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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 43
10-08-2011, 06:53 PM
Originally Posted by AeonJean
$500 a month? $1000 a month? That seems to it politely, obsessive. That would pay utility bills, car payments or a house note for the month.

As much as I enjoy the IP and parts of this game, I can't see myself spending above $15 a month IF that once it goes free to play. I used to play Sword of the New World or Sword2 and while I loved the theme and music the grind was horrendous. The only up side is you could literally set your party up properly and walk away from the keyboard and it would auto grind.
This is how most WESTERN facebook games are being designed now. Welcome to what happens in a society with high income disparity and no middle class. The popular arts start targeting wealthy patrons. At least that's my cultural observation on this.

I don't think that crosses the line into politics because the disappearance of the middle class in western countries is pretty much a documented fact that I haven't seen anyone refuting. Where that would get political is a discussion of how or whether to remedy the income disparity.

But my $.02 is that a healthy middle class makes a low flat fee and equitable access more profitable. A disappearing middle class makes it a better business model to sell tanks to the very rich and then allow everyone in for free to get crushed under the tank treads until the lower middle class ponies up and spends a week's wages for an anti-tank gun.

I don't think Cryptic is really offending that badly as these things go. Then again, I've had to stop myself three times from spending $100+ on facebook games in the last 24 hours by thinking through how silly that sounds.

I'm not crazy about all of the directions Cryptic is going although I think SOME of the added inconvenience for players is actually a hallmark of superior design. Without that feeling of tension, that taste of struggle, it just doesn't feel like a game.

But there's not a thing here that won't become standard in online gaming... and traditionally offline games will be increasingly'net dependent to give publishers more control.

TOR is going to pump their subs + C-Store model just as hard as STO did, if not harder. Within 5 years, I'm certain WoW will be free to play and feature increased grind mechanics and a lavish C-Store. (There are already in-game promotional items people will spend over $1000 for there. I managed to collect one that people are selling for $250 on eBay although I got it for around $40 back when it was available through clever shopping.) And more games that are offline games will be closed to mods and require online authentication to play.

There are very few games that won't follow the basic trends we're seeing here. They will be developed by studios even smaller than Cryptic and if they need money or backing, they'll wind up going this direction too.

Be zen with it or go out in the streets with whatever your political affiliation of choice is and protest the changes society is undergoing. But these kinds of business model changes are nothing more than a pimple on a stampeding elephant in the grand scheme of things.