Rohan of Blessing of Kings has a post linking to and discussing another blog post by Klepsacovic. Rohan discusses and expands on Klepsacovic’s post about the disconnect between the apparent imagined version of the free to play model and the reality most companies in this MMO space are probably using.
I’ll agree that I’ve seen Rohan’s “forum rhetoric” many times, this phrase refers to forum posts wherein players do basic calculations to guess how much money the free to play playerbase might be spending on the game. Usually these posts appear when players are debating the profitability of the model or comparing free to play with subscription.
I’ve said before that I’m likely to be willing to invest some money in permanent unlocks in a free to play game to ‘support it’ as I play. I’ve followed this pattern in EQ2, and Guild Wars 2 (extra shared vault space) and more recently with SWTOR. In this last game I have bought cartel coins a couple of times for specific one-off purchases (3rd crafting slot for all characters and the starter kit with piloting and speeder for two leveling alts).
I steer clear of the consumable purchases though, and especially anything remotely resembling gambling. I really dislike the trend of mixed-model games that encourage you to take out a subscription but then keep nagging you to spend even more. It seems devs aren’t happy with the limited number of these ‘whale’ spenders they have in-game. Such efforts make me considerably less likely to subscribe to a game or even stay playing it however. The rampant ‘commercialisation’ of LOTRO has rather turned me off that game.