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  1. #1
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    Let's talk about the F2P model in detail

    I just posted a comment under a current article over at RPS, but I would like to discuss it with you in more detail.
    I feel that the term "F2P" is too nebulous and contains more different models.

    From the top of my head I would say there are so far at least these three models hidden inside:

    From ok to unethical:
    Free to try
    Start playing for free, purchase the whole game if you like it.
    Just a variation of the demo. Ghost Trick or Final Fantasy Dimensions on iOS.

    Pay to grind
    Have access to the whole game but pay a reasonable sum to gain in-game currency (XP, Gold) faster.
    Tribes Ascend an ok model.

    Pay to win
    Pay to overcome arbitrary and unnecessary energy and time limits stopping you from playing.
    Farmville etc. An unethical model abusing its players.

    Would you add some more submodels? Or alter these three?

  2. #2
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    Man, PC gamers get their autistic panties in such a bunch when it comes to free to play and unlocking stuff.

    You know, you don't have to pursue ALL of the unlocks, you can just PLAY A FUN GAME.

    And fuck, please don't start calling demos free to try, that's the stupidest thing any one has ever said.

    And you've missed out the pay 2 customise games like Dota 2 etc

  3. #3
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    You have said nothing interesting and managed to spout a bunch of nonsense.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    How is "Pay to Win" unethical? How does it abuse its players any more than a timesink game?

    Time is money. Even if you don't like that saying, think about it: You can easily divide your yearly income by the number of hours you work (or you get paid hourly and it is already done for you). So spending time on something is time you could otherwise spend earning moneys and working yourself to death.

    So if someone would rather pump some cash into a game than spend ninety hours grinding, more power to them. I don't. In fact, I think they are idiots. But let them have the fun they want to have.


    So please, what do you consider "unethical" about a "pay to win" model?
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    I dislike pay/grind to win more than just pay to win I think. If a game is pay to win I reckon some people pay to win but a lot don't, whereas if it's pay/grind to win some people pay to win and everyone else grinds to win. This makes it more unattractive to someone who thinks both systems are enemies of gaming.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  6. #6
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    Your example for Pay to Win is bad. Facebook games are more "Pay to Actually Play the Game more in one day or spam your friends if you want to". Its a design to force viral spreading of the game, or you pay, and to get you to come back every day.

    I like the LoL IP boost for first win of the day. Something else but by no means do I feel I have to win a game each day.

    Pay to Win is more buy this Ammo that does 50% more damage. Buy this potion of 10 second invulnerability. That forces a game imbalance and for you to compete on even ground you have to pay also. Else playing smarter and make them waste their money. :)

    Pay to Unlock. Lots of F2P use this. On one side, I don't mind it and will play the game like normal and have fun, unlocking stuff as I go (LoL Champions, MWO Mechs). The people who play it like a grind (CoD, BF3 leveling) are the ones who are making the game a job instead of actually playing a game. They look for ways to be most efficient (afk/suicide farming, exploit score mechanic). Then they have everything unlocked and actually start to enjoy the game. Valve took a big step in allowing all champions unlocked in DotA 2 and solely relying on cosmetic purchases, taking that barrier away from game content.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    What, again?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    How is "Pay to Win" unethical? How does it abuse its players any more than a timesink game?

    Time is money. Even if you don't like that saying, think about it: You can easily divide your yearly income by the number of hours you work (or you get paid hourly and it is already done for you). So spending time on something is time you could otherwise spend earning moneys and working yourself to death.

    So if someone would rather pump some cash into a game than spend ninety hours grinding, more power to them. I don't. In fact, I think they are idiots. But let them have the fun they want to have.


    So please, what do you consider "unethical" about a "pay to win" model?
    Using money to buy abilities that let you do better than you otherwise would is inherently unethical in competitive endeavours, and there's a whole century of modern competitive sport that agrees.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicious View Post
    Using money to buy abilities that let you do better than you otherwise would is inherently unethical in competitive endeavours, and there's a whole century of modern competitive sport that agrees.
    Except that it realy doesn't...
    Seeing as how new training facilitiies and fancy "speed suits" are still being researched and developed all the time. And pretty much ANYTHING involving technology (so all forms of racing) involve a crapton of R&D (money) to develop faster shoes/cars/bikes/boats/planes/hobos-to-pull-the-rickshaws.

    And in terms of gaming: Last I checked, competitive PC gamers tend to want to buy halfway decent video cards and the like so that they can increase refresh rate and the like. And more expensive mouses so they have higher sensitivity (precision).
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Except that it realy doesn't...
    Seeing as how new training facilitiies and fancy "speed suits" are still being researched and developed all the time. And pretty much ANYTHING involving technology (so all forms of racing) involve a crapton of R&D (money) to develop faster shoes/cars/bikes/boats/planes/hobos-to-pull-the-rickshaws.

