Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Third Thought - Do Any of These Online Games Require Skill?

   Definitely. Tribes is one of the best examples, but even games like Blacklight require keeping your crosshair on the enemy and doing your best to get the drop on them instead of the other way around. Right down to MMORPGs, where skill is mostly involved in making sure your skill and stat builds are optimal. Strategy games require planning and being able to see what the enemy is going to do next...

   However, we're talking about free to play games here, and the companies have to make money somehow. I would wager that F2Ps (free to plays) are easier games in general since they want to draw in more people, and this can often come in the form of P2W (pay to win) games, where you are made more powerful than people who didn't pay any money, allowing you to win easier.

   There seem to be three positive views on the whole P2W thing. Some people believe that as long as a free player can potentially beat a cash player then the game is still balanced and skill always wins. The fact is, even if upgrades provide only a marginal benefit, when you combine cash and skill you get a player that's basically unbeatable. You can't always rely on the other player being worse than you are, and if they are powerful through having better gear, then you're going to be out of luck. The second view is that F2P games don't require skill anyway, so who cares? This is just retarded and signals you out as a casual gamer who doesn't give a crap how the game works anyway. Your opinion that games do not require skill does not give companies a free pass to make their games puppy-accessible.

   The third view is that the players who pay for the cash buffs are supporting the game, and therefore, I should completely ignore the fact that the cash buff system exists in favor of praising those who pay for the game. I try not to blame the people who pay to win. Instead, I blame the company for making a game where paying to win is possible. A game that makes money and at the same time, doesn't reward cash players by letting them win every single match is not impossible to make. It's just that selling power is easier.

   I've played a lot of games on the internet, and the ones I thought required skill didn't also have a big cash presence (Trackmania, Tribes, the late Tales Runner). We shouldn't be rewarding the companies that make P2W games by giving them more money, but we also shouldn't lose all hope, becoming zombies in games we would normally truly enjoy. Get better, become the best, show all the players that you CAN win without paying a single dime.

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