Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Star Wars: The Old Republic Update..Kinda.

A few days ago ShackNews reported that the highly anticipated MMORPG(to me), Star Wars: The Old Republic would be a Micro-Transaction game. This apparently sent an uproar among the MMORPG community(a great example is the comments here at BrokenToys ). While EA came around and said it was all a big misunderstanding, the whole ordeal made me wonder. What is it about MT and F2P(Free to play) MMORPGs that upsets the community so? A lot of these arguments stem from the general stereotype that F2P and MT games are not of "Triple A" value.

Now was there an actual misunderstanding or did EA change it's mind after discovering the outrage by the community? The sheer rage by a lot of posts are truly confusing to my fragile little mind. Some stated that most F2P games have nothing but 12 year olds playing. I would like to point out Barrens chat to you in a tiny subscription MMORPG called World of Warcraft. Or trade channel, or ANY channel for that matter. While these "kids" may not be 12, but more like 18 and older...

So with EA silent about what type of payment model they will be using, I can only stare at my fellow MMORPG gamers in confusion. Did we just shoot ourselves in the foot here? We had a game being developed by Bioware, who's record of making brilliant games rivals some of the best, and when it was "misunderstood" as being a MT based game everyone freaks out? These kind of biased responses that can shift a game from being a paragon of awesome to crap kinda scares me. Considering the bully power that has been used on Blizzard before to make in-game changes, what else will change from start of production to release due to angry, confused, and misguided players?


  1. I think most people get upset by RMTs is because "success" (as much as it can be weighed in MMORPGs) is based on time invested. When you throw RMTs into the mix, things then come down to "he or she who has the most money to spend wins."

    Though I personally hate the idea of RMTs, I suppose if they're just used for vanity items that have no effect on gameplay, I see no problem with it. I personally prefer the subscription based or F2P with no strings attached model simply because everyone is on equal playing ground upon entry and would rather not be nickel-and-dimed along the way to keep up with the Joneses.

    However, RMT is a legit (and often times profitable) business model. SOE is adopting it for their EQ line and I'm sure we'll see it more and more in the western MMO space, where now it seems much more prevalent in kid's MMOs and the Asian market.

  2. I think that the main obstacle to acceptance of the micro model is that for years now Western MMOs have mostly had TOSs that prohibited any form of RMT. It's hard to move from that to an acceptance of RMT, even limited RMT, overnight. The mindset that a lot of people have that RMT is unfair will have to be changed, and again that won't happen overnight.

  3. Personally RMTs that let you purchase actual gear or items that increase your exp gains etc don't bother me. While I personally wouldn't purchase them, I'm more then happy to play for free even if someone else is wanting to be maxed level ASAP at any cost.

    Success for me personally is different however. I love exploration and doing new events. A unique Raid encounter makes me all giddy and such.

    Most Private servers for WoW use RMT, but the items they sell are well over 100x what you can find in the highest instance, killing balance with alacrity.

    Considering there is already a market to buy items/in-game money/and character accounts, I rather the actual Company such as Blizzard cash in on this market then some third party if that means I play for free.

    It really I guess depends on how well it's done.


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