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Acceptable and Unacceptable Cash Shop Items

jalexbrownjalexbrown Indianapolis, INPosts: 120Member

(First time posting here, by the way)

 

Out of the following list of items I've seen put up in cash shops, which of the following do you think are most and least acceptable in a free to play MMO?

 

  • Content packs/Expansion Packs
  • Races
  • Classes
  • Global chat tokens
  • Experience potions
  • Revival items
  • Ability to use higher-tier weapons/armor/spells
  • Lock box keys
  • Mounts
  • Cosmetic pets
  • Cosmetic equipment
  • In-game currency
  • Enchantment items / Ability to enchant equipment
  • Name/gender/appearance changes
  • Server changes
  • Instant level-ups (never seen this before, but it surprises me that I haven't)
  • Character slots
  • In-game housing/Other non-combat elements
Again, which of these would you consider most and least acceptable in a free to play MMO?  For the sake of some semblance of consistency, let's assume the cost of each of the above isn't a relevant factor (i.e. "Instant level is okay if it's expensive"); we're just evaluating rather or not the ability to buy the above cash-shop items (and conversely the ability to be locked out of those things by not buying) make or break the game for you.  Also let's assume you can't earn cash shop money through any sort of in-game means.
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Comments

  • birdycephonbirdycephon Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 1,314Member
    Thats a good question. F2P is a slippery slope. I mean, once you make something free, people will always want more, and so where do you stop? You cant make everything free.
  • DibdabsDibdabs FelvershamPosts: 2,604Member Uncommon
    Free-tp-play is as free as you make it.  I play several F2P games at the moment and have played quite a few in the past, but I haven't spent a penny on anything in Cash Shops.  They don't have anything I can't live without.
  • jalexbrownjalexbrown Indianapolis, INPosts: 120Member
    I realized after seeing the responses that I might've mis-titled the thread, and I can't edit it.  No fault to the people responding; it was my bad for naming it what I did.
  • NitthNitth AustraliaPosts: 3,684Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    I realized after seeing the responses that I might've mis-titled the thread, and I can't edit it.  No fault to the people responding; it was my bad for naming it what I did.

    Edit your first post, It should allow you to change the title.

    image
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  • jalexbrownjalexbrown Indianapolis, INPosts: 120Member
    Originally posted by Nitth

     


    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    I realized after seeing the responses that I might've mis-titled the thread, and I can't edit it.  No fault to the people responding; it was my bad for naming it what I did.

     

    Edit your first post, It should allow you to change the title.

    Thanks.  I was able to change it after all.

  • VorchVorch Somewhere, FLPosts: 800Member

    IMO, F2P should simply be a trial OR limit access to chat and messaging.

    IMO, F2P MMOs need to simply be B2P with a low cost to entry ($5-$20). This increases cash flow substantially and VASTLY improves on common issues in F2P games (botting, gold selling, etc.)

    "As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days— those are now the only two states you’ll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jalexbrown

     acceptable in a free to play MMO?

     

    • Cosmetic pets
    • Cosmetic equipment
    • Name/gender/appearance changes
    • Server changes

    acceptable only. rest is not-acceptable. I don't feel like ranking.

    image

  • atenemaatenema Madison, WIPosts: 6Member

    I noticed you didn't have the "Rent this item (whatever it may be) for a week for $10!" ...

    I absolutely LOATHE games that have items like this for sale. If I'm going to spend money on something in your cash shop, like a mount, bag space or hell even armor dye, In my opinion it should be there permanently.

  • jalexbrownjalexbrown Indianapolis, INPosts: 120Member
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by jalexbrown

     acceptable in a free to play MMO?

     

    • Cosmetic pets
    • Cosmetic equipment
    • Name/gender/appearance changes
    • Server changes

    acceptable only. rest is not-acceptable. I don't feel like ranking.

    It's interesting; other than being a "standard charge" of the MMO industry, I sometimes wonder why almost everyone is okay with paying for server transfers.  Other than moving bits of character information from one database to another (which I suspect is highly automated and requires no manpower whatsoever), the company is doing absolutely nothing to get that money.

