RIFT puts an endgame currency out for real-money sales

Look, we can all agree that “pay-to-win” is, at the very least, a difficult concept to be certain about. Right? There’s a lot of stuff where you can argue that a game is or is not pay-to-win just by slightly moving the goalposts. But then you have RIFT opening up sales of Captured Intel packs on the in-game store for real money, and we can all agree that yes, this is what pay-to-win definitely looks like.

Why? Because Captured Intel is a currency used to buy endgame gear. This is literally buying a currency used to advance in the endgame. If this doesn’t trip your pay-to-win sensors, nothing will.

A Reddit thread explains the issues with this quite eloquently (and already has at least one person actually arguing that it doesn’t count as pay-to-win if you can just buy endgame gear, so that works great). It also points out that the best thing for players to do at this point is to point out that this is not all right and then go on to not buy the packs; they’ll only be sold if people buy them, after all. Words to live by.

Source: Official Site, Reddit; thanks to Dark Daemon for the tip!
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125 Comments on "RIFT puts an endgame currency out for real-money sales"

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Simon F

I get stuff like “pay to catch up” kind of like WoW does it with instant boosts, although those are extremely expensive. However, as I’ve seen some people point out in the comments here, getting end-game gear by paying, no. I don’t think that’s good.
Had it been Guild Wars 2 and you could buy a full set of exotics with modifiers of your choice for real money, I also wouldn’t really care, because the gear system is just so different from other MMORPGs. I got a full set of exotics a few months after the release of the game, and when I started playing the game again, that gear was still relevant. It wasn’t the best gear anymore, but it was basically a tier below it. It’d still not be end-game gear, but it’d be enough to work toward it.

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Nick Smith

It’s not too much different to me to sell max level characters for fifty bucks with decent gear included. My 2 cents.

Lucky Jinx
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Lucky Jinx

That’s kind of funny.. you can collect captured intel from celestial instant adventures.. why would you buy it? I guess if you want to hurry along.. I’m not saying it’s a great thing because it’s not. To me it just doesn’t seem like the biggest deal. I used to play SWTOR quite a bit and some things in that game were far worse. It’s funny how toxic MOP discussions have gotten since my computer breakdown about 7 months ago.

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Linda Carlson

Hey folks, we have an official feedback thread going on the Collected Intel packs (which we’ve taken offline for the time-being until everyone is in office next week to discuss):

http://forums.riftgame.com/general-discussions/news-announcements/500654-official-feedback-thread-collected-intel-packs-currently-off-store.html

Please head on over and add formally to the feedback!
Brasse

Woetoo
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Woetoo

So.
We’re back to “please pay us so you can play our games less”.

When did we cross that line, when playing the game wasn’t the point of playing the game?

Perhaps we could apply it to other leisure activities?
* Manchester United won the league this year without playing a game. We thank them for the huge micro transactions and hope they take great pride in the League Cup in their trophy cabinet.
* Skoda, a previous unknown in the Formula 1 Racing world took the world by storm today by buying pole position in the Brazil Grand Prix. Okay, they were lapped 37 times by Williams by the end of the race, but for a moment there – they were out there at the front.
* In shock news, Tom Cruise joined the Miami Heat basketball team this week. When asked how he expected to compete against 7ft high opponents, Cruise said “I don’t – but I have a big cheque book”.

I can sort of understand “pay to fast track to reach current endgame content”, though personally I would stop short at high end starter gear rather than true end game gear. Though even then, I would prefer it if gear just got progressively easier to “earn” (though gameplay), the older it gets. I guess I mean a sort of earned currency to buy previous tier loot.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

This will be an interesting experiment. Maybe this will be an example of supremacy goods from Ramin’s Blog in action.

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

The whole rationale of “doing it to keep the lights on” is understandable, but sad. It is the plaintive cry of a company that’s a sinking ship.

Why not make new games (out of, you know, creative ideas) that make people spend truckloads of money? PUBG?

I’m sure there are some new ideas out there. But if a company is just clinging to a decaying corpse, the future won’t be brighter. Unless they’re working on an exciting new zombie concept :D

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Joshua Wells

No thanks, the market is about to get flooded with more Battle Royale type games.

