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Free-to-Play Destroying gaming.

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    I believe that free-to-play games are the worst thing to happen to gaming since COD. I am specifically talking about games that require no liscence to play, but make revenue through microtransactions - ie league of legends, tribes ascend, etc. The idea that someone can gain a competetive advantage through doing nothing else than paying for me is ridicolous. I have no problem with paying for a game. But if a game is branded as free to play, that should be that. No microtransactions that can make you more competetive.

    Its perfectly OK to buy a retarded flying horse ala WOW, as it gives you no advantage (infact, it only sucseeds in making you look bad). Its not OK to get double xp in tribes ascend because you paid 1 euro to get in game gold. It takes away the sense of equality. I do not enjoy playing a game where for no reason, at the start of a round another player playing the same class is better equipped to kill stuff than i am. He did not invest more time. Nor did he show more skill. He just paid the company 1 euro.

    Ofcourse, you will say thats personal preference. And you're right. I cant stop people from being idiots, and therefore i simply wont play tribes. or lol. I play starcraft 2, and counterstrike. But what the freemium model does is kill the competetive scene. Will there ever be a competetive tribes tournament? I doubt it. Which is a shame, because the game is good. Im sure if it had been released at full price, ie 60 euro with no unlocks it would have been a hit. But mark my words, it will fall into the depths of **** soon enough.

    There should be no transactions in a game after purchase. Unlocks based on experience alone are ok, although they do again kill the competetive scene. Think about hugely sucsessful games. Starcraft. CS. Chess. Marines arnt better if you have won 100 games. The ak-47 doesnt shoot depleted uranium bullets if you have killed 100 players. And the knight doesnt act like a queen because you are an IM. Battlefield 9 and Cod 23, with their 5 months required to play to unlock everything (or simply 30 euros to unlock everything) will never have a competeteive scene, no matter how good the engine/graphics/gameplay is.


    There are ofcourse exceptions - LOL is somewhat popular, and as im no expert on it i cant really talk about it. But ill tell you what. All the time, I hear people complaining about an idiot in their game of lol. Think about this - if that idiot had to first pay 60 euros to play, would he have bought the game in the first place? This leads me to my last point. Free to play brings in people who overwise wouldnt have bought the game. They are bad players, and have no interest in the long term community/balance etc. They will play for a month, ruining the experience for everyone else and leave. And then there's the 12 year olds. Dont even get me started on them.

    What im trying to say is publishers shouldnt brand games as free-to-play in order to attract players, and then rip them off with microtransactions which are required in order to be comptetetive- and if your friends play it, you want to be competetive. And if they decide that this is infact that best option , dont call them free-to-play. Call them pay-to-win.

    EDIT: LOL apparantely doesnt feature microtransactions that make u more competetive. Sorry, but as i said i wouldnt know.
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    Free 2 play games make the most money so they work for developers. League of legends has a great system and there free 2 play works really well. I enjoyed League of legends so I spent around £50 in there store (I gave them as much money as I thought the game was worth and I spent around 300 hours in total playing that)

    FPS games are TERRIBLE for Free 2 play. I hate any FPS F2P game simply because the developers ALWAYS add guns or things that unbalance the game even if they say they wont (look at battlefield heroes and they said they would never add guns to the store)

    I prefer Buy 2 Play games (Guild wars 2 etc). I remember when Call of duty was great and you could create your own mods and maps but now that is no longer possible and you have to buy map packs etc

    We will be seeing A LOT of F2P games being released in the future simply because of the revenue.
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    Jah forbid someone wants to enjoy themselves without having to pay for it!
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    (Original post by + polarity -)
    Jah forbid someone wants to enjoy themselves without having to pay for it!
    Can always download the game and then buy it later if you like it or actually download a BETA/DEMO
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    The fact that free to play games are becoming such a success for developers suggests that gamers actually get a lot out of the model. If we didn't, they wouldn't be so lucrative. There are disadvantages, yes, but whenever the disadvantages are mentioned nobody seems to bring up the advantages - free to play games attract people to games they wouldn't otherwise get to play, they allow people to choose to spend money after they know they enjoy a game instead of paying up front and then finding it's not for them, and they allow developers to constantly produce new content without every player having to pay a subscription fee as was traditionally the case in MMOs.