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    P2w items are the only things on a cash shop that will make me walk away from a game. I don't consider items like xp boosts p2w but anything that gives a player a real advantage that a free player can never get. xp and gold boost are just a matter of spending more time in game.

    P2W items are things like health boosts, damage boosts, better gear than what drops in game ect.

    Content packs and such are up to each game to decide how they distribute it. It's something people know going in. But I think it really benifits the game if they let any item in the cash shop be sold by players ( who buy it with real money ) to other players. It also means there is nothing in the game only a paying player can get.

    The company sells more of them and people have the option to play totally free. It's the ballance between people with more money than time and people with more time than money.

     

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Originally posted by Vorch

    IMO, F2P should simply be a trial OR limit access to chat and messaging.

    IMO, F2P MMOs need to simply be B2P with a low cost to entry ($5-$20). This increases cash flow substantially and VASTLY improves on common issues in F2P games (botting, gold selling, etc.)

    Botters don't care about losing 5-60 dollars because usually botters are gold sellers so your logic is flawed there and the cash flow does not increase substantially by having a barrier to entry, these things are not cause and effect type deals. You're likely to reduce your long term cash flow by increasing your short term like that.

    image
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,666Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by jalexbrown

     acceptable in a free to play MMO?

    • Cosmetic pets
    • Cosmetic equipment
    • Name/gender/appearance changes
    • Server changes

    acceptable only. rest is not-acceptable. I don't feel like ranking.

    It's interesting; other than being a "standard charge" of the MMO industry, I sometimes wonder why almost everyone is okay with paying for server transfers.  Other than moving bits of character information from one database to another (which I suspect is highly automated and requires no manpower whatsoever), the company is doing absolutely nothing to get that money.

    If you want a real head scratcher, ask this crowd what they don't like about F2P and then ask them if they would pay for an expansion.

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  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,552Member Uncommon

    UNACCEPTABLE

    Your mother.

     

    ACCEPTABLE

    Anything else.


  • eye_meye_m Notta Chance, ABPosts: 3,133Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jalexbrown

    (First time posting here, by the way)

     

     OK

    • Content packs/Expansion Packs
    • Experience potions
    • Revival items
    • Lock box keys
    • Mounts
    • Cosmetic pets
    • Cosmetic equipment
    • In-game currency
    • Name/gender/appearance changes
    • Server changes
    • Character slots
    • In-game housing/Other non-combat elements
     
     
     NOT OK

     

    • Races
    • Classes
    • Global chat tokens
    • Ability to use higher-tier weapons/armor/spells
    • Enchantment items / Ability to enchant equipment
    • Instant level-ups (never seen this before, but it surprises me that I haven't)

     

    All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

    I get banned in the forums for games I love, so lets see if I do better in the forums for games I hate.

    I enjoy the serenity of not caring what your opinion is.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon

    Unacceptable? how about action bars?

    I just logged into SWToR after quite a long time and realized that I couldn't see most of my skills. After some rummaging around it seems that I must buy an action bar (s?) in order to have access to most of my skills.

    Unless there is something I'm missing.

  • jalexbrownjalexbrown Indianapolis, INPosts: 120Member
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Unacceptable? how about action bars?

    I just logged into SWToR after quite a long time and realized that I couldn't see most of my skills. After some rummaging around it seems that I must buy an action bar (s?) in order to have access to most of my skills.

    Unless there is something I'm missing.

    I was just chuckling at the fact that I didn't think to add that for laughs.  But I thought they removed that restriction after all the ruckus over it.

  • VorchVorch Somewhere, FLPosts: 800Member
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Unacceptable? how about action bars?

    I just logged into SWToR after quite a long time and realized that I couldn't see most of my skills. After some rummaging around it seems that I must buy an action bar (s?) in order to have access to most of my skills.

    Unless there is something I'm missing.

    I was just chuckling at the fact that I didn't think to add that for laughs.  But I thought they removed that restriction after all the ruckus over it.

    Wait...that's a true story?

