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General: Macrotransactions

MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community ManagerQueens, NYPosts: 5,724Administrator Uncommon

MMORPG.com columnist Scott Jennings writes about the recent uproar over Allods Online's microtransaction prices.

Scott JenningsgPotato’s Allods Online stretches the meaning of “microtransaction” – and misses the point

Allods Online has been something unusual – a ‘free to play’ MMO from Russia’s Nival that rivals many subscription-based games for its polish and level of gameplay. It’s gotten a lot of good press and positive reviews… until last week. In fact, in one day, the buzz from the beta testers went from “this game is awesome” to “they’re crazy if they think we’ll play this”.

What happened? gPotato released their “item shop” and players went ballistic.

Read Scott Jennings: Macrotransactions.

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

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Comments

  • Toquio3Toquio3 LisbonPosts: 1,074Member

    F2P and MTs are bad because of one reason: People should buy the items because they like the game, and not because the game is shit without them. Hence why so many people hate this practice.

    image
    If you stand VERY still, and close your eyes, after a minute you can actually FEEL the universe revolving around PvP.

  • joker007mojoker007mo joplin, MOPosts: 712Member

    honestly this has to be the dumbest sounding thing ever $7000? who the hell comes up with these numbers and then he has the gall to say they aint going for a cash grab in the next 4 weeks

    doesnt seem to me they will be getting much of anythng and whats sad is i play rappelz another gpotato game and aika and neither of them have me buying garbage to keep up so wth is wrong here one word  greed

    image

  • dar_es_balatdar_es_balat Oakland, CAPosts: 438Member

    Its not like other companies dont do this.  Jade Dynasty, another Free To Play game by Perfect World Entertainment costs plenty to participate in endgame content.   And if you want to enchant your weapon or upgrade your pet, well.... heh.... youre paying thousands to do that.   I personally stopped after spending $1500 in 3 months and walked.   Others in my guild have spent close to $10,000 USD on that game.   Folks get stuck into a product by the amount of money wasted on it, and keep spending in order to remain competitive, never realizing that their "investment" will never pay off.  Ever.

    Allods marketing team realizes that players will pay.  They simply dont know if their game has been effectively advertised to the players that do.

    Crappy, petty people breed and raise crappy, petty kids.

  • brostynbrostyn Louisville, KYPosts: 3,092Member

    I have zero problems with cash shops. I've bought plenty of stuff from DDO cash shop, and EQ marketplace.

    I'm not even going to look at Allod's. Like I said in another thread; gpotato = A bunch of goons from Korea who think Americans are nothing but lazy fat cats with HUGE wallets. Sorry to disappointment the world, but Americans struggle financially, too.

  • joker007mojoker007mo joplin, MOPosts: 712Member
    Originally posted by dar_es_balat


    Its not like other companies dont do this.  Jade Dynasty, another Free To Play game by Perfect World International costs plenty to participate in endgame content.   And if you want to enchant your weapon or upgrade your pet, well.... heh.... youre paying thousands to do that.   I personally stopped after spending $1500 in 3 months and walked.   Others in my guild have spent close to $10,000 USD on that game.   Folks get stuck into a product by the amount of money wasted on it, and keep spending in order to remain competitive, never realizing that their "investment" will never pay off.  Ever.
    Allods marketing team realizes that players will pay.  They simply dont know if their game has been effectively advertised to the players that do.

    but that was 3 months we are talking about $7000 in one sitting who the hell is going to buy that and quite frankly if they did who the hell is going to be with em i cant see people flocking to pay 7 grand though it wouldnt be suprising

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  • dar_es_balatdar_es_balat Oakland, CAPosts: 438Member

    Flocking, no.  Paying, yes.  Theres always going to be one person whos pecker is small enough that theyll pay to "dominate" a game, no matter the cost.   There's always another player who is trying to compete with the first player.... that person will pay too!

    Crappy, petty people breed and raise crappy, petty kids.

  • Lord.BachusLord.Bachus Den HelderPosts: 9,065Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by brostyn


    I have zero problems with cash shops. I've bought plenty of stuff from DDO cash shop, and EQ marketplace.
    I'm not even going to look at Allod's. Like I said in another thread; gpotato = A bunch of goons from Korea who think Americans are nothing but lazy fat cats with HUGE wallets. Sorry to disappointment the world, but Americans struggle financially, too.

