Ten Lousy Minutes
Posted by Corelin
And no we aren’t talking about the sum of my sex life for the past 6 months. We’re talking about how long I could stomache SW:TOR’s godawful F2P model. Ten lousy minutes.
I was barraged with “opportunities” to buy things. Either Cartel Coins, or things you buy WITH cartel coins. Things like travel, experience boosts, character slots, most of the usual suspects, but there’s a few more. The quest reward screen has not one but TWO things that you cannot get without plinking down your own heard earned coin. Part of the quest reward is entangled, and so is part of the experience reward. I wish I was kidding.
Field revives are limited as well, and so is some equipment. Now this raised an eyebrow and I haven’t confirmed it but it SEEMS to me that certain gear requires you to A) Pay for the ability to Raid (Operations) and then B) to pay for the ability to equip items of that caliber.
I get that you have to make money. I get that content doesn’t spring full-grown from the brow of Lucas. I do. I understand that these games still are in the business of making money and that they have to cover operations costs to even get there. Free to Play should be limited. Fine. But if my screen has more than 4 store logos on it you will piss me off. If I’ve seen well into the double-digits offers within ten minutes? Fuck You.
LotRO is bad enough. There’s the icon that’s always up, there’s reminders when you are in an area with inaccessible content (all over the place in fact) but you can get away from that. And if you buy content, you get everything in that content, you don’t miss out on the items because they are too uber, you don’t chase multiple money gates to get to do what you want to do. Even routine actions will require you to spend money, and This spreadsheet shows everything wrong with the model. SO many fundamental things are arbitrarily removed. Seriously your F2P character managed to get a purple item? Fuck you he can’t equip it. You are getting owned by people in PvP and need to throw in some augments to balance things out? Pay to win sucka!
SW:TOR has been a mismanaged nightmare since launch. I was optimistic. I was hopeful. Now I’m just pissed.
I saw a great presentation a few weeks ago on F2P gaming. They referred to games as “Money Pits” the idea is to make the pit both wide and deep. You want it wide to get as many people in it and as deep as possible to get as much out of those people as possible. I get that. It makes a lot of sense. You get it by offering NEW things to those who pay, not by restricting basic content. That is a mistake LotRO still hasn’t completely fixed from their own lauch (bags, trait slots) but at the same time they’ve offered new things to deepen the money pit (Tomes of stat upgrades, star-lit crystals to upgrade legendary items.) By giving a satisfactory experience to people, something LotRO manages to do and SW:TOR has yet to do even when it was P2P, you make the pit wide. You can sell a lot more $70 dollar monocles to people who are having fun than you will experience boosters to people who are immediately seeing “PAY TO WIN” all over every speck of Coruscant.
Ten minutes SW:TOR, after several hours redownloading the game. It’s gone. It won’t come back unless your successors convince me to trust them, because I’m done trusting you.