On this episode of the Free-to-Play Podcast, Elder Scrolls Online removes its 6 month subscription option, we debate the merits of Esports joining the Olympics, and throw in a dash of Black Desert Online’s Cash Shop Preview. All that and much more on this week’s episode of the Free to Play Cast!

Discussion Timestamps:

01:2o Elder Scrolls Online 6 Month Sub Removal
14:15 ESports in the Olympics
23:06 Black Desert Online Cash Shop Preview
31:55 Weekly Bombs (DA-Bomb / A-Bomb)
40:55 Questions and Answers of the Week

If you have submissions for the show’s Weekly Bombs, have questions for the panel (nothing is off limits!), or just ideas for what you want covered you can now send them to magicman@mmobomb.com. You can also be a guest in the show, just send us why you want to host, and what topic or game you would like to cover.

Free-To-Play Cast is the official podcast (and videocast) of MMOBomb.com about free to play multiplayer online games. Free-To-Play Cast takes on the week’s biggest news with plenty of opinion, weekly bombs, community feedback, guests, laughs thrown in for good measure and much more. Have fun and expect a new episode next week!

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Mike "Magicman" Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site's current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.


  1. At the momment i think the best definition for P2W is : “Archeage”.
    To start with the begining:
    – If you really want to do somthing in Archeage you need Patron for begining.
    – If you want to craft, keep a farm, or mining, or any other stuffs they have in game, than you have to buy Labor Potions from cash shop.
    -Crafting mats (Archeum) prices are depend on some trees you can get on some boxes from cash shop(for the moment this boxes are removed from cash shop and the mats (Archeum) prices are sky high)
    -If you want to regrade your armor/weapon/jwls without using a crystal you can get on cash shop, you have no chances to do it. My record is 12 fails, when i tried to regrade a green piece of armor.

    I dont mind if the Cash shop you can find xp boost pots, or money boost drop, or item chance drop becouse i understand that the company who made the game need to make money, and in every game i played i bought things from cash shop, becouse nothing is free in life, but i dont like when they say it’s Free 2 Play and when you get in game, than you see the real face of the game. After 10 years of MMOs i’ve got to the point right now, that i can`t even find a game that i enjoy anymore.

    So for the moment i think the best definition for P2W is : “Archeage”

  2. I’d like to give an A-bomb to Trion worlds for a very big reason or it seems to me that it is a big issue, there glyph client updater completly broke, but see here’s the issue in there failed software, it proceeded to cause my system to become sluggish and buggy so I removed glyph completely and restarted my computer solve the issue, hint to Trion try making a non hazardous downloader/patcher client for your games.

  3. What killed ESO for me? where do i start.
    Poor balance stuff nerfed and buffed dramatically within weeks of launch.
    Bugs, particularly the quest bug in the starting areas which were heavily reported and ignored and these were core quests.
    Changing the starter island so you don’t actually start there…load of exp missed.
    RMT spam even in early access, so much so that withing the early access i managed to fill the ignore list.
    EU server being based in the US…so bad as you are playing with 3/400 ms, though it’s not in the EU
    Bots, try to play one of the open world dungeons and the boss is camped by a few dozen bots spamming an auto target/attack macro every time the boss spawned, so bad that the boss died before normal players could target it…reporting those bots(hundreds of them)
    Their fix to the problem was to nerf the drops
    They move to harvesting nodes, again every node in the area camped and spam looted making it impossible for players to harvest anything.
    Spent more time reporting than playing and when i did play it was buggy and laggy.

    Esports in the Olympics? is chess or any board game in the Olympic games? …The Olympics is really for the physically demanding sports, so i doubt it’ll ever be in the Olympics but it’ll probably be something like football/basketball/hockey with their separate leagues/competitions…but it needs to be far more popular over here before it’s a thing.

    As for them being a sport, by definition it is but personally i’m on the fence with that one.

    Lol at the jiggle physics in black desert.

    Da-Bomb for Elite dangerous…scarily immersive, and an A bomb for my attempts to control the ship with a joy stick, feels like i’m playing with someone elses hands and nothing is going where i want it….need moar practice.

    Question of the week, Pay gates to content…to a degree even locking off items/item slots like defiance/rift
    Impossibly small inventories and minimum character slots trying to force you to fork out the cash
    The rest is really game dependent, the likes of EXP boosts i personally don’t like but in some of the bigger MMO’s they don’t make much if any difference.
    Same with items, some games manage it without being pay to win…most of them though take far to long to unlock the alternative way(so it’s pay to have fun)

    i’ll stick with PoE…they’ve done it right.

    • Sadly most of your issues have been addressed, i have been playing since beta and i know about the gold spammers. the past 4 months though i have watched them die and now you don’t see any. They have done a lot of re-balancing as well to the point pvp is quite enjoyable (and i am not a fan of PVP), Most of your issues are no longer an issue, and they will continue to fix/add items and content they will be adding a justice system with theft,dark brother hood/thieves guild.

  4. A game turns P2W when something in the cash shop DIRECTLY boosts your character stats/gear, this item can only be obtained from the cash shop; that is the true definition of P2W. Things such as boosters, gold, exp or any sort of progression is NOT P2W, it is P2 Progress faster, which is OK.

    For instance, in Archeage you can buy pretty much everything from the Auction House, but the cash shop directly sells Regrading stones(Improves quality of gear, this are quite expensive with ing gold), which you will use a vast amount of to stay competitive with other players. Leaving RNG aside, of course…

    Also, sometimes MMO companies tend to sell % boosters to gear enchants, like Lineage 2. You can get a weapon to +9(which is pretty decent) easily by buying % boosters from the shop. They also used to sell a scroll that stopped your gear from getting destroyed if the enchant failed, which made the game impossible to stay competitive, even if you played all day… the only way was to spend real money.

    Imo, I do not mind paying for subscriptions, like when RIFT went F2P, it was fine… but now you have to buy classes and unblock content by paying, just no! I believe an ideal MMO can have a subscription with exp/gold boosts and a cash shop filled with cosmetics ONLY, such as pets, shirts, etc…

    • Pay 2 progress (also known as free 2 grind) is a slippery slope. It can easily become a temporary pay 2 win mechanic. For example, if a free to play player can make 10 gold in a game per hour and a really powerful item costs 87000 gold, it would take that person 2 years playing 10 hours a day every day to get the item. If that item was also sold for say 20$ real life cash, someone who pays RL cash will be at an advantage for 2 years (likely more than that) over free players.

      • But most games that do use the pay2progress system won’t be unreasonable enough to create a game where f2p players have that much of a disadvantage. Most games I see that implement this system are pretty reasonable and require the f2p users to spend just a bit more time than the paying ones to achieve the same goal.


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