what my cash is really getting me anymore. I can't say it is content because well...look at the market. Wow's content can be rivaled with any other F2P like Star Wars, etc. Start to end, full story ride and armor changing games with high quality animations...So where is that sub cash going? Also, the GM's power to contrl inventory, set out global messages, and teleport you are...present in any game...Some abuse it, some use it, some professionalize it...I can go on about GM behaviors but let's save that for another post. So to summarize I think your red carpet treatment, the "we pay for this service" is crap. I think it is a dillusional feature in your gaming world. I DO BELIEVE that the payment model creates a more "club" like atmosphere. When I paid with cash, I felt OBLIGATED to log in. I felt the walet means serious business and therefore the next guy must think the same. We are here, were are serious, let us form a group! And we also knew the population growth would not be flooded with F2P testers hopping in to see if they like it and ditching the guild. We knew we were lifers, and the club mentality is more apparent.
I think it is a myth also that Subscription holds more dedicated players. How many times did I See WoW subbers log in and fart around reaching level 20 max, and ditching...another alt, alt alt ditch ditch. And in the end just give up. This same behavior is like F2P titles so I do not think Credit Cards change this. I think this is just a question of how many people ACTUALLY have credit cards to charge up. The mentality is the same, just the numbers are a little more filtered. I lay down the credit card for just a few months then cancel, they lay it out, then cancel...in fact, I found some games give perks in their payment models that are better if you play like that instead of engage your monthly subscription permanently (Where one time silver tier = better boosts than gold tier in some SONY games).
2) F2P - I like it. MY consuming habits have turned to F2P recently. I can't say I was a fan before. Not because of quality though (myth). But because I just add email; user name, and password and I am in. I skip the Credit Card forms. Simple as that. I think the quality is the same as Subscription models. I just think they open up earlier and we run into open beta bugs more than subscription games, but that argument is weak because I have subbed to so many games and they all have bugs. Even in World of Warcraft, half the fun was not hte new expansions, but finding the "holes" in the walls that dropped you through he textures and you ended up in strange game land below the ground. Glitches never really fixed and who cares. Then there are those glitches like: "If we catch you exploiting, you can get banned!". So you are paying monthly for a code so untouchable they can't fix it, they just play police the area...hmmm...
I think, in F2P, it is easier to ignore than in Subscription. For example, in Perfect World, there are certain glitches since 1995 that still exist. Most people are so over it is not even a factor. Some populations in certain areas move on that the problem effects no one. For example, there was a pvp area where you can train high level mobs out of a cave dungeon into the public and you basically got your pvp battle trolled by dungeon mobs...this was a bannable offense "policed" by GMS. But, since it is to lazy to fix it, they just let it go when people found other pvp spots, they built more content and just left this glitch abuse-able...no one is there, the world is big enough to ignore it. Now if this is a Subscirption game and people complained they will withdrawal their credit cards. There is more of a image protection in subscription like: "oh if this is broken, well I will not pay for the next expansion". Even though it does not really effect you if you move past it, but because you are paying...you have the right to cry baby. FOR THAT, I am enjoying F2P. It allows people to adapt, move along, and in a twist of fate, expect more content instead of major changes. Now, that said, some game breaking things should be fixed, and for all that I have seen, both Subs and F2P make those changes. There really is not a "fully broken" game out there. People usually fix their shit, paid for or not. (because they make cash not by your subs, but that is another post).
3) B2P - Really, there are only 3 models out as of this post: Guild Wars 2, Secret World, and Defiance. I have played all except defiance. I am not a fan. ALL have been over hyped and when I got it, I REALLY felt like I could have put the cash into a single player box set. I have been dissapointed by all. Guild wars has little to no content biweekly like they promised. The world is not "alive and growing" as they promised. Both Secret World and Guild Wars have half podged expansions that feel more like Beta fixes and excuses. We basically got a sub standard F2P game and all suckered into over paying 60 bucks or less. Slap in the face is cash shop built into both these games. So, as of now, until more games come out with better product, I would prefer to invest my cash in a F2P cash shop or single player game...or hell, 3 to 4 months of a subscription title. Star Citizen will be a B2P, I hope it breaks the standards!
Well those are my thoughts, what are yours?
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- M2 - The pay model ROUND 1
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