Should I pay to play an MMO?

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  1. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    I've just got into the MMO genre and honestly, I'm a bit surprised that people actually pay a monthly fee to play the game. I'm accustomed to paying a one time fee up front to play a game. No issues there other than said fee is often too high IMO. Paying every month seems strange to me. Nowadays it seems a lot of F2P games were once pay so the idea that you get a lesser quality product falls apart. The game I'm into, DC Universe Online, has different tiers and the F2P peeps can buy in game content. I'm happy to do that as the in game content is cheaper than a monthly subscription if you do the math. You play 2-3 months and you break even after paying for everything. Is there a reason to pay to play an MMO these days if you don't have to?

  2. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member

    Now, I don't have an internet connection that supports MMOs so, take my opinion for just that...
    But, I'd say no. I mean, I really don't like monthly fee idea at all. And I have a few friends who have gotten quite addicted to their MMOs....
    But, I believe there are some that are either a) free or b) have no monthly fee

    That being said, if you are satisfied with how much you pay for the game - then that is that really. Those superhero MMOs were always the ones that caught my fancy, I think it was 'city of heroes' or something like that --- I thought that game looked awesome.
    Hope that at least counts as half an answer.
  3. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    You pay monthly because you pay for servers which are online all the time, you pay for GMs who patrol the world 24/7 looking for bugs and service the players while playing, etc. Unlike games where you get a finished product here and now, and maybe a couple of patches, MMOs generally have an evolving story line which is patched every few months giving new maps, new quests, new characters, new opponents etc that offline games do not have. MMOs are games that are in continuous development.

    Think of it as rent for the servers. You don't play PC to PC network on an MMO, unlike a single player game where you just need your PC to play. For an MMO to work, you have to connect to a huge server.
  4. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but I don't think bandwidth and server space is quite that expensive.
    I would think they could implement something kinda like what windows does in enterprise with window updates.... where a few smaller servers exist all over, and they communicate back and forth with the main server.

    And the server costs don't explain some of the games that had a one time fee. I'd personally find paying a higher fee and no monthly fee more reasonable.
  5. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    Its not servers only if you read my post well enough:

    1. Unlike say, Assassin's Creed where when done, they sell the game and its finished, MMO's constantly have updates and additional items and an expanding story line meaning the developers are working on it as you play. In Starcraft for example, ok so the developers built the game, made the story etc, then you pay for it, and they pay the developers with your money and its done. Any expansion packs come with a separate fee. In an MMO, you paid already, but the developers are still working on it behind the scenes so they need to be paid. There are of course different models of MMO earnings. For example you can play for free on some other MMOs but you need to pay to get certain items, or special boost effects.
  6. Dark Jedi

    Dark Jedi Well-Known Member

    What you said isn't entirely true. I played a game called guild wars. True its not mmo like wow but damn close enough. I paid no monthly fee and got updates and new missions and weapons. Plus expansion packs costing just as much as wow but is free to play on arenas servers. So youbcant tell me in a game like wow they are constantly updating and creating new stuff. If arena can make it free then why can't blizzard? They are making pure profit off their members by making them pay double for a game. First to buy it. Then to play on their servers.

    If they want a monthly fee then make the game free to get including expansion packs. This is why I don't play wow.
    9to5cynic and NYCHitman1 like this.
  7. NYCHitman1

    NYCHitman1 Gun for Hire Developer

    That is why I'll be sticking to Diablo 3 once it is released.

    EDIT: What is your name on DCUO?
  8. AmneonX

    AmneonX Well-Known Member

    I think people are missing one important thing about "free to play" mmos. They aren't really free if you want to have an edge over someone else. You have to pay cash for the best in game gear. Some people pay in excess of $100 a month for games like FlyFF or Rappelz or even Farmville to have in game items.
  9. NYCHitman1

    NYCHitman1 Gun for Hire Developer

    Those people aren't the brightest bulbs of the bunch either lol
    9to5cynic likes this.
  10. Dark Jedi

    Dark Jedi Well-Known Member

    Guild wars there are no items or skills you can buy to have an edge over others. So don't throw all of them in to one category. Only thing you can buy are outfits for their holidays stuff.
    9to5cynic likes this.
  11. Dark Jedi

    Dark Jedi Well-Known Member

    What's dcou?
  12. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    DC Universe Online. It's an MMORPG set in the DC universe.

