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Are players who leave over tradable cash shop items fueling the current MMO model?

30 posts in this topic

Posted

Although I am not going to debate the semantics of "pay 2 win", it has been noticed through in-game activity and the BDO forums that a reasonable sum of players are unhappy with the recent cash shop changes that have taken place and have either quit, temporarily quit, or threatened to quit.  While I do not have the metrics that Kakao/Daum has to confirm a mass exodus; what I am wondering is if it is us as the players that are the ones contributing towards a vicious cycle of the cash-shop model that many MMORPGs use or is it the companies' own financial bidding (or perhaps both?).  Consider the following:

From a company's standpoint, as many others have pointed out in the p2w debaucle, when you consider gaming as a business (which it is) the objective is to create profit.  If you're a business and you're NOT seeking to maximize profit....you're doing it wrong.  There are many factors that play into this "maximum profit" equation and one of them is customer satisfaction and the delicate balance of maintaining customer sat while still making financial decisions that benefit the company.   Let's face it, what is satisfying for the customer may not always be profitable for the company.  Due to this and the consideration of the longevity of an MMORPG's life, companies are making the decision to allow players to purchase in-game items and sell them for in-game currency with their real-life funds potentially in large part because the mindset/model of the business is "well the game isn't going to last forever, so we need to maximize revenue over the shortest period of time".

Having said that, when players start threatening to leave the game or actually do leave the game, this further solidifies the mindset/model mentioned above of the game not lasting forever so decisions like implementing a cash shop with tradable items for in-game currency are established.

From some player's perspective, it is the very act that upsets said player base and they leave.

There are many other reasons for players leaving the game, but specifically I wanted to discuss players who are leaving MMOs due to tradable cash shop items.

Wanted to get some people's insight or opinions on if players are doomed to this vicious cycle of the trending MMO model?  Maybe "doomed" isn't the right word as it implies negativity, and is this just something people will have to accept?  Is there anything that can be done?

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Posted (edited)

You can whine, throw your keyboard, hit the cat with the mouse and it doesn't matter. As long as players are willing to spend real money, companies are going to do everything in their power to take it. 

These companies always put a hook in the game, something to keep you playing, RNG / grind, whatever. They are making money off of taking a certain amount of the fun out of the game and making you pay to get it back. Armor; looks like crap, few models and they are making a fortune off of keeping decent looking armor sets out of the game, unless you spend $$$$ to buy them ..... just one example. 

So to answer, no the ones that leave are not, we that stay are. 

Edited by sadnebula

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Posted (edited)

 

 

Although I am not going to debate the semantics of "pay 2 win", it has been noticed through in-game activity and the BDO forums that a reasonable sum of players are unhappy with the recent cash shop changes that have taken place and have either quit, temporarily quit, or threatened to quit.  While I do not have the metrics that Kakao/Daum has to confirm a mass exodus; what I am wondering is if it is us as the players that are the ones contributing towards a vicious cycle of the cash-shop model that many MMORPGs use or is it the companies' own financial bidding (or perhaps both?).  Consider the following:

From a company's standpoint, as many others have pointed out in the p2w debaucle, when you consider gaming as a business (which it is) the objective is to create profit.  If you're a business and you're NOT seeking to maximize profit....you're doing it wrong.  There are many factors that play into this "maximum profit" equation and one of them is customer satisfaction and the delicate balance of maintaining customer sat while still making financial decisions that benefit the company.   Let's face it, what is satisfying for the customer may not always be profitable for the company.  Due to this and the consideration of the longevity of an MMORPG's life, companies are making the decision to allow players to purchase in-game items and sell them for in-game currency with their real-life funds potentially in large part because the mindset/model of the business is "well the game isn't going to last forever, so we need to maximize revenue over the shortest period of time".

Having said that, when players start threatening to leave the game or actually do leave the game, this further solidifies the mindset/model mentioned above of the game not lasting forever so decisions like implementing a cash shop with tradable items for in-game currency are established.

From some player's perspective, it is the very act that upsets said player base and they leave.

There are many other reasons for players leaving the game, but specifically I wanted to discuss players who are leaving MMOs due to tradable cash shop items.

