I think I’m slowly transitioning from hating F2P players to feeling sorry for them, somewhat similar to my changing views of WoW and its players. When WoW really mattered and every dev team was trying to clone it, I felt a serious distaste for WoW post-WotLK and the players supporting it. As WoW has faded not only in success but influence, things like MoP earn more of a sad headshake than any real scorn. F2P is rapidly approaching panda-time for me.
There are of course the clueless ramblings of former MMO bloggers, still worrying about bandwidth costs like its 1999, trying to convince anyone who will listen about the evils of players who actually enjoy playing MMOs for more than a few minutes a week (those same evil players who drive most of the player content in games, like your guild leader, mod maker, video people, etc, but yea, evil), and trying to justify their outdated and dying existence in a genre that either offers them farms or famine (rimshot). That group has, for some time now, been in the MoP-like sentiment category. It’s like visiting your aging grandma and just going along with how wonderful basic cable TV is in variety; knowing that explaining Netflix would only confuse her.
Others, however, I still feel for. Here we have an entire post devoted not to the quality of content, or upcoming additions, or anything even remotely player-driven, but worrying about the nickel-and-dime rate of an ‘update’ to F2P. Trying to justify how selling HOTBARS is maybe OK because… um… you can also buy a cute dress or pet? Or wondering if they play a game with feature X and Y blocked will still be OK enough to bother logging in. You can’t help but feel bad. These are not the things you should be thinking about.
Compare Rift-related posts of late to SW:TOR posts of late and the picture should become crystal clear.
The worst part of it all is the actual cost we are talking about here. People really are considering the value of having additional hotbars for a few bucks over paying the cost of going to lunch once a month. Playing an inferior version of something for 20, 30, 40 hours A MONTH to save $15 bucks is beyond insane. And god help you if you actually really like the game, because now for a lesser product you will be paying MORE than $15 a month to get access to everything. The true ‘sweet spot’ is liking something enough to bother loading it up, but not liking it enough to really care more than that. F2P MMOs are like justifying gaming purgatory, and it’s amazing and yet sad to watch people continue to try.
Aim a little higher people, find a game you actually like, so you can justify that mountain of $15 a month. Or yea, try to convince yourself that a limited inventory or just two hotbars is ‘good enough’.