    There's a danger in trying to make any game free to play just because free to play seems to work well - in many cases, games aren't particularly suited to a free to play model - but if the game supports a sensible transaction system where players can pay for something that has a meaningful effect on their experience, but which doesn't give them a clear advantage over non-paying players, then it does work. You can play LoL every single week with just the 10 free champions and destroy people who own every champion. But at the same time, it is a fun experience to be able to buy champions you enjoy so you can vary your playstyle and specialise in certain roles.
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    (Original post by Chumbaniya)
    free to play games attract people to games they wouldn't otherwise get to play, they allow people to choose to spend money after they know they enjoy a game instead of paying up front and then finding it's not for them, and they allow developers to constantly produce new content without every player having to pay a subscription fee as was traditionally the case in MMOs.
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    But MMO conent is free for everyone. You dont have to pay to access onyxias latest reincarnation dungeon. And as i pointed out, are you sure you want to attract random people to your game? Because When you know you didnt waste 60 euros on a game (say lol), you arnt going to put in the same dedication or effort in it. There's less of a chance you will be a regular player, or a good player. You know that your account is completely replacable, for free, so you can do what you want. You dont care if you abandon your team mates, or do your own thing. Thats my experience, and as i said i've heard alot of lol players moan about having bad players in their random team. Perhaps free to play is the reason?

    And as far as trying out a game goes, whatever happened to demos?
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    (Original post by lubus)
    I believe that free-to-play games are the worst thing to happen to gaming since COD. I am specifically talking about games that require no liscence to play, but make revenue through microtransactions - ie league of legends, tribes ascend, etc. The idea that someone can gain a competetive advantage through doing nothing else than paying for me is ridicolous. I have no problem with paying for a game. But if a game is branded as free to play, that should be that. No microtransactions that can make you more competetive.

    Its perfectly OK to buy a retarded flying horse ala WOW, as it gives you no advantage (infact, it only sucseeds in making you look bad). Its not OK to get double xp in tribes ascend because you paid 1 euro to get in game gold. It takes away the sense of equality. I do not enjoy playing a game where for no reason, at the start of a round another player playing the same class is better equipped to kill stuff than i am. He did not invest more time. Nor did he show more skill. He just paid the company 1 euro.

    Ofcourse, you will say thats personal preference. And you're right. I cant stop people from being idiots, and therefore i simply wont play tribes. or lol. I play starcraft 2, and counterstrike. But what the freemium model does is kill the competetive scene. Will there ever be a competetive tribes tournament? I doubt it. Which is a shame, because the game is good. Im sure if it had been released at full price, ie 60 euro with no unlocks it would have been a hit. But mark my words, it will fall into the depths of **** soon enough.

    There should be no transactions in a game after purchase. Unlocks based on experience alone are ok, although they do again kill the competetive scene. Think about hugely sucsessful games. Starcraft. CS. Chess. Marines arnt better if you have won 100 games. The ak-47 doesnt shoot depleted uranium bullets if you have killed 100 players. And the knight doesnt act like a queen because you are an IM. Battlefield 9 and Cod 23, with their 5 months required to play to unlock everything (or simply 30 euros to unlock everything) will never have a competeteive scene, no matter how good the engine/graphics/gameplay is.


    There are ofcourse exceptions - LOL is somewhat popular, and as im no expert on it i cant really talk about it. But ill tell you what. All the time, I hear people complaining about an idiot in their game of lol. Think about this - if that idiot had to first pay 60 euros to play, would he have bought the game in the first place? This leads me to my last point. Free to play brings in people who overwise wouldnt have bought the game. They are bad players, and have no interest in the long term community/balance etc. They will play for a month, ruining the experience for everyone else and leave. And then there's the 12 year olds. Dont even get me started on them.