    I reached Level 30 (the cap) with my hero and after reaching it I"m seeing a lot of limitations to being a free player. Some of the really nice gear costs $7k in game currency, but non-subscribers are limited to only $1.5k in the bank. So it creates this gap between haves and have nots.
  13. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    Because GW isn't strictly an MMO as the developers and the MMOGChart (indusrtry standard due to popularity) does not list it as such, and is basically a special category earning model where it incurs 80% less cost than a traditional MMO.

    1. There are no GMs. So if you bugged out or got stuck or got problems with another player like stealing loot, kill steal etc, no GM is going in to help you 5min after you get the problem. GMs are also one of the more heavily incurring costs for MMOs, they charge by the hour and you have a couple of hundred of them (or even thousand) for larger games.

    2. Even GW creators have said they do not make the large patches or changes the same level as WoW (Cataclysm, WoTLK, etc) because it can cost a million dollars or more to release those kinds of patches. They release it in smaller patches which costs less so it can be downloaded on the fly. Of course the problem with this is that it cannot create too large a change in the world, like how WoW turned several maps from a green forest to a barren wasteland because of Cataclysm storyline on one go. Its incremental.

    3. On GW, some quests are "instantiazed" (their term) for only a small group of players, meaning not everyone has access, so they track only a few players at a time for certain quests. less costs

    So how do they make money? The books. They try to make a compelling enough story line that more people would buy the books. They apparently do. Other items for sale are the clothes like you said, and extra character slots among others.
    surgerush likes this.
  14. marc12868

    marc12868 Well-Known Member Contributor

    So what's runescape? It gets updates, new items, free servers, mods, and is free unless you want to pay the member fee which you can get access to different servers and items, but you can still play it fine as a free member.. (although I gave up on it a while ago...)
  15. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    This directed at me??

    Starbolt9 is the main character I've been playing. He's a level 30 villian who's a fire tank. I'm trying to figure out the proper way to play a tank character.

    The other guy I've got is a hero named Kandar Ral. He's a GL at like level 12 right now. I also just started playing a healer, but I may scrap him. I've not played a healer before.
  16. ToastPwnz

    ToastPwnz Well-Known Member

    Hopping in late, but, @chanchan05

    1. How are there no GM's? Because they aren't in game 24/7 to deal with every minor issue? I guess having to open a support ticket and wait longer then five minutes is a foreign concept to some. Also loot stealing and kill stealing are nonexistent in Guild Wars, drops are split, for the most part, evenly by the game, and every player gets the same amount of experience per mob killed, wether they helped kill it or not.

    2. I don't even need to answer this one, it's pointless and biased.

    3. How are they only for a certain group of players? Every player has access to every quest within the games they own. There are quite a few upsides to not having hundreds of players running around every single area, see answer to #1, specifically "loot stealing".
  17. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    Ok, its my fault for not posting the source, but everything I said comes from the people behind guild wars, so saying I am lying or making biased and untrue statements in my post, is saying that the developers of Guild Wars are lying about how they make their money. :)

    Inside the World of Guild Wars — Tech News and Analysis

    Basically I trump all your arguments by pulling my claims straight from the developers. Yes that article is old, but its not like they changed earning models from what I see.
  18. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    The developers are going to say things to defend their revenue model though. I would expect nothing less.

    I just look at it this way. I can buy the latest greatest game on the market for $60-70. That's on the high side. An annual subscription to an MMO at $10 a month (on the low side) costs me $120 just in subscription fees. Can you really make an argument that <<insert name of MMO here>> is twice as good as the latest greatest game on the market today?
  19. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    No, I can point out though that their revenue model is based upon monthly subscriptions and perhaps they are spending too much money on development and not much thought on cost cutting or are trying to get too big of income from the game.

