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Spending on free MMORPG games

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 20, 2014, 11:36 PM

I've been playing MMORPGs for a while now, with the first one being Ragnarok Online. Nostalgia game that one, still brings back lovely memories, I quit because I couldn't afford the monthly subscription fees as a secondary school student and the bots have overtaken the live population of the Taiwan server. The first batch of Asian MMORPG are are pay-to-play and maybe because of that, involves too much grinding to burn playtime. Then some years ago, maybe starting with MapleStory (?), MMORPG start to become "free-to-play". 

Now although the games are said to be free-to-play, it is baiting players to pay to enjoy more game content. I don't believe in free entertainment and free art, that these game companies are obliged to make a game for freeloading, just like you shouldn't walk into a salon and expect the hairdresser to do your hair for free. Since I have an income now, I pay within my means for better enjoyment and give a token of appreciation to the game company. However, free-to-play games are creating an environment of pay-to-win to milk players' cash, and sometimes I just feel it reaches ridiculous levels on how people would spend any amount to get what they want. I mean really, $1000~2000 for a piece of pixel equipment? Why would you do that =.= Being a pvp player in MMO I bailed out of that free-to-play game soon enough and went for a monthly subscription game instead, way better environment for fair play I say.

There are more free-to-play MMO than monthly subscription games because of the huge profits that can be reaped from the handful or more of players who would stop at nothing to become more geared which may or may not become invincible to other players depending on game mechanics. Just create an environment of competition and make random slot game with equipment enhancement of some sort which is essentially gambling. Looking at some of the China MMO I'm just baffled, bewildered at how much people are willing to spend on pixels. $10000 will only get you so far in certain games and people invest tens of thousands in their characters =.= Good god people actually take pride in saying the $ they spent in the game can buy themselves a house? I mean, what =.= Just what. That's some free-to-play MMO.

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LordofPhoenixDawn Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014
I agree about this topic and I play two 'free' to play MMOs that I have had to get money bought stuff on to just make the grind of actually leveling my gear tolerable. I have a character that's 2 years old and he still STILL doesn't match others of his level in pvp. I always feel behind trying to do it the right way. The game does facilitate doing it without cash but when cash shoppers get rewards FOR cash shopping that aren't available any other way it gets very old.

I don't play Guildwars 2 but I live with someone who does and though it does sound appealing I am not a fan.....yet.

Cash shopping should have perks yes but not game balance altering perks. Period.
DanielDecena Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Professional General Artist
Play Guildwars 2. Buy the game and everything (content and new story additions every 2 weeks) is for free. forever.
DanielDecena Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Professional General Artist
Etherious Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Professional Photographer
Ugh, yes. I'm glad you said all that. It's insane and I cannot imagine spending that sort of money on a game. Any game. I love MMORPGs, so much. I was handed a game to run online, simple point and click MMORPG with little in the way of AI, but making the graphics for that was a long and tedious process and after doing so I have to say, I'd so much rather pay a subscription so that the people who put in that level of time and effort are properly compensated. I always steadfastly vetoed all ideas to buy advancement in the game with real money. It's just unfair, and it never compensates the people putting in the work tbh.

Rant on my friend, all the support for you.
ALynnL Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I have mixed feelings about the free-to-pay, but "pay or extra content" MMOs.  If it's only cosmetic things (like outfits),  then I suppose that's fine.  That doesn't add to any gameplay value.  But things like revives should be free, IMO.

The MMO I play, Mabinogi, has been notorious for its problems with balancing.. They've tried to fix it by making a different shop available.   This shop uses currency you generate in-game to buy things you could only normally get with real money.  It takes a while to build up the seals, but I like getting my self-revives rather than relying on others to res me.
TheBurningWitch Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
FLYFF is free to play, they just require payment for premium stuff but you're not forced to buy it.
Arienne-Keith Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I play free-to-play MMOs almost exclusively, with a couple of buy-to-plays mixed in. Thing is, I'm a grad student with very little time on my hands, and spending $20 a month for maybe 2-4 hours of play on weekends just seems like a rip-off.

You may not expect a free haircut because most haircuts turn out alright (if you went to the right hairdresser). But if you had the expectation that only 1 out of every 4 hairdressers you tried gave you a good haircut, and 3 out of 4 gave you a really shitty haircut, wouldn't it be better to have free samplings (say have them show you what they're going to do on a wig or something) where you only spent money if you knew you were going to get something good? That's why free entertainment exists. Why the hell should any artist expect to pay money for music when they have no idea what it sounds like? Why pay for a movie when it's a complete gamble that the movie is going to be horrible and have a script like porn except there's no porn? Why pay a subscription for a game if odds are high that it's just another story-less grinder? I never pay for any entertainment or art unless I've been able to see, listen to, or play it for free first. Because, while there is a fair amount of good stuff in existence, there's a lot more shit than good. That's why free-to-play games have taken off so well: it allows customers who've been "had" too many times, who would otherwise stop playing video games almost entirely, who for good reason don't trust the video games industry, to see for themselves whether or not a game is worth putting money into.

