The Daily Grind: What would tempt you to buy something in an MMO when you hate the business model?

    
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I've got a lot of problems with you people!

Longtime commenter and friend to man and beast alike Danny Smith mentioned recently that there’s a rumor of Blizzard putting World of Warcraft allied race unlocks up as a cash shop item. I mentioned at the time that this would make me angry, but if those allied race unlocks included races otherwise unplayable like Eredar, I would be angry all the way to opening up my wallet. Even now I’m mad about the idea that I’d be getting charged more money to play a race that’s unavailable any other way, and I’m even more angry that I know I’d buy it!

This is hardly the only such situation for me, either. I’m annoyed that there are arbitrary glamour restrictions for certain outfits in Final Fantasy XIV, for example, rather than letting me glamour anything I can equip on any job a la Final Fantasy XI… and I know that even as I say that should be the default, I’d easily pay money to make that the case if the option were presented. So what sort of offer would tempt you to buy something in an MMO when you dislike the business model? What would have you staring aghast and mumbling that this shouldn’t be content you have to pay for even as you log in to PayPal and authorize the transaction?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Castagere Shaikura

I never understand the f2p hate on MMO sites. It’s a known fact that they bring in more money than just a flat sub.fee. And the funny part is now sub.fee games also have cash shops in them. So you could say they are greedier.

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Daniel Miller

Ffxi would like to have a word with you. Sub yes, cash shop, no.

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NeoWolf

For me, its about how F2P games as a business model only really benefit those who do not contribute financially to a game anyway, whereas those who do end up paying substantially more than they would if they were sub and getting FAR less as well as getting nickel and dimed for QoL features, which again in a sub game you would just get for free as part of your sub. Even F2P’s that have season passes etc..rarely give benefits that would equal what they would give you if they were a traditional sub game and yet still tend to cost as much each month.
It is a business model that relies on milking the pockets of those who pay way more than other business models.

It is the inequality of fleecing the few more to the benefit of the many that tends to irk people (i.e The few in question lol).

I mean if you compare how much you pay in a sub game against how much you pay for the same thing in an F2P game, you will almost always find the F2P game costs you WAY more for that same experience in comparison.

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Robert Mann

In general, the less a game is charging up front the more aggressive and shady the back end monetization that results.

This isn’t a firm hard truth. Companies can be more or less greedy in either case. In fact, companies refusing to address their wild success with subscription games was a large factor in why people started rallying against subscriptions at the time.

It isn’t that F2P is necessarily more evil. It is that in general most of the people running things push the money side of things into the territory of wickedness, and that is all the more apparent when the game is online, has a cheap or zero buy in, and charges for things that really feel mandatory after claiming it is ‘free’.

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zoward

I’m not opposed to the idea – I’ve bought several races and/or classes in Dungeons & Dragons Online. But DDO is free to play, and unlocks all races and classes for subscribers (but I prefer to buy them outright). Charging a subscription fee and charging on top for a race unlock … is double dipping.

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NeoWolf

A decent mount or cosmetic is usually enough to do it whatever the business model :)

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I’m not going to get bogged down in this hate fest, all I’ll say is if I find value in a microtransaction I’ll spend the money. The world is a place of lots of Gray Areas including MMO Business practices, plenty of crappy companies that sometimes make good products and some fair business decisions and vice versa. It’s your money, spend it how you want; leave your moral dilemas for your day to day lives and interactions.

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Zero_1_Zerum

I HATE the F2P business model. It’s a disease, and should be eradicated. I hate even more that it’s infected games like ESO. They want me to buy the game, and on top of that, spend more money in the cash shop? HOW DARE THEY?! And, on top of that, the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood, my favorite guilds in the Elder Scrolls, weren’t included in the base game!

But… When there was a sale for the in game currency, I did persuade myself to buy just enough to unlock the Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, and a few of the other bits of DLC content that weren’t part of the expansions, when those were on sale as well. I ended up enjoying it all. But, I would have never paid full price for them.

There’s no way I’ll buy one of their ridiculous $100 houses, that’s for sure.

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Sorenthaz

I’ll pay for a sub if it lets me ignore most of the business model shenanigans. SWTOR is the prime example.

Also I’ll tend to buy into stuff if it’s on a steep discount, i.e. normally I wouldn’t touch Warframe platinum whatsoever but when I got a 75% discount I went ahead and put $50 down for the $200 worth of platinum pack. Also the prime vaulted frames and their accessories/etc. I’ll gladly pay for because I don’t really have the patience to farm void relics.

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3dom

Cases:

1) I’ll never ever play subscription-based MMO game again so buying anything there would be impossible;

2) nothing can make me buy temporary / expiring cosmetics. That’s a part of Asian culture;

3) $10+ guns are too expensive. So no matter what APB Reloaded devs do – I’ll never buy their guns.

Exception: deep 75-80% discounts, like Warframe and Marvel Heroes (R.I.P.) had. Then I’ll spend hundreds $$$ immediately.

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Arktouros

I’m simply over the anger part of things anymore.

If a cash shop is so odious that I’d never partake in it then I’m probably not going to keep playing that game. However otherwise if I’m enjoying myself, I don’t really care that much and if I want something I’m going to buy it.

smuggler-in-a-yt
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smuggler-in-a-yt

I think it’s particularly egregious when there is already a monthly subscription and then another transaction being levied on top for something that a lot of people think should be part of the game.

I don’t expect anything less from F2P games. Even B2P like GW2 need a path to paying for things on an ongoing basis. But subscription games? You’re in for over a hundred dollars a year and there should be some accounting of that transaction.

But, here’s the thing. If you buy it, you just told the company that no matter how much you failed against it, you felt the value to you was worth it. If you fundamentally are upset with the transaction or the framework it takes place in, the only answer is to walk away. And that doesn’t have to be a binary, you can always come back. But walking away is absolutely one of the single most powerful acts of agency you have.

That’s the message we need to send. Internet rage doesnt count. Demanding accountability after the transaction doesn’t work. The only way it works is when you walk away.

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Fisty

Houses and the stuff that goes in them gets me. Things that provide a better quality of life too. Like bag space, banking assistants, etc.