The Daily Grind: If an MMO has a cash shop, when should it launch?

Massively OP reader Leiloni pointed out to us something unusual about Black Desert: Its much-talked-about cash shop wasn’t originally going to open until March 10th, a full week after the official launch, never mind the headstart.

This means that whatever advantages an early player with a credit card might have hoped to glean were nullified, and it also probably means Daum wouldn’t have made as much money as it could’ve (although as we reported over the weekend, Daum relented and will now launch the cash shop on the 3rd; headstart players still can’t access it).

While some players didn’t really care and looked at this move as akin to Blizzard or ArenaNet holding raids back until players have progressed through regular content, others — particularly those who preordered — are ticked that they thought they were getting an early advantage here and aren’t.

What do you think? If an MMO has a cash shop, when should it launch?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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126 Comments on "The Daily Grind: If an MMO has a cash shop, when should it launch?"

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Wratts
Guest
Wratts

Quincha deekay_zero Wratts You’re concerned about a gender based micro-aggression, and respond with that garbage?  Because clearly, that’s a reasonable representation of the experience of white males and in no way bigoted
FFS these idiotic things

Ket_Viliano
Guest
Ket_Viliano

BryanCo Ironweakness  Why wait?
/gank

Ket_Viliano
Guest
Ket_Viliano

MesaSage  Promoted.

Ket_Viliano
Guest
Ket_Viliano

*answers phone*
“what’s that? … Yes, Sir. Anything you say Sir.”
*puts down phone*
“We just got a call from corporate. They said launch now.”

dragonherderx
Guest
dragonherderx

Vexies It is not costume costs are up there but only really influence combat exp and not much else… The weight and stuff helps with productions tasks and isn’t necessary as there are in game means to unlock inventory and wight (you don’t need to use the cash shop at all) realistically nothing in the cash shop is needed at all and a lot of people write it off simply cuz of the costs on stuff.. Their cash shop in CBT2 was very well done, none p2w (other than the idiots screaming about 10 – 25% exp boost which doesn’t really effect stuff as much as they think it does) 

The game is very solid, very few problems or glaring bugs, there are some translation problems and a few visual bugs (valkyrie pre order weapon skin stays on when your weapon is hidden for instances) and the server architecture has been solid.

dragonherderx
Guest
dragonherderx

Leilonii Damonvile levels make very lil diff skill points make a larger diff but you don’t gain extra skill exp just combat exp which differs. Also gear post 50 until awakening stuff is added is far far more important.

dragonherderx
Guest
dragonherderx

It is funny in the case of black desert cuz you have a bunch of idiots that don’t understand that levels don’t actually do all that much for you. You get a tiny tiny tiny bit more hp etc.

deekay_zero
Guest
deekay_zero

Quincha deekay_zero there was stuff worth discussing about my OP. 

where the conversation ended up wasn’t one of them.

have a nice day.

deekay_zero
Guest
deekay_zero

Quincha deekay_zero Wratts please save me the melodrama

they say pick your battles and you chose poorly, choosing to make a mountain out of a molehill.

there was interesting things to talk about in my OP, of which the microaggression of using the term mommy blogging was not one.

unfortunately we’ve already wasted too much brain space and time over it to discuss the worthwhile subject matter i entered into the comment section yday. in favour of arguing semantics and insulting people.

so thanks for wasting my time and efforts yday and continuined into this morning with this trite silliness.

in order not to offend i will attempt to use less appropriate terms that loosely come close to what the term mommy blogging actually means which you refuse to accept in favour of your semantical gymnastics.

that you continue to insult me personally as well as my inteligence and your percception of my alleged “privelege” of which you know nothing is disgustingly priveleged in itself.

Rhime
Guest
Rhime

Rohirrim I would give my right eye if we went back to the good ole’ subscription model and no cash shop! Remember those days when we received ALL the content and you had to bust your ass to gain wealth and gear? …sigh.

carson63000
Guest
carson63000

If you have to say things like “whatever advantages an early player with a credit card might have hoped to glean were nullified”, then your game is a pay2win abomination, and it doesn’t matter when the cash shop launches, because the game sucks anyway.

