It’s always difficult to know what to spend your money on as a gamer. I haven’t bought a console game in nearly a year, longer if I don’t include games bought on store credit. However, I still hold onto my Gamefly subscription even if I don’t use it as much as I might. I look at the cost of the subscription as insurance against catastrophic failure of my PC. In my way of thinking, paying $200 a year is no different from the usury practices my cellphone company charges me for insurance, for the pleasure of taking my money and giving me nothing in return.
Understanding how much enjoyment a game is going to give you is another way to look at cost. I was recently going back and forth on whether or not to buy a Neverwinter Online Founder pack. I rather love the idea of Founder packs and Lifetime subscriptions. They tend to make it fairly clear whether or not I feel a game is worth the hassle. My view on Neverwinter has softened the more I play it, it's a better game than I gave it credit. I don’t think anything there is particularly groundbreaking, and the Foundry system is going to need some serious polish to make it shine, but I think Cryptic can do it. All in all, the game is exactly what it looks like, a third person dungeon crawler. Those fans who want more of that will be overjoyed, and those that somehow came into the game looking for a more open, non-linear game will scream ‘Fail’ from the rooftops.
I’ve also looked at a game called Dragon’s Prophet. It’s a weird little game made by Runewalker, the makers of Runes of Magic. It’s an odd mix, like the child of Monster Hunter, Aion, and Pokémon all mixed together; it will even have housing at launch and some sandbox-lite features. I’ve always felt that companies don’t give gamers enough options. Lifetime subscriptions, Founder Packs, ‘VIP access’; all of these things should be standard for every new game that launches in the modern era. I think first and foremost the problem is that companies don’t understand the concept of honesty in business practices. It’s not that they set out to pull the wool over gamers’ eyes, but they spend so much time keeping things close to the vest that new features or business practices tend to blindside a gaming population already given to conspiracy theory and suspicion.
In the end, I figure on staying with The Old Republic for a couple more months until Final Fantasy XIV relaunches. I may even (gasp), play some endgame. Either way the games I had interest in have all been weighed and measured on my scales, have you done the same?