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#27 Jan 10 2013 at 2:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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FUJILIVES wrote:
"Minimal Impact Microtransactions"
Microtransactions only really work in a TRUELY side-grade driven environment, or heavily design/cosmetic driven environment.


If by truly work you mean not work at all..yes. Microtransactions truely work when people are forced to use it. Forcing your player to use it = tons more money for you as the developer.

So while it SHOULD be limited to those categories..you don't truly know the nature of MT if you think that's the only way it "truely works."

#28 Jan 10 2013 at 2:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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The only way microtransactions truly work, and by that I mean they don't wreck your game, is if the items on sale really ARE optional.

By this I mean that character power can't be directly tied to a microtransaction (I shouldn't be able to plop down $20 for Excalibur for instance). However, if I want a costume that makes me look like Santa Claus (and does nothing else), that can be a microtransaction without ruining anything. You'll find that the games that haven't destroyed themselves with their F2P model have operated similarly to this. Cash shop items are cosmetic.

Guild Wars 2 is a great example of this. Their cash shop has minimal impact on the game, about the only thing in there that has any affect on anything is the exp bonuses you expect to see in any cash shop, but really, it's not that big a deal with the way their questing works anyway.

When a game transitions from p2p to f2p, a lot of times they do it wrong and you end up with something soul crushing (hi, SWTOR). But it can absolutely be done right and save a game that would otherwise just be shut down (hi LOTRO and DDO). Making that change doesn't have to mean the game is a failure, it just means that the subscriber numbers aren't enough to keep it running by themselves.

Honestly, if MMO developers would please stop trying to be the next WoW-killer, and design themselves into a niche market that can be successful with a few hundred thousand subscribers (FFXI did this brilliantly), I think you'd see a lot fewer subscription games going free-to-play, and a lot more happy MMO players who can find games they enjoy playing.
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#29 Jan 10 2013 at 2:51 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm seeing a lot of focus on my comment about how micro-transactions need to be for them to truly work, so I'd like to take a moment to point out I'm actually not "for" micro-transactions, I would much rather play games with a "visitor" & "subscriber" model.

What I meant was that if you have a micro-transaction model, the items have to be of very little impact on the existing game environment (and the game environment needs to be able to sustain and support itself without the need for those micro-transactions - so yes, I agree with you, they need to be optional).

In regards to the "side-grade" methodology, I am referring to the avoidance of pay-to-win in games where cosmetic items aren't the only source of income. I used Team Fortress 2 as an example, so I'll revisit that and elaborate on my explanation. In TF2, there are different classes. Those classes have access to many weapons, none of which are necessarily better than any of the other options available to you, but instead they are "different". Because no one item is a leap above another or an "up-grade", we call these "side-grades". In this particular example, the player base is never abused and there is never a time where you feel like "if I only had that item I could compete", it's even, and not even in a "rock - paper - scissors" type of way, but more of a "red rock - blue rock - green rock" style of play.

When FFXI introduced the mini-expansions for 10 dollars a piece, many of us paid simply for the "final mission reward", not because it was "the best", but because it was a nice side-grade on par with many of the "just shy of being best" items available at the time - this is as close to FFXI ever came to a micro-transaction model, and because the items weren't game breaking or massive upgrades vs already obtainable items in game, we viewed this as acceptable. Honestly, many of us would have preferred just getting the items for 10 bucks, because the content available in the mini expansions were ... lackluster ... to say the least, definitely something I wouldn't have paid for if those rewards weren't a guaranteed bonus upon completion of the storyline.

So yes, while I believe the FFXIV / FFXI model would do best with a "visitor" vs "subscriber" model, I know there are many people out there who would gladly drop 10-15 bucks down for a ra/ex body piece similar stat wise to the auction-house-version of the void-watch items, ESPECIALLY if it were re-skinned and available in different colors / styles, and No, I don't believe this would break the game in any way except lowering the already extreme cost of the "lesser" versions of the rare void-watch items you should be going for anyhow. I do believe you can impact the game in a way that is more positive than negative with this micro-transaction model, you just need to be intelligent when implementing it instead of developing stupid routes like "instant level 99 for 10 dollars" or crazy crap like "relic sale! 50 dollars per weapon for a limited time!". The dev team knows the base-line of stats on their items and where they could get away with releasing items that wouldn't break the game, they just need to be as involved with the "shopping cart" as they do the rest of the games' development, and to be honest, while I don't have experience in those particular businesses from the development end, I'd wager that this is most likely where the biggest failing occurs in F2P models that go wrong.

Edited, Jan 10th 2013 3:54pm by FUJILIVES
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#30 Jan 10 2013 at 3:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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KaneKitty wrote:
FUJILIVES wrote:
Microtransactions only really work in a TRUELY side-grade driven environment, or heavily design/cosmetic driven environment.


For every item in an MMO that can be bought for a few dollars, that's one fewer notable quest or interesting crafting recipe that could have actually appeared in the game.