If your cash shop is not like that, then why on earth would it matter when it launches?

carson63000
Guest
carson63000

If you have to say things like “whatever advantages an early player with a credit card might have hoped to glean were nullified”, then your game is a pay2win abomination, and it doesn’t matter when the cash shop launches, because the game sucks anyway.

If your cash shop is not like that, then why on earth would it matter when it launches?

Jigawatts
Guest
Jigawatts

I’ll add to the never dogpile.

Jigawatts
Guest
Jigawatts

I’ll add to the never dogpile.

Radfist
Guest
Radfist

Rohirrim Rhime Not necessarily. Cash shops can generate far more money than subscriptions ever could.  With a sub only all you will ever get is that $15 a month.  With a well implemented cash shop they can get far more from players with greater disposable incomes.
Personally I refuse to play games which sell player power in the cash shop, even though I probably have a relatively high disposable income.  I will however buy fluff stuff worth more than a subscription in good games that don’t try to rip players off or sell power advantages.

Radfist
Guest
Radfist

Rohirrim Rhime Not necessarily. Cash shops can generate far more money than subscriptions ever could.  With a sub only all you will ever get is that $15 a month.  With a well implemented cash shop they can get far more from players with greater disposable incomes.
Personally I refuse to play games which sell player power in the cash shop, even though I probably have a relatively high disposable income.  I will however buy fluff stuff worth more than a subscription in good games that don’t try to rip players off or sell power advantages.

Radfist
Guest
Radfist

If you have stopped wiping characters, then you have launched. We get it, MMOs and other online games are continuous works in progress, and the game’s quality may change dramatically in future, but pretending it hasn’t already launched when you are taking money and not wiping character progress is stupid.

Radfist
Guest
Radfist

If you have stopped wiping characters, then you have launched. We get it, MMOs and other online games are continuous works in progress, and the game’s quality may change dramatically in future, but pretending it hasn’t already launched when you are taking money and not wiping character progress is stupid.

Silverlock
Guest
Silverlock

You know I shouldn’t be surprised but really people are whining about this? It’s this sort of nonsense that makes me want to build a moat around my house. As to when they should launch the cash shop I don’t really care but I think sometime after the general launch is the most appropriate.

Silverlock
Guest
Silverlock

MesaSage So at the same moment you tell everyone you’re going to have a cash shop, efficient.

Wratts
Guest
Wratts

Quincha Wratts deekay_zero tbh, I didn’t take it as a slight on mothers, but a metaphor for unreliable streamers/bloggers.  Basically a slight on the blogging profession more than motherhood specifically, but ymmv

Xijit
Guest
Xijit

Rahzel woolydub 100,000k gold is all it takes & I farmed that up in less than 12 hours of sorta casual play / without leaving the starting zones.

Leilonii
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Leilonii

Zophie Winters Leilonii Xijit Yes sieges are off for the first month but that’s it. That’s not “most PvP”, it’s a part of PvP that only occurs once a week. “Most PvP” honestly is going to be guild wars.

Cyroselle
Guest
Cyroselle

Estranged TimothyTierless Alright, charity shops are a great idea. I’d be down with that.

Cyroselle
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Cyroselle

BryanCo I think you’re right about something being broken. I don’t think there’s any way in hell Duam wouldn’t want to milk those cash cows right off the bat.

Wratts
Guest
Wratts

Quincha deekay_zero I guess you never heard/saw the issues being raised around paid mommy blogging and failure to disclose?  It’s actually one of the least reliable “journalism” fields in terms of paid product recommendations etc. and fits directly into deekay’s point about people misrepresenting themselves

blackcat7k
Guest
blackcat7k

I’m also going to go with never… with the stipulation that you make 100% of your users pay for the upkeep of the game so you don’t have to rely on one for it’s primary source of revenue.

BryanCo
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BryanCo

First off:  If your game has ‘early access’ available then your game has launched when the ‘early’ players can get into it.  Not a complaint specific to BDO, but it’s one of those things happening more and more that bug me.
More to the real point of the article, if you’re going to have a cash shop* there seems little point to me in not having it available at launch.  The cynic in me wonders if there was some sort of tech trouble with the cash shop that kept it from being launched right away.
* Count me among those who dislike cash shops on general principle.  But as a wise being once said: “The avalanche has already started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote.”

