F2Pocalypse 2013

So let me get this straight. In the news in the last few days:

LotRO added a patch with Hobbit Presents, a new gambling-style lockbox that they spam daily at players. Why bother with giving lockboxes a chance to drop from a monster? Just shovel them at players and try to rake in the cash. And LotRO added a literal in-game store shopping mall in Bree.

SWTOR’s new patch supposedly adds nothing but store items.

And Rift today announced that it’s going Free To Play. But it will be fair with no tricks or traps–they promise. Bill Fisher says the stigma of F2P is going away, but if it is, then why do they have to make that promise in the first place?

This is probably the main reason that Hartsman left Trion. It’s because the man is a god of integrity, like I always said. He’s really cute too. Can I say that without being reverse-sexist? I’m not sure, but I did. This is the way of the kitty.

So. I said I’d never blog about LotRO again, but since I quit the game, I feel like I can make an exception to say that I hope it dies in a fire. I hope they pull the license. I hope it shuts down ASAP so I never have to hear about it again.

My elves have diminished, abandoning the world to the greed of men. And women, in this case.

I made my goodbye post. I updated my LotRO Interface page to say that I will no longer be supporting those 14k downloads. I’m leaving my LotRO boxing guide up on my blog. It’s top post today, I think from some press it got in the forums.

Boxing is kind of a rebellious activity. It’s also a way for players to get as much from F2P as possible without paying. It’s okay with me.

I’ve almost condemned Neverwinter also. I’m still on the fence. I was reading the 1500+ post F2P-complaint thread in the forums until the mods closed it down and ejected it with no explanation. I heard about the Orwellian world chat spam whenever someone wins the lottery. I heard about the high prices for basic things. The double-diamond earning weekends or whatever.

To be fair, I don’t just assume the whiners are right. Neverwinter might be the most smokin’ deal going in an MMO right now. Once you wade through all of the currency exchange rates and calculate out a monthly estimate of what you mind need–it might well be fair. (A degree in accounting or a genius IQ is useful for playing a F2P game.)

F2P is just not a game I want to play. I want immersion, not a meta shopping experience where I buy things for my characters like they are barbie dolls. F2P is a symptom of the sickness that is pervasive in American culture.

So the kitty is now left with WoW, Guild Wars 2, Skyrim, and Dragon Age 2. Guild Wars 2 is double-dipping, but it’s non-obtrusive. I haven’t really needed the store yet. The store will move forward, though. The corruption might be inevitable.

On a positive note, I’m working on a fun new comic strip titled “The Forsaken Inn Of Unplayable Races”. It’s a place where races go when they aren’t wanted in an MMO. It’s cute. I’ll have it posted soon. A new strip is needed in the yonder sidebar to replace the one about SWTOR.

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About Silverangel

https://kittykittyboomboom.wordpress.com/ View all posts by Silverangel

7 responses to “F2Pocalypse 2013

  • Rift to go Free to Play on June 12 | The Ancient Gaming Noob

    […] Others, whom like me, have been unhappy with the rot that cash shops can bring, will be less enthusiastic. […]

  • wumpus

    But, but, but, I still have to go visit Moria! I made all my guildmaster unlocking tickets (a poor choice of goals, I’ll admit. And one that would never happen with a subscription), and now I have to get up and go to Moria.

    I better get going before Bree starts to look like Las Vegas with neon advertising.

    PS. Neverwinter review is done. Posting it under a neverwinter area (with a summary/editing guide for when you notice readers are getting lost and being found in Albuquerque).

  • wumpus

    Pointer to unplayable race (but desperately wanted):
    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/321697-Playable-Kobold-Race?p=3966699&viewfull=1#post3966699

    Some background: Kobolds are the genric low level player xp fodder in DDO (although you aren’t ready for them for a few levels). They were added to an aniversery puzzle/quest/grind that included some absolutely hilarious voice acting that has made them a DDO mascot ever since (the first available pets were kobolds).

    example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kSlEwJOku4

    Sample (after killing a mob to save a kobold):
    (to you) “kobold still hates you! kobold remember waterworks” [generic “kill all the kobolds in their homes” quest].
    or more rarely (to mob) “aaaaaaaaaaaand stay down!!”
    [The rewards for grinding this were pretty high (near top level gear for your level, but left a decent gap to want the “real” stuff). Players eventually got far more tired of the gameplay (and the bugs, definitely the bugs) than the kobold voices.]

    “Kobold will make the shiny work.” This is that one little bonus that will make players willing to be kobolds (other than the chance to imitate the voices over voice chat. Expect voice chat to be useless at least temporarily afterwards).

    And slowly the DDO forums recover their functions. Doesn’t look like they are recovering posters, but haven’t cared enough to find out. Checking a “webpage site worth” page extrapolates them (and LOTRO) to zero hits around September, but both pages have so much noise in them to make the extrapolation worthless.