Wanted to get some people's insight or opinions on if players are doomed to this vicious cycle of the trending MMO model?  Maybe "doomed" isn't the right word as it implies negativity, and is this just something people will have to accept?  Is there anything that can be done?

I agree somewhat. Its a two sided coin, but any business that feels its customers are going to flock to the next product (because of MMO consumer trends) then a company is going to try and maximize their profit before their product is obsolete.

The way they go about it is up for debate. But unless we go back to the days when MMOs aren't saturated, then companies are going to keep doing this.

The only real sustainable consistent income is a sub. But the MMO community over the last 5-7 years has communicated they dont like sub MMOs. WoW's huge numbers are different because it struck gold at the right time (right place, right time, right product). Now if you advertise a sub required game, its very hard to try and convince a sizable player base to continue to play for extended periods of time with all the options out there now.

Edited by Ravare
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Posted (edited)

I think you are mixing up terms here. An MMO is not a financial model, it's a genre. 

The problem with cash shop items stems from how games have been designed in Asia for the Asian markets. Why? Because most of these game are "Free to play", and they are not "Free" out of the warmth of their hearts, it is a market penetration strategy on any product or service line that has reached a "maturity" stage (I am sure people who have taken Marketing in college or university will be familiar with the concept)

The problem is, that these same strategies are being applied to the western market without a proper market research and that is why we get issues like the ones we have had since the beginning or also issues like the ones people found in games like Archeage. 
These Korean developers do not understand the Western Market, all they know is "these white people love nice graphics and pay for games at release". This why the hype around games like these are all around the art department and how the game is NOT going to be "Free to play" or "Pay to Win", whatever. They sell you these games as "Pay to Play" with a cash shop option, which would be your first alarm that this same product is Free in a different region, most probably, in Asia.

The problem with this, is that it creates really fast cash for new companies but the sustainability is very poor, they are quick cash grabs, and a lot of Western developers follow suit in order to maximize profits at the exchange of quality and longevity. Some Western developers use this strategy on their MMO's when they reach a certain age or a certain degree of unpopularity, like WoW or LoTRo (Lord of The Rings Online), and SWtOR. It's just a final push to elongate their product's life, but Koreans do it from the get go, as if expecting the game to die soon.

F%ck, I didn't want this to be so long... ¬¬

Edited by Kasathar
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Posted (edited)

 

No, I do not think players hating P2W is causing more P2W games lol. Players spending money on P2W games is what is driving the production of P2W games. And they tend to be games not made in the west and made in countries where people enjoy P2W. The West hates it. 

Developers, and more likely their financial backers, have found out they can invest less money and time into making and operating a game and still make a decent profit with cash shops and P2W.

P2W is usually just a way for bad games to make money. Now in BDO's case, they have taken a fairly good game and ruined it with P2W.

My guess is they are seeing some frightening trends in growth. Couple that with Legion releasing in a month and they know they are about to take a huge population hit, even without P2W. So why not release P2W and make as much money as possible while the player base is still a good size? Yea it may further increase your losses but they don't care if they can make a few extra mil before Legion. 

Making a great game and using subscription or real B2P models still makes you more money though. So it isn't all doom and gloom. We have to hope that games like WoW keep dominating P2W games like BDO. Because once P2W games make more than AAA games like WoW. It's over for good games.

Edited by FiendTrip

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Posted

I think you are mixing up terms here. An MMO is not a financial model, it's a genre. 

The problem with cash shop items stems from how games have been designed in Asia for the Asian markets. Why? Because most of these game are "Free to play", and they are not "Free" out of the warmth of their hearts, it is a market penetration strategy on any product or service line that has reached a "maturity" stage (I am sure people who have taken Marketing in college or university will be familiar with the concept)

The problem is, that these same strategies are being applied to the western market without a proper market research and that is why we get issues like the ones we have had since the beginning or also issues like the ones people found in games like Archeage. 
These Korean developers do not understand the Western Market, all they know is "these white people love nice graphics and pay for games at release". This why the hype around games like these are all around the art department and how the game is NOT going to be "Free to play" or "Pay to Win", whatever. They sell you these games as "Pay to Play" with a cash shop option, which would be your first alarm that this same product is Free in a different region, most probably, in Asia.

