Thoughts about RMT and F2P. And lemonade.

I see a lot of people on different sites expressing what can only be described as “nerd rage” about Real Money Transfer (RMT) and Free To Play (F2P) games.

These people get up in arms when a game company has the gall to attempt to make a profit. Some even quit the game because they don’t support it.

I personally don’t understand the problem that people have with it. I play EQ2 and even though I don’t play the F2P version (EQ2X), I do spend a fair amount of money in the Station Marketplace. Granted, I usually restrict my purchases to appearance gear/furniture or services (I’ve used the server switch service to move one of my higher level characters to Antonia Bayle to assist my other character that is there,) but I have even been known, a time or two, to purchase the AAxp and the XP potions. (I have around 30 toons; at some point one just gets tired of grinding the same content repeatedly.)

Therefore, I don’t really have a problem with RMT. However, as I mentioned above, some people are almost militant in their opposition to it.

For those, I suggest a little mental exercise. Imagine that you have decided to make some lemonade. You decide that you will provide the lemonade (and the cup that it is in) free of charge, but that you will charge a small amount for sweetener (suppose that you have both sugar and artificial sweetener.) A customer could decide that they prefer not to pay the charge for the sweetener, so they get a free (albeit quite sour) cup of lemonade. Other customers prefer to add sweetener to their free lemonade, thus increasing their enjoyment of it.

This is essentially the choice that a player in EQ2X faces: Buy items from the Station Marketplace to increase your enjoyment of the game, or don’t, and still be able to enjoy the game, just not quite as much as the one that does purchase items. Nobody is forcing the player that prefers the latter option to choose the former. If one wishes to maintain parity, one generally chooses the former, but this is their choice.

Allow me to make another analogy. Say, hypothetically, that you win a free car in a sweepstakes and the dealership hosting it even pays all TT&L. It is a nice car; a sedan perhaps; it is not a luxury car, but still it gets you from one location to another in comfort. The next week, your neighbor buys a luxury car, from the same dealership, which looks nicer and gets slightly better gas mileage. The dealership which gave you the free car is under no obligation to offer you a free upgrade to the luxury car just to maintain parity.

Yet this is essentially what the detractors of RMT in a F2P game claim to detest. They seem to think that being offered a free game entitles them to upgrades that help them maintain parity without paying a premium for that service.

As for RMT in the subscription based version of the game, the same applies. Nowhere within the EULA does it state that payment of the subcription fee entitles one to all aspects of the game for no additional charge. One can play fine without the RMT aspects. In effect, reusing the lemonade analogy from above, SOE charges $0.10 for their lemonade, plus an additional $0.05 for their sweetener.

The above is merely my opinion, and people are welcome to disagree with me, but understand that largely, I believe these opposing opinions to be without merit. Having said that, if you can figure out a way to convince me that you are entitled to enhancements to the the game free of charge, by all means, I welcome you to try.

That is about all I have to say of the matter for now.

Until next time,
Necrotherian Facepalmer


3 Responses to “Thoughts about RMT and F2P. And lemonade.”

  1. 1 P Layer December 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    The lemonade situation isn’t how militants think of it.

    Here’s how the quitters think of it.

    Pretend you are in a court case.

    You VS the millionaire.

    You have the public attorney, he has the team of high priced lawyers.

    Then you witness the millionaire bribing the judge.

    You lose the court battle (analogy for PVP battle, Player VS Player)

    Would you think that’s fair?

    Of course not.

    See, the big issue with your analogy is you are imagining a purely personal experience with the lemonade drinking.

    The ones who get angry are imagining a much more competitive social experience injustice.

    Subscriptions are equal for all.

    F2P isn’t.

    Now, from what I experience, these same players don’t care TOO MUCH about vanity stuff, like hair and tatts and beards. They care when you can buy that +18 Axe of Doom with 5 OMG Magic Jewels embedded, and they can’t. (best they can ever get is +9 Axe of Smiting, with 3 Great Magic Jewels)

    Course, this is an extreme example, but you get the idea, the real F2Ps are more in the middle of the spectrum between your lemonade example, and my bribed judge example.

  2. 2 necrotherian December 3, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    First off, let me reiterate that I don’t play the F2P version of EQ2X. I’m basing my opinions and, yes, assumptions, upon information from 3rd party sources.

    Granted, there may be a big gap between what someone can experience without paying a fee, (recurring or otherwise) and what someone can experience by using the Station Marketplace.

    Look at it this way:

    Essentially, playing the “bare-bones”, “no-frills-added” aspect of EQ2X is like being on welfare, at least the HUD housing and the food stamps part. You don’t have a whole lot of options, but you do get a roof over your head and food in your belly. It sucks, but it is a way to survive.

    Likewise, that aspect is restricted. You can’t chat much, you are restricted to playing 4 races, and (if I’m not mistaken) you are also restricted in the classes that you can play. But, you get to play for free. You can experience (a limited portion of) the world of Norrath free of charge.

    However, the portion that you can experience is larger than the parts available to the previous 14-day trial accounts (from what I have been led to believe.)

    If someone decides just to expand their membership, they can have a greater amount available. Each upgrade being a one time fee, instead of a continuous subscription. The balance of that is that they have to contend with people being able to buy themselves better equipment.

    However, if you enjoy PvP, in all honesty, your best bet is to pay the $14.99 subscription fee for the regular game and join a PvP server. (Such as Nagafen) Then, the worst you will have to contend with is someone purchasing a XP potion to boost AA, or maybe buying a faster mount (which is still slower than the best that can be acquired within the game without Station Cash.)

    Thank you for your input, but I still am not convinced that the “up-in-arms” camp are justified in their ire.

    Necrotherian Facepalmer

  3. 3 P Layer December 4, 2010 at 3:12 am

    Subscription model = The advantage is to basement dweller, no lifers. (more time = more game advantage)

    F2P model = Poor basement dweller is losing advantage. Busy but rich player, gaining advantage. Best advantage is to the millionaire hermit player. (money + no life)

    I suppose to the anti-F2P, the non-F2P game world could be seen as a great equalizer, that’s been tainted with F2P.

    I don’t agree with all that the anti-F2P people say, but I do think you underestimate their position.

    At least you seem to grant that the PVP aspect is unfair.

    My position would be. The anti-F2P people have a point, but, so what. Life isn’t fair. :p

    The millionaire can buy his team of lawyers, and neither me, nor the anti-F2Ps, nor Necrotherian, can do anything about it. Neither in the real world, nor the game world.

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