I'll say this myself before someone else does: the ESO crown store does not have anything in it essential for playing the game. There're no P2W items or perks that give credit card warriors any type of advantage. It is all just cosmetics and convenience and as such, "don't like, don't buy it" seems to be all that is needed to end any discussion about it... but is it?
When ESO switched from P2P to the B2P + Crown Store model, the game already had its share of inconveniences and, as we all knew they would, the relief for those inconveniences was monetized and moved to the crown store or to the now optional, sub revenue stream. They COULD have removed some of these inconveniences and in some cases (e.g., the VR leveling system) they did. But those inconveniences already existed, we were more or less used to them and could continue living with them if we had to.
But then, all of a sudden, new layers of inconvenience were added at the same time that the cash shop relief was introduced. It was minor at first and clearly within the realm of "purely optional." I'm thinking mostly about the co-introduction of XP scrolls in the Crown Store and a way to make the equivalent items in the game. They added a new layer of RNG rarity in the game that we had never seen before. They added it to both, the recipe pieces that needed to be assembled and one fo the materials needed fro the recipe, Perfect Roe.
But still, XP scrolls for accelerated leveling are purely optional and niche at that. We knew they had added a nasty layer of inconvenience to an in game activity but we didn't really care all that much because it was only those grinders doing it and they were playing the game wrong
Fast forward to housing.
Yes, housing is still optional from a core game play perspective, and there is very little in it that could even be characterized as convenient... attunable crafting stations that let you craft set pieces that would otherwise require a trip to a remote station IS convenient but that's the beginning and end of housing convenience.
But even though it's optional, housing is a bit more special: it is something that has been very much requested by a large portion of the fan base for a long time and much rejoicing and good vibes were had when it was finally announced for this coming February... and as a free base game update.
Now housing itself is not inconvenient in any way shape or form. The gold prices and zone achievement requirements for buying one are reasonable even if the gold cost for the better ones does ramp-up a bit too much considering especially that the quality and size doesn't ramp up in anyway that justifies the increased cost... but whatever, those are minor quibbles.
So what's the problem? It's all about the furnishings. Someone on the PTS forums, Enodoc
, described it very well:
- Material drop rate needs to be higher
- Materials required per item needs to be lower
- Crafting plan drop rate needs to be higher
- More simple crafting plans needed at vendors
It's actually a very polite way to put it that understates the problem by a large margin. I would describe it this way:
- material drop rates are almost non-existent - think nincrux
- material requirements per items are ridiculous - think level 160 crafting mats
- crafting plan drops are extremely rare - think style books
- vendors sell very few crafting plans and most of them are trees and shrubbery - the Knights who say Ni will be delighted I'm sure
Now this is new, manufactured inconvenience with no purpose other than directing you to the cash shop - not for one of a kind, rare, luxury items but for just your basic decorative bed that you can't lie down on or crates and chests that can't be opened or used to store things.
And unlike the XP scrolls that most of us can shrug off, a much larger portion of the player base will feel this not so subtle nudge toward the cash shop.
With this update and house furnishings ESO is jumping in with both feet into the deliberate inconvenience cash shop funding method. Not really all that surprising really following so closely after the introduction of gambling boxes.