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Author [EN] [PL] [ES] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [TR] [SR] [AR] [RU] Topic: What should go in the 'cash shop'?  (Read 2285 times)

Offline mouser9169

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What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« on: May 20, 2013, 05:02:29 am »
I'm splitting this off from the endgame discussion thread since it's a topic of itself.

First - the idea that players who pay money should receive no in game advantages over players that don't simply doesn't fly in the real world. There need to be some compelling reasons to encourage players to spend money regularly to support all the non-paying players. Otherwise, there's no income for future development of the game, and it becomes stagnant. Ideally, you want players to choose the subscription option and then pay now and then for one-off purchases.

So on to ideas:

1) XP potions (or their equivalent): time savers are always solid. People like to save time, and you can't really call them 'pay to win' because people without them can still get to the same place, it just takes them a little longer.

2) Running for office: This is the one I thought about on the endgame thread. If elections for a city's primogen and prince are held every month, they could charge a registration fee to be an eligible candidate. As long as they keep the price reasonable, say five bucks or so, then players who aren't interested in the political game won't pay it and can keep happily slaying rats, werewolves, and mages, while the people who are interested in the political part of the game will. It has the advantage of being a 'regular' purchase. This can also be a 'perk' included with a regular subscription.

3) Housing: Better housing is nice, can come with additional advantages - maybe some are only available once you become a primogen or prince. The only downside is these tend to be one time purchases, so don't really help the 'steady stream' spending that you need.

4) Mounts: another one time purchase, but nicer and faster cars would probably be a good seller. Again, not a necessity, since you can run wherever you need to go, so they're another time saver. Note: some mounts should be available in game - I don't think you can make this a 'cash store only' item, but you can put the better ones there.

5) Decorations, nicer outfits, furniture for your haven and all the rest of the usual suspects.


Thoughts, comments, criticisms?
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Offline Valamyr

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 08:17:54 am »
Cosmetics, Convenienes and Gap-closers are acceptable in a F2P game. NO "Items of powers", to quote Fearless.

In your list, the only unacceptable offer is #2. Competing for office (running makes it sound democratic, which isn't the intent) is a core part of gameplay (if not THE core part)... and must be available to all.

Everything else is alright by me, in the context of a subless game.

CCP have already stated that their philosophy is that EVERYTHING sold through Aurum or equivalent mechanics should be resellable for ISK/WOD$ though, so nothing will absolutely -require- cash expenditures. They were unequivocal about it, so that's at least a start.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 08:21:55 am by Valamyr »

Offline Nosferatu Numbers Station

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 08:28:46 am »
Store exclusive cosmetics are always a good one, as well as accessories.  Like say if they added an aura mechanic (an aura that is noticeable outside of auspex), you could change the aura to something that doesn't reflect a part of you (like say you chose a pattern that is based off a discipline or your humanity), including particle and aura effects that are also store exclusive (look good while you kick ass).  Though so god help me if they make twilight sparkle particle effect.

For things more based off actual game mechanics, they can't go with selling power ups and weapons but I suppose if they go with respawns, you could buy an item that allows you to bypass the consequences of death while destroying the item.  Being able to buy blood packs from the store may seem to be a bit OP (blood dolls are a different case though).
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Offline Valamyr

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 08:53:42 am »
Quote
exclusive

Nothing should be or will be 'exclusive', we have hard quotes on that. You'll likely to get a choice between spending a couple bucks or grinding for hours pretty often, though. That's how 'F2P' works.

Really wish we could just have subs instead, but its what it is.

Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 09:13:16 am »
1) No. It makes no sense. This is not a magical setting where you can "become a better person" by chugging something down. Not even the Tremere have concocted anything like this. (Not that they would share if they did...) On this note, no healing/mana potions, either. Unnecessary, unrealistic, inapplicable (there is no "mana" in the World of Darkness. Replenishing the "mana" analogue, like Blood Points or Gnosis, should take more effort than right-clicking on a slot in your inventory. This goes hand-in-hand with not having to spend it as much as you do mana.)