BryanCo
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BryanCo

Ironweakness “Personally I think it’s unfair people were born before me. How am I supposed to ever catch up to that?”
You wait for them to die off and take their stuff?

Zophie Winters
Guest
Zophie Winters

As a headstart player, I would have preferred to have cash shop access at beginning of headstart so I can take care of some planned purchases like getting extra costumes and dyes and skin for my farm wagon, etc, but honestly I don’t mind waiting til launch on the 3rd, no big deal.

Deathage
Guest
Deathage

it needs to be implemented as early as possible but in a controlled manner (CS items cannot be purchased, they are sent out in random sampling to see the effects of a small group owning it in the greater economy/game)

Zophie Winters
Guest
Zophie Winters

Leilonii Xijit Guilds can declare war with each other to allow for free pvp, but the entire node control system is disabled for now.

Leilonii
Guest
Leilonii

Damonvile Damonvile Currently levels and skill points post 50 do make a difference in power. Once the gear cap is raised beyond +15 to +20, those extra 5 enchantment levels are not only incredibly difficult to achieve (to the point where few in KR are 20 let alone 19), but also incredibly powerful. 

At the beginning it will not be so bad since it’s capped at +15 right now (I think? Can someone confirm that?). But once they raise that cap it will get worse as time goes on, because players that play more often on a regular basis will continue to upgrade their gear, levels, and skill points and get more and more powerful, while those that cannot grind as much will fall behind.

The progression is effectively unlimited because few will reach the caps before more content is released and the softcaps are increased. This is how it is in Korea and other regions as well. Those that have been playing for a longer period of time are much more powerful than those that can’t catch up. It is and will be a problem here unless Daum addresses it and makes serious changes to how endgame progression currently works.

That being said, the most hardcore players have repeatedly asked Daum to fix it over the past few months so it’s more fair, some offering some very good suggestions as to how Daum CAN fix it. However Daum has said nothing on the subject, so we don’t know if they will do anything. Until then, those hardcore players will do everything they can to be as ahead of everyone else as they can and that’s just the way it is. They want it to be fair, but they’re still going to play as hard as they can regardless.

Edit: Also Daum will NEED to raise the gear cap once new areas are released simply because players need higher stats to fight those higher level monsters. It’s just a question of how they will handle the enchanting and gear curve at that point.

Rozyn
Guest
Rozyn

I’m to the point where I’m just like “What is launch? What is life? Why am I here?” I have kind of given up on even attempting to sort and categorize these things. I think functioning cash shops in “beta” or early access states are gross, but I guess a head start launch is technically of the final build so maybe that’s okay. But wait, I thought BDO was super fair and didn’t have any advantages in the cash shop anyway?

eselle28
Guest
eselle28

Not in beta. Preferably not in early access, but I won’t complain too much if it is. That being said, I would expect that sort of early access to be better managed than Black Desert has done. With this messy launch and what looks to be lots of confusion about when the pre-order period end and what people who bought the Explorer’s package a couple days ago were paying for, it’s probably best that they waited for the cash shop.

Bonnenuit
Guest
Bonnenuit

Looking at current trends, I’m guessing that within the next 5-8 years, cash shops will start opening 2-3 weeks prior to the announcement of the game they’re for. That way, the whale crowd can have max level characters in the best gear before even knowing what the game is.

Everyone wins! … (?)

In all honesty, I despise cash shops in general. They upgrade to tolerable if there is literally no way to make your character more powerful through them (that is, simply cosmetic). Oddly enough, I have no problem in getting some small advantage from a sub (See Rift as a great example — great F2P system where you don’t feel gimped without the sub, but paying the monthly speeds things up enough to make it feel worthwhile. Or the upcoming Crowfall, where the sub allows for more options, but not more power.)

Cash shops are the biggest reason that I move on IMMEDIATELY after finding out a game is either: a) a mobile game, or b) ported from mobile to PC.

melissaheather
Guest
melissaheather

the spirit of Loki in me wants to plunk down big bucks on a maxed out character just to cheese people off who get cheesed off by things like that.
I feel like i have unassailable street cred in that regard because I have almost never paid anything other than B2P or monthly subscription, earned all my items and progress in pretty much every game I’ve ever played.

