F2P is not some kind of generous act of charity. It would be fine if developers didn't use it as a carte blanche to make bad games, but LoL aside, that has typically seemed to be the case. It's not an excuse to cut corners on design and production, releasing titles with low-quality content and missing crucial features. People won't play a bad game just because it's free, but they'll pay for a good game. Riot are probably making ridiculous amounts of money from League of Legends because it's a good game, and they did the right thing: make the best game you're able to make, not the most cost-effective discount product that you think you can get away with. If the goal of the F2P model is to lower the standard of the industry, it can f*** right off.
GW2 lets you experience all parts of the game throughout the leveling curve.
This is a horrible fallacy. People like to use that myth to suggest that GW2 has tons of awesome content available no matter what kind of player you are. In truth, it has no more leveling content than any other contemporary MMORPG (in fact it has less, containing almost no quests and providing so few dungeons along the way), but where it differs is that it has almost nothing waiting for you at the level cap. There's a few extra dungeons and that's it. It's easy to promise players the ability to "experience all parts of the game while leveling" if you offer no more than what any other game does at that stage. If WoW had no raid content, no rated PvP system, no heroic instances or most of its normal levelcap dungeons, it could also boast that you can "enjoy everything the game has to offer while leveling" because, well, the basic leveling content would be all there was. In GW2, it is
all there is, pretty much. Oh yeah, they added a new 5-man dungeon system, but that's not exactly what the game was lacking -- it was all it ever had, and that was the problem.
If F2P has become an excuse to provide far less than one's competitors, it's a failure. Don't use the economic model as a scapegoat for the game's shortcomings. ANet skimped on content and quality, thinking that the lack of a subscription fee would let them get away with a discount product. It didn't. Maybe if the game had been completely free, like LoL or PS2, but it isn't. There are plenty of actually good games that don't require more than the initial purchase, it's not some kind of innovation, except that it's sort of new in the MMORPG business. The game still has to be good or people won't play it, free or not.
Edited by Larsen, 26 November 2012 - 03:52 AM.