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Sooo I am more or less a cash shop hater. I feel like just about every MMO cash shop I see has some kind of issue with it. Even fairly innocuous cash shops like purely cosmetic ones can take the fun out of working to achieve your gear, since you can just buy it instead.
BUT, there is one cash shop model that I have zero problems with whatsoever, and I really hope that it becomes the dominant model in the future.
I'm not sure if this model has a specific name, but I call it the "Pure Horizontal" model. By horizontal, I mean that if you consider actually advancing through the game with any given character to be "vertical," then horizontal would be the amount of options you have to advance through the game. So in a pure horizontal cash shop, no vertical progression is ever inhibited, and no advantages or "special treatment" over other players is ever sold.
In a pure horizontal cash shop, you are selling the player options. A great example of this is how you can buy new characters in LoL. If you wanted, you could literally not spend a dime in LoL, get really good with one of the default heroes, and even become a tournament level player. The players vertical progression with the options they have available is not diminished at all, but can spend money in the CS to open more options for themselves.
An MMORPG example of this kind of CS implemented in a game, would be a game that was F2P, but you only get one character slot to start. You can go through the game with your one character without restriction, but if you ever want to play another character, you would have to buy another slot. Obviously, the CS would have to be expanded upon with different horizontal restrictions for F2P players and cash shop options, but you get the jist.
I feel like this kind of CS is the best because has none of the typical problems attributed teh cash shops, like P2W or deliberately grindy game-design, but it encourages the player to spend money since most players like to experience different options in the game.
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