    And in terms of gaming: Last I checked, competitive PC gamers tend to want to buy halfway decent video cards and the like so that they can increase refresh rate and the like. And more expensive mouses so they have higher sensitivity (precision).
    I'll help you out.
    Training facilities, mice, computer hardware, internet connections, etc : outside the game.

    Giving players who pay a certain amount of money a special ball in a football match that only they get to use and is superior : pay to win
    Giving players who pay a certain amount of money inside a game a special item that only they get to use and is superior : pay to win

    One can control what happens inside a game, one cannot control what happens outside a game.



    PS: You might want to familiarise yourself with e.g. LZR swimsuits in competitive swimming, FIA Technical Regulations etc etc. You'll find that in almost all competitive sports that feature clothing that can potentially alter performance, there are regulations and uniformity to stop undue effects.
    PPS: In the most competitive FPS/RTS competitions, to the best of my knowledge they're all on LANs with standardized equipment.
    Last edited by Vicious; 07-12-2012 at 05:59 PM.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicious View Post
    I'll help you out.
    Training facilities, mice, computer hardware, internet connections, etc : outside the game.

    Giving players who pay a certain amount of money a special ball in a football match that only they get to use and is superior : pay to win
    Giving players who pay a certain amount of money inside a game a special item that only they get to use and is superior : pay to win

    One can control what happens inside a game, one cannot control what happens outside a game.



    PS: You might want to familiarise yourself with e.g. LZR swimsuits in competitive swimming, FIA Technical Regulations etc etc. You'll find that in almost all competitive sports that feature clothing that can potentially alter performance, there are regulations and uniformity to stop undue effects.
    So what about competitive racing? Anything where they put more thought into swimsuits and padding than "Speedo and cup"? All of those are "inside the game" as it were.

    My sister is a hardcore NASCAR fanatic and I recently spoke with an engineer for one of the teams (not the people with Kessel Run) with respect to how he utilizes on-demand HPC solutions to design new car-frame thingies. There are strict guidelines and rules, but there is still a LOT of wiggle room, engineering wise, that can be done to improve performance "in the game".

    Also: If we are going to pretend the super-high-framerate people at all have a point, then I don't see the difference between buying an expensive system to be able to aim quicker and with greater precision and reaction time as compared to getting a bit more health (to compensate for reaction time) or a gun that fires in bursts (to negate the need for precision). Well, no difference aside from the former probably being MUCH more expensive :p
    Last edited by gundato; 07-12-2012 at 06:04 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    So what about competitive racing?
    Regulations for chassis, suspension, engine size and induction, weight and performance. Essentially they regulate everything reasonably possible while also giving manufacturers the possibility to improve technology that will then pass on to competitors. One season may not be a level playing field, but by the next it will (think 4WD in Group B). People wouldn't watch a racing series with just one identical make so the FIA and NASCAR have to balance fairness with economic realities.

    Anything where they put more thought into swimsuits and padding than "Speedo and cup"?
    Any competitive sport has more thought put into equipment and clothing than "speedo and cup", they're still standardised and regulated to maintain competition.

    My sister is a hardcore NASCAR fanatic and I recently spoke with an engineer for one of the teams (not the people with Kessel Run) with respect to how he utilizes on-demand HPC solutions to design new car-frame thingies. There are strict guidelines and rules, but there is still a LOT of wiggle room, engineering wise, that can be done to improve performance "in the game".
    Which is technically unfair if one regards NASCAR as being about drivers, but fair if one regards NASCAR as being about teams. Wiggle room and technical ability of members of the team have nothing to do with throwing money at a problem.

    Also: If we are going to pretend the super-high-framerate people at all have a point, then I don't see the difference between buying an expensive system to be able to aim quicker and with greater precision and reaction time as compared to getting a bit more health (to compensate for reaction time) or a gun that fires in bursts (to negate the need for precision). Well, no difference aside from the former probably being MUCH more expensive :p
    You don't see a difference between something a games company can completely and totally control and something it can't? That's an odd viewpoint, to be sure.

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    Warface has 5 million registered players in Russia.
    I don't think a flop in the West will even matter for Crytek.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicious View Post
    Regulations for chassis, suspension, engine size and induction, weight and performance. Essentially they regulate everything reasonably possible while also giving manufacturers the possibility to improve technology that will then pass on to competitors. One season may not be a level playing field, but by the next it will (think 4WD in Group B). People wouldn't watch a racing series with just one identical make so the FIA and NASCAR have to balance fairness with economic realities.
    But those balances for the sake of "economic realities" ARE "Pay to win". Not extreme and usually well monitored (which is just quality), but still there. And that is my point.