2) No. If the point of getting experience is to become more powerful, and the point of becoming more powerful is to obtain more influence, then you're putting a tax on playing the "real" game. Making players pay extra for part of the game is no different than pay-to-win (if you don't pay, you can't "win"), and that means all the other players are paying a subscription or flat cost for a massive co-op game.
In-game currency, maybe, MAYBE - you must have X, Y, or Z resources/backgrounds/assets before obtaining a given office (perhaps some requirements as set by the Prince. For example, the Keeper of Elysium must own over $1,000,000 in property, so that they already own locations that they can declare as Elysium. The exchange, of course, would be that the primogen/high offices are the ones who vote the Prince into power in the first place... but that's another topic.) But not all vampires rely on the strength of backgrounds and resources to carry their influence - some are just so kickass that nobody wants to fight them for the office.

3) Half. The actual building/property should be purchased with in-game currency, otherwise you're still locking out some of the better content for the paying players. However, cosmetic items like furniture and decorations can still be bought for real-life money. If players can still get the same haven with in-game money, only by putting in more time instead of more money, then that would be... acceptable. Games that are purposefully designed to be pains-in-the-ass if you DON'T buy the upgrades for real money, though, are evil and stupid and will die sooner rather than later.

4) Half. This may not even be necessary unless we get something in the way of player-controlled or player-directed cars and vehicles. I could see a cosmetic design/color/chassis being made available, so long as the actual stats of the vehicle were not changed. (Change the appearance of a high-end car from a Lamborghini to a Jaguar, or a regular limousine to one of those square, truckish limousines.)

5) Half. Mostly the same issues as the prior two - players should not be able to buy their way to better armor or camouflage or anything, but offering a new design of that little black dress or fancy tux would be alright.

I'm gonna have to say "Nix" on the "aura effects", too, Nossie Numbers. The only thing that would sell would be Twilight sparkly effects, and no such aura effect would be realistic or productive.
And frankly, the "bypassing the consequences of death" sounds an awful lot like a ganker's wet dream.

I'd rather just pay a subscription. That way I know exactly how much I'm paying every month, and what I'm getting for it.

What I would REALLY hate to see is CCP bringing PLEX/AURUM over to the WODMMO, or another currency system like it. I HATE the games that have a separate company-specific currency that you buy with real-life money. Not only is a pointless and unnecessary step, but they never design it so you can spend all your currency; there's always something left over that isn't quiiiiite enough to buy the next item you want. Just do what Steam does, and if you do have a cash shop, then just give us real prices. I was even driven to write a blog about this for WoDNews.net, because it's such a horrible practice.
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Offline Valamyr

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 09:35:14 am »
Quote
What I would REALLY hate to see is CCP bringing PLEX/AURUM over to the WODMMO, or another currency system like it. I HATE the games that have a separate company-specific currency that you buy with real-life money. Not only is a pointless and unnecessary step, but they never design it so you can spend all your currency; there's always something left over that isn't quiiiiite enough to buy the next item you want.

I hear you, but that ship has sailed with the Fearless leaks. IIRC, I got pretty drunk that night and posted pics of my liquor :p Thats also the only time when a CCP rep bothered to come here to do some damage control.... They want it to be F2P, and that inherently means separate currencies and all this shit.

Offline Nosferatu Numbers Station

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 10:10:27 am »
While subs do indeed solve this problem, the only way to make such a thing viable for what really is experimental in a MMO market would be vet rewards.  And typically when games do that they are effectively on 'life support'.  Need only look no further than SWG and AION (for a few years anyways).

