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March 31, 2014 5:34 AM   Subscribe

If Minecraft was an evil F2P game (SLYT)
posted by Zarkonnen (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh my god. I get your point, but frame rate horror! What are they playing that on, a potato?
posted by nerdler at 5:57 AM on March 31 [12 favorites]


nerdler: An overclocked potato! And yeah, fair point. I wasn't really focusing on the underlying video very much.
posted by Zarkonnen at 5:58 AM on March 31


17 views? That's some early adopting.
posted by asok at 6:21 AM on March 31


I love how F2P is framed like a suppressive bully in this video. It really is!
posted by oceanjesse at 6:41 AM on March 31


I'd thought the frame rate issue was a nod to low-quality production in some F2P games. Honestly I was kind of expecting a "Tired of low FPS? HQ graphics now on sale! 50R/wk" popup about it.
posted by bookdragoness at 6:47 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]


F2P means "Free to Play" (a.k.a. "freemium", or, for parents, "that fucking game that said it was free but which my six year old just mysteriously ran up a $500 tab on"), for those who aren't up on gamer jargon and can't watch YouTube at work.
posted by ardgedee at 6:48 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Amusing, but I think the real problem is not shown in this video - all tasks were accomplished normally without any purchases.
posted by shinynewnick at 7:40 AM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Candyminercraftsaga!
posted by symbioid at 8:09 AM on March 31


F2P means "Free to Play"

Thus the darkly hilarious way one talks about games these days: "Is the game free?" "No, it's free to play."
posted by straight at 9:19 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]


A "modern era" F2P title would take note when you're mining and let you luckily hit a diamond deposit. When you make a pick with your precious diamonds and soon afterwards you're pushed into lava by a mob. Which burns your precious pick.

The game then offers to give you back the pick for some exorbitant fee.

This is how these games work. There was a paper published (or a presentation or interview..) where a developer talked about having done a/b testing and you get more profit from giving them a reward and then taking it and offering a buyback than by just offering the item for sale in the first place. People are more likely to spend money on recovering something they think they earned, it seems they develop some kind of emotional attachment to the in-game rewards which si stronger than their initial desire for them.

These games are even more assiduous in their slimy ways than the gambling industry.

(sorry if this is in the video! I can't watch it from here but my mind has been amusing itself with the idea of F2P minecraft since I read the headline...)
posted by samworm at 9:24 AM on March 31 [5 favorites]


Well, I must admit I was pretty attached to that companion cube...
posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 9:42 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]


I was on a commuter train the other day & the woman sitting in the aisle seat was playing candy crush as we reached penn station. As the train started to empty out, I stood up, waiting for her to move. No way. She was going to finish her candy crush game. I finally said "excuse me, could I get out?" She ignored me for another few seconds and then shot me a death glare. F2P, my ass.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:47 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]


A "modern era" F2P title would take note when you're mining and let you luckily hit a diamond deposit. When you make a pick with your precious diamonds and soon afterwards you're pushed into lava by a mob. Which burns your precious pick.

I know your example used lava, which is different, but some of my favorite moments in Minecraft are when you're exploring deep and far from home, gather tons of valuables, and then get killed and you respawn completely empty-handed and have about 10 minutes to rush back and try to recover your goods: How much time do you take equipping yourself? Can you retrace your path and find where you died? How dangerous was the place you're rushing into with (probably) inferior equipment to what you had when you died the first time? Can you get there in time?

Replacing that with a F2P buyback option would be taking out one of the very best parts of the game. Which is seems pretty typical of how F2P mechanics ruin games.
posted by straight at 9:49 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Oh man, a Zynga version of "Portal" would have had you paying a bonus to save the Companion Cube from the incinerator, and then pay again to be able to carry the Companion Cube in a free hand while still being able to use the Portal gun, and for improved gun accuracy, and for extra songs sung by GladOS (actually that doesn't seem as bad) and for the ability to continue trying rooms after you've fucked up too many times, and also for the ability to skip past rooms that are too hard...
posted by ardgedee at 10:06 AM on March 31


Auto-mine for 1R/block

That highlights another problem w F2P games: the best F2P strategies for maximizing monetization involve wrecking the game design.

