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.
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.
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.
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.