Saturday, May 16, 2009

SOE Proves My Point On RMT Conflict Of Interest

To recap:

April 14th: I post that my EQ2 character is running low on tradeskill vitality.

April 17th: I argue that SOE has created a conflict of interest by offering solutions to areas where the game is lacking through Station Cash Real Money Transactions rather than fixing them outright.

May 10th: I elaborate on how the shortage of tradeskill vitality is "taking a big bite out of my enjoyment of EQ2" (causing me to stop playing for most of the month since the previous post, while I waited for vitality to regenerate).

May 13th: SOE announces that they are adding a tradeskill vitality potion to the store for the staggering price of $10 per consumable potion.

6 comments:

hound said...

Ouch.

Dracon said...

I just hope Blizzard does not follow in the same line with World of Warcraft. I can't imagine paying $10 for potions.

The existing micro-transactions in WoW are at least cosmetic or at an acceptable level. I simply refuse any offers to have my character go to the barber shop for real money. OK? Sure.

I also refuse to pay money to have my character transferred to another server. If a "free" transfer is offered, I take it to go on a lower-population server.

Blizzard charges enough in its subscription fees to buy popcorn and tickets for a year's worth of movies, and then some.

Stabs said...

Seems very logical to me.

In effect the industry is waking up to what players have been saying for years: that $15 a month is dirt cheap for an immersive hobby.

Personally where I draw the line is when I can no longer match the payers by inputting time instead of money. You could, GA, spend a lot of time and max crafting in EQ2, it would just be comparitively inefficient. You could also buy your way to the top with real money. I'm ok with that as although I don't personally RMT for such things I can accept it as a way for other people to spend more.

Where I draw the line is where you have to RMT to be good. I played tournament level Magic: The Gathering and dumped about £5 000 sterling in a year. It was a fun year but I have no intention of ever doing that again and so would never play Free Realms because you have to spend $20 to buy the best sword and I know from my MTG experience what a spiralling bit of costs that can turn out to be.

I think the model of playing multiple games and using rest exp to be efficient as you have been doing will die out soon. I would say however I think their pricing is wrong. If these potions were $1 people would scoff them like candy but at $10 I think most people will just get depressed.

Ziboo said...

I cancelled my EQ2 account this month in most part because of the RMT, when they announced it, honestly I was floored and have hardly played (annual subscriber) since.

What burns me, we had three accounts here (all the expansions/adventure packs), plus the monthly fees and now to slap RMT on top - no thanks.

Stabs said...

@Ziboo
Is this an over-reaction? They have not made your game worse with this RMT, it's simply an option for other people to pay to short-cut.

Of course in the long term it may be in the interest of the RMT division to make crafting more boring than it should be, to make top Carpenter furniture bland, etc in order to encourage the RMT options but just introducing these vitality potions does not change anything for your characters now. If you were stuck at Jeweller 60 with a long grind ahead of you you still face the same grind.

That's why I'm ok with it. I'm someone who isn't in a hurry to finish and quite likes long grinds and I'm comfortable with the notion that richer or less disciplined players keep my sub costs down.

Another point is that RMT is pretty much everywhere. One of the Shut Up We're Talking journalists made the point that in WoW you can dump a ton of real life cash on cards until you get a Swift Spectral Tiger, the best looking ground mount in the game. That's RMT effectively, although admittedly a very subtle method.

Plastic Rat said...

@Stabs

Did you read the article?

Let me simplify.

1) Developer creates an imbalance in the game ,whether on purpose or not. Since it's Sony and they're known for always looking out for their customers and generally being nice guys, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Yes, you can cut the sarcasm with a knife.

2) Players complain about imbalance.

3) Developers release an RMT solution to the imbalance.

So in short "They have not made your game worse with this RMT" <-- Incorrect. Actually they have made it worse, in order to encourage RMT they have created an imbalance which affects the player negatively.

So take your pro-RMT claptrap and peddle it somewhere else.