    What im trying to say is publishers shouldnt brand games as free-to-play in order to attract players, and then rip them off with microtransactions which are required in order to be comptetetive- and if your friends play it, you want to be competetive. And if they decide that this is infact that best option , dont call them free-to-play. Call them pay-to-win.
    The problem with your argument is that with your examples you are getting no advantage by paying money through microtransactions, the unlocks are either cosmetic or will just be unlocked through experience anyway. I would agree if you are paying for unique power weapons, which would be ridiculous, but if someone wants to just pay for something instead of playing 20 hours to unlock it they should be able to, as not everyone has as much free time as others.
    For your argument about idiots not playing if they have to pay: COD,Halo,GearsofWar,Battlefield : all 60 pounds, all have truckloads of idiots and terrible players. People pay for what they want, they wont be deterred by a pricetag. Free to play actually puts people off, because they expect worse content.
    Also,i agree you really cant say that spending hours to unlock guns is a better system than paying for things. Either way youre losing recourses (time/money) to get more equipment to get the edge over your opponent, and why shouldnt new players or people with free time have a chance to win? Should they be cut out because they came in late or cant play for whatever reason? of course not, thats madness.
    In the end though, games cannot be made for the competitive scene. That will be a miniscule amount of players playing for whatever prizes, as opposed to people playing for fun. They should always be considered second, and rightly so, as the needs of the many and so on. If a game is suitable to be played competitively people will find a way.
    Finally, you cant be ripped-off for something you never have to buy. If you want it buy it, if not dont. That doesnt mean youre being ripped off if you pay, just you feel its a fair deal, or being a careful consumer.
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    (Original post by lubus)
    .
    I agree that having a game that is free to start playing, but after a while of playing you quickly realise the only way to get far without devoting 5 years to it is by paying for shortcuts really detracts from the enjoyment.

    "Its perfectly OK to buy a retarded flying horse ala WOW"

    Ok, fair enough. This is what League of Legends does, there's really nothing to buy that has an effect on the gameplay in an unbalanced way. Someone spending £500 on every possible thing that can be bought in League of Legends will still get crushed by anyone who has more skill/experience with the game.

    "But what the freemium model does is kill the competetive scene."

    Very wrong, League of Legends has one of the biggest competitive scenes at the moment. One of the major tournaments last year which kept track of viewers noted that League of Legends stream had 3 times more viewers than the Starcraft II stream at the same event.
    It's perhaps not on the same level as the GSL, but don't forget that Starcraft has been a major e-sport for 10 years now and LoL not even 2.

    "Unlocks based on experience alone are ok, although they do again kill the competetive scene."

    No. If there's important unlockable content, it can easily be unlocked for competitive events so that everyone is on the same page. It all depends on whether it's balanced, that is what the issue is.

    "Cod 23, with their 5 months required to play to unlock everything (or simply 30 euros to unlock everything) will never have a competeteive scene"

    Actually it does, it's just quite small in comparison to others. It's probably down to Activision not pushing it as an e-sport as much as other companies are doing with their games, i.e Blizzard.

    "All the time, I hear people complaining about an idiot in their game of lol. Think about this - if that idiot had to first pay 60 euros to play, would he have bought the game in the first place?"

    Yes, because the style of the game lends itself to people getting angry/frustrated, it's very little to do with it being free. HoN and Dota had exactly the same problem and they aren't (or weren't) free.

    "They are bad players, and have no interest in the long term community/balance etc. They will play for a month, ruining the experience for everyone else and leave. And then there's the 12 year olds. Dont even get me started on them."

    This happens everywhere. I've had raging kids in Starcraft II games, Portal 2 co-op, CS, WoW, etc etc. 12 year olds are everywhere, and 15-30 year olds getting angry and sounding like they are 12 years old are even more common. It's just part of every gaming community.

    --

    While I agree that the free to play, pay for bonuses model is a really depressing turn for online gaming, you really shouldn't try to argue against it with points that are just plain wrong.
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    (Original post by Spungo)
    I agree that having a game that is free to start playing, but after a while of playing you quickly realise the only way to get far without devoting 5 years to it is by paying for shortcuts really detracts from the enjoyment.

    "Its perfectly OK to buy a retarded flying horse ala WOW"

    Ok, fair enough. This is what League of Legends does, there's really nothing to buy that has an effect on the gameplay in an unbalanced way. Someone spending £500 on every possible thing that can be bought in League of Legends will still get crushed by anyone who has more skill/experience with the game.

    "But what the freemium model does is kill the competetive scene."

    Very wrong, League of Legends has one of the biggest competitive scenes at the moment. One of the major tournaments last year which kept track of viewers noted that League of Legends stream had 3 times more viewers than the Starcraft II stream at the same event.
    It's perhaps not on the same level as the GSL, but don't forget that Starcraft has been a major e-sport for 10 years now and LoL not even 2.

    "Unlocks based on experience alone are ok, although they do again kill the competetive scene."

    No. If there's important unlockable content, it can easily be unlocked for competitive events so that everyone is on the same page. It all depends on whether it's balanced, that is what the issue is.

