Full Access Retail Release.
Retail Release with Earnable Unlocks.
Release with optional Payed for Downloadable Content.
Free to Play.
Pay to Win.
Anything as long as it has a Demo/Trial.
Anything as long as it can be supported by Mods or Player Made Content.
But to say, in blanket terms, something like a "weapon pack" is bad DLC is very, very odd. Why are they bad? It's all about the context, the price:perceived value and so forth. Mass Effect 2's weapon pack added some much-needed variety and some 'alternative' weaponry, for example, but the packs Just Cause 2 had weren't particularly necessary or even really worth your time due to the implementation of said weaponry (i.e. you had to buy it in-game after, well, buying it) and also their place wasn't really that clear. Saints Row the Third is also a good example of it done wrong - they have a low price:perceived value, um, value, and they don't add much to the game that isn't already there - why do I need Saints branded VTOLs and stuff when, through the course of the game, I unlocked two?
You have to look at the DLC packs, as I think Nalano said, on a case-by-case basis.
Definitely prefer to pay a single fee and have access to everything, but I think that some of the other options can have merit. For example, I don't have any particular problem with the idea behind DLC (a few months post release,) but do think they should adjust pricing. The reason people moan about the death of expansion packs is because you pay half the price for the modern equivalent but only get at best 1/10th of the content.
Unlocks (at least in multiplayer, as pretty much all single player games have some form of unlocks,) are a nuisance, but not as game breaking as some would say. It can certainly be done right, but I would much prefer developers to give their game longevity by making good games, instead of forcing you to grind for gear you need to have to stay competitive.
F2P, again, can be done well or badly. Personally, I think Tribes: Ascend has done it very well. I played the free version, but down money for the starter pack and managed to unlock most of the stuff I would want (all classes and a few weapons for my favourites.) I think the required experience for unlocking new weapons could be lowered a little bit or they could give out more experience for filling different roles, but I can understand the decision behind it; they do want people to give them some money!
I've never been interested in MMOs. The subscription model is off putting and feels overpriced, particular in the world of Steam Sales we now live in where I could buy a massive single player RPG for a few pounds. The style of game also always seems to just be a single player game with much more grinding.
Look, when I paid the game in full price I expect them to deliver everything they got for their final product. I felt a bit cheated if I knew they locked the stuff and want me to pay more to get some of it. I'm more willing to give them my money if they want to expand the game and putting more content to it.
I don't really buy the argument that if they don't give you everything they've done it's wrong. From a moral point of view, if what they've made is worth more than full price to you, they deserve more than full price from you. From a financial point of view, their plan might be relying on making some of the content DLC (if they wouldn't use DLC they would either not make as much stuff to begin with, or make the initial price higher).
As an example, as I said above, in Duels of the Planeswalkers they always know what their first DLC decks are going to look like, and they're usually in the original release but locked. They could give us that stuff already. But of course their whole business plan for the release is to have those five as DLC; if they wouldn't sell it as DLC later they would never have made it so they wouldn't be able to give it to us in the standard release. Either that or they'd have to put the price of the release up, and since one of the draws for Planeswalkers is the low entry price, this would probably ended up being more expensive for everyone.
Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.
But, I'll agree with you about DotP. It's only fair if the game was sold according to how much it's worth without the locked content, which is not the final price for the whole product.
What I'm really complaining about is that when publishers decide to sell the game at full, final price, without regarding how much it's worth with or without the locked content, and intends to sell them as dlc like the stuff is made after release.
Last edited by Voon; 23-06-2012 at 09:57 AM. Reason: i need to proof read before i post...
Full Access Retail Release for me. I used to love FPS games online, but this whole thing of having to grind away for XP to unlock weapons etc is killing the genre for me. I've paid my money, now give me the damn toys already. Please don't make me "work" for them.
Fundamentally games prices haven't gone up in years, but development costs have (more spectacle requires more people). Gamers want more for less and subsequently publishers and developers have had to look for alternative ways in which to try and pull in additional income through limited editions, micro - transactions and DLC. It's all very well to demand full editions, but unless people are prepared to pay an extra $20 - $30 or so on top of the existing $60 AAA benchmark it's unlikely to happen.
Full access retail release is my preferred way to go. Games like Mass Effect 3 or Call of Duty, which heavily restrict the way you play online do so for reasons I find incomprehensible. I'm not paying them a subscription, so the usual loot-chance shenanigans that games like WoW have going on feel out of place and just downright annoying. Why can't I play ME3 with a Krogan if I want to? It's not 'an interesting game mechanic', it's off-putting. Similarly with games that restrict the hardest difficulty-mode to a second or even third playthrough, or, and this happens mostly in the RTS genre, games that use the campaign missions as drawn-out tutorials on specific units and only give you access to the most interesting and powerful units in the last three missions of said campaign.
Retail release with earnable unlocks works well in certain genres. For example, I've recently been putting a lot of hours into PS3's Gran Turismo 5, and moving up through the cars is a nice way of introducing you to the increased speeds and the tracks as well. This works best if you separate a Career mode, which would work as described and allow for customization of the cars' settings and appearance, and an Arcade mode, in which you would be able to drive all cars in their stock configuration for those moments when you just want to have a quick race with a certain car.
