MMO Players, will you pay for micro-transactions to avoid grinding?

Grinding is a fact of life in most MMOs, to get gears and so on. Let say now the game which you are embroiled with has become free to play, and uses micro-transactions as its business model, and you are still willing to play it (because it rocks). Will you use features that reduce the much-needed grinding?

Missed edit window: This is also assuming you are prepared to spend money on the game.

I’m not really a big MMO player but I’ve played them before. I say no.

If a significant and unavoidable part of a game’s gameplay is so unfun that you will pay extra real money to avoid it then the game is a bad game, and I tend to stop playing games I think are bad.

Developers should be encouraged to make the core gameplay fun, then charge for new interesting things people might want like new levels or new races.

If it’s for perks like the mounts, vanity armour, vanity pets, etc., in Runes of Magic (none of your options seemed to apply), I might indulge in micro-transactions, but “renting” extra storage or anything that has a significant impact on gameplay, I probably wouldn’t be interested. Paying to not play the game, which is what many of your options are to me, just doesn’t sound fun.

I’m ok with people being able to spend money for vanity stuff, though I wouldn’t do so myself. The moment a game allows real life money to be spent for in game advantage however, I’m leaving that game for good.

I will admit, vanity stuff would be ok, just any other advantage would be cheating. I wouldnt mind being able to pick out what my armor looks like, color and what not. I can remember making armor dye in everquest, I had spiffy looking armor.

I’m a fairly heavy MMO player, and I still agree with this viewpoint. If you want to skip parts of a game that badly, you have to question why you’re even playing it in the first place. Not to mention that it’s not likely to get any better after the skip, anyway.

I wouldn’t play a game that allows people to pay extra for an advantage over other players.

Micro-transactions to customise the appearance of armour or clothes? I couldn’t really care less about that.

For respecs, extra character slots, or extra costumes (non play-affecting)

That’s about it.

Grinding is part of playing the game. I really wonder what people who don’t enjoy grinding want - since even once you get to the high level “raid” levels, it isn’t like gameplay changes - you just have access to cool stuff and skills.

Granted, the leveling needs to be balanced - and it seems like the MMOs have started to figure out that no one really wants to take 350 hours to move from level 20 to level 30. They need to feed you that reward of “ding” more often - and they have.

Micro transactions that affect gameplay are bad. Like E-Sabbath I don’t have an issue with it for non - gameplay affecting stuff. But you shouldn’t be able to buy your way to awesomeness with outside the game currency.

Yep, I figure I was missing something from the poll, and it turns out to be the decorations/housing items.

For me, I hate collecting resources. I would buy them from auction, but if there’s a way to make it less of a grind I be happy. However, MMOs sometimes use this to keep the economy in check, so it’s a big can of worm.

A game that starts charging money so you can avoid playing parts of it is soon headed for failure. There is no way people would put up with that, and honestly if you aren’t enjoying the game then you should find something else to do. Grinding is NOT a part of life, any game that would actually make you consider paying money to NOT play is never going to “rock”. Micro transactions should be for cosmetic purposes only, ill pay for a cooler looking set of armor but never for a better one. You should never be able to buy your way to the top and any game that lets you is not going to do well.

At least in WoW, I kind of like grinding. Most people think I’m crazy, but I find it relaxing.

As others have alluded to, grinding is the basic building block of MMOs. You can’t have a successful MMO without grinding, no matter how much people may actually bitch and moan about it. Games that try to minimize grinding fail pretty miserably (the only semi-exception being EVE, and that still requires inordinate amounts of time).

As a rule, microtransactions should never be used in a subscription game for anything that provides a significant advantage over other players. It’s simply not fair, when you’re already putting in $15/month, to be outclassed just because someone else has more disposable cash than you. The most it should be limited to are decorative items and things that are simply extras but confer no actual advantage. City of Heroes does this very well with their costume packs; while they do include some powers, they’re novelty powers and mostly useless. The costume pieces are high quality, but the basic range of costume pieces in the game is more than sufficient.

I think exceptions can possibly be made for freemium games, like DDO Unlimited. It costs nothing to play the already substantial game, and microtransactions are how they stay alive, so giving more substantial rewards for money is understandable. The players who don’t want to indulge in microtransactions have less of a standing to complain about imbalance, because they are effectively a drain on the game. Even then, many of the microtransactions are available to free players with grinding, so it’s not completely unfair. If you don’t want to pay, you don’t have to.

There’s no option for this (I guess “never” would be closest to my philosophy,) but my answer would be maybe, depending on two conditions:

  1. Is the grinding aspect a game mechanic purposely put into the game to force micropayment? If yes, and it was explained up front without deception, and I really wanted to play the game, then yes, I would micropay as it was part of my decision to participate or not. In other words, does the company who made the game make their money from micropayment?

  2. Is the micropay just a way to gouge consumers? Some companies charge $60 or more for the game, a $15+ monthly payment, and then are they asking for micropayment? If so, then that’s just stupid and they are killing the golden goose, and I would never participate in that game.

What many companies just don’t understand is that they are slaves to the consumers. The players, not the companies, decide when a game is dead. Having a fair profit model is one way to keep players. Gouging chases players away.


What about respecs? Oh, and server moves and character renames? Those all generally qualify as ‘above and beyond’ type stuff. I think having a fee-for-respecs is fine, as long as you can get them in-game, too. That way, the bleeding edge PVP types can get their respecs if they want, while normal players can still fix problems if they have to.

What is micro-transactions? The “pay for extras” model?

Just what it sounds like. Instead of spending $50 to buy a game, you get the game free and then spend $5 for that mount, $3 for that sword, $10 for the guild hall…and so on.

The drug dealer business model, basically.

No. Not because microtransactions are “uncool” or “evil” or anything, but simply because either A) The game is fun, and therefore, I don’t need to buy extra crap to play it “better” or “faster” or “with extra sparkles” or B) The game is not fun, in which case, what the hell am I doing? If the game is too grindy for me and I don’t enjoy the grinding, I drop the game. There are TONS of good ways of spending my time that don’t involve paying extra money for having to skip something that was built into the game.

I play MMOs for fun, not because I need to be bigger, stronger, and faster. That is, in fact, the fallacy they try to sell, but then you realize that even after you get to level X and bonus ability YZQ, it’s still the same game you’ve been playing the whole time.