While the teenagers from my neighbourhood are busy blowing everything up with fireworks, I sit inside my apartment and ponder about what a great year 2012 was. I achieved my bachelor’s degree, immediately found a job and met a totally fantastic girl. I’m physically healthier than ever before, and more confident than I was ever in my life. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but 2012 was pretty much my year.
Personal achievements were not the only thing that made 2012 glorious. From a gaming point of view, the past year has been freaking fantastic as well. In this post, I want to honour digital and tabletop titles that made my year.
Granted, TSW still offers different levels of subscription. Players can decide to fork over about €15 a month, or to buy a lifetime subscription, to receive additional extras in the form of the Time Accelerator (boosting your XP gain by 100% for 1 hour every 16 hours) and discounts in the Item Shop. However, free players can enjoy the entire game, without ever paying a dime. That is, until new DLC arrives.
The move to a buy-to-play model has been received with both love and hate. Entering the official forums shows how emotional the player base has reacted to the changes, but Joel Bylos explained himself in an interview with IGN. When asked why Funcom did not go the same road as many other developers and go entirely F2P, Bylos raises a few good points. First of all, the financial barrier created by a box price keeps out at least a part of the scammers and gold farmers. Furthermore, Bylos shuns the “second-class citizens” created by the business model apparent in most F2P titles. Last, but clearly not least, an initial financial investment creates an initial emotional investment. Bylos is convinced that if you are willing to pay for a product, you are also more willing to join the community that is a part of it.
So far, I am more than pleased with this choice. Unlike other developers, Funcom has decided to not limit the content for free players, but to give subscribers a few little extras. The optional subscription fee also gives me the possibility to play other MMO’s, without worrying too much about my budget. I tip my hat to Oslo, and will slay some Draugr in their honour!