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Death to the cash shop

Posted in Gaming

After paying my first subscription payment for Elder Scrolls Online I’m reinforced in my belief that Free-2-Play/Freemium is a poisoned chalice instead of the golden goblet of awesome that the F2P revolution always alluded to.

Not that I don’t see the benefits that the shift has brought with it, removing the barriers and opening up the playing field. As a MMO gamer I can play a different MMO every night for a fortnight and not pay a penny, which isn’t something you could say 8 years ago. When done badly or greedily it’s no better than the hordes of Facebook titles begging for your money.

However I feel that dividing a games assets into purchasable bundles detracts from the game as a whole. I as a player can’t experience the game in the way that the developers originally intended or in a joined up way, now the only way to get that level X equipment is to grid out experience, farm certain enemy types or transform your real money into “Company points” to soften the blow of spending it on electronic goods.

Now many F2P games offer a monthly subscription VIP/Premium/Member service that should reduce a players dependency on in-game purchases, yet in recent times it has felt like companies target these already paying customers more with exclusive deals, discounted items or just plain old asking for more money with an array of hats (replace with flavour of the month item).

I hope that The Elder Scrolls Online keeps taking my money and doesn’t venture down the F2P road.

/rantoff

#F2P #FreetoPlay # subscription #ElderScrollsOnline

9 Comments

  1. I find that unlikely. Subscription based MMOs have seen a trend of losing population and opting for a F2P conversion. ESO/Wildstar are following in the same footsteps of many games before them. I’d say within a year or two they are both free games. They aren’t different enough from their predecessors to see different results.

    May 15, 2014
    • welshtroll
      welshtroll

      I agree to a certain extent, I think many games like SW:TOR were expecting higher subscriptions and their transition to F2P was more to have keep the title alive. With TESO and Wildstar at least the companies know what they are up against now that the F2P model is a little more established. Zenimax made it clear that they were going with the subscription model as they felt I best suited the title.

      May 15, 2014
  2. I prefere subscription over f2p by miles. And detest cash shops, the only game it works okey in for me is Rift, but I end up using more money there then in a subbed game. I like subscription because you have access to everything and don’t need to think about that stupid shop and everything is the same for all. NUKE ALL CASH SHOPS really. I hope EOS and ffxiv as im currently playing keeps away from cash shops, only thing I like to have is options to change races/names.

    May 15, 2014
    • welshtroll
      welshtroll

      I haven’t got a problem with additional cost items such as a rename or character redesign (barber/surgeon) as historically these usually cost real money and it was a choice you made to purchase it.

      ESO even offers a horse for £9.99 that you can upgrade your account with.
      It’s not however trying to offer me 20 different types of horse and hiding the price away behind the “Company Cash” model.

      AS you say the result of F2P is we all end up paying more for the same content that 10 years ago would have been included with the subscription or at least unlockable in-game without the cash-shop shortcuts.

      May 15, 2014
      • Nope
        Nope

        Lol the fact that you people accept any sort of cash shop in a 60 dollar/15 dollar monthly game is beyond me. The fact that you don’t even get a feature that came in every ES game to begin with (imperials)is even more outlandish.
        Keep giving them your cash and they’ll keep ripping you off. I meen why else are you paying monthly fees then for upgrades in the game? First upgrade in game and you have to pay additional. Thats a joke.

        May 17, 2014
  3. /agree

    Certain games like World of Tanks and PlanetSide 2 work ok with a f2p + cash-shop model, but even they give their subscribing customers a raw deal. I think once subscribed everything except for cosmetic items should be available. For example, In PlanetSide 2 a paying subscriber should have access to all the guns. When the sub is cancelled and runs out, they go back to the basic gun for each class with the option to then pay to unlock more guns if they don’t want the monthly expense of a sub. These unlocked guns will then always be available weather subbed or not.

    May 15, 2014
    • welshtroll
      welshtroll

      I’m going to be picky but World of Tanks isn’t a true MMO inspite of what Guinness World Records say, it’s a good matching making system but lobby’s do not a MMO make. However Yes Wot is not far off the Facebook style game of just make research go faster with this handy “Company Cash” Xp converter, the battles are the only separating element and may that model needs a new title.
      As for Planetside 2 it remains in my eyes the flagship for the worst of what free to play has to offer. A monthly sub that as you pointed out doesn’t grant you much more that freemium player barring some queue priority, monthly in game cash (changed now if you play 2 games at SOE) and a xp boost. There is no content unlocked with the game you still have to grind out xp to get the unlocks you want and for each character you want also. It’s a joke to be honest and I hope that CCP shy away from that model with Legion and we shall see how Defiance does with it’s move in June.

      May 15, 2014
      • I’d disagree slightly about PS2. The free to play part is perfectly acceptable. It is free, and as long as you are happy using the basic guns for each class or only unlocking new ones with the in-game certs, you need never pay a penny and still have unrestricted access to the whole game. It’s their subscription model that makes it one of the worst examples, it really does offer nothing worthwhile outside of the increased XP and resource gain.

        May 15, 2014
  4. Sig
    Sig

    I much prefer a sub game. However, in this day and age I don’t see sub only games lasting long at all. I don’t mind a hybrid with sub and f2p options. If I spend anything other than just ‘demo’ time in an f2p game and it’s got a sub option, I do it in a heartbeat.

    May 15, 2014

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