Ultimately, we're faced with two implementations: the first would be a little questline where I meet a goblin and, in the end, get a gobby hat; the second would be to make sure my PayPal account has $5 in it. I'll always prefer the former, where I play the game to accomplish things in the game.


I'm not opposed to what you're saying, but I think there's actually more to it than making sure there's a storyline preceding the gear.

I always felt A Crystalline Prophecy and its two companion "micro-expansions" were nothing more than micro-transactions that used a weak story as the flimsy pretext to convince you it wasn't a micro-transaction. An expansion shouldn't just be about collecting the one nice treasure at the end, it should be an extension to the world itself. Getting a reward for finishing a storyline is fine, but in its wake, that story should be opening up new places to explore, new activities to partake in, new characters to interact with, and so on.

#31 Jan 10 2013 at 3:36 PM Rating: Good
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Moogle and Shantotto ones were worth it - they were cute and funny. The ending of ASA was just epic.

ACP was basically bad fanfiction and I wish they had not taken themselves so damn seriously when they wrote it.
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#32 Jan 10 2013 at 3:42 PM Rating: Good
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I think SE was exploring different methods of delivering expansions with the Abyssea & 3 mini expansions. What was the release year for each of the RoZ, CoP, Toau, & Wog?

If ARR only gains a niche and expects those players to hang around in a subscription model for ten years. How many expansions(major) would it take to equal the time taken to keep players invested as long as they were in XI. I ask because ARR is supposed to be a bit more on the casual side.
#33 Jan 10 2013 at 3:50 PM Rating: Decent
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catwho wrote:
Moogle and Shantotto ones were worth it - they were cute and funny. The ending of ASA was just epic.

ACP was basically bad fanfiction and I wish they had not taken themselves so damn seriously when they wrote it.



too bad i never finished the last fight in Moogle and quit before Shantotto came out..... woulda also loved to see how Wotg ended... last thing i did (including all the nation quests up to that point) was that one fight against caith sith when we could summon atmos and the fight was so easy a WHM at 75 cold solo it...... the rest of the story(ies) beyond that point will forever remain a mystery to me :(
#34 Jan 10 2013 at 6:31 PM Rating: Good
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TurboTom wrote:
I don't think that going f2p is a sign of failure, so much as it's indicative of the current state of the market. Games like wow and ffxi have very strong and loyal player-bases, so they'll always be profitable from subscriptions. When new games come out, f2p has been an appealing option in the past few years because it's a business strategy to grab a lot of players over a short period of time and perhaps cash-in on microtransactions.


I think the reason F2P is seen as a failure is simply the ideals of the MMO: a continuous, living world, where you and your character exist separately. MMOs aspire to live for years because players WANT to be that invested in their characters. After all, you're creating an entire fantastical world... why shouldn't there be enough in it to delight players for years?

To some extent, I think it's true that this is a misguided or at least overzealous dream, but we definitely have not yet seen a game that even comes close to pushing the boundaries of that ideal.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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#35 Jan 10 2013 at 9:10 PM Rating: Good
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I'd say that an MMO needs a fresh infusion of major content on a yearly basis to keep players interested.

That doesn't necessarily mean a new expansion, especially for a brand new game. But stuff like new events, new major quest storylines, unlocking previously locked areas. New goals.

The mini expansions were not only an experiment in content delivery, they were about all the XI team could scrape up since all resources in the company were being poured into XIV and then ARR. ACP was the only one I didn't really like out of the six. Abyssea was a series of "battle" expansions officially, but even it had a badass FF worthy storyline behind it.
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Thayos wrote:
I can't understand anyone who skips the cutscenes of a Final Fantasy game. That's like going to Texas and not getting barbecue.

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#36 Jan 10 2013 at 9:19 PM Rating: Decent
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catwho wrote:
I'd say that an MMO needs a fresh infusion of major content on a yearly basis to keep players interested.

That doesn't necessarily mean a new expansion, especially for a brand new game. But stuff like new events, new major quest storylines, unlocking previously locked areas. New goals.

The mini expansions were not only an experiment in content delivery, they were about all the XI team could scrape up since all resources in the company were being poured into XIV and then ARR. ACP was the only one I didn't really like out of the six. Abyssea was a series of "battle" expansions officially, but even it had a badass FF worthy storyline behind it.



i hear abyssea had no story/goal outside maybe the one cutscene you get from entering.. theres no "missions" or quests" to do with subsequent cutscenes etc etc... but i could be wrong
#37 Jan 10 2013 at 9:27 PM Rating: Decent
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I don't know myself, but there was a considerable amount of story in FFXI that was easy to miss, like the lore of Odin, Alexander, and Diablos. Some of it is the kind of stuff that is subtle enough that you might miss it if you were to just sit down and watch it... like when you don't catch something your first time through a book, movie, or television series. Add to that weeks if not months or years between viewing the cutscenes and it can be really difficult to piece together what is a pretty interesting and thoughtful story at its core.

