Posts Tagged ‘F2P’

This past week has been pretty damned busy. With the release of Diablo 3 and being in a few Betas, I’ve tried to spread my time between them but it hasn’t gone so well. I’ve put in around 60 hours or so into D3 already but I did manage to pry myself away from it to get some time with the Firefall Beta. I first saw some of this game was last year on GamebreakerTVs weekly show TWIMMO. I became very interested and tried to find out everything I could about it. Which at that time wasn’t all that much. Just that it was a third person shooter MMO that would be Free to Play. A shooter MMO that’s F2P? I’m in. I was pretty excited when I got my invite early last week. Let’s get to it.

Right off the bat I really enjoyed the look and feel of the world. The cel shading graphics style is cool but I am not always a fan of it. There have been a few games over the years that I have enjoyed that use it. This game is definitely one of them. I spent the first hour or so in the game jamming around checking things out and getting used to using the jet-pack. The world looks great and I can’t wait to see more of it. Having the jet-pack to get around was insanely fun. They also have certain places where you can grab a glider to get around the island quicker. While I was hopping around I ended up getting caught up in some group PvE. It was really cool to just be roaming around and stumble on them. Fighting off waves of NPC soldiers along side a big group of other players was really fun. It’s still early on in Beta so other than rocking some quests, thumping(resource gathering player triggered event) and PvP there’s not a lot to do at the moment. What they do have in is still really fun. I’m a big fan of the glider and jet-pack. I’m pretty sure I could entertain myself by just messing with them for hours and hours.

One thing that Red 5 has planned for Firefall which has some people scratching their heads and others jumping for joy is their “Staged Content”. It’s not been implemented yet but if they get it to work it’s going to be amazing. Essentially the whole game world will not be available to explore at launch. As the players work together and complete story quests and participate in the game content they unlock more of the world. Here’s a link to a really great video explaining it. Extra Credits – Firefall – Staged Content Approach. If they can actually pull this off it’s going to be wicked.

The classes are called Battleframes in Firefall. There a few different ones but the really cool part is that you don’t need to re-roll a character to try them all out. When you first load into the game you are defaulted to the Assault Battleframe. Hitting up a Battleframe terminal allows you to swap between them at any time. A load out terminal lets you swap out your different gear within each frame. I started out just messing with the Assault one to get a feel for the game. After I felt that I had a good handle on what I was doing I decided to swap over to Recon. I love playing snipers in shooters and so really wanted to give this Battleframe a test drive. Rolling around with the jet-pack sniping baddies is a lot of fun. Leveled this Battleframe up a bit doing some quests and I even dove into a bit of PvP.

I did have fun in the PvP when I tried it in the Assault and Recon frames but was watching how the healers worked and really wanted to give that a shot. Swapped over to the Medic Battleframe to give it a go. I tend to play healing classes quite a bit in MMOs I wanted to see how it worked in Firefall. So. Much. Fun. I don’t think that I’ve even played any of the other frames since I began rolling with the Medic. I found being able to heal myself made the questing a bit easier but in PvP is where I really was having the most fun. I’m still a low-level medic but I am doing pretty well. Chasing the action trying to keep teammates alive can get pretty intense at times.

I only got in a few hours of playtime with Firefall this past week. I definitely need to spend more time with it. It’s a game that has so much potential. I’ll be doing more posts as the Beta goes on and I get more time with the game. There are issues and things that still need to be added but at this point the game looks and feels really great. I’m having a lot of fun with it. Looking forward to seeing where it goes. All around a great experience so far. I think the folks at Red 5 studios really have something here. Be sure to head on over to the Firefall website and take a look. You can also sign up for the beta there.

Thanks for reading.
-FMG-

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So from just generally speaking to friends who are gamers and in some live stream chats I’ve noticed that there are people out there that are turned off of a game because of a subscription fee or micro transaction cash shop. With the launch of SWTOR coming up and having it appeal to a very broad audience, there are many that are new to MMOs. The idea of having to pay more past the initial investment may seem strange. Figured I’d do a quick post about my thoughts on the subject.

Subscription fees are usually around the same amount which is $15 a month which in the grand scheme of things isn’t all that much. There is usually different sub options like a three or six month packages that lower it by a few dollars. For those without access to credit cards or prefer to not use them online for whatever reason, there are game time cards which are around $40 for two months.

Why pay past the initial investment cost of the game? Well in the MMO space there is a lot of cost post launch that the company needs to pay for. Server upgrades and maintenance for one. The most important in my mind is the developers that are still working hard day and night on the game. There is always work that has to be done to fix bugs, and more importantly the days, generate new content. These people are still working hard months and sometimes years after an MMO has launched to make the game bigger and better for their players. These sub fees allow the companies to keep a quality development team working on fixes and possibly expansions to make the game better.

There are different business models out there for a lot of MMOs. There are plenty quality free to play MMOs out there but in my experience they are not on the caliber of most sub based games. In my experience you get what you pay for. While a lot of these games have a micro transaction store to buy game items I feel it just isn’t the same. Some of the free to play games were subscription based that moved to a F2P model and found success others launch with a F2P model. I’m not saying that F2P games aren’t good. There are a few that I really enjoy like Champions Online and DDO.

Guild Wars 2 is a triple A MMO title that will be coming out next year that won’t have a subscription fee after the initial purchase. Like the first Guild Wars. Which is awesome. I think it will have micro transactions like the original GW but for a F2P type model it definitely will be one of the best out there. The first Guild Wars still has a big following and I’m sure GW2 will thrive. I just couldn’t get into GW. Great game. Just wasn’t for me. When GW2 launches I might have to give it a go. It looks amazing.

All I’m saying is that there’s a reason that some games choose to go with a subscription model. If it really is a quality title that players feel it is deserving of their hard-earned money, it will thrive. Look at World of Warcraft. Despite some subscription losses in the past few moths they are still around 10 million. Some people have played it since launch and are burned out and want something new. Some didn’t enjoy the last expansion Cataclysm. Whatever an individual’s reason for moving on from WoW, it’s still an awesome game. Ten million people wouldn’t still be paying each month to play if it wasn’t. Side note – WoW also has a cash shop for mounts and pets on top of the sub fee. All of these transactions are optional and you aren’t missing out on actually game play content if you choose to not spend extra.

Whether a game has a subscription fee or not, if it’s a game you enjoy you shouldn’t feel gouged or ripped off for paying it or buying something that you really want in the cash shop. There are a lot of people who work hard to keep our MMO spaces fun and ever expanding places. Find the game or games that you really love. Subscription fees aren’t a bad thing.

Help the devs. Pay a sub or the two bucks for that silly little hat that you want for your character. No one gets hurt and you get to look awesome in that shiny swag that you just scored.

/rant

Thanks again for reading.

-FMG-

*Note – No disco lions were harmed in the making of this post.