Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

WRUP: In honor of Javier Placeholder edition

Eliot Lefebvre

Javier Placeholder was born when the randomize button in City of Heroes failed to generate my new hero but succeeded in generating a stand-in. After filling in for someone who was scheduled to be the victim of a freak nuclear accident, Javier Placeholder was supposed to develop fantastic powers, but instead he got some storm-related powers or something until the kinks of his real powers could be worked out. He's not the hero we need, nor is he the hero we deserve, but he is a hero who will definitely show up until the main guy can get over here.

In unrelated news, welcome to this week's WRUP, wherein the Massively staff discusses our weekend plans as well as whether or not we think players expect too much out of free-to-play games. Check our plans past the break, and let us know what you'll be up to in the comments.

Beau Hindman, F2P and Mobile Columnist
@Beau_Hindman: I'm switching to Salem for next week's Rise and Shiny, including livestreaming the game on Monday with creative director Björn Johannessen. I'm going to get used to some of the basics this weekend. I'll also be screenshotting the heck out of Glitch and working on a goodbye post or two as well as nerding out on some new technologies.

Gamers absolutely expect too much from free-to-play, as in everything for nothing. Yes, it's called free-to-play, but you don't go to Friday night poker and never bring anything with you; you at least bring some chips. It's the same concept: Yes, you can play for absolutely nothing, but if you enjoy the game you absolutely should pay something. I tend to throw in a few buck even in games I do not play a lot to make up for those who cannot afford anything.

Bree Royce, Editor-in-Chief
@nbrianna: I'ma get lost in the Lost Shores in Guild Wars 2! Also looks like it's time to start taking memory screenshots of Glitch. Look ma, the fourth time I've had to do that in the last year.

I don't think most MMOers expect too much from free-to-play; most of them just expect the same quality and price overall as with subs, which doesn't seem unreasonable to me. I don't think Western F2P MMOs have found the sweet spot between fleecing gamers into a much-deserved sulk and actually turning a clean and honest profit.

Eliot Lefebvre, Columnist Extraordinaire and Senior Contributing Editor
@Eliot_Lefebvre: With Final Fantasy XIV not around, there's a hole in my heart. It's a hole I'm trying to fill with Guild Wars 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. This is going to probably leave a hole in my wallet, but it's better than feeling.

The majority of players don't seem to expect too much from free-to-play, but there's a vocal minority that expects free-to-play to be exactly the same as paying $15 a month for a game, except free. Players complain that they're being fleeced for paying for certain things, but at the same time playing the game (and using up server bandwidth, experiencing content for free, and so forth) without paying a cent is fleecing the developers. There's no such thing as a free lunch, just a lunch you didn't pay for.

Elisabeth Cardy, Guild Wars 2 Columnist and Contributing Editor
@elixabethclaire: Guild Wars 2 is getting its Lost Shores update this weekend, which means I'll be alternatively up to my eyeballs in crustacean bits and wading ever-deeper into the new Fractals of the Mists dungeon.

I think players typically expect too much for free from free-to-play games. That said, I'd prefer to buy a game outright and rely on the fact that I'll have an optimal experience.

Jef Reahard, Managing Editor and Columnist Extraordinaire@jefreahard: I'm dabbling in EverQuest II and playing a lot of DC Universe Online. I'd forgotten how little grind there is in Gotham, at least prior to the cap. I started a new tank late last week and he's already 25, so I'm looking forward to maxing him out this weekend and maybe doing a few of the newer alerts that I've missed.

As for the bonus question, I think expecting anything for free is silly and counterproductive, in gaming or anywhere else.

Jeremy Stratton, Contributing Editor
@Jeremy_Stratton: I'm trying out Guild Wars 2's Lost Shores event and deciphering the many aspects of Age of Wushu. That will eat up most of my time.

A saying I grew-up on was "Nothing in life is free." While that may overlook some intricacies of us feeble humans, it shines light on the subject. Personally, I want balance. I want my shinies, but I want my game to be more fun too. I don't want to just play a lifeless husk of a game because it gives me stuff for doing very unfun, clicky activities.

Justin Olivetti, Columnist Extraordinaire and Senior Contributing Editor
@Sypster: If I don't have my chainsaw in The Secret World by the end of the weekend, my life will have been wasted and I will be reduced to a pathetic shell of a human being. Moreso than now, that is. Also, I have seen the mountain of new content in both Lord of the Rings Online and RIFT, bared my chest to it, and given it the roar of challenge. You shall be climbed!

Do we expect too much from free-to-play? Generally, yes. That doesn't mean companies shouldn't err on the side of being generous with free content, but we don't have much of a leg to stand on in the complaint department either.

MJ Guthrie, Aion and Sandbox Columnist and Contributing Editor
@MJ_Guthrie: My time will be split between two new releases: Chains of Eternity and Big Trouble in the Big Apple. I will hopefully be getting my little half-elf hands on a variety of new furniture recipes in EverQuest II and filling up more houses with cool items! Then I will be taking more time to explore the mechanics of the new Albion Theatre in The Secret World, plotting my theatrical in-game debut.

Honestly, the whole get-something-for-nothing mantra really bothers me on a fundamental level. It ties into entitlement, and that's one of my all-time biggest pet peeves. People do not even remotely appreciate anything they don't have expend effort or experience sacrifice to get. Then the more they get in this manner, the more they expect it. It's a vicious greedy cycle that also leads to more things being considered disposable. People need to realize and respect that there is a cost involved with everything, even if it is not cash. Yes, some people expect too much because they expect to be given everything without any commitment, effort, or sacrifice on their part. Nothing in life is free and you are not entitled to anything! Work for it! I'll get off the soapbox now.

Patrick Mackey, League of Legends Columnist
@mackeypb: I'm going to be playing some SMITE, and more League of Legends, of course. I've been playing a lot of Diana lately and she is incredibly funtastic. I love her aggressive style and she has a lot of finesse. She's definitely one of the coolest characters I've played thus far.

I think that subscription players tend to be much more entitled than F2P players. Most people who play F2P for free just want to enjoy the game. I find that the people who spend money are the people who feel more entitled, and complain more when they get fleeced by a developer.

Richie Procopio, Multimedia Contributor
@RichieProcopio: This weekend I'll be playing a ton of Guild Wars 2 and checking out the new content coming along with the Lost Shores content update. I can't wait to try the new Fractals of the Mist dungeon and lay the smackdown on the heavily-armored karka.

I think gamers often forget that even free-to-play games have to make money. It's silly to get angry when you reach that point where you need to pony up some dough to continue to have fun in the game. But, alas, this is the internet and some folks will find a way to get upset at anything.

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!

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr