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yes the title was sort of a bait(but still kind of on topic). but bare with me.
i have a legendary account (i pay my 15$/month to have access to the whole game with my 500SC monthly allowance. and this works for me just fine.)
the problems i see are that a free account are heavily penalized, but i do understand that they are a company and they need to make money somehow and force people to buy something from the cash shop, but this is going beyond to the point of having to almost force people into legendary.
1500 is how much money a free account can hold. (a full repair bill will cost you more than that at tier 2) and there is no way to enlarge your wallet size even with station cash. sure you can pay like 2,50$ widthdraw from your escrowed money, but remember you can't hold more than 1500
you may not trade or use the AH
and you can't use the DLC content (obviously)
now, if you purchase something 500 Station cash (about 5$ US). you get premium membership
your wallet grows!!! to a cap of 2000...
you can now trade items. but not money
so even if you have bought all 4 DLCs you are still heavily penalized
you can't earn station cash through the game. (at a slower and heavy grinding rate)
so what this does is that you cant keep players, (even paying ones) past a certain point.
I see it all the time, People once they are done their Tier 1, starting their tier 2, start to see how much penalized they still are, even after purchasing a DLC and items from the cash shop, they quit and you dont see them again.
my suggestions to have better player retention
increase the wallet cap with each DLC, where each DLC increases the wallet by 25k
with this now yuo can remove the AH and trading limitations. this will cause a better AH economics, bonds between legendary players and Free/Premium players who will offer themselves as raid sponsors, and pay for everyone's armor repair. creating bonds makes people stay and play longer.
add more styles and consumables to the cash shop,
game too penalized in free membership that forces players to go legendary (15$/month) or quit. most choose the later due to lack of benefits. suggestions, reduce the limitations when DLCs are purchased.