Friday, July 27, 2012

F2P: A quick overview and review

What I like: Paying for vanity items or for variety. Give me something bland for free to demo the full game then let me see everybody else using exiting abilities and colorful clothes. Then If I actually like playing the game the vanity items and niche abilities will add more variety to my game. I also like donation games like T.O.M.E. where you give the dev money if you like the game and want there to be more of it.

What I don’t like is having to pay to be able to compete. In Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. The beta was fun and the first year or so was fun but it got to a point where the uni student I was playing with had so much more spare time than me that they always had the best equipment for that particular level. So they might be reliably twice as effective than me until the endgame where those people were about ten times as effective as me. So in the end the only places I found enjoyable challenges were in PvE and beta servers.

There are also pay to win Freemium games like Berzerk: Cataclysm. Where the more cash you splash the more game there is to play and the easier it is to beat other players. I believe all F2P games try to avoid this label, some more successfully than others.

Pay to not play; League of legends uses this a little. Either you decide you will eventually reach level 30 and eventually grind enough IP to unlock all the champions. Or you buy experience boosts and the collector’s edition. That way a novice can easily play practically all the game with the first week.