     

    DDO proved their point that cash shops can be effective... But they didn't sell any stuff that really unballanced the game or made you much more powerfull, their prices where allready to high for me...

     

    But this will meen the end of free gaming and even $15 subscriptions, if people give intoo the slowly rising prices of item shops, soon every MMO will be free and require you to buy atleast for $50 a month to be competitive..

     

    So we all need to ban itemshops, we need to show developers that we don't want item shops and either don't buy from them or return to WoW and start spamming Blizzard over those evil goldspammers again.

    Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  • linrenlinren Irvine, CAPosts: 578Member
    Originally posted by dar_es_balat


    Its not like other companies dont do this.  Jade Dynasty, another Free To Play game by Perfect World International costs plenty to participate in endgame content.   And if you want to enchant your weapon or upgrade your pet, well.... heh.... youre paying thousands to do that.   I personally stopped after spending $1500 in 3 months and walked.   Others in my guild have spent close to $10,000 USD on that game.   Folks get stuck into a product by the amount of money wasted on it, and keep spending in order to remain competitive, never realizing that their "investment" will never pay off.  Ever.
    Allods marketing team realizes that players will pay.  They simply dont know if their game has been effectively advertised to the players that do.

     

    I didn't play Jade Dynasty, but I have played Perfect World International.  PWI's cashshop cost more than the other versions, but truthfully, they allow players to buy cashshop credit from other players and also allows other players to sell cashshop items to others.  My friend and I did not spend a dime on it while playing even in endgames simply because if you know how to make enough in-game money, there are always people selling the cashshop item or credit to you.

    In something like territory war, all you really need are the hierograms for a HP/MP recovery as they drop too low, but at high levels it changes which it really won't save you more than just once in a long while.  Also, the anti-death penalty item is also rather popular for people who play on open-pvp servers.  Of course many people simply buy those from other players, and some guilds pay you just to participate in it.  Mainly, PWI allows players to obtain items and credit for cashshop without actually paying a dime from players that can afford to sell them.  Not saying it is the perfect solution, but no where near as bad as other item mall oriented ones so PWI doesn't make a great example.

  • kingtommyboykingtommyboy earthPosts: 543Member

    Allods looked as a good game to try out.. but it seems that their management is extremely dump, I won't give my money to them!

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    waiting for ... nothing..

  • dar_es_balatdar_es_balat Oakland, CAPosts: 438Member
    Originally posted by linren

    Originally posted by dar_es_balat


    Its not like other companies dont do this.  Jade Dynasty, another Free To Play game by Perfect World International costs plenty to participate in endgame content.   And if you want to enchant your weapon or upgrade your pet, well.... heh.... youre paying thousands to do that.   I personally stopped after spending $1500 in 3 months and walked.   Others in my guild have spent close to $10,000 USD on that game.   Folks get stuck into a product by the amount of money wasted on it, and keep spending in order to remain competitive, never realizing that their "investment" will never pay off.  Ever.
    Allods marketing team realizes that players will pay.  They simply dont know if their game has been effectively advertised to the players that do.

     

    I didn't play Jade Dynasty, but I have played Perfect World International.  PWI's cashshop cost more than the other versions, but truthfully, they allow players to buy cashshop credit from other players and also allows other players to sell cashshop items to others.  My friend and I did not spend a dime on it while playing even in endgames simply because if you know how to make enough in-game money, there are always people selling the cashshop item or credit to you.

    In something like territory war, all you really need are the hierograms for a HP/MP recovery as they drop too low, but at high levels it changes which it really won't save you more than just once in a long while.  Also, the anti-death penalty item is also rather popular for people who play on open-pvp servers.  Of course many people simply buy those from other players, and some guilds pay you just to participate in it.  Mainly, PWI allows players to obtain items and credit for cashshop without actually paying a dime from players that can afford to sell them.  Not saying it is the perfect solution, but no where near as bad as other item mall oriented ones so PWI doesn't make a great example.

     

    Honestly PWI and JD are two totally different games.  I found the item shop in Perfect World was done well.  The item shop in Jade Dynasty however is just a cash cow.  You cant buy things from other players worth mentioning, things bind on equip and are not resellable as a result.  Its just money spent.

    Crappy, petty people breed and raise crappy, petty kids.