    "As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days— those are now the only two states you’ll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,209Member Uncommon

    I don't have absolute rules about what works or doesn't in a cash shop for me.  It's mostly how it feels in the game, how much I have to pay in order to enjoy the game, how much do they push their wares on me, and how restrictive the feeling is.

    I generally don't like it when core game play mechanics are locked behind a paywall such gear tiers, xp sliders, races, classes, and chat for examples.

    I don't mind account wide unlocks for things like character slots, shared storage (as long as the base offering is reasonable), inventory slots (again like storage), and the like.

    I'm fine with boosts, buffs, rmt to game cash exchanges, lockbox keys, mounts, housing options, and such.

    My favorite models are those that encourage and offer boosts and added items rather than punishing and restricting those who don't pay.  My favorite model at the moment is Tera followed by Guild Wars 2.  I don't mind how TSW has it's model setup, but I need to see how the content areas end up costing.  I don't mind how STO and Neverwinter are setup, but they are sort of spendy.  My least favorites are: EQ2 - because it locks gear and some game mechanics behind a paywall or sub; LotRO - for similar reasons plus they costantly shove the store in your face.

    It really mostly depends on if I feel I'm constantly bumping into limits that require more cash shop purchases, if it ends up being very expensive, and how much I enjoy the game.  Right now my top games are Tera (I'm subbed), GW2, and STO.  I'll be playing Dragon's Prophet, but it doesn't release for a while and I don't know how the cash shop will be setup.

  • birdycephonbirdycephon Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 1,314Member
    Originally posted by Vorch

    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Unacceptable? how about action bars? I just logged into SWToR after quite a long time and realized that I couldn't see most of my skills. After some rummaging around it seems that I must buy an action bar (s?) in order to have access to most of my skills. Unless there is something I'm missing.

    I was just chuckling at the fact that I didn't think to add that for laughs.  But I thought they removed that restriction after all the ruckus over it.

    Wait...that's a true story?

     

    Yeah, butfor people who paid to unlock them, Idont think they refunded the money.
  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,300Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jalexbrown

    (First time posting here, by the way)

    Welcome to MMORPG.com Jalex! ;-)

    In general, I think anything game-breaking is unacceptable. gPotato is one that's know for it very well, with items that raise the chane of success for enchantments, crafting and such. Also, selling (over powered) gear in a cash shop is a huge no-no for me (EQ2X did that for a while and AoC still doing it).

    Of your list I can only think of

    Ability to use higher-tier weapons/armor/spells
    In-game currency
    Enchantment items / Ability to enchant equipment - Already mentioned above
    Instant level-ups (never seen this before, but it surprises me that I haven't) - Age of Conan uses this for subscribing players with characters over level 30

    The expansion packs you mentioned are a bit of a gray area... They do give the players that have bought them an advancement if it includes also a new level cap (which is mostly true). If there's no raise in level cap, or the raise is for all players and it's only the content that's new, then I'm okay.

    What's acceptable..? Everything fluff! And you'd be surprised how many players buy that stuff, just to look different from the rest of the players.

    I also like it when companies allow players to sell cash shop stuff, or allow the players to trade the cash shop currency in-game. This way every player has a way to obtain the extra stuff in the cash shop, where some can take the easy way (pull the wallet) and others do it the hard way (grind for money in-game).

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  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,300Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vorch
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Unacceptable? how about action bars?

    I just logged into SWToR after quite a long time and realized that I couldn't see most of my skills. After some rummaging around it seems that I must buy an action bar (s?) in order to have access to most of my skills.

    Unless there is something I'm missing.

    I was just chuckling at the fact that I didn't think to add that for laughs.  But I thought they removed that restriction after all the ruckus over it.

    Wait...that's a true story?

    Not completely... non-subscribers have only 4 bars, while subscribers have 6 bars total...

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  • Yyrkoon_PoMYyrkoon_PoM Reseda, CAPosts: 150Member

    Cash shops are evil by their very nature, and should never be in any MMO ... of course this is my opinion.

