With the Skyforge forum debacle regarding monetization stirring up quite the discussion, the team at My.com said they would be discussing monetization soon. Today, a few key issues were addressed regarding the free to play MMORPG’s cash shop concerns. While the whole monetization plan isn’t spelled out in full yet, today’s post does touch on a few key concerns players have, whether it assuages those concerns I’ll leave for you to decide in the comments below.
First up, The Allods Team details their main ideas when it comes to monetization:
Players should not feel like they have to invest a nearly unlimited amount of time in the game to stay competitive.
These seem like ideas we would all agree with as free to play game players. Obviously, they can’t run the game for free and need to make a profit and most of us don’t have a problem with that concept. The problem comes in when you feel like you simply HAVE to pay to enjoy the game in a reasonable fashion. We don’t have a problem with having to pay by itself, either. Most of you reading this are in the same boat I am. You play both free and not free games. You are happy to spend a box price for a game you enjoy. When you blur the line between those two products though, we get a little testy.
The post goes on to address a few concerns player have currently. First, no content is locked behind a cash purchase. All in-game activities are free. Yes, the Argent currency is a cash currency, but you can buy Argent through the marketplace with credits if you don’t want to spend real money. The BIG question here was power. Can someone investing money reach higher Prestige levels? Yes and no. Yes in the respect that they can progress a bit faster than a free to play player, but no in the respect that credits simply can’t bypass the caps put in place on your Order, your Ascension Atlas progression, and your weapon enhancements. Even if you opt to spend money and progress to higher Prestige levels faster, content groups you with people of similar Prestige levels, so you won’t be in a league of your own anyway.
Guilds looking to participate in the Pantheon Wars should also know that the content is tiered to find groups of similar skill and “level.
It’s an interesting read but I don’t know how I feel about it. I’m still in the boat of having to wait and see what the grind is like without paying before I decide if it’s truly a player-centric model.