  • DovenDoven Cedar Crest, NMPosts: 138Member

     

    What I find humorous, is that even with the acknowlegement of their cash shop being out of alignment with player opinion and that they have said, a willingness to make a better more accurate change....

    the item mall is STILL online, with the SAME absurd pricing.

     

    gpot admits to overpriced items,  they admit there is a problem, they admit and acknowledge to thier playerbase enough to post a feedback thread, they state they are "working on a solution" and "reading every post".... yet they have no issue leaving the cs online and still milking the unsuspecting patron, who doesn't read the forums or research the problem.  It seems to me that IF there was a serious intent to rectify the problem, repair the communities trust, and start a fresh approach to a fair cash shop, gpot would shut the problem down until they had a fair solution.

     

    BUT, you guessed it... still online.  This action speaks louder than words.  It is action that will bring back the community and game.. non action only means they could give a rats ass.  Probably ignoring the intent, waiting for folks to bail and the air to clear on its own, as they surely dont care about the CB testers, the OB testers, or the future of thier game and community.  You have to wonder, is that 20$ 6 slot upgraded bag worth it gpotato?  I mean, wtf are you seriously thinking?  Morons.

     

    I am one needle away from deleting the game.  I havn't logged since the cs was implemented.  I would love to partake in play, and be a patron of the CS... but you have GOT to be kidding me.

     

    d

    "He who reigns within himself and rules his passions, desires, and fears is more than a king."

    "Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much argruing, much writting, many opinions; for opinions in good men is but knowledge in the making."

    John Milton 1608-1674

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    What does not make sense is that the Allods developers are letting a publisher ruin their game.  That is what makes no sense to me.  The disconnect from the community managers and the decision makers is common in MMO's.  Who listens to the players anymore?  Nothing usually happens until the players disappear then everyone points fingers at each other.

    Jade Dynasty is a bad example, because it is a pvp with a cash shop.  Anytime you mix those two items you are looking at a huge cash drain if you want to be competitive.  If you want to pvp in an item shop game you just have to expect to have deep pockets if you want to compete.

    I have played Perfect World for years and spent not a dime on the game.  I used to think that $250 for a special pet was outrageous, Perfect World is a bargain compared to something like Allods.

    gPotato deserves every bit of negative publicity for this stunt.  Many of us just don't play any games they support.

  • JpizzleJpizzle PORT SAINT LUCIE, FLPosts: 371Member

    I'd really love to hear what Richard Aihoshi thinks of this whole situation. Being he's the rsident F2P advocate, his opinion piece on this is extremely relevent, IMO.

    I mean, Scott is great, and I love reading his posts, but a little point/counter-point from soneone that supports all things F2P would be amazing, I think.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,030Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by brostyn


    I have zero problems with cash shops. I've bought plenty of stuff from DDO cash shop, and EQ marketplace.
    I'm not even going to look at Allod's. Like I said in another thread; gpotato = A bunch of goons from Korea who think Americans are nothing but lazy fat cats with HUGE wallets. Sorry to disappointment the world, but Americans struggle financially, too.

    The problem seems more to be that they also thinks that yanks are totally retarded because only a 100% idiot would pay 7K for a in game item. Already $700 is ridiculous.

     

    DDO understands this, if you have stuff at good prices people who is already buying stuff will throw in a few extra items when they are shopping, kinda like buying a candy bar or a magazine when you go out to buy milk. As soon as stuff gets to expensive people will plan things carefully. And as soon as things pass expensive they will either quit the game or ignore the shop.

    It is not as virtual items actually costs money (after you made the item mind you) so they should put the price that will maximize player numbers and profit. Turbine knows this and so does all successful F2P MMO while Gpotato seems clueless. 

  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member

    Lets face it F2P games are going to die or many of them will be on life support in the West anyways. Nothing against the East after all they gave us Aion woops lol er um well moving along. But with so many MMOs and so called mmorpg out there now it seems with ppl being more and more picky bout what they play I believe just that many of these F2P games will not be around much longer.

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  • DovenDoven Cedar Crest, NMPosts: 138Member
    Originally posted by Loke666

    Originally posted by brostyn


    I have zero problems with cash shops. I've bought plenty of stuff from DDO cash shop, and EQ marketplace.
    I'm not even going to look at Allod's. Like I said in another thread; gpotato = A bunch of goons from Korea who think Americans are nothing but lazy fat cats with HUGE wallets. Sorry to disappointment the world, but Americans struggle financially, too.

