Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Payment Options

So, apparently, the folks at Carbine are looking at possible options for WildStar's business model going forward. Given their previous announcement regarding converting the game infrastructure to a megaserver, I wonder if whatever business model they choose will happen at the same time. Of course, a certain contingent of players decry anything other than a pure subscription model as detrimental to the game. I believe this is short-sighted, especially given NCSoft's penchant for pulling the plug on under-performing titles—however beloved by their fans. Look, everyone realizes that these games are not cheap to design or execute, but maintaining a healthy playerbase may require a departure from the hidebound payment models of yesteryear.

Borrowed from Liore
As for me, I look at Rift or the Secret World as ideal models from a consumer perspective. Rift is free to play, with mostly cosmetic items in the shop. I believe the expansions (some content and new "souls") also cost extra, but player can conceivably reach max level without spending a dime. The cash shop interface even provides some ancillary benefits, like the ability to sell off vendor trash from anywhere in the world.

Found on Google
TSW still costs money to buy, though it tends be heavily discounted. The cash shop also contains mostly cosmetic items, plus content DLC "Issues." There are XP boosts, but they merely speed up ability gains, not power. And again, a player can reach the original "end-game" without paying more than the box price. And neither Rift nor TSW do RMT for quality of life items like extra bank space or whether one's helm can be hidden, at least not that I am aware of.

Both Rift and TSW have monthly subscription options which confer extra benefits in XP and vanity items, but not extra power at end-game. And in an era where you can buy a max-level character in World of Warcraft from Blizzard itself, I don't think people can legitimately cry foul over XP boosts. I think the days of crappy F2P are subsiding; and although there are F2P MMOs that are annoyingly pushy about their cash shops and/or hobbling non-subscribers, the idea that F2P is automatically poor design is an archaic line of thought. Heck, I see folks anticipating SWTOR's impending second(?) expansion, after all sorts of people thought the game was on the ropes when it became free to play less than a year after it launched.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

No comments:

Post a Comment