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#1 Feb 25 2010 at 3:39 AM Rating: Decent
555 posts
A very good read about Micro-Transactions. Enjoy guys, comment here!
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#2 Feb 25 2010 at 4:02 AM Rating: Good
6,471 posts
Very much enjoyed the point about forming a better communication network between players and developers. I've always appreciated when a company maintains a well-updated developer's blog, even more so if it's open to comments and suggestions by players. And I think such methodologies really do lead to a greater product. They also make the player-base feel represented and appreciated, among many other benefits.

It's a shame SE is so quiet, especially with it's NA player-base.
#3 Feb 25 2010 at 4:19 AM Rating: Good
817 posts
It's a shame SE is so quiet, especially with it's EU player-base.
#4 Feb 25 2010 at 9:54 AM Rating: Excellent
224 posts
Unfortunately on this topic, it is hard for the community to have a clear voice, as everyone has their own opinion. Some people like micro transactions, some people hate it (such as myself).

The clearest message we can send is with our dollar, if you support micro transactions, or are at least not against them, then buy them. If you are against micro transactions, then don't play the game. I myself, when I play a game that then introduces micro transactions, cancel my account, and I tend to avoid buying any games made by that company in the future.

Everyone has to make up their own minds on this topic, and do what seems right for them.
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#5 Feb 25 2010 at 10:43 AM Rating: Default
372 posts
We don't just need good commuinication, we need companies to have some guide-lines.

But as for people who complain they're no unique items via the cash-shop, what more do they want? They're getting something by spending a little cash (that they can obviously afford) and wasting little time. That should really be the only unique thing about those transactions, I for one want to see all that cash-shop content via time and work in the game itself, especially in a P2P game. F2P is another matter entirely.

I like cash-shops in games, so long as they're not terribly expensive I don't mind. The only thing that cheeses me off is when they charge for something that should be part of the games basic foundation or ready at the games launch but deliberately held back so they can charge for it.
#6 Feb 25 2010 at 11:04 AM Rating: Decent
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Personally, I think there is a very important LINE.

If a game introduces an item shop for purely cosmetic items, items that allow a player to save some time, or some other things like content packs, then it's a good model.

The problem is when games cross "the line" and start offering players ways of gaining a serious competitive advantage in combat (PvP or PvE) over non-paying players.

I used to toy around with Runes of Magic, a F2P item-shop Korean MMO with a very good English port, decent support, and a lot of interesting and semi-original ideas. I quit playing it the day I realized that to gear up end-game you would have to spend about $200. You see, bosses in dungeons dropped gear (duh). The problem is, even "epix" would get more stats from cash-shop purchased enchants than the items themselves had. Imagine getting an epic in WoW with 100 stam and 100 strength, and then using US$ to buy enchants that would increase the stats by 200 stam, 200 strength and 200 agility. The game allowed players to buy "diamonds" (the paid currency) and sell them on the AH in-game, so in theory, a free player could farm gold (in-game currency) and buy them. But then you'd spend 10-20 hours to farm money to buy $5 worth of diamonds...

What I liked about the game was that I could pick it up and drop it as I pleased. I didn't have to worry about paying my monthly sub and not having time to play because I'm either busy IRL or in another MMO world.

League of Legends is not an MMO, but it's a perfect example of a solid cash-shop game.

You can download the game and make your account for free. There are 43 "heroes" in game (you could think of them as different classes) and in any given week, there are 10 that are free to play. So, you can start playing with one of the free heroes. When you play a game, you earn "Influence Points" (IP). You earn more for winning a match than losing, but as long as you complete your games, you are rewarded. The IP you earn can be spent to unlock heroes, and purchase Runes (stat improving items that persist between games). So, in theory, you can play the game for free forever.

On the other hand, you can purchase "Riot Points" (RP) for real money. You can spend these points on unlocking heroes. You can also spend them to buy XP boosts (100% bonus XP for each match) or IP boosts (earn 100% more IP per game). You can NOT spend them on runes, which must be bought with IP. You can also buy skins for one of your heroes, which are purely cosmetic, but show your devotion to the game and that particular hero.

In other words, the game is free to play and there is nothing you can't enjoy for free. Those who want speed up XP/IP gain, unlock heroes faster, or have custom skins, can spend money at their leisure. Personally, I spend $35 on the game when it came out (which to me was the same as a box would cost, and seemed reasonable to support a company whose product I liked) and I haven't spent a penny since. I still play one match a day with my friends after work :)
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#7 Feb 25 2010 at 11:47 AM Rating: Good
362 posts
It's interesting to see how this argument has steadily been lost by those who oppose MTs. Personally, I am totally against MTs in any way in P2P MMOs. Where it used to be people against MTs would not budge, now it seems acceptable to have MTs for "things that either won't change the game or are also available to be earned within the game".

And that's the first step. Game companies aren't stupid. Cosmetic items/pets/non-essentials are how things like this start. They know if they push too hard, gamers will quit in large numbers, but if they slowly move in with little things that people don't mind or don't care about, they know that eventually, they can put whatever they want in there.

The "vote with our wallet" defense doesn't really work though because there are far too many who seem to think MTs are acceptable, and there's also the example of people who buy in-game currency. We know people are going to do it. The whole "I don't have that kind of time" argument comes out. The only thing I can say to that is it's an MMO, it's not going anywhere, and it's meant to take time. I do realize, however, that not everyone is going to see it that way.

I'm not trying to be combative with this post; I guess I just wanted to throw my opinion out there, doomed and futile as it may be...
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#8 Feb 25 2010 at 2:07 PM Rating: Good
372 posts
I'm not trying to be combative with this post; I guess I just wanted to throw my opinion out there, doomed and futile as it may be...

Not at all. I get where you're coming from and agree to a certain extent. But you said it yourself, there are people out there who will buy these things and because of that, companies are going to cater for that demand. Its just how it works unfortunately. But that's not to say we're not entitled to let ourselves be heard when we're clearly being taken advantage of. Look at Cryptics attempt to charge people for an expansion, that consisted of one area and came at a time when the community were crying out for long running problems to be fixed. Instead of giving priority to making sure the main game was working as intended, they tried to launch an expansion and demanded it be paid for.

They simply announced this at the wrong time. If the game itself wasn't in the state it had been, people would have accepted it, even bought it because they wouldn't have felt like they were being ripped off. Charged every month for a broken game, some couldn't even log in because of the problems and then they say they're providing a solution to the problem, filling in the hole in the game were the lack of content was (their fault) but you have to pay us for this fix.

As it stands now that particular content is free. So, I think that says a lot about the power of throwing your opinion out there, especially when it envolves money.
#9 Feb 25 2010 at 9:57 PM Rating: Decent
977 posts
If they communicate like they did with players in FFXI, it's moot.
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#10 Feb 25 2010 at 10:29 PM Rating: Decent
45 posts
What's worse, though, is that the MMO community isn't sending a clear message to game companies. We say we don't want microtransactions in subscription-based games, yet we buy up just about everything a company offers to us when they go down that path. We say that we want the items to be available in game for virtual funds, but complain if microtransactions don't offer exclusive items, and if exclusive items are offered, complain there's no way to get those items in game. Quite simply, we are contradictory consumers.

I think the problem is that each complaints came from different groups of players... So at the end the company have to choose whose voice they want to answer to that would bring them in the most cash. And I believe there are tons of players who would love to do it the easy way and pay their way to their new items.
#11 Feb 27 2010 at 2:28 PM Rating: Default
1,457 posts
Imagine getting an epic in WoW with 100 stam and 100 strength

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