I’m Just Too Damn Weak Willed
So I cracked and resubscribed to RIFT. For three months. This is something I never do (I always pay monthly) but they offered me some cosmetic veteran rewards upfront if I did. I also bought some add-on upgrade thingy for £5 because it came with a rideable spider. And all of this is exactly why I hate the concept behind free-2-play subscriptions and cash shops. I’m just too damn weak willed to resist them.
Well, actually I have some other concerns towards F2P but my fundamental problem is that I can’t stop myself from buying stuff. Even though I’m not really not all that bad at controlling my purchasing urges in real life, when it comes to virtual goods for my favourite MMOs I’m just far too much a consumerist for my own good. The constant reminders, the little nudges, the appeals to my oh-so-not-inconsiderable vanity – I crack under the pressure. I’d buy these virtual cash shops dry given half the opportunity.
Which is why I prefer normal subscription games even if it’s almost impossible to escape the flaunting of some “added value” item in one form or another these days. I bought a kung-fu panda pet in WoW along with a sparkly pony (well, technically my brother bought me it as a present) and a silly winged guardian thingy. Oh and a guardian pet but that was to resell on the Auction House for gold (or so I tell myself). Hell, I even bought a bunch of crap in the Everquest 2 cash shop when it first came out. So yes, I’d rather stay away from them as much as possible and avoid temptation all together.
Funny thing is, it’s not even that I consider these items all that bad value for money . Except for the WoW mounts, of course, which are just plain ridiculously priced. Still, £5 for a big ol’ spider mount in RIFT isn’t a bad deal in my opinion, especially when I’d easily blow that on a double-mint-chip-choc-skinny-iced-frappuccino-with-extra-whip at my local Starbucks. Nope, riding that spider around all day for months (three months, in fact) will give me far more long lasting pleasure and satisfaction. Apologies to the condom advert I stole that last sentence from.
“But you could still just play these games and ignore the cash shop, y’know”, I hear you say. And you’re right, I could try, but I would ultimately fail because it’s simply my personality type. Now whether that’s something I need to throw my hands up and hold myself accountable for (which I am kinda doing, I suppose, and avoiding F2P games as a result) or if it should be the moral responsibility of the developer to limit and control, I have no idea. I suspect in this modern free world of capitalism and consumerism, the latter wouldn’t hold up in court.
Ironically enough I’m also exactly the type of person these cash shop systems are designed precisely for: young professionals with an avid interest in MMOs. I guess I just need to hold fast and resist them though, going cold turkey if I have too and sticking to pure subscriptions where I can. Unfortunately though, I don’t think it’s going to get any easier over time.
Anyway, I got a £5 spider to ride and a three month subscription to burn through. Cya in Telara.