The problem with this, is that it creates really fast cash for new companies but the sustainability is very poor, they are quick cash grabs, and a lot of Western developers follow suit in order to maximize profits at the exchange of quality and longevity. Some Western developers use this strategy to their MMO's when they reach a certain age or a certain degree of unpopularity, like WoW or LoTRo (Lord of The Rings Online), and SWtOR. It's just a final push to elongate their product's longevity, but Koreans do it from the get go, as if expecting the game to die soon.

F%ck, I didn't want this to be so long... ¬¬

I forgot where I read it, it was on an MMO site but one of the writers there did an interview back when B&S wasn't getting a Western release. The developer had made a statement that in Korea, its generally assumed that Western gamer's tend to switch games very rapidly. He said that it made it difficult to find publishers because no one wanted to take the risk of Western MMO players just leaving within a year because something new came out.

While that statement can be taken with caution because of perception, I sort of agree with that Dev. Western MMO players do switch around a lot.

Not sure on their turnover rate in Asia is on their game though

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Posted

People leaving over cash shop items made available at the AH are absolute retards... I mean, in some instances the P2W is real: AA for example. But in BDO... come on... seriously? You would get about 120 Mil/month from selling 20 (5/week) cash shop items at the AH. If you grind a little you can earn much more. And there is regular Trading... And there is now Imperial Trading. 

Irl money - IG silver exchange rate is so low (which is NICE since it presicely prevents from ppl investing irl money to gain real advantage over other players) that it is not even worth listing anything from the cash shop at the AH. Seriously ppl? Leaving because of 5 Mil pets? 9 Mil Value pack? And people are subject to taxes (let's remind for the newbies, that the Value Pack do not make you free from the 35% tax at AH, all you get a small discount...) Ridiculous.

I am not saying people reacting the way they did are always wrong... but in BDO case, they are! 

To answer OP: whiners and retarded pleb definitely fuel the fast-food MMO model... look at all the titles out there... Only wow sticks to the subcription model. Even if the player base is still substantial... it used to be so much more than it is atm.

 

My 2cs,

CAW

exactly, the time my guild was strongly against p2w was when we thought costumes were gonna be 100mil each... but as it turned out... seriously.... less than 20fckingmil.... if anything, this feature made the game even less p2w than before because now, players can enjoy all the features of the game without spending a dime (other than the initial purchase price)!

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Posted

The evolution of the MMO industry is big business:

Arts and Computing Newsletter

The Business Model Influence on MMO Design

The Subscription Transition: MMORPG's and Free-to-Play

Those are older references but as the evolution continues, one finds the implementation of multiple business model layers within any given game. This multifaceted approach is now vital to the survival of a game. As this forum has demostrated its the players themselves who have to cope with this. Some are still in the dark ages of the subscription model mindset and it's equal playing field of supposed "fairness" which is all but gone. There never was any "fairness" because the model favored those who had the time to invest. Regardless of the model(s) being implemented all of it is still a work in progress.

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Posted (edited)

Consider the following:

From a company's standpoint, as many others have pointed out in the p2w debaucle, when you consider gaming as a business (which it is) the objective is to create profit.  If you're a business and you're NOT seeking to maximize profit....you're doing it wrong.

 

I am not sure where you learned this from. I hope they don't teach this in school because it is extremely wrong. 

The purpose of a business is to create and keep a profitable customer. BIG difference.

A big issue with video game companies is that a lot of their clients are no lifers, or non-profitable customers. And in games like bdo where the server costs can be quite large, this does not work out well.

Edited by Reglub
didnt finish

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Posted

I forgot where I read it, it was on an MMO site but one of the writers there did an interview back when B&S wasn't getting a Western release. The developer had made a statement that in Korea, its generally assumed that Western gamer's tend to switch games very rapidly. He said that it made it difficult to find publishers because no one wanted to take the risk of Western MMO players just leaving within a year because something new came out.
While that statement can be taken with caution because of perception, I sort of agree with that Dev. Western MMO players do switch around a lot.

Not sure on their turnover rate in Asia is on their game though

The turnover in Korea is dramatically high in comparison to the West, just look at their game listings, over 100 concurrent MMO's fighting for first spot, that is ridiculous, no wonder why the switch so much. 