And I don't know what free-to-play MMOs you're finding, but the ones I play are not at all buy-to-win. They sell costume elements / pretty things, and extra inventory or bank space. I always get full access to all the story content and quests and everything. Some names are Star Trek Online, DC Universe Online, Team Fortress 2, Rusty Hearts, Dungeon Defenders, etc... In Star Trek Online I paid for a nicer-looking uniform for my captain, a ship that looks just like one in the series, and a Ferengi Whip that actually puts out a lot less damage than my free gun but I use it anyway because it's hilarious. I paid for extra inventory space in Team Fortress 2 and a gun that looks like it's blowing bubbles (no game advantages). In a lot of cases you can get the pretty things by grinding enough, but you pay for getting those costume elements sooner.

The only buy-to-win game I'm aware of that's still around is World of Tanks....
ParadoxCore Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The F2P-MMOs are not too bad, as long as they keep it in limits of how much you gain by spending money... is at least my opinion.
When I played Wartune I realized how much people spend there and how really overpowered they became (A friend of mine was around Lv55 and just could be beaten by Lv70s or peeps who had spent just as much or even more) O.o One guy just randomly threw out about 100$ for canceling a cooldown on the guild... and I know he spent nearly 500$ each month on the game. That was really shocking to me and turned me away from those unbalanced F2P games ^^; (and Wartune really is a rip-off, I feel sick whenever I see people on tumblr promo this game or any other games from R2...)

As said, balanced F2Ps are not bad. I mean it like, if in the cashshop either just are fashions/costumes or something that basically does not give you any advantage, or at least not much more advantage than you can get without spending any money it is completely optional to buy anything. But those are pretty rare, of course. League of Legends is one of em, tho (*v*)~
El-and-Noxi Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist
True. I'm amazed how much real money are some prepared to spend to buy an imaginary one :O_o: I recently started playing my first MMORPG Aion an I love it. It's true that if you pay you get some extra things but as long as they let me have fun I don't see why spend money just so that my character die slower. :iconehhhhplz:
I would gladly support the designers however my wallet is on a diet right now ^^ so I'm glad that there are great free-to-play games. :thumbsup:
dangaio Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
"A fool and his money are soon parted."
kuro-mai Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i already spent a lot on MMO (especially Pangya and shin megami tensei online) but now I stopped. not because i'm broke (yeah lol) but because its a never ending spiral. the worse are the gatcha and tiered spenders. i know some people who spends A LOT! just to win the big price . but well it's their money, and imho it's thanks to them that some of the games are still here.
Elephantfreak Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I can completely understand your viewpoint and I agree with it.  I could understand if you could buy things with money in some of those MMORPGs that were just for looks, but for there to be thing that can be bought that gives people an unfair gameplay advantage I get turned off.  In general the monthly games are better in my opinion, I'm just not at the point in my life yet where I can pay for those games regularly.
PygmyGoats Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I used to play MANY mmorpgs as well, but the pay to win scenario drove me nuts. As you've said, it must be hard for companies to turn down all the cash in favor of a fair game.
Secret World (was based on subscriptions, but now I'm not sure) at least has very unique visuals... I'm also looking forward to the new Elder Scrolls MMO... But my hopes aren't that high, yanno.
Tiffli Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
thats why i never buy some cotumes in games, for real money, only for GAME money ^^. I play in gamer that are REALLY for free. There are servers for PVE ans PVE - so you dont have to fight with other players. Equipment - they made nice things last time - some avatars weapons - in game i play - so you can WERY GOOD fighter. There are trade brokers - where you can buy all for game money - that means money found in game, virtual money - not real. Trade broker are good - you dont need stand there all day and sell - you just leave 10 items you wanna sale for 1 month - and then - just take money.
The game im talking about it TERA RISING - i really like this one. They dont want money - people buy what they want and when they want. Im totally free player - also lots of my friends are :). I think all depends on game youre looking for - people say that gameforge have something with games - for me this one is fine, even when i ust reach lvl 60 - but places, enemies and equipment is cool. Same i can say about system of a fight - it not give me any problems o0. I just have lots of fun ^^! And thats true - some people waste money on a piece of pixel ... its like buying the air, but people who create this game need money to live also. So it have 2 sides.
Aaraujo Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I was a huge mmo player back in the day, but the game I used to play on became a classic case of 'pay-to-win'. If I were to play any mmo right now, I'd definitely do it with a subscription one, for the same reasons you mentioned.
Just one thing I think though, 'pay 10k  for pixels'... well, it's just as ridiculous as paying 10k on a handbag just because it's from a 'brand'. People are not buying 'pixels' or 'handbags', they're buying status. The only difference is the 'virtual' aspect of the status bought inside a computer game is more obvious, but the status we buy on the 'real world' is just as virtual and meaningless when taken out of context.
But yeah... I get companies need their $$ but pay-t-win games are just annoying.
Frostnight Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Professional General Artist
Oh lord I hate them "free to play" mmo's, feels like every game that comes out has some stupid stuff with micro transactions for useless stuff. If I want to play a game I'd rather pay monthly and get full access to everything then see advertisements wherever I turn, or those special currencies that you have to buy for a ridiculously overpriced sum -_-
Aizera-Benaki Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I ranted for a good few hours to a friend about this and how much I hate the fact that games are turning to this sort of setup. Go back to the old ways of either pay a monthly, or buy it once. None of this pay to win crap. REBELLION!
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