The Grouchy Gamer

Yeah, I'm cranky. That's kinda the point...

I’m an Idiot

I may have used that title before, because let’s face it.. In my case it’s pretty recyclable.

I’ve ranted here before about microtransactions, and the negative effects of RMT on today’s games.  I’m not a big fan.  But what I don’t like is the type of MT that gates or changes game play.  So when Blizzard announced this week that they were adding the Pet Store to their Blizzard store for use in WoW, you might expect that I would have a problem with that as well.

PandarenInstead, as you can see here, I now own one.  It’s actually fun, as people can come up and bow to him, and he will bow back.  He’ll also do some animations that are kinda fun.

I’m still not a fan of changing game play with MT.  Even the moves that SOE made this week rubbed me the wrong way, converting Free Realms from a Free To Play to a Fee to Pay.  But to me, cosmetic things like this are harmless.  If you think they are stupid, you don’t have to buy one to remain competitive or able to play.  So you are free to take a pass.  To those who say that they are too much money, I say the same thing.  If it’s too much money, don’t buy it.  You don’t need it to raid/crawl/craft or whatever you like most in the game.  It’s really something you can ignore if you think it’s overpriced.

Me, I’ve already got my $10 worth out of the little guy.  Had some fun parading him around Dalaran tonight and watching others interact or try to interact with him.

I’m interested to see what else may come along for this kind of thing.  Armor dyes, color swatches to match up all your armor, other pets?  All of this kind of thing are the least objectionable form of MT to me.  The first time they ask me for cash for a key to a dungeon or the like I’m gone though.  How about you guys?

10 Comments

  1. I’ve blogged about MTs and RMT before and I’ll admit I like them. I have yet to see it done badly, with DDO doing it extremely well and Eve-Online have an excellent system for getting in game money for real money. Before your head explodes at the though, go read up on it (or visit our blog early next week for a write up on it). It’s really a no lose situation.

    And the Panda does rock

  2. These things are fine with me. I dont care if an MMO sells cosmetic items like dyes or panda pets. As you said, it’s when it affects gameplay, and the game is not developed around that, that I have a problem with it.

    Even DDO content, since the game is now developed that way, I dont think I mind the cash-gate content system. Just like I didnt mind (and bought) the adventure packs in EQ2.

    It does lower my esteem towards a game. I tend to then think of those MMOs as “games I’m running through” instead of “persistent MMO worlds that I now am a part of”, but that’s my own deal ;) That just makes me less “loyal” and my chances at long term payments of any kind will go way down, when I feel I’m being nickel n’ dimed.

    Honestly, the only place I can think of at the moment where RMT has irked me personally was how SOE did it in EQ2 and Vanguard, where they essentially “become” the bot-gold-selling-player-trading company. I hate that. REALLY ticks me off, actually…. I’m sure there are others, but thats the only example I can think of so far.

    Pandas… just make me shrug. Very cute though. 10 bucks just sounds steep.

  3. @Atnor – That’s a really good point about the psychology around how we look at games. I agree that while I pay a monthly fee and get the “Disneyland” play/ride all you want model I feel like I have an MMO “home”. If I’m using the Carny “Pay as you go” I feel like I’m being overcharged (even if I’m not) and I’m less likely to invest and by proxy get attached. My loyalty will go down as well.

  4. Thanks.

    Kinda weird how that works, isnt it.

    I wonder if it’s because it just boils down to another way that “fourth wall” barrier gets breached between you and the game world.

  5. —converting Free Realms from a Free To Play to a Fee to Pay

    I haven’t played Free Realms in a few months, but it sure looks like it’s still free to play…?

  6. @Burfo they are grandfathering in certain stuff, and the fee only kicks in once you level a new profession past 5, I believe. So if you like, really play the game.

  7. Looks very cool. Must resist urge to buy :)

  8. To me DDO does it right with the ‘gate key’ in the fact that you can play the game completely free, but have to pay for certain areas. I have in fact paid for a few dungeons, but I still ‘own’ the keys to them for as long as DDO is around and still do not have to pay a monthly upkeep cost.

    I could see that being more of a problem on a game you are paying a monthly for and would be furious if I bought a 40 dollar box and started shelling out 15 a month only to not have the ‘full’ game available. I think many companies are testing the waters with this and we will see successes and failures.

  9. This RMT stuff always starts out innocent. Then it gets more and more and then you suddenly paid the equivalent of a 2 months subscription. I think this is the point where people will start thinking and RMT beginning to smell.

  10. I cannot name much MMOs that have really “fair” RMT. DDO might be the only example. Tesh might add Puzzle Pirates and Wizards 101, but I do not play them and so just say I heard they do it “right”. :)

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