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4 hours ago, Jah said:

I think it is interesting that a required sub, where you literally cannot win without paying, is considered less 'pay to win' than an optional sub, where you can win without paying.

Which goes to what does "pay to win" actually mean to you.

Not many games that I know of where you can actually pay and it results in a guaranteed win. Paying for access, content, progress, convenience, advantage, etc are more fitting but aren't as buzzy and triggering as P2W.

For me, buying a game and or paying a required sub is acceptable and part of gaming. Everyone gets the same thing for the same price. It's all upfront, not hidden gotcha.

Once you introduce optional subs, cash shops, F2P/B2P options, and anything else that splits a player base into the haves and have nots, the situation changes.

Sure you can win in a game with optional subs, but I'd wager that paying is helping one way or another and those not paying are having to compensate to make up the difference and overcome those with a entirely effortless non-skill based advantage.

Gaming isn't fair though. Some can't afford internet, fancy computers, games, subs, insert whatever. Some can afford it all but don't have time to play. I accept that but as someone looking for a competitive game based on effort/skill, the more money provides, the less inclined I'm to play and support such a product. There are plenty of good games that have managed to find a way to do it.

Clearly some have no issue paying for advantage or playing against people that do. Games like Archeage, BDO, Albion, etc wouldn't still be functioning otherwise. If Crowfall goes that route, I'll either accept it if the game is good enough or move on to upcoming games that have chosen to avoid it.

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5 hours ago, Jah said:

I think it is interesting that a required sub, where you literally cannot win without paying, is considered less 'pay to win' than an optional sub, where you can win without paying.

If we go down that rabbit hole, one may consider having a better net connection or better gaming rig p2w. :)  Normally I draw the line at being able to buy currency directly/indirectly. Buying game time or even a moderate amount of grind reducers doesn't throw up my red flags. 

Personally I would much rather go F2P with cash shop or B2P with sub and no cash shop. Sadly, nowadays the trend is towards B2P with sub and cash shop from launch, followed by F2P transition shortly after with a paid expansion. 

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12 minutes ago, mystafyi said:

If we go down that rabbit hole, one may consider having a better net connection or better gaming rig p2w. :)  Normally I draw the line at being able to buy currency directly/indirectly. Buying game time or even a moderate amount of grind reducers doesn't throw up my red flags. 

Personally I would much rather go F2P with cash shop or B2P with sub and no cash shop. Sadly, nowadays the trend is towards B2P with sub and cash shop from launch, followed by F2P transition shortly after with a paid expansion. 

Yep, my preference would be B2P with required sub.

But I always find it odd when people draw a sharp line between a required sub and an optional one with modest advantages. To me, a required sub is even more "unfair" to people who choose not to pay it than an optional sub with modest advantages would be.

Take, for example, the extra training that VIP was supposed to provide. With an optional sub, you could pay for the training advantages for a while, stop paying, and keep playing while still retaining some benefit from the time when you did pay. With a required sub, as soon as you stop paying you are shut out of the game completely.

Edited by Jah

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12 minutes ago, Jah said:

To me, a required sub is even more "unfair" to people who choose not to pay it than an optional sub with modest advantages would be.

I guess technically you are right. Probably part of the reason games have trended away from required subs, instead making a sub optional(but really semi-mandatory due to advantages). Even Disney world got into this racket with their 'optional' express line pass. 

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On 1/13/2020 at 12:53 AM, VaMei said:

I was a long term subscriber with 3 accounts long before plex. My game time was split between ops in null-sec and amassing great piles of isk that I could roll around in.

When Plex was introduced I started playing for free. I didn't become some serf slaving away in the mines for my game time, because finding better ways to earn honest isk was what I enjoyed doing before there was any real reason for me to do it.

Giving up your income for the privilege of sucking whale teat is always going to reward you with a mouth full of salt water. Just because you've acquired a taste for it doesn't make it healthy.


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8 hours ago, Jah said:

Yep, my preference would be B2P with required sub.

But I always find it odd when people draw a sharp line between a required sub and an optional one with modest advantages. To me, a required sub is even more "unfair" to people who choose not to pay it than an optional sub with modest advantages would be.