I think Western players are some of the most loyal you will find in the entire world, the issue is not the turn over risk, the issue is that they do not know how to compete with very well established high quality products (WoW, FFXIV, Everquest, LoTRO are just a sample) without offering a "cheaper" option. That is why a lot of publishers do not want to go for a Korean game because they know their "bubble gum" nature. this has nothing to do with the perception that the subscription based model is crippling the growth of great MMO's, that is just a marketing ploy to force people into believing that cash shops are about convenience and not about investing in the longevity of a high end product.

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Posted

Although I am not going to debate the semantics of "pay 2 win", it has been noticed through in-game activity and the BDO forums that a reasonable sum of players are unhappy with the recent cash shop changes that have taken place and have either quit, temporarily quit, or threatened to quit.  While I do not have the metrics that Kakao/Daum has to confirm a mass exodus; what I am wondering is if it is us as the players that are the ones contributing towards a vicious cycle of the cash-shop model that many MMORPGs use or is it the companies' own financial bidding (or perhaps both?).  Consider the following:

From a company's standpoint, as many others have pointed out in the p2w debaucle, when you consider gaming as a business (which it is) the objective is to create profit.  If you're a business and you're NOT seeking to maximize profit....you're doing it wrong.  There are many factors that play into this "maximum profit" equation and one of them is customer satisfaction and the delicate balance of maintaining customer sat while still making financial decisions that benefit the company.   Let's face it, what is satisfying for the customer may not always be profitable for the company.  Due to this and the consideration of the longevity of an MMORPG's life, companies are making the decision to allow players to purchase in-game items and sell them for in-game currency with their real-life funds potentially in large part because the mindset/model of the business is "well the game isn't going to last forever, so we need to maximize revenue over the shortest period of time".

Having said that, when players start threatening to leave the game or actually do leave the game, this further solidifies the mindset/model mentioned above of the game not lasting forever so decisions like implementing a cash shop with tradable items for in-game currency are established.

From some player's perspective, it is the very act that upsets said player base and they leave.

There are many other reasons for players leaving the game, but specifically I wanted to discuss players who are leaving MMOs due to tradable cash shop items.

Wanted to get some people's insight or opinions on if players are doomed to this vicious cycle of the trending MMO model?  Maybe "doomed" isn't the right word as it implies negativity, and is this just something people will have to accept?  Is there anything that can be done?

capitalism 101. Money>everything . Step over your morals your friends and the overall happyness of those around and its fine as long as you are driving a ferrari.

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Posted

Who left? Show me one player that deleted all their characters.

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1 post account created today to comment on a hot topic among the community.

Legit or not I wish mods would aggressively investigate posters like this and perma ban any account linked to their IP if anything suspicious pops up.

We're well over 6 months in to this game being a thing, and close to a year of being a community and if you're waiting till now to chime in that's fairly suspicious and considering the lax standards of posting makes posts like this automatically suspicious.

Also...

People leaving over cash shop items made available at the AH are absolute retards.

But in BDO... come on... seriously? You would get about 120 Mil/month from selling 20 (5/week) cash shop items at the AH.

19m * 20 = 120?

Yeah you shouldn't be calling people retards.

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Posted

I don't think we are locked into any sort of doomed cycle, perhaps a more complex one, a more restrictive one, but not one without potential to escape. The big component to escaping it is giving proper examples of what works, or what we'll support, as the op pointed out just making games fail won't prompt them to change their model, it'll only make them that much more antsy and quick to cash out, but if along with those said failures (for bad marketing practices) you also provided gleaming examples of successes in gaming due to different marketing it would lean them towards imitating that model instead of just giving up. The key thing is you can't just punish bad behavior but you also need to reward the good, you need to make it clear that the cause isn't hopeless but that they do need to adapt to our desires if they want to be happy. 

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I like this thread. So far mostly productive answers. I personally think we are locked in a cycle of doom until we as a whole decide we won't stand for it. But the issue with this is as you can see, these forums. They show the issues quite well.

We have a new game, everyone is a fanboy. Tons of people buy it and lots play it. Some leave and find out it isn't for them, some stay. The ones who leave often have reasons, whether valid or invalid.