    "Cod 23, with their 5 months required to play to unlock everything (or simply 30 euros to unlock everything) will never have a competeteive scene"

    Actually it does, it's just quite small in comparison to others. It's probably down to Activision not pushing it as an e-sport as much as other companies are doing with their games, i.e Blizzard.

    "All the time, I hear people complaining about an idiot in their game of lol. Think about this - if that idiot had to first pay 60 euros to play, would he have bought the game in the first place?"

    Yes, because the style of the game lends itself to people getting angry/frustrated, it's very little to do with it being free. HoN and Dota had exactly the same problem and they aren't (or weren't) free.

    "They are bad players, and have no interest in the long term community/balance etc. They will play for a month, ruining the experience for everyone else and leave. And then there's the 12 year olds. Dont even get me started on them."

    This happens everywhere. I've had raging kids in Starcraft II games, Portal 2 co-op, CS, WoW, etc etc. 12 year olds are everywhere, and 15-30 year olds getting angry and sounding like they are 12 years old are even more common. It's just part of every gaming community.

    --

    While I agree that the free to play, pay for bonuses model is a really depressing turn for online gaming, you really shouldn't try to argue against it with points that are just plain wrong.
    fair enough. I have no issue with publishers making some money by selling alternative models, skins, avatars. As i said, im not fully aware of LOLs microtransaction model. But it should never be used to give you a competetive advantage - and there are games that do that. Tribes. Battlefield. This is my main point. Dont argue that the same unlocks can be achieved by playing the game for a long time, because unless you have no life, they cant. and the devs know this. Again, i am 100% okay with games that keep the CORE aspect free to play. Ie, Team Fortress. LOL possibly, although again im not too familiar.

    By having a fairly large initial outlay, MOST of the immature players are stopped from playing the game. If you're 12, and an *******, you're rather gonna troll LOL than SC2 because hey, you dont need to pay 40 euros to troll LOL.

    Essentially, i feel that the biggest problem i have with free to play games is one that is quite hard to put in words. I cant own the full game. Its like getting a car, and then having to individually over time buy all the extras. And i know that if i want the full game, it will cost me way more than the rrp of titles such as SC2. It feels.. hollow. Like a cake with no cherry on top. And i dont like this.
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    Micro-transactions give no gameplay benefits in League of Legends. They are only for aesthetic purposes (skins).
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    (Original post by lubus)
    .
    Dont argue that the same unlocks can be achieved by playing the game for a long time, because unless you have no life, they cant.

    I agree with this. It's really the main reason why I think the business model is depressing. It's manipulative and really saps the fun out of it as you feel you have to hand over money just so you're not getting robbed of your time... so you can get robbed of your time anyway.

    If you're 12, and an *******, you're rather gonna troll LOL than SC2 because hey, you dont need to pay 40 euros to troll LOL.

    Trolling comes second. This is really the same point as before, the gameplay style of LoL lends itself to people getting frustrated. It's also ridiculously easy to screw over someone you don't like. It's not that trolls flock to LoL because it's cheaper than SC2, it's that the game MAKES the trolls. Since the majority of SC2 players are in 1v1's while occasionally playing other modes, who do they have to get frustrated at?

    Essentially, i feel that the biggest problem i have with free to play games is one that is quite hard to put in words. I cant own the full game. Its like getting a car, and then having to individually over time buy all the extras. And i know that if i want the full game, it will cost me way more than the rrp of titles such as SC2. It feels.. hollow. Like a cake with no cherry on top. And i dont like this.

    This is all you have to say. You don't need to find silly reasons like the competitive scene isn't as good or there's too many children on it.
    The games are hollow because you don't have (and actually never will have) the full game and access to all the content, at least in a reasonable timeframe.
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    (Original post by Spungo)
    Actually it does, it's just quite small in comparison to others. It's probably down to Activision not pushing it as an e-sport as much as other companies are doing with their games, i.e Blizzard.
    Activision and Blizzard are the same company now.
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    I wasn't aware the micro transactions do imbalance the game. You simply buy different types of classes, for instance, in MOBA games like LoL. You still get default classes. The idea is that the game is essentially a try before you buy, except you don't have to buy at all. The fact that you're getting a free gaming experience until you want a more customised class should be enough. You're getting a game for free, who cares if someone is buying power. You're spending money little but often and the devs can keep updating the content. If you don't want to pay for a better class then screw you. If you can't afford it then you shouldn't even be gaming on a PC in the first place.

