If you’ve ever taken the time to look for them, you’ve likely realized that there are a ton of F2P(free to play) MMOs out there. There’s a reason for this: people like to play games that don’t have a hefty price tag attached. However, despite the plethora of F2P MMOs out there and the success that many have them have attained, this doesn’t mean that they’re all worth checking out. In fact, if you’re not careful, F2P MMOs can provide you with the worst gaming experience of your life. For this reason, you need to be aware of just what you should be watching out for with any kind of MMO that doesn’t require you to drop cash on to play.
The cold hard truth of the matter is that most F2P games usually require some kind of financial transaction if you’re looking to experience them to the fullest. There is after all costs involved in running any kind of game and F2P games are no different. The developers make their money off people who play these games by either making the game a “pay to win” scenario or by offering up tantalizing flavor items that players are going to clamor to get.
“Pay to win” pretty much means exactly what it says. If players in pay to win MMOs want to have the best gear and see end game content, they’re going to have to pay real money to do it. The best gear, item enhancement objects, and skill enhancements are going to require micro-transactions, which means you’re basically paying the developer to let you beat the game. If money’s not an object for you, this probably won’t matter. However, if you came into the game expecting to be able to experience everything it had to offer for free, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
Developers of F2P games also make a lot of money off aesthetic items in the cash shops. For example, players can usually buy new outfits, weapon skins, and pets from the cash shop. In some games these purchases are permanent. However, in other gamers any items you buy will have a timer attached to them, which means you’re really only leasing them.
It’s going to be difficult to find a F2P game that doesn’t have a lot of bots in it. Bots usually exist to farm in-game currency and other valuable materials, which then are sold to players for real money for a relatively reasonable price. This means that players could either spend 100 hours farming 100,000 of the in-game currency or they could spend $25 in real money and get 100,000 gold that way. Botting is considered a bannable offense in most F2P games, and so is buying from bots.
Bots can also disrupt gameplay by interfering with questing, kill-stealing mobs, and stealing resources that other legitimate players are trying to gather. For these reasons, bots are usually despised by the player base.
Hackers exist regardless of whether you’re paying to play a MMO or whether you’re going the F2P route. These people will do their best to hack into your account and either steal your items (by sending them to their own characters) or liquidating them (and sending the subsequent gold they get for those items to their own characters).