Then people start burning out. The whiny crowd demands more content, the less whiny crowd wants bug fixes, and some are content with the way the game is because the things they care about aren't bugged. This crowd is the dangerous one.

This is the turning point for games being good or bad. If good, the devs work hard to fix these issues fast and then work on new content. If bad, they push content to keep everyone in game and ignore game breaking bugs. The bad games end up making people quit due to frustration and them feeling like their voices are ignored. 

After this bad cycle continues, many have left. The game gets bad reviews and new player growth takes a tumble. We see this in steam games especially, due to their rating system. At this point, devs either change their entire mentality or they have no going back and decide to cash out. This is when selling items on marketplace comes in, attempting to grow their revenue with the remaining players. This works especially well because the people still in game are the ones who weren't bothered by previous bugs or the bugs didn't affect them, so they get angry at anyone who cares about these bugs and says they need to shut up and just love the game. After time, this aggressively pro-game crowd shuts out the anti-crowd and we have what we have here in these forums now.

So where do we go from here? Well I'd argue we're pretty much stuck. No feedback from devs or communication whatsoever, nk responses to our feedback, hot fixes to change Cs items but ignoring game breaking bugs, and addition of new content that is broken is a bad sign in most games.

And what's the worst part of this? We could have avoided this AS A COMMUNITY but those who defend every choice by the devs give them opportunities to say "no, the players are happy because they're spending lots." If we keep spending, we are forever stuck in this cycle. But what do I know.. I've only said this for every mmo that's gone p2w over the last 10 years. Yet some people still don't listen. 

Tldr: we're doomed.

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From what I have noticed, everything started to change when games started to offer paid DLC. Once players started being OK with paying for things like new skins, new maps, new races/civilizations. different weapons......developers/publishers realized that they could make even more money beyond the sale of the original game.

Add to that  high-speed internet everywhere, along with internet ready consoles with on-board storage and customers no longer had to go to the store to buy new content. Now companies could easily add new content at any time and charge for it. With it being so easy for customers to purchase anything and everything it just makes sense for game companies to try to squeeze more and more money for every little thing they can get.

Look back to older consoles, such as the N64/PS and those before that generation of consoles. You went out and bought a game, a completely finished game, and that was it. Now look to the last couple of generations of consoles. You buy the game then almost from day 1, you are instantly downloading patches or additional content. Developers no longer have to even complete a games development before they release it. Since they can continue to develop a game they can also add stuff to that game, things that weren't originally intended on being part of the game, they can charge a small price for it. How  many new games have Paid DLC available from day 1? You have many of the sports games nowadays that have the cash shop where you buy card packs containing players/coaches/equipment for your online teams,

The consumers drive the market. As much as people want to blame developers and publishers, people are willing to pay for anything and everything. They have been for years. Any for profit company will look at what people are willing to pay for and they will offer that to their consumers.

 

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From what I have noticed, everything started to change when games started to offer paid DLC. Once players started being OK with paying for things like new skins, new maps, new races/civilizations. different weapons......developers/publishers realized that they could make even more money beyond the sale of the original game.

Add to that  high-speed internet everywhere, along with internet ready consoles with on-board storage and customers no longer had to go to the store to buy new content. Now companies could easily add new content at any time and charge for it. With it being so easy for customers to purchase anything and everything it just makes sense for game companies to try to squeeze more and more money for every little thing they can get.

Look back to older consoles, such as the N64/PS and those before that generation of consoles. You went out and bought a game, a completely finished game, and that was it. Now look to the last couple of generations of consoles. You buy the game then almost from day 1, you are instantly downloading patches or additional content. Developers no longer have to even complete a games development before they release it. Since they can continue to develop a game they can also add stuff to that game, things that weren't originally intended on being part of the game, they can charge a small price for it. How  many new games have Paid DLC available from day 1? You have many of the sports games nowadays that have the cash shop where you buy card packs containing players/coaches/equipment for your online teams,

The consumers drive the market. As much as people want to blame developers and publishers, people are willing to pay for anything and everything. They have been for years. Any for profit company will look at what people are willing to pay for and they will offer that to their consumers.

 

+1

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The only thing fueling the current trends in various cash shops is profit.

