Leavers and F2P

Playing Town of Salem, I am constantly annoyed by suicides, i.e. people quitting the game. They don’t like their role, they started without time, they anything — I’m alt-tabbed and typing this now from a game that has had 4/15 people quit so far. It adds quite a bit to the randomness when one team suddenly loses several members, which can snowball. No one cares if a neutral benign role leaves, but everyone is cheated of a decent game when one side is hamstrung. I’ve seen other perversities like a 3-arsonist game where they would have won pretty handily had not one of the arsonists quit on day 1. Even worse is when an important, unique role is AFK; I have had two games with AFK mafiosos so the Mafia just could not do anything. And then town is hamstrung when people quit after dying, given that town can have a rezzing role.

But Town of Salem is also free to play. I want there to be some disincentive to ruin the game for others, but what are you going to do, ban a F2P account that someone can re-create in a minute or two? Ooh, you wiped out their cosmetics. That is hardly a speed bump for the sort of jerk who doesn’t care about ruining others’ fun, to say nothing of the actively griefing troll. I am interested in ranked play, where those players tend to fall out as they cannot rise in the ranks, but ELO is broken and most of the roles do not appear in ranked play.

Having real costs in a game is a useful thing just because it imposes costs. If there is no cost for bad behavior, you are free to impose costs on others.

: Zubon

5 thoughts on “Leavers and F2P”

  1. The game needs something like… I dunno. Tokens say. You start with five a day and can’t gain any more by any means until it refreshes to max the next day. Each time you quit you lose a token. If you are out of tokens you cannot play any more for the day.

    Something like that.

  2. What kind of costs or penalties could you impose that would make a significant difference? Most subscription-based MMOs I’ve played have suffered from the same problems – afk players in battlegrounds, griefers, trolls, pre-mades, rage-quitters, ninja-looters, you name it. Those issues were mostly dealt with by a combination of interventions by paid customer service reps, peer pressure and mechanical processes within the games.

    If costs and penalties are significant enough to be a real deterrent then the game itself has to be sufficiently attractive to sustain that and, crucially, there has to be little or no alternative if players want that experience. There aren’t many games around in any genre that can hit those markers.

  3. Leavers are almost part of the game in Salem, as I can’t remember the last time I played where at least one person didn’t leave to cause a suicide, let alone leaving once they are dead. It sucks, but as you said, it’s F2P so basically expected.

  4. And yet this same thing has happened for years and years in Pay to Play games without restriction except when you look at console accounts where even with F2P games you have real consequences. But the PC side doesn’t fix anything even with cost because guess what, it’s been a long long history of this happening in games like WoW years of videos on Youtube are proof of this behavior in a game that still costs money. Your theory is washed down the toilet with those videos as is the failed argument that Pay to Play is superior. Years of evidence to the contrary doesn’t lie.

    1. So you’re saying that imposing consequences works, but financial consequences are utterly disproved by your complete lack of links and evidence except for shouting about toilets?

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