But in this case the drama thermometer is so high that I feel as though little wee horns are poking out of my forehead and I want to make the SparklePony character of everyone-who-hates-cash-shop-or-uses-term-buy-to-win’s worst nightmares. 
Just imagine, a character with absolutely maxed everything and all purchasable buffs and outfits.  How infuriating, huh?  :P

MesaSage
Guest
MesaSage

15 minutes after the Kickstarter funds.

Rahzel
Guest
Rahzel

woolydub You can start a guild at any level. The level 50 requirement was removed a long time ago.

paul2724
Guest
paul2724

I’m going to go with never

Valhalla Awaits
Guest
Valhalla Awaits

The moment a game has a functioning cash shop which accepts payments, then that game is officially launched. No exceptions, period. If the devs wish to “test” the cash shop in a beta state, then they give you temporary/permanent in-game currency to do so with, but do not allow payments yet.

woolydub
Guest
woolydub

It is an obvious advantage as pets and costumes can offer XP bonuses. People are whining more vehemently on the forums that certain people have gotten duplicate pre-order pets because of errors on Daum’s part and some people have gotten nothing. For the people racing to get to 50 so they can start a guild, this is a HUGE advantage. 

If I could even login to the game I’d be stoked, but alas it’s a typical launch all the way. So glad I took my own medicine and am not taking any work off this week. Gonna wait til this stuff has been ironed out and then take off work when the game will actually let me play.

Damonvile
Guest
Damonvile

The whole argument of early access is an advantage assumes the person you’re going to fight not only plays the same amount as you do but at the same lvling efficiency. A week after launch ppl will be all over the map based on thier play time and may who didn’t play in headstart will pass some that did.
This game will be full of ppl that put in 18+ hrs a day grinding. The odds of you actually running into someone that only has the advantage because of a 3 day head start would probably make lottory odds a good bet.
If the game actually gives these players such a huge insurmountable advantage past “max” level that a normal player can never win because they dont grind like its 2 full time jobs….its a really shitty leveling design that’s going to make the game no fun for all but the most hardcore players.
I’m going to assume that isn’t the case.

Smokeyz
Guest
Smokeyz

I think if a mmo going to have a cash shop do it in stage from lunch, like first week costumes item week after that Xp pots and so on so on.

Caec
Guest
Caec

Never.

bakkahentai2600
Guest
bakkahentai2600

Day 1 for server transfers and race changes. Fluff content would depend on how they do it. “Advantage” content should be held back until the content is old and replaced with the next set turning it into “catch up” content instead – still sucks but is something.

Leilonii
Guest
Leilonii

CthulhuDawg It’s absolutely an advantage and you could perhaps make an argument that in this particular game you shouldn’t have had a head start at all. In standard themeparks it truly wouldn’t matter, but this game’s endgame progression is different and it does.

On the other hand, when players are paying up to $100 dollars to get in early, don’t you think they deserve full access to the cash shop as expected? It’s as part of the game as anything else and likely most were expecting they’d have access to it, as is evident by some of the forum discussions regarding players wanting the pets, extra inventory space, and other useful convenience items that many were very passionate in saying they couldn’t (or really, really hated the idea of) playing without. 

If you’re going to take money from players and let them in to the game before everybody else, you should at least give them the respect of giving them access to everything. If you’re going to take a stand and draw a line, you really need to draw the line at not having a headstart at all, because going halfway really isn’t fair. 

I’d actually be curious to see people’s thoughts on having no headstart in games like this. It would obviously present server issues, but aside from that, I wonder how people like that idea and if it would even be feasible?

Ironweakness
Guest
Ironweakness

If I don’t get 10% more advantage to my advantage I feel cheated in life. Personally I think it’s unfair people were born before me. How am I supposed to ever catch up to that?

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

CthulhuDawg I think the argument is that it IS an advantage; it’s just not as much an advantage as it could be.

Leilonii
Guest
Leilonii

Armsbend Looking at the cash shop of KR which has been out for well over a year, and there’s nothing terrible in their cash shop. The worst part about their shop was that you could sell items on the AH for tons of silver. But we can’t do that in our shop so there’s nothing to really be concerned about. Their shop looks mostly like ours, with a few items we don’t have that Daum specifically removed, or just moved to the Loyalty shop.

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