What I object to is that in EVE the players with all the advantages are the leeches who pay nothing. In the F2P model the people who pay at least get some advantages over the people who leech. – Tobold
It’s an interesting take, and one that I 100% disagree with.
First, I’d never call the most successful EVE players leeches, as that’s just incorrect. In a sandbox, it’s that player base that DRIVES the content of the game. 0.0 stories? Yea, not driven by Joey Casual. Joey is also not planning a BBC-reported bank heist. Actually he’s not planning anything, he just shows up and does what his FC tells him to do. No FC, no goals for Joey. Now who’s leeching?
But maybe EVE is unique in this aspect, much like it is in just about all others. What about WoW?
That UI you enjoy so much? Yea, it’s not from Joey putting in the work. And no, it’s not from Blizzard either. A ‘leech’ created it. That dungeon you just completed? Thank a ‘leech’ for creating not just the dungeon guide you used, but the build you run and the guild comp you use. Because Joey Casual just logs in to collect his epics (once the content is nerfed down to his level).
Podcasts, web comics, and um, blogs: Joey Casual doesn’t creating a single one of em. The ‘leeches’ do. Forum posts that point out hard-to-find bugs, or imbalances, or lead to great additions? Joey, at best, just reads those sometimes.
Tobold is correct in that the F2P MMO model does indeed work in reverse. The more you play, the more you pay. Love an MMO so much that you want to see all the content and play it to the fullest? If it’s EVE, it’s going to cost you nothing. If it’s a traditional F2P game, enjoy paying $100s a month. Also enjoy knowing that while you do invest a lot of time/effort into the game, ultimately it’s your ability to spend money that determines how successful you are. I don’t know about you, but I feel like a real winner when I go to the store and buy a World Championship trophy to ‘proudly’ display at my house. Oh yes, real men buy accomplishments.
On a different level, which game would you likely get more into; the one you can eventually play for free, or the one that’s going to increase in cost the more you play? Now if we’re talking single-player games, I could care less. You want to blow $100s to collect all the Pokemon or whatever? Knock yourself out.
But MMOs are different, because they (should) emphasis community and player relations/interactions, and nothing crushes a community faster than everyone half-assing everything. The worse kind of MMO community is when everyone logs in once a week or less, and there is no continuation or momentum; just a bunch of random characters occasionally checking in and knocking something out before disappearing again. That’s so un-MMO it’s disgusting (remind me to blog about the whole “lets play five MMOs at a time” thing another day), and that’s EXACTLY what F2P encourages. “It’s free, hop in and out whenever you want, wheee” is just such a horribly unappealing sales pitch for an MMO. I want community, I want dedication, I want players who are INVESTED in the game. The more everyone around you cares, the more you care, and the better it just makes the whole thing.
Edit: Plus what exactly does it say about your game if your sales pitch is “Hey, we are fun for short bursts every now and then!” What’s that? SW:sRPG just called. Oh.
Casual and MMO don’t mix. They just don’t. At least not in the way I view an MMO. If your view of an MMO is an online collection of solo tasks and random names drifting across your screen that you occasionally get matched up with to roll over something as mutes, well, we are talking different genres. I don’t know what to call that style of game, but it sure as hell isn’t an MMO.
I like playing with the ‘leeches’. I like being around passionate players that drive communities and content forward. I like being around people who are invested, who care about what happens, and who ‘get’ what’s going on in the virtual world. It’s fun to log in nightly to pick up where you left off the night before.
That’s just me though, leeching away.