Now that I’m not raiding on WoW I just realised that I’m not a preferred type of player on any of the games I do play apart from Guild Wars. I am not an endgamer on WoW, I am not a Gold subber on EQ2, I am not a pvp-er on Wurm Online nor do I personally use social media which apparently now means not good enough for some of their official events, I am not guilded for Forsaken World (hmm stopped playing that now), I am not a pvp-er for Allods etc etc etc. There always seems to be some way I fall short of being the person the game is made for…
That struck me suddenly as an oddity. There is no doubt I’m a gamer, one of that (supposedly) finite pool, and there is no doubt that I spend money on my hobby. I would love to see the numbers. How many games are patting 1% of their players on the head and making the rest feel unvalued and unneccessary? I don’t know that its 1%. I do suspect that the percentage of second-classed players on most games is well in the majority though, and that the second-classed who also pay into the game are a goodly portion.
Is that wise?
Using EQ2 as an example second-classing Silver players is a blatant attempt to manipulate everyone into a subscription, and that kind of social manipulation for money might be at the heart of most of this second classing. But not all – in some cases grouping, guilds and social media are desirable for making the game sticky. Pvp has that whole ‘I’m better than you’ thing going for it. Mixed motivations but a very common phenomenon. I assume publishers/devs feel they have something to gain by setting up an upper layer of First Class customers in all cases though. (If the idea is that we are going to strive to emulate a certain kind of player – woo have I got news!)
Whether it is wise is one question it would take numbers and measurements to answer. Just what percent are they catering to? Because if it’s as small as I think, they might be missing out on quite some revenue. I myself will accept the “second class” label rather than play in a way I don’t want to. I’m not open to manipulation. It’s heartening to think that many other people are not either. Call us casual, carebear, freeloaders, nameyourpoison – I play when I want to, how I want to within the game rules and I pay (sometimes substantially) when I see a really good deal. That’s it. No mystery.
I can do without the namecalling and second-classing, but it’s not a gamebreaker. The thing is, if I and my freethinking ilk are a huge large bulk, there are definitely better ways of making us want to buy a product or behave as required than assuring us we are not particularly wanted or of any worth ingame. We still dont behave as desired, and on top of that are just that bit more likely to walk off in search of more comfortable environs.
Note to self: Don’t spLeet the Playerbase!