    Which is technically unfair if one regards NASCAR as being about drivers, but fair if one regards NASCAR as being about teams. Wiggle room and technical ability of members of the team have nothing to do with throwing money at a problem.
    Even if you think of it in terms of teams (which I agree with, when she forces me to watch), it still involves money. Spending money to get better engineers or better spotters ("Alright ya'll. You wanna turn left. Go fast. Alright, now turn left..." :p).

    Which reminds me: ANY team sport. The team who can afford the statistically better players has a statistically higher probablity of winning. Doesn't always work out, but it has an impact.


    You don't see a difference between something a games company can completely and totally control and something it can't? That's an odd viewpoint, to be sure.
    Ah, good point.
    In that case, the "pay to win" game is MUCH more fair since that puts the control in the hands of the developers, not nVidia or AMD. :p


    That's why I think it is stupid and shortsighted to say it is "unethical". Because this kind of crap goes on in ALL competition since we used to have guys strip naked and wrassle (and even then, a more prosperous city-state probably had more time to train athletes). It is just a matter of making sure it isn't PURELY based on throwing money at a problem. And that is quality, not ethics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revisor View Post
    You have said nothing interesting and managed to spout a bunch of nonsense.
    He does have a valid point. "Free to try" is making up names for the sake of it.

    How about we don't go around trying to name every niche transaction system, stick with "Free to play" and grade each individual game on its own merits?
    Play the game as F2P, if you like it enough, drop money on it. If not, move on.
    There's too much whining about F2P games as there is.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    But those balances for the sake of "economic realities" ARE "Pay to win". Not extreme and usually well monitored (which is just quality), but still there. And that is my point.




    Even if you think of it in terms of teams (which I agree with, when she forces me to watch), it still involves money. Spending money to get better engineers or better spotters ("Alright ya'll. You wanna turn left. Go fast. Alright, now turn left..." :p).

    Which reminds me: ANY team sport. The team who can afford the statistically better players has a statistically higher probablity of winning. Doesn't always work out, but it has an impact.



    Ah, good point.
    In that case, the "pay to win" game is MUCH more fair since that puts the control in the hands of the developers, not nVidia or AMD. :p


    That's why I think it is stupid and shortsighted to say it is "unethical". Because this kind of crap goes on in ALL competition since we used to have guys strip naked and wrassle (and even then, a more prosperous city-state probably had more time to train athletes). It is just a matter of making sure it isn't PURELY based on throwing money at a problem. And that is quality, not ethics.
    Ok, I honestly don't think you're capable of understanding it.

    If you read "A games company can not regulate the hardware and infrastructure customers use to access the game to ensure a level technical playing field, but can regulate what happens inside the game to ensure a level gaming playing field" and see "Paytowin is therefore better", there really is far too vast a gulf between us to ever cross.

  17. #17
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    Barnox, with a demo, you have to go outside of the game to buy a full version.
    With "Free to try", at least how I understand it, you can buy the full game from inside the game. Hence the iOS examples.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicious View Post
    Ok, I honestly don't think you're capable of understanding it.

    If you read "A games company can not regulate the hardware and infrastructure customers use to access the game to ensure a level technical playing field, but can regulate what happens inside the game to ensure a level gaming playing field" and see "Paytowin is therefore better", there really is far too vast a gulf between us to ever cross.
    Actually, my point was that if you are going to whinge about things being "unethical" due to being able to spend money to get an advantage, then the more "ethical" case would be where the developer decides what advantages are allowed, not the hardware companies.
    For the record: I think both are a load of crap which is why most games meant to be "competitive" run quite well on previous-generation tech. But that doesn't make the practice "unethical". It just means that i don't enjoy games like that. I don't call dance and rhythm games "unethical". I call them stupid :p

    And it was funny :p
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  19. #19
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    The only f2p game I play is Dungeons and Dragons Online so I am approaching it from that perspective. I don't see it as anything mentioned in the OP. I pay a few bucks every now-and-again because it adds to the fun. It also goes towards the salaries of the people providing the fun. Thinking of it in terms of pay-to-win or pay to grind is incredibly cynical and not at all in touch with the realities of the situation.

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    Someone needs to explain to trolldato that videogames are supposed to be entertainment/relaxation.
    They are also virtual, so there are no arbitrary constraints unless the developer implements them for whatever motive (skinnerbox, addiction and gambling mechanics, f2p aka inconvenience people out of their money)
    A rollercoaster can have lines because it's not feasible to build a bunch of extras.
    If you go skiing you need to travel to the top of the slope first, no way around that.
    Videogames however have no such real world limitations.

    People who play games with a grind while they don't enjoy the process of grinding are morons. I hate anything remotely skinnerbox or grind related, I'm not stupid enough to play games that involve any though.
    I'd feel ashamed if I did and then tried to rationalise it.

    Again: dear idiots, play something better.
    Last edited by Finicky; 07-12-2012 at 06:48 PM.

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