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Reader Comments (54)

Posted: Oct 12th 2010 9:56AM Pingles said

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"I'm sorry but beggers can't be choosers. You see, that chest is a free piece of loot everyday... for doing nothing. "

The item is a quest reward. They are giving a quest reward that requires real world cash to use. I can't justify that.

I purchased Allods Cash Shop items. I did so gladly when it first opened up because I believed in this game.

But I bought things I WANTED. Now you have to buy things you NEED.

Allods is trying to make everyone pay a little instead of a few (such as myself) pay a lot for vanity items to fund all of the free players. It's an uncomfortable transition in the F2P model pretty much falling into the model that every F2P naysayer has been accusing them of all along.
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Posted: Oct 12th 2010 12:58AM Ozmodan said

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Beau, Allods has the worst cash shop in the industry, bar none. It is a real shame, it would be an excellent subscription game, but the horrendous cash shop just ruins it.

To complete at high levels there is no choice you have to spend the big bucks, way more than a regular subscription model would cost. The above poster is correct, everything decent I have found is cursed and it is very expensive to uncurse.

If you can't be objective about what you write, why bother?

Posted: Oct 12th 2010 1:07AM Song7 said

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@Xanaxx Sorry but I'm gonna call BS. Allods DEMANDS more than any subscription based game I've ever played, WAR WOW, Darkfall, AION... the list goes on. And I've played them all. Allods is the only game that literally took my money and 6 days later turned it into NOTHING! Yes, I know that's changed but the fact remains they did put a timer on purchased consumables. Which means they took my money and patched the game and as soon as I logged in my consumables I purchased prior to the patch had a timer on them and disappeared 6 days later. With no warning.

They may not ask for anything according to you but I really doubt you went past lvl 20 without incense ... WITH A FREAKING TIMER ON IT! gg Allods.

Nothing in the world would get me to play a gPotato game again.

Posted: Oct 12th 2010 2:26AM (Unverified) said

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What level is your Allods character, Beau?

How often do you play it?

How much do you spend in the cash shop to make this play tolerable?

Posted: Oct 12th 2010 5:02AM (Unverified) said

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Beau. It seems to be your mission to defend gPotato and discredit the gathered experience of the player base, that correctly point out the flaws in the current cash-shop mechanics. I have been playing Allods Online since the CBT1 and experienced both the hype and the fail of the game. The historical aspect is important since it gives a insight of why so many players got extremely disappointed in Allods Online. We got promises of an entirely different reality than the one we see today.

During the closed beta in December 2009 following statement was made in an interview:

MMORPG.com: What will the item mall be like in the game? Will items impact the game play?

Vincent Douvier: Allods Online was developed by Astrum Nival from the very early stages to be Free to Play. Hence, the Allods Shop was not a layer added later in the game. There was a team from the beginning of development in charge of taking care of the shop, and to make sure that it would not alter game play.

This very statement was one of the reasons to the Allods hype. A lot of players started to participate in the closed beta and later on in the open beta, because we actually believed Vincent Douvier. All and I literally mean ALL players looked forward to a F2P game with an equal and fair game play.

So when Tara Einis say it´s frustrating when players rather talk cash-shop than re-balancing, she shows a total lack of understanding in both the game mechanics and the player base. I encourage you – Beau - to play and compete at max level before composing your next defense of Allods Onlines game mechanics , because it´s obvious that you totally lack any experience of how the cash-shop actually alter the entire game play.

The population in Allods of today is not even 1/3 of what it was back in February when the OBT started. Allods Online is far from thriving today. Trying to claim different only shows a lack of insight.

Posted: Oct 12th 2010 7:12AM Beau Hindman said

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Snake:

To be fair, my mission is to gather information and to form an opinion. Even if this comments section was filled with 100 comments about how poorly the game is ran, that would still not outweigh the hundreds (if not thousands) of players commenting on the forums, in comments sections, on blogs and in game about how much they enjoy the game, and in a lot of those cases they simply are not spending a dime.

Don't be mistaken, I am not claiming to know every player's reality. I am only claiming that, according to my evidence that includes talking with the publisher, players and reading through other gaming sites, forums and blog posts, the game is making proper decisions.

For every complaint about runes, I see players make fun of those players that claim that the game cannot be played "competitively" without them. For every claim that you *must* spend money to play, I see claims that every item can be bought with in-game gold. and that the gold is easy enough to obtain. Again, I am not claiming there are no issues at all with the cash shop. I am only claiming that it works for a good number of people.

Also, for the record, I am not sure that I have once used the word "thriving."