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Linda Carlson

Hey there! At the same time that we introduced the ability to buy the end-game currency in packs, we also made it easier to acquire the currency in game, for example, through LFR (Looking for Raid) and Expert runs; next week’s patch boosts it even more.

It is a fact that some folks have more time/less cash and others have more cash/less time. We’re doing our best to find that reasonable balancing point to allow everyone to play, progress and enjoy the game, while still bringing in the revenue needed to support production costs.

We are also absolutely open to feedback and are monitoring it closely… now that players see that it’s not a nightmare to get the captured intel in game, sentiment is shifting. We’re always watching, listening and reading!
~Brasse
(Director of Community and Part-time Dwarf, Trion Worlds)

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Joshua Wells

Good games sells themselves. Clearly this explains everything.

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athiev

If people have “more cash/less time” and want to play Rift, the real world already offers a great solution. It’s called: hiring people. You pay people money to do stuff for you and use the saved time to play Rift.

What you folks are doing is just asking people to pay you not to have to play Rift. Why do you hate your own game to the point that you attach a negative dollar value to playing it?

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Madarablackgetsuga Rift

As a creator for your game, I can no longer claim your game is Free-to-play jump in and have fun, I now have to advertise your game as Pay to win and that’s not okay. As others have stated before me putting Intel behind credits instead of Raid Tier 1 or any other current currency was just a smack to the face to Rifts old code of conduct “Free to Play, No Tricks, Trials, and Traps”

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Boom

What about the loyalty included in the $250 pack? Giving out 5 million loyalty which essentially unlocks all loyalty perks versus the 7000 (if that is still the correct amount) per month from patron is essentially telling me you dont want my paltry £80 for an annual subscription plus whatever else I spend.

This isnt even mentioning all the players who financially supported you with 1000s to attain that higher loyalty tier, whom you have just dumped on.

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Steve Stevenson

That doesn’t make it okay (not to mention that the current additional sources of currency are mostly broken). The fact is, Trion once promised that they would never sell BiS gear on the Rift store for real money, yet here we are. You’re selling the currency for BiS gear, which is just selling BiS gear except with an additional click. More importantly, you’re selling currency in a way that can’t even be done through normal gameplay. Players can obtain much, much more Captured Intel through these cap bypassing caches than actually playing Rift. Combined with the large amount of T2 currency that lockboxes drop (something else new, as lockboxes didn’t drop so much in the past), someone that drops a grand on Rift can current get a full set of T2 gear in 2 weeks, far faster than raider chumps.

‘RIFT is a free to play game. We will be selling non-best in slot gear on the store. Nothing has changed with our policy on this.’ – Daglar

http://forums.riftgame.com/general-discussions/general-discussion/438992-nightmare-tide-gearing-you-8.html

Keep in mind that this was during the release of a FREE expansion. We’re now in a PAID expansion. You’ve broken your past promises, released a heinously price package that makes Rift look more and more like an Eastern MMO, and throw great doubts on the longevity and intent of Trion.

Sentiment has been overwhelming negative about these caches and the packs. Even your Trion content creators are shocked. Selling currency for real money isn’t giving players a catch up mechanism – it’s predatory monetization.

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

It’s more “pathetic” than “predatory.”

clowd
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clowd

Brasse, with all due respect, I would like to highlight the fact that the ability to purchase Captured Intel bypasses the weekly cap in place for those who don’t pay. If someone is willing to pay the money, they can easily drop $400 or more on these Captured Intel packs over the course of a week to come out with 182,000 Captured Intel over the course of a week. This is almost 4 times the amount that can be obtained per week for someone who does not pay for it.

On top of this, Best in Slot jewelry gear can only be obtained through Captured Intel with this patch.

The fact that Best in Slot can be purchased, although indirectly, directly violates one of Rift’s founding Free to Play ideas – that Best in Slot gear can never be purchased.

This combination of facts is where the issues come into play.

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Steve Stevenson

And it’s not even that indirectly! It’s just one additional click, and there’s really no difference between selling a cache once a day and selling an accessory box once a day.

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Bryan Turner

What have we learned from this years long experiment, Hartman is a great game dev/director but couldn’t run a company let alone a Lemonade Stand. In a few years when he goes to Kickstarter do not pledge money unless he has nothing to do with running the business aspect of the project.

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Paragon Lost

(sigh)