I’ve been outspoken and ranted on about monetization systems at length before and I thought why not weigh in on the debate surrounding the EQ next founders packages as well. It’s garnered both a lot of support as well as cynical replies, I’ve usually (who am I kidding) been rather balanced in my options on monetization and this seems no different.
My first initial thought regarding these packs was that they seem to be selling the same game twice. Landmark by all accounts is a stripped down version of EQ Next but with the added bonus of developer creation tools. It’s an optional server with a different ruleset; a mere test server going by what they’ve been saying in interviews and the livestreams. So.. why am I supposedly being charged twice here?
I am a bit confused about the whole thing as I really don’t understand the connection between the two products, EQ Next and Landmark just yet as it hasn’t really been explained. I have heard your character can transfer between the games but does that include these purchased items, am I buying an upgrade and some account bonuses that have limited use. I believe that point was clarified on reddit which actually makes this more confusing.
If my character can transfer over, in-tact and ready for action why not these items other than to force extra purchases. They said there is a completely different focus for next but enough to invalidate extra bank space, more resource gathering and bank access? Is it enough that clothing somehow no longer works for a game that has become an offshoot. Apparently mechanics be it world building and AI functioning will be implemented as it is developed into Landmark but items we purchase are not?
Declaration: CASH GRAB
It is also the cost of these items, seriously. What really is the justification behind charging some exorbitant prices for these meagre bits of convenience and cosmetics that incur no production cost after development. I’m very much over this silly premium pricing model in our online games, especially when it is the free to play trying such things. Usually I wouldn’t scoff too much regarding the price for other games I’ve bought but they include the cost of the product, the box itself and yet still include items on par with what’s on offer here. I believe the GW2 collectors edition was only a little more than the upper tier and it included a kick ass Rytlock statue, art book, soundtrack and many digital bonuses.
It makes little sense considering that this is not a game developed in isolation with an equal amount of expense, it is something that has been shared from the onset and as such allowances should be made in the pricing. The price of these items, for what you’re getting is astronomical as well, over $10 it seems for a cosmetic outfit (that do look rather awesome), $5 bucks for a boost item, and 10-20 for some sort of alpha invitation. Also please be aware that as a free to play game your going to be screwing me further on initial play so either reduce these founders prices or remove them when someone has already spent a large sum of money.
Declaration: CASH GRAB
Paying for beta has been done a thousand times… it’s not new even when it comes to just getting an earlier preview build. I was actually expecting something like this being a ftp game and it seems it’s something that is becoming more popular in this age as a way of marketing the game and getting a few extra dollars but for some reason I’m still perturbed.
The cost is just too high considering. These buggy alpha and beta products need us to test their many systems, break their code and make them a stronger product in the end. Usually there is some sort of acknowledgement in the price for this as you’re getting a cheaper product overall for testing out earlier builds and for helping out the developers. Sometimes it is a cheaper price, other times it’s exclusive items; here we are paying just for the privilege of trying a broken game.
Then there is only the highest tier giving out a headstart to the actual game. This wouldn’t bother me usually, a LOT of games have done this but they usually only require a small account upgrade on top of the base purchase. It’s also here that it seemingly gives you a far bigger advantage for being an early adopter. In a game solely focused on building and shaping the world, land has become the most valuable asset and this is what the Trailblazer pack is selling.
Getting in early lets you pick the best spots; those near sought after areas like beaches and rivers, High traffic areas, the ones with better resources nearby, or even just being able to claim near friends. When keen posted that the $100 trailblazer was the fastest selling pack by far it isn’t that surprising, the other packs pale in comparison to the value on offer here. Is that pay to win… I have no idea, although for some people it might seem so.
Declaration: CASH GRAB
There is a lot of thought that has gone into creating these packages, they know the market very well and our base gamer urges to see these games as soon as we can. To experience them without delay. It is also coming at a time where it is offering something the genre needs and that a lot of people have been clamouring for. You price based on the appeal of your product, peoplepay extra for something unique and Eq Next and Landmark certainly looks unique.
Declaration: ALREADY GOT TRAILBLAZER
I’m complicated.. or easily manipulated. Either or I don’t care because this is going to be AMAZING!!!