Take, for example, the extra training that VIP was supposed to provide. With an optional sub, you could pay for the training advantages for a while, stop paying, and keep playing while still retaining some benefit from the time when you did pay. With a required sub, as soon as you stop paying you are shut out of the game completely.

Disagree, simply because an old school subscription creates a system in where there are no "tiers" of player to worry about advantages or disadvantages.

The game is designed in stead around the assumption that every player has exactly the same systemic opportunities and resources. Losing access because you can't upkeep your sub prevents the base assumption that people should be able to play the game, and thus have a valuable experience playing the game, without paying it.

The reason this model went out of favor is because creating player inequity in the form of microtransactions proved to be far more profitable. The reason it was more profitable is because subscription models typically have a rather modest upper spending limit per user. Most people can't physically play more than a handful of accounts at maximum, but most people will happily buy a virtually unlimited amount cash shop transactions because those transactions are designed to be infinitely marketable.

In that system, born of free to play economies, the goal is literally to create a worse game so you will pay to be less annoyed, more visually unique, or otherwise "fix" what the designers intentionally made lackluster to pressure you in to spending money.

The "optional" anything in a game's economy isn't really "optional" or "fair"

It is designed to be a product that you find lacking so you spend money on "optional" upgrades to make it feel whole.

Compare that to a binary "you can play the game or you can not" where the only goal is to make you want to play the game.

Sadly the insane amount of money you can get from option A is often considered the default for a live service game now because its adoption (like the ad-supported web) has created a culture of expectation of things being free, despite that culture actually delivering crappier products and services and treating the customer worse.

Edited by PopeUrban

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16 hours ago, PopeUrban said:

In that system, born of free to play economies, the goal is literally to create a worse game so you will pay to be less annoyed, more visually unique, or otherwise "fix" what the designers intentionally made lackluster to pressure you in to spending money.

Well said. Everytime I hear pay for convenience items, I can be pretty sure that the devs coded the game that way to sell a cash shop bypass. 

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4 hours ago, mystafyi said:

Well said. Everytime I hear pay for convenience items, I can be pretty sure that the devs coded the game that way to sell a cash shop bypass. 

And in the structure of a free to play game I am FINE with that model.

Its when you get in the realm of games I literally just paid you for that it becomes egregious nickel and diming people.

Like we know servers cost money, but you know a great way to get more money? Sell us more game. You've already got a splintered player base in the form of campaigns on purpose.

Arenanet used this model successfully for guild wars 1, and did such a great job they bankrolled an entire second game. They did this because they looked at the subscription model and rightly realized it was entirely unnecessary. You can build an online game around actually just selling people video games.

Sell me crowfall for sixty bucks, then get to work on Crowfall: Battle for the Widget of Destiny with a cool new widget mechanic and three new biomes with new mobs and rune types and new outpost and structure types.

When that's done, sell it to me for 60 bucks. It'll cost way less to produce because you already built the entire backbone of crowfall's gameplay systems and now you're just building content.

Stop giving me free content updates that are designed to kinda suck so maybe 5% of your player base buys a hat or a bank tab or whatever.

Stop selling me unknown and possibly terrible future content for 15 bucks a month.

I want to pay you for video games. Not hats. Not convenience. Not free-but-not-really content updates.

I don't want to but mount skins. I want to play the game and earn mount skins.

I don't want to buy unique parcels. I want to play the game and earn unique parcels.

Just sell me video games, and when you make more parts for your video game sell me those. Use that money to pay for servers and use the necessity of selling me another expansion as a driving force when planning future content.

Stop thinking about how you can monetize a purposely lacking product while drip feeding content and start thinking about how you can make a product so good that I'll be begging you to sell me more of it.

Stop giving me free poorly made socks and pleading poverty and in stead sell me poorly made socks worth buying.

Edited by PopeUrban

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On 1/13/2020 at 3:15 PM, Jah said:

I always find it odd when people draw a sharp line between a required sub and an optional one with modest advantages. To me, a required sub is even more "unfair" to people who choose not to pay it than an optional sub with modest advantages would be.

Paying for access and paying for advantage are not the same thing.

For me the line starts when competition is involved. Modest or not, someone shouldn't be able to pay for advantage when competing. 