    • Jackie

      Too funny! Gosh, I didn’t think of kobolds. I went with Wookies, Jawas, half-Drow, and Dwemer for the comic. I sent you a contributor invitation, Wumpus. If you accept, it seems like really the best way to give you full and proper credit for your writing. 🙂 That would be in your email associated with your comments. You will also be able to manage your comments, I believe, including delete them. Otherwise, I can do it tomorrow night. Either way.

  • wumpus

    “(A degree in accounting or a genius IQ is useful for playing a F2P game.)”

    Neither are really needed. For more established f2p games (including those established with subscriptions and just opening up to f2p) you could just ask around for what you need. For less established games you need a crystal ball of determining later buffs/nerfs. Some examples:
    LOTRO:
    I can’t recommend buying item 1 unless:
    1. It is a good sale: I’ve heard the mithril pack used to go on sale a lot. Haven’t seen it on sale since January.
    2. You finished the Lone Lands (about level ~33) and need to keep going.

    You need to buy two things (for several months of LOTROing)
    1. Mithril edition ($20) here: http://www.impulsedriven.com/products/ESD-IMP-W2777
    2. One month of VIP (preferably after level 20 for riding skill or after level ~33 for maximum leveling potential. Note you are primarily buying this for the perks of ex-VIPs. You will need it to get up to about level 45 and running in Eregion and Moria before your month expires.
    3. Avoid the Sam Pack (unless you have a large budget and are considering subscribing. It isn’t bad, just expect to buy everything again.
    4. Avoid the introductory Steam pack (doesn’t appear to exist anymore) altogether. It used to be recommended, then was nerfed to a net loss (compared to any other purchase) now it appears gone.

    Note I have no idea what I need after Moria (although this includes Loth Lorien for all your flower picking fun), but this also includes 2k worth of TP to buy up such things. Also expect to have more than a few TP after getting this far (there are few things you need to spend TP on). Note that if you have enough alts and want to be guildmaster in your crafting guild (no relation to kinships) you will need another month of VIP (I managed to do both with one stone. It wasn’t worth it.)

    Some useful guides for paying money for LOTRO:

    http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?492268-How-to-maximize-your-return-on-investment&highlight=
    http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?505427-Penny-pincher-strategies-for-the-best-gaming-experience&highlight=

    DDO:
    (note, I recommend going f2p until you are limited enough by such status to want to buy a subscription and then going that way at least until after the next expansion. I have no confidence in DDO right now, nor have I heard much confidence in other DDO old-timers. These examples are also somewhat out of date. Try googling for a better guilde, but if they focus on anything but quest packs (and the shared bank and occasional race/class) it is likely Turbine sales literature.

    ~6300 TP (buy the $50 ($60 now) They seem to have done away with bonus points (and thus double bonus sales). Ask some current player what the typical TP sale is. It used to be something like 50% more TP at the $50 level. Don’t miss it.
    $20 First expansion. Needed when you hit 20 and don’t want to re-level through true reincarnation (note this is level 20 in old-school D&D leveling (and easily slower than that). It takes awhile to get to 20.
    $30 Next expansion. Needed if it actually survives that long and you hit level 25 and want to keep going.
    Avoid the Steam/DDO store “introductory pack”. It’s about $2.50 of stuff for $10.00

    Things you need:
    1400 Shared bank (if you are interested in equiping alts, you will need this. The “good stuff” is typically bound to account, and you need one of these to transfer anything bound to account).
    2750 (total) you will want the following quest packs: Vale of Twighlight (most important pack), Gianthold (even more important now that it has epic quests), demon sands (I might be overrating the desert, but I doubt it).
    Optional stuff ( about 2k if nothing was bought on sale and you needed the bank).
    995: Warforged race: Highly recommended if you want to make a sorcerer (warning: sorcerer nerfing believed imminent). DO NOT make a melee warrior with one, the healing attenuation is unbearable: the cleric will likely just let you die.
    ???: other quests. The rest are much shorted and well loved than the “mandatory” quests. Note that there are far more free low level quests, so you won’t need them to level. Free higher level quests get few and far between.
    DO NOT BUY EQUIPMENT from the DDO store. Basically all you should be buying (for the first 50-60 bucks are the shared bank and quest packs. The next 50-60 will be mostly quest packs and maybe some races and classes. About the only item I can think of buying is a true heart of wood (the chance to start over (while keeping your stuff) at level 1).

    • wumpus

      -Note on LOTRO:

      I forgot the non-Moria expansions. Expect to need them, but they seem to come in packs of everything-but-the-latest-pack, so expect to need that and the latest pack (Rohimir now, probably Helm’s deep by the time I get there).

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