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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Sep 29th 2010 1:34PM BaronJuJu said

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Interesting choice Beau. I found Wizard 101's Crowns Shop to have the best deals of any cash shop enabled game out there. They have regular sales on items that you can purchase for 50ยข or less. In addition to sales on items you can also purchase bulks crowns at discount through several special promotions throughout the year.

EQ2 has always had really nice looking items on their Station Cash store. From mounts to postions, armor and furniture, SOE seemed to give you the most options of things to purchase of any cash shop game. That said, the problem, for me, was items seemed to be way too expensive for what you were getting. I mean a backpack for $20...really? I would be alot more receptive to the shop if the prices were a bit, scratch that, ALOT lower than what they are now.

All in all I'm pretty receptive to cash shops and the variety of options it offers the players.

Posted: Sep 29th 2010 1:50PM fauxcivility said

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I would've loved to see you tackle other big publisher's cash shops like Aeria games (although each game does run their cash shop with different items).

Hope you do this sort of article again testing other games :) Possibly add in a note when you play new free MMOs for your column.

Posted: Sep 29th 2010 2:24PM Beau Hindman said

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Well, I started of with thinking of doing 10 shops, 10 bucks a piece. Aeria included. Once I started, though, and saw how each item might need some setup and explanation, I decided against it. That would be a 5 page wall of text! lol

When I first started with writing more in-depth about cash-shops, as well, it quickly became apparent that there wasn't much that needed explaining. There would be more exposing of unfamiliar items, rather than explanations of the items use.

In other words, cash-shops are not, for the most part, what many in the comments sections and forums would have you believe. If they sold only the very best items in the cash shop, especially without representation in-game, they would simply shut down.

Beau
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Posted: Sep 29th 2010 1:54PM BGExorcist said

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"Most of the cash-shop items out there are convenience items -- simply time-travel devices that allow the player to speed up his experience"

Wrong. IMHO most of the cash shop items are items absolutely required for endgame and competitive play.

Posted: Sep 29th 2010 2:08PM BaronJuJu said

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Appearance armor, mounts and fancy furniture are required for endgame?
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Posted: Sep 29th 2010 2:35PM Brianna Royce said

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Don't you think that both of those statements might be a bit too broad? Certainly, different games have different offerings. And some games don't even have endgames or competitive play at all. :)
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Posted: Sep 29th 2010 7:32PM Colerejuste said

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If you're going to tell someone they're wrong, at least back it up with some facts, or an opinion with substance.

What constitutes a must have end game / competitive play item? Which games with cash shops did you have in mind? And do those items really account for 51% of available cash shop items? And can you really not craft / earn those items in game?
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Posted: Sep 29th 2010 1:57PM Pingles said

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I'm afraid that Allods Cash Shop is a bit more insidious than it appears.

First: All drops (and some Quest items) can be CURSED upon pickup. You can't even sell them to a vendor. To un-Curse them you need a cash shop item. When I quit Allods I had six of them in my backpacks (between two toons).

Second: They debuffed everyone's damage. You can get that damage back if you buy cash shop perfumes. But as it stands now you only do a portion of the damage that you used to before they added it in-game. Again, the perfumes don't ADD damage...they reduced damage and then added perfumes to get it back.

And yes, they can all be sold player to player in the auction house. But you are relying on other players to purchase them in-game and then post them. This is just not the case. These items become very rare and expensive on the AH.

I hate bashing this GREAT game on this site. But it pains me how they destroyed this game with peculiar cash shop behavior.

Posted: Sep 30th 2010 2:43PM Dril said

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This.

Seriously, Beau, stop bending over backwards and listening to what they say. There actually aren't many people who play the game anymore (like, I'd guess less than Vanguard although that might be pushing it, but I certainly can't imagine there being more than 3000 in Europe, plating actively.)

It is NOT about wanting to rush to the level cap at all, and quite frankly it's so monumentally unprofessional to assume that. Do some research, man. The game literally FORCES you to spend spend spend after about level 20. That's the worst thing; you go in and don't need money at the start, but with so few bag slots, and the incense buffing you it really starts to become a problem.

The last thing Allods needs is people speaking up in DEFENCE of its cash shop. It should be condemned, not flaunted as an example of player impatience.
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Posted: Sep 30th 2010 2:48PM Dril said

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Also, the population HAS "tanked." Just look at the forums, wherever. What does it say about the game that there are only TWO guilds actively recruiting (and indeed being visible) on the ZAK server, empire side?

I'm sorry Beau, but you don't make a very good case at all; all you achieve is to annoy people who actually were there when Allods roflstomped us.
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Posted: Sep 29th 2010 4:45PM (Unverified) said

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BGexorcist and Pingles is right and if you're not aware of this fact, I'm sad to say that you're either quite naive or you have an agenda.

The western markets resistance to F2P (P2W) has been quite fierce on the forums, and rightly so. It's destructive on so many levels and it's taking the business aspect to new heights of cynisism.
But between the steady flow of people writing consumer angled articles easing the idea of F2P into our minds, and the determination of the companies to increase their revenues no matter the cost artistically, it's only a matter of time before it's hardly a topic anymore. Sadface.

Me, I do what I can do. I voice my opinion and save my money for games with integrity. And so should you. Beating the gold seller by becoming the gold seller is not an option in my book, though I can certainly see why the moneypeople think it's a brilliant idea.

MMORPG's largely stopped evolving after WoW and now they've even been regressing for a while. F2P and asian influence is a major catalyst. Game companies starting to remind me more of McDonalds than dream factories.

I hope GW2 is gonna be so successful it forces the companies to reconsider their business models again.

Posted: Sep 29th 2010 7:06PM Pingles said

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I feel compelled to reply that I disagree with you.

While Allods implementation of the Cash Shop is troubling I have no problem with any other F2P cash shops. In fact, I play F2P exclusively and the ONLY one I have ever spent money on is Allods (prior to their dramatic changes).

I find the F2P model very refreshing and perfect for a time-constrained casual gamer like myself.
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Posted: Sep 29th 2010 9:10PM Valdamar said

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I feel compelled to voice my agreement with qualequaleson.

You describe my greatest fear for the industry - once cash shops are entirely accepted as the norm then basically anything goes - in a couple of years time maybe pay-to-win will be the norm, if it proves more profitable. It's a slippery slope and now we're on it I don't think there's any going back. New players who come into the genre will just accept the new status quo as if it has always been that way - they'll stay or leave on that basis.

But for MMO veterans like me who want a game of fair play, like the MMOs of old, where everyone starts at the same point and has the same opportunities, and especially where class/item balance isn't directly tainted by the Developers' desire to profit from it via a cash shop, well... I guess we'll just have to move on to other types of game - on the bright side lots of multiplayer games that only require a box purchase are gaining RPG-like persistence and depth.

And yes I have that exact same hope for GW2, qualequaleson. Lets hope millions and millions of MMO fans vote with their wallets on what a great business model the GW series has.
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Posted: Sep 29th 2010 9:12PM Existentialist said

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Recently SOE tried to phase in a "Cash shop" like mechanism where you would trade plex for a neural remap. This is what happened.

http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1387227

It isn't that the people who rejected cash shops changed their minds, like me we've just went to other games.

Now if you look at Everquest 2 forums they release a new armor crate or cloak every week instead and no one complains. Why? We've all left.

Posted: Sep 29th 2010 11:18PM Existentialist said

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What really sucks is you can't edit comments.

CCP not SOE.
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Posted: Sep 30th 2010 5:23AM (Unverified) said

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Allods online will most definitely go down in history as THE worst bait n switch the world's ever seen from the Video game industry.

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