Beau
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Posted: Oct 12th 2010 6:28AM Teknogrebo said

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I find it odd that most discussions about the Allods cash shop focus on cursed items and perfume. To me, these are both acceptable mechanisms. Perfume costs about £3 for 21 days, and to avoid cursed items you just need to use Phylactery's of Passage which cost 10 gpot for 20 items (= 20 deaths). 10 gpots is literally pence (although if you PvP regularly i can see it getting annoying). What I find reprehensable about the Allods cash shop is the fact that you can get runes to upgrade weapons and armour for better damage/healing and better defence. These runes cost literally thousands of pounds to get level 10, and in the latest patch they increased max rune level to 13! That was the final straw for me. I played Allods since closed beta, didn't mind the perfume and PoP patch, but the rune requirement was too much for my pocket. Allods is a Pay to Win game pure and simple. Some don't mind paying that much. I do!

Posted: Oct 12th 2010 6:13AM cic said

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"It was nice to hear that a lot of the evidence I have found to support that statement -- interviews with players and too many forum posts to count -- was legitimate. " Beau

Possibly because they ban anyone who posts any type of criticism of the game's mechanics and cash shop?

Posted: Oct 12th 2010 7:00AM pcgneurotic said

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Twice in 23 comments did someone say that cash shop items cost "literally thousands of pounds" - surely a mistake? Cars and houses cost thousands of pounds, not in-game cash shop items.

Posted: Oct 12th 2010 8:29AM Bhima said

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Please tell me you are joking. Or have you not heard of the landmass called the UK?
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Posted: Oct 13th 2010 2:45AM pcgneurotic said

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I'm even more confused now! 'Rip-off Britain' is one thing, but how can a stack of expendable digital items cost as much as a plasma tv?
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Posted: Oct 12th 2010 7:02AM Gaugamela said

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"The high production value and gameplay attracted many North American subscription gamers who, ironically, had no issues paying box prices for games that they had never even downloaded before. The passionate vocal minority turned from loving the game to posting flames about it, almost overnight."

"It was nice to hear that a lot of the evidence I have found to support that statement -- interviews with players and too many forum posts to count -- was legitimate. "

So when people flamed Allods for the outrageous cash shop prices they were the vocal minority (even when most MMO gaming bloggers condemned the prices, most MMO sites - even MMORPG.com who strongly defends f2p's).
But your "too many forum posts to count" and talking to a couple of players is hard evidence for people being happy.

You are a hipocryte.

There's been numerous people detailing why the cash shop and the way it is set in Allods riles people up. The crowd that is now playing that game is composed of newbies and hardcore spenders when the vast majority of people interested in the game (and SPENDING MONEY IN IT) moved to greener pastures where their gameplay isn't gimped if they don't spend money in-game.

And for someone who always harps about prefering cash shops that sell cosmetic items and fluff as a reasonable way of making money...

Posted: Oct 12th 2010 7:32AM Beau Hindman said

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Gaug:

1) I didn't say I talked to a couple of players -- I talked to a three or four dozen. Most of them were higher level. It doesn't take but a few minutes of game time, and I've been in-game off and on since beta.

2) You are leaving out the fact that I have been able to talk to the publisher directly. I have also been able to see, hear and read the same interviews with the developers and publisher as everyone else. Believe them or not, but you cannot discount it as evidence.

3) Actually, I claim to love "power items" as well -- even though they are *very rare* (Allods does not sell them.) A few weeks ago I talked about one of my favorite cash-shop-only guns in Imagine Online.

Beau
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Posted: Oct 12th 2010 11:48AM Gaugamela said

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Good. And did you talk with a number of quitters from Allods to understand the reasons why they gave up?

It doesn't have anything to do with gameplay. Where was your interview to dozens of players when the patch hit the shore. And as many people already complained here, their forums are censored.

They scared away much of the crowd interested in this game. And a crowd of people that actually spends money in games because they were incompetent, completely mishandled the way they managed their cash shop and advertised their game in a completely misleading way. This game is a Pay to Win when it wasn't advertised as such.

It would be interesting to see a comparison of how player traffic evolved in DDO and LotRO with Allods Online when both introduced their cash shops.
While Turbine introduced a great model that revived a half-dead game, gPotato and Astrum Nival shot down one of the MMOs with the greatest potential in the last year.

And would you answer me the following: why can a subscription-based MMO developer can introduce a free to play option to their game but a free-to-play developer/publisher can't introduce a subscription option in their games to actually limit the spending of the players to promote a equal playing field?
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Posted: Oct 12th 2010 12:06PM Beau Hindman said

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Gaug:

I work for Massively.com -- the vocal minority has no issues showing up here. In other words, I didn't need to look for their interviews, they came to me. (And I am very thankful for it, I actually love the debate -- it's good for all of us.) It's a general rule in almost any business that the hardest customers to understand are your standard, happy customers -- after all, they say nothing, but are busy enjoying the product or using the service. How many times have you told the manager at a restaurant that you had a great experience? Most of the time, we arrive, eat and leave without saying a word. Yet give us an experience we didn't like and we'll tell the world.