A cash shop I've always seen as an indulgence to boost one's ego, not just a shortcut.  And again, exclusive items are a good way to succumb to such an indulgence.  Sad truth is, we can't always get what we want and MMOs (and even just games) as of late have shown this as fact.  So if your going to get someone hooked to a game, you can at least do it without going for pay to win situations.  In this case, it would give them a reason to pay more for the game, and avoid alienating others because of steroids.  It's not the most equal marketing style, but nowadays it's the most probable way to go unless WoD has a HUGE yet silent fanbase just waiting for it to come.

And as for my earlier suggestion of death penalties, there would obviously be limitations to ensure there is no form of repeated ganking like a 1 day cd that is account-wide, and can't buy one while on cd.  Plus killing in the middle of the street will likely be a death wish anyways (or a masquerade violation should it get so hot as usage of disciplines).  As for multiple accounts, I'm pretty sure you can't use the same credit card on a banned account...right?

Separate currencies...as much as it's a tangle-fuck when there is 3 or more forms of it, it still works.  I'm sure the 3rd currency comes in the form of tokens and not points, so they can be used to access NPC services as an alternative to in-game currency instead of account/store services.
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Offline Valamyr

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 10:24:49 am »
There are obviously reasons to want to sell RMT cosmetics, but about zero to prevent players from freely trading those purshases for in game currency. And yet you seem to be advocating that? Why would you care whether someone can resale or not his RMT goods?

Keep in mind, allowing this is a boon to the company and the game ( because they take AH cuts ) and a boon to attract subscribers, because no matter how pie-in-the-sky, the theoretical notion that you can both play free and eventually earn everything in-game is a HUGE DRAW for a certain segment of the playerbase. Thats why everyone does it.

Offline Radical21

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 12:30:08 pm »
I'm with Rick on this one, they either should have a fixed Subscription or Sell purely cosmetic RMT

Convenienes and Gap-closers are acceptable in a F2P game. NO "Items of powers", to quote Fearless.

No they are not because then they intentionally build gaps in the UX and expect you to pay to close them and once you do, guess what, they have all the incentive make more gaps in the UX to close... this type of 'smart gamedesign' that assume consumers are stupid, and its sad that in many ways they are right because gamers really buy into that stuff like they are getting a better product.

{sarcasm}These Designers and Programmers worked really hard at removing these inventory slots and selling them as RMT, its a work of art really {/sarcasm}

And as for XP boosts, they won't help you close any gap if the progression is infinite and the guys you are trying to catch up to also use the same XP boosts, all it does is create two different classes of players based on how much someone pays for the game, to the point where it doesn't make sense for either side to play on the same shard.

As for the fearless leak, wasn't it the one with the 70 dollar monocle?

 
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 12:39:15 pm by Radical21 »

Offline Nigama

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 04:05:53 pm »
I'm for a subscription and also for selling only cosmetic items in the cash shop, but even then, everything available in the cash shop can be acquired in game (albeit with time and effort). People with money will still buy the items instead of putting in the time. Requiring payment to take part in politics (arguably a center piece of the game) is a spectacularly bad idea. Payment for housing is fine, so long as that housing can be acquired in game. XP potions are non-cosmetic, so those are right out the window. Mounts and Decorations again are fine, but again must be able to be acquired in game. On the other hand, if they want to just have some really extravagant items for obnoxious real world prices that were just slightly different than in game items, I'd actually be okay with that.  For example, if you could get a top hat, monocle and coat with tails in game (albeit with time and effort), I'd be perfectly okay if they sold a top hat, coat with tails and monocle that had a silver lining or sparkling gems or something for ridiculous real world prices because the basic version of that clothing option can be acquired in game. If you want the extra special/unique version you can pay cash money for it.

And I think that's fair.


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« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 05:01:46 pm by Nigama »
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Offline mouser9169

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 07:48:14 pm »
I'm for a subscription and also for selling only cosmetic items in the cash shop, but even then, everything available in the cash shop can be acquired in game (albeit with time and effort).

Probably the way everything that is in the cash shop will be available to the other players will be by someone buying the item and then putting it on the AH for someone to buy with in game currency. Otherwise, they have to make it really, really hard to get in game for people to fork over dough.

