This is a capitalist society. There's nothing wrong with that. People make livings doing far less admirable things than selling computer games.
If there's some freebie stuff out there(there is!) then go and enjoy!!
....sans all the whining......there's too much whiney crap in this world.
I hope that someday the lands that treasure democracy and freedom will grow up and STOP THE WHINING!....ahem....I've done some myself.....but I can change!
Whining? I don't think GamesMan or I have whined. The MA developers are notorioulsy good at responding to user feedback posted on these forums. GamesMan and I (and others) have expressed reasons why we don't think that requiring a subscription to play MA multiplayer is a good idea from our POV.
I've not said there should be no subscription. I've said several times that TBS gaming is a niche market that isn't large enough to support free matching servers...But on the other hand forcing casual players to pay a subscription will drive those players (including yours truly) away. I just don't play enough games a month to justify the expense because I have a life.
I am only interested in strategy games that are MP so I can play them with my friends. I don't want to pay $40 for the game and then have to pay a monthly fee just to play a couple games a month with 2 or 3 of my buddies. Once I've plunked down my hard-earned-dough for a TBS game I think that should include the ability to play it multiplayer at least via PBeM as part of the base price. I don't think it should necessarily include a nice matching server of the kind that MA provided. I understand that costs money for the publisher to maintain. But it doesn't cost them anything (beyond implementation) to allow a user to press "Save" then mail the game file to his opponent who can then open the file and play his turn. It also doesn't cost them anything to allow people to play real-time via GameSpy.
And here is where Capitalism comes into play. In a free market, vendors decide on a price of their products in hope of achieving maximum profit. They arrive at this based on the prices of competing products and the past behavior of consumers.
Maybe DreamCatcher believes that the subscription will drive away only a few players and that loss of profits will be made up for by the income generated by the subscriptions. Maybe they just haven't thought about it. GamesMan and I are just communicating with the producers of the game so that they are aware of why we are not buying their product. They can do what they will with that information. In my experience, one of the important things companies can do to encourage the long term success of their games is to encourage a large and active community of users. The way you do that is (among other things) make the game moddable and make casual gamers feel welcome.
I would guess that upwards of 75% of potential buyers of this game are "casual" gamers who are not looking for a game to occupy the lion's share of their gaming time for several months. Most will not play MP at all or only a few times, but when they see that subscription requirement some will be turned off. DreamCatcher/Wargaming.net is apparently banking on that number being small. I hope they're correct. Really, I want to see company's like this succeed. I love MA...I want it's community to survive and thrive. But if people feel like membership in the community requires a subscription (even if in reality it doesn't), they'll be turned off.
I've asked several times in this thread if it is possible to play this game MP without the subscription and I have not heard a response from an "official" source. So I assume GamesMan is correct, that you cannot.