FTP Games & How GRO Makes Me Sad

Considering the massive amount of Free-to-Play games out there lately, it’s not too surprising to see some of them get it right while others get lost in the concept of “free”.

While the community of the League of Legends has been touted as one of the worst, you can’t deny it’s crazy popularity.  Even in the eSports arena, the last tournament that went down they gave away 2.5 million away to the players, 1 million to the first place team SK Telecom T1.  There’s a lot of money to be made and obviously this game is doing well.

Want to look different?  That will cost you money.  Do you want to play multiple champions, that will just take time.  Well played Riot.

Want to look different? That will cost you money. Do you want to play multiple champions, that will just take time. Well played Riot.

What is there model then?  Not to be a cheapskate, but they give everything away that pertains to the game and how it’s played for free.  All it takes is time to unlock the characters and how to make your characters better.  The only thing they sell in the store is cosmetic items and boosts for EXP or Influence Points which is their in-game currency.  This just helps you get to the end faster, but doesn’t make you better.  Simple as that.

Other than Alkahests sucked to get, this is a good way to make some money on a FTP game.

Other than Alkahests sucked to get, this is a good way to make some money on a FTP game.

TERA did much the same with their store where you can pay to get to the end faster or make your crafting or your enchanting a little faster, but there’s nothing you can get in the store that makes you better .

Ghost Recon Online started out much the same.  Ubisoft sold boosts to your exp and RP (Recon Points: the in-game currency earned through simply playing the game) and if you wanted a gun ahead of the level curve, drop some money Ubi’s way.  It’s been slowly turning to the darker side of FTP which can translate into P2W (pay to win).  It does depend on your perspective, but the proverbial line is being danced on in a very noticeable way.  Prices for items earned with RP continue to rise while they start to institute things like their AAA membership.

Unlike Costco, membership is rather costly to be able to pay full price for special guns.  There's no bulk sale going on here.

Unlike Costco, membership is rather costly to be able to pay full price for special guns. There’s no bulk sale going on here.

Basically, you can now spend money to unlock the ability to spend more money.  Some of the AAA guns can be attained through special crates (like winning the lottery) or when they were first introduced for real money.  If you have a AAA membership, you can spend RP for them.  The RP prices are pretty crazy, but some of those guns are pretty powerful.  Well, more powerful than the guns that a person just playing for free could get.

So why shouldn’t the people who spend money get things that people who don’t, well frankly I think they should.  However, seeing as how some people don’t have disposable income (a concept I’m not familiar with), selling more powerful weapons for cash can unbalance the game.

In the end, even with the best gun, if the other team is using better tactics than your team, you may as well be holding a dead fish.  Teamwork is over powered in this game… if only more people would start using some of that.  Oh yeh, they could try being a tad more polite too.

Jonathan Amarelo Sig


2 Comments

  1. MacGordon October 15, 2013 7:46 am  Reply

    Totally agree with you article. I was quite surprised that Enmasse was going to release the entirety of TERA Online for “actual” F2P, instead of the a-typical mmorpg method similar to D&D online. I guess that, plus how much I enjoyed playing it, is what helped me want to lvl to 60.

    LoL is a fun game. Not “completely” my cup of tea, but still fun. I absolutely LOVE their F2P method. They’re doing it right!

    As for many F2P first person shooters though…I play for a time, then have to stop. I may be able to buy new/bigger/better guns….but won’t. I’m just a scrooge that way. But, in so doing so, there becomes a time where playing becomes a bit of a grief and I am left moving on to something that I find more thrilling, fun, exciting, and a challenger to my playing level (as well as the factor of amount of time I can game, now that I’m a parent of 2 and happily married).

    Thanks for the write up.

    • Ailingforale October 15, 2013 10:34 am  Reply

      Thanks for reading! While I agree that LoL isn’t for everyone, I would advise trying it once again with some buds in the Dominion mode. I can’t stand basic LoL, but Dominion is stinking awesome!

      On a GRO note, stay tuned! I’m going to be starting something in the game. It will be awesome and fun, but I wouldn’t expect to take home the gold, but I’ve started to really enjoy the game again!

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