Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pay to win

New permanent page, discussing P2W using objective results instead of rant. Comment it here!


Antze said...

That's exactly what I was explaining to someone just yesterday, just with different words.

Since opinions here are not important right now, I'll just add two more facts for consideration.

Fact one: games earn money mainly from what whales pay. I don't have solid proof for this, but all my observations lead to this. Including some data from the devs' side that I have access to (not much but still).

Fact two: any online game which has ingame market (possibility to transfer power between characters at their will) and where devs don't do token trade, eventually develops illegal RMT. For that, you need not only supply of gold (silver/ISK), but demand as well, and that's basically "player want to buy power". If devs are not totally stupid, they'd rather hop on this money flow and make it theirs, than just let players buy power from someone who's not a dev (each other). This also leads to "pay for advantage is inevitable".

There are still a couple of games (maybe more), who pay real attention to ethics of business, so their games are comfortable to play even with minor payments (or none at all), yet even those are basically financed by whales, cater to whales, and sell power.

Antze said...

For some strange reason, I was unable to see the whole paragraph where you clearly referenced illicit RMT. My apologies for that. Then there's only one point of my previous comment that's potentially worthy, and the conclusion.

I might even better rephrase the conclusion: currenly, there's no sense in comparing "fairness" of different games, or wanting a "fair" game. There's only sense in wanting a game to be enough comfortable for play to a "moderately paying customer". Some of them go too far in catering whales.

maxim said...

My only comment is that not all players are interested in paying for advantage. Just players of some games are.

This is nothing new, either. There is a entire genre of very idle games, called "battler", where you outfit your character and observe his autobattles with other characters. There is also Travian and its numerous clones.

Shivaro said...

MMO player want more power is as breaking news as "addict want more crack".
Its all about perception. In game like eve and wow the community accept it. In wow the narrative is that you just buy to skip the staff before the end game (leveling, gearing for raid ready etc) and it doesn't effect the actual end game (raiding/pvp). In Eve the narrative is that player can either buy skill points which is horizon growth and not power growth(when you sit in frigate there are so many skill points that are actually in use).And the explanation for the silver you can buy with cash is that you can't do nothing in this game with silver(only to reship without grinding i guess) unless you give the silver back to the f2p community (like you did).
In other games like BDO or AA the perception is that you can directly buy power with cash and the result(at least in EU/NA is/will be a dead game).
I would argue that for this game like BDO and AA this is the wrong business model for the western audience. and they could make much more out of the product life time with the way BDO did it until they flipped the p2w switch. (selling pseudo subscription that in reality cost much more then any standard game with subscription )

Smokeman said...

As much as I want to hide in the sand on this one, I cannot ignore the basic truth here that people are willing to pay for advantage and that desire WILL eventually destroy the "Everyone pays the same subscription rate" model.

There is a saying, "You never convince someone of your argument in real time." The truth has to chip away at their dogmatically held beliefs for a while before breaking through.

But this is dangerous territory for developers. The whales cannot play the game by themselves, the game NEEDS cannon fodder for the whales to shoot, or otherwise happy players to gather the resources the whales buy to get said advantage. If you alienate the cannon fodder by making it too obvious that they're not the intended market, they'll quit. That's why the illusion of fairness matters.

WoW's balance seems pretty good... the expansions hyperinflate gear to the point that it's essentially reset at the expansion start. If they sold even wimpy power items on the item shop at the start of an expansion (For example, the scrolls that complete crafting work orders.), that would be game over... the farmers grinding for tokens would revolt. But at the end of the expansion, they can rain epic items from the sky and no one cares.