     

    Here is a bit of information that most people may not really know about cash shops.  There are more items in the cash shop that the normal user sees. Cash shops work in many ways like the secret menu at a Chinese food joint.  People who have spent $1000 in the last month might have access to special items that all the Free people do not even know about.  Spend $10,000 and even more items appear.  When you hear stories of people spending $35,000 in a game, you ever wonder what they spent it on? I know of one company that offered the entire catalogue of items to one user that had spent over $100,000 on the game.

     

    We as gamers in a game with cash shop never get to decide what should or should not be there. There will always be people willing to buy something we refuse to, and since the goal of the cash shop it to make money, they will try and sell what they can without going too far into the p2w area for most players.  All bets are off for the whales as they get better deals.

     

    The fact tht a cash shop exists in a game means it is only a matter of time before it starts down the dark path.

     

     

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Reizla
    Originally posted by Vorch
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Unacceptable? how about action bars?

    I just logged into SWToR after quite a long time and realized that I couldn't see most of my skills. After some rummaging around it seems that I must buy an action bar (s?) in order to have access to most of my skills.

    Unless there is something I'm missing.

    I was just chuckling at the fact that I didn't think to add that for laughs.  But I thought they removed that restriction after all the ruckus over it.

    Wait...that's a true story?

    Not completely... non-subscribers have only 4 bars, while subscribers have 6 bars total...

    I which case there are some shenannigans going on.

    I clicked the "+" to expand my hot bars and got a spiel about buying them in the store. I'll have to investigate that. Thanks guys.

  • mrrshann618mrrshann618 Waseca, MNPosts: 227Member Uncommon

    Everything cosmetic is acceptable. These things are not needed to actually play. They are only personal preferences and are completely personal, your preferance is not mine.

     

    Basic mechanics are a slope for me. I play SWTOR and my lvl 50s have no problem with 2 bars, mostly because it is only 2 active bars, you can have many bars configured, and rotate them for different play styles.

     

    Paying for races.. well if you give me at least a few basic choices I can live with special races locked. I'm not loosing any sleep because I cannot play Borg in STO.

    Character slots, gimme at least 2, FFXI even as a sub I had to unlock a 2nd character slot and I hated it, it felt far more restrictive than many of the current f2p.

    All bosts I'm fine with being in the shop, I do not consider exp boosts pay to win as doesn't really give any true advantage in actual gameplay, only in leveling and that is a personal preference. Some think games let you level to fast, others think it is to slow, but they are the same rate actually

    Things I'd like to be in a cash shop. limit unlocks. You have a wallet that only holds 200k, let me buy an unlock so I can add a bigger wallet. Not being able to do that really does piss me off.

     

     

    Play what you Like. I like SWOTR, Have a referral to get you going!
    -->  http://www.swtor.com/r/nBndbs  <--
    Several Unlocks and a few days game time to make the F2P considerably easier
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,209Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Yyrkoon_PoM

    Cash shops are evil by their very nature, and should never be in any MMO ... of course this is my opinion.

    Here is a bit of information that most people may not really know about cash shops.  There are more items in the cash shop that the normal user sees. Cash shops work in many ways like the secret menu at a Chinese food joint.  People who have spent $1000 in the last month might have access to special items that all the Free people do not even know about.  Spend $10,000 and even more items appear.  When you hear stories of people spending $35,000 in a game, you ever wonder what they spent it on? I know of one company that offered the entire catalogue of items to one user that had spent over $100,000 on the game.

    We as gamers in a game with cash shop never get to decide what should or should not be there. There will always be people willing to buy something we refuse to, and since the goal of the cash shop it to make money, they will try and sell what they can without going too far into the p2w area for most players.  All bets are off for the whales as they get better deals.

    The fact tht a cash shop exists in a game means it is only a matter of time before it starts down the dark path.

    That's the funniest cash shop fairy tale I've read on these forums in a while.

    Us gamers need to invent an interconnected network of computer servers where we could share this information (kind of like an "information superhighway") so this sooper sekret stuff would be public knowledge.  If only...  Personally, I would call it the "gwybodaeth briffordd" and develop a place where we could connect socially.  I would call that FriendFace.

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