PVE, go for it, pay to skip to the last boss and one shot them. PVP, no.

IMO, having to resort to an optional sub or cash shops that provide advantage means something went wrong.

A decent game should be able to survive on box sales, required subs, and or cosmetics without stepping over the line.

Looking at the market, games fall one way or the other based on design, support, and quality. I can't think of one optional sub game that didn't drop the ball in one or more areas that resulted in that pay model.

Edited by APE

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7 minutes ago, APE said:

Paying for access and paying for advantage are not the same thing.

For me the line starts when competition is involved. Modest or not, someone shouldn't be able to pay for advantage when competing. 

If I have 20 people in my guild, and only half of them are willing to pay for a subscription in a given month, whereas all 20 people in your guild are willing to pay for the subscription that month, then a required subscription gives a major advantage to your guild. You'll outnumber us 2 to 1 by virtue of the required subscription. Whereas if it was an optional subscription that granted training bonuses, they'd at least be able to log in and fight. Sure, they might miss out on some training points, but they could at least fight. You see my point?


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41 minutes ago, Jah said:

If I have 20 people in my guild, and only half of them are willing to pay for a subscription in a given month, whereas all 20 people in your guild are willing to pay for the subscription that month, then a required subscription gives a major advantage to your guild. You'll outnumber us 2 to 1 by virtue of the required subscription. Whereas if it was an optional subscription that granted training bonuses, they'd at least be able to log in and fight. Sure, they might miss out on some training points, but they could at least fight. You see my point?

Yes I see that a required sub is just that and allows players to support and play a game.

Those unable or willing to pay simply do not get to participate.

Gaming is entertainment, not a right to be handed out to all for free while someone else picks up the cost.

Taking your comment further, what if my 10 guildies don't want to pay $50 for the game or pay for internet, PC, power, a house, etc. Is a game company going to provide everything just so they can attend a siege with me? Buying a game and or paying a sub seem pretty low bar entry. That of course changes with modern pay models.

My experience shouldn't be impacted by a group paying more because another group doesn't want to pay at all.

Optional subs divide the player base into the haves and have nots creating imbalance, especially in a competitive environment. I'd rather some not have access at all to avoid any issues that optional subs and perk stores offer.

Again, if the only option is paying for more and more, something went wrong at some point.

Unfortunately ACE has gone with box cost, optional sub, perk store on top of the high value of alts, age of accounts, and various other factors. Not ideal for a competitive game, but it's a glorified MMO battleground so is what it is.

Coming back to VIP, I will be shocked if they do it without advantage perks. Will be a large nail even with all my VIP.

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4 minutes ago, APE said:

Yes I see that a required sub is just that and allows players to support and play a game.

The same could be said of an optional sub.

4 minutes ago, APE said:

Optional subs divide the player base into the haves and have nots

And a required sub doesn't?

Edited by Jah

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4 minutes ago, Jah said:

The same could be said of an optional sub.

Yes and giving ACE $100 to win a campaign is also supporting them, but I hope it doesn't come to that.

4 minutes ago, Jah said:

And a required sub doesn't?

No, someone that doesn't pay isn't an active part of the player base so they are not being divided.

As I mentioned, you have to have a bare minimum entry unless F2P. Why stop at sub, why do I have to pay for a game, why do I have to pay for a PC?

If they made Crowfall F2P, which they likely will, then sure bring on optional advantages. I'll uninstall and move on.

I just don't like games that pretend to be something they aren't. If money is going to be a factor, then just embrace it and cash in.

I backed during kickstarter and saw that VIP and RMT would be a thing. I'm fine with that to a point. However, once ACE started saying they weren't P2W and using narrow definitions I started to :rolleyes:. Now they've walked back VIP and the store items and still have to make money some how. Gotta figure it out soon.

For real competitive gaming I don't look to MMOs, they are a mess for various reasons. Ideally though I'd like some mix of B2P, Req Sub, Cosmetic Shop. No paid advantage. Why I've also backed other games going those routes.

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I’ve never liked optional sub games.  Take my required monthly sub and use it to better the game.  Go buy things like better servers, more engineers and give me the peace of mind of a constant cash flow so you can better the game I want to play for years to come.  I’m an adult with a disposable income, 15 bucks a month is nothing. 


