MMOs

boo.

I played a bit of Allods last night, but had little patience with the things that I’ve previously ignored: the Russian players insisting on filling zone chat with Cyrillic, the sad little boys with potty mouths, the scarcity of quest items or mobs. Tonight it bothered me, and honestly it’s because of the whole cash shop issue – it’s tarnished my love of the game that they created, and that is a shame. I logged after fifteen minutes or so, and watched a movie instead.

I don’t have a problem with sensible microtransactions. I’ve paid Blizzard for innumerable server transfers, name changes, faction transfers, etc. I bought the Pandaren pet for a gift this Christmas. I would have paid for several of the extremely cool looking mounts in Runes of Magic – the price wasn’t bad for a mount, and they were gorgeous. Cash shops that offer potions for increased XP wouldn’t bother me. Epic gear would, along with potions that wildly increased your stats – that creates an unlevel playing field. Fear of Death in Allods would cost you an extraordinary amount over a month if you were doing instances (which evidently are difficult to do with no deaths). If you can’t afford the perfume, you have a several hour downtime while you wait for your stats to come back. This would make endgame PvE content impossible.

In the end, it’s about respect. The attitude of “we’re going to sit back and see what kind of response there is to these prices” is disrespectful. I am not an idiot, nor am I some cash cow that will happily cough up an estimated $50-$70 per month to play your game. There is no game in the world that would be worth that, AAA titles included. I certainly won’t pay it for Allods.

This kind of article doesn’t help. It’s not about bags. I could care less if there are convenience or vanity items in the shop with astronomical prices, which the devs have put there just to see if anyone buys them. It affects my gameplay not in the slightest. Sitting out for a couple of hours after a death, however, does. Surely that would be obvious to anyone.

All of this makes me think of Aion, actually. Goodwill is invaluable for any business, and it is especially important to MMOs. I loved Aion so much, and if they fixed the gameplay/grind issues I would be resubscribed in a flash. If I didn’t hate NCSoft so much. They had zero respect for their players. For ages they gave goldsellers free rein, and there are probably areas populated only by botters to this very day. Anything they did to Aion would be coloured (for me) by the bad feeling that I have for the company.

Boo sucks to gPotato. Shame on you.

8 thoughts on “boo.

  1. The problem is that you are talking about what is “sensible” to you, as in price to pay. With admitting your price, you hit the nail on the head. You have to admit that the prices in the shop COULD be some other players price.

    While I do agree that the prices are too high (I have always said that) I do not claim that my comfort zone for pricing should be everyone elses. And there is nothing wrong with a company charging a good amount for their art, and hoping that it sells.

    A question, since like me, you are an artist: how do you price your goods? For me, I always went really cheap because I wanted to move more pieces. I had friends that went really expensive, and sold less, but averaged out like I did.

    So, do you think it is possible that anyone could look at your prices and laugh? Of course. Let’s not pretend that gPotato is not allowed to name THEIR price for THEIR art.

    My article wasn’t about the bags only, I said that much. The bags represent normal everyday items in cash shops around the world, and now in NA. The bags also represent the normal bartering process for goods, something you should be very familiar with.

    By the way, nice art! :)

    Beau

  2. The difference between my artwork and a game like Allods is that no one lives or dies if they don’t buy my artwork. In Allods, you pretty much have to spend a ton of money in order to play (in its present form). Or perhaps that is a flawed analogy…you can either play, or not play based on the FoD costs. My head hurts, it’s been a very long day at work. :)

    As I said, I’m fine with the bags – just like I’m fine with paying for mounts. And pretty outfits that I can “skin” my current armor with. But being forced to pay many times a normal monthly subscription cost in order to experience Allods endgame is not something most people will do. I mean, seriously – how many times do we die in MMOs? Unless you’re incredibly l33t, or the game is absurdly easy, probably quite often at higher levels. I do, anyway, I totally admit. So if I don’t buy the perfume (estimated costs from people who have played to endgame in excess of $50/month), I have to say “well, guys, that’s me for the night, I have FoD for two hours”. It’s a game breaker, where fripperies are not.

    And thank you for your kind words about my art! I really appreciate that.

  3. But, as it has been proven time and time again, both by players and by the developers themselves, as well as has been shown during the last several months of game-play:

    You can do just fine, all the way until the “end” of the game, without touching the cash-shop.

    And no one lives or dies if they don’t buy the cash shop items. In fact, I will bet you a million dollars that you cannot name a single MMO that actually uses perma-death. As with all MMO’s, PvP is simply a pause in game-play, not a death at all.

  4. But Beau, once I’ve agreed to spend £8.99 to Blizzard I can play end-game raiding as much as I like for the month – and die as often as needed to succeed in an encounter. By enabling these frankly ridiculous charges to be able to raid end-game in Allods it does two things: alienates people like me and effectively means I won’t bother playing the game and levelling because I know there’s no way I’ll be bending over for that kind of rip off, and b: makes me think they’d have been far better off charging a flat subscription fee.

    It seems like a fairly good game, spoilt by a distributor once again, as have so many recent MMOs been. Conan, Aion, STO – all tarnished by publishers rushing out content, or not looking after the playerbase at launch. I feel sorry for the devs putting in all the hard work for the bean counters to go and fck it all up.

  5. An MMO with permadeath? I’ve never heard of Dofus. I’m too much of a weenie to even play Darkfall, where people can take all your cash and gear and kill your mount. Permadeath? Not in a million. :D

  6. It’s just one of those little MMO’s that ticks away in the background, nothing I’d ever play, but they did adopt servers that applied permadeath, which was brave in my opinion!

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