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Here is a post from Ben Lesnik that discusses the intent behind the Voyager Direct store:
First of all: we should not ever ask you to test Voyager Direct equipment. I apologize if the (now deleted) thread implied that. If you purchased a Tarantula because of this thread, please contact me via PM and I will award you the UEC back (and let you keep the gun.) (If you want a full refund, please contact CS and they'll take care of you.) We love feedback, but the policy is that we are never going to ask you to pay more money to test a particular feature. In the future, if we need feedback on a particular weapon that's not otherwise available, we will do a 'free fly' week with it, or otherwise distribute it without UEC or dollars charged.
We are doing two things to make Voyager Direct weapons better. The first is the promised "AC Bucks" system, which will allow players to acquire ships and equipment using credits earned in the game. I know there's been a lot of speculation about this because we haven't said much beyond the fact that it is happening... and that's going to change very soon! Internally, design has delivered a system which Chris is happy with, and now we're going to share that with you once the last few rough edges are sanded off. Our design team is working up a 'for public comment' post which we will put out next week. It's going to explain the system we've come up with and ask for your feedback. From there, we'll begin implementation in Arena Commander (which will likely take several weeks, all told.) (I will also note that the reason you're seeing more and more devices show up in VD is because we're confident that this system is going to work and we will need an inventory when it kicks off.)
The second is that we have also started the process for allowing players to 'melt' Voyager Direct items. There are some heady logistics involved here (how does it impact the UEC cap? Or more importantly: can people game the system?), as well as web time to enable the system... but it is coming.
And if you have any other ideas, we'd certainly love to hear them. The fact is, the idea that Arena Commander might be seen as 'pay to win' came as a surprise to us (I think in our heads, it's a test bed for the real universe coming later), and we're adapting our schedule and plans to make sure that is NOT the case. "
So ... do NOT use any UE credits (that are convertible to dollar or EURO) in the Voyager Direct store just yet. You will soon be able to buy all you want from that store with virtual currency ("AC Bucks") earned in the "Arena Commander" simulator pod and test it in the "Arena Commander" virtual environment. Or get it for free outright. You will not have those virtual items later in the game itself - there you first have to earn it in game.