40 minutes ago, Andius said:

W/HoA were held up as like these mystical forces of highly skilled players with legendary theorycrafters chained to a desk in some deep dungeon holding all the arcane secrets we could use to win if only we knew them.

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5 hours ago, mandalore said:

I’ve never liked optional sub games.  Take my required monthly sub and use it to better the game.  Go buy things like better servers, more engineers and give me the peace of mind of a constant cash flow so you can better the game I want to play for years to come.  I’m an adult with a disposable income, 15 bucks a month is nothing. 

I prefer required subs as well, and am happy to pay $15 per month for an MMO.

I just question the logic that says an optional sub with an advantage is pay to win, while a required sub the kicks you out of the game when you stop paying is not.


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35 minutes ago, Jah said:

I prefer required subs as well, and am happy to pay $15 per month for an MMO.

I just question the logic that says an optional sub with an advantage is pay to win, while a required sub the kicks you out of the game when you stop paying is not.

Because everyone who is actually playing the game is paying the same amount. If your guild is the same size as some other guild and then half your guild quits, that isn't P2W. It isn't the games fault that you have less players than the other guild.

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Just now, Arkade said:

Because everyone who is actually playing the game is paying the same amount. If your guild is the same size as some other guild and then half your guild quits, that isn't P2W. It isn't the games fault that you have less players than the other guild.

If the reason they "quit" is because they can't play anymore unless they continue to pay every month, the payment model of the game is at least partly responsible for the decision. And money is playing a role in the size of your guild.

You might have players who temporarily don't have as much time to spend, and so can't justify the monthly fee, but they'd be willing to show up for sieges. They'd be content with less passive training. But they don't get the "advantage" of showing up to fight without paying. The ability to log in is an advantage over being unable to log in.


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17 minutes ago, Jah said:

If the reason they "quit" is because they can't play anymore unless they continue to pay every month, the payment model of the game is at least partly responsible for the decision. And money is playing a role in the size of your guild.

You might have players who temporarily don't have as much time to spend, and so can't justify the monthly fee, but they'd be willing to show up for sieges. They'd be content with less passive training. But they don't get the "advantage" of showing up to fight without paying. The ability to log in is an advantage over being unable to log in.

P2W isn't a guild vs guild thing. How many players you have is much more a function of how many you recruit than how many are willing to pay for the game. If we are both guild leaders and have an equal number of members, but then I recruit 5 more people, is that P2W?

P2W is how much I pay compared to how much you pay, and what each of us gets for it. If we both pay the same and get the same access and power, then there's no P2W. Trying to extend the argument to guilds is disingenuous. You might as well say that the faction with more people is a result of P2W in that case. It's a ridiculous argument.

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2 minutes ago, Arkade said:

P2W isn't a guild vs guild thing. How many players you have is much more a function of how many you recruit than how many are willing to pay for the game. If we are both guild leaders and have an equal number of members, but then I recruit 5 more people, is that P2W?

P2W is how much I pay compared to how much you pay, and what each of us gets for it. If we both pay the same and get the same access and power, then there's no P2W. Trying to extend the argument to guilds is disingenuous. You might as well say that the faction with more people is a result of P2W in that case. It's a ridiculous argument.

There is nothing disingenuous about suggesting that the guild who pays the most in a required sub game will have the most active players. Don't throw that word around lightly. I am trying to have an honest debate here.

And in an optional sub game, it is equally true that "if we both pay the same we get the same access and power."


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52 minutes ago, Jah said:

There is nothing disingenuous about suggesting that the guild who pays the most in a required sub game will have the most active players. Don't throw that word around lightly. I am trying to have an honest debate here.

And in an optional sub game, it is equally true that "if we both pay the same we get the same access and power."

It isn't the guild who is paying. It's the individual players, who each pay the same amount as any other player. How the players choose sides within the game doesn't change the fact that every player paid the same amount of money and was granted the same access and choices within the game.

If the game was completely free (no sub, no cash shop, no payments of any kind), the larger guild would still have more power. So how can that power be a function of real money payments? It can't.

In a competitive game, there will always be imbalances, and most of them will have nothing to do with the payment model. 

Edited by Arkade

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