Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Is Real Cash Economy worth it?

This is my first post in PC forum, and eh.. i have been playing this game for quite a long time and took a long break after probably January of this year. I joined this game one year ago and this game has definitely changed a lot, with the addition of new planets and now space. But what has not changed is that micro transactions from players still fund the game and make the game what it is.

Now, I also have been looking at other great games, some of them pay 2 play and many of them lack the graphics and expanse that this game has, yet they have more players. I found out that this is because of the straight forward game play that those games give, where if i play hard, i get the reward. Loot isn't random and things just seem to.. work. There is no entropy. Even in expansive games like EVE, there are some level of "obviousity". Your success there depends on your adaptability, not your strength and you have total freedom over your character and his choices. If you look beyond the settings and the genre, you see that both games are highly similar. Both have player driven economies. Both have high level of player involvement in communities. In both games, action is sacrificed for a high level of freedom. But the one place that they do differ is that one game has more than 14 million players, while other has around 1 million. Don't get me wrong here, I believe EU is a great game and has a high potential to succeed. But the one thing it does not inherently provide is equal opportunity, which is a result of the Real Cash Economy in this game. Because a person can pay into this game, any amounts of money at any times, what it gives him is an unfair advantage over another player, because that player might not be able to pay the same amount. A person's hard work doesn't matter, nor does his skill. Its all money that dictates the position of the player. If that person is rich, he can do whatever he wants. In a game, this is very unfair and does make a lot of people quit. Also this system enables high level players to get higher level equipment and this does bring an unfair advantage when it comes to PVP. You don't have to be a good pvp player anymore, but just have a good amount of money to buy the best gun available and fight. Its money first, player skills second now.No more does a player's resilience and patience matters. Loots are set at random, thus a player has to continue to put in money and as he/she levels up even more, he/she has to put in more money to accommodate for that higher level. Not all of us have infinite amount of money to spare. I have paid for other P2P games, but all the other games have a much more fairer system, where all the players are given equal opportunity to thrive and succeed, given that the player makes right choices. In simple terms, nothing is set at random and no one is given access to more stuff because in standard p2p games, Everyone pays the same and everyone gets access to the standard features others get access to. In this game, that is not so. People are given freedom to pay into, any amount they want, which means high paying players get access to things that people who pay less don't get to, but they have to sacrifice the extra money. There is no way for a player to work his way up and gain more wealth, because everything is set at random and he has to take a lot of blind decisions to succeed

Now I am not against microtransactions, but when microtransactions, like in this game, is the sole decider in our quality of gameplay and our chance of gaining prosperity in this game, something is wrong. No other game does this and I don't see why the publishers of this game(MindArk) still allow this. If they want to charge customers, let them charge them a monthly subscription fee. I mean most of the people pay anyways, so i don't see how a subscription fee would make people leave the game, provided that everyone gains access to fairer gameplay, much more fairer loot system, crafting system, and a change to attain happiness and wealth in this game. Let there be Microtransactions, but only on items that don't affect the main gameplay. i.e buying/selling of land, houses, clothes, in-house items and maybe some space vehicles, things that don't affect hunting, mining, pvp, crafting etc. microtransactions might affect trade, considering players with more money will gain more control(given he makes good decisions), but a regular player, who pays the subscription fees must also have a path to gain wealth, but might have to take a longer path..

With a better system, this game can attain a higher player base.


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