    The problem seems more to be that they also thinks that yanks are totally retarded because only a 100% idiot would pay 7K for a in game item. Already $700 is ridiculous.

     

    DDO understands this, if you have stuff at good prices people who is already buying stuff will throw in a few extra items when they are shopping, kinda like buying a candy bar or a magazine when you go out to buy milk. As soon as stuff gets to expensive people will plan things carefully. And as soon as things pass expensive they will either quit the game or ignore the shop.

    It is not as virtual items actually costs money (after you made the item mind you) so they should put the price that will maximize player numbers and profit. Turbine knows this and so does all successful F2P MMO while Gpotato seems clueless. 



     

    Good points indeed...

     

    I would like to chime as well that DDO , charges for convenience.  As in, you could grind 90-100% of the lock out, or spend 20 bucks to unlock the content faster.. this gives the player OPTIONS based on THIER time and finance.  The only imbelishment to balance with DDO is purchasing pots in lieu of stradegy play to get to that rest stone, or simply ignore it completely.

     

    Cash shop games that DO have engame pvp are a HUGE money sink to be competitive, is correctly stated.  These greedy bastages know this.  And most experienced ftp players know this as well, it's the unsuspecting that has to reach endgame then look back at the great amount of time they invested and feel pressure to buy to remain viable.  It IS a cash trap.  Oh wait.. but its a free to play game.  The difference between DDO and Allod's, JD and many others, is that convenience sells better than balance.

     

    d

    "He who reigns within himself and rules his passions, desires, and fears is more than a king."

    "Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much argruing, much writting, many opinions; for opinions in good men is but knowledge in the making."

    John Milton 1608-1674

  • EricDanieEricDanie Rio de JaneiroPosts: 2,238Member
    Originally posted by Jpizzle


    I'd really love to hear what Richard Aihoshi thinks of this whole situation. Being he's the rsident F2P advocate, his opinion piece on this is extremely relevent, IMO.
    I mean, Scott is great, and I love reading his posts, but a little point/counter-point from soneone that supports all things F2P would be amazing, I think.

    I am sure he would say something along the lines of what the Allods team said... "hey... the game is free, these things are all optional, they are in no way forcing you to do that (obviously a very limited perception of the meaning of "forcing")".

    Not to mention he indirectly calls you a Snob if you use the pay to win argument in his latest article as the reason you developed a general hate for F2P MMOs and prefer not to play them (it's your damn personal choice, yet he prefers to go further and attack it), as if an argument can age or get tired, therefore becoming invalid (much easier to use a fallacy then to actually try to show the argument is not true):

    "This often manifests itself in reiterations of the old and increasingly tired "I can't compete unless I spend money" argument. So... what's your point? If you find certain games are like that and it doesn't sit right with you, simply avoid them. But honestly, does doing so mean you're a better gamer, or a smarter one? Or does it make you an MMOG snob?"

    I am a snob on denial because I won't even consider playing a game that features a $7000 item that by the sounds of it will make you either godly or a scammed fool.

  • DovenDoven Cedar Crest, NMPosts: 138Member

    At Allod's blatent money grab..?

     

    I am a snob and proud of it.

    d

    "He who reigns within himself and rules his passions, desires, and fears is more than a king."

    "Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much argruing, much writting, many opinions; for opinions in good men is but knowledge in the making."

    John Milton 1608-1674

  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,605Member

    See, I think the biggest failure is not knowing your market.  If someone is hardcore enough to spend 7000 dollars for some runes, chances are they probably don't work and therefore don't have that kind of money.  I have a very good job...but I'd rather tack on $3000 dollars to that and buy another rental property,  but that's me.

     

    I'm not opposed to buying stuff in an item shop if it appeals to me.  So far nothing has, but if it does I will definitely buy something, just not at ridiculous prices.  I could see buying something at $1, 5, or maybe 10 dollars.  After that, I have lost interest and start disliking the company.

  • battleaxebattleaxe Baton Rouge, LAPosts: 158Member

    If purchasing from the item shop is required to compete, then the game isn't "free to play" - it's a more expensive subscription based game than a traditional subscription based game.  That's where the F2P model fails.  We the MMO paying fanbase aren't going to pay more than the standard $15 per month for long, if at all, before we walk.  I will not pay real dollars for virtual crap in a game...ever.  I will not pay for micro-additional content...ever.  If your game requires me to buy this crap to compete with other players that do, I'm not playing your game.

