The Cycle: Frontier Will Let You "Insure" Your Gear So You Get Compensated For Its Loss
Because we all want more insurance payments in our lives.
Ah, monetization -- if there's one thing that can screw up a free-to-play game's chances of success, it's poor implementation, or even explanation, of its monetization practices. For The Cycle: Frontier, Yager Development has a solid idea of how everything will work, all of which was explained in a dev diary earlier this week.
Most of the concepts will be easily understandable. There are starter packs you can buy and a battle pass with free and paid (~$10 for the season) tiers. If you craft or upgrade an item, you can wait for the timer to expire or pay some currency -- in-game (K-Marks) or cash (Aurum) -- to speed things up, Warframe-style. Aurum is also passively generated in the player's quarters. There are also skins for characters and weapons, as well as the usual assortment of sprays, banners, and emotes.
As you'll recall, a primary feature of The Cycle's reboot is that, if you get taken out on the planet's surface, you can lose your items; as the dev team put it when the changes were announced last May, it's "all about taking risks, where all your choices matter" and "If you die, you lose your stuff!"
But maybe not! You'll be able to purchase insurance with K-Marks, and if you die and would lose your items, you get a portion of the K-Marks back. You can also use Gear Salvage, which you can obtain via the pass or by spending Aurum, so that your gear will be sent back to you if no other player picks it up. If they do, you'll receive some K-Marks as compensation, just like if you used insurance. Whichever method you take advantage of, you'll receive your compensation 45 minutes after you lost the item.
My take? It's a needlessly convoluted system meant to give the game the appearance of looking "hardcore" while also providing an out for players who don't like losing their stuff when they die -- which is, in actuality, pretty much everyone. My bet is that a very vocal minority of players wanted the game to be super-hard, Yager listened to them and redesigned the game in that vein, only to find out that most players didn't like the idea and thus we have a weird hybrid, "you lose things but you really don't" system that isn't likely to please anyone.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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