    Edit: If they're going to turn gaming from a product into a service at least they're doing it the proper way instead of charging you £40 for a game plus a subscription and the cost of all DLC. It makes a dev rich, just look at LoL, who have the capacity to run tournaments and pay huge amount of money as prizes.
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    I think LoL and Tribes have an excellent Free-to-play model. In LoL you can buy points to buy classes with and in Tribes you can pay for exp boosts and gold to buy weapons, upgrades and classes however you can still achieve the exact same things just through playing the game although it just takes longer so people who decide to pay with real money only have the advantage of spending less time to achieve the same thing.
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    TL;DR

    There will be no Diablo III because of Angry Birds?
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    runescape is a prime example of why free-to-play isn't destroying gaming They started off as a f2p game and even now you can still play a reasonable amount of the game as a f2p member.

    What they have recently introduced though is something called the squeal of fortune which is like a roulette wheel where you get awarded prizes. Problem is, you can BUY spins for money. I think their best offer is like 30 spins plus 45 bonus spins for £14. What this effectively means is that someone with a big bank balance can buy as many spins as they want and rack up a hell of a lot of items/experience. The cumulative value of each spin probably comes to about 10k coins and 500 xp.

    Most games need revenue to run. Runescape used to have membership fees. These facebook games have micro transactions. Games like evony rely on microtransactions too, but the thing is their entire business model relies on that incomee
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    (Original post by Dannybare)
    I think LoL and Tribes have an excellent Free-to-play model. In LoL you can buy points to buy classes with and in Tribes you can pay for exp boosts and gold to buy weapons, upgrades and classes however you can still achieve the exact same things just through playing the game although it just takes longer so people who decide to pay with real money only have the advantage of spending less time to achieve the same thing.
    One problem I see with that is that you have to pay to avoid playing the game. That seems backwards to me. It means the game has been designed to be not that fun until you get to the higher levels so you'll want to skip playing at low levels.

    Something about it just seems wrong that games are being designed to be dull and repetitive grind fests so you'll want to skip those parts of the game and be willing to pay for it. Having to play through it to get to the interesting stuff is almost like a punishment for not paying.

    But then again, many games were already like that to some extent even without the F2P model.
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    Ok, I've got a counter-argument to this



    Free-to-play with the ability to pay for quality of life / time-saving is ok. However the 'pay-to-win' model isn't.

    League of Legends and Tribes Ascend etc don't give some players an advantage, all it does it save you time spent playing the game and collecting points. But if you love the game and want to get good at it, you shouldn't mind playing the game longer to get the same rewards? If you don't have spare cash, spend some spare time instead.

    (Original post by Psyk)
    .
    The games aren't designed to be boring. They're designed to allow people to under-go a progression path. However some people will want to skip that progression, either because they're impatient, have limited time, or are simply already good enough for the top stuff. For them, F2P models offer them the ability to speed that progress and get to the stuff they want to play. For example, I really needed the 30 levels of LoL in order to learn how to play well. There needs to be a way to filter noobs from pros, and levelling is a simple way to begin filtering (with ranking coming into play later on)


    edit: one thing I HATE about some F2P models is that you have to spend money on fixed 'packages' of in-game currency. So LoL has you buy these stupid amounts of 1260, 1630, whatever. The numbers are selected to leave you with the most leftover in-game currency after you've bought your stuff, encouraging you to buy more in-game money to use up your surplus. You should simply be able to spend real money on a single skin, or they should bring all the currencies down to be multiples of 500, or whatever.
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    Just had a thought,

    Do you think there's the possibility for a purchase model where you pay per month of 'subscription' until you've essentially bought the game? A sort of "try as you buy" model.

    For example, instead of buying CoD MW4 for $60, playing 10 hours and then getting buyer's remorse, how about I pay $5 to download the game, and then I pay $5 per week until I've paid the full $60 (or whatever price the game's RRP is on the shelves). At that point I've paid for the game, and can play it forever and ever without paying another penny, just like it is at the moment.

    So it encourages more people to try the game, without being put off by a staggeringly huge price tag. Then, if I like the game, I can continue to play and pay the full amount. Basically reduces the intimidation and inconvenience of forking out a load of money at once, for a game I might not like.
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    How has Starcraft 2 being free once you've paid for the game killed its competitiveness? Right now sc2 is one of or the most competitively played game on the market right now.

    In fact one could argue that f2p games encourages more competition because if you have to pay a monthly subscription each month then it excludes players from poorer countries where a 10$ free per month is a lot.

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