That was one of my big complaints about XI, actually. The narrative was really important to my enjoyment, enough that at times I'd backtrack to Goblin Footprints just to watch it all again. The failure to make those cutscenes viewable from a central location really made it hard for me to appreciate the story fully.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#38 Jan 10 2013 at 9:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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DuoMaxwellxx wrote:
catwho wrote:
I'd say that an MMO needs a fresh infusion of major content on a yearly basis to keep players interested.

That doesn't necessarily mean a new expansion, especially for a brand new game. But stuff like new events, new major quest storylines, unlocking previously locked areas. New goals.

The mini expansions were not only an experiment in content delivery, they were about all the XI team could scrape up since all resources in the company were being poured into XIV and then ARR. ACP was the only one I didn't really like out of the six. Abyssea was a series of "battle" expansions officially, but even it had a badass FF worthy storyline behind it.



i hear abyssea had no story/goal outside maybe the one cutscene you get from entering.. theres no "missions" or quests" to do with subsequent cutscenes etc etc... but i could be wrong


You are lol. There was a LOT more than one cutscene...
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#39 Jan 10 2013 at 10:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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Each zone had a zone boss, that upon defeating it, netted you a cutscene from that zone. After you started defeating the zone bosses, Joachim began relating more of his tale of woe, and then Gilgamesh and Eshtar'nel and even ************* Prishe gets involved. You find out that your Abyssean counterpart lost the final battle of CoP 8-4, Promathia consumed Sehl'teus/Phoenix and is now Shinryu, and your screwup is pretty much the direct cause of the Abyssean hordes destroying their world. Oops.

It was definitely a classic FFXI storyline, even replete with pointless running around for the sake of running around. (Did I really have to meet people in Hall of the Gods? Really?)
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Thayos wrote:
I can't understand anyone who skips the cutscenes of a Final Fantasy game. That's like going to Texas and not getting barbecue.

FFXIV: Katarh Mest and Taprara Rara on Lamia Server - Member of The Swarm
Curator of the XIV Wallpapers Tumblr and the XIV Fashion Tumblr
#40 Jan 10 2013 at 10:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hall of Gods and it's link to Tu'Lia has a special attribute which actually makes it the perfect meeting location regarding alternate dimensions.

"Yearly updates but not expansions etc" makes sense in theory, but when you get down to it, it makes even more sense to release an expansion if the game is lively as the company can make even more money you know?

#41 Jan 11 2013 at 7:15 AM Rating: Good
Releasing expansions is always a good idea, RotZ, CoP, ToAU, WotG...no wait, well that one could of been good had they rolled the content out over a few months instead of 3 years. That's not bad though, 3/4 expansions brought a sense of adventure and unfamiliarity to the player base. WotG had some great cutscenes with decent ideas...just ended up being dragged out way too long, while some of the ideas were poorly executed.

That's the hope for Seekers right now, that it does what CoP and ToAU managed to do on release.
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#42 Jan 11 2013 at 7:37 AM Rating: Decent
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Theonehio wrote:
FUJILIVES wrote:
"Minimal Impact Microtransactions"
Microtransactions only really work in a TRUELY side-grade driven environment, or heavily design/cosmetic driven environment.


If by truly work you mean not work at all..yes. Microtransactions truely work when people are forced to use it. Forcing your player to use it = tons more money for you as the developer.

So while it SHOULD be limited to those categories..you don't truly know the nature of MT if you think that's the only way it "truely works."



I disagree with this actually. Maple Story is a great example of a side-grade driven environment, that was(is) insanely successful.

The only times you were "forced" to pay money is if you wanted to set up a shop outside of the sh*t-fest free market and make some money. Everything else in their cash shop was clothing, pets, expressions, and double xp-sort of thing.

But that would never work in FFXIV or XI.

Edited, Jan 11th 2013 8:40am by Louiscool
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#43 Jan 11 2013 at 11:23 AM Rating: Decent
I say certain things work differently for different games. FFXI has a strong enough user base and is still pumping out content. Creating a F2P model could cause less content to come out as quickly, a cut in staff or a potential decrease in players.
#44 Jan 11 2013 at 11:27 AM Rating: Good
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Doesn't Maple Story use sprites? (Never played it.)
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Thayos wrote:
I can't understand anyone who skips the cutscenes of a Final Fantasy game. That's like going to Texas and not getting barbecue.

FFXIV: Katarh Mest and Taprara Rara on Lamia Server - Member of The Swarm
Curator of the XIV Wallpapers Tumblr and the XIV Fashion Tumblr
#45 Jan 11 2013 at 12:05 PM Rating: Good
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Yes, which is another reason this model is successful. They can just pump out a ton of clothing without having to worry about 3D mapping and designing them for multiple races. It's a 2D sidecrolling mmo that has a really weird social aspect to it. In fact, some people won't even play with you if you don't use cash shop items like clothing, probably for the same reason I prefer a P2P model. IF someone uses cash shop clothing, you know they will be playing often and are invested in the game.

Edited, Jan 11th 2013 1:07pm by Louiscool
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