Blog, Podcast, and Video Guides 14 Comments

MMO Blogging for the Experienced and Occasionally Wiser

As you probably noticed, earlier in the week I wrote a fairly tongue-in-cheek post about MMO payment models. It was largely inspired by Syl’s post on the same subject.

In her post Syl linked the Cat Context episode from June, 2013 where she sat down with my and Ellyndrial to talk about payment models. At the time she and I had been having a bit of a blog battle over the whole thing, myself being passionately in favor of subscriptions and Syl defending F2P as not being inherently terrible. (I think that’s a fair summary of our stances!)

When I read the most recent post I tried to stoke some of the old internal fire on this topic. I still don’t trust F2P games, and I think embracing them (by developers and players) has made some areas of gaming pretty messed up. I think the psychology of preying on whales is the same as the psychology behind casino gambling, and that makes me feel squicky. As I said in my brief “last word” post I like subscriptions, and I don’t play MMOs that don’t have some kind of subscription option because that’s just how I roll.

But when I sat down earlier this week to write yet another post on it all I realized… I just don’t care that much about it anymore. Over time in the MMO blogging community you see the same evergreen discussions come up again and again: Payment models, casual vs. hardcore, WoW destroyed MMOs, and so on. And while I certainly encourage folks to continue writing posts on those subjects when they have something to say, after 6+ years I’m not sure I do.

Not only that, but time and the supposed wisdom that comes with it has made me a little more tractable. When I try to adopt a philosophy of “everyone should play what makes them happy”, can I really get all raged up about payment model preferences? I dunno, man, if you’re having fun then I guess it’s all good.

Plus let’s face it, us grumps have lost this battle. My feelings about MMOs changed dramatically after the rise and sudden fall of WildStar. Here was a game that espoused all of the things that we old school, Burning Crusade fans wanted! There was raiding and challenging leveling content and elaborate crafting and subscriptions. And it turned out when faced with this throwback game.. for the most part, and for whatever reason, we didn’t actually want it. So much for pining for the old days. So much for bickering in support of the subscription model. I still feel a little lost about it, to be honest.

So this week instead of fighting the old battles and throwing down with other sites in rhetorical glee, I farmed up a hat for my chocobo.

… Ugh, casual bloggers are the worst.


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  • Reply
    Wilhelm Arcturus
    February 5, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I am waiting for the “Why are so many MMOs focused on fantasy?” topic to make its next circuit of the blogesphere.
    Wilhelm Arcturus´s last post: Pet Battling Across Azeroth

    • Reply
      Jessica Cook
      February 5, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Wait.. wait.. I HAVEN’T WRITTEN ABOUT THAT YET. *runs to keyboard*

  • Reply
    February 5, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    I don’t disagree. Those of us vehemently opposed to F2P have already lost. I certainly wouldn’t want to slight anyone for their enjoyment, though I will probably never get over how these new “innovations” completely change things as I personally like them and, in this case, I think for the worst.

    On the whole though, I don’t want to spend a lot more time on the subject, there is still some to be said I am sure and other things (like the DLC-centric nature of Evolve) come up to add new fuel to a now long-burning fire.
    Murf´s last post: Today, my valentine is Recollections of Play

    • Reply
      Jessica Cook
      February 5, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      I think one of the things we should keep an eye on now is lockboxes. Even for folks who appreciate F2P (or don’t care either way), lockboxes are a scourge… and also where games put the best hats.

      • Reply
        February 5, 2015 at 11:00 pm

        I don’t get everyone’s hate for lockboxes, as I find them to be one of the aspects of F2P that I find comparatively easy to ignore… though there are gradients of course, such as whether they are just a cash shop item or keep dropping out in the world, or whether their contents are tradeable or not.
        Shintar´s last post: Revan Annoys Me

        • Reply
          February 6, 2015 at 12:36 am

          I’m just not a fan of abusive games of chance or content that can only be gained via a paid, randomized gate. They are easy to ignore, but I don’t want to play a game where a significant amount of its funding comes off people getting addicted to a slot machine.

          There are rules and regulations for slot machines IRL, but not really for video games.
          Murf´s last post: Today, my valentine is Recollections of Play

          • Shintar
            February 6, 2015 at 10:55 am

            Well, I’m not against the idea of more regulation, but that’s not the same as thinking that something is horrible and shouldn’t exist.

            I also don’t get why people always make the comparison to slot machines. I think in-game lockboxes are much more similar to something like scratchcards or lottery tickets.
            Shintar´s last post: Revan Annoys Me

          • Shintar
            February 6, 2015 at 11:08 am

            Also, it’s worth considering that this whole genre has already been accused of ruining people’s lives by getting them “addicted” and causing them to waste time and money way before the introduction of lockboxes…
            Shintar´s last post: Revan Annoys Me

        • Reply
          February 9, 2015 at 4:46 am

          ehh.. I’m with liore on this one. They have mah hats and I neeeeeed pretty hats
          j3w3l´s last post: Going Back to GW2

      • Reply
        February 6, 2015 at 5:27 am

        I haaaaate those lockboxes… if a drop? Fine. But when, as Murf says, it becomes a slot machine.. it’s.. yeah. It’s squicky. And why I have quickly lost faith in Trion as it becomes more and more prevalent in their games. If a game has something cool to sell for money, then sell it. Don’t be gross.
        Jaedia´s last post: You Can Have Your Cake And Family, Too

  • Reply
    To Catch a Rant | Murf Versus
    February 9, 2015 at 10:07 am

    […] troubles me. While some of you may feel like this entire argument is a tired retread, I still believe that the F2P model negatively impacts the design of far too many games and […]

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