As Solar pointed out:

The evolution of the MMO industry is big business:

Arts and Computing Newsletter

The Business Model Influence on MMO Design

The Subscription Transition: MMORPG's and Free-to-Play

Those are older references but as the evolution continues, one finds the implementation of multiple business model layers within any given game. This multifaceted approach is now vital to the survival of a game. As this forum has demostrated its the players themselves who have to cope with this. Some are still in the dark ages of the subscription model mindset and it's equal playing field of supposed "fairness" which is all but gone. There never was any "fairness" because the model favored those who had the time to invest. Regardless of the model(s) being implemented all of it is still a work in progress.

In the past, players with extra time had the unfair advantage (most of us have to work/go to school...). Now players with extra money have the unfair advantage. As the tolerance towards "pay-to-win" cash shops lowers, we'll see adjustments and business strategies that try to cope with the trending attitude.

I think BDO's current setup with limited cash to silver transactions is a great move towards balancing the rewards of spending money and spending time in game.

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Posted

 

Wanted to get some people's insight or opinions on if players are doomed to this vicious cycle of the trending MMO model?  Maybe "doomed" isn't the right word as it implies negativity, and is this just something people will have to accept?  Is there anything that can be done?

Wrong way of thinking. We do not have to accept anything. Just stop play and pay. Play MMO is not important function of life but just entertainment and something what we can easily change.

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Wrong way of thinking. We do not have to accept anything. Just stop play and pay. Play MMO is not important function of life but just entertainment and something what we can easily change.

Sure find a game designer,  programmers,  artists, and server techs who all are willing to work for just the joy of it the you can find a game that doesn't have to earn money and you can play it for just free.   Also  better find a power company and ISP who will provide the electricity and internet for free as well.  Oh and someone to donate all of the needed hardware.       The you can stop paying to play.  

 

I do really wish they'd bring but MMO subscriptions.  

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I miss the days of sub mmos (before WoW).

Camelot Unchained I look forward to. Miss my Dark Age of Camelot RvR (GW2 came close to filling that type of pvp void) days.

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I miss the days of sub mmos (before WoW).

Camelot Unchained I look forward to. Miss my Dark Age of Camelot RvR (GW2 came close to filling that type of pvp void) days.

Whaling is more profitable.

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Excuse me. Could you please stop trying to turn every thread into that politicized mantra of ad hominem negativity? So far it has been a constructive thread. I don't see why the player base has to endure what are basically YOUR issues with the game.

Did I reply to you just then? Nope I didn't.

Funny how there's many people with similar distaste for what has happened here. So it's not only MY issues with what this game has recently become.

My posts prior to the P2W changes were in support of this game. I did a 180 just like Daum/Kakao.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

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Posted (edited)

Did I reply to you just then? Nope I didn't.

Funny how there's many people with similar distaste for what has happened here. So it's not only MY issues with what this game has recently become.

My posts prior to the P2W changes were in support of this game. I did a 180 just like Daum/Kakao.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

Posting in a general forum makes the post fair game. You're not a special snowflake and the few who are actually interested in the outdated subscription model psychology that you've already confessed longing for are simply that: an outdated species of gamer. What happened here bespeaks to what is happening (and already has happened) across the MMO landscape. You've lost.

Grow up and get over it.

Edited by Solar

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Posted (edited)

Posting in a general forum makes the post fair game. You're not a special snowflake and the few who are actually interested in the outdated subscription model psychology that you've already confessed longing for are simply that: an outdated species of gamer. What happened here bespeaks to what is happening (and already has happened) across the MMO landscape. You've lost.

lmfao you contradicted yourself. So me posting in general forums makes it fair game. Yet you don't want me posting in general forums. Ok I get it that your special snowflake self doesn't seem to understand this and resort to attacks. Guess you've made a constructive post go negative. Some, not all mmos prior to WoW and even after WoW has been sub based. Final Fantasy, WoW, Star Wars, etc. I'd gladly and have paid for the Value Pack cause of its value (prior to the P2W announcement) $15 a month is a -----ing 2-3 hour movie ticket so I didn't give a shit. It's not outdated. When it's still in existence today. Let your salty tears flow.

Edit: I should've realized this sooner. Your avatar would've told me to not even bother responding to your shitposts, so this is the last.

Edited by Muzak

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