    If you want my money, keep that in mind when you develop.

  • DovenDoven Cedar Crest, NMPosts: 138Member
    Originally posted by Terranah


    See, I think the biggest failure is not knowing your market.  If someone is hardcore enough to spend 7000 dollars for some runes, chances are they probably don't work and therefore don't have that kind of money.  I have a very good job...but I'd rather tack on $3000 dollars to that and buy another rental property,  but that's me.
     
    I'm not opposed to buying stuff in an item shop if it appeals to me.  So far nothing has, but if it does I will definitely buy something, just not at ridiculous prices.  I could see buying something at $1, 5, or maybe 10 dollars.  After that, I have lost interest and start disliking the company.



     

    I agree with this..

    I am retired, invested, and have disposable income.  I have spent monies on cash shops, though not to the extent of some.  I have no issues spending money on cash shops either if the game is decent and has a decent community.  Do my part to help the game grow.  Or at least think I do.  But this is a personal example:

     

    When Allod's opened up the cs and I looked at the 20$ bag upgrade.. (only six slots mind you, 18 slots to 24), I thought to myself.. man this is a bit steep, but I assumed it was account wide.  It wasn't.. thats 20$ PER character.  I enjoy playing alts/different classes to break up the monotony of one class.  In CB, I rolled all classes and decided four for OB.. thats 80 bucks to equip upgrades.. JUST for bags.  lol.. um no. 

    dislike for me is an understatement.

    d

    "He who reigns within himself and rules his passions, desires, and fears is more than a king."

    "Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much argruing, much writting, many opinions; for opinions in good men is but knowledge in the making."

    John Milton 1608-1674

  • linrenlinren Irvine, CAPosts: 578Member
    Originally posted by battleaxe


    If purchasing from the item shop is required to compete, then the game isn't "free to play" - it's a more expensive subscription based game than a traditional subscription based game.  That's where the F2P model fails.  We the MMO paying fanbase aren't going to pay more than the standard $15 per month for long, if at all, before we walk.  I will not pay real dollars for virtual crap in a game...ever.  I will not pay for micro-additional content...ever.  If your game requires me to buy this crap to compete with other players that do, I'm not playing your game.
    If you want my money, keep that in mind when you develop.

     

    That is true, it is not realy so much the cashshop model being bad though.  It is more along the line that the games designed around the use of cashshop is bad.  Of course the high pricing on some F2P give it a even worse reputation.

    If a game was F2P but offers a good pricing which does not exceed what P2P players pay monthly on average, and the cash shop items itself does not impedge game progress.  (Basically cosmetic and convenience focused)  I don't think F2P would be such a bad model nor have a bad reputation among players.

    I think F2P model is usually handled too poorly when it comes to cash shop.  A lower price generally boost sales just on impulsive buys alone.  When a player think they are at least getting their money's worth with cash shop items and the game itself is entertaining nothing is wrong with a F2P model.

  • joker007mojoker007mo joplin, MOPosts: 712Member

    you know maybe we should boycott them by dropping thier games i was looking forward to getting back into aika today but after hearing all this im not sure i care about rappelz or aika anymore this is just weak

    image

  • Rommie10-284Rommie10-284 Systems CommonwealthPosts: 240Member Uncommon

    This looks like one of those classic "suit" responses that advocates not discounting anything/raising prices: "You can lose half your customers and still make more money!"

    Once in a while they are correct, but most of the time there's a disconnect between doing that, and the other effects raising prices can cause.  There are many, but as one example - those 1/2  of your (former) customer base people tend not to go away quietly, and it's VERY EASY to miscalculate/misjudge the size of the new customer base after you increase the prices.  If it really ends up a 1/3 or a 1/4 of your former customer base, the extra profits go bye-bye, and you've just driven away over half of your cash flow for NOTHING.

    In a way, I hope this company sticks to their guns and runs with this plan.  If they are right, they can run servers that aren't maxed out with players, giving the best performance on their end, while having "Setting Money on Fire" lunch hours once a week and not giving a Gawd Damn what bloggers say about them.  If they are wrong, which I personally hope they are, then a ceiling is set that other developers will respect for future games.

     

     

    Avatars are people too

  • Player_420Player_420 KuesecPosts: 686Member

    This is a bad situation

    "We are working very HARD on a solution" - While still keeping the insane cash shop online - PRO

    I play all ghame

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