Skyforge developers explain monetization and power

    
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You can argue all you want over the definition of pay-to-win, but no one really likes the idea of a free-to-play game in which players can just buy the tools to be better than another player. Skyforge is currently in open beta in Russia, and players have noticed that you can simply buy credits for real money, allowing you to bypass the weekly credit limit and upgrade your character far faster. This has sparked a bit of consternation among the players, which has now been addressed by the latest development blog outlining monetization.

While players will be able to exchange Argents (the game’s microtransaction currency) for credits, there are two limiting factors in place to keep the power balance. First of all, there are hard caps on how far a player can upgrade everything; buying credits will allow players to advance faster but not higher. Second, most forms of enhancement are gated through means other than credits, so buying credits won’t even serve specifically to speed up many forms of advancement. This may not mollify players upset by the monetization, but it does at least mean everyone is on the same page about how it works.

[Source: Skyforge Monetization Explained]
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andydomonkos
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andydomonkos

I think these days people are becoming more aware of how Freemium games actually work, and less oblivious to why they are actually being bamboozled into spending more money than they have traditionally when they payed for the game at it’s full price upfront.  
To break it down, freemium games work much in the same way drug dealing does.  You offer the prospective target a great high for nothing upfront.  Repeat until they are hooked then say, well this stuff is good, but for $10 bucks I can get you the real good stuff…./gameover. 
South Park, which seems to vigilantly observe social trends that are either ridiculous or unethical, has recently made the comparison too when Stan ends up spending thousands of dollars on some clicky game.  
Why does Freemium even exist?  The same reason credit cards do.  People love credit, even if it usually means paying more for something.  How many times have you played a game and bought the lowest amount of something because it’s only $3.99 or something, and then a week later you do it again when you could of paid 8 bucks and got an extra 25% of whatever it is your buying?  That is the predatory style of freemium.  
There is of course a limit to how much “pay-to-win” players will accept. When “free games” first  came out, they offered very powerful items in the market for real cash and in most cases this caused the game to fail because there will ALWAYS be more low-income players than high-income players (and if you follow world economics this ratio is increasing at an alarming speed).  
So the market had to adapt.  The formula then seemed to be modified, so that anything sold for real cash could be obtained in the game through either hard-work or a lot of time playing.  And this, more or less, has kept people happy.  
Now, to truly get the most out of this business model you have to create an environment of frustration.  Frustration is probably the number one reason people break out their credit cards while playing one of these games.  Getting one-shotted over and over by a girl in a bikini who is /laughing and /dancing on your smoldering corpse is no fun, and possibly the number one cause of broken keyboards.
What is the solution?  There is only really one.  BUY your games upfront.  I know, it’s painful to drop 60 bucks on a game.  But it beats dropping 200 over a year.  
The indisputable fact is this:
The moment a game allows the purchase of items or services that make you have any kind of advantage over others, is the moment it stops being a game.  
I think in the coming years, a huge movement against freemium will begin, and if any devs are out there who want to make a game with a single, flat, cost, they should be advised that the best way to do that is to BOAST to the fact that there is ZERO “pay-to-win” in their game. Say it over and over and stay true to it.  That’s going to be a huge selling point very soon, and I, for one, welcome it with open arms.  
(Sidenote: I would have gladly bought Skyforge for $60 bucks.  It’s worth every penny of that.  The art direction…the gameplay, all stellar.  The only downside to it is the credit limits and the real money exchange for in-game money, which detaches you from this wonderful escape and reminds you constantly of your finances.)

Hagg3r
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Hagg3r

Been playing the hell out of this game and do not feel like I need to pay a cent. Getting to the cap with premium takes about 15 hours for the week with the speed increase and getting to the cap takes about 23 or so without premium. That is pretty damn reasonable. They have to make money somehow and I think this is pretty reasonable. People with less time can play less to keep up with their friends with more time. If I pay anything for this game it will be because I want to, not because I have to. Hell, if I do want something from the CS I can get it anyways since you can convert in game credits to CS currency. I could even buy premium time with it.

Angier
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Angier

NobleNerd Tamanous Damonvile
That’s the trick with f2p and microtransaction. The amount of micropayments you do make you loose overview.

Cyroselle
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Cyroselle

Tamanous ” I was usually turned away by the cash model alone … even if I really liked the game.”
I’m right there with ya. I love ArcheAge, but won’t play ArcheAge precisely because of their crappy model, it infects everything.

Cyroselle
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Cyroselle

Enikuo Yeah, I don’t mind the purchasable frames either, since you can also craft them in game. It’s just a nice option to skip a grind, if you have the money for it, and pay into the game’s further development.
And I’m OK with this for the exact reason you mentioned, paying players still have to level up their purchase, so it’s not ‘pay for power’, it’s just ‘pay for choice’.

Cyroselle
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Cyroselle

Tamanous Damonvile Allods was actually really cool pre-mail.RU buyout. Then mail.RU came in and the Gipat patch dropped immediately afterwards, broke a lot of stuff, and sold items in the shop to unbreak the game for you. Also, there was an item that would essentially make you stunlock immune in PVP, so…. yeah. The bridges were burned hardcore in Allods. 
I mean, people still play Allods to this day, but the public outcry was huge and players were dropping the game from all sides. Gipat ended up being a PR disaster.

Cyroselle
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Cyroselle

Reihen Hell, I’d pay. I’d also end up playing fewer games, but I would go the sub route, if I felt I got real value from it. 
And by ‘real value’ I don’t mean that I’d be happy to pay a sub if all that’s doing is unbreaking the game for me, like with SWTOR, or ends up being a sub where I’ll end up paying extra on top of the sub to play competitively, as in AA.
I’m sick to death of this shit.

Cyroselle
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Cyroselle

Crow God Siphaed Most people don’t even recognize Yakov Smirnov (sp?) if you mention him to them these days. He was pretty funny though.

Crow God
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Crow God

Siphaed The joke is “In Soviet Russia[…]”. Which Soviet Russia hasn’t been a thing since 1992. The joke has been dead for more than twenty years… Find new material.

Crow God
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Crow God

Makes me wonder why have a limit on credits at all…