@Beau_Hindman: I'll be playing a new game from Kabam called Arcane Empires. It seems to follow the usual Kabam design ideas, but it's fitted for mobile devices. It's actually pretty fun so far. I'll also be moving on to Order and Chaos Online for Rise and Shiny; it's been over a year since I wrote about it in depth, so it's time for a revisit!
My favorite payment model comes from Mabinogi. It's a completely free client and experience, but it has very helpful elements inside the cash shop. Other than that, I think the classic sub model is one of the best. Sure, it can be deceitful and a bit silly to ask for money up front like that, but at least it's not as confusing as many of the freemium models out there. Also, many gamers are just used to its rhythm. It's not the model I prefer, but it definitely works for many people.
@nbrianna: I'll be playing Guild Wars 2. Or more likely, looking at the "all servers full" screen faster that I can pick a home server and so tabbing into City of Heroes. (I'm being realistic here!)
I really, really like Guild Wars' model (even more than GW2's). It's certainly the best model for me for poking my head in with no F2P penalty, for playing when I feel like it rather than having to play because otherwise my sub is going to waste. I don't know that it's really the best model for the studio; there's surely more money in other models.
@Eliot_Lefebvre: Due to circumstances I still find somewhat baffling, I may or may not be playing Guild Wars 2 this weekend. I'm not entirely certain at this point. Either way, I'll also have my usual other games to keep me company as I get everything reinstalled on my new computer. Star Wars: The Old Republic and RIFT are both running and working wonderfully.
Personally, I'm fond of subscription-optional titles such as City of Heroes, Star Trek Online, and points related. Want to subscribe? Go nuts! Want to play free? Sure thing! There's a robust system for cosmetic options and mechanical upgrades you can earn in the game, and it gives you options in terms of what you want and what you're willing to pay for it. Usually I just subscribe and save up for cosmetic improvements, but the option is always there.
@elixabethclaire: I'm so excited to say this: I'll be playing Guild Wars 2 this weekend! And not just from noon Friday 'til midnight Sunday -- for keeps and realsies.
I'm somewhat inclined to say that buy-to-own/play with non-game-breaking microtransaction support is the way to go. I can't imagine why, though.
More Skyrim and The Secret World for me. I'll probably dabble in Lord of the Rings Online too.
Best business model? For me it's whichever one gives you the entire game for a flat fee, which isn't many of them anymore (EVE Online I guess?). I know I'm in the extreme minority, but I can't stand a la carte MMOs. Fifteen bucks is nothing when it comes to unlimited entertainment, and I'd much rather pay that and know that I have access to everything than have to toss out $2.99 here or $1.49 there and then look at a services matrix to see what else I need to buy (or worse, run up against an in-game paywall). It makes the whole experience feel like a flea market instead of, you know, an immersive game. Ugh.
@Jeremy_Stratton: I'm visiting friends over the weekend, so might not get any gaming in. I know, I know, Guild Wars 2 is launching, but I'll just have to hope one of my friends has it.
I haven't seen every business model available, I'm sure, but I really like Fallen Earth's model.
@Sypster: I'll have been up at 3:00 a.m. to get into Guild Wars 2 because I guess I'm worried that the game is going to not be around later in the day? Eh, who needs sleep when you have two toddlers! So I expect GW2 to take up much of my weekend.
I prefer either F2P titles that let you purchase content a la carte or titles with one large up front cost (buy the box) and play forever. Or the mythical model where they pay me, of course.
@MJ_Guthrie: Well, I may be one of the few, but I shall not be playing Guild Wars 2! I am saving myself for next week's stream (so everyone can laugh at my utter newbness). Instead, I will be traversing the deserts of Egypt in The Secret World and possibly even start on my decorating masterpiece in EverQuest II -- a community marketplace. Of course the latter is dependent on my deciding on a name...
Honestly, I have found I prefer the straight-up subscriptions for games I play regularly. I hate shopping with a passion, so I hate having to pop into a store to grab this or that or whatever I need in order to play. And I hate finding myself blocked from content. Besides that, I am totally in support of paying people who make a game I like to be in. For games I like to just pop into from time to time, I'd go for Aion's Truly Free model; you never feel cheated out of anything.
@terilynns: I plan to be jumping back into Star Trek Online with new enthusiasm. I will be focusing on creating a new character. I've been approached by several people who have decided to play the game after attending the recent Star Trek convention, many of whom have never played an MMO before. So I'll be starting from scratch and writing about what a player can expect from the moment he first sees the Starfleet delta when he logs into the game.
As for who has the best business model, I wouldn't even begin to assume. Personally I believe the business models are changing at a fundamental level and that we will see fewer and fewer subscription-based games. The trick will be to see which of the games on a free-to-play model will have the better mix to reflect profitability as well as improved reputations for customer service.
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!