Notch, and his successors, have said that one of the things they will never do is add too much automation to the game. Too much means, generally, devices which will closely mimic player actions. Mining/block breaking is often held as a major example of what's off limits.

Many popular mods add such capabilities in one way or another. They can make for fun experiences themselves, but unmodded "Vanilla" minecraft remains a more popular game, because of this restraint, I think.
posted by bonehead at 11:17 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]


Can you retrace your path and find where you died?

That would only work in vanilla MC. There is a Last Death waypoints, /back warp to death point, keep inventory and tombstone mods.

I liked the Yogscast reference they slipped in there. Also, who bothers to enchant a diamond sword with only 4 levels, drops in on the ground and then tries to slay a cow with a handful of seeds? This person actually needs rubies because they are awful at minecraft.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:54 PM on March 31


Many popular mods add such capabilities in one way or another. They can make for fun experiences themselves, but unmodded "Vanilla" minecraft remains a more popular game, because of this restraint, I think.

It's amazing the difference in fun I experience from playing survival versus creative. I play creative with my 7yo son, sometimes, just so we can see what interesting cool looking creations we can make - but after an hour or so I just get incredibly bored, and can't really think of anything much more to do except set forests on fire and dump buckets of lava around the place. Survival, despite the fact that it's a grind, is actually so much more fun.

And it surprises me how much people rely on all these mods to make the game "easier". Minecraft isn't a hard game. But it's so hard to find a legitimate, well-populated, true Vanilla server. My ISP runs a server (with portals to Survival, Creative and Hardcore worlds), but the Survival world has a crazy mod where breaking normal blocks give you all kinds of goodies. Dig up dirt, and before you know it you've ended up with piles of potatoes and carrots. Dig up sand, and you end up with fish and reeds and ink. The initial literal struggle for survival as you try to get ahead in food resources is taken away, and I'm left feeling, once again, that there's no point and I should just give up and set things on fire.
posted by Jimbob at 3:18 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


My favourite modded experiences seem to be with mods that make the game harder. I love sky block maps, and so, I have lately fallen for the Agrarian Skies challenge map in the FTB mod pack family.
posted by bonehead at 3:46 PM on March 31


That would only work in vanilla MC. There is a Last Death waypoints, /back warp to death point, keep inventory and tombstone mods.

The beauty of Minecraft is that even with vanilla MC, there are a bunch of different ways to play, all of them fun. You can play creative and focus on building stuff. You can play survival in peaceful mode and just have fun exploring caves. In survival mode, you can be a daring spelunker or fortress-maker who slowly builds out a perimeter of absolute safety.

And then there's the dizzying array of mods that increase and amplify those options, allowing you to go crazy with the stuff you enjoy best about Minecraft. I'm sure some people are playing the game in such a way that losing your stuff when you die is just an annoying interruption to the parts they enjoy, but I feel bad for people who start out with a whole bunch of mods that smooth over stuff that someone else thought was too hard or tedious, before they even get a chance to discover whether those parts might have been their favorite part of the game.
posted by straight at 3:56 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


You know, F2P Minecraft is pretty bad and all, but this scenario is the one that I'd hate the most.
posted by bonehead at 5:56 PM on March 31


Yeah, a mod that lets you mine diamonds with Birch Wood Planks would be pretty awful.
posted by straight at 6:34 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


some of my favorite moments in Minecraft are when you're exploring deep and far from home, gather tons of valuables, and then get killed and you respawn completely empty-handed and have about 10 minutes to rush back and try to recover your goods: How much time do you take equipping yourself? Can you retrace your path and find where you died? How dangerous was the place you're rushing into with (probably) inferior equipment to what you had when you died the first time? Can you get there in time?

PSA: Your stuff disappears after the chunk (area of the map) has been active for 10 minutes. If you respawn some distance away, the chunk will be unloaded and the timeout is halted until it's loaded again. It's only crunch time when you're in the area you died in again. (This is assuming single-player or that nobody else is hanging around where you died.)
posted by neckro23 at 9:08 PM on March 31


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