As free-to-play became the dominant business model in MMOs over time, it was totally understandable to wonder at first what free-to-play games would do to help encourage players to, well, pay. Initially, the expectation had more to do with gating content or even raw power behind payment, but it turns out that most of the gating seems to be not about raw content or eve power. Instead, it seems to be all about speed.
Some of it is about increasing the random chance factor for systems like gear enhancement, but other parts are doing things like making leveling slower, making mounts temporary, or otherwise just slowing down the process as much as possible. So you don’t have to pay money in order to play the game… you just find your progress going slower and slower until you ultimately are encouraged to pay to ease things along. Then again, MMOs have always had elements of time sinks and time-consuming mechanics, so perhaps it’s really more a matter of noticing the slowdown more when you can theoretically pay it away. So what do you think? Are free-to-play MMOs slower in advancement, or are players just more likely to notice the speed of things?