Moving on from the obtuse flamebaiting, it's time for this week's WRUP! We are not talking about addons in the slightest this week, as it happens -- we're talking about what we're playing over the weekend as well as whether or not there are too many free-to-play titles on the market at the moment. So jump past the break for our weekend diversions and let us know what you'll be up to in the comments!
Beau Hindman (@Beau_Hindman): I'll be playing some Faxion Online for a good part of the weekend, but most of it will be spent preparing for E3! I will be sure to pack all of my electronics in the hopes that I will find a new game perfect for each.
Too many free-to-play choices? No way. They still have to be quality to catch your eye, and choice is only a good thing. That's sort of like asking if digital music is a bad thing because then there would be too many bands.
Brandon Felczer (@bfelczer): This weekend I will be doing my normal routine and jumping into Star Trek Online and RIFT. I am planning on trying to run a few raids if I can squeeze them in, too! Feel free to say hello to me if you are in Star Trek Online -- my handle is @bfelczer.
As for F2P games, I don't think we could ever have enough. I think it is great to have a selection of games to choose from.
Brendan Drain (@nyphur): I wasn't planning on playing any EverQuest II this weekend, but then my account was hijacked and the 45 day reactivation offer was used to turn my main character into a mining bot. I have the account back, and my items should now have been restored, but I wasn't planning to use the reactivation offer this month. I guess I'll be giving the game another try earlier than expected!
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna): My sliver of game-time this weekend will likely consist of rolling steampunk-themed characters in City of Heroes ad nauseam. Will I actually play any of them? Who knows!
I've read the studies showing that too many choices can be overwhelming and paralyzing when you can't possibly research them all, but I don't think we've reached that point yet with F2P games. The more the merrier. Something out there will be more or less exactly what you want, and in the meantime, the market gets to try out (and weed out) a whole of lot new ideas on the cheap.
Eliot Lefebvre: What's that, Lassie? City of Heroes has a new steampunk pack that's just been released, and there's some new Ground of Valor content to explore in Final Fantasy XI? Also something about Timmy falling down a well? I mean, if you think about it, by definition Timmy isn't going anywhere at this point.
Asking if we have too many free-to-play games is, honestly, kind of a silly question. Having more choices is almost universally a good thing, and that's precisely what the genre seems to open up. Even if you're not fond of the games available therein, that doesn't mean we're oversaturated with choices -- that's like complaining that there are too many kinds of pasta because you don't care for pasta at all.
Jef Reahard: Maybe some EverQuest II and Age of Conan for me.
I think there are too many MMOs period, not just F2P. I'd rather see a smaller number of games with a larger number of diverse features (and higher quality workmanship) instead of a bunch of titles that are largely the same save for a couple of tweaks and a coat of paint. I also wonder if companies are overestimating the profitability of F2P MMOs, especially if the conventional wisdom that states that only around 10% of F2P players actually spend money is accurate. Unless development costs go down (which isn't going to happen short of stripping out even more of the features that make an MMO an MMO), I question whether it's a sustainable model.
Jeremy Stratton (@Jeremy_Stratton): I have been having more fun in the sun that people deserve, I'd imagine. I've started traveling to visit friends and family. I just returned from a trip, and I'm already setting sail on another trip over the weekend.
Too many F2P choices? Seems like a broad question that I'd answer with a hardy "No." It's all the amazing choices and possibilities within the F2P moniker that I think would lead to countless discussions. Developers who continue to play around with the business model and those that could create stability and low-risk investments in creating more variety within the MMOs themselves would be a discussion I could sink my teeth into.
Justin Olivetti (@Sypster): Right now I'm equally dividing my gaming time between Lord of the Rings Online (as I push my two 65s through Enedwaith), Guild Wars (working on my Hall of Monuments, yo), and RIFT (can I settle down with just one character? Ever?). Can one man have three mistresses? Well, yes, but it's going to make him age prematurely.
So do we have too many F2P choices? Let me ask you this: Do we have too many off-brand diet colas? No. Never. The world can always use just one more, even if it's made in French New Guinea and has extract of lightning toad in it.
MJ Guthrie: I am looking forward to diving into the EQII city festival (must haz many tokens... I have decorating fever!), trying to beat my score in the Empyrean Crucible in Aion, and preparing for a trip down south to see my favorite band perform again.
Honestly, the only thing I really like about F2P is when it involves a world where I used to play, so that I can pop and and wander around whenever I want to, reliving memories, checking up on old friends, etc. Otherwise, I am not much of a fan, so I don't give that genre much thought.
Patrick Mackey (@mackeypb): I'm playing more Global Agenda! As usual, I'll probably be playing Hisoutensoku, as my friends have leveled up to a power beyond my own. This is inexcusable! I'm also playing the "look for a new apartment" game, which is always a blast (/sarcasm).
I don't think there are enough F2P choices. If you do research, you can always find the right game for you, but right now that game could be a subscription game (since that game is often World of Warcraft and sometimes RIFT). I won't be satisfied until the world is freemium! Muahahaha!
At the start of every weekend, we catch up with the Massively staff members and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as: WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!