Cost of Free to Play

February 25, 2010 at 12:49 am | Posted in mmorpg, Runes of Magic | Comments Off on Cost of Free to Play
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allods squirrelBefore I started using the Runes of Magic cash shop, I thought being forced into using a cash shop in a free to play game was not ethical. Still do, really. Being forced to pay money, extravagant amounts even, is ridiculous in a free to play game. It’s bait and switch. “hey come play our free game! oh wait, it’s not free!”

Runes is interesting though because, technically, you can buy cash shop items without ever having to pay real money, you just need to accumulate vast sums of gold and buy the diamonds on the Auction House.

Once I started to gear up for end game, with real money, I got rarer and rarer drops, which I could sell for gold that I could use to buy diamonds on the AH and that meant I didn’t have to spend real money.

I’m willing to pay money to a game I enjoy. Whether it’s called free to play, and whether or not that’s true, is beside the point. As long as I’m paying a reasonable amount of money. The problem with Allods is, and RoM to an extent, it’s not reasonable. Keen suggests that if you do the math, it’s $50 a month to enjoy the end game in Allods.

In Runes of Magic, I played for 10 months and spent at most $100, I was our 3rd best rogue, and top 10 on the server. However our tank, Grumpy, who was far and away the best tank on the server, and top 5 in America, has played for a year and spent over $2000. Those are 2 extremes in the same #1 guild on the server.

Honestly the only way I got away with spending as little as I did was constant farming, auctioning, and using all my free time to get the things I didn’t want to pay for. Grumpy didn’t have that option. For me it equaled out to $10 a month, but for Grumpy it was at least $166 a month. Sound like a good deal to anyone?

If you’ve got the money and don’t care how you spend it, go for it. Who am I to tell you how to spend your money. My problem is when you start to comparison shop. If you have to spend more than $15 a month on a game that’s comparable to traditional subscription based games you are getting ripped off. There are more than a few games at $15 a month that offer a really good experience and I don’t think I have to start linking them here to prove that point.

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