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Shut Up. We're Talking.
Host: Darren and Karen
Darren and Karen present this commentary podcast covering recent topics found within the MMORPG Blogging and Podcasting community.

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Shut Up. We're Talking #71
Sun, 26 Sep 2010 16:39:28 +0000 [download/play]



WARNING: Language in this one ;)

Topics

  • Introductions
  • Listener Mail/What We're playing
  • Game Design and the F2P Model
  • APB and Others?
  • Blogs of the Week

Hosts

Blogs of the Week


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Previous Episodes
Episode #77 - Duration: 2925 - Released: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 06:16:01 +0000
Episode #76 - Duration: 7730 - Released: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 19:34:01 +0000
Episode #75 - Duration: 4659 - Released: Sun, 12 Dec 2010 17:57:48 +0000
Episode #74 - Duration: 4071 - Released: Sun, 21 Nov 2010 20:22:45 +0000
Episode #73 - Duration: 4943 - Released: Sun, 07 Nov 2010 19:41:07 +0000
Episode #72 - Duration: 4707 - Released: Sun, 17 Oct 2010 18:28:52 +0000
Episode #71 - Duration: 3820 - Released: Sun, 26 Sep 2010 16:39:28 +0000
Episode #70 - Duration: 4623 - Released: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 15:51:32 +0000
Episode #69 - Duration: 4837 - Released: Sun, 29 Aug 2010 18:07:07 +0000
Episode #68 - Duration: 01:13:32 - Released: Sun, 15 Aug 2010 15:34:00 GMT
Episode #67 - Duration: 01:12:09 - Released: Sun, 18 Jul 2010 14:24:00 GMT
Episode #66 - Duration: 00:59:30 - Released: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 23:26:00 GMT
Episode #65 - Duration: 01:23:43 - Released: Sun, 20 Jun 2010 16:03:00 GMT
Episode #64 - Duration: - Released: Sun, 6 Jun 2010 15:51:00 GMT
Episode #63 - Duration: 01:13:26 - Released: Sun, 16 May 2010 17:52:00 GMT
Episode #62 - Duration: 01:12:04 - Released: Thu, 6 May 2010 23:28:00 GMT
Episode #61 - Duration: 01:26:12 - Released: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 01:26:00 GMT
Episode #60 - Duration: 01:57:27 - Released: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 23:34:00 GMT
Episode #59 - Duration: 01:37:24 - Released: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 03:48:00 GMT
Episode #58 - Duration: 01:21:01 - Released: Sun, 14 Feb 2010 18:45:00 GMT
Episode #57 - Duration: 01:47:46 - Released: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 19:01:00 GMT
Episode #56.5 - Duration: 00:02:21 - Released: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 12:26:00 GMT
Episode #56 - Duration: 01:01:53 - Released: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 19:41:00 GMT
Episode #55 - Duration: 01:16:27 - Released: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 02:31:00 GMT
Episode #54 - Duration: 01:14:25 - Released: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 01:51:00 GMT
Episode #53 - Duration: 01:31:47 - Released: Tue, 8 Sep 2009 04:12:00 GMT
Episode #52.5 - Duration: 00:04:12 - Released: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 19:43:00 GMT
Episode #52 - Duration: 01:04:24 - Released: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 16:35:00 GMT
Episode #51 - Duration: 01:17:30 - Released: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 23:49:00 GMT
Episode #50 - Duration: 01:35:33 - Released: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:15:00 GMT
Episode #49 - Duration: 01:03:31 - Released: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 21:27:00 GMT
Episode #48 - Duration: 01:13:44 - Released: Thu, 4 Jun 2009 15:25:00 GMT
Episode #47 - Duration: 01:10:07 - Released: Sun, 10 May 2009 21:21:00 GMT
Episode #46 - Duration: 01:27:11 - Released: Mon, 4 May 2009 02:05:00 GMT
Episode #45 - Duration: 01:04:36 - Released: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 20:01:00 GMT
Episode #44 - Duration: 00:56:47 - Released: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 16:15:00 GMT
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Episode #43 - Duration: 00:59:34 - Released: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 01:24:00 GMT
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Episode #41 - Duration: 01:06:59 - Released: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 01:55:00 GMT
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Episode #1 - Duration: 01:08:21 - Released: Mon, 28 May 2007 02:12:00 GMT

Episode 71 Discussion Thread

'First In!' by Ardwulf
Submitted on 2010-09-28 18:14:58 CST
Great show as usual.

I agree with Karen on the APB/Keen question. This wasn't this first time we've seen Keen post something to the effect of "I don't approve of this particular game, therefore it should go under." Who, after all, gets to decide whether an in-development game is good enough to keep going or should be abandoned? The obvious answer is the developers themselves, but aside from a few aberrant cases (like Vanguard,) most of them are probably convinced that their game *is* good and worth developing. Maybe at the end they run out of money or time and have to rush the boxes out the door, but that doesn't keep a team from believing in their project - and every team *should*.

