The Wages of F2P

I finally buckled-down and purchased a 3-month subscription to PlanetSide 2 last night. I say “finally” because I had been waffling back and forth for quite some time on the decision, all of which has resulted in me losing out on +35% XP gains (which translates into faster Cert gains, which translates into character/weapon upgrades) for the duration of the indecision. I have been playing this game 1-2 hours a day for the past several months, so it is not a trivial amount of potential lost progress.

One machine I don't mind being a cog in.

One machine I don’t mind being a cog in.

But still, even with credit card in hand, I felt like I was getting suckered. Since Steam, I never pay full price for anything. And this is a F2P game, right? I know things are designed to part me from my cash. I could technically get everything (non-cosmetic) from gameplay, so why purchase anything? Or, you know, bide my time until the next double/triple Station Cash sale at least.

But… you guys have no idea how much fun I’ve been having with, say, that underbarrel grenade launcher. Or rocket pods on the jets. At what point does it become silly to intentionally have less fun for a long duration for a reward at the end, versus spending that same amount of time having fun with the reward?

Actually, the former sounds like… erhm… daily quests.

By the way, this means, to date, I have spent ~$85 (x3 SC cards, 3 month sub) on a F2P game. Mission fucking Accomplished, SOE.

Posted on February 13, 2013, in PlanetSide 2 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. To be honest, I long for the days when I was so excited about a game I was more than happy to hand them pocketfuls of money without thinking twice. F2p sounds great initially, but in the end I find you generally get what you pay for, so if subbing in a f2p game makes it worthwhile, why not? But here’s the point. I’m not looking for a great f2p game. I’m looking for an MMO good enough to sub for.

    There have been a few for me over the years, from EQ to Daoc, to Wow…which I’d still play were it not for the theme parky changes that, for me at least, utterly killed my desire to pay to get in line for another daily quest. Not unlike waiting for spawns on ridiculously lifesuckingly long timers killed my desire to play EQ.

    Please…someone. I WANT to give you my money!

    I have hopes for ESO and even EQ next…but I’ll believe it when I see it.


    • Part of my problem is that there simply isn’t that “killer app” anymore. Where is that one game that I anticipate having more fun with than any of the hundreds of perfectly good Steam titles I already have at a fraction of the cost? I’m not even sure such a title can even exist for me at this point, especially when I know it will go on sale later.

      I drove out in a Category 2 snowstorm to pick up my copy of Xenosaga back in college, but that is getting on damn near 10 years ago. Unless WotLK/Cataclysm count…


  2. Here’s a thing I don’t quite understand: in all other aspects of life, especially in leisure activities, hobbies and pastimes, people positively relish spending money. It’s widely referred to as “treating yourself”.

    I work with people who aren’t gamers. They like to do things such as read books, watch movies and see bands. They spend a significant proportion of their monthly income on books, cinema tickets, CDs and gigs and they seem to be not just willing but happy to do so. Buying something for yourself that you expect to enjoy is generally seen as both normal behavior and fun.

    In short, outside of gaming, people *like* spending their own money on themselves. How did we get into a situation where the ideal appears to be either to spend nothing at all or pay a flat fee for “everything”? It’s not as though gamers as a demographic tend to be short of disposable income, either…


    • I can’t speak to concert-goers, but part of my issue is how I don’t consider one particular game “my hobby.” My hobby is gaming generally. As Stabs point out below, I don’t hesitate (much) buying a $1000 computer whose sole purpose is to play games at higher graphical settings. I sit in a $300 desk chair. There are cheaper substitutes, but I can’t play multiple computers or sit in multiple chairs.

      Thus, while gaming is my hobby, PlanetSide 2 is just a singular aspect of it. Those same dollars could have been spent on other games, possibly 4-8 Steam deals. I don’t need to justify the money being spent on gaming, but I do need to make sure that the games I’m buying are better than what I could have bought otherwise. F2P fouls my internal calculus, because technically I can have both options… except it never quite works out that way.


  3. I think, Bhagpuss, it’s because as gamers we have a natural tendency to gamify everything. So that if we see a complex mechanism of do this, pay this, do Y and get it for free we respond as if it were a game and attempt to “win” by extracting maximum fun at minimum cost.

    It’s often struck me as odd that gamers, including myself, will jump extraordinary hoops to work around F2P costs but don’t think anything of spending £1000 on a computer.


    • While I was originally going to reply that I have always been frugal with my finances – gaming or otherwise – the fact that I indeed spare little expense in purchasing $1000+ computers and extremely comfortable leather desk chairs gives me pause.


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