Sunday, August 16, 2009

RMT in the Future of MMORPG's

After a comment by BeauTurkey on the Massively Speaking podcast, episode 64, it provoked me to write something on my views of RTM now, and in the future are.

BeauTurkey is in favor of RTM's, as they have gained some ground in MMO's over the last couple of years, and are becoming more accepted. (why they were looked down in the first place I can't get my head 'round)

RTM are they way of the future, in essence is what he advocates. I don't agree.

Is there money in it? Counter intuitively, yes it seems.
Does 'free to play' bring in people? Clearly no argument there.
Can an RMT model game be a big budget AAA MMO? I don't see any reason why not.

So where is my point of contention? It has to do with gameplay.

The RMT model centers around being free to play, and getting you to spend money on their online store for 'stuff'. Now this doesn't necessarily mean content, but it does almost always involve ascetic items.

So how do you get people to by your online stuff? Easy, make things either difficult or dull for them, or both, in order to gently force their hand. Of course you can pander to their sense of greed, but that doesn't work on everybody.

Runes of Magic for example: Considered a full fledge MMO by most people.
Traveling in this game can be a pain in the arse at times. While you can teleport to major cities, you still spend an awful lot of time running around.
And of course the game has mount to make things 'easier', if your willing to fork up 10$ that is.
.... Not exactly what I would call micro, but ok.

Then there is the gear, which for the most part if fairly generic. Some if it is nice thou, don't get me wrong. But should you dare want to customize it, hahahahaaa.... no. Fork up please.

And on and on it goes. Either fork up, or things are going to feel like cardboard for you.
It feels like they are always holding back on you, doesn't it?

Well as you can tell, this way of running a MMO doesn't jive well with me.

I say full throttle. Either do it and go all the way, or don't. Don't hold back.
I want my customized gear, I want every scrap of content at the get go, I want to feel like the game isn't playing favorites by who has the deepest wallet.

Now that isn't to say RMT doesn't have a place. Sure it does. Just not as the main means of payment.
Otherwise it the game just feels second best.

I see the future of RMT working as a great supplement to subscription-like models, such as the P2P model Aion is currently implementing (massive kudos btw), as it is far more flexible and overall cheaper then the run-of-the-mill subs. This way the game can go full throttle, and have extras over and above as nice little bits and pieces, sort of like how Guild Wars handled it.

But the first step to getting people to use RMT, besides getting them into the game, is getting them to ENJOY the game. And that doesn't really work when you water down the game, and almost go so far as to coerce them into it.

Just my take on it.


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