Taking a quick break from the Darkfall-related posts today to cover a few different topics. I’ve got a cold that won’t go away, which could explain my overly positive view in things. Or that’s just me, Mr. glass-half-empty-and-whats-left-is-likely-terribly-anyway. You have issue too, at least I’m aware of mine…
First, is anyone else horribly disappointed that Blizzard delayed (you don’t really think it’s gone, do you now?) the inevitable train wreck that is RealID? The fireworks would have been spectacular, and now I feel like Blizzard has once again robbed me of some great content to pander to all of the lowlife parasites of the world (inside joke). The only way they can redeem themselves is if they spring RealID on everyone without warning once they are hooked on SC2. That I could see working; plus toss it in as a requirement to log into WoW while you are at it, and I’ll forgive you, maybe.
Speaking of SC2, between certain people ballwashing Blizzard at such extreme speeds that it’s getting dangerous, to others buying it to confirm the don’t like it (way to vote with what counts…), I just don’t get it. Do that many people really miss decade-old RTS gaming with toaster-powered graphics so extremely polished you can literally see the late 90s staring back at you? I know the Koreans do, and cool, enjoy that along with your endless grind games featuring little girls getting it on with tentacle monsters. Different cultures and all that, it’s cool. But that crowd aside, I just don’t get it, and it’s a little sick to see rehashing on such a blatant scale being rewarded (I’m assuming SC2 did rather well at retail). Best part is the same people who gobble up SC2 today are going to turn around and bitch about the lack of innovation in gaming next week.
About EQ2 going F2P: meh game from a less-then-meh company going to a meh payment model designed for suckers. Good fit IMO, and an advanced sorry to anyone on the subscriber servers thinking they are not a dying breed in that game. Enjoy mixing with the upstanding gentlemen’s club that is the F2P crowd sooner than you expect. SOE deserves some bonus points though; they not only brought F2P to EQ2, but also figured out how to add a twist to it so they screw over their old players that have remained loyal and supported the at-release abomination that was EQ2, rather than really giving everyone the F2P sucker option like DDO did. Bravo on that move, but honestly I would expect no less from SOE, it’s what they do.
Finally, League of Legends is not only a damn fun game that Aria is starting to get into (and that some other female needs to start playing in a certain vent…), unlike the F2P crap that goes on in the vast majority of MMOs, their model is spot on and one I very-much welcome going forward. Want instant access to a hero or twelve; feel free to pay up and go nuts to collect them all. Are you someone who is able to focus on just a few heroes and possesses an attention span greater than a flee (or the average WoW players)? Hey look, you don’t pay a dime to play LoL with the heroes you want, and those who pay have absolutely no in-game power or content benefit over you. Want to make your hero look different with a skin or two? That’s going to cost you (pure fluff purchase), and you decide what skin you feel warrants such a purchase, if any.
Want to buy slight power enhancing gems to beef up your heroes? You can’t, play the game and earn the points like everyone else. Now in all fairness, you CAN buy temporary point-gain boosters, which is I guess a sorta-kinda way to buy the points, and hence buy the gems. But given that the amount of gems you need is limited, and that getting a full set is very much possible just by normally playing for a bit, the boosters more or less work like paying to own more heroes does: you can do it if you REALLY want a large variety NOW, but playing normally will get you want you need just fine if you plan ahead a little and spend wisely.
The last bit is very important IMO, because it shows that Riot Games (the devs) respect the game over a quick cash grab, as clearly selling gems directly for cash would net them some decent money, but at the expense of directly selling power (even though you could still get that same power just by playing, so they went even further than almost all F2P setups). I applaud that, and as such have no trouble spending some money to pick up a fluff skin or two.
This also solves another issue F2P games come across, that the players fear a patch rather than eagerly await it. With the way Riot has set things up, every update not only includes profit-making additions like new skins or heroes that are completely options (rather than strongly encouraged), but also balance updates, features such as the start of a ranked league, and (hopefully at some point) things like new maps or in-game items available to everyone. Again, it’s very easy for someone like me, who avoids the usual F2P scam, to get behind this take on the payment model. Good stuff behind a very entertaining game.
Chuck-o-the-day: Chuck Norris is neither pro-life nor pro-choice. He is pro-death.