1) Being FTP does not preclude a subscription model - so that possibility is always open for them (the major FTP MMO's all do this). Regardless of any quotes they may or may not have said, they can always add this even if it isn't in at launch. Personally, I wouldn't put too much stock into anything the dev's say until people see it in an actual beta, and even then it will probably change twice before launch.

2) If they don't have a subscription option (which I personally think would be idiotic, to put it nicely), then they need to sell more than "cosmetic items" in the shop or there's no way in hell the game will generate enough revenue to survive. There would need to be some compelling reasons to get players spending their $10-$20/month in the game (ideally while still believing the game is "free").

I don't see "purely cosmetic" items being compelling enough to get enough people buying to support the game. I doubt there will be 'infinite growth' possible for PC's (ie: there will some 'level cap') so I don't see any problems with XP potions or other 'time savers'. I also hope they don't put those in the marketplace and then make the grind almost unbearable without them...

Paying to be part of the political process may not be ideal, just an idea I tossed out there. Something to remember though - there's no way of knowing which of the three sphere's will really be the 'major' one until the game gets an open beta or maybe even until launch. If the game opens with two 'themeparks', and that's where 80% of the players spend 80% of their time, guess which sphere is going to be getting all the love.

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Offline Valamyr

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 02:04:40 am »
Quote from: Radical21
As for the fearless leak, wasn't it the one with the 70 dollar monocle?

Roughly same time frame, two different things. An insider leaked fearless in part because he disagreed with the RMT plans according to rumor.

Heres the Fearless leak;  https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5859263/Vampire/Fearless%20CCP.pdf
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 06:19:09 am by Valamyr »

Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2013, 06:01:29 am »
IF they HAVE to use a cash-shop with micro-transactions paid for (through however many layers) with real-life money... then I guess being able to sell them for in-game currency and in-game benefits would be acceptable. Theoretically no different than selling any other rare kind of item, only without the grinding on the seller's part.
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Offline PANZERBUNNY

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 07:22:30 pm »
People can resell their cosmetic goods in LOTRO and hell, when you slot it into your wardrobe, you don't even need the item anymore and can auction it or give it away. They aren't bound.

You only have a certain amount of wardrobe slots so it also entices people to use the virtual currency to upgrade account features.


I'm hoping they launch with a similar system where we can wear different items that are shown instead of stat gear.

May not be viable if we have any semblance of open world PVP.

Perhaps only have wardrobe accessible in safe zones like Elysium etc.

I approve of Bloodlines being in the store and only in the store.

I approve of little Thaumaturgy Gremlins or whatever that are unique to the store.

I approve of facial markings, tattoos hair designs etc. unique to the store.

Not sure why it hasn't been done, but I approve of combat sound clips or passive animations etc in the store.

So much can be put in the store where heaps of cash fly at CCP and they can avoid a similar monocle incident.

I mean, look at Mechwarrior online. You can grind up the cash for mechs or buy their virtual currency and buy it outright. Mechs can be between 15-25 bucks. Even higher for Assaults I think.

That's like paying 20-30 bucks for a ship in EVE because you don't want to spend the time training the skills to get them.

They then have Hero mechs that can only be bought and have a unique appearance and a bonus to gaining C-Bills.

Great game and people are using that feature.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 07:29:11 pm by PANZERBUNNY »

Offline Radical21

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Re: What should go in the 'cash shop'?
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2013, 03:59:08 am »
(albeit with time and effort).

Usually this means that the developer simply make the amount of 'time and effort' insanely high.
Look at Planetside 2, almost everything in it supposedly follows the the 'time and effort' approach except that the amounts are so high for most things you really have much less chance of getting them without boosts and cash shop and since that game is all about having better weapons and getting better through kills you can imagine that anyone without cash shop finds it far harder and slower to advance.
So while on the surface they maintain the illusion that everything is fair it is simply your plain old P2W in other dressing.

 

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