Release with optional payed for downloadable content is something I don't have a lot of problems with. I can see why the studio's and publishers would like to charge for extra content. I think there's a difference between story-line additions like Return to Ostagar for Dragon Age: Origins and the 'Jet packs and monster trucks' for a game like Just Cause 2. I much prefer the first, and are much more likely to purchase those at release. The second are those I pick up during sales when they're in the €0.50-€1 range.
Traditional MMOG is something I'm not at all fond of, but is something I put up with because of the fun I'm still having in WoW. In effect I'm paying €15/5=€3 for each night I play, but since it gives me access to a game in which I've 'invested', for lack of a better word, a lot of time in the characters, and in which I have a lot of long-standing contacts with which I can do the various mini-games (PvP/raid/etc.), it's worth it to me. I do, however, not subscribe to any other MMOs, because of the lack of the earlier mentioned reasons I still play WoW. This, I realise, might be solved by spending more time in those other MMOs, but I don't have the time for that any longer, so it doesn't happen.
Free to Play is a nice idea, and I think there's two kinds of Free to Play. There's the open source kind, like OpenTTD, and the 'BUY MORE ITEMS'-kind, which I don't like at all. I was playing Blacklight Retribution a while ago, and I think to purchase a slightly better gun you'd have to pay like €10 - and that was just the gun. To its credit, the basic gear is pretty good, but to have a screen filled with other options that you then have to pay large amounts of money for is, I suppose, more annoying than anything else.
Episodic Release sounds like a nice idea, but there haven't been any particularly succesful examples of this in genres I like, so I can't really comment on this.
Anything as long as it can be supported by mods or player made content is something I used to like and favour, but no longer really care about. A game like rFactor for example has tons of user made content. The problem I have with this is that a lot of that content isn't particularly good or well optimized, which isn't to say that people should stop making it, but that - for understandable reasons - they're usually not up to the standard of the original content by professional development studio's. Another problem that often crops up is that you run into tons of version-incompatibilies when playing online, restricted access to certain mods based on how complimentary you are to the mod-makers, exclusive download sites from wherever which don't have an English version, and, in the case of rFactor, a lot of hassle with ini-files or other third party modding tools, which all have their own particular problems.
That went on for longer than I'd thought, but there you go.
I hate F2P models like Blacklight and Brawl Busters. Renting gear? Fuck right off.
Needless to say, of course I prefer free-of-charge AAA game.
But realistically, I prefer somewhat traditional price schedule of a priced main program with priced DLC (3rd option). This is a way to keep continuous commitment by developer, be those DLCs require installation of main program of be them expandalone.
I see that F2P is among the options, but up till now it is hard to find a F2P title which is AAA rated.
BTW, I used to prefer free demos to try out new titles before making purchasing decision, but not anymore with Youtube. I am a lazy guy. I dont want to spend effort to play demo for deliberation for buying new games.
Last edited by squirrel; 23-06-2012 at 11:29 AM.
Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.
Couldn't really decide. For one I love the "Full acces retail release" but I have been heavily disappointed by some of those 50 bucks games lately so I grew cautious with those. At least as long as there is no demo there is no chance in me buying it from now on. Also they often come with bullshit drm solutions which also turn me away from buying them.
During the last year I started to like free2play as more "reasonable" titles started to being developed with a more fair and less pay2win attitude towards them. But most of them aren't even officially released yet and it is yet to show how good and long-term succesfull/sustainable they will be. But putting a few bucks into a game I already enjoyed for weeks and/or months is just fair and as long as I can decide how much money I want to spend and not the game telling me how money I have to spend to go on is a pretty reasonable solution to me.
I really don't care for unlockables in games. The first Call of Duty was excellent and there where no unlockables. In fact the fist game I remember unlockables in was Battlefield 2.
Just give me a full game and if you want to add on it later then give me optional DLC. I hate it when things are on the disc but are locked for day one 'dlc' or pre order bonus, but not enough to stop me buying the product.
I do not mind Pay to win really as long as they are being honest about it and as long is it is in a free to play game.
Subscription MMO's I have no problem with but the more recent ones are just not worth it imo (ToR, Tera, TSW).
I hate side quests. If you can't be bothered to write a decent enough story to fill a game, then just hire a writer that can. Enough of these filler quests that really turn an interesting game into a grind.
More than anything else I want the price to be honest and upfront.
I'm fine with a number of pricing models - regular full game (this is what I favor 99% of the time), arcade (pay a credit to play until you lose or beat the game), monthly subscription, etc. I have even seen completely valid F2P competitive games where you can either buy or grind for playable characters, and which are not P2W.
Bite-sized DLC, payable unlocks, F2P etc. more often than not end up being some kind of P2W (= shit), or otherwise feel dishonest and manipulating and pull you out of the experience. I also severely dislike double-dipping retail+subscription models, and find them inherently manipulating.
"Earnable unlocks" are not a pricing method. (Usually shit design, though.)
The unlocks/full access thing is ambiguous for me: I like unlocks in singleplayerbut in multiplayer full access is mandatory if you want it to be an actual competition instead of a casual mess-around.