Honest Pay-2-Win

Quick note before I get to the topic for today: Is it just me, or is The Witcher 2 freaking hard? I have the game on Normal after doing the tutorial, and I’m getting my ass handed to me every second fight. It’s to the point that I’m mashing quick-save more often than the attack keys. More thoughts on the game later (very solid so far), but anyone else find it much harder than the original?

Today I want to talk about F2P games, specifically P2Win titles. At a high level, I’ve noticed that there are two types of P2W games; blatant and hidden.

Blatant titles are those that very clearly sell power in the cash shop, and most if not all updates revolve around new content being added that further pushes you into the shop to keep up or at least play at the highest tier. Korean MMOs like Atlantica fit the bill here, as do the slew of iPhone games with cash shops.

Hidden P2W titles will attempt to hide the selling of power, either by making the connection to power less obvious (cash = gems = energy = gametime = power, compared to the obvious cash = BiS item), or by making the power not absolute. The cash shop sells items, but they are not BiS (just second-best, and the BiS is nearly impossible to get). Or the cash shop sells ‘optional’ boosts (and without those boosts, you can’t get those BiS items).

What has surprised me is that I personally don’t mind the blatant P2W model. Not because I spend and win, but because not spending and still doing well is its own game, and a very enjoyable one at that. Plus there is a certain kind of honesty with the model; the devs don’t pretend they aren’t selling power, and you don’t get the smoke-up-the-ass PR releases that come from companies like Turbine.

When you are online with thousands of others, those who are also playing the “don’t pay but play” game also tend to band together, and this in turn gives you more ‘content’ or at least camaraderie.

Finally, when you do spend, it’s not because the game finally twisted your arm and made the ‘convenience’ items (hotbars, bag space, travel speed) so damn inconvenient to be without that you caved, but because you are have enough fun playing for free that spending a bit is justified and just gets you more of what you already liked (power), vs just filling in a hole left in to take your money.

11 Responses to Honest Pay-2-Win

  1. Oesophagus says:

    Yes. It seriously is just you.

    Outside of the intro area when you have no idea how to fight, Witcher 2 is not very hard at all and as you get further along, it gets easier on account of your guy getting more powerful and the enemies generally not.

  2. saucelah says:

    I’m not sure if I follow the connection between gametime and power. Wouldn’t that make LoL a pay to win game? Perhaps I’m not following.

  3. bhagpuss says:

    Try the game.

    Decide if you enjoy it at all.

    If you do, check how much you think it will cost to play using whatever payment/purchase system it uses.

    Compare that prospective cost to your prospective enjoyment.

    Decide if its good value.

    If so, pay what you need to pay to keep playing the way you want to play for as long as you are interested in playing.

    If not, don’t play.

    If at any time the balance changes, change your decision and stop (or start) playing.

    You could draw up a flow-chart if that would help :P

  4. Red says:

    Funny how I’m playing the Path of Exile closed beta right now (open beta starts on 23 Jan) and the producers seem to be aiming at a League of Legends-like microtransaction style. Visual skins and stuff (I’m personally looking forward to them because honestly the armour sets so far look rather dreary). And it’s a quality game so I hope it works out to them as well as it did for Riot.

  5. Ettesiun says:

    The witcher 2 was/is very hard at the begining but it is said to become easier – then trivial – after some hours.
    There was a mod that allow better difficulty on Nexus to start easier and finish harder.
    On the contrary the easy mode is really easy and follow the description : for those who only want to enjoy the story.

    The game was too linear for me, and I stop at the first village in the forest.

  6. kalex716 says:

    Your definition of acceptability will evolve over the next few years a lot if you want to continue to be a gamer.

  7. adammtlx says:

    The Witcher 2 is easier if you invest in certain powers, particularly the one that pushes enemies back with a blast of air. Whatever it’s called. It’s good.

  8. Imrar says:

    On the whole I found Witcher 2 a lot easier than Witcher 1. Witcher 1 had a harder learning curve in the fighting and I died a lot on it’s start area.

  9. Lyss says:

    I found the intro hard, didnt know how to fight properly, the next chapter in the woods before the first big choice difficult sometimes, and the rest of the game then was very easy.

    Mostly its dodgerolling like you’re on fire and get blows to the enemy in between. The hardest thing for me was the first fight against the kingslayer. played on normal. I skilled the sword tree at first and used the shield. I think the first oe has the better combat mechanics and is more complex.

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