After my recent rant on how Neverwinter is a horrible excuse for a game and a blatant attempt to grab some fast money from the nerds (why do we let the brands we love do this to us?) I thought I’d look more into the issue. Some games actually do manage to use the microtransactions quite well. While I would still rather pay a subscription or the full price of a complete game maybe it’s possible to find some common ground between the two.
World of Warcraft: In world of Warcraft you pay a monthly subscription fee to play and you can spend money on vanity items. That means items which are cool and/or funny but these items can not affect the game itself. You can’t buy yourself an advantage. You have to earn all the cool gear by actually playing the game.
League of Legends: LoL is free to download and play. In the game you choose one of many champions – each with different abilities – to control. As you play you earn Influence Points with which you can unlock new champions to play and purchase runes that will customize your champions. You can also spend money getting Riot Points which will unlock new champions as well as vanity skins – alternate visual themes – for your unlocked champions. It should be noted that all the champions are of equal power – each with their own force and weakness – their cost is dictated by how new they are.
Pox Nora: This game is played by collecting “runes”. A rune will be a warrior or an effect you can put into play. You gather them into a custom collection and match it against your opponents. In Pox Nora you can play the game to earn gold which will buy you runes from all but the newest releases. You can pay money for the newest runes (even though you only have a random chance to get the rarest ones) or you can trade other players for them.
Star Wars – The Old Republic: Truly a hybrid – SWTOR is free to play you can spend money to buy a lot of different items which will make your character more powerful, level up faster and have more unique looks. Also certain aspects of the game requires that you “unlock” them using the in-game currency or real money. As an alternative you can choose to be a subscriber and have a lot of these benefits just handed to you as well as a monthly “allowance” to spend on the boost and vanity items.
Neverwinter: I think I have already said my piece on Neverwinter. Long story short it is free to play except everything in the game and it’s mother is for sale. Which it will advertise loudly and obnoxiously if you try to have fun without paying. Woups – couldn’t keep it in.
EVE: As always doing it’s own thing. In EVE a PLEX is worth a month of game time. You can buy a PLEX for the game currency (ISK) and cash it in to renew your subscription or you can use your real money to buy yourself a PLEX and cash it in for ISK. So while it is possible to boost yourself with more money – wealth in EVE is a fickle thing ad you might end up losing it all over again. It’s hard to compare EVE with other games.
I very much like how League of Legends has solved the problem of payment vs being free to play and based on how well the game is doing it seems like that business model is quite viable. That said LoL doesn’t strike me as a game that took the same level of development as a major MMO.
I’m very curious about how the coming Elder Scrolls Online will work and how future games will adapt. I think the “basic” subscription model is a bit outdated but as seen with Neverwinter all out “F2P” games will not capture anyone’s attention for long.
I knew where I was before I managed to turn the camera so I could actually see past a huge stone pillar. Dire Maul has a unique jade green light and is one of the instances I remember doing with my very first guild. Getting through this place could take the better part of an evening. This is where we actually had a designated “tank” for the first time. Game balance was till so-and-so and dual specs did not exist so everyone was, more or less, specced and geared for solo play. My career as shaman healer started here as I started collecting gear (mostly leather and cloth items) that augmented my healing and started staying out of combat so I could help out my poor guildmates.
Today I was sent to The Blasted Lands. This area has always been a bit out-of-the way. I don’t remember questing in it at all. It is, however, an important site for Warcraft history being the location of The Dark Portal.
It still is a desolate place but has changed a lot since I first set foot there. The teleportation relic deposited me on top of one of the many plateaus that was, until flying in Azeroth became possible, completely unreachable. I used to wonder what I might find on top of those and today I get my answer: three skeletons sitting around some menacing looking device. As usual the answer just brings more questions. Who were they, what were they doing and why?
I’ve started up WoW again and one of the things that has been amusing me for several weeks now is the Last Relic of Argus, an item found by performing the Archaeology profession in Outland, which will teleport you to a random place in the world. Or, as the item states: “exactly where you want to go… if you aren’t too picky”
Today I was taken into the Golakka Hot Springs in Un’Goro Crater.
Un’Goro was always one of my least favorite zones. It’s filled with surprisingly stealthy mega dinosaurs and the quests there required a lot of running around. In later patches the place has been fixed up a bit… but there’s still a lot of dinosaurs.