We've seen enough good games at this point to elevate consumer expectations to a level that's probably unrealistic; if near-perfection in an MMO was required at launch, EQ and even WoW, which launched missing a bunch of promised content and with some significant issues, would never have seen the light of day. The MMO that launched with the *fewest* problems (at least according to the conventional wisdom,) was LotRO, and that's yet another game Keen says he wants to see fail, in this case for moving to free-to-play. The idea that "my way to play is the only legitimate way, and if you play differently then you don't *deserve* to play," is something that I find consistently aggravating wherever it appears.



'First In!' by Ardwulf
Submitted on 2010-09-28 18:41:15 CST
Great show as usual.

I agree with Karen on the APB/Keen question. This wasn't this first time we've seen Keen post something to the effect of "I don't approve of this particular game, therefore it should go under." Who, after all, gets to decide whether an in-development game is good enough to keep going or should be abandoned? The obvious answer is the developers themselves, but aside from a few aberrant cases (like Vanguard,) most of them are probably convinced that their game *is* good and worth developing. Maybe at the end they run out of money or time and have to rush the boxes out the door, but that doesn't keep a team from believing in their project - and every team *should*.

We've seen enough good games at this point to elevate consumer expectations to a level that's probably unrealistic; if near-perfection in an MMO was required at launch, EQ and even WoW, which launched missing a bunch of promised content and with some significant issues, would never have seen the light of day. The MMO that launched with the *fewest* problems (at least according to the conventional wisdom,) was LotRO, and that's yet another game Keen says he wants to see fail, in this case for moving to free-to-play. The idea that "my way to play is the only legitimate way, and if you play differently then you don't *deserve* to play," is something that I find consistently aggravating wherever it appears.



'Gah!' by Ardwulf
Submitted on 2010-09-28 18:42:16 CST
Ooops, sorry fior the double post... that's what I get for Refreshing Under the Influence.


'FTP and Me' by Teviko
Submitted on 2010-09-28 22:24:47 CST
If it wasn't for the Free to Play model (which I've preferred to call "Pay Optional") there is a good chance that I would not be playing MMO's today. About four years ago I began to get interested in the MMO concept, but didn't have the money or desire to pay a monthly fee. Not sure such a thing as a free MMO even existed, I did a search and found several. I chose one that looked interesting and tried it out with my girlfriend. Even though it could be considered an Asian Grinder, we had fun playing it and actually still, to this day, play from time to time.

In the years since I have tried several different MMO's and have yet to pay for a single subscription. Except for purchase of the Guild Wars games, I have spent only about $50 total in MMO's, and most of that went to Wizard 101 to open new areas. While I might not be the dream player for the game companies, the various Free to Play models are working for me.

As far at the "nickel and dime" concern goes, I think the answer is a model that offers both cash shop and subscription models. In general, I think this works for the casual player who may only need to spend at the most few dollars, at the most, each month. However, if they find themselves playing a lot more often, they can shift to a subscription model which opens the entire game to them while capping their monthly spending.



'Spot On, Darren.' by Checksix
Submitted on 2010-09-29 15:17:49 CST
I think Darren is Spot on in his assment of free to play and the value of the game that you get when you DO pay. It comes down to this: the MBA's running the company have a responsibility to the share holders to collect as much money as possible for every feature that is provided. At some point, all features must come under scrutiny and the cost of that feature must be weighed by the profit it can bring.

Some features we take for granted, like moving in a two dimensional space. But that feature costs money, and must be paid for! Now, what if they add flying mounts and have to create a three dimensional space? Now that feature must be paid for. In the past, the price we paid for these things was dictated by the market. Usually we paid for a box and continued to pay 15 bucks a month. Developers couldn't really charge more because the market wouldn't allow for it. But now, if we're paying per feature, the overall market is less relevant because you're not comparing to other games as much as you're comparing to other people in the same game.

Example: "Johnny has a flying mount and can get to the top of Weathertop in 2 minutes. I don't and it takes me 10. Johnny doesn't want to play with me any more because I'm too slow. Ok I'll buy a mount...that will be $10 please."

It's because Free-To-Play complicates and obfuscates the market that it can get away with charging what ever it wants for new features, not what the market will bear. It leaves you and me much more vulnerable to fleecing by publishers because we want to play with our friends, we're forced to keep up with the jonses.

One final thought: Don't you ever think for a moment that the FTP games don't build in the need to buy from the store. They want to be paid, they will make your life miserable in game if you don't, don't ever doubt it. Maybe they will start with the best intentions of providing basic services for free but that will quickly fall by the way side.