    However as consumers we can direct the revenue models if we choose to play for the free-to-play games if we want to, eventually forcing others to follow suite. Most don't seem to, though.
  20. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    I wonder why the freemium model like DCUO is using isn't used more widely. They've put out two game additions that give more powers and quests. They charge for this while subscribers get all of it free.

    WOW speaks for itself that the pay to play model works. I kind of wonder why. The cost to play something like WOW is far, far higher than the cost to play a brand new game. Is a game like WOW twice as good as the latest game on the market?

    Edit: has apparently gone dark for some kind. I found one site that claimed had taken over what MMOGchart was doing, but when I went there I just found porn. It's sad how a simple, non-controversial search can take you to a porn site. Took me 45 mins to figure out I was looking at porn.
  21. Snedd

    Snedd Well-Known Member

    I've never tried WoW but I was a big a fan of GW for a long time, I still think it has the best art style of any game I've played. I used to work with a hardcore MMO fan who'd played Evercrack for years and then moved on to WoW. I recommended that he try GW as there was no subscription. He got to level 20 in about a month, decided it didn't have enough depth to hold his interest and went back to WoW. So I guess that to people who are really into MMOs there's a reason to pay monthly. Blizzard know their market and know what they're doing.

    BTW an interesting piece of GW trivia - GW art director Daniel Dociu was the face model for Father Grigori (no one goes to Ravenholm) in Half Life 2: Interview with ArenaNet's Daniel Dociu :: ZAM
  22. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    I think comparing WoW to certain other MMORPG is sort of unfair. Warcraft has had a cult following, a deep and rich mythos and an ongoing storyline which has been circling for around 2 decades before the other MMOs came into the foray with their own stories. Its going to be deeper than most other MMORPGs out there except perhaps for Star Wars based ones and a few others (like DCUO).

    So technically, while WoW itself may not be considered 2x as good as any game out there in terms of game play itself (I personally tried WoW and while controls are quite good, some parts of the interface are a bit clunky IMO), there's something more to it than just the game play, especially if you are among the ones who have followed the story of Azeroth from the start, or even from just the past years. There's something about the feel of walking the lands as a hero, lands whose history took shape with you controlling its heroes against the forces of the Burning Legion. There's something about actually seeing the lands you have only read about (from the Warcraft books). Its sort of the same feeling a long time Tolkein or Rowling reader might have when they first saw the movies, except this time you actually control a hero.

    Then you have the community to think of as well. The Warcraft community has been well and thriving even before there were MMOs.
  23. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    I've never gotten into the fantasy genre of elves, wizards and warlocks. It just doesn't appeal to me. I will admit to getting a thrill in DCUO flying over Gotham City and discovering the Bat-signal on top of the PD building. There's an alley where you can see a memorial to the Wayne family as well. There are similar spots in Metropolis.

    Still, the cost is just so much higher. WOW has been around since late '04. Let's say you started playing on day 1. At $10 a month for that time is $750. You could have bought a ton of really high quality games used and new in that time period for that amount of money. That is a high cost of ownership.

    Star Trek Online is another game that jumps to mind as having a rich back story. It's already gone free to play in a bid to make more revenue. I've not played the game though but I've heard it's poorly done so that may contribute to it's issues.
  24. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    What I actually meant to say was that, saying WoW earns a lot despite being paid and a bit expensive is an unfair comparison to other MMOs that are free to play or paid, whatever their revenue model may be, simply because even if they built WoW to be the most expensive MMO out there, it will still attract many followers due to the cult following it gains from the Warcraft community. Its sort of like how the iPhone attracts so many buyers despite being almost twice as expensive as an SGS2 which can do almost everything it does as well. It's the "Doesn't matter how expensive it is, its WoW" kind of thing.
  25. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    If you take WOW out of the equation (and I can see why you would since they have 4 times the subscribers as the next most popular game), then GW comes in second it looks like and they're F2P. No other games even come close. I don't even see DCUO on the charts at all. Not sure why. In any case, according to, virtually everything else is stuck between 50k and 1 mil. That seems to be regardless of pay or free.

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