I played a bit of Allods last night, but had little patience with the things that I’ve previously ignored: the Russian players insisting on filling zone chat with Cyrillic, the sad little boys with potty mouths, the scarcity of quest items or mobs. Tonight it bothered me, and honestly it’s because of the whole cash shop issue – it’s tarnished my love of the game that they created, and that is a shame. I logged after fifteen minutes or so, and watched a movie instead.
I don’t have a problem with sensible microtransactions. I’ve paid Blizzard for innumerable server transfers, name changes, faction transfers, etc. I bought the Pandaren pet for a gift this Christmas. I would have paid for several of the extremely cool looking mounts in Runes of Magic – the price wasn’t bad for a mount, and they were gorgeous. Cash shops that offer potions for increased XP wouldn’t bother me. Epic gear would, along with potions that wildly increased your stats – that creates an unlevel playing field. Fear of Death in Allods would cost you an extraordinary amount over a month if you were doing instances (which evidently are difficult to do with no deaths). If you can’t afford the perfume, you have a several hour downtime while you wait for your stats to come back. This would make endgame PvE content impossible.
In the end, it’s about respect. The attitude of “we’re going to sit back and see what kind of response there is to these prices” is disrespectful. I am not an idiot, nor am I some cash cow that will happily cough up an estimated $50-$70 per month to play your game. There is no game in the world that would be worth that, AAA titles included. I certainly won’t pay it for Allods.
This kind of article doesn’t help. It’s not about bags. I could care less if there are convenience or vanity items in the shop with astronomical prices, which the devs have put there just to see if anyone buys them. It affects my gameplay not in the slightest. Sitting out for a couple of hours after a death, however, does. Surely that would be obvious to anyone.
All of this makes me think of Aion, actually. Goodwill is invaluable for any business, and it is especially important to MMOs. I loved Aion so much, and if they fixed the gameplay/grind issues I would be resubscribed in a flash. If I didn’t hate NCSoft so much. They had zero respect for their players. For ages they gave goldsellers free rein, and there are probably areas populated only by botters to this very day. Anything they did to Aion would be coloured (for me) by the bad feeling that I have for the company.
Boo sucks to gPotato. Shame on you.