The principle applies to everything, including MMOs.

As far as changing from a free-to-play to a sub? You would have to ask a developer, but from talking to developers I've found out that the minority pay for the majority. In fact, it's well known. To ask that minority to pay a set amount, (and not more, many of them want to pay more) and to ask that "free" section to pay a set amount would be silly.

Also, probably because free-to-play does better than subscription in many, many cases. Remember that free-to-play is much more common than subscription.

Thanks for all the comments, guys and gals! :)

Beau

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Posted: Oct 12th 2010 2:20PM Its Utakata stupid said

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Beau Hindman replied inpart:

"Also, probably because free-to-play does better than subscription in many, many cases. Remember that free-to-play is much more common than subscription."

But there are more quality MMO's that are subsciption based or Buy to Play. This does not make one business model better than the other. It only eludes to at best, that both models have their strengths and weaknesses...depending on what the game companies are looking for. For example, F2P's seem to be designed for short term game; where as the others, long term gain. (And F2P conversion is great if the long term gain doesn't work out.) You should at least acknowledge that Buea.
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Posted: Oct 12th 2010 2:48PM Gaugamela said

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@Beau



Well, it depends on the free to play type. For example, in LotRO over 50% of the players use the item shop, and curiously it doesn't have those ridiculous runes of Allods nor item penalties to force players to use the cash shop.
http://www.massively.com/2010/10/08/gdco-2010-lotros-revenues-double-as-turbine-lays-out-a-promisi/
Funny to notice that one of the most sold items there is the MoM expansion even.
But you seem to prefer the moronic cash shop of Allods to a more reasonable approach where the possibility of subscribing (working as a soft cap to spending, you may spend more but a sub gives you a lot) is open not shuting down players neither from the subscription market nor the cash shop market.

And you misunderstood what I meant. I meant why aren't there more free-to-plays that instead of being free-to-plays like Allods don't introduce an optional sub like DDO and LotRO do. A VIP access to not have to deal with the unfair items of cash shops. Comprehend what I mean now?

And its curious to notice your evolution since in your first articles you seemed more of a player of freemiums like DDO and Wizard 101 than pure f2p's and now you only seem to defend the worst examples of corporate greed and incompetence of the f2p market.

So what do you prefer? Freemiums or free-to-plays?
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Posted: Oct 12th 2010 7:36AM Unverfied B said

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Bleh, more F2P koolaid... not touching that crap.

Posted: Oct 12th 2010 8:20AM (Unverified) said

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Beau. Sure runes can be bought with ingame gold, but to say it´s easy to obtain may be correct about low level runes. However, level 9-11 runes are a completely different story. Those require a huge amount of materials to create and are VERY expensive.

Let’s take some examples so you realize the costs in conjunction with runes: “One level 8 rune is 2214 crystal chips, 9 is at least double that and 10 is at least 4 times that. So minimum for a level 10 is 9000 chips, or 675 us dollars. That’s per level 10 rune. With 6 potential slots, that’s 4050 dollars. AH prices (in july 2010) was running approx 8 g per chip, so 72,000 g. Not to mention the price for gold dust.”

People who can afford high level runes get a huge advantage compared to the average player. The current cash-shop mechanics alter the game play drastically and the current version of Allods Online is exactly what the producers denied it ever should develop into, a pay to win MMOG.

Posted: Oct 12th 2010 8:48AM Beau Hindman said

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I understand that if a player decides to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars, that they might have some sort of combat "advantage" over other players.

The problem is, that's the case with many, many games. And yet, the players find out quickly that it is not only rare, but probably *very* rare. I have a friends that runs 5 EVE accounts. They use 4 for training and spying, and one for a main. That is a real-cash advantage. I also know players that spend 40 hours a week *playing* games -- that is a real time advantage.

Point being, there will always be some way to spend extra time or money to gain an advantage. So, here's the question: how much do *you* (or the other commenters in this thread) spend in the cash shop? Or, how many people do you know that actually spend that amount of money in the cash shop?

I have found none. Not one. The *potential* to spend that amount of time and money exists for everyone -- but I think we can all agree that it is far, far from common. That is why you will find most players not worrying about these cash-shop issues: they do not have the hundreds, and especially not the thousands, of dollars to spend on a hobby. They just play the game, and the game provides plenty